June 3, 2008

2008 NBA Mock Draft

Filed under: NBA Draft, NBA Previews — Ankur @ 3:38 AM

Well, Sid and I have finally managed to put together that blog that we’ve been talking about for years. We’ve started the proceedings with this mock draft. Our picks are based on what we think is most appropriate for the team. Expect future iterations to make more sense, but here’s a start…

Team Needs Options Sid’s Pick Ankur’s Pick
Chicago Low Post Scorer, Offensive go-to guy, Team Philosophy Rose, Beasley Derrick Rose: This young team is going through a lot of change right now. Without a coach, you do not really know what the team philosophy is, and thus you might as well take the best player available—in this case, Rose. Michael Beasley: You’ve needed a post scorer for years now…so get him!
Miami PG, C, another forward for the rotation (Hmm, a lot of needs and a team that wants to make the playoffs now? Sounds ripe for a trade.) Beasley, Mayo, Rose OJ Mayo: Miami apparently isn’t sold on Beasley. Mayo on the other hand has been given a bad rap. He wants to win, and is willing to do whatever it takes to do so. The right situation will make him a star. I think this one is it. Derrick Rose: He and Wade form a tandem for years. Not a great outside shooting backcourt, but you can’t pass on the best players in the draft.
Minnesota Forwards to complement Jefferson, Guard to team up with Foye; Jaric, Telfair, and Gomes have all started for this team so getting anyone who can replace those guys and a losing culture is a must. Beasley, Brook Lopez, Bayless, Jordan, Mayo Michael Beasley: The Timberwolves would love for Beasley to drop this far. If it doesn’t happen, look for them to go for Lopez or Jordan and get a big man to complement Jefferson. Brook Lopez: Has the offensive ability to contribute right now, and gives them the ability to put Jefferson back at his natural position of PF. This is high for him, but he fills a need.
Seattle PG who does not need to be in a platoon, SG to allow Durant to move to forward. Any position other than small forward probably is an upgrade. Bayless, Brook Lopez, Jordan, Mayo Jerryd Bayless: The Sonics have drafted more centers than the Detroit Lions have WRs. It is time to give their young big men a chance to do well. OJ Mayo: Great defensive stopper on a team in dire need of one, a good offensive sidekick for Durant, and possesses the PG skills to fill that role.
Memphis A young shooting guard or running center. Jordan, Brook Lopez, Love, DeAndre Jordan: more athletic than Lopez, and with Iavaroni dedicated to running, that should be enough to take him. DeAndre Jordan: Kevin Love is tempting here, but the athletic big man seems a better fit.
New York Defenders, rebounders, players who can play out of position and run Brook Lopez, Randolph, Gallinari, Bayless Anthony Randolph: Long, lanky forward who will rebound and potentially be a great defender? Sounds like a potential Marion for Mike D’Antoni to use in his offense. Danilo Gallinari: D’Antoni’s roommate’s son will be a heady player with plenty of offensive talent, the type of guy who will thrive in this system.
LA Clippers Guards to complement the tandem of Brand and Kaman. Gallinari, Gordon, Brook Lopez, Bayless, Randolph Eric Gordon: Gordon was a top 5 prospect before the coaching scandal at his college. With Mike D’s steady hand, Gordon could team up with Shaun Livingston to form quite the combo. Jerryd Bayless: Combo guard replaces either Shaun Livingston (injury risk) or Cuttino Mobley (declining with age). Either way, he fills a huge need for the Clips.
Milwaukee A low post scorer who can command a double team and create space for their many shooters, defensive wingman other than Mason. Gallinari, Brook Lopez, Love, Randolph Kevin Love: Great passer who will find the open shooter. He and Bogut should wreak havoc together in the post with their vision. His poor defense isn’t a huge problem if no one around him plays defense. Kevin Love: Versatile offensive big man, improving defensively. Can play next to Bogut, making the expected trade of Charlie V that much more palatable.
Charlotte A combo forward, or center who can more Okafor to PF. Brook Lopez, Alexander, Gallinari, Arthur, Randolph, Gordon

Brook Lopez:

They need easier baskets, and he will give them that. A bit of a drop for Lopez, but this is also good fit for him.

Anthony Randolph: Offensive player who can add some much-needed versatility on that end. On the other, his improving defense creates an insurance policy for Gerald Wallace.
New Jersey A forward to back up Jefferson and play some PF, more big men for the rotation. Arthur, Alexander, Gallinari, Darrell Arthur: Look for the Nets to shake up their team further and look to get rid of either Carter or Jefferson. For now, Arthur is more big man depth. Joe Alexander: His versatile offensive game makes it that much easier to trade RJ or VC, and a solid defensive game makes him a steady choice. Sufficient strength to provide minutes at PF, too.
Indiana A replacement for Tinsley is a must, as is the heir apparent to JO. Athletic players would help, but at this point the team wants high character guys. Alexander , Gallinari, Westbrook, Arthur, Augustin, Gordon Russell Westbrook: Alexander would also be a good fit, but Westbrook gives them a young leader for the next decade. Darrell Arthur: High-character guy, and an absolute offensive freak who’s improving defensively. Provides much-needed big man depth if JO is healthy, and an instant replacement if he’s not.
Sacramento With Artest expected to leave they could use a good athletic forward to replace him. PF is also a need. Alexander, Gallinari, Speights, Gordon Joe Alexander: Gallinari would be a nice complement to Kevin Martin, but I think Reggie Theus will emphasize defense. Alexander is a tough player who will get to the hoop and get to the line. Mareese Speights: Intriguing PF prospect who provides some much needed low-post offense. Anything’s an upgrade over Mikki Moore and Shelden Williams…
Portland Maybe another forward, but in reality they have a lot of young prospects and are better suited to trading away the pick or stashing it in Europe. Another big man in the case Oden struggles early could help too. Gallinari, Batum, McGee, Robin Lopez Gallinari: there is almost no chance he falls this far, but if he does then Portland will happily take him. If he is gone, look for Batum to be taken and kept in France. McGee gets taken if Oden has another setback. Nicolas Batum: This is the next great European swingman, but he still needs to develop. That fits perfectly with Portland’s plans. McGee or Robin Lopez are their other options.
Warriors If Davis leaves, they need a PG. Otherwise, they just take the best player available. Batum, McGee, Augustin, Speights, Westbrook, Gordon DJ Augustin: I don’t see Davis coming back after the way the season ended unless he has no other options. Either way, the Warriors might as well replace him or groom his successor to start alongside him. Russell Westbrook: Even if Davis stays, an heir for him is a dire need. Westbrook’s explosive offense and length makes him a great fit as the PG of the future.
Phoenix The bench is very depleted. They need another three-point shooter to turn to, another wingman defender, and a center who can keep Stoudemire at PF after Shaq retires. Batum, McGee, Speights, Budinger, Gordon Nicholas Batum: This prospect seems to have the potential to be a complete player, and all he really has to do is gain some pounds of strength, and continue to work on his game. 3-point range means he could come in right away and contribute. Chase Budinger: High-flying athletic swingman is seen as the next Grant Hill, which is great because the old one is wearing out. Scoring and rebounding ability make him a sure-fire contributer.
Philadelphia A big man to one day take the heat off of the new AI, better shooters to space the floor McGee, Speights, Budinger, Gordon JaVale McGee: Dalembert is too streaky to depend on if the team hopes to make it into the second round. McGee motor is questionable, but his talent is not. This may end up being far too low for him. Eric Gordon: If he really falls this far, the 76ers are doing handstands. Shooting ability allows him to fit in at SG, taking some offensive load off Young and Iggy.
Toronto A back up point guard if Ford leaves, better talent along the wings, another big man to help Bosh on the boards. Speights, Budinger, Hibbert, McGee, Greene Roy Hibbert: Big man will get rebounds and block shots. Him being in the low post allows Bargnani and Bosh to play more from the outside or high post. JaVale McGee: The potential-laden big man fits in at center, allowing Bosh to play in the high post where he’s most comfortable.
Washington This all hinges on Jamison. They have shown they can play well enough without Arenas but no such proof exists for them playing with out Jamison. Depth at big man is a definite need. Speights, Budinger, Green, Augustin

Mareese Speights: talented power forward who replaces Jamison if he doesn’t come back, or has Jamison for a great mentor if he does.

Donte Greene: A SF/PF type, he provides much-needed depth in case injuries plague the team yet again. Eventual replacement for Jamison who can do all that ‘Tawn can, and more.
Cleveland A big point guard to bring the ball up while using his height to keep Daniel Gibson on the floor; a true low post threat; just an all around talent upgrade on offense. Budinger, Green, Douglas-Roberts, Augustin

Chris Douglas-Roberts: solid defender would fit right in with team defense, but he also has the offensive talent to give the team more options on that side of the ball. Can play some point at the next level tho real position is SG.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: Sid’s got this one right. It’s important that CDR excelled in Memphis while in an off-ball, second banana situation like the one he’ll face here.
Denver Another team that can use a bigger point guard to offset Iverson’s lack of height. Good defenders at all positions who can also play solid help defense to make up for rest of teams lackadaisical effort. Budinger, Green, Weaver, Thompson, Robin Lopez, Augustin

Kyle Weaver: a bit of a leap at this point, but Weaver is going to be a good defender if he keeps working hard at the next level and a good passer on a team with many scorers. If not Weaver, look for Robin Lopez to head to Colorado, and help out if the team doesn’t believe in Nene Hilario being the primary big man off the bench.

DJ Augustin: There is no way in hell he falls this far. If he somehow does, Denver grabs him and moves AI back to the more natural SG spot. Alternatively, he reprises Boykins’ role from a couple years back, making this the one team where DJ is actually taller than the guy he replaces.
New Jersey Another swingman to back up Carter and Jefferson, and another big man depending on whom they lose in free agency. Budinger, Green, Thompson, Robin Lopez

Chase Budinger: this team might as well go with the best player available. Budinger fell a bit in my mock, but he can shoot, is athletic, and might be the best rebounding guard in the draft.

Jason Thompson: The solid defense and improving offense of this low-post talent make him the best player available, in my book. NJ seems to like yeoman big guys, so he’ll fit right in.
Orlando Better talent at guard positions, another big man to help with rebounding and shot blocking Green, Thompson, Robin Lopez, Koufos, Chalmers

Robin Lopez: Rebounder who can keep Howard’s minutes down as well as play tough defense. Offensively raw, but has shown flashes that at this point in the draft could make him a steal.

Robin Lopez: This is too easy. Howard isn’t a C, and neither is anyone else of note on this roster. Lopez immediately upgrades the defense, and could in time serve as a secondary low-post threat.
Utah Kirilenko can push the team to a higher level but is wildly inconsistent, and Harpring is getting old, so the team would do itself a favor by getting a good SF. Replacement low-post defense is also a priority. Green, Thompson, Koufos, Chalmers, Rush, Hibbert.

Brandon Rush: Donte Green may be more talented, but is a bit soft for a Jerry Sloan team. Rush brings the defense and rebounding you look for from your small forward. Excellent long range shooter who will thrive receiving kick outs from Deron Williams.

Roy Hibbert: The Jazz are a phenomenal team, but desperately need a low-post defender, especially if they plan to trade AK47. While Hibbert’s lack of athleticism may restrict his ceiling, his defensive capabilities make him a good fit here.
Seattle At this point in the draft, the team might as well swing for the fences with a big man prospect if they do in fact go for a guard earlier in the round. Green, Thompson, Koufos, Chalmers,

Jason Thompson: Didn’t play for a big name college, but does appear to be the type of player with lottery potential. Hard worker and good passer, who will complement Durant well.

Kosta Koufos: Fairly polished, versatile big man fits in well with the run-and-gun style Seattle seems to be edging towards. Concerns about his toughness abound, though.
Houston A big man who can keep Yao’s minutes (read: chances for injury) down. Priority on defense here, as you have to think Deke’s retiring soon. Green,Koufos, Chalmers, Jawai

Kosta Koufos: Rawish talent that well benefit from going at Yao during practice. Good prospect who will play well if drafted by the right situation.

Nathan Jawai: This big man plays solid defense, and has a decent offensive game. Still needs to polish his skills, but learning from Deke and Yao should accelerate that process.
San Antonio Athletic players at the forwards who can replace Bowen, Horry, and Finley. Must get younger fast. With the news about Splitter, big man depth may be a concern, too. Green, Chalmers, Jawai, Jefferson, Lawson, Rush

Donte Green: another player who has dropped in this mock, but a great place for him to go as he will truly learn how to play while practicing with Duncan and company.

Brandon Rush: He’s fallen a bit in this mock, but provides an instant offensive weapon and a strong defensive force. Can step in and do a lot of the things Finley did this year.
New Orleans Pargo was once cut from the Lakers for his lack of talent despite the organization really liking him…he is the sixth man for this team. They need a bench with a focus on the wing positions especially SG. Chalmers, Jawai, Jefferson, Lawson, Lee, Hardin

Nathan Jawai: Must work on his conditioning before he earns major minutes, but his size (6’10’’, 275) will be a huge asset to pair with Chandler for stretches against teams like the Lakers and Suns.

Devon Hardin: This team has no depth at big man. While Hardin isn’t a great prospect, his rebounding ability and willingness to mix it up make him a much better backup big man than their current group.
Memphis A young shooting guard, but with so many young players already, this pick might be better suited for a player expected to stay in Europe for a while. Chalmers, Jefferson, Lawson, Lee, Pekovic

Davon Jefferson: a little old considering he was a freshman, but a nice prospect with solid fundamentals. May have a low ceiling, but could help the team right away.

Nikola Pekovic: Keep him in Europe and let him develop, as his defensive ability will eventually make him a great addition when the team is competitive.
Detroit This team actually has very few holes. Good guards, good forwards, and decent depth after lacking it for a few years. Still, that core is starting to age… Chalmers, Lawson, Lee, Pekovic,

Nikola Pekovic: Solid prospect they can keep in Europe for a few years until their older post players retire and they can then bring him from overseas.

Mario Chalmers: Hunter is getting quite old, and the team needs another backup guard alongside Stuckey. Enter the defensive-minded Chalmers.
Boston They could use an upgrade at the backup 2-spot, but it will most likely come from free agency. Chalmers, Lawson, Lee, Hickson, Dorsey, Asik

Ty Lawson: could serve as a change of pace point guard off the bench. Lightning fast point guard has no problem bringing the ball up something the Celtics struggled to do whenever Rondo wasn’t on the floor.

Kyle Weaver: Versatile guard can come in as a defensive sub or play backup PG. That flexibility is going to be valuable with Tony Allen and Sam Cassell both terrible and both leaving.


  1. nice analysis…and first. lol

    Comment by alvin — June 3, 2008 @ 3:25 PM

  2. a good start…if you’re a gorilla.

    Comment by Julian — June 3, 2008 @ 5:02 PM

  3. eric gordon 16 is a travesty.

    Comment by julian — June 3, 2008 @ 5:03 PM

  4. mayo over beasley, sid?

    Comment by david — June 4, 2008 @ 12:13 AM

  5. @julian: yeah, eric gordon 16 is a hell of a drop, but I honestly don’t see him as a great pro. High-volume low-efficiency offensive players are a net drain on their team’s offense, and he’s a defensive liability, so he offers…what, exactly? I fully expect him to go in the lottery (even though I have him falling out of it here), but I project him as a bust…hence the drop.

    Comment by Ankur — June 4, 2008 @ 1:14 AM

  6. aren’t mock drafts supposed to be about where you think people will be actually drafted? even if you think gordon will be a bust doesn’t mean he should be dropped. I agree with your analysis about him though, but isn’t he quite similar to ben gordon (high volume low effiency no defense) who ended up going third one year?

    Comment by julian — June 4, 2008 @ 12:56 PM

  7. julian,

    hence the disclaimer at the top about how this is based on what’s “most appropriate for the team.” i probably should have clarified that further as NOT based on where i expect people to end up…and who knows, we might change tactics for the next version.

    Comment by Ankur — June 4, 2008 @ 5:48 PM

  8. David, Miami really likes Mayo although he would have to blow them away completely for them to actually take him at the 2 spot. Right now look for them to maybe trade with Memphis with the Grizz getting Beasley and the Heat taking Mayo.

    Comment by siddhant2001us — June 4, 2008 @ 10:55 PM

  9. to the right of the Warriors spot should be an international sounding name….Kosta Koufos anyone?

    Comment by Tom — June 5, 2008 @ 8:37 PM

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