But as a man who loves draftery? You kind of need to give it a go. Even if it’s an exercise in futility, or as I like to call it, exercise.
Thus, the Grand National Championships proudly present…an NBA Mock Draft Pit 350.
1. Bulls: Derrick Rose (PG) Memphis
As this draft goes, there are two special talents in this draft, and while I still think there’s going to be an issue in the Bulls being with a conservative general manager such as John Paxson and the mess of talent still in the backcourt, Mr. Rose has two advantages over Beasley. One, a local boy #1 pick brings great joy to Jerry Reinsdorf’s quest to become Scrooge McDuck. And two, his downside is being merely great instead of special.
2. Heat: O.J. Mayo (SG) USC
I know this seems shocking, but if you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense. Michael Beasley seems to have shrunk himself into a young Shawn Marion, and his refreshing honesty makes the professionalized life of O.J. Mayo into a better fit for Riley’s demeanor. Also, if there was any way shape or form that O.J. Mayo could fall to fifth? Beasley would be a Grizzly by Friday.
3. Timberwolves: Michael Beasley (PF) Kansas State
And if I’m right, Minneapolis becomes the hipster haven of the NBA. Not saying this to ape Free Darko, Mayo to Miami just makes more sense to me.
4. Supersonics: Jerryd Bayless (Combo Guard) Arizona
Obvious pick is obvious. The Sonics are in dire need of somebody with point guard skills. And with Mayo off the board? Jerryd is an offensive playmaker who make Kevin Durant a lot better. If they don’t kill each other first.
5. Grizzlies: Brook Lopez (C) Stanford
The way the Grizzlies are built, they would be looking for an inside presence, scoring ability optional. Many of the draft boards say that Kevin Love (to love you baby) is the Naughty Girl for the Grizzlies. But the fact of the matter is that Love’s fat, undersized, and offensive minded. And if Brook Lopez is available at this pick the Grizzlies would be damned fools to pass on Lopez here.
6. Knicks: Eric Gordon (SG) Indiana
Now Gallinari may have a guarantee to be drafted here, but the fact of the matter is if no superstar slips out of the Top 5, the doughy-faced assassin is the perfect fit for a run and gun offense. All Eric Gordon does is put the biscuit in the basket. D’Antoni will love his style.
7. Clippers: Russell Westbrook (PG/SG) UCLA
Love lands here if Brand decides he’s going to become a Free Agent, but if not, the board falls to Westbrook. He has excellent athleticism and great defense. He’s not a pure 1, and his offense is questionable. But as a high energy guy to back up/provide insurance to Shaun Livingston? It would be a great pick for Elgin Baylor.
8. Bucks: Joe Alexander (SF) West Virginia
Scott Skiles is living in his own private hell. He’s a defensive oriented coach living with a team that has no defensive skill and there is no defensive skill in a position that they need. Love is a poor defender. Gallinari’s too much the poor athlete. And Anthony Randolph is Stromile Swift 3.0. Joe Alexander may not be a great defender, but Skiles will feel better with his unorthodoxy and efforts.
9. Bobcats: Kevin Love (PF/C) UCLA
Nazr Mohammad had a great year last year, but he is not a long term answer. If Love is available here? He’s a great fit. A very good offensive center, and he has the outlet passability to send Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson on rim-rocking fast breaks. He’ll find his place in the research triangle.
10. Nets: Danilo Gallinari (SF) Jeans from the Italian Suit People.
Now they could just as easily take a flier on an Anthony Randolph or a DeAndre Jordan, but the fact of the matter is that Gallinari is the best player for what Lawerence Frank wants to do. The fans may not be happy with an undersized four, but he provides energy, toughness, and a spectacular mid-range game.
11. Pacers: D.J. Augustin (PG) Texas
The perfectly logical fit. He will make Danny Granger an all-star, and not in the Scott Cooper, Mark Redman there’s nobody else sense. Also, he’s everything Jamaal Tinsley’s not. So maybe he’s going to get a hit out on him. See, because Tinsley loves guns, right and…
12. Kings: Anthony Randolph (SF/PF) LSU
Here’s where the upside gambles come out to play. His measurables are, according to Draft Express, quite bad. So what’s good? His left-handed athleticism, his handles and his mid-range game. But he’s 18. And if the lights turn on? He could turn into Rudy Gay. If every light turns on?
13. Blazers: Alexis Anjica (C) France
They’re going to make every effort to move up to get Augustin or Westbrook. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But should they fail? It’s best power player available. Mareese Speights and Javale McGee don’t grade out at the late lottery. DeAndre Jordan has negative fundamentals. Kosta Koufos grades out as the next Mehmet Okur, but the Frenchman is the play here. His upside is magical, and he already has developed a nascent offensive game. Also, he has a 7’10″ wingspan. They can wait for the light to turn on here.
14. Warriors: JaVale McGee (C) Nevada
This is a bit of a reach. He does not have a great power game, but in Nellieball? He’s a perfect fit. Great wingspan, great hands, a good shot, and he can put the ball on the floor. He could very well be the next Patrick O’Bryant. But his offense has something there there. With fundamentals, he could have NBA Three threatability.
15. Suns: Brandon Rush (SF) Kansas
Are you asking for the first steal on the board? Then go for this Modern Day Warrior. He has the three point range that’s required for a Suns wing, as well as the solid defense that the Suns so desperately need. He’s finally coming back to full health off of his ACL surgery. Donte Greene is too Tim Thomas for the Suns liking.
16. Sixers: Marreese Speights (PF/C) Florida
His face up offensive game is ready for the world now. And overall? His offense is pure. His defense? It’s another story. But for the Sixers? He’s perfect.
17. Toronto: Donte Greene (SF) Syracuse
Toronto got by on moxie and can-do at the three last year. If they don’t trade Ford and the pick for Boris Diaw? Donte Greene is a offensive force upgrade. If they do? Robin Lopez goes here.
18. Wizards: Kosta Koufos (C) Ohio State
A ready-made offensive center. He has the shooting touch of an international, even if he is Columbus born and bred. He is decent defensively, and even if he isn’t explosive. He is solid, if not sexy.
19. Cavaliers: Chris Douglas-Roberts (SG) Memphis
LeBron James needs scoring help. The Szczerb? Always gets hurt. Boobie? A Mo Williams clone. CDR is a pure scorer. His mid-range game is off the chain, and his defense will fit into a Mike Brown system quite nicely.
20. Nuggets: Robin Lopez (C) Stanford
DeAndre Jordan is still on the board, but they are looking for a polished defender on the pivot in Denver. And Jordan is still merely upside. Robin is all toughness and energy and shotblocking. Also, he’s high character.
21. Nets: DeAndre Jordan (C) Texas A&M
Admittedly Jordan is a lot of a project, but on a team where resode DeSagana Diop, a nascent game is acceptable. He has the tremendous upside potential. But he’s got 10 percent of his potential used up.
22. Magic: Courtney Lee (SG/SF) Western Kentucky
He’s more than this, but all the Magic really want is a perimeter pip to Dwight Howard’s Gladys Knight.
23: Jazz: Roy Hibbert (C) Georgetown
A power player built for a slowed down pace. He’s a Zydrunas Illgauskas lite.
24. Sonics: Darrell Arthur (PF) Kansas
When he’s right with the world? He’s among the best prospects. The problem? Pedigree and a lack of focus. He may yet be another Wayne Simien.
25. Rockets: Nicholas Batum (SF) France
The phyisicality and feel of the game bring him to the first round. He could be French Josh Smith if the Rockets are patient.
26. Spurs: Serge Ibaka (PF)
The Spurs picked a foreign guy? That doesn’t make sense!
27. Hornets: Richard Hendrix (PF) Alabama
He’ll start in the land of NBA hope as a back-up, but the man’s a Paul Millsap clone. And if you don’t know? That’s an awesome thing.
28. Grizzlies: Omer Asik (C) Turkey
Omer is not a scorer, but his defense is indeed bad ass. And he does have upside. My only regret? His shot-blocks will be proven Omerized.
Look it up.
29. Pistons: Bill Walker (SF) Kansas State
His knees are bad, but his game is the truth when he’s healthy. If he stays healthy, Dumars made robbery.
30. Celtics: Devon Hardin (C) California
Jason Thompson is available here. Sure. But the Celtics don’t need a scorer and mid-range threat. They need a low-post defender. They need a burly bad ass for when Bynum returns. They need to get Hardin.
Yeah. I did it.