A month in advance, before the season’s ever over? Lunacy, you say! Such is life here. The mock draft below is who WE would take given the pick. We’ll do a follow-up post in a few weeks, which probably will render this one useless, mostly because there might be a lot of movement in the lottery.
1. Chicago – Michael Beasley, K-State. Instant starter, Bulls could go rise as high as Top 4 in the East.
2. Miami - Derrick Rose, Memphis. Impressive offense, and probably a fringe playoff team if Wade’s healthy and Marion stays.
3. Minnesota – Brook Lopez, Stanford. Al Jefferson finally has help. Still another year away from the playoffs because of a young backcourt.
4. Seattle – Anthony Randolph, LSU. Don’t need a backcourt scorer; just get a stud defender to improve the fourth-worst scoring defense in the league. However, we fear that he’s another Stromile Swift. (Seattle might be best-served to trade down.)
5. Memphis - Mayo, Gordon, or Bayless. Even if they don’t ship Mike Miller out of town, a scoring guard is the pick here. We’d go with Indiana’s Eric Gordon.
6. New York - OJ Mayo, USC. Mayo falls into their laps, which is great for him marketing-wise. Chad Ford says Danilo Gallinari of Italy could be the guy, which makes complete sense with D’Antoni’s Italian history.
7. LA Clippers - Scoring guard, for sure, with Cat Mobley turning 33 this fall. They’d love to get Mayo, but we think Jerryd Bayless of Arizona falls to them here, which isn’t a bad thing.
8. Milwaukee - Best player on board? Heavily invested financially at PG and SG, and they’re beholden to Yi, which leaves a frontcourt player. This really is a head-scratcher, but we’d go Kevin Love of UCLA barely over Darrell Arthur.
9. Charlotte - What does Larry Brown like? Defense. What Larry wants, Larry gets, and that’s why our Roy Hibbert nomination from weeks ago will come true! Hibbert and Okafur will form a strong halfcourt defensive interior – totally necessary since Jason Richardson gets torched so often.
10. New Jersey - In dire need of a big body, because Devin Harris, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson are locks to start. DeAndre Jordan is a bit too raw for us, so we’ll take a flier on a guy who is sure to go much later – center Kosta Koufos of Ohio State. But JaVale McGee of Nevada, if he works out well, is a much more likely selection.
11. Indiana - They’ll want a character guy. If Kevin Love is there, you know they’re taking him. Our guess is that they go with a safe Euro here: small forward Danilo Gallinari. Indy Cornrows has narrowed the field, but it doesn’t include Gallinari.
12. Sacramento – Sactown Royalty is saying UCLA’s Russell Westbrook, and since there’s no prolific inside scorer around (Darrell Arthur?), Westbrook isn’t a bad idea, although Beno Udrih played well after Bibby was dealt.
13. Portland - Fantastic spot to be in because with no glaring positions to be filled, you can take a chance on just about anyone. The weakest position on the Blazers might be small forward, so we’d take a long look at jumpin’ Joe Alexander, but then take Donte Green, a long, lethal three-point shooter.
14. Golden State – Even if Brandan Wright shakes off a horrendous rookie year, these guys still need a potent inside scorer who at least understands defense. The closest thing we can find is Darrell Arthur of Kansas. Marreese Speights of Florida still seems raw, but more athletic than Arthur.
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