Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 2008 Blazersedge Mock Draft. Watch this space all day as the draft evolves, and don't forget that you will soon vote to help determine which player the Portland Trail Blazers select!
1. CHICAGO Derrick Rose 6'3 PG from Memphis
The Bulls' GM explains: I believe Rose is the better pick for us in this draft. He is a better all around player, and a local favorite. I believe that Rose and Gordon side by side in the front court I very explosive. By picking Rose, our assets in the 1 and 2 can be used to trade for players we need in other positions in the future.
2. MIAMI (traded to Seattle) Michael Beasley 6'9'' PF, Kansas State
Miami's GM: The Heat have not lost sight of the incredible freshman season Beasley put together for Kansas State. We think he is a one-of-kind low post talent, who will pair together well with Dwyane Wade. Together we believe they will develop into the one-two punch most championship teams have, and along the way put the butts into the stands and the team in more national television spots.. which this franchise sorely needs right now. We just think he is the best player in this draft, at a much-needed postion on our team.
NOTE: Despite the praise you just heard, there are rumors swirling that the Heat may have taken this pick to trade it. We'll have to find out whether that develops.
3. MINNESOTA (traded to New York) O.J. Mayo 6'5'' G, USC
The 'Wolves GM says: The Timberwolves believe that Mayo is the third best prospect in this draft and has a legitimate shot to be a star in the league. He is a good shooter and scorer, can handle the ball some, and can play defense. We have some young guards already and he just adds to the mix. Once we decide who fits best on our team we can decide who to trade or let go in the coming years.
4. SEATTLE (Traded to Miami) Jerryd Bayless, 6'3" PG/SG, Arizona
The Sonics' GM: The Seattle Supersonics feel that Bayless will be the perfict fit along side Kevin Durrant. With them together we are sure that we can keep-up with any team in the league when it comes to scoring from the guard positions. Plus, with Bayless' athleticism combined with Durrant's length, we believe defensively they will prove to be a pair hard to match-up with. He is s strong shooter, a flashy scorer, and a stellar athlete who can use his skills to penetrate and dish the ball for high assist totals in the NBA.
5. MEMPHIS Danilo Gallinari, 6'9" SF, Europe
At first glance seeing Memphis' line-up withat center, you think "Man, Memphis needs a center is a big way." But, Darko was decent this year, and they have another international center prospect coming in the next year or two in Marc Gasol, who they are apparently very high on. Since Memphis has two picks (#'s 5 & 28) they want to add a player who will fit in well. They have three promising guards, future star at SF and sharp shooter Mike Miller. Adding point-forward Danilo Galinari to pair with Gay would give the Grizz some dyanamite wings who can play with the ball and be threats from all over the court. With that #28 pick they hold, Memphis will target a PF or post player.
6. NEW YORK (traded to Minnesota) Kevin Love 6'9" PF, UCLA
The Knicks' GM says: Kevin love has a tremendous presence on the court, and has shown that he is a dedicated athlete. He is a player who understands what he will be expected to do once he arrives in the league. When we brought him in to work out we were amazed by his ability to break down his defender while also showing a plethora of mid to deep range shooting moves. He brings leadership to the team, and we are positive that once he starts on an NBA regime ofthat he will turn into a serious force in the post.
7. L.A. CLIPPERS (traded to New Jersey) Brook Lopez, 7'0" C, Stanford
The Clips say: We have Brook Lopez graded as the third best player in the draft and are ecstatic that we were able to acquire him with this pick. We believe he will be the dynamic low post scorer for years to come.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a TRADE to announce!
The Minnesota Timberwolves have sent the draft rights to #3 pick O.J. Mayo and forward Antoine Walker to the New York Knicks for the draft rights to #6 pick Kevin Love, forward Renaldo Balkman, and forward Malik Rose.
8. MILWAUKEE Russell Westbrook, 6'4, PG, UCLA
The Bucks GM: We believe Russell will provide us with immediate help for our defense, as well as the ability to get into the lane and use his great speed to create shots for both him and his teammates. He also provides us with some flexibility in the backcourt, as we may be looking to re-shuffle our roster over the next year or two. We had hoped Gallinari would be there at 8, and explored possible trades to move up, but were unsuccessful in finding a deal that was mutually beneficial.
9. CHARLOTTE Darrell Arthur 6'9" PF, Kansas
From Charlotte: We need a power forward in the worst way. An oldand a rickety Sean May are not enough to help . Darrell Aurthur is the most well rounded and NBA ready power forward on the board. We do not need another forward tweener since we already have Gerald Wallace in the 3-4 position. Backcourt help would have been nice too.
Expert Commentary from the Media: This is the first pick that really left me scratching my head. The 'Cats should have selected Anthony Randolph or , who are both somehow still on the board at number 10 now. The 'Cats could have used a bigger post player to pair with Okafor.
10. NEW JERSEY (traded to the L.A. Clippers) Eric Gordon 6'4" SG, Indiana
11. INDIANA DJ Augustin, 6-0, PG, Texas
The GM: Our team needs a pointguard, and although Westbrook was our first choice, we believe Augustin has the ballhandling, shooting, and confidence to lead our team. Augustin, Granger, Dunleavey and O'Neal look to lead the Pacers back to the playoffs.
12. SACRAMENTO Anthony Randolph 6'11" PF, LSU
GM Notes: we are thrilled to pick up a talent like Anthony at the 12 spot. Not only do we think he can come in and be a solid contributor for us next season, we believe this guy’s upside and potential could make him the steal of the 2008 draft. Putting him on the court with the scoring and athleticism we have at the wing positions should make him a great asset for us.
Note: A report coming out of Sacramento has them looking to trade away Anthony Randolph before his cap even settles. Stay tuned.
13. PORTLAND Joe Alexander, 6'8" SF, West Virginia
I'm going to save the GM notes on this one until after the draft, as we have several pages detailing the draft process that you'll be interested in. For now we'll just report that Alexander was #1 in the popular vote and on two of the three ballots of the Blazer brain trust. (He was a narrow #2 on the third.) More later.
GM Notes: Could you find a better team for DeAndre Jordan than Golden State? At this position in the draft Golden State is thrilled to be able to add amazing athleticism, speed, and length at the center position. The upside of Jordan is ridiculous, and with NBA trainers we believe he will add the bulk to become a dominant center while keeping his inherent speed that is necessary to the way Golden State plays. With Beidrens to help teach him footwork and Golden State's guards having the ability to actually get him the ball, we believe he will have all of the skills needed to become a dominant offensive center in 2-3 years. With his added bulk and what has been desribed as "pterodactyl"-like wingspan his defensive skills will see a large jump upon entering the NBA.
15. PHOENIX Brandon Rush, 6’7”, SG/SF, Kansas
GM Notes: Brandon Rush will step in and start from day one for us. He can shoot, slash to the rim and he plays solid defense. Phoenix has a 2 year window of opportunity to challenge for a title and Brandon Rush is the best option to make that happen. There may be other players with more ‘upside’ left on the board, but those players also run more of a risk of being a bust. Phoenix can not afford to take those kind of chances with such a narrow window of opportunity.
16. PHILADELPHIA Donte Green 6'10'' Forward
GM Notes: We think he has the chance to develop into a star for us a few years
down the road. With his size we project that he will become our power
forward of the future and with his athleticism and three-point range
he should fit nicely into our uptempo system.
17. TORONTO Nick Batum, 6'8" SF, France
Note: We weren't able to get ahold of the actual Toronto GM on this one, but we figured an international wing with running and scoring potential would fit right in with the Raptors.
18. WASHINGTON Marreese Speights 6-10" PF/C
GM Notes: We're looking mainly for depth, though obviously we'd like someone who could start some day. My recommendation is to look at point guard and forward, preferably a power forward that could put some time it at either the 3 or 5. Someone who can really only play the '4' probably won't see the floor much unless Jamison is injured. Also, there's a lot of good small forwards in this draft and if one of the top ones slipped to 18 I would take him. Here's the players I was targeting:
19. CLEVELAND Kosta Koufos, 7'1" C Ohio State
Note: Either my e-mail stopped working or there are a lot of GM's watching Scooby Doo instead of picking. Don Knotts is the ghost already! He doesn't want the city to tear down his funhouse for a new strip mall. In any case Koufos is a decent project at this spot and he can study under Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
20. DENVER Ty Lawson 6-0 PG UNC
GM Notes: Needing a PG, the Denver Nuggets sleect Ty Lawson from the . With the backcourt of Lawson and our goal will be to simply outscore everyone to make up for the lack of D and size in the backcourt. With a lineup of Lawson, Iverson, Anthony, Klieza and Camby we have a fast, mobile group who can fly up and down the floor, add to that the elevation in Denver and a lot of teams will leave gassed and with a loss.
21. NEW JERSEY (traded to the L.A. Clippers) Chase Budinger 6'7" SG/SF Arizona
We have a trade to announce: The Los Angeles Clippers are sending the draft rights to #7 pick Brook Lopez to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for the rights to #10 pick Eric Gordon and #21 pick Chase Budinger.
Media Reaction: This is a smart trade for both teams. Brook Lopez gives the Nets some consistent post play which they have been sorely lacking. What really makes that a great move for the Nets is the fact they didn't give up anything to move up in the draft. Some see Lopez as a potential bust, but the chance to get a big man for only the cost of a late first rounder is almost as good a move as convincing
The Clippers need bodies and youth at the guard positions. Eric Gordon falling to them at 10 is a huge pickup and a step in the right direction. They may need a replacement for Maggette, so a move for a SG/SF type is a must. The extra pick in the first round should really help the Clippers build a solid team.
22. ORLANDO Chris Douglas-Roberts, 6-7 SG/SF, Memphis
GM Notes: We are delighted to be able to pick Chris and we believe that we will be able to fit in well with our group of players. His ability to step up in big games and his abilty to shot the perimeter shot will allow him to contribute right away.
23. UTAH Roy Hibbert, 7'2" C, Georgetown
Note: He is a great center prospect and has an excellent pedigree coming in from Georgetown. Hibbert was an efficient player posting 14+ppg and 7+rpg over his soph and junior year campaigns. He will be a solid NBA center, maybe not starter quality for a a few years, but he is good on both sides of the court.
24. SEATTLE (traded to Miami) Serge Ibaka 6'10" PF, CB L'Hospitalet, International
GM Notes: Serge Ibaka is somewhat of an overlooked prospect in our mind. He has a good jump shot and shocking atheleticism. He has good size and will fit nicely in the faster paced system we are trying to implement. He will be a little bit of a project, but we hope he can step in and play some minutes off the bench next year...
We have a trade to announce! The Miami Heat have traded the rights to #2 overall pick Michael Beasley, forward Udonis Haslem, and guard Daequan Cook to the Seattle Supersonics for the rights to #4 overall pick Jerryd Bayless, forward Nick Collison, and guard/forward Damien Wilkins.
This is a solid move for the Sonics. The scoring combination of Durant and Beasley will be tough to stop. The name recognition will be important for reviving a nearly broken hearted
This move puts the Heat into rebuilding mode. Selecting Mayo with the 2nd pick may have tempted the Heat to make a playoff run this season, but we saw what happens when you mortgage the future for a championship now. I think the heat have learned that there won't always be a team gracious enough to relieve you of your worst contract. The Heat will build around D. Wade, starting with the 2nd best PG in the draft.
GM Note: Bursting with potential, will be around great influence in Ming and...
26. SAN ANTONIO Courtney Lee, 6'5" SG/SF Western Kentucky. 27. NEW ORLEANS Bill Walker 6' 6" F Kansas State 28. MEMPHIS Robin Lopez 7-0 C has a decent core of young talent. Once the full press to get Gasol over here works out that core might be better than decent. After drafting potential with the fifth pick, we look to round out our front court rotation with this pick. Lopez is a high motor, athletic big man who will be tough on the defensive end and showed offensive improvement over the course of last season. He'll be a strong complement to Darko, Marc, and Warrick. 29. DETROIT DeVon Hardin 6'11" PF/C Cal-Berkeley 30. BOSTON Jason Thompson 6'10" PF, Rider University And the 2008 Blazersedge Mock Draft is OVER! Thanks to everyone who participated.
GM Notes: Our organization has badly needed an infusion of young blood on the wing for the last several years, and we believe Lee fits the bill. He's a 20 ppg scorer who can get to the line (5.0 FTA per game) and knock them down from the stripe (82% FTs). He also demonstrates a nice touch from range, hitting two triples a game at a 40% clip -- a must from our role players on the wing. Lee is also a solid perimeter defender, thieving nearly two balls a game, and our scouts suggest he will only improve on the defensive end as he's asked to carry less of the offensive load. We're ideally grooming Lee as an eventual replacement for Bowen and Udoka, both of whom are getting long in the tooth. The knocks on Lee are his age (23) and average athleticism, but we're not looking for a project or a guy who can jump out of the gym; our core isn't getting any younger, and we're looking for a rookie who can contribute now with a savvy beyond his years. We believe that Lee's that player.
GM Notes: We feel that Bill Walker is the best player available at this point. We are looking for bench depth and realize we won't get an impact player this late in the draft.
GM Notes: Hardin fits the needs that the have for another able bodied big man, and his toughness, and presence should be a perfect complement to Maxiell, Wallace, and McDyess in the frontcourt. He should be able to contribute right away.
GM Notes: Post forward with excellent length and versatility ... Though he's already a senior, he has a developing skill set and shows a lot of upside ... A late bloomer who despite playing at a mid-major was seen as a potential lottery player by some. He'll have the best mentor in the game in Kevin Garnett. And as a senior, he should be mature enough to come in and immediately contribute to trying to get us back to the Finals next year.
26. SAN ANTONIO Courtney Lee, 6'5" SG/SF Western Kentucky.
27. NEW ORLEANS Bill Walker 6' 6" F Kansas State
28. MEMPHIS Robin Lopez 7-0 C
has a decent core of young talent. Once the full press to get Gasol over here works out that core might be better than decent. After drafting potential with the fifth pick, we look to round out our front court rotation with this pick. Lopez is a high motor, athletic big man who will be tough on the defensive end and showed offensive improvement over the course of last season. He'll be a strong complement to Darko, Marc, and Warrick.
29. DETROIT DeVon Hardin 6'11" PF/C Cal-Berkeley
30. BOSTON Jason Thompson 6'10" PF, Rider University
And the 2008 Blazersedge Mock Draft is OVER! Thanks to everyone who participated.