Sacramento Kings: Ricky Rubio – PG
Many think the obvious number one overall pick will be Blake Griffin, but like last year with the Rose/Beasley debate, I’m here to tell you why the experts are wrong. Ricky Rubio is the best PG prospect since I can’t remember who. This guy has size, quickness, and speed. He put on a show during the Olympics not only offensively, but defensively as well. This guy can pass and score. Many Pgs such as Chris Paul have said this player will put their name to shame.
On top of the fact that Rubio is the top prospect in this draft, he is a huge need for the Kings. Yes, I know they have Beno Udrih, but is he really that good. He will be fine as a back up, but if a back up is the only legit PG you have then you have problems.
They have plenty of young bigs – Thompson and Hawes are both quite serviceable. If they need a big they can take a flyer on someone like Jerome Jordan or Michael Washington later in the draft.
Here are the facts. Jason Thompson is a solid, young PF who could emerge into one of the games best. Blake Griffin is too small to play center in this league. The Kings don’t have a legit starting PG on their team. If you don’t have a do-it-all guard you aren’t going to win in this league. Just as last year, the prime time guard goes over the highly talented forward.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Blake Griffin – F
As if fate was on their side (Or maybe the Kings just get it) the Thunder end up landing the home town kid, and one of the most talented bigs in this draft. It might not be known how big this hid is (Is he 6’8, 6’10, or somewhere in between), he is defiantly someone that can play either forward spot for one of the leagues worst.
They could go with a more pressing need here like James Harden or Hasheem Thabeet, but who’s gonna pass up the home town kid? Maybe a GM that doesn’t know how to win? I for one am not on the Blake Griffin bandwagon, but I still think he will be a good player. His main strength is his scoring, but the Thunder have enough scorers to give defensive players nightmares.
Although I’m not a huge fan of taking him here, this is a mock draft of what will happen, not what I think should happen.
Washington Wizards: Hasheem Thabeet – C
Most would have James Harden going here, but I’m going to tell you why he won’t. This guy has thrived against weak Pac-10 competition. When tournament time comes around he won’t struggle, but we will see he isn’t as good as we think he is. Harden is a good scorer, rebounder, and defender, but he isn’t a good ball handler or passer. Also, the Wizards already have a couple good young Guards in Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson.
The other reason they won’t take Harden is because they need a defensive post presence. Thabeet is a beast inside and he has the frame to be able to add a few pounds. The Wizards have plenty of offense in the post. What they need is defense. Thabeet is a shot blocker and a rebounder. He doesn’t have an offensive game, but he doesn’t need to. He can get his through put backs and alley oops. Ben Wallace had no offensive game, and if I remember correctly, he’s a pretty decent player.
Los Angeles Clippers: Brandon Jennings – PG
It is rare you see a team draft a back up with the #4 pick, but no matter what position they take they will be drafting a back up. This team has an extremely talented core of players, but their season has been filled with injuries and unmotivated players.
That said, the Clippers have no back up PG to speak of, and it’s not like they’re in love with Baron Davis. IMO Jennings is only ranked this high because of a weak draft class, and some would say he is highly over rated. If he came out last year he would be ranked behind Rose, Westbrook, and Augustin for sure, and possibly be a mid to late first rounder.
His strengths are his quickness and his athleticism. He is also a decent passer. Don’t expect this kid to be launching shots from three. He is a drive and kick kind of guy. Like I said earlier, I’m not a huge fan of this guy, but he should be a decent pro.
Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Hill – PF
This team has two cows as their big men (Gasol, Milicic). It’s time to inject some athleticism. With top picks like Mayo, Gay, and Conley in that starting line-up, they don’t need anymore flashy players. Let’s give them a Mo-Town special. Hill is an absolute freak as an athlete, and he is very physical.
Hill’s strengths are his rebounding and inside scoring. He doesn’t have a great mid range shot, but he can still knock it down. The only problem with Hill is foul trouble. When I watch him play I see a lot of stuff let buy that won’t fly in the pros. He could be a Chris Wilcox type. I don’t expect him to be a great, but he should be a decent player.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Al-Farouq Aminu – F
The Timberwolves have needs at SF and PG. Right now there isn’t a PG worth taking, so the obvious selection is SF.
Aminu is a player that brings some much needed size and athleticism to that 3 spot. They have size (Miller), they have athleticism (Brewer), but they don’t have both. Aminu is a good defender and a decent scorer. He will bring some added toughness to the team. Some think this guy will be a bust. I say he will be a better than last years #6 pick.
Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe – PF
Do you notice a trend here? Look really hard. Harder, harder, there it is! 6 of the top 7 picks belong to western conference teams. Its hard to dub your self supreme when you have so many bottom feeders.
Golden State is in the same situation as the Clippers. They have a lot of talent, but injuries and bad chemistry have kept them from being successful. Since they are set on playing Anthony Randolph at the 3 they could afford to look at a big man here.
Greg Monroe is a perfect fit for their style of ball. He is extremely gifted offensively, and at 6’11 240 lbs. he poses a mismatch for anybody. Monroe might not be the best defender, but you don’t play defense when you play Nelly Ball. If given a starting role and the right amount of playing time, look for this big out of Georgetown to be a rookie of the year candidate.
Toronto Raptors: James Harden – SG
If you’ve been reading through this and haven’t seen James Harden yet your not dreaming. As I said before, he isn’t the top 3 talent most dub him. That paired along with the bevy of teams that don’t need a 2 guard, Harden ends up falling to a team that is jumping with joy.
Anthony Parker is a solid player, but he’s no starter. Harden brings them a solid perimeter defender who can score from anywhere. He brings leadership, and he is a good clutch performer. Him and a big name free agent could be all it takes to keep Bosh in Toronto.
New York Knicks: Stephen Curry – G
Gosh the Knicks are so bad, and their only 5 ½ games out of the playoffs! They could use any guard on the board, and they could use some big man depth. The only positions they are okay at are PF and SF. I could see them taking a guy like Curry because he fills two needs in one. He can run an offense, although it’s not clear how well. He is also a great scorer, and that’s one thing they’re lack in there back court.
There are three knocks on this kid. One is his size, then there’s his defense, and finally there is his streakiness. His size is definitely something he needs to improve, but his defensive abilities mean nothing if he is going to play for D’Antoni. His streakiness could pose a problem, but he seems to always be money at the end of games. He will also be on a team where he doesn’t need to be the only scorer, and that could end up working to his advantage in the long run.
Charlotte Bobcats: Jrue Holliday – G
The Bobcats are a team that is great at home, but struggles mightily on the road. Jrue Holliday will bring them some of that toughness that they lack. He is a solid all around player that can pass, score, defend, and rebound. Some have compared him to Dwyane Wade. While he might not be that good, he is still a solid player.
Along with SG, C is another weak spot for Charlotte. They might have Emeka Okafor, but he is way better suited for the 4. If they aren’t sold on going guard here, they could always look to take a bug man, but there might be none worth taking at this point.
Indiana Pacers: B.J. Mullens – C
Over the past two months Mullens has finally started to show what made scouts rave about this guy. At 7’ 275 lbs. Mullens has arguably the best combination of size and athletic ability we have seen in a while. He isn’t very polished on either side of the ball, but his overall potential is amazing, and that makes him a perfect option here at 11.
Indiana doesn’t have anything great at center. Murphy and Hibbert are there, but Murphy is more of a 4, and Hibbert hasn’t showed much promise, having more DNPs than double figure games in the month of January. Mullens is the right choice for this team, unless you think Rasho Nesterovic is your savior of course.
New Jersey Nets: Earl Clark – F
If the Nets want to lure in LeBron in the summer of 2010 they’ll need to bring in some key pieces to put around him. Clark is good at almost everything. He might be undersized for the 4, but he is a decent rebounder and defender. The best part of his game is his offense. He is a good passer in the high post, and is a decent scorer as well. I’d compare him to Boris Diaw, but a little quicker and with better handles.
Chicago Bulls: Patrick Patterson – PF
Patterson is an absolute beast in college, and the Bulls will be hoping for the same in the pros. He is a good interior scorer, and he is as strong as an ox. Patterson is a solid rebounder and an above average defender. The Bulls have been looking for an inside presence for years, and no offense, but Jokim Noah isn’t cutting it.
They don’t really have any other glaring needs. Their back court is solid, and with the addition of John Salmons they now have a duo of good SFs. The missing link is a big man, and Patterson could be that link.
Phoenix Suns: Ty Lawson – G
The Suns might be high on Dragic, but Nash isn’t going to be around for ever, and this team needs more than one PG. With a duo of Leandro Barbosa and Lawson the Suns would arguably have the fastest back court the NBA has ever seen. He is a solid defender, a good scorer, and a good passer. Some might say Jeff Teague would be a good fit here, but Teague is more of a scorer than an all around PG, plus he might not be that great on the defensive end.
The Suns also have needs at a couple other positions. If they plan on pushing J-Rich to SF and slotting LB at the 2 they could look at getting another PF. Patrick Patterson would be a good option but he is off the board. There aren’t that many big men worth taking here unless your on the Kyle Singler/DeJuan Blair bandwagon.
Another option could be a SF or C. Once again there aren’t any big men worth picking at this point, but a player like Evan Turner, Terrence Williams, or Demar DeRozen could be an option. What ever the Suns do, they better get it right. Their fan base won’t be able to tolerate another Robin Lopez or Alando Tucker.
Picks 15-30 will be comming soon.