2008 Extended Mock Draft
Thu, 06/19/2008 - 9:04am
With the field set for the 2008 NBA draft and less than 10 days to go, here's a pick by pick mock draft of the first round of this year's NBA draft.
The Bulls have Beasley in on Tuesday and Rose in on Thursday. Unless Beasley has an overwhelmingly better workout, indications are that the Bulls will opt for the local kid, Rose, as their floor general of the future.
While Beasley makes more sense alongside Wade than Mayo, Beasley may not be a "Riley guy". The Heat are said to be higher on Mayo and may look to trade down a spot if Minnesota will take a salary and give up some value in return.
The Wolves would jump at a chance to grab Beasley at 2, but are they willing to give up enough to make Miami satisfied? If Miami trades down to 3, it will be Mayo they target. There's also the chance that the Clippers deal 7 and take some contracts to move up for Mayo. The T-wolves are actively looking to move either up or down since they don't see value for what they're looking for at 3.
The Sonics are in a good position to add another bigtime scorer in Bayless. Combining Durant, Green and Bayless gives them an excellent nucleus to build around and they will be in great position to add more talent in the next few years with another high lottery pick on the way next year and a bevy of first round picks over the next 3 years. The Sonics could look to shore up a position that has given them draft fits for years and take Lopez. If they go small, look for him to slide to 9 or 10.
The Girzzlies are very high on Kevin Love and although this draft lacks many sure bets after the top 3-4, Love seems like a huge reach at 5. While he's extremely skilled and advanced for a freshman, his mobility and upside have to be questioned. Considering this is the team that gave away Pau Gasol for a flaming paper bag on the doorstep, drafting Love at 5 seems like par for the course.
Randolph is a risky pick at 6, but he's got as much upside as anyone at their pick and has been very impressive working out for teams. Alexander is also in play here as well and would fit the mold of a "Donnie Walsh pick".
Gordon would give the Clippers a shooting guard to groom for the future, since Cat Mobley has been a bust as a free agent signing and Maggette may be headed out of town. If the draft goes down like this, it would be 7 straight freshman to start off the draft. Russell Westbrook is also a real possibility here.
Skiles and Hammond will look for a tough nosed kid to bring in and while Alexander has similarities to Yi and Villanueva as a combo-forward, the Bucks want to make sure they get value for their pick and not just roll the dice on an upside player like DeAndre Jordan. Westbrook is getting strong consideration from the Bucks as well.
Lopez was at one point seen as a possible top 3 pick, but after appearing slow and unathletic in Orlando and in workouts his stock has slipped some. He brings exactly what Charlotte covets: a quality NBA ready center with low risk. Though just a sophomore, Lopez feels like an upperclassman in relation to most of the top 10 picks.
Gallinari's agent Arn Tellum is pushing hard for the Nets to make this selection. With Gallinari staying in the draft, there's a chance New Jersey made a promise for him at 10. While the Nets are already in good shape at the small forward position with Carter and Jefferson, Gallinari is the outside shooter they feel can fill it up for them.
For a team lacking a floor general, the Pacers will likely decide between Augustin and Westbrook at 11. Augustin is more of a true point guard who would add stability, while Westbrook would give them more athleticism and potential. The Pacers are a long ways from contending and should look long term as opposed to quick fix.
If Augustin doesn't get gobbled up by Indiana at 11, look for the Kings to pounce on him. The Kings had a nice run with Mike Bibby leading the team, and hope that Augustin can be a similar heady scorer and distributor. While Augustin lacks optimum size, he has shown an excellent ability to create shots over bigger defenders.
The Blazers are looking to move this pick for a young (2nd-3rd year) small forward. The Blazers are content with their level of young talent and would like to add a more ready piece to a team that could quickly come together and begin to make noise. Look for another team to possibly be making this selection come draft day. Jordan could turn into be a nice backup for Oden long term.
While Greene is unlikely to see much action in Nellie's system right away, such is the case for nearly any rookie. With Al Harrington's disappearance and Stephen Jackson's erratic play, Greene would be the perfect scorer to develop at the SF position in Oaktown.
The Suns apparently had no interest in Chase Budinger so he probably would have fallen to the late teens to early 20s which explains his decision to return to Arizona despite the turmoil surrounding the program. Speights, while unpolished can run the floor and gives the Suns a bigman with excellent touch and potential.
With a developing mid-range jumpshot, Arthur could end up being one of this draft's real sleepers. He is still a baby physically, and his body should continue to add bulk/strength. The Sixers have a stable of athletic guards and wings (including Louis Williams, AI2, Rodney Carney and Thad Young) and a post guy like Arthur who would be able to run and jump right with them would be the perfect fit.
Batum is one of this year's drafts boom or bust picks, and picking at 17, his risk is decreased. GM Bryan Colangelo found success with Boris Diaw in Phoenix and Batum is a similar player only with more offensive potential. Batum also fits into the Raptor's international theme.
The Wizards see Hibbert as a potential upgrade to Brandon Haywood. While Hibbert lacks the upside of some of the other centers who could be available (Koufos and McGee), he has less downside and should be able to give this team something immediately.
Koufos is from the Ohio area even having played for Lebron's AAU team: the Lebron James All Stars. Koufos has a nice skill level for his age and though he still needs to get stronger physically, he would be an excellent pick in the late teens early 20s range.
The Nuggets had interest in Ty Lawson, but after his DUI arrest at the most inopportune time, and his subsequent withdrawal from the draft, Denver no longer has that option. While Chalmers has lead guard question marks, he's obviously extremely clutch and a heady player who should be able to improve at the position. Denver's current team and cap situation makes adding a point guard through the draft a priority.
Someone has to slide and while McGee has a lot of upside and should get looks in the late lottery, the concerns about his readiness and maturity could drop him this far. This could be an opportunity for a team like the Nets with multiple picks to grab a player who if he had returned to school likely would have developed into a top 10 pick in 2009.
The Magic would like to add a 2-guard with the ability to spread the floor. Rush is in play at 15 with the Suns but if he does fall, look for the Magic to scoop him up or opt for CDR if he is gone. The JJ Redick experiment has gone horribly wrong and although Better Basketball sells him as the greatest shooter in the world, it's hard to justify that when you can't even get shots off.
The Jazz want to grab an NBA ready big and Hibbert would be their first option if available, but it appears that a team such as Washington will take him in the late teens. Lopez doesn't have the offensive game of his twin Brook, but he's a better athlete with more defensive ability and could end up being a steal in the late first round.
Acting as International scouting director for the Spurs for a number of years, Sonics GM Sam Presti knows all too well the value of using late first rounders on Euros and stashing them overseas for a few seasons. With a number of quality International guys available in this draft, look for this pick to be someone like Ibaka, who like Ian Mahinmi is a 2-3 year project with considerable upside.
Thompson's motor has been questioned by a few teams drafting before Houston. He's one of only 2 projected seniors in the first round (Hibbert) and should be more ready to contribute than most of the picks around him. With Yao and McGrady, the Rockets feel that they're close to contending for a title, so the team will look to add a more NBA ready player such as Thompson.
Anderson's decision to remain in the draft was probably a good one as he will likely find a spot in the late first round, and it's hard to know how much he could have improved his stock by returning to school. The Spurs may have to adjust their philosophy of drafting players for years down the road, as their window of opportunity with Duncan appears to be closing quickly.
New Orleans wing position consists of: Morris Peterson, Jannero Pargo, Peja Stojakovic and Bonzi Wells. So with an obvious need, CDR would be dream scenario pick for them at 27. Playing alongside Chris Paul would be a dream scenario for any wing. CDR has a shot to go higher with teams like Orlando at 22.
Hickson would make the 11th freshman to go in the first round, which would be an all time record (last year had 8). Hickson gives Memphis depth in the frontcourt with solid strength and athleticism.
Ajinca may struggle with the strength of NBA post guys, but he's young and has added some weight recently. The Pistons pride themselves on defense and toughness, and while Ajinca will need to work on the toughness department, his 7'6 wingspan makes him a formidable shot blocker.
Jawai would give the soon to be NBA Champs another athletic interior force off the bench. The Aussie has a huge wingspan (7'3), explosiveness, and touch making him effective around the basket.