JumpBall

June 25, 2008

Mock Draft 2

Filed under: NBA Draft, NBA Draft 2008 — Ankur @ 3:27 PM

The draft is tomorrow! We’ll finally get to see where all these young talents will show their stuff. Below, find our take at figuring out who’s going where.

Number

Team

Needs

Options

Ankur’s Pick 2

Sid’s Pick 2

1

Chicago

Low Post Scorer, Offensive go-to guy, Team Philosophy

Rose, Beasley

Derrick Rose: Vinny Del Negro is expected to play the young guns, which diminishes the need for a low-post scorer as Noah and Thomas expand their minutes. As such, they take the best player in the draft, Rose.

Derrick Rose: Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon better start looking for new homes because at least one of them is going to get traded.

2

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

Michael Beasley: The attitude concerns are overblown, and Beasley’s just a little too good to pass up. Immediate upgrade to Udonis Haslem. If they’re really sold on OJ Mayo, expect a trade down from here…

OJ Mayo: They most likely will trade down to get him, but even if they are forced to make this pick, they will go with Mayo. Listen, its easier to compensate with Udonis Haslem as a starter than Chris Quinn.

3

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, Mayo, Love

OJ Mayo: Recent reports indicate the T-Wolves are moving towards OJ. The versatile guard can hopefully team with Foye to stabilize the backcourt.

Michael Beasley: Kevin McHale would love this scenario. Beasley and Al Jefferson would form a new age McHale and Parrish. If Mayo is available, I think the Wolves will go with Brook Lopez. The Mayo talk is a smokescreen.

4

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, Westbrook

Russell Westbrook: High riser, but “Rondo with a jumper” is actually the fastest riser in the draft. Defensive ability complements KD’s scoring.

Jerryd Bayless: This pick is a lock. Bayless will make teams pay for doubling Durant for years to come. Along with Green, the Sonics have a great young foundation going for them if they all learn to focus on defense.

5

Memphis

A young shooting guard or running center.

Jordan, Brook Lopez, Love,

Eric Gordon: Yeah, he’s the big riser in this mock. The big men aren’t too appealing, so Memphis drafts the gunner who can elevate this offense once Miller is traded.

Kevin Love: His outlet passes will help jumpstart the fast break in Memphis, and maybe finally get people into the arena seats.

6

New York

Defenders, rebounders, players who can play out of position and run

Brook Lopez, Randolph, Gallinari, Bayless, Alexander

Danilo Gallinari: Recent reports indicate that he will refuse to come to the US unless taken by either NY or NJ. While no one can replace Nash for D’Antoni, Gallinari comes closer to that level of offensive vision than anyone on the current Knick roster.

Joe Alexander: His offensive game just gets better and he is an eager defender. He is like Anthony Randolph in that he projects as another Shawn Marion type, but he is stronger and more coachable.

7

LA Clippers

Guards to complement the tandem of Brand and Kaman.

Gallinari, Gordon, Brook Lopez, Bayless, Randolph, Love

Jerryd Bayless: PG’s really the biggest need for this squad, and Bayless is a strong enough prospect to fill that gap.

Russell Westbrook: His stock isn’t rising to number four pick status, but he is getting up there. The hometown Clippers will gladly scoop him up. With Livingston possibly unable to ever play again, this is the pick you have to make.

8

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

Joe Alexander: Scott Skiles is going to love this kid, whose athletic talent is matched only by his work ethic.  Should benefit from Skiles’ structured approach.

Eric Gordon: He’ll come off the bench and move Redd to SF. With Williams, Gordon, and Redd on the court, the Bucks are going to give opposing defenders fits from the perimeter.

9

Charlotte

A combo forward, or center who can more Okafor to PF.

Brook Lopez, Alexander, Gallinari, Arthur, Randolph, Gordon

DJ Augustin: Larry Brown apparently dislikes Felton already, so expect him to snatch the high-character replacement in DJ.  Meanwhile, the frontcourt issues go unresolved.  Have fun, Bobcat fans!

Brook Lopez: This team needs a low post prescence to free up space for Richardson and Wallace on the wings. Lopez will most likely be just what this team needs to finally make the playoffs.

10

New Jersey

A forward to back up Jefferson and play some PF, more big men for the rotation.

Arthur, Alexander, Gallinari, Jordan

Kevin Love: Best PF in the draft is a true offensive threat, something the current NJ crop lacks.

Danilo Gallinari: My money is on Jefferson finding a new home in the offseason. Even if he doesn’t, Gallinari becomes the first swing men off the bench. A good insurance pick for a young team in transition.

11

Indiana

A replacement for Tinsley is a must, as is the heir to JO. Athletic players would help, but at this point the team wants high character guys.

Alexander , Gallinari, Westbrook, Arthur, Augustin, Gordon

Brook Lopez: High-character low-post player falls into their lap.  Irked as they might be at missing out on Augustin, this is a pretty good consolation prize.

DJ Augustin: Apparently the Pacers have promised to take him, so here you go. Even with the trade, Tinsley is on his way out and Ford is a health risk, meaning DJ is a good pick for the Pacers.

12

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

Anthony Randolph: Burgeoning talent could develop into a great presence.  Already has the defensive game to form a formidable tandem with Ron, and potential-laden offensive game makes him too tempting to pass on.

Anthony Randolph: With this being a young team, they can start him right away and let him learn on the job. He is a great pf of the future for this team.

13

Portland

Maybe another forward, but in reality they have a lot of young prospects and are better off trading the pick or stashing it in Europe. Another big man in the case Oden struggles early could help too.

Gallinari, Batum, McGee, Robin Lopez

Alexis Ajinca: Unless Pritchard finds some more draft-day magic and trades up, this is about as close to a lock as it gets.  European talent can be left abroad to blossom, making for one less contract for the Blazers to worry about.

DeAndre Jordan: Jordan at worst gives Portland a talented backup to Oden and also has the raw ability to play bigger minutes if Oden isn’t healthy enough during the season.

14

Golden State

If Davis leaves, they need a PG. Otherwise, they just take the best player available.

McGee, Speights, Greene, Anderson, Douglas-Roberts

Chris Douglas-Roberts: With three key reserve wings leaving, the Ws desperately need depth. CDR’s strong defense and versatile offensive game make him an easy pick here.

Marreese Speights: Al Harrington is probably on his way out. Speights shoud replace him and flourish at the pick and roll with Monte Ellis.

15

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, Gordon, Jordan

Brandon Rush: Suns are looking to win now, so the big men get ignored for another year. Instead, the steady swingman and eventual replacement for Grant Hill gets tabbed.

Brandon Rush: Batum has heart problems so I think that leads the Suns to take the closest thing to a sure thing at this point in the draft. A good shooter who will hit the open shot and then rush back on defense which is all the Suns will ask him to do.

16

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

Mario Chalmers: Trade talk has surrounded Andre Miller since he got here, and for good reason – he’s too old to be part of this youth movement. Chalmers is his eventual replacement. At the rate Mario’s stock is rising, this might be too low for him.

Roy Hibbert: This guy’s stock is all over the place, but he seems like a decent risk for the Sixers to take. He can help space the floor, score a little in the post, rebound, and block shots. Sounds like an improvement over the current center there.

17

Indiana

With PG well taken care of, a big man would be nice to replace JO’s production. Alternatively, depth is key.

Speights, Hibbert, McGee, Greene, Ajinca

Darrell Arthur: This offensive freak should be a great complement to their frontcourt players.  A bit unpolished, but has time to blossom with this group.

Alexis Ajinca: He couldn’t get more than five minutes off the bench from his European team but is suddenly expected to produce in the NBA…still, teams love his size and shot. This workout warrior could even get picked higher than this.

18

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, Green, Thompson

Mareese Speights: This team pretty much has to be thinking PF, so they take the best one available. Thompson is another option.

Donte Green: His stock is falling, but he won’t go lower than this. He can play sf for most teams and a little pf for this one. Has the potential to at least be a rotational player here.

19

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

Kosta Koufos: Z’s getting old, so it’s time to think about his replacement. Koufos’ workouts have his stock rising enough to make this quite reasonable.

Kosta Koufos: This guy’s stock is rising almost as fast as Ajinca’s but I like his chances to make it in the league more. He handles contact better than most of the other centers. At some point he will contribute if tutored by Ilguaskas.

20

Charlotte

Big man is really a huge need, as is talent overall.

Green, Weaver, Thompson, Robin Lopez, Augustin

Robin Lopez: And Okafor breathes a huge sigh of relief, as he finally gets to slide to PF.  Lopez’ defensive game makes him a good fit, and blossoming offensive skill makes him that much more attractive.

Mario Chalmers: He makes plays, can defend, and is clutch. Like Ankur said, his stock is supposed to be rising, but with all the better athletes ahead of him, he’ll still finish well outside of the lottery.

21

New Jersey

Another swingman to back up Carter and Jefferson, and another big man depending on whom they lose in free agency.

Greene, Thompson, Robin Lopez

Donte Greene: I have the Nets taking care of their big man concerns earlier, so I’ll hand them a swingman this time around. One of the most offensively gifted players in the draft, Greene allows this squad to consider dumping either RJ or VC.

Darrell Arthur: NBA teams are starting to question his size. He is another guy who at one point was rising but has now fallen back to earth except Arthur seems to have fallen especially hard here. New Jersey isn’t a bad fit for him tho.

22

Orlando

Better talent at guard positions, another big man to help with rebounding and shot blocking

Green, Thompson, Robin Lopez, Koufos, Chalmers, McGee

Courtney Lee: I think center is a bigger need for this squad, but they see Howard as a good fit there.  In that case, Lee’s ability to space the floor and high character make him the answer to the revolving door that is their SG position

Robin Lopez: Despite the offensive potential, I see him dropping to this late in the draft. This is a good spot for him though as he gives Dwight Howard the big man help he will need.

23

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, Ibaka

DeAndre Jordan: While his motor is slightly questionable, his talent level is not.  Look for Jordan to turn things around under Jerry Sloan, and become the low-post presence this team badly needs.

Nicholas Batum: He is simply too big a risk for the early draft picks because of rumors of heart problems, but here the Jazz can take a chance with him, because his potential outweighs the risk. Could be a steal or could die on court like dad.

24

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, Ibaka

Jason Thompson: All this guy did for 4 years at Rider was produce.  At this point in the draft, it’s worthwhile for the Sonics to find out if this is their eventual replacement for Chris Wilcox.

Ryan Anderson: Seattle should keep giving Durant weapons to keep him from being doubleteamed and that’s what Jerryd Bayless and now Ryan Anderson are. Anderson has limitless range, and will help space the floor for KD and give him lanes to drive.

25

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

Ryan Anderson: Versatile offensive game makes him a perfect big man sub. Taller than Landry, allowing Adelman to mix things up as needed.

Serge Ibaka: Rick Adelman teams tend to be very good at getting the best out of foreign players. Ibaka will be no different. At the very least, he will keep the defense running at a high level.

26

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, Rush

JaVale McGee: This guy has too much potential for the Spurs to pass up. He’s not exactly Tiago Splitter, but landing a guy with this kind of low-post game makes that loss a little easier to swallow.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: The Spurs want to get younger fast, but they also want to win now. CDR will defend well for a rookie, and could become a sparkplug off the bench allowing the Spurs to finally start Ginobli.

27

Portland

Pritchard seems to be setting his sights on a particular player – why else trade back into the bottom of the draft? Whoever he is, he’s probably European.

Tomic, Ajinca, Asik, Petrovic

Ante Tomic: They’ve wanted this guy for a while. Having gotten a swingman earlier, Pritchard can sit back and enjoy another successful draft.

Ante Tomic: This pick is going to get traded to the Blazers who will use it to select him or Batum. They have liked Tomic for a while so my money is on him.

28

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, Lee, Pekovic

Nicholas Batum: The flying frenchman is expected to take a couple years to develop and then come to the NBA. That fits Memphis’ needs and timeline perfectly.

Jason Thompson: I disagree. The Grizzlies should try and get as many warm bodies in jerseys as they can. Thompson is another guy who can thrive in the open court, and since he is just a late draft pick, why not take a chance on him?

29

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, Lee, Pekovic,

Bill Walker: Late in the draft and with their core set, the Pistons can afford to take a flyer on a talent this strong.  Knee trouble is worrisome, but medical clearances make that a bit less of a concern.

Bill Walker: Can play either swing position, and on this team can take some time to learn the game. A little small for SF but his strength and athleticism more than make up for it. Could be next Latrell Spreewell.

30

Boston

They could use an upgrade at the backup 2-spot, but it will most likely come from free agency.

Chalmers, Lee, Hickson, Dorsey, Asik

Roy Hibbert: As fantastic as the C’s backups played in the playoffs, they simply lack size.  That’s one thing Hibbert has in spades, allowing him to fill a key need for this squad.

Kyle Weaver: Will bring the ball up when Rondo is on the bench. With Cassell and House gone, this is a smart pick here. Weaver’s defensive ability also gives him the edge.

June 10, 2008

Pat Riley Is An Idiot

Filed under: NBA Draft — Ankur @ 12:01 AM

We take a break from our finals coverage, now, to talk a little NBA draft. With my Warriors out of the playoffs, it’s pretty much all I’ve got, so…

Professor Berri of the Wages of Wins mentioned the issue of tanking the other day, which got me thinking. The NBA is unique in that teams’ order in the draft is not directly tied to their season-ending seed. Though this is meant to ensure a lack of tanking, it seems to fail quite often – most recently, with the Miami D-League All-Stars finishing up the year for Riley and company.

The tanking debate, till now, has simply focused on whether or not the assumed gains from tanking are worth the unsportsmanlike action of playing to lose (or, more charitably, not playing your hardest). Those assumed gains, however, are worth scrutinizing.

To do such analysis, I needed some data on the NBA draft lottery, which I easily found on Wikipedia. Using these probabilities, I calculated the expectation (or weighted average) of each seed’s eventual draft choice, where the #1 seed has the highest probability of winning the lottery, etc. Those results are right here:

SEED Expected Pick
1 2.64
2 2.98
3 3.41
4 3.97
5 4.69
6 5.55
7 6.53
8 7.6
9 8.71
10 9.79
11 10.81
12 11.78
13 12.78
14 13.79

Interesting things to note already: for the top three picks, the expected pick (EP) is worse than the seed. Everyone else comes out slighly ahead. This makes sense, since the lottery is for the first three spots only, which is proof that my number-crunching hasn’t thrown anything out of whack.

Let’s stop for a second and make some assumptions:

  1. The higher the pick, the better: pretty self explanatory…the first pick is better than the second is better than the third…
  2. Teams don’t want to lose: in other words, there is a cost to being a higher seed. Think of this as angry fans, declining revenue, whatever. To keep things simple, let’s say that the cost to jump up a seed is approximately as much as the gain from jumping up 1 in EP.
  3. Management has an imperfect ability to choose seeding: there are factors outside of the team’s hands (like the actions of other teams) that affect its record. As such, a lottery-bound team can’t pick its slot…it can probably control the general vicinity where it ends up, but that’s really it. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that teams can influence their seed by 1 – Seattle, for instance, could’ve ended up either 1st or 3rd if they’d wanted.

With these assumptions in place, I’ll introduce the next bit of number crunching: Marginal Expected Pick (MEP). To find this, all I did was take each seed’s EP and subtract the EP of the next (lower) seed.

SEED MEP
1 0.34
2 0.43
3 0.56
4 0.72
5 0.86
6 0.98
7 1.07
8 1.12
9 1.08
10 1.02
11 0.97
12 1
13 1.01
14 1.21

Under assumptions 1 and 3, the utility-maximizing GM of a team has a really simple question to answer: should we tank?

The answer, say the numbers, depends on your seed. If assumption 2 is accurate, the answer is yes if you’re seeds 6-14, and no if you’re seeds 1-5. In other words, once you’re in the top 5 seeds, your exact position doesn’t matter all that much. Before that, though, you do, in fact, want to tank…a result Commissioner Stern probably doesn’t want to hear, but is abundantly clear.

Which is why Pat Riley is an idiot. To lock in that .34 MEP, he basically stopped even pretending to be competitive, and probably didn’t make a utility-maximizing decision. While the NBA lottery takes a lot of heat, therefore, there’s reason to believe that dumb GMs are the problem, not the commish’s office…

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.

Blog at WordPress.com.