Hey guys, this is my first crack at the ever-popular mock draft, doing the entire first round. Lemme know what you think, especially regarding the Knicks pick because that's one where everybody seems to have a different opinion on. (Note: Thanks to mightykingcrayo for filling me in on a crucial mistake, all better now)
1. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose - PG - Memphis - You look at the talent that Chicago has up and down their roster, and you look at the needs they gotta fill, point guard has to be at the top of that list. Michael Beasley's talent is undeniable, but as far as forwards go, I think they're too committed to Luol Deng and Ty Thomas at the 3 and 4, and their inconsistency at the point guard position has a total need for them to take DRose.
2. Miami Heat - Michael Beasley - SF/PF - Kansas State - With Rose off the board, they'll gladly take a much-needed scorer to take some of the load off of Dwyane Wade. Also, with Beasley on board, they'll have a solid core of three players: Wade, Marion, and Beasley to help build the team around.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves - Brook Lopez - C - Stanford - This team has started every single player they have last season, so they need consistency more than anything. Rashad McCants is getting better so he's their 2-guard of the future, and Foye seems to be their choice for future point guard. Also, they're dedicated to Corey Brewer considering they took him in the top 10 last season, and while Al Jefferson is the [expletive], he is a power-forward, not a center. So they need a true center and Lopez can provide that for him, oozing with potential which a young team needs and loves.
4. Seattle/Oklahoma City Supersonics/Tornados - Jerryd Bayless - PG/SG - Arizona - God knows where this team is going to be next season, but one this is certain: if your starting guard rotation involves Earl Watson, a 6-9 140 pound rookie who really isn't a guard, and Damien Wilkins, you aren't going to win very many games. Bayless gives them help at both guard positions depending on where they play him and his scoring ability can help take some of the load off of Kevin Durant.
5. Memphis Grizzlies - OJ Mayo - PG/SG - USC - The [expletive]fest known as the Grizzlies need major help. They could go with a forward here, but with Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick already there, I think guard and center is a bigger need for them. They have a lot of young good guards like MC Jr., Javaris Crittenton, Juan Carlos Navarro, and Kyle Lowry, but they've had no consistency at that position, so Mayo could be that guy for them.
6. New York Knicks - Joe Alexander - SF/PF - West Virginia - One major sleeper in this draft, Alexander can help the Knicks establish a true smallball team, having him at the power forward, Lee at center, and Wilson Chandler at the 3-spot. They'll have to make quite a bit of moves to really run with this roster, but Alexander can provide an opportunity for the Knicks to not suck for the future.
7. LA Clippers - Russell Westbrook - PG/SG - UCLA - With the Clippers having their frontcourt well established with Thornton-Brand-Kaman, they need to look to help in their backcourt. Whether Corey Maggette will be a Clipper all of next season and if Shaun Livingston will come back strong, if at all, are both pressing questions for the Clippers, so picking up Westbrook to play at the 1 or the 2 would be a good move for them.
8. Milwaukee Bucks - Danilo Gallinari - SF/PF - Italy - The Milwaukee Bucks are just a big question mark in general. God knows what they're going to do with this pick, but Charlie Vilanueva and Desmond Mason are probably not their longterm answer at the 3-spot, so they'll take Gallinari and he'll refuse to play for them probably. Can't say I blame him.
9. Charlotte Bobcats - Anthony Randolph - SF/PF - LSU - The Bobcats are going to be a good team. They have a good young point guard (Raymond Felton), a good scoring leader (J-Rich), a star forward who can do it all at this point (Gerald Wallace) and a young big man who people are hating on now for no reason (Emeka Okafor). 4 of the 5 keys for success. Now, they need a solid forward who can spread the floor for them and take some of the scoring load off of their stars. Look for Charlotte to make the playoffs next season.
10. New Jersey Nets - Kevin Love - PF - UCLA - Sean Williams may very well be their center of the future, instead of power forward because who knows if Nenad can get it done there. With Williams at the 5, Love can come in and have an immediate impact at the power forward spot.
11. Indiana Pacers - Eric Gordon - SG - Indiana - Mike Dunleavy Jr. is not a shooting guard and he certainly is not a starting player in the NBA. They'll take Gordon both to solidify their shooting guard position and take the "hometown" favorite so maybe people will care about the team again. But people won't care about you guys again.
12. Sacramento Kings - Donte Green - SF/PF - Syracuse - Who knows if Artest is going to be there or not next season, and the Kings are pretty solid at the PG, SG, and C spot, so they need help at the forward which Green can provide.
13. Portland Trailblazers - DJ Augustin - PG - Texas - Many have the Blazers taking a center at this spot to back up Greg Oden, but I think that the Blazers can't get too far with Steve Blake running their show. And that's not a knock on Blake who is a good point guard, he just isn't the floor general to help take a team to the next level in a loaded Western Conference. But DJ Augustin is.
14. Golden State Warriors - DeAndre Jordan - C - Texas A&M - For a team that is loaded with swingmen and combo-guards, they really need more depth at the center spot to compete with the big-men in the West. Sadly, my boy Patrick O'Bryant isn't getting it done as much as I wanted him to, so they may look to this young, potential-filled lad to back up Biedrins.
15. Phoenix Suns - Chris Douglas-Roberts - SG/SF - Memphis - Phoenix needs help on defense. Getting rid of Shawn Marion was kind of a knuckle-headed move which puts them in need of a guy who can defend the opposing 2s and 3s. CDR is that guy, and while this is a little high for him, Phoenix really needs a player like him.
16. Philadelphia 76ers - Darrell Arthur - PF - Kansas - Doing this pick can open up a lot of options for Philly. They can move Iguodala to the shooting guard, Thaddeus Young to the 3 and Arthur at power forward. Or they can move Young to the bench and keep their starting lineup from last season with Arthur starting at the 4. If Dalembert gets traded, Arthur may be able to fill in at center, but that could be a reach.
17. Toronto Raptors - Nicolas Batum - SG/SF - France - Toronto loves international players, which Batum is. He's young and can start out as a backup to Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon until Toronto feels he's ready to be a starter. Putting him at small forward can move Andrea Bargnani to power forward which is more his natural position.
18. Washington Wizards - JaVale McGee - C - Nevada - Wizards have been in need of a real center since like Wes Unseld. Brendan Haywood has gotten better this season, but he simply can't be the starting center on a team that seriously wants to win the finals. McGee is an intriguing prospect who can start out backing up Haywood, but has the potential to be a big part of this team's future.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Brandon Rush - SG/SF - Kansas - Cleveland's gotta put some real talent around LeBron James and Wally Szczerbiak or Sasha Pavolvic as the starting shooting guard simply won't get it done. Rush has the ability to start next to James and do well in that role with the other two as backups, or work slowly into the offense, but be a very good reserve rookie.
20. Denver Nuggets - Mario Chalmers - PG - Kansas - The Denver Nuggets have been starting Anthony Carter at the point guard spot for this season. Which means that they need a lot of help at the point guard spot. Chalmers is a good defender, something the Nuggets need on the perimeter, and he's not a bad passer. Turnovers could use some work though, but that goes for the entire Nuggets team.
21. New Jersey Nets - Roy Hibbert - C - Georgetown - Getting both Arthur and Hibbert solidifies the frontcourt for the Nets for years to come when you put them along with Nenad and Williams.
22. Orlando Magic - Davon Jefferson - SG/SF - USC - Maurice Evans and Keith Bogans have been the Magic starters at the shooting guard spot this season. Which means they need a goddamn shooting guard. Jefferson is kind of a sleeper, but his athleticism and potential can be big for the Magic in the future.
23. Utah Jazz - Jason Thompson - PF/C - Rider - As much as I love Memo Okur, the Jazz need a traditional big man if they want to win the finals. Not necessarily a new starting center, but another big man, one who plays like a big man should, to give matchup problems for other teams. Thompson can be a great backup for Okur and can fill in well when the Jazz need extra help in the low post.
24. Seattle Supersonics - Kosta Koufos - C - Ohio State - The Seattle Supersonics have been drafting project centers for the last 5 or so years now. Why change a perfectly good thing?
25. Houston Rockets - Robin Lopez - PF/C - Stanford - Although they continued their winning streak quite lovely after Yao went down, the injury has shown that the Rockets need a real big man as their reserve, not an undersized power forward being thrust in the role. Lopez provides not only that, but also a high energy player when everybody is healthy for Houston.
26. San Antonio Spurs - Courtney Lee - SG - Western Kentucky - Michael Finley probably won't be with the Spurs much longer, Brent Barry is a question mark as well, so San Antonio needs to find a young wing player to take over for either of them. Lee is a great shooter and a solid defender, and that's all San Antonio needs out of any wing player.
27. New Orleans Hornets - Bill Walker - SG - Kansas State - Morris Peterson and Bonzi Wells have been their starting shooting guards for the season. Dammit, you get the point. Walker provides better depth at a position in which they lack it.
28. Memphis Grizzlies - Devon Harding - PF/C - California - It's still a question whether Darko can be a quality starting big man in the NBA and drafting Harding gives Memphis options in case he can't and depth in case he can.
29. Detroit Pistons - Marreese Speights - PF - Florida - The Pistons have done well in the last draft with their 2 first round picks, getting two good young guards. Now they have to get younger and better at the forward spot. Speights may go higher, but with other teams needing guards and centers more, it's very likely that he falls to Detroit.
30. Boston Celtics - Nathan Jawai - C - Australia - With PJ Brown's retirement imminent, the Celtics need help at the backup center spot. Powe and Big Baby are good, but they're power forwards and undersized at the center spot, so they need a true center to back up Perkins. Jawai isn't the most polished of all players, but he'll give them defense and another big body, which will be just fine.
From The Four Point Play