Since last we talked mock draft the Lakers dispatched with the Orlando Magic and the off-season has kicked into full gear. I was out of town on business and have thus pretty much missed basketball from the past week or so. I suppose that’s fortunate in some ways.
I hope the third version of this mock is less impacted by the rumors, smokescreens, subterfuges, and misinformation that normally clouds my mocks this time of year. My gut tells me that this draft will be the 2006 draft (Bargnani, Aldridge, Morrison were the top 3) of 2009. There will be tons of busts, but a smart front office will be able to find good players late.
Onto the picks…
2009 Mock Draft, 3.0
1. Clippers – Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
Nothing to see here. Moving right along.
2. Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Poor Grizz. This isn’t the draft to have the #2 pick. I still say they’re looking to move this pick to someone who wants Rubio.
3. Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
I don’t think Thabeet is a top three talent but this draft couldn’t have worked out any better for him. He’ll be an excellent defender and he can run the floor a bit. The Thunder don’t need another guy who needs the ball to be effective.
4. Kings – James Harden, G, Arizona State
I’m guessing the Kings just go best player available regardless of position. I think they wouldn’t mind getting out from under this pick.
5. Wizards – Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
Hill will provide some rebounding and a big that runs the floor.
6. Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
It’s hard to know what Minny will do with a new management team and a lot of picks. Nothing they do would surprise. The 6-10 area just seems about when Evans should go off the board.
7. Warriors – Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
The Warriors want no part of Jamal Crawford and don’t think Ellis can run the point. Jennings seems like the right fit for this group.
8. Knicks – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson
I just don’t know that there will be a big man available Walsh will like more than Curry. I suspect that a big man is probably the only real competition for Curry.
9. Raptors – Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA
Ultimately, defense, ball-handling, and floor vision will keep him in the league but Holiday is one of the biggest question marks in the draft.
10. Bucks – DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
If Milwaukee takes Blair they’ll be putting together a nice little frontcourt.
11. Nets – Demar DeRozan, SF, USC
Lottery pick least likely to live up to expectations. What does he do?
12. Bobcats – Austin Daye, F/C, Gonzaga
I love this kid’s game and maturity but he may not be a player until he’s on his second contract (after he’s filled out a bit). He’s thinner than Anthony Randolph. Just let that roll around in your head for a bit.
13. Pacers – Ty Lawson, PG, UNC
I won’t be surprised to see him go higher in this draft. The way people dismiss his production doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like Carolina does anything particularly unorthodox. They just play a fast pace.
14. Suns – Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
Flynn is a pure point guard, yet I’m not crazy about his decision making.
15. Pistons – Earl Clark, F, Louisville
I hate his offense but Clark’s a very capable defender.
16. Bulls – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke
The Bulls have claimed that their top off-season priority is to re-sign Gordon. Mmm. Yeah.
17. 76ers – Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona
Budinger is a nice fit for that roster, especially as a decision-maker should they lose Andre Miller.
18. Timberwolves – B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
Given Al Jefferson’s health, this would be a decent gamble on size and provide some depth.
19. Hawks – Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh
Young would be a nice fit on Atlanta; a tough guy who can defend both forwards and hit an outside shot.
20. Jazz – Tyler Hansborough, PF, UNC
Hansborough is good value at this point in the draft. He’s going to rebound and run the floor and he’s developing a faceup jumper.
21. Hornets – Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest
Teague would bring a bit of what Jannero Pargo did, for better or worse.
22. Mavericks – Terrance Williams, G/F, Louisville
Should Williams fall this far he’d be exactly what the doctor ordered Dallas: perimeter defense and depth.
23. Kings – Eric Maynor, PG, VCU
24. Trailblazers – James Johnson, F, Wake Forest
Portland could really use someone that can score in the post–at least a little bit.
25. Thunder – Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
He’ll be a quality backup point in the league.
26. Bulls – Nick Calathes, F, Florida (Greece)
Somebody is going to select Calathes and hold onto his rights. Presumably it will be a team with multiple first rounders that has difficulty moving a late pick. Any number of these late picks may be guys already overseas who can be stashed away.
27. Grizzlies – Wayne Ellington, G, UNC
Right now he’s a one dimensional shooter with a long windup, but worth a late first round gamble.
28. Timberwolves – Omri Casspi, F, Tel Aviv
I’d be stunned if Minny keeps all its picks, but if it does I figure they’ll select Calathes or a player they can stash overseas.
29. Lakers – Marcus Thornton, G, LSU
Thornton is a potent offensive player and a solid rebounding guard who is better in short spurts because of his questionable shot selection.
30. Cavaliers – DeMarre Carroll, F, Missouri
I’m going out on a limb and saying that Mizzou’s version of the “Junk Yard Dog” works his way into the late first round. Carroll has Anderson Varajao’s energy as a combo forward. He’s really improved his jump shot. He has a high basketball IQ, and is a very good passer as well.