Admittedly, this Mock is a bit skewed because I try to incorporate potential trade scenarios and I made the Thunder pick assuming that Memphis takes Thabeet, despite having Memphis taking Rubio in my mock. If Rubio goes 2 and Thabeet goes 3, then all of the other players get slotted down in my mock.
1. LA Clippers- Blake Griffin, PF Oklahoma. The only chance I see of them trading this pick is if Rubio falls to #3 and OKC packages Rubio with perhaps Jeff Green. It’s a steep price, but Griffin is that good.
2. Memphis Grizzlies- Ricky Rubio, PG Spain. I understand the reasoning behind taking Thabeet here. They need a defensive center and Thabeet is exactly that. However, there are other talents in this draft. I am not sure if the Grizzlies will get their money’s worth by taking him here. If they had to make the pick, perhaps it will be Thabeet, but I’ll go with Rubio for now. Use Mike Conley as trade bait for a center. Perhaps Conley to LA for one of their centers, Kaman, Camby or Jordan?
3. OKC Thunder- Tyreke Evans, SG Memphis. If Thabeet is still here, then I’ll go with Thabeet. But if Memphis takes him, then I am not sure if OKC would take Rubio and keep him (*see LA trade scenario above). There is talk that OKC would move Westbrook off the ball, but why? We all saw first hand what Westbrook can do when he has the ball in his hands. Why fix what is not broken? OKC covets length and defense. Evans would provide that at the 2, along with elite scoring capabilities. His athleticism and potential on both sides of the ball seem like a good fit.
4. Sacramento Kings- Demar DeRozan, SG/SF USC. If Rubio slips to 4, then he will go to Sacramento. The Kings need point guard help. That is why DeRozan might not be the pick even if Rubio is gone. I can see Holiday, Brandon Jennings, or even Steph Curry working with this pick.
5. Washington Wizards- James Harden, SG Arizona St.– This feels like a lock to me if he is still there. DeShawn Stevenson is not their answer at the 2. Perhaps Thabeet can be the pick, but I see Harden here.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Jrue Holiday, PG UCLA. The Wolves have 3 first round picks this year. I doubt that they use all 3, but while they need a PG, they can probably scoop one up later. Corey Brewer looks like a bench player at this point. If DeRozan falls to 6, then I can see him being the pick. I can also see Earl Clark perhaps leaping up here.
7. Golden State Warriors- Brandon Jennings, PG Italy. He looks like a perfect up-tempo guard and a good passer. He and Monta Ellis will look good in the same backcourt. Jordan Hill is an option here as well because of GS’s need for a power forward.
8. New York Knicks- Stephen Curry, PG Davidson. Where there is smoke, there is fire. I do not buy that the Knicks would take Flynn or Lawson with this pick over Curry. However, I do believe that Curry is a last ditch option. I think that Walsh will explore every possible route to get Rubio. Also, if Thabeet falls to 8, I would be hard-pressed to imagine Walsh passing over him. I would not mind Holiday here though. Walsh loves Westbrook last year and Holiday appears to be in that mold.
9. Toronto Raptors- Earl Clark, SF/PF Louisville. The Raptors need help in the backcourt. If Tyreke Evans or even Steph Curry falls to this spot, I can see either of them being the pick. If not, the Raptors can opt to nab a guy like Flynn to be Calderon’s caddy, but Clark can start right away and give the Raptors a long frontcourt with Bargnani and Bosh. This pick is about versatility.
10. Milwaukee Bucks- Jonny Flynn, PG Syracuse. The Bucks need help at the PG spot, especially if Sessions bolts.
11. NJ Nets- Jordan Hill, PF Arizona. Yet another late lottery steal for the Nets. They have been lacking at the 4 for a long, long time. Really ever since they let Kenyon Martin go. Hill might be that same type of forward for the Nets.
12. Charlotte Bobcats- Hasheem Thabeet, C UConn. In all reality, he goes either 1 or 2 to the Grizzlies or Thunder. My scenarios above are only hypothetical, This late in the lottery, Thabeet would fit nicely with Okafor upfront and would provide more defensive prowess for a Larry Brown team. If Thabeet goes earlier, which is most likely to happen, then Gerald Henderson should be the pick to shore up the backcourt with Augustin and perhaps Felton.
13. Indiana Pacers- James Johnson, PF Wake Forest. The Pacers need an athletic banger on their team. With Troy Murphy at center, Johnson can slide in nicely between Murphy and Danny Granger. Seeing Johnson play live, I can assure you all he is a beast.
14. Phoenix Suns- Eric Maynor, PG VCU. The Suns need a PG to eventually replace Steve Nash. Maynor is ready to step in and contribute immediately. He is also ready to take over a team as he did at VCU.