Friday, May 30, 2008

2008 Draft Prospectus

Ok, so I have no idea whatsoever about anything scouting related. However, I have been reading tons of Chad Ford et al articles about the upcoming draft. Does this make me any wiser? No. Does this make me think I should post my own Round 1 predictions? Yes. Does the answer to the last question make me stupid? Probably.

I've always hated these types of articles. You make one guess, then make a another guess that's predicated on the correctness of the previous guess and so forth and so forth. So, by the time you land on the Celtic's pick (at number 30), you're basically suggesting that Boston would take so-and-so (Ibaka, if I'm the one talking)… oh, but that's only in this one highly unlikely scenario I've drawn up. Awesome.

1. Chicago Bulls: Michael Beasley (PF, Kansas State)
You couldn't go wrong with Rose, but Chicago is desperate for a real scoring threat in the front court. Plus they have a good enough point man in Hinrich — and he's got a contract that'll make it hard to move him.

2. Miami Heat: Derrick Rose (PG, Memphis)
The heat are lucky: they have so many positions to fill that any player in the lottery would probably be a good fit. The addition of Rose, however, would do wonders for this team. Of course, if Beasley fell to them, no one would be complaining (except for Udonis Haslem).

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Brooke Lopez (C, Standford)
It's feasible that that the Wolves might grab Mayo or Love here, but what they really need is a big, defensive-minded addition to their front court since Al Jefferson only really does that offensive thing.

4. Seattle Sonics: Jerryd Bayless (PG, Arizona)
The Sonics need a capable point guard more than another scoring machine (i.e. Mayo). Bayless is the best in the draft after Rose.

5. Memphis Grizzlies: O.J. Mayo (SG, USC)
It seems unlikely that any team (even Memphis with its overloaded back court) could pass on Mayo. Or maybe they could pass the Mayo… or hold the Mayo. Wow. That's not going to get old. Actually, the most likely scenario is Memphis drafting Mayo then immediately trading him to the Lakers for Colby Karl and a $20 gift certificate to Del Taco.

6. New York Knicks: Danillo Gallinari (SF, Italy)
Supposedly D'Antoni isn't too high on this Italian star, but Danilo is a talented and intelligent player who could easily thrive under this coach. The question is can thrive next to everyone else on the roster.

7. Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Gordon (SG, Indiana)
A lot of the analysts are picking Westbrook to go here, but with Maggette and Brand possibly leaving, it would seem that the Clips would need a stronger scoring option than Westbrook. Plus Livingston should be back from injury to helm the point.

8. Milwaukee Bucks: Donte Greene (SF, Syracuse)
Most people insist that even though the Bucks need a SF, Greene has too many question marks to take this high. Ford even suggested that they'll probably just take the best talent on the board and then work the phones all summer. Bottom line: when your options at the 3 are Bobby Simmons and Desmond Mason, why not gamble on Greene?

9. Charlotte Bobcats: Kevin Love (PF, UCLA)
This guy's stock just keeps rising, and since it appears that Sean May might never come back (did he ever even show up?), Love is a great option to compliment Emeka in the front court and take some of the pressure off of Crash. Randolph is also a good option here.

10. New Jersey Nets: Anthony Randolph (PF, LSU)
Sean Williams was good int he first half, Krstic can't stay healthy, and Josh Boone is… Josh Boone. So, the Nets need help in the front court. Randolph is great fit for this young team's fast-paced play. He just needs to add a few pounds to his Tayshaun-ish frame.

11. Indiana Pacers: Russell Westbrook (PG, UCLA)
The Pacer's need a point guard like nobody's business. Even though Jamaal Tinsley is locked up for another few (expensive) years, Westbrook would be a perfect addition to this squad if he fell this far.

12. Sacramento Kings: D.J. Augustin (PG, Texas)
Udrih was good, but the Kings are looking for someone to really fill Bibby's shoes, especially now that there are scorers to pass to in Sactown (read: K. Mart 2.0). If there aren't any good points left on the board, look for the Kings to grab Darrell Arthur to replace what's left of Shareef Abdur-Raheem.

13. Portland Trailblazers: Joe Alexander (SF, West Virginia)
Other than Love, this guy's stock has soared over the past few days. Truthfully, Portland is really solid at the 2, 4, and 5 so look for them to grab Alexander at the 3 or possibly Augustin or Westbrook at the 1 (if they fall this far).

14. Golden State Warriors: DeAndre Jordan (C, Texas A&M)
This is the most logical pick for the Warriors. However, even if they do gamble on Jordan, Nellie probably wouldn't play him anyway, as big men who play defense well do not quite mesh with the 2 seconds or less philosophic structure of Nellie Ball. I mean, last season he only played Biendrins twenty-seven minutes a game for crying out loud. Still, Jordan would give them a strong front court presence who is young enough to run and gun.

[So, that was the lottery. I won't break down the rest of the picks since each one gets more and more absurd as we go (on uninformed decision on top of another), so I'll just list them. If the all of the 14 above players are off the board, here's how I'd draft the rest of them.]

15. Phoenix Suns: Darrell Arthur, (PF, Kansas)

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Marreese Speights (C, Florida)

17. Toronto Raptors: Robin Lopez (C, Stanford)

18. Washington Wizards: JaVale McGee (PF, Nevada)

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kosta Koufos (C, Ohio State)

20. Denver Nuggets: Ty Lawson (PG, NC State)

21. New Jersey Nets: Chase Budinger (SG, Arizona)

22. Orlando Magic: Brandon Rush (SG, Kansas)

23. Utah Jazz: Roy Hibbert (C, Georgetown)

24. Seattle Sonics: Bill Walker (SF, Kansas State)

25. Houston Rockets: J. J. Hickson (PF, NC State)

26. San Antonio Spurs: Nicolas Batum (SF, France)

27. New Orleans Hornets: Courtney Lee (SG, Western Kentucky)

28. Memphis Grizzlies: Nathan Jawai (PF, Australia)

29. Detroit Pistons: Chris Douglas-Roberts (SF, Memphis)

30. Boston Celtics: Serge Ibaka (PF, Congo)

So, to recap, none of this will probably happen at all. I do hope, however, that the Hornets have the sense to draft one of three players at the 2 (Rush, Douglas-Roberts, or Lee depending on who's available) or grab Nathan Jawai to help fill the black hole caused by the tandem of Ely/Bowen. I'll be thrilled for next season no matter what, but any of those picks would make me happy.

Thanks for stopping by.

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