I will be constantly updating this and you can keep checking in for my latest version here. I also have all good intentions to live blog the NBA Draft tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. should I not pass out on Early Times whiskey first. Actually, the only reason it wouldn’t happen is if I have technical difficulties. So, here is the mock draft:
1. Chicago Bulls select Derrick Rose, Memphis
Derrick Rose’s nickname is â€˜Pooh,’ given to him by his grandmother because she thought he looked like Winnie-the-Pooh. He attended Simeon Career Academy where he led his team to back-to-back titles in the Chicago Public League and compiled a 120-12 career high school record. This guy is a leader, a winner, and the only no-brainer pick in this year’s draft. Chicago has found their man.
2. Miami Heat select Michael Beasley, Kansas State
Don’t get sucked into the rumors of the Heat trading this pick. It’s not gonna happen. However, he’ll have to work on his defense if he wants to live up to being the number two pick of the draft. His offense is not a question. This kid can flat-out score.
Kevin McHale is one of the worst GMs in this league. Common sense is to take OJ Mayo with the third pick, but McHale does not have common sense. This is the GM that cost his team $3.5 million and five draft picks by trying to sign Joe Smith to a max contract under the table. Part of me believes McHale thinks he is still employed with Boston after he hand-delivered Kevin Garnett to the Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson and a 20% off coupon to Bed Bath & Beyond. My point? Some other team is getting OJ Mayo tomorrow night.
3. New York Knicks select OJ Mayo, USC (assuming a trade, but not predicting the details)
If the Knicks don’t get him here then someone will. The intriguing story here is that OJ Mayo and Lebron James are friends. In a perfect world, OJ Mayo lands in New York Thursday night, the Knicks somehow clear cap space for next year, and Lebron James becomes a Knickerbocker for 2009-10 season.
4. Seattle Sonics select Brook Lopez, Stanford
Tons of rumors about Seattle moving up to the two-spot in a trade with Miami, but really don’t see that happening. Seattle doesn’t have anyone to trade other than Chris Wilcox. If Seattle does trade, it will be down, but I see them drafting Brook Lopez.
5. Memphis Grizzlies select Kevin Love, UCLA
I liked him in college and I think he will be a solid pro. Memphis needs a big man, so why not take the best available?
6. Minnesota Timberwolves select Eric Gordon, Indiana (moving down from the three-spot)
Worst case scenario for Kevin McHale. He’ll trade his third pick hoping to get Lopez or Love with the sixth pick, but has to settle for his third option, Eric Gordon, who I like. I don’t like this mock draft right now. Kevin McHale is screwing this up for me. This is very similar to how Minnesota had to buyout Troy Hudson’s contract ($12.3 million), because GM McHale signed him to a six-year, $37 million contract. Yeah, Troy Hudson.
7. LA Clippers select Jarryd Bayless, Arizona
The Clippers have a lot of off-seasoning to do this summer. What is Elton Brand gonna do, are we trading Corey Maggette, is Shaun Livingston ever going to be good? Lots of questions. So, with two of those questions at the guard position, why not take the best guard available? Jarryd Bayless has tremendous upside. The only reason I say this is to prepare you for how many times â€˜upside’ will be used tomorrow night. Last year it was used 2,381 times with 152 different words used before it.
8. Milwaukee Bucks select Joe Alexander, West Virginia
All the talk has Milwaukee taking Joe. In the top ten picks, there seems to be two definites. Rose at number one and Alexander at number eight. Joe was predicted to be taken in the middle to end of the first round a couple months ago, but GMs/coaches/scouts have been falling in love with his athleticism, work ethic, and size. I’ve been saying this for awhile now.
9. Charlotte Bobcats select Russell Westbrook, UCLA
This is a Larry Brown guy. I’m preparing you again. Whoever is taken at this spot, whether its Love or B. Lopez dropping to this pick or they take a reach on Augustin, you will hear the announcers say, "This is a Larry Brown guy" numerous times. You will also hear this during the 38th pick or if Charlotte acquires another first round pick in attempt to get Roy Hibbert, because Hibbert is a Larry Brown guy!
10. New Jersey Nets select Danilo Gallinari, Italy
Alright, this guy shouldn’t have dropped this far. I don’t know how this happened. He worked out really well with the Knicks, twice. So, if my fun little trade doesn’t happen then Danilo probably won’t be here. At this point of the draft there will be at least two significant trades that will shake this whole mock draft up. I see the Clippers and the Bobcats making some movement.
11. Indiana Pacers select DJ Augustin, Texas
If Toronto and Indiana somehow can agree to exchange TJ Ford and Jermaine O’Neal and â€˜players with contracts’ then maybe this won’t be the pick. However, I don’t see that happening, so DJ is the pick here. What does Perry mean when he says â€˜players with contracts?’ Don’t they all have contracts? Thanks for asking. Yes, they do, but some aren’t viewed as players anymore, just contracts. For example, Keith Van Horn is just a contract. Theo Ratliff is an expiring contract. And thanks to Isiah Thomas, everyone on the Knicks is a ridiculous contract. These are the players you need to include in trades so the salary numbers are close to being equal.
12. Sacramento Kings select Mario Chalmers, Kansas
Mike Bibby was one heck of a point guard for Sacramento and now he plays in Atlanta. Nobody better to fill that void than Mario Chalmers. Also look for the Kings to take Anthony Randolph or Roy Hibbert.
13. Portland Trailblazers select Brandon Rush, Kansas
I’m a big fan of Brandon Rush. Not as an NBA star, but a solid NBA player. Put him with Greg Oden, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Brandon Roy, and you have yourself a team that will dominate.
14. Golden State Warriors select Darrell Arthur, Kansas
I have no clue if the Warriors are even looking at this guy, but I thought it would be a good idea to have three straight Kansas players selected.
The lottery portion of the draft is over. Picks 16 thru 30 will now be listed without explanation due to the fact this is taking way too long.
15. Phoenix Suns select Anthony Randolph, LSU
(look for Leandro Barbosa to be dealt to Toronto)
16. Philadelphia 76ers select Kosta Koufos, Ohio State
17. Toronto Raptors select Robin Lopez, Stanford
(look for TJ Ford to be dealt to Phoenix)
18. Washington Wizards select DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M
19. Cleveland Cavaliers select Jason Thompson, Rider
20. Denver Nuggets select Marreese Speights, Florida
21. New Jersey Nets select JJ Hickson, NC State
22. Orlando Magic select Roy Hibbert, Georgetown
23. Utah Jazz select Donte’ Greene, Syracuse
24. Seattle Sonics select Alexis Ajinca, France
25. Houston Rockets select Ante Tomic, Croatia
26. San Antonio Spurs select Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis
27. New Orleans Hornets select JaVale McGee, Nevada
28. Memphis Grizzlies select Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky
29. Detroit Pistons select DJ White, Indiana
30. Boston Celtics select Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State
I will be doing a live blog of the draft on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. I will dish out my thoughts on the picks and make sure I put in writing every ridiculous thing that comes out of the mouths of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.