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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NBA Mock Draft, v 2.0

If you missed my last mock prior to the Orlando pre-draft camp you can see picks 1-14 here and picks 15-30 here .

The ground rules: this mock is less a prediction about what I think teams will do and more about what I would do as GM for each team. Although I anticipate that trades will change the draft order, perhaps radically, my interest is in matching players and teams. Therefore I keep the teams in their given draft order but highlight spots where I expect trades. (In other words, I’m notoriously bad at this so I’m trying to hedge as best I can.)

Note: ESPN.com is reporting a deal involving New Orleans trading its 27th overall selection to Portland for cash considerations. So I will insert Portland into the 27th spot.

1. Chicago Michael Beasley, Kansas State, PF (Version 1.0: Derrick Rose)
The statheads have convinced me that Beasley is the better prospect. No matter who Chicago selects it’ll be interesting to see what Paxson does with the roster this off-season.

2. Miami Derrick Rose, Memphis, PG (Version 1.0: Michael Beasley)
I think the Mayo talk is mostly smoke screen, but I think Miami would much rather be in a position to choose between Rose, Mayo, and an offer that sweeps them off their feet than simply choosing between Rose and Mayo.

3. Minnesota O.J. Mayo, USC, G (Version 1.0: O.J. Mayo)
Mayo seems to be the consensus #3 talent in the draft and easily its most polarizing. A basketball mercenary since middle school, his much anticipated but mediocre “one-and-done” at SoCal has pit statheads against the traditional scouting types who love him. An oversimplification? Yes, but not an entirely inaccurate one.

4. Seattle Jerryd Bayless, Arizona, G (Version 1.0: Jerryd Bayless)
Keep moving people; nothing to see here.

5. Memphis Kevin Love, UCLA, PF (Version 1.0: Brook Lopez)
Love may be the next most polarizing player in the draft after Mayo. Statheads and scouting types both agree that he’s super skilled and hyper-productive, but is he athletic enough? The Grizz are likely to move if things don’t fall just right for them. One rumored deal involves the Knicks trading David Lee for this pick.

6. New York Russell Westbrook, UCLA, G (Version 1.0: Russell Westbrook)
I am going to stick with Westbrook should NY stay at six. To me, he’s the right kind of gamble on upside. He uses his athleticism on defense and doesn’t try to play outside his limitations. All he really lacks is experience. Although I wouldn’t be incensed about Westbrook, I’d rather see a trade down in search of some low-cost gems in the late teens (e.g., Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers) or 20s (e.g., Ryan Anderson, DeVon Hardin, Richard Hendrix), especially if we can dump a bad contract in the process.

7. LA Clippers Danilo Gallinari, Armani Jeans Milan, SF (Version 1.0: Kevin Love)
The Clips are another team that may be looking to deal. One rumor has Maggette going to Phoenix for Barbosa. Either way LA needs shooting in the worst way.

8. Milwaukee Joe Alexander, W. Virginia, SF (Version 1.0: Danilo Gallinari)
Alexander is a late bloomer with athleticism and a nice stroke, but lacks some skills and experience. He’s a solid gamble for Milwaukee, but too big a risk for the Knicks at six I think, though this is Hollinger’s pick.

9. Charlotte Brook Lopez, Stanford, C (Version 1.0: Anthony Randolph)

10. New Jersey Eric Gordon, Indiana, SG (Version 1.0: Donte Green)
It’s hard to anticipate what NJ is going to do with its roster overall. I doubt they’ll really know until the off-season starts to heat up. So if I were Rod Thorn I’d go best available. (I feel like I’m penciling Gordon in here because that’s what I’m supposed to do but I really don’t understand what I’m missing that other people are seeing in him.)

11. Indiana Marreese Speights, Florida, PF (Version 1.0: Eric Gordon)
For my money Speights, not Anthony Randolph, is the high upside forward out of the SEC mid-lottery teams should be gambling on in this draft.

12. Sacramento Alexis Ajinca, Heyeres-Toulon (France), C (Version 1.0: Darrell Arthur)
Ajinca likely won’t play immediately, but may be ready just as Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim are coming off the books after 2009-10.

13. Portland Anthony Randolph, LSU, SF/PF (Version 1.0: Chase Budinger)
The Blazers are one of the few teams with the patience to wait on youngsters to develop. However, after acquiring the #27 pick from New Orleans I won’t be surprised to see Portland go international and look to stash yet another youngster overseas.

14. Golden St. DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M, C (Version 1.0: Joe Alexander)
Mine may be the only mock where Jordan actually improves to #14 from the previous version. Although I maintain serious doubts about his work ethic, he may be best suited to play on a running team where he’s only asked to block shots and rebound.

15. Phoenix Brandon Rush, Kansas, SG/SF (Version 1.0: Brandon Rush)

16. Philadelphia Donte Green, Syracuse, SF (Version 1.0: Marreese Speights)

17. Indiana (f/ Toronto) Robin Lopez, Stanford, C (Version 1.0: D.J. Augustin)
The rumored deal sends this pick to Indiana as part of the Jermaine O’Neal for T.J. Ford swap.

18. Washington Darrell Arthur, Kansas, PF (Version 1.0: Nicolas Batum)

19. Cleveland Roy Hibbert, Georgetown, C (Version 1.0: Chris Douglas-Roberts)
Cleveland could use a center with more offensive skill than Varajao, who could be moved this off-season, to eventually take over for Big Z.

20. Charlotte (f/ Denver) Kosta Koufos, Ohio State, C (Version 1.0: Courtney Lee)
Denver dealt this pick to Charlotte for a future first (protected through 2014). DraftExpress is saying that Larry Brown made this deal for Roy Hibbert. So if he’s still on the board that may be where he goes.

21. New Jersey Mario Chalmers, Kansas, PG (Version 1.0: DeAndre Jordan)
I understand that NJ is not happy with Marcus Williams’ development. Chalmers would provide some flexibility. His shooting makes him a better backup to Devin Harris than Williams. (Yeah. I do think Chalmers is better than D.J. Augustin.)

22. Orlando D.J. Augustin, Texas, PG (Version 1.0: JaVale McGee)

23. Utah Courtney Lee, W. Kentucky, SG (Version 1.0: Roy Hibbert)

24. Seattle J.J. Hickson, N.C. State, PF (Version 1.0: Davon Jefferson)

25. Houston Richard Hendrix, Alabama, PF (Version 1.0: Kosta Koufos)

26. San Antonio Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, SG (Version 1.0: Alexis Ajinca)
His body of work and workouts say mid-first, but virtually no one is projecting him there. I think his game fits San Antonio really well.

27. Portland (f/ NO) Ryan Anderson, California, PF (Version 1.0: Ty Lawson)
I am curious about why Portland acquired this pick. I wonder if they’ll keep it.

28. Memphis JaVale McGee, Nevada, PF/C (Version 1.0: Ryan Anderson)

29. Detroit DeVon Hardin, California, C (Version 1.0: DeVon Hardin)

30. Boston Jason Thompson, Rider, PF/C (Version 1.0: Robin Lopez)
Almost whomever Boston drafts will have a shot to get some burn as a rookie, especially if PJ Brown retires.

Final thoughts: I’ll repeat from Version 1.0 that I expect to see a fair amount of wheeling and dealing in this draft. If you are in the market for a rebounding big man this is the draft for you, even into the second round. If you’re in the market for a G, as are the Knicks, the pickings are much slimmer. If Donnie Basketball thinks he needs another guard—and he does, if not to contribute this year then down the road—he may be forced to look to the trade or free agency market.

95 comments on “NBA Mock Draft, v 2.0

  1. Thomas B.

    They call him Davy…Davy Crockett, King of the Draft frontier.

    This is probably the way 3-8 will go. I guess if YOU were Chicago’s GM you would pick Beasley (his stats are just too good to pass), but you know that Chicago always tries to be too smart. I could see the Bulls taking Beasley and trading him to Minny with Hinrich for the 3rd, Brewer, the future Miami pick they own, and the expiring contract of Walker. Having Brewer around might help Noah, and it is good insurance if they lose Deng. Then they could use Thomas to reverse the mistake they made 6 years ago in trading Brand away. Or they could package him with Hughes for another expiring contract then use the cap space to go after Boozer.

    They could have Mayo, Brewer, and Deng-a great defensive trio-with Boozer and Noah up front. If that team plays defense the right way they could make noise in the East.

  2. Frank

    NY Times reporting what we all have speculated — Knicks are trying to move Lee…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/26/sports/basketball/26knicks.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

    Beck is speculating we trade Lee and the 6th for #13, #27, and Jarrett Jack OR Steve Blake.
    I think it’s too much to give. Jack and Blake are nice players but not really difference makers. I’d consider Lee (and NOT the #6) for #13 and Jack/Blake but not the deal in its current proposed form. That would free us up to draft someone like Love or Gallinari and make our acute need at PG less so…

  3. ess-dog

    Yeah I really don’t feel like getting screwed over by the Blazers again, thank you very much!

  4. Owen

    “Lee’s lack of a reliable jumper makes him a poor fit in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.”

    It’s going to be very interesting to watch D’antoni make his system work without Steve Nash, Shawn MArion, and Amare Stoudemire.

  5. Ted Nelson

    “make our acute need at PG less so…”

    What acute need? There’s this 2 time All-NBA PG the Knicks are paying $20 mill next season.

    “Lee and the 6th for #13, #27, and Jarrett Jack OR Steve Blake.”

    Could we also throw in Nate Robinson and Renaldo Balkman? Come on, Lee staight-up for #5 was an “insider” type rumor recently, I’m not too interested to hear a journalist’s speculation.

  6. caleb

    re: Portland
    Howard Beck is so incompetent it’s hilarious — if they’re talking about that trade, Knicks would be giving Lee OR the #6, not both. Does any actual basketball person think different?

    re: Memphis
    According to Chad Ford, Lee for #5 is dead.
    “According to sources, Lee’s representatives sent a message to the Grizzlies that Lee didn’t want to play in Memphis and would refuse to sign a free agent deal with the Grizzlies next summer.”

    Ford also has Speights dropping to #25, which would be wild — IMO he’s a top-10 talent if not top-5.

    re: “D’Antoni’s system”
    This is probably worth a full post — but I don’t think we really know what his system is. In Phoenix, he put his 5 best players on the floor and found a way to maximize their talents. One example of how this is unique — I think most coaches would have played Stoudamire at the 4, Marion at the 3 and let some mediocre big guy play center. Mike D. was more creative. I suspect he’ll do the same in New York — adapt to what he has.
    I also hear a lot about how his “system” requires outside shooting ability. I posted earlier that this is dubious — he’s given big minutes to Brian Skinner and Steven Hunter — but it’s more than that. Shawn Marion is a (relatively) poor outside shooter… Diaw is awful in that regard… Grant Hill is ok… but if anything, D’Antoni’s offense in Phoenix DE-emphasized outside shooting — it was about getting off high-quality shots before the defense could set; the best way to do that is run, run, run. That’s why Marion flourished.
    Of course any offense is better if the PG can shoot like Nash.

  7. caleb

    re: trade speculation…

    We’re hearing too much about who we should try to move. Good basketball people (like Walsh) think about who they want to acquire, not who to get rid of. They might think there’s a player in the draft who’s worth giving up Lee, but they’re not saying, “we need to get rid of Lee, and if I can’t get Bayless (or whoever) I’ll just trade him for someone else.”

    It’s different with Randolph and Curry, who almost certainly don’t fit a long-term plan, but even then — why trade them for nothing? It won’t make a difference, even in the cap situation, before 2010.

  8. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    According to that Times article:

    “Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Wednesday night that speculation involving Lee did not mean the Knicks were trying to move him, but that other teams were trying to acquire him.

    “There are a lot of people pursuing him,” Bartelstein said. “He’s a very valuable piece and he’s the most valuable piece the Knicks have.””

    But he’s a bench guy that doesn’t play defense & can’t score? Why would any other team want him?

  9. Dave

    Speights dropping to #25? That would be weird.

    He’s been growing on me. Even though it causes an overload at the power forward position I wouldn’t be against drafting him at #6. He’d be a fine fit in D’Antoni’s setup. Walsh would have to trade Lee or Randolph in that situation though. Still the talent of Speights looks higher than several of the guys linked with the Knicks pick.

    It’ll be interesting to see how that top 5 shapes out. It’s become a lot less certain according to some reports over the past 4-5 days.

  10. Thomas B.

    Trade Lee only if the right deal comes along. Balkman can replace the rebounds lost with Lee’s departure.

  11. TDM

    Re: Speights

    From everything I’ve read on this guy, he’s completely inconsistent. One day, he impresses the hell out of some team in workouts, the next he’s a dud.

    I think its funny that some columnists are pushing Beasley on Chicago. “They need a low post scorer”. The knock on Beaz is that he plays one-way, all offense, no D. Doesn’t that oddly sound like a couple players on the Knicks (one of which used to play in Chicago)???

    Beasley may be the better overall offensive player, but passing on Rose would be mistake of gigantic magnitude. Rose is the hometown hero. If Chicago goes with Beasley and he doesn’t pan out, heads will roll.

  12. Dan Panorama

    I posted this in another thread, but I talked to Steve Nash and Jason Kidd at a charity event yesterday and they both had pretty strong opinions on who the Knicks should draft for point guard help. Nash says Augustin, who would possibly be in range if this Portland rumor comes to fruition. And Kidd says Bayless, who is looking available if we stand pat at 6.

    I think it’s interesting in particular that Nash is sold on Augustin given his similar style and it makes me wonder if maybe we should give him a stronger look as a possible engine for D’antoni’s system. The biggest knock on him is that he might struggle on defense in the NBA but is it possible that in D’antoni’s system we should just not care? Nash is no great defender.

  13. Thomas B.

    cnnsi.com has the Knicks taking Eric Gordan. Is anyone interested in seeing Eric Gordon on the Knicks? I’m not all that excited about that prospect.

    When the Knicks go on the clock, can the site put up a voting tools so the poster can vote on who the pick should be? It could feature five of the available players most likely to be taken at six.

  14. jon abbey

    “I think it’s interesting in particular that Nash is sold on Augustin given his similar style and it makes me wonder if maybe we should give him a stronger look as a possible engine for D’antoni’s system. The biggest knock on him is that he might struggle on defense in the NBA but is it possible that in D’antoni’s system we should just not care? Nash is no great defender.”

    I think the problem is his size, Nash is 6’3″, Augustin is 5’10”.

  15. Z

    “cnnsi.com has the Knicks taking Eric Gordan. Is anyone interested in seeing Eric Gordon on the Knicks?”

    Today’s NY Post mock places Gordon with the Knicks too.

  16. TDM

    Dan:

    Nash is correct – DJ would be a great fit for the Knicks. Shorter than the ideal pg, but a great team player nonetheless.

    Additionally, he is not N8. He has a great aptitude for seeing the floor and distributing the ball. He is a leader that wants to make his teammates better. Comparisons to Nate are ridiculous. While DJ is not a great defender (like Nate), he at least tries to defend his position. Nate is fun to watch, but he’s a showboater that wants to be on the highlight real every night.

    If Mayo is not available at 6, I along with some others have been saying that the Knicks should trade down, get an additional pick, and take Augustin and someone like Robin Lopez.

  17. David Crockett

    I swear I think Chalmers will be better. Augustin was a poor college defender, and vastly overrated as player. His shooting to my mind doesn’t make up for his other shortcomings.

  18. David Crockett

    I don’t get the Augustin love. Much like with DeAndre Jordan early on in the process sometimes certain players just get a halo and it takes a while to wear off. Nothing in Augustin’s numbers, at least that I’ve seen, suggest that he’ll be a great pro.

    I’m perfectly willing to concede that I may just be missing the boat, but I don’t see why he has anything above late lottery value.

  19. Dan Panorama

    As it stands, I don’t think of any of this draft’s combo guards are the Knicks PG of the future, save for Mayo. Westbrook’s interesting, but I’m suspicious of the hype — Rondo’s good, which is fueling Westbrook’s rise, but he looks a lot better with 3 HOFers around spreading the floor for him.

    Going for the best talent available and waiting til next year’s draft, or a trade, or free agency, to score the permanent solution is probably the way to go since we’re not expecting to be a playoff team the next year or two. Stockpiling assets and lowering the salary should be the goal right now over team needs. It served Boston well enough, eventually, and it would have worked for Chicago too if they had been smart enough to offer Luol Deng in a Kobe Bryant trade last year.

  20. Ross

    “Stockpiling assets and lowering the salary should be the goal right now over team needs.”

    Agreed.

    Westbrook, Bayless, Gordon, … all of these guys, in their own ways, are going to turn out like Jamal Crawford, in the sense that they are not gifted enough as passers to play PG fulltime, but not big enough to slot properly as SGs. Westbrook is the one guy that can defend as a SG, but he is also the one with the least amount of natural scoring talent.

    Augustin looks like a true PG, and I would be happy with him if the Knicks traded down to get him. But at his size I think he is a reach at #6.

  21. Owen

    “Re: “D’Antoni’s system”
    This is probably worth a full post — but I don’t think we really know what his system is.”

    I remember my excitement about Loyola Marymount, and then the Nuggets after Westhead went there. They were on the cover of SI I think, talking about advanced training techniques, etc. They played at the fastest pace of any NBA team in history I think, and they were absolutely horrible.

    There is no free lunch in the NBA. You don’t turn trash into treasure by running a new system. You need good players. It’s as simple as that.

    Steve Nash was on the best offense of all time when he was in Dallas in 2002. The Mavericks were the best offensive team in the league for three years in a row. The Suns were the best offensive team the year after Nash moved. In total, Nash has been on either the first or second best offensive team in the league every year since 2001-2002.

    Something to think about when we consider whether or not we should jettison Lee because he won’t fit into the vaunted Seven Seconds or Less system.

    “Doesn’t that oddly sound like a couple players on the Knicks (one of which used to play in Chicago)???”

    Beasley doesn’t sound anything like Curry. Beasley was third in the country in rebounding. Curry can’t rebound his way out of a paper bag.

  22. daaarn

    I was originally one of the guys calling for the Knicks to draft a PG, but I’m starting to soften to the idea of just stockpiling assets to trade off later. I guess I just wanted a good player that was uniquely our own for a change. I mean, how many impact players have we had that we actually drafted (and kept) in the last 20 or so years?

  23. Thomas B.

    I can not understand why Anthony Randolph is a projected lottery pick, but Roy Hibbert is not.

  24. Dan Panorama

    Kevin McHale is reportedly pushing for Love to be the Minnesota pick at 3. He’s the only exec left stupid enough for me to believe reports like this and I will jump for joy if that’s the case.

  25. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    Agreed that the whole D’Antoni needs shooters thing is a fallacy, I just hope he doesn’t believe it…

    D’Antoni’s rep is not only from Phoenix, but also his days in Denver and Italy. In Denver, his offense was 12th in the NBA, but his defense 29th (of 29). They played the 6th fastest pace in the league with a group that included Nick Van Excel, Antonio McDyess (24), Chauncey Billups (22), Raef La Frentz (22), Danny Fortson, Keon Clark (23), and Eric Williams, and went 13-36 in the stirke shortened 98-99 season.

    Thomas,

    Hibbert sturggles against athletic compition in college with a huge size advantage, I think it’s valid to wonder how he’ll do against even more athletic guys who are as big as him. Whether Randolph should be a lottery pick is certainly debatable, but the athleticism and raw skills are definitely there.

    Dan,

    Why jump for joy? A bunch of mocks have Love going to Memphis #5 anyway… who does that free up for the Knicks to take?

    As far as I can see, Seattle ends up with Mayo or Beasley (maybe takes Mayo and trades him to Miami for Beasley), Memphis I don’t know… maybe Eric Gordon or Brook Lopez… The Knicks get their choice between Westbrook and Bayless, which is good but might be the case anyway… Am I missing something?

  26. Dan Panorama

    It frees them up for Mayo…I don’t think any of the other teams will take him before us. Seattle doesn’t sound like they want Mayo competing with Durant for scoring and ballhandling.

  27. Ted Nelson

    I have to disagree. First-off Miami doesn’t want Beasley, so they’ll tempt Seattle or Memphis to take Mayo and trade him for Beasley. Even if Miami wanted Beasley, I think Seattle or Memphis would grab Mayo or another team (LAC?) would trade up.

    I’m starting to see Bayless as the Knicks’ best option short of a trade…

  28. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Yeah – I’ll be happy if the Knicks trade down – only because they’re more likely to get someone better. In this draft it seems that many of the players who are thought to go 6-12 are overrated. I’d rather have Speights & Chalmers instead of either Westbrook or Gordon.

  29. Ross

    “I’m starting to see Bayless as the Knicks’ best option short of a trade…”

    I think Bayless is likely to be the most talented player on the board at #6.

    He is also the most likely to become a selfish too small bad shot selection tweener guard, which is to say, very specifically the absolute last type of player you would ever want to add to the Knicks.

    So I find myself rather stumped about what to do at #6. I would be happy with Gallinari or a trade down.

  30. tastycakes

    “only because they’re more likely to get someone better”

    Not sure how you figure that.

    I wouldn’t mind them having two picks instead of one, but by definition there are more available options at 6 than there are at, say, 12. I mean, you might say the Knicks are just about as likely to pick a future all star a few spots down in the draft, and maybe their odds improve if they have multiple picks, but I can’t see how they are *more likely* to walk away with a future star.

    Of course, if another team really wants what the Knicks can get at 6, and the Knicks can leverage that into two young players with potential, maybe it’s worth doing. But the Knicks also really have to like a couple guys further back in the draft. How closely have they been looking at their options beyond the 6th pick, I wonder?

    (I’ve got to say, I wonder if doing the full evaluation with workouts and background checks and personal interviews and everything is any better than just going on game tape and instinct and scouting reports).

  31. tastycakes

    I’ve got to say, as excited as I am for the draft (I love the NBA draft) .. I have basically zero opinion on who the Knicks should end up with.

    Gallinari, Westbrook, Augustin, Love, Mayo, Beasley, Gordon, Bayless… hell if I know who amongst those players is going to turn the good ship Knick around!

    So I won’t be happy or disappointed if they sit at 6 and take any one of the available players. I’m taking a wait and see with the new regime.

    I’m much more anxious for potential trades. Who’s going to get moved? Who’s going for the bold stroke?

  32. TDM

    Looks like JO isn’t leaving just yet. . .

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers denied on Thursday reports of a deal to trade six-time All-Star forward Jermaine O’Neal to the Toronto Raptors for point guard T.J. Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic, the 17th pick in the draft and a player to be named.

    The deal was reported by Yahoo, citing an unidentified NBA executive, and the Indianapolis Star, which cited a person familiar with the talks that it did not name.

    Pacers spokesman David Benner said those reports were premature.

    “There is no trade to announce. It is all speculation,” Benner told the Associated Press.

  33. Ted Nelson

    Mike,

    I wouldn’t mind a trade either way, although (of course) I’d rather move up and get Beasley… Even if he’s not THE GUY he’s going to put up an electric 20/10 and have huge trade value in a couple years.

    I’m more sceptacle about trading down, because while some are bound to be overrated, one or two guys picked 6-12 is likely going to be a very good player. If I were a GM I’d like to have my choice and trust myself to pick the Amare/Dirk/Shawn Marion/Shane Battier/Brandon Roy… Would depend on what I got in return for moving down, I would love for the Knicks to get CDR later in the first (he’s my 2008 Tayshaun Prince/ Josh Howard).

    Ross,

    A HUGE potential difference between Bayless and the Knicks other guards is efficiency. He might prompt Walsh to trade Crawford (or Robinson), come in and light it up for Mike D from day 1 and have big trade value if he’s selfish/ not a long-term fit. Anyway, I’m hoping the Knicks put together a solid playoff team at this point, and not too worried about a title contender for a few years (of course a perrenial contender, or champion, from day 1 till 2050 or so would be nice).

    Tasty,

    “(I’ve got to say, I wonder if doing the full evaluation with workouts and background checks and personal interviews and everything is any better than just going on game tape and instinct and scouting reports).”

    I think based on past results for guys like Hollinger, analyzing stats is the best way to go.

  34. Dave

    I like Chalmers a lot. I rate him as the fourth best point guard in the draft (ahead of Westbrook). That said I don’t think he’s a good fit for D’Antoni. He’s a backup point guard here not a starter. On a team where the duties of the point guard are decreased he has a good chance of being a solid starter. But in an offense where his team relies on the ingenuity, floor leadership and intelligence he will be a bad option.

    I’m surprised Chalmers is running so low on many mock drafts. He should be higher. Very good defender. Good athlete. Excellent shooter. Takes and makes big shots. Proven winner. He has a solid handle, solid passer, decent playmaker. He’s going to help the team that drafts him.

  35. cbrooklyn

    IMO i dont think it matters who we get tonight short of rose or beez,,,the real question is how is new york gonna react when d’antoni’s run and gun system gets slapped around by real b ball?? we dont have a nash or amare or anything close to it. This is the eastern conference and we know most teams play some sort of legitimate defense..It will be fun to watch sometimes but i think new yorkers love that gritty hard nose play that has been the epitome of the knicks..pre isiah/dolan…im still not sold on the coach.. which reflects the gm.. which reflects the owner…and we all know who that is…..none the less im on my knees praying that whatever happens tonite let eddie muffins AND zach the black hole be gone tomorrow……

  36. Confucius

    doesn’t anyone like Joe Alexander or Randolph on the Knicks? If that Memphis trade was real and the Knicks get 5 and 6 it would be great to add those 2. But I think Boston proved it you need vets. I hope the Knicks do the right thing and trade the pick for a quality vet or 2.

  37. KG

    I think the Knicks have to make a move to get at least two picks… Let me put it this way… We’ve reached a point where when you look at the current Knicks roster and you have absolutely no problem with getting rid of the entire team barring D. Lee and maybe Crawford, although I think he’s expendable. Therein lies the problem. The only way you’re going to get a possible trade to make the team any better is by getting rid of the only player with any value. Extremely unfortunate but the truth. I say trade as many players for picks as possible… Can we finally start a little bit fresh???

  38. daaarn

    And now the Nets have, in principle, agreed to trade Jefferson to the Bucks for Yi and some other parts. I’m getting the feeling this’ll be a crazy draft/trade day.

  39. jon abbey

    “Looks like JO isn’t leaving just yet. . . ”

    it’s just that the trade can’t legally be made until July 9, I’m sure it’ll be officially announced then.

    as for the Nets/Bucks deal above, I don’t see news about that anywhere. links, please!

  40. caleb

    Interesting Nets trade… I think Yi is horrible (as bad as Bargnani), but I suppose it helps the Nets, long-term, by clearing some $$. More important, it probably makes them a serious contender for a high lottery pick in 2009.

  41. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I always felt that RJ was overrated, but that TS% is really nice. Geez 7.6 FTA/36 min – that’s like Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson combined.

    As for the Nets – they’re building like a franchise that’s moving to a major city. I expect to see more Nets jerseys when I go to Chinatown next.

  42. jon abbey

    don’t think it’s been mentioned here yet, but the Clippers jumped to #4 (for #7 plus a future first rounder), presumably to grab Westbrook. Gallinari’s looking more likely now.

  43. ess-dog

    Wow! Big move by the Brooklyn Nets! Great move for both teams really. Skiles gets a really go-getter in RJ, and the Nets get younger and move some money out to try and land King James.
    So now, you’ve got to figure the Bucks are out Joe Alexander’s services. He could drop to 13 now.
    Now how bout Randolph and #6 for Redd and #8 and Gadzuric? The Bucks get Gordon, we get DJ Aug.

  44. jon abbey

    it’s pretty ironic that even though Isiah’s biggest flaw (among many) might have been impatience, I’m going nuts here waiting for Walsh to do something, ANYTHING.

  45. jon abbey

    actually, maybe Westbrook will still be there at #6, according to Chad Ford at least:

    “Two big deals have just gone down in the past few minutes that could change the face of the draft.

    The Clippers and Sonics have agreed to swap picks as long as the Wolves take O.J. Mayo at No. 3. If Mayo isn’t drafted at 3, the deal is off according to two sources close to the information.

    With the No. 4 pick, expect the Clippers to take Eric Gordon of Indiana. They’ve coveted him as the type of dominant scorer that they’ve been looking for.

    The Sonics will take Brook Lopez or Jerryd Bayless at No. 7. However it seems like Lopez will be the guy.–Chad Ford”

    from the comments here:

    http://myespn.go.com/s/conversations/show/story/2879351

  46. Dan Panorama

    Well there goes Westbrook then. I guess we really have to either hope or trade for Mayo then. I’d be happy with Bayless too.

  47. daniel

    espn and nbadraft.net reporting that Clippers/Sonics have traded 7 pick for 4 pick. Sonics will get Clips 2009 first round pick

  48. jon abbey

    Bayless will almost definitely be available, but it’s been reported that Walsh isn’t interested in him. Minnesota could still take Love at 3 and mess up the SEA/LAC deal, in which case Mayo would go to Seattle at 4.

  49. Roshi

    Reading from a bunch of different sources, it appears most Knicks fans would be disgusted if they picked Gallinari. It seems like they’re still suffering trauma from the Frederic Weis pick. Many Europeans don’t pan out because, like many young NCAA players, they get drafted on pure potential. Gallinari has produced consistently in a league that is superior to the NCAA. If anything, I would say he’s more of a sure-thing than most of the other lottery pick guys.

  50. caleb

    If we make a trade it should be down, not up. None of the available players are worth a move.

    As for the Bucks… I wonder if they would have interest in Randolph — supposedly they were interested before, but that was before John Hammond took over.

    I would not take back Michael Redd — his contract is just as long and just as bad — but I would trade down from 6 to 8, take back Gadzuric and whatever else it took — Desmond Mason’s salary would work.

    A deal like that would go 80 percent of the way towards clearing our 2010 cap situation. Meanwhile, at 8 we’d still have plenty of options — Alexander would probably still be on the board, definitely Speights, maybe Bayless or even Westbrook.

  51. Plexxxx

    “No Gallinari, No Gallinari, No”

    I would forfeit the pick before I drafted Gallinari. Walsh needs to trade out of this spot if Mayo or Westbrook are gone. I could maybe live with Gordon, but I’ll be furious with a Gallinari pick.

  52. ess-dog

    “I would not take back Michael Redd — his contract is just as long and just as bad — but I would trade down from 6 to 8, take back Gadzuric and whatever else it took — Desmond Mason’s salary would work.”

    You’re right, maybe Mo Williams instead (I get their contracts confused.) Really whoever is fine with me, as long as we get rid of Zach. If the Bucks had a lineup of Bayless/Westbrook, Redd, RJ, Randolph, and Bogut, that would be a pretty tough lineup! We would have Mo Williams/DJ Augustin, Steph, Chandler/Balkman, Lee, and Curry.
    Ugh. I like the Bucks better.

  53. Reebok1303

    You also have to remember that Gallinari is only 19 years old and would have some huge adjustments to make if we took him, such as living in the US (and in the biggest city in the world no less), the different speed and pace of the game, and the different rules ie. defensive fouls, much bigger 3 point arc, ect.
    And although it wouldn’t surprised me if the kid did turn out to be a good player in the long run, who ever drafts him should be prepared to allow some time for him to mature and get acclimated to his new surroundings next season, meaning have some patience. Not exactly what Knicks fans are known for.

  54. Thomas B.

    “ESPN’s Ric Bucher is reporting that the Sonics have traded down to the seventh pick with the Los Angeles Clippers and will get a lottery-protected pick in 2009. More details to come.”

    All this goes to show that no mock draft should be printed until the day of the draft. The picks are now all over the place. Also, this would make me wrong (again) in my claim that no lottery picks will be moved before the selections begin.

  55. Reebok1303

    Also, count me as one of those who does not understand all the love Westbrook is getting. I haven’t seen anything, either when I watched him play at UCLA or in any of the statistical analysis since, that says he is a top 6 player in the draft. Other then his great on-the-ball D, which I am not at all discounting, what else does he bring to the table? He seems like a reach to me, especially so if he ends up at shooting guard.

  56. jon abbey

    “this would make me wrong (again) in my claim that no lottery picks will be moved before the selections begin.”

    not really, this one’s predicated on Mayo being gone before 4, so wouldn’t take place until Seattle picks at 4.

    oh, and one more time, FUCK ISIAH for that late three game winning streak.

  57. Z

    “I’m going nuts here waiting for Walsh to do something, ANYTHING.”

    It would feel very anticlimactic if by the end of today the Knicks had done nothing except draft the #6 player.

    Why would LA Clips trade up for Gordon right now? Why not wait until the picks play out. They may be able to have him at #7 for free…

  58. Plexxxx

    Who was the last international player picked this high that amounted to anything? The better international players in the league have generally been late first rounders or second rounders. He may turn out to be a very good player, but I don’t think Walsh can take that risk here. Dolan and Isiah have put this franchise in dire straits, you can’t do anything to screw it up any further and you can’t go for the “high risk/high reward” guys, you just can’t do it, and that’s how I see Gallinari. Frankly if there’s nobody there worthy of the #6 pick, nobody you think is a real impact player, then you try and package it up and get something of real value whether it be a proven player or lower/future picks. I know Walsh knows what he’s doing, but he has a lot of “undoing” to do, and it starts tonight. I’m probably just traumatized by the Weis pick, but Gallinari here is a mistake IMO.

  59. Thomas B.

    The Clippers and Sonics have agreed to swap picks AS LONG AS THE WOLVES TAKE O.J. MAYO AT NO. 3. If Mayo isn’t drafted at 3, the deal is off…

    Well that means that the deal happens after a lottery seletion, that means I wasnt wrong. I rock.

  60. ess-dog

    Yeah Z, why would you trade next years first rounder for a player that could drop to you like Gordon? I feel like another trade is in the works for the Clips…
    It sounds like Lee’s agent squashed the Memphis deal. DL better up his game next year.

  61. Ross

    Gallinari plays for a team named Armani Jeans in Milan, in the Euroleague … he has played games in Paris and Moscow and Athens and Rome. It’s not like he’s some hayseed that can’t handle NYC (which is, btw, not by any measure the biggest in the world)

  62. Thomas B.

    “oh, and one more time, FUCK ISIAH for that late three game winning streak.”

    I’m not big on swearing, but it feels really good to say that outloud. Thanks.

  63. ess-dog

    …and Plexxxxxxxxxxxxx, I like Gall. better than Westbrook, Lopez, Gordon… he is a risk, but a better risk than anyone not named Rose, Beasley, Love, OJ and Bayless, and I’m not sold on OJ and Bayless.

  64. cwod

    “The better international players in the league have generally been late first rounders or second rounders.”

    Since the dollar sucks and because of the way the first round salaries work, European players who get picked in the late first round will just stay in Europe and make way more money.

  65. jon abbey

    heh, from Chad Ford’s Insider coverage:

    “The Spurs sent an e-mail to every team in the league at 3:30 p.m. saying that they were willing to move the 26th pick. The e-mail asked league executives to “E-mail us your interest and your offers to 26.”

    get Dolan to write a check, Donnie!

  66. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Who was the last international player picked this high that amounted to anything? ”

    Biedrins? Bogut? There are probably an equal number of busts (still too early for some). Bogut gets ripped for being a #1 overall, but other than Paul, Bynum, Deron, & Lee there’s no one else in that draft who sticks out as being considerably better.

    Foreigners aren’t the only ones who are busts early in the draft.

  67. Thomas B.

    for the 26th

    Mardy Collins and a 1 year subscription to the “Jelly of the month” club.

    Why do the Clips want to move up to get Gordon? Who do they think would take him between 4-6? Is he that much better than Bayless that the Clips need to take him at 4? I didnt think Seattle, Memphis, or NY would have taken Gordon. But trying to understand the Clips on draft night is like looking at an M.C. Escher print.

    http://www.globalgallery.com/prod_images/esc-e6.jpg

  68. Thomas B.

    “Joe Alexander is the dark horse — the Knicks’ brass watched him work out for a second time and really likes him.”

    Funny, he doesnt look that dark to me.

  69. Reebok1303

    (which is, btw, not by any measure the biggest in the world)

    Physically, of course not, but I didn’t mean it literally – looks like I chose the wrong word.
    (Although if you measure it economically it might be the biggest in the world. Not sure if any market really matches up to the NYSE.)

    I meant it in the sense that it’s the Capital of The World, The City that Never Sleeps, and the Empire City. For example, I live in New Jersey and have traveled to play basketball in Las Vegas in the past without incident, but if at 19 I moved there to play professionally, with more money then I had ever dreamed of, I can guarantee you it would not have turned out for the best.

    But let me restate my point a different way. As a Yankee fan who has witnessed numerous big time players come to NYC and wilt in the past, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Gallinari struggled at first to adjust to his new life and job. In fact, it would surprise me if he didn’t.

    /rambling

  70. Ben R

    I am going to say it again but we need to do anything in our power to get Beasley. He is in my opinion far and away the best player in this draft. He is the only player with LeBron/Howard/Wade type potential. He will change the face of whatever team he ends up on.

  71. Italian Stallion

    “Gallinari’s looking more likely now.”

    I see this as a good thing.

    IMO, he’s probably the 3rd or 4th most talented player in the draft PLUS he fills a Knicks need at SF. He can shoot, pass, handle the ball, go to the hoop, was the “go to guy” in crunch time on his Euro/Italian team depsite being only 19, is a former PG that outgrew the position, has a reputation for being mentally tough. The only question mark is speed, but virtually every player in the draft other than the top 2-3 has bigger question marks than that.

    The Knicks can’t depend on Wilson Chandler being the SF of the future based on a handful of good games last year. Even if W.C. develops further and turns into a solid player, one or the other could play some PF. WC was a PF in college and Gallinari is certainly tall enough and may get a lot stronger since he’s only 19.

    While we unquestionably eventually need a PG to replace Marbury (ASAP), none of the guards available looks like a true point guard. The last thing we need is another combo guard that can’t run the team unless he’s an absolute star.

    Absent a significant trade, Gallinari looks like a no brainer to me unless Walsh has some insights into the guards that makes him certain one of them can become a top PG.

  72. ess-dog

    “But trying to understand the Clips on draft night is like looking at an M.C. Escher print.”

    Hey if the Clips are the Escher of the NBA, the Knicks have to be the Salvador Dali… a lot going on, but nothing making a lot of sense.

    Who would you take at 26? Hickson? Batum? CDR?
    That would be great if we got Gallinari and Batum. We could have pizza and espresso night AND brie and baguette night at MSG!

  73. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Brain hurting. Too. Many. Rumors.

    The only bet I’d make at this point is that whoever gets picked will be someone that Walsh HASN’T leaked to the press in the last 72 hrs. At this point, I might even get drafted, which would be pretty neat.

    And w/r/t Lee – can everyone please stop assuming that because CHAD FRAUD wrote one line in his mock draft that the story is 100% accurate? We’re ripping him for “screwing up the deal” but given the amount of BS that comes out at this juncture (esp. from FRAUD), I have a hard time understanding why everyone is assuming this bit of info is written in stone.

    Now draft everyone!!! And trade everyone else!!! NOW!!! Before my brain turns into a substance that chemically/physically comes closest to guacamole

  74. Brian Cronin

    How do the Knicks not outbid everyone for that pick?

    They have the most money and they have a need for the pick. Make it happen, Dolan!

  75. Thomas B.

    Rose: “It take determination.”

    Beasley: “It takes commitment.”

    Mayo: “It takes courage.”

    Lopez: “It takes endurance.”

    Bayless: “It takes passion.”

    All: “It takes all these things to put up with the incredibly tedious, over hyped, over analysis of the ESPN predaft show.”

    Stuart Scott: “HOOO BOY that’s right. Stew Skizzle in the hizzle for the 2008 NBA draft on ESPN-da house!! We holding it down with 45 minutes of saying the same damn thing over and over. Yeah. Before Pookie, Ray-Ray, and dem come to that podizzy to make the first pizzicky, I’m throw it back to my homie to tell you the same thing you heard 5 minutes ago.”

    Andy Katz: “As I just reported 5 minutes ago, the Clippers/Seattle deal is off.”

    Scott: “Hold your role Andy, Chad Ford has some breaking news. Chad?”

    Chad Ford: “Yes Stuart, I just got word from my inside super secret source that the Clippers/Seattle deal is off.”

    Boy where would we be without ESPN?

  76. Thomas B.

    Beasley #2 like we all knew. But will he stay, Stuart?

    Scott: “My man Mike Beazzee will be in the hizzee droppin bombs like Hiroshama on your momma.”

    Was that a “Yes” Stuart.

    Scott: “Fo’shezzy!”

    …..

  77. Frank

    damn westbrook is gone.
    I’m thinking it’s gonna be either gallinari or augustin.

    by the way, Thomas B, that’s really not that funny.

  78. Thomas B.

    “by the way, Thomas B, that’s really not that funny.”

    The truth, much like ESPN’s coverage, is usually sad and not funny. My dream Frank, is to one day be as funny as you.

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