I will have a rather extensive first round mock posted sometime later tonight. It will have full explanations for every team. There are some risers, some fallers, some random talk, many picks you guys will object to, but you know the drill.
Would just like to point out that my mock drafts especially around this time are really off. Here the first 8 picks of the first full mock I did last year:
1: Miami Heat
Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis
Derrick Rose is probably the hottest name on draft radars right now, but I have had him pegged as the #1 pick all season long, even prior to this season, but him going the first pick makes more sense than ever. He will definitely not slip by the 2nd pick, and although Miami is the one of the spots where we could see Beasley going, I still think they will go Rose. Beasley will probably give you more immediate impact because of his scoring and rebounding but building a team around Rose, Wade, hopefully Marion and Haslem as well as Daequan Cook is pretty scary. If they are able to land Rose all they would need is a free agent addition of a solid big and they will be right back into the thick of things in the East. With Beasley I still see them as a lottery team. A team with zero chemistry and a little offensive movement.
: They used to say that the hardest thing to find in the NBA is a quality Center. I no longer think thatís true though. With the direction the NBA is pointing towards, you can win and be a contending playoff team with no real dominant inside force as long as you have good guard play. I think in fact the hardest thing to find is a real point guard. There are a handful of NBA teams who would have 10+ more wins every year if they had a special point running their team. Derrick Rose is one of the best point guard prospects I have seen in a very long time. There really are no holes in his game. Athletically he might be the most athletic pure point I have seen the past 10 years. He has uncanny vision especially in the open court. Offensively his athletic ability puts him on another level when driving to the hoop, as he can finish at the rim like a Dwayne Wade. His outside shot is solid. Defensively he has the skill set to be an all defensive performer. Great on ball guarding skills and understands how to play the passing lanes. As for negatives he sometimes plays with too much energy. Gets caught trying to do to much and needs to slow the game down. While with other players we will be talking about their attitude issues, Rose is quiet and laid back and has no record of disciplinary issues.
2: Seattle Sonics
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Arizona.
: This pick will probably shock everyone. Iím sure that every single person in this situation would have this pegged as the Michael Beasley pick, but not only do I think Seattle should do this, I think they actually will seriously think about doing it. Their fans will kill them for not taking Beasley, but I just think they have so many pieces to build this franchise the right way, that Bayless would just be the perfect pick. Kind of like the Jeff Green pick. Not the sexiest pick, but in terms of building this team into a future title contender this would be the best pick. You get great character, and great leadership. The Sonics have long been very unhappy with their PG situation. Ridnour has been a pest to the team never performing consistently the way they want him to, even being benched often for Earl Watson. This year Ridnour finally began to show the type of player he is, a bench role player at best. Watson leaves a lot to be desired. Bayless would finally give them stability at the PG spot which they have long yearned for. Not only can Bayless run the point for them and create for Durant and crew, but Bayless can assert himself on offense and take control when need be, as the Sonics don't really have a guy like that aside from Kevin Durant. Jeff Green is taking strides to becoming an assertive offensive player but started the season rough becoming hesitant when he first missed shots. He was like this his first few years at Georgetown so I expect him to eventually break out of that. Secondly I just don't really like the Beasley fit in Seattle. Everyone knows this is Durants team and he needs his shots so I'm not sure how it would work with two guys who play so similarly offensively in terms of their need to handle the ball. Second his fit isn't great. Beasley is best suited to be a 3 in this league but with Durant and Jeff Green essentially SF's there wouldn't be much room. Plus they have other wings like Gelabele and Wilkins. Their front court isn't as bad as people think it is, and Beasley wouldn't be that great of an upgrade playing down low. If they can get Wilcox back, with Wilcox and Collison you have two very solid big men. Elson is a big body, Petro has shown potential, and there are always those losers Swift and Sene who you hope can one day do something. I just really think that this team would benefit more from taking a guy like Bayless.
Bayless is one of my favorite players in all of College basketball. I had insisted since his junior year that I thought he was better than Mayo and I still stand by that. He is the next great combo guard. Arenas the best combo guard from Arizona, but Bayless has the PG skills that Arenas lacks. He plays the game with great intelligence and ease. For a guy who is a big time scorer, itís rare you say this but heís a team player and unselfish. He has great vision and real point guard skills. This isnít just a Ben Gordon who can ďrun pointĒ but isnít a point. Bayless can actually run a team. He has a great shot, especially his pull up. He can kind of do everything like Brandon Roy. Bayless will be productive from his first game in the NBA.
3: Minnesota Timberwolves
No way Beasley would sneak past the Timberwolves. The Wolves would obviously be ecstatic if they landed Beasley. Yes they have Corey Brewer but he can play an array of positions. Beasley would like play a Hybrid 3-4 role helping out Al Jefferson down low. Beasley and Jefferson would form one of the best scoring and rebounding tandems, but a very suspect defensive duo.
First of all for the positives he has the body of a man. He is the best inside outside threat in the draft. Currently he is dominating the college game inside both on the glass and offensively the post. There is no doubt that he is the most dominant college player out of the youngsters, but as an NBA prospect I have my worries. First to be mentioned is his past attitude issues. But since I havenít heard of anything recently on that, I wonít even talk about that as a negative. The first thing I notice about him is laziness. I donít know if itís because he thinks heís so much better than his competition, but I have never really ever seen him try his hardest or go all out. He seems to settle a lot of times at chucking up threes when he can drive and score every time down the court. My next issue with him is that Iím not really sure about his position. Everyone knows his future is at SF but I think his skills are better suited as a PF. I think these Carmelo comparisons arenít accurate. He doesnít have that fluidity or assertiveness on the perimeter to be Carmelo like. He is more like a big guy who can play the perimeter, rather than a perimeter player who can play down low. Again he has unreal athleticism and skills but there is just something about his game that scares me away. Kind of like Rudy G from a couple of years ago, but Rudy obviously has been able to shed away those problems.
4:New York Knicks
OJ Mayo, PG/SG, USC.
: This just smells like a New York Knicks pick if I have ever smelled one. Personally just myself I have Mayo in the 7-15 range, but if a team falls in love with him, the Knicks easily could, then it would be no surprise to see him go in the top 5. First of all you have to consider the type of hype that OJ is coming in with and how that can be exploited into money playing at MSG. As for the actual team need, he can help the Knicks but won't really do anything to make them a playoff contender. Marbury is as good as gone, so he will fit in nicely kind of replacing whatever Marbury once brought to the Knicks. I don't really think he'll be better than Jamal Crawford but he'll put up some points, and give the Knicks fans some plays to ooh and ahh about.
: OJ Mayo was wayy overhyped too early in his career. He isnít the next LeBron or even Gilbert Arenas for that matter but he is still a lottery prospect. The thing I dislike about Mayo is that everything seems to have to be about him. Just the way he plays the game itís like heís trying to show off. He at times can completely ignore his teammates when heís trying to get his and even when heís passing itís almost like he only does it to try to prove that he can pass. He will make a great highlight pass but fail to make an important pass when it really matters. He kinda reminds me of Larry Hughes on steroids. But he shares those same negatives like Hughes. Stuck between the 1 and 2, poor shot selection, bad FG percentages, lots of turnovers, more about show than substance, etcÖ I think he will struggle like Hughes in his first few years truly finding who he is. However I am banking on him having a much better career than Larry Hughes, he will make a couple allstar games but will have on an off seasons.
Deandre Jordan, C, Texas A&M
This is probably another pretty big shocker in my mock draft. I'm sure that most at this point in the draft would expect to see Galinari, Gordon, or Lopez. However I think this is the direction the Grizzlies will take, and should take. It is clear this team is in an obvious rebuilding mode after the Pau trade for cap room and draft picks, as well as their shopping of Mike Miller. I really think we could see the Grizzles move Mike Miller for further cap flexibility and young talent. They have a solid core built around their stud Rudy, and a 3 headed PG monster in Con, Crittenton, and Lowry. It is obvious that they need to go big man. Since they are in a rebuilding mode and obviously won't challenge in the west any time soon, I think they would be willing to wait on Jordan, and that this would be a very logical pick. He is a possible franchise big man and if all works out the Grizzlies would have a pretty impressive group of young players.
(Wrote this prior to the season, but I still stand by many of my critiques) I know absolutely no one shares this same opinion as me, but I like better as a prospect than Greg Oden. But Iíll tell you why I think that. Physically Jordan is just as impressive as Oden. While Oden has a much stronger body he is a finished product. Jordan is still yet to grow into his body and is actually longer. What separates them though is their fluidity. Oden is mechanic and robotic and a slower mover, while Jordan runs the floor like a guard and doesnít have that 2 second change of direction adjustment that Oden and most other big men have. I think Andrew Bynum will be a perennial Allstar, where as Oden will be a good defender ala Dalambert but not much more. Oden will probably make the Allstar team because of his name but why I mention this is because I see a lot of Andrew Bynum in Deandre Jordan. And if he can maximize his potential I think he can be even better. Jordan is a great rebounded and shot blocker and very active on the offensive side, yet only taking smart shots. Mark my words, he will be the #1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
Updated Prospect Analysis
: I'm sure after reading that many will blast me as you can all see how high I was on him prior to the season, and no I won't guarantee he will be the first pick anymore, lol, but I still think he is an excellent prospect. If you are willing to wait on the kid he could really develop into something very special.
Brook Lopez, C, Stanford.
I struggled a bit with this pick, but in the end it just really seemed like the most sensible pick. I thought at first giving them an athletic 3 man to guard and complement Redd well like Anthony Randolph or Gallinari, but when you think about it they are really pretty stacked at the 3 spot. I see Yi and Charlie V both as 3ish tweeners, so they need a true big man, and Lopez is probably the best big man available. Bogut has been solid but that's it, but really they could both be playing together. Wouldn't be a very versatile duo, but they would be pretty tough inside.
: I really didn't expect Lopez to make the kind of jump he did this year after a solid year last year. I didn't even have him on my preseason list of top 25 draft prospects because I didn't think he was going to declare, but he put together a very nice season. At times in the tournament playing unstoppable on the offensive side of the court. He obviously has nice size and length. Decent array of post moves, developed a nice hook shot, pretty good rebounder and decent defender. As for his negatives he isn't overly strong and could get pushed out of position in the NBA. Isn't a dominant scorer and has no real go to move. He also is not the greatest athlete and just stands in with the crowd in that aspect. I think Lopez will be a pretty solid pro, I don't even think he will ever make an allstar game, but if you are looking for a solid big who can start the next 10 years and average 15+8 than he is your guy.
Darren Collison, PG, UCLA.
This is probably the highest possible pick that Collison could go at, but I really like his fit with the Clippers. Other than already have home town fans, the Clippers are really in limbo with their PG situation. They really are in need of long term stability at the position. I know there is still a lot of hope in place in Shaun Livingston as he is recovering from his injury, but really how much can we expect from him. Prior to his injury he was still a big work in progress, so I think it would be foolish to bank on him as your PG of the future. If he comes back and develops into a shell of the player he could have been than good for the Clips, but they really do need a contingency plan. They are solid in the frontcourt with Kaman, Brand, and Thornton, so I see them going guard with this pick.
:He is one of my favorite players in college basketball. Lightning quick, scorers mentality while still getting his teammates involved. Good defender, there isnít much not to like about the kid. He is smallish and frail though and will also need to learn how to make an impact when you have to slow the game up and canít just go 100 mph at all times. Has long arms which makes him a pretty good defender. He is a very smart player, who will be solid but never spectacular.
8: Charlotte Bobcats
Kevin Love, PF, UCLA.
: My string of surprise picks kind of continues. But this is just one of those picks that I can see the Bobcats making. In past drafts we know that they are into college proven players, (Okafor, Felton, May, Dudley), so Love seems like a logical pick. To be honest if he entered this draft I wouldn't be surprised to see Jordan take Hansborough first round, lol. Anyways I don't think that Love's ceiling is that high, but he will definitely be a solid NBA contributer for a long time. A smart heady player, and very tough and gritty in the post. He is a very good passer and that will be needed hitting guys like JRich and Gerald Wallace. Basically in drafting Love, the Bobcats get what they wanted Sean May to be.
: Kevin Love is the most skilled bigman in the country. Heíd be a top 5 pick if it werenít for his lack of athleticism. Trust me he will have troubles getting his game off with the type of bigger, faster, stronger, and quicker guys he will face. His craftiness though will make him a very solid NBA player. On whatever team he eventually lands on he will definitely complement an athletic big very well.