1 – Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin
Look for Griffin to have an immediate impact in Los Angeles and to win the Rookie of the Year award.
2 – Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet
I strongly believe that Memphis trades this pick to a Rubio-lover, but they definitely would not take Ricky Rubio themselves if they stay put. If the Knicks covet Rubio, this is the pick they need to obtain, but Portland is also a possibility here.
3 – Oklahoma City Thunder – Ricky Rubio
You never know with Presti. If they keep the pick, it’s either James Harden or Ricky Rubio here. Harden looks like the perfect compliment to Russell Westbrook, who some look at as the point guard of the future. Like Golden State, OKC’s draft pick will exhibit their view on the point guard situation there. If they go with Harden, they’re confident in Westbrook. If they go with Rubio, they’ll play Westbrook off the ball, and Westbrook might not like that.
4 – Sacramento Kings – Tyreke Evans
LIke Donnie Walsh said, Tyreke Evans gets to the rim and finishes because of his strength. He’s a great athlete, and he knows how to put the ball in the basket. His shooting form needs work, but he’s shot well in several workouts. His workout in Sacramento was phenomenal. The only knock on Evans is his free throw shooting percentage and his 27% clip from long distance last year at Memphis, but his potential and height (6’6) make him a very intriguing prospect.
5 – Washington Wizards - Stephen Curry
I think the Wizards have Curry ahead of Harden, but the Wizards are going to trade this pick to the Knicks. There are way to many things that fall into place for them to not work a deal out. Hopefully, the Knicks can hold on to Wilson Chandler and the 8th pick. Etan Thomas can block shots and provides a big body, Mike James can score, and the 5 and 8 pick could pair a Stephen Curry with a Jordan Hill. Scary. There are so many rumors involving the two teams. I’ve heard Larry Hughes for Etan Thomas, Mike James, and the 5th pick. If the Wizards are that high on Larry Hughes, Donnie Walsh has to be ecstatic.
6 - Minnesota Timberwolves – James Harden
The Timberwolves are extremely high on Tyreke Evans, and he would fit right into Minnesota, but James Harden falling to 6 would also be great for the Timberwolves. It would allow them to trade Mike Miller, and Harden has Paul Pierce potential.
7 – Golden State Warriors - Jrue Holiday
The Warriors will give Jordan Hill a strong look here, and they may even take him, but I’m not sold on them being confident in Monta Ellis at the point guard position. Ellis is oft injured and isn’t necessarily a good passer, so he’s probably better suited off the ball. Golden State plays worse defense than the Knicks did, so Jrue Holiday’s defensive ability would be welcomed in GS. I here a lot of Jrue Holiday hate out there. I understand he has a lot of bust potential, but so do Stephen Curry, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, and Brandon Jennings. He also has the potential to be a 15 ppg scorer and an All-NBA defender.
8 – New York Knicks – Jordan Hill
Hill’s ability to run the floor would make him the perfect power forward for Mike D’Antoni’s system. It would allow them to trade David Lee for as much in return as possible, and they would obtain a player who not only averaged 18, 11, and 2 blocks in the Pac-10, but a player with a high basketball IQ and a force on both ends of the court. A Jordan Hill drop to 8 would be similar to Brook Lopez’s infamous drop to 10 in 08′. Haven’t we learned by now? Workouts and combine results should not outweigh flat out production, and Jordan Hill produces. If the Warriors take Hill, despite what Chad Ford is saying, I still think that Jrue Holiday is ahead of Brandon Jennings on the Knicks wish list.
9 – Toronto Raptors – Gerald Henderson
Tommy’s been on the Henderson bandwagon for a minute now, and I’m going to hop on now. He can defend and has an awesome midrange game. He’s ready for the NBA right now. Charlotte would love for Henderson to drop to them, but I think he’s moved ahead of Demar Derozan in Raptor land.
10 – Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn
I had Flynn here in V1, and then I moved him up all the way to 7. Flynn is one of the Kings three options along with Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio, but if he doesn’t go there he could drop to 10. He’s strong, athletic, and confident but his height scares some GMs. Milwaukee, though, would love Flynn as a potential replacement for Ramon Sessions.
11 – New Jersey Nets - Demar Derozan
Terrence Williams is the pick here if Derozan and Hill don’t drop, but if Derozan is available here, the Knicks Nets will take him. Derozan is a great athlete and has the potential to be a terrific perimeter defender. The fact that he’s shooting guard who can’t shoot makes him fall this far in my eyes, but he was projected to be the first overall pick in virtually ever preseason mock so the Nets would gladly take the risk.
12 – Charlotte Bobcats - Terrence Williams
T-Will is a great passer, defender, the most versatile player in the draft, and he will end up being a very good jump shooter. Henderson’s an ideal Larry Brown player, but so is T-Will. In my eyes, he will end up being the steal of the draft.
13 – Indiana Pacers - Brandon Jennings
If the Knicks don’t take Jennings, he’s in for a long wait.
14 – Phoenix Suns - Austin Daye
Earl Clark gets a lengthy look here, but Clark is the biggest enigma of the draft. Is he a power forward? Is he a small forward? Why was he so inconsistent? Those are three of the copious questions surrounding Earl Clark. Austin Daye also has some questions surrounding him. Or some statements. He will never be able to defend in the post. He won’t be a back to the basket player. But, Daye is one of the best shooters in the draft and has loads of offensive potential.