The Grand National Championships

June 23, 2009

Oh look, an NBA mock draft…

Now these have a tendency to be like darts. I mean, I can see good things out of this years class even if no one else can. But I’m not claiming expertise at least not here. Last year I knew a dude who worked for the Nets. This year? Nothing.

1. Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin PF Oklahoma

Now he’s the best mixture of polish and potential on a team that will be two deep at the 4 and the 5. But that’s okay, he’ll be arrested for murdering Alex Acker in a hazing incident gone wrong. Only? Acker’s not dead. And he’s coming for Chris Kaman and Z-Bo. It’s Clip Joint. Rated R.

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Tyreke Evans PG/SG Memphis

Thabeet and Rubio do not want this. Blake Griffin is gone. Jordan Hill is a pick that inspires nothing. James Harden is a better choice, but come on. This will be a naked attempt to sell tickets. The Grizz have problems. And going local will only exacerbate it.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Harden SG Arizona State

He has the highest floor of anybody in this draft. There’s already a lot to like with his game. And unlike Thabeet, he’ll fit into what’s trying to be built here. In fact? If not for the circumstances of their trip to Oklahoma City? This would be a good team to bandwagon.

4. Sacramento Kings: Ricky Rubio PG DKV Joventut

They never thought Tha Beet would be available to them, but after some discussion, they decide to go after the potentially transcendant talent…

5. Washington Wizards: Hasheem Thabeet C UConn

Which gives the Wizards a passable core…if Gilbert Arenas stays healthy.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Stephen Curry SG Davidson

They’re going to follow the same school as last year. Kevin Love was far from a sure thing going in, and he worked out, right? Right. So there you go.

7. Golden State Warriors: Jrue Holiday PG UCLA

Not just for the transcendant athleticism. Golden State wish Monta Ellis would simply drop dead. But someobody has to have the balls to make a pick for a player that doesn’t want to be there. Hi. Meet the new Jrue.

8. New York Knicks: Brandon Jennings PG Italy

They only way a team can screw it up here at this point? Draft Jrue Holiday. I’m not saying he’s going to be a bad player. I’m just saying that Brandon Jennings has that potential to be special. He doesn’t have to start this season either. But if D’Antoni gets to work with Jennings? Wow.

9. Toronto Raptors: Demar DeRozan SG USC

He may not want to be there, but he is the Spinner that the Toronto Raptors DeGrassi needs. They need a creative wing with good length. It doesn’t get better than this No Limit Soldier.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Hill PF Arizona

Because. I’m drafting here.

11. New Jersey Nets: Terrence Williams SG/SF Louisville

There’s a lot to like with a wing of his caliber. Defensive toughness, can hit the three. Athleticism that will allow him to make the sexy action sports news team highlight show. You put him at the three and good things happen.

12. Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Henderson SG Duke

Jordan woke up, saw the best 2-guard available on draft express and said? Done.

13. Indiana Pacers: Jonny Flynn SG Syracuse

Every year, you see a great talent fall toward the end of the lottery. My guess, it’s going to be Jonny Flynn. The Pacers get a Grangeresque steal.

14. Phoenix Suns: James Johnson SF/PF Wake Forest

An active defender who can create his own shot and play both the three and the four? He won’t be Shawn Marion, but he will make a matrix move or two. And when the team goes small? There can be a direct-to-video sequel of Seven Seconds or less.

15. Detroit Pistons: Austin Daye PF Gonzaga

My gut says they get the Israeli wing Omri Casspi, but then I thought, they could get a starter worthy point at the early parts of round 2. And this is a team that loves the Anthony Randolph-sized 3. And they could get a point and more low post tough with their early 2’s.

16. Chicago Bulls: DeJuan Blair PF Pittsburgh

The knees blunt his position. But in the world of the John Hollinger? Blair is the greatest prospect ever. Boards and efficient offense. It’s what the Bulls need down low.

17. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty Lawson PG UNC

And we start the run on the proverbial second tier with the point guard who won UNC the national title. They can’t afford Andre Miller, so they rebuild it here.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Earl Clark PF Louisville
(from Miami)

Worst case scenario, he’s a rotational Hakim Warrick. Or a Corey Brewer who can put points on the board. Either or. If a team wants to deal down, the T-Wolves will be willing to listen.

19. Atlanta Hawks: Eric Maynor PG VCU

Never mind the Bibby, here comes a Maynor upgrade at the point. They don’t need to live in the shadow of Mike Bibby anymore. He may not be the player who puts them over the top. But he is made of leadership. He will make them better.

20. Utah Jazz: Tyler Hansbrough PF UNC

Both for the fact they’ll need an energy power forward and won’t expect him to be spectacular, as well as the fact that it’s a white guy in Utah. That’s just hilarious.

21. New Orleans Hornets: Jeff Teague PG Wake Forest

Hear me out. The Hornets strength was Jannero Pargo in 2008. They need a back-up to keep CP3 from dying, and while B.J. Mullens has strong upside potential. Jeff Teague is a stealthy protectionate for CP3. And if you want to start the next rebuild you do it here.

22. Dallas Mavericks: B.J. Mullens C Ohio State

Re-up Kidd and get a potential low-post scorer. Why? Because Erick Dampier is crap. And Kidd knows that he isn’t going to be around long term. He’ll play hard at least for this season. Darren Collison would be strong here, but B.J. Mullens has end of lottery upside.

23. Sacramento Kings: Sam Young SF/PF Pittsburgh
(from Houston)

The Kings could use some real low-post help. Sam Young is more of a Posey 4 than a Chuck Hayes 4. But you know James Posey 4’s have good value. Affable, with a hint of cedar. And they can get the low post 4 at 31.

24. Portland Trail Blazers: Derrick Brown PF Xavier

A small forward with good offensive skills? Yes!

25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jonas Jerebeko SF/PF Italy
(from San Antonio)

The Swedish Varejao deepens the low post rotational skills and will make Scott Brooks happy with his intangibles. So yeah.

26. Chicago Bulls Chase Budinger SG/SF Arizona
(from Denver through Oklahoma City)

The Bulls need a scoring wing. And so long as it’s a kick-out or a pick and roll? Budinger makes Chicago happy. Except for the Jewish community. Dan Filowitz will be outraged. Or not. He doesn’t care about the drafts.

27. Memphis Grizzlies Jon Brockman PF Washington
(from Orlando)

They will regret the availibility of Darren Collison. As they cannot use Tyreke Evans at the three. They will find an undersized four who can win the putback race.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves Darren Collison PG UCLA
(from Boston)

This is a win for the Timberwolves. They get Collison as a one, they can move Curry into the myth of the Dwyane Wade 2. And the team gets an A+. Bill Simmons will piss on this draft.

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Omri Casspi SF Tel Aviv

Considering what they need? Casspi allows for them not to have to overpay for Ariza. Not that Ariza is a bad player? Just that the savvy play is to take Casspi. Or not. It’s 4:15 A.M. I shouldn’t be doing this.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers: Marcus Thornton SG LSU

You have a guy who took the offense of a second round NCAA Tournament team on his back. All he has to do is be the third option here. He can do that.

And I am spent. Why did I do this. Because I love you.

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