NBA Mock Draft
The NBA Draft takes place on June 25th in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The L.A. Clippers, this year’s lottery winner, will have the first selection in the draft.
Team Position/Player School/Country Size
1) L.A. Clippers: PF Blake Griffin, Oklahoma 6-10, 252
Comment: The best player in the draft-by far. He’ll have the physical tools to compete right away. He reminds some of Carlos Boozer, with much more athleticism.
2) Memphis PG Ricky Rubio, Spain 6-4, 180
Comment: Here’s where it gets interesting. Rubio is a tremendous talent, who lacks size, a pure jumper and great quicks. But what a passer. Problem is, he doesn’t want to play with Memphis or Oklahoma City and has a $7 million buyout. He’s also just 18 and won’t turn 19 until October. Stay tuned.
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3) Oklahoma City C Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut 7-3, 265
Comment: The most imposing defensive player in the draft. Thabeet is light-years away from contributing much on the offensive end. A lot of question marks about his desire and drive. With Nena Kristic aboard and question mark due to his knees, the Thunder desperately need a big man in the middle. Could they trade up for Rubio?
4) Sacramento PG Tyreke Evans, Memphis 6-6, 220
Comment: Evans has all the physical tools and instincts to be a very good point guard or even shooting guard. Since he played just one season, he is still raw but he does have the body and athletic ability to play from Day One. He’ll can start for the Kings from Day One.
5) Washington PF Jordan Hill, Arizona 6-9, 235
Comment: Hill is the next best big man available, though the Wiz will probably try to trade the pick. They just have no cap room and are maxed out. What they do need is somebody who is tough underneath and can rebound.
6) Minnesota SG DeMar DeRozan, USC 6-6, 220
Comment: DeRozan is arguably the best athlete in the draft and a tremendous talent. He’s just a bit raw and will need to work on his jumper and overall game. Minnesota has Mike Miller and Rodney Carney, so they can bring him along slowly.
7) Golden State SG James Harden, Arizona State 6-5, 215
Comment: Harden is a very good player who can come in and play right away. He’s a smart player who lacks great athleticism, but knows how to use his body to get to the line. Similar to Mitch Ritchmond assuming he improves his perimeter jumper.
8 ) New York PG Stephen Curry, Davidson 6-2, 185
Comment: The Knicks are in love with Curry and it seems Mike D’Antoni sees a bit of Steve Nash in him. Not a great athlete or big, but very smart with a great jump shoot like his father Dell. But can he defend and become a true point guard?
9) Toronto PG Brandon Jennings Lottamatica Roma 6-1, 170
Comment: The Raptors may lose Chris Bosh to free agency next season or trade him away, but if Jordan Hill is not available, Jennings is the next best thing. He’s still raw and played overseas last year, but he can give the team a change-of-pace guard when Jose Calderon comes out.
10) Milwaukee PF DeJuan Blair Pittsburgh 6-7, 260
Comment: One of the high-risers on the board. He has a 7-2 wing span, which makes up for his lack of height. Blair adds rebounds and size inside to a team that needs to get more physical. Should be a good complement to Andrew Bogut.
11) New Jersey PF James Johnson Wake Forest 6-9, 235
Comment: One of the most talented big men in the draft, Johnson tended to disappear at times last year. Should not have much of a problem scoring. He’ll need to improve his defense and effort once he gets in the NBA.
12) Charlotte SF Earl Clark Louisville 6-9, 220
Comment: Michael Jordan has been too predictable in recent drafts. He usually goes for the best ACC player or fellow UNC grad (save for D.J. Augustin). The Bobcats need a shooting guard, but this is too high to take Wayne Ellington, they don’t need Ty Lawson and Chase Buddinger may bring back nightmares of Adam Morrison. Earl Clark can at least defend.
13) Indiana PG Jonny Flynn, Syracuse 6-0, 190
Comment: This is a difficult choice, because there a lot of quality point guards in the draft. Flynn has the complete package. He’s very athletic, can shoot it from deep (but is actually around 5-10) and runs a club pretty well. They could also go with a Lawson or Eric Maynor.
14) Phoenix SG Gerald Henderson, Duke 6-4, 215
Comment: Some say this is too high for Henderson. We say it’s too low. He’ll come in as one of the best perimeter defenders and athletes. He’s lacks a consistent jumper, but at times, took over games for Duke. He’s not Grant Hill in his prime, but is very underrated.
15) Detroit PG Eric Maynor, VCU 6-3, 175
Comment: Here’s a player, like Curry, who went to a mid-major school, but can flat-out play. He showed that two years ago against Duke in the NCAA Tournament. Maynor is a creator with the basketball and a true point guard. They can bring him off the bench or move Rodney Stuckey to the 2.
16) Chicago SF Austin Daye, Gonzaga 6-10, 190
Comment: Can you say Tayshaun Prince? They are almost the same size, but Daye has a better jumper. Could replace Luol Deng at small forward. Just needs to get stronger, which could take a few years.
17) Philadelphia PG Jrue Holiday UCLA 6-3, 185
Comment: Here’s another point guard in the Russell Westbrook/Gilbert Arenas mode. In other words, he’s a combo guard with tremendous talent, who could have used another year in school. But with Andre Miller possibly gone, he may have to play right away.
18) Minnesota C B.J. Mullens Ohio State 7-0, 260
Comment: Minnesota lacks a true center. Mullens won’t help right away as he didn’t even start at Ohio State. He’s very raw and a gamble, but could eventually pay off if Kevin McHale is still around to teach him some post moves.
19) Atlanta PG Ty Lawson, North Carolina, 5-11, 190
Comment: Great luck for the Hawks if Lawson falls here. He has some toe issues and that may scare some teams off. Has great speed and can really push the ball as well as anybody in the draft. Also improved his jumper to more than adequate.
20) Utah PF Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina 6-9, 250
Comment: Hansbrough is the perfect-type of Jerry Sloan player. He’s undersized, but energetic. Also a very hard worker and can step in and be a rotation player with Carlos Boozer likely gone. Will rebound and score some, but don’t expect him to produce like he did in college.
21) New Orleans SG Chase Buddinger, Arizona 6-7, 218
Comment: Buddinger has been on the radar screen for awhile. He’s Mike Miller with better hops. He can play shooting guard or small forward. He can’t really stop people so he’ll likely be a sixth man-type for most of his career unless he can improve his defense.
22) Dallas PG/SG Jeff Teague, Wake Forest 6-2, 180
Comment: Dallas was hoping for Nick Calathes here, but he’s hopping to Greece (it’s true). We think Teague stays in the draft. He’s a talented scorer, who’s stock fell last season after Wake Forest collapsed last in the season. He can play some shooting guard since Portland has so many good ballhandlers. Similar to Devin Harris.
23) Sacramento SG Sam Young, Pittsburgh 6-6, 220
Comment: The Kings should package this pick or trade their higher pick. Either way, if they draft a point guard early, look for underrated Sam Young, who can rebound and defend from the wing spot to get a look here. He’s a great athlete who has made himself into a dependable shooter.
24) Portland PG Darren Collison, UCLA, 6-1, 165
Comment: Portland drafted Jerryd Bayless last year, another Pac-10 player, but he’s more of a combo guard. Collison is another good point guard, though thin, will play some defense and run a team off the bench (kind of like Brevin Knight).
25) Oklahoma City PF Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech, 6-9, 220
Comment: Lawal is a raw athlete who should have stayed in school for two more years. He has great upside though and Oklahoma City can afford to sit him for a year or two to learn the game.
26) Chicago SG Toney Douglas, Florida State 6-2, 205
Comment: if Chicago is looking to trade Ben Gordon, they could go with an outstanding scorer like Douglas. He’s more of a dynamic scorer off the bench than a true starter.
27) Memphis SG Wayne Ellington, North Carolina 6-4, 195
Comment: Very good shooter who hasn’t proven he can create his own shot. Decent athlete who needs a screen or a strong point guard like Rubio to get him the ball.
28) Minnesota SF/SG Terrence Williams, Louisville 6-6, 220
Comment: Very versatile wing who can also play the point. There are some red flags here about off-the-court issues. Might be worth taking a chance on this late in a poor draft. Nobody doubts the talent and potential, though he never realized it in college.
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29) L.A. Lakers PG Patrick Mills St. Mary’s (CA) 5-11, 175
Comment: Mills missed most of last season with a broken hand, but was considered a lottery player before the injury. He’s a bit undersized but very quick and considering the Lakers’ issues at point guard, would be a steal at 29.
30) Cleveland SF DaJuan Summers Georgetown 6-8, 240
Comment: Summers was a zone-buster at Georgetown. He’s has a big body, but plays like a wing player. He was held back by the Hoyas’ Princeton offense.
31) Sacramento G Marcus Thornton, LSU 6-4, 205
Comment: A big-time scorer at LSU, he’s a little undersized for the two-guard spot. Very questionable ball handling. Needs screens and a set offense to score.
32) Portland SF Omri Casspi, Israel 6-8, 225
Comment: An athletic three-man who can put the ball on the floor and finish. He probably needs another year overseas to get stronger. But wants to play in the NBA.
33) Washington PF Jeff Adrien, UConn 6-7, 245
Comment: Undersized power forward who can play some small forward. Wiz are desperate for toughness. He can also shoot it well for a big guy.
34) Denver SF Danny Green, North Carolina 6-6, 210
Comment: Denver has just one pick unless they trade up. Green is a very athletic wing who can shoot the ball. But mostly, he’ll provide energy and spark off the bench.
35) Memphis PF Taj Gibson, USC 6-9, 225
Comment: An athletic shot blocker who will do the dirty work inside. Needs to get bigger and not much of an offensive force.
36) Detroit SG Dionte Christmas, Temple 6-5, 190
Comment: An underrated player who can get his shot off against most people. Not very athletic, which is why he’ll go second round. Needs to improve his handle.
37) San Antonio PG Curtis Jerrells, Baylor 6-1, 190
Comment: Very fast lefty point guard who is underrated because he played at Baylor. Average shooter. Has the physical strength to play in the league.
38) Portland SG Jermaine Taylor, Central Florida 6-4, 203
Comment: Taylor can really stroke it from deep. Isn’t two but is powerfully-built. Problem is he can’t create off the dribble, but that’s why he’s a second-rounder.
39) Detroit SF/PF Jonas Jerebko, Angelico Biella 6-9, 210
Comment: Swedish forward who has bulked up from 192 pounds. Has very long arms and plays a bit like Andrei Kirilenko and “Bird Man” Andersen. Could be a very good role player.
40) Charlotte SF/PF Robert Dozier, Memphis 6-10, 215
Comment: Lanky forward who needs to bulk up to play power forward. Has some potential as a rebounder and defender.
41) Milwaukee PG Sergio Llull, Spain 6-3, 176
Comment: Very solid combo guard who can shoot it, but will have to play the point in the NBA. Uses pick-and-roll very well.
42) LA Lakers SF Derrick Brown, Xavier 6-8, 225
Comment: Very athletic small forward who needs to work on his range on his jumper. Is most likely a tweener who will play both positions in the NBA.
43) Miami C Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga 6-11, 236
Comment: Big man who has been through off-the-court and injury issues. Is very skilled but lacks explosion. Worth the risk this late.
44) Detroit PF Jeff Pendergrph, Arizona State 6-9, 230
Comment: A lunch-pail type of guy who is also extremely agile and athletic. Not great size for a power forward, but could get stronger.
45) Minnesota PG Greivis Vasquez, Maryland 6-5, 200
Comment: Very talented player who carried the Terps to the NCAA’s. Scored 35 against North Carolina. Can play the point but looks too often for flashy play instead of basic pass. Size makes him intriguing but could go back to college.
46) Cleveland PG A.J. Price, UConn 6-2, 190
Comment: Strong point guard from Connecticut who had an outstanding senior season. Some red flags on a knee injury two years ago and character issues.
47) Minnesota PF Leo Lyons, Missouri 6-9, 235
Comment: Big man who can run the floor. Nearly 6-10, but just average wing span at 6-10.75. Javon Crudup anyone?
48) Phoenix SF Dante Cunningham, Villanova 6-8, 230
Comment: Another hard working, undersized power forward. He’ll have to play small forward in the pro’s, though he did improve his accuracy from beyond 15 feet this year at Villanova.
49) Atlanta PG Rodrigue Beaubois, France 6-2, 180
Comment: It appears Acie Law may be a bust or needs a different organization. Thin point guard with very long arms, making up for his lack of size. Very good shooter.
50) Utah SF Tyler Smith, Tennessee 6-7, 210
Comment: Great athlete who can really defend. Also has a very quick first step and can get to the basket as a slasher. Big question on ball handling ability.
51) San Antonio SF Damion James, Texas 6-7, 225 Comment: James may still go back to college and he needs to. Does have a strong body with excellent leaping ability. Has to improve his shooting ability.
52) Indiana SG Jodie Meeks, Kentucky 6-4, 205
Comment: What year for Meeks at Kentucky. He went from 8.8 points per game to 24.2 ppg. Lack of height hurts his stock.
53) San Antonio SG Wesley Matthews, Marquette 6-5, 215
Comment: Powerful shooting guard who is decent athletically. Needs to improve his handle like most players who play small forward in college.
54) Charlotte SF/PG DeMarre Carroll, Missouri 6-8, 225
Comment: Former power forward who made transition to the wing. Runs the floor very well and can finish. Not an elite athlete for a wing.
55) Portland PF Alade Aminu, Georgia Tech 6-10, 235
Comment: Has a 7-3 wingspan and tremendous potential. Should have stayed another year in college. He came off the bench in the team’s final 12 games, which says a lot about how far he is from being a productive player.
56) Portland PF Jon Brockman, Washington 6-7, 255
Comment: A semi-local banger, who will rebound like gangbusters when given a chance. Lacks a dependable offensive move and lack of height will make him a role player at best.
57) Phoenix PG Jack McClinton, Miami (FL) 6-1, 185
Comment: Another small shooting guard, who will have to adjust to the point in the NBA. Can really shoot it and loves taking the clutch shot.
58) Boston PG Tyreese Rice, Boston College 6-0, 190
Comment: A local player who is very explosive. Can flat out score, but can he play point at the next level?
59) L.A. Lakers SF Emir Preldzic, Fenerbahce Ulker 6-9, 220Comment: A very skilled Slovenian, who can handle the ball like a point forward. Similar to Hedo Turkoglu.
60) Miami C Garret Siler, August State 6-11, 305
Comment: Got size anyone? Worth it to take a flier on big man who has only play organized hoops for five years.
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