1 – Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin
Although they have a a surplus of big men, Blake Griffin is a can’t miss prospect.
2 – Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet
It is becoming more and more likely that the Grizzlies will take Thabeet here. They like Mike Conley, who they took at number 3 a couple years back, and unless they can find a team in love with Rubio to trade with, they’ll pair Thabeet with Marc Gasol and have a promising young front court.
3 – Oklahoma City Thunder – Ricky Rubio
This is a tough pick to prognosticate. The Thunder have Russell Westbrook, who at times this season looked like the point guard of the future, but without Thabeet here, who else is there for them? James Harden just isn’t as good as Rubio, and having Westbrook play off the ball might not be such a bad idea. Maybe he could turn into a Monta Ellis type.
4 – Sacramento Kings – Jrue Holiday
In a draft this weak, upside is everything. Holiday’s got as much as anybody in this draft.
5 – Washington Wizards – James Harden
Harden is a real shooting guard, who would go nicely with Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, and be an upgrade over the injury-prone Deshawn Stevenson. They’ll also give Jordan Hill a long look here, if they keep the pick, that is, but I think they would go with Harden because of Andray Blatche and Javale McGee.
6 – Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans
Evans is a long 6’6 shooting guard, who may be able to play the point. He has a good handle, great athleticism, a suspect jump shot, and some questionable shot selection. He can play the 1 or 2 in Minny, because they don’t have stability at either position.
7 – Golden State Warriors – Brandon Jennings
It’s a perfect match. Jennings is lightning quick and has the passing ability already to run the point in Nellie’s system, plus Monta Ellis can play off of the ball.
8 – New York Knicks – Stephen Curry
Last time I had Jrue Holiday, but that was wishful thinking. Everybody seems to think that Curry is a lock here, but Curry is getting looks from as high as OKC at 3. Yes, he fits the Knicks system, but he fits Don Nelson’s system too, and Minnesota wants a point guard that can shoot. If he does drop to the Knicks, he seems to be number one on their lengthy list of guard prospects, so I think they would take him. He can stroke it, and he would probably have the most immediate impact of any of the guards.
9 – Toronto Raptors – Demar Derozan
Derozan is a great prospect, and he can replace Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion with his athleticism, slashing ability, and willingness to D up.
10 – Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn
The Syracuse boy’s stock is rising fast; Chad Ford has him going at 7. I think that if Flynn had four more inches, he would be a better prospect than Ricky Rubio. People forget what he showed during the Big East Tournament. He logged a ridiculous amount of minutes and still produced. With Ramon Sessions probably leaving the Bucks, Flynn is a great replacement.
11 – New Jersey Nets – Jordan Hill
Dream come true for Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe…and my boy Nick, who for some reason is a die-hard Net fan.
12 – Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson
Again, if you look up “Larry Brown type of player” in any dictionary, you will find a picture of Gerald Henderson. They don’t have a shooting guard, because the “Adam Morrison experiment” failed miserably, and Henderson plays defense, and has a lot more upside than a lot of people think. I know Tommy loves the Duke kid, and for good reason.
13 – Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor
Jarret Jack is a free agent, and Eric Maynor and T.J Ford can share time at the point. Eric Maynor is probably the most NBA ready guard in the draft, and painfully underrated.
14 – Phoenix Suns – Earl Clark
It’s questionable if Clark really has a position, but I think he can be a Tim Thomas type of player at the 4. He can shoot and rebound, and scouts think that his upside is Shawn Marion. He struggles mightily with inconsistency, though, and he rarely dominated at Louisville.