ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

Postby JSM on Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:18 pm

ESPN The Magazine wrote:As the NBA draft nears, The Mag's fine stable of writers tracked down a player representative from every team with a pick in the first round to participate in a full mock draft of the first 30 picks. Check out their selections below and enjoy Doug Gottlieb's analysis of the first 20 players picked.

1. Clippers/Ricky Davis select ...

Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma

"He can give us a boost right away because he fits our style. He can step out and face bigs, and he can get inside. We need to push the ball and let Baron Davis do what he does best. Blake fits that," says forward Ricky Davis. "It's time for a change, and a No. 1 pick is the change we're looking for."

Doug Says: "Griffin is a no-brainer pick."

2. Grizzlies/Rudy Gay select ...

Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut

"He's a Husky," former UConn star and current Memphis forward Rudy Gay says of the 7'3" Thabeet. "He blocks shots, and like every team, we need a big man. He came from nothing and has turned into a really good player. I know because I saw him as a freshman."

Doug Says: "Thabeet isn't the best player in the draft, but he's definitely the best center."

3. Thunder/Russell Westbrook select ...

James Harden, SG, Arizona State

"He can handle, shoot and he's athletic. And he was in a good system at Arizona State," says guard Russell Westbrook, who likes the makeup of the 6'5" Harden. But don't get Westbrook started on sliding to the 2 so Oklahoma City can tap Spanish star Ricky Rubio. Says he: "You trippin'."

Doug Says: "Harden is the most refined two-guard in the lottery, but he'll have to learn to play at the next level."

4. Kings/Spencer Hawes select ...

Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut

"Wow, I thought he'd be off the board by now," says center Spencer Hawes. "There hasn't been a player with his passing ability or court vision since Magic. You'd think a skinny [6'4", 180], young [18] guy would be a liability on defense, but his anticipation skills could really help our team."

Doug Says: "I love Rubio. He wont last this long, but if he does ... "

5. Wizards/Antawn Jamison select ...

DeMar DeRozan, G/F, USC

"He reminds me of Vince Carter as a Tar Heel -- the body, build, and athleticism," says forward Antawn Jamison, who played with VC in Chapel HIll. "He could've been a top pick if we didn't have the age limit. But he'll benefit from the veterans, and in two or three years, he can be a household name."

Doug Says: "DeRozan has a chance to be special. Let's hope he can develop better habits than Gilbert Arenas."

6. Timberwolves/Kevin Love select ...

Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma

"We need a good 3, but since DeMar and Harden are off the board, I like Brandon," says forward Kevin Love. "I admire his passing, and I've been on the good -- and bad -- end of ones that resulted in dunks. Plus, he's a lefty, which makes him unorthodox and a tough matchup."

Brandon Says:"Kevin and I played AAU together, and we ran through teams led by Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo. I think the fit with Minny would be good."

Doug Says: "I've seen this movie before. It was called Stephon Marbury."

7. Warriors/Ronny Turiaf select ...

Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina

"He's a tough-minded kid, can score in many ways and is an outstanding passer," says center Ronny Turiaf. "Ty can fill the point guard position and allow Monta Ellis to get out on fast breaks. He's also an underrated defender. I can see Ty becoming a smaller version of Chauncey Billups."

Doug Says: "Um, no. Lawson will be a terrific backup, but shouldn't go anywhere near this high."

8. Knicks/Quentin Richardson select ...

Stephen Curry, G, Davidson

"Curry led the nation in scoring. He's smart and fits perfectly in our system," says guard Quentin Richardson. "He may be a bit small [6'3", 185] but the dude is a giant on the court. He played with his pops, Dell, when he was a kid and really learned from him. Dell was a killer from outside."

Doug Says: "Curry can really shoot and will put people in the seats, but can they really win with him?"

9. Raptors/Anthony Parker select ...

Tyreke Evans, SG, Memphis

Evans' scoring and athletic ability won over fellow shooting guard Anthony Parker. "You can never have enough athletic scorers at the 2 in this league. He'll benefit from playing with a point like Jose Calderon, who will put him in position to score easy buckets."

Tyreke Says: "Toronto is a good situation, But i could see myself in the top five -- easy. Honestly, I'm glad the players don't get to pick."

Doug Says: "Sure, Evans can get to the rim whenever he wants, but can he finish?"

10. Bucks/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute select ...

Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse

"He's a very good point guard with athleticism, toughness and leadership qualities -- remember the Big East tournament?" opines small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. "Besides, depending on Ramon Sessions' contract situation, we may need a point guard, which is why I'd go for Jonny."

Doug Says: "Flynn is a Kevin Johnson-type player who always competes."

11. Nets/Josh Boone select ...

Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville

"The word is he's a toss-up, but watching him and playing against him, I think he's going to do very well in the NBA," says center Josh Boone "He runs the floor extremely well and is a great finisher on the break and in the halfcourt, which would fit in well with our up-tempo system."

Doug Says: "Williams is a good player who makes those around him better, but still a bit of a reach at this slot."

12. Bobcats/Ray Felton select ...

Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona

"He's a scorer and can spread the floor for us," point guard Ray Felton says of Budinger, who put up 18 ppg last season. "We've got Raja Bell. Add another deep threat and away we go. Chase is also athletic and runs, so he'll fit in perfectly since that's my game. I love to run."

Doug Says: "Budinger can really shoot but guards no one. He'd probably struggle with Larry Brown."

13. Pacers/Danny Granger select ...

Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona

"We need an athletic big man," says All-Star small forward Danny Granger. "Even though he's raw, I think he can help us right away. Sometimes you have guys who are polished but they lack size or athleticism. He's got both of those gifts, so it's just a matter of time. He's got a lot of potential."

Doug Says: "An absolute steal this late. Hill is active, can really rebound and, best of all, is low-maintenance."

14. Suns/Grant Hill select ...

Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke

Without even spying the board, forward Grant Hill went with his loyalties. "I gotta go with my man from Duke, but Gerald's a Dukie who can play. He's 6'5" and athletic. The way we play up and down, he'll fit in well with Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire and our young guys."

Gerald Says: "I worked out for Phoenix and I thought it went well, so there's a shot if I'm still on the board I could end up there -- but I'd like to go higher."

Doug Says: "Henderson looks like Kobe and plays like a smaller, less-skilled Kobe, but will still be solid."

15. Pistons/Will Bynum select ...

Omri Casspi, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

"He's not going to back down from anybody," says guard Will Bynum. "Plus, he doesn't mind doing the little things on the court it takes to win. Those are traits we're known for in Detroit, so he's a good fit. And he can shoot, handle it and pass. What more could you want?"

Doug Says: "Casspi plays hard and is everything heart-wise that Darko was not."

16. Bulls/Lindsey Hunter select ...

DeJuan Blair, C/PF, Pittsburgh

"He's just a flat-out beast inside," says guard Lindsey Hunter. "He brings that brute force that could help us down low right now, on offense and defense. I saw him play UConn, and he owned Hasheem Thabeet. But I like his soft touch around the basket. He's got the potential to score, too."

Doug Says: "His knees are definitely a question, but Blair is a beast."

17. 76ers/Donyell Marshall select ...

Eric Maynor, PG, VCU

"With Andre Miller a free agent and not knowing if he's going to re-sign, I'd select Maynor," says forward Donyell Marshall. At 6'3", Maynor's height is an advantage for a point guard, Marshall says. Another advantage: Backup Lou Williams has little experience at point.

Doug Says: "Maynor is a leader and a good mid-range shooter and will develop into a solid NBA player."

18. Timberwolves/Kevin Love select ...

Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga

"Austin's got potential," says Kevin Love. "He's a guy you can gamble on, like Anthony Randolph in Golden State. His upside is, at 6'10", he's going to get better." The question is whether he'll get better in college or the NBA. He hasn't signed with an agent and might return to Gonzaga.

Doug Says: "Daye is a project with upside, but he'll need to spend some time in the D-League."

19. Hawks/Mario West select ...

Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech

[Ed.'s Note: When West gave his pick for this Mag feature, Lawal was still eligible for the 2009 NBA draft.]

"Of course, Gani is a fellow Yellow Jacket," says guard Mario West. "He reminds me of my teammate Al Horford: strong and really active in the paint. Plus, being a walk-on who went undrafted before making the league, I enjoy watching the draft and seeing guys get that opportunity."

Doug Says: "This would have been a good pick if Gawal were still in the draft."

20. Jazz/Kyle Korver select ...

Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA

"An important factor in any player we add is an unselfish mentality and high basketball IQ," says swingman Kyle Korver. "Holiday has both and he likes to get after it on defense, making him a good fit for us. And at 6'4", he's versatile enough to play point or shooting guard."

Jrue Says: "I don't know why I fell that far, but I like the Jazz. Thank you, Kyle Korver. I got you. You'll be going for 30 every night."

Doug Says: "If Holiday were to fall to the Jazz, it would be the deal of the century. Jrue would make Deron Williams the best PG in the league."

21. Hornets/Tyson Chandler select ...

Earl Clark, G/F, Louisville

"Earl's length and energy will help us on both ends of the floor. I think he'll fit in, because we lack an explosive wing who can start a fast break," says center Tyson Chandler. "You know, I almost went with B.J. Mullens, the center from Ohio State, but I feel like we can pick up a big in free agency."

22. Mavericks/Josh Howard select ...

James Johnson, PF, Wake Forest

"James can do it all. He has size [6'8", 235] and speed, and he can play defense. He also went to Wake!" says forward Josh Howard, a fellow Demon Deacon. What Howard's really going to like is an athletic big man on the Mavs' second unit who can run with José Juan Barea and Jason Terry.

23. Kings/Spencer Hawes select ...

Jon Brockman, PF, Washington

Being a Husky homer is a nonissue for center Spencer Hawes: "Jon is a rebounding monster. He had 50-something career double-doubles. Folks say he's under- sized [6'7", 255], but he's got the best motor of anyone I've ever run with. And we've got tall guys; what we need is bulk."

24. Blazers/Joel Przybilla select ...

Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina

"Hansbrough has been a winner all four years at North Carolina. We're a team that could use the maturity of a player like that," says center Joel Przybilla. "We could also use another frontcourt player who is physical and plays hard. You can never have enough bigs."

25. Thunder/Russell Westbrook select ...

B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State

With Stephen Curry off the table, Russell Westbrook thinks big will be best for the Thunder's second pick. "Mullens is a good rebounder and a big [seven feet, 275], strong presence inside. The way we're playing, we need help inside with rebounding and defense. That's the key for us."

26. Bulls/Lindsey Hunter select ...

Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina

"He's by far one of the best shooters in the draft," says reserve sniper Lindsey Hunter. "Coming off a pick, stop and pop, or catch and shoot, he's going to knock it down. He was great at Carolina, but now he'll have to create off the dribble. If he can do that, he'll be a force."

27. Grizzlies/Rudy Gay select ...

DaJuan Summers, F, Georgetown

You can't say Rudy Gay isn't steady. He chose fellow UConn alum Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2, and here Gay picks the Big East and size again with Summers (6'8", 240). "DaJuan can play multiple positions for us. Plus, he's from Baltimore, so you know he's tough!" says Gay, a B-More native.

28. Timberwolves/Kevin Love select ...

Josh Heytvelt, PF/C, Gonzaga

Here's the pick that completes the KG 7-for-1 deal with the Celts in 2007. Back then, Kevin Love was finishing up high school in Oregon. "Being from the Northwest, I've seen Josh play," Love says. "He can help as an inside presence and give us depth in our frontcourt rotation."

29. Lakers/Jordan Farmar select ...

Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh

"Phil Jackson likes long, strong, athletic players and that's Sam," guard Jordan Farmar says. "He can shoot from long range or take it to the basket. Plus, he played for Jamie Dixon, a protégé of Ben Howland, my coach at UCLA. So he cares about defense."

Sam Says: "I'm figuring to go between 15 and 25, but i'd love to be in LA with Kobe. Wow, that would be a dream."

30. Cavaliers/Daniel Gibson select ...

Derrick Brown, PF, Xavier

"I'm rolling with Derrick Brown, from Xavier. He's an Ohio native," says guard Daniel Gibson. "But what I like is he's a versatile player who would help us with his Lamar Odom-like skills and shooting ability. He'll open up the floor, and add to a roster that is already full of playmakers."

Evans dropping to 9? And this is why not every player is cut out to be a GM. And Hopefully Jamison is never a GM.
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Re: ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

Postby Ras Algethi on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:10 pm

LOL, I'm not surprised Farmar didn't pick a PG.
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Re: ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

Postby Goozer on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:34 pm

LOL I had the same initial reaction
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Re: ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

Postby laakers on Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:44 pm

Same here, haha i found it weird when players picked someone of their own position. this is pretty cool thanks for posting.
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Re: ESPN: Mock Draft Conducted By NBA Players

Postby GoldHammish on Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:53 am

i lol'd at:
Farmar: "he played for my coach at UCLA. So he cares about defense."
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