I don't usually try my hand at doing this mock draft stuff, but I'm tired of finding places that give no thought to the needs of the team doing the picking. So, here are my assumptions:
- No changes in the Draft Lottery. Unlikely, I know, but it makes this easier.
- Picks are weighted slightly more toward team needs rather than strictly Best Player Available (BPA).
- I'll refrain from trading picks, although I personally think it will happen.
1. Miami. With D-Wade and the Matrix shutting it down early, the need for Miami is at PG and Center (1 & 5). IMO Udonis Haslem is a solid PF that Beasley would send to the bench. They need a playmaking PG that can score and pass.
Pick: D. Rose.
2. Seattle. No-brainer. Seattle could have used either Beasley or Rose on their team, so whichever one Miami leaves them is fine for them.
Pick: M. Beasley
3. Minnesota. Foye, Brewer, and Jefferson constitute the core of their future, so the need appears to be at the 1 & 5. I'd say that since Foye could cover the PG duties if needed, they'd be more inclined to pick a solid 5. The consensus first center off the board is Brook Lopez. Personally, I think this is a bust waiting to happen, but that's their problem.
Pick: Brook Lopez
4. Memphis. The one thing this team doesn't need is another PG, but that seems to be what they're stuck with for BPA. Bayless and Mayo are still on the board and no PF or Center remains that's worth the pick. If there's going to be a trade, this is the place it will happen. Either they trade down, or they take Bayless with the pick and one of their many PGs will be traded away soon. I'd guess they'll trade down to 9 or 10 and pick up DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, or Marreese Speights. But, since trades aren't part of this mock draft, I'll go with BPA and let the GMs trade players later.
Pick: Jerryd Bayless
5. NY Knicks. With IT headed for the door, management will need a name to get fans in the seats. They also need to start rebuilding the roster around young players with fire. The Knicks need a PG and a Center that can rebound (no offense David Lee, but you're a PF). Since a center worthy of this pick is not available, they'll take the high-risk/high-reward pick.
Pick: O.J. Mayo
6. LA Clippers. The Clips have a good 5 in Kaman, a great 4 on Brand, and an up-and-comer 3 in Thornton. That leaves the question marks at PG and SG. Since the top three PGs are off the board at this point, the only real choice for them is Eric Gordon. He's a ping-pong ball that can create havoc.
Pick: Eric Gordon
7. Bucks. With a need at the 1 & 3 spots, I see the Bucks continuing their international ways and selecting Danilo Gallinari from Italy. Maybe. What I think they should do is trade up with Memphis and get Bayless, but that's not my call.
Pick: Danilo Gallinari
8. Bobcats. Of all the teams in the lottery (other than GSW), this one has the most pieces already in place for future success. The problem they had is similar to what New Orleans had last season...too many important pieces hurt. They've got solid pieces at the 1 thru 5 positions, so they have the luxury to take the BPA. In this case that is DeAndre Jordan. I know, the Jordan thing is cliché, but this kid looks like he could be great given the right seasoning. Sitting on the bench for a year or two will give him some time to mature physically and mentally.
Pick: DeAndre Jordan
9. Bulls. The Bulls really would have preferred to take DeAndre Jordan here but Paxon wasn't willing to pay what MJ was asking for the trade:) As a back-up plan to losing Deng, they will take a big SF that can run and gun with Noah and Thomas.
Pick: Anthony Randolph
10. Nets. The nets have a solid player at the 1,2 &3. They've also got a serviceable 5 in Boone. They need a PF that can clean the glass and occupy space on the block.
Pick: Kevin Love
11. Pacers. The only player worth keeping on the whole roster is Granger. Everyone else is trade-bait. This team is in rebuild mode, big-time. They need someone to help take the offensive burden off Granger and who can make others better. The combo-guard skills of Russell Westbrook should be a serious upgrade.
Pick: Russell Westbrook
12. Kings. The Kings need help at the 3 & 4 spots. Udrih, Kevin Martin, and Hawes are the building blocks for this team, and what they need is the dynamo SF that can create havoc once Ron Artest is gone.
Pick: Donte Green
13. Portland. Although they have a stable of PGs and SFs, none of them have locked up the job. With Oden and Fernandez coming in next year and high-hopes that Webster will come into his own in his fourth season, the only weak point would be PG. Luckily for them there is still a player that fits their system perfectly.
Pick: Darren Collison
14. Warriors. As much fun as they are to watch, the Dubs aren't going anywhere until they get a system in place that requires the players to do more than play fast. Until that happens, they should take a flier on foreign potential and leave him overseas to season.
Pick. Nicolas Batum
That was a hoot.
Where did I go wrong?