Category Archives: Mock Draft

Vegan Fish Tacos First 2009 NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To those of you who are used to the format, welcome back.

For those who are not familiar with how I do draft work, here’s a short synopsis: I do two distinct mock drafts, one of which is the Predictions mock and the other which is what I would do if I were the GM of each team. For this time, I have not put in trades on either mock, but they will be in soon. After that, I have my 67 player deep Draft Board, which is a semi-exhaustive list of draft-eligible players. This year, that list includes a ton of guys who are eligible but declined to enter, so it gives a sort of prospective on who to keep an eye on and where those guys would stand.

At the outset, I’d like to note how bad of a draft we have this year. Below the Draft Board, I have included for the first time my tier rankings, which basically group players based on how good I think they will be in their prime. The most jarring part is that there is a total of one Tier 1 draft-eligible player (Rubio) and a very, very small number of Tier 2 guys. The number of fringe starters and rotation players is not horrendously off of the average draft, but the top being so weak pushes those players much higher this time. A good basic rule is that outside of the top few picks, moving everyone down 8 slots would put them where they would go in an above-average year.

Predictions Mock (no trades projected this time):

  1. LA Clippers– Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma. No surprises here. I don’t doubt that the Clippers are listening to offers, but I doubt they actually move the pick.
  2. Memphis Grizzlies– Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn. My take is that they see Rubio’s threat as credible (mostly because it is) and take the guy that is #2 on their board, which apparently is Mr. Thabeet.
  3. OKC Thunder– James Harden, SG, Arizona State. A much better fit between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, plus he still keeps the possibility alive of trading for Tyson Chandler, which is a serious possibility.
  4. Sacramento Kings– Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain. There would be no happier fanbase, and it has a serious likelihood of happening if Memphis passes (which I think they will). What Sacto needs to watch out for is being jumped by Minnesota, Golden State, or the Knicks, especially since Sam Presti has no problem accumulating assets coupled with the knowledge that neither the Kings nor the Wizards would realistically take Harden.
  5. Washington Bullets– Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona. The likely BPA on their board also makes sense if they are considering moving Antawn Jamison, as has been heavily rumored.
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves– Jrue Holliday, PG/SG, UCLA. An incredibly hard pick to project at this time, but they end up settling on Jrue because he is a good fit next to Randy Foye as a primary ballhandler with size. Honestly, there are about 5 guys who would not remotely surprise me at this pick, so we’ll have to wait and see.
  7. Golden State Warriors– Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy. If he is around, it would be genuinely shocking to see the Warriors go in any other direction should they have the pick.
  8. New York Knicks– Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson. There is ZERO chance that if Curry is around he falls past the Knicks. He is a solid fit off the bench for next season and as a starter once the 2010 class gets sorted out.
  9. Toronto Raptors– Tyreke Evans, SG/PG, Memphis. A pretty solid fit, though there is the possibility of DeJuan Blair if the Bosh situation clears itself up before draft day.
  10. Milwaukee Bucks– DeJuan Blair, PF, Pitt. If they are losing Charlie V (and signs indicate that they will), Blair is a natural fit next to Bogut. Obviously, PG is a possibility here, but I see them going after a more established PG like Kirk Hinrich over a rookie who is a little ways away.
  11. New Jersey Nets– Austin Daye, SF/PF, Gonzaga. Gives the Nets even more length on the perimeter and a guy who they can work along slowly as the rest of the team comes together.
  12. Charlotte Bobcats– Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke. If it were any other team, I’d have DeMar DeRozan here, but Charlotte has shown a penchant for taking guys like Henderson both under the Jordan regime and during the rest of Bob Johnson’s tenure with the team.
  13. Indiana Pacers– Earl Clark, PF/SF, Louisville. Considering the wealth of talent already on the Indiana roster, a flexibile guy like Clark who would be perfect in Obie’s system makes a great deal of sense. Don’t rule out a backcourt player here, but I think they like Ford and Rush enough to not rock the boat with another lotto pick.
  14. Phoenix Suns– DeMar DeRozan, SG, U$C. Because he’d be a great fit for their team and an absolute (perceived) bargain at this point.
  15. Detroit Pistons–  Terrance Williams, SG, Louisville. Williams screams “Dumars player” to me: he’s great defensively and is flexible enough to do a lot of different things as he retools their roster.
  16. Chicago Bulls– Jeff Teague, PG/SG, Wake Forest. The Bulls replace Ben Gordon with a younger, cheaper version.
  17. Philadelphia 76ers– Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse. Another big value pick, and a guy who can help the Sixers in both the short term and the long term.
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Miami)– Chase Buddinger, SG/SF, Arizona. With the Point Guard situation under control thanks to Holliday and Telfair, the next logical spots for the T-Wolves are a shot-blocking C or a swingman. Since the C pile is effectively empty, Buddinger becomes a logical choice.
  19. Atlanta Hawks– Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina. Oh man, this would lead to one of the most entertaining teams in the entire NBA. Lawson’s stock appears to be dropping, and with the PG’s sliding a little bit, Atlanta gets their backup who they can groom to take the reins.
  20. Utah Jazz– Eric Maynor, PG, Virginia Commonwealth. The Jazz finally get a bona fide backup for Deron Williams.
  21. New Orleans Hornets– BJ Mullens, C/PF, Ohio State. If they keep the pick, the Hornets HAVE to take some size to back up Chandler and West and to cover when they get hurt.
  22. Dallas Mavericks– James Johnson, SF/PF, Wake Forest. Mark Cuban gets the man who might be the heir apparent to Josh Howard from Josh’s alma mater.
  23. Sacramento Kings (via Houston)– Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina. With the PG spot locked down, Sacto gets a big man who can get some minutes for them.
  24. Portland Trailblazers– Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech. With the PG’s sort of at an awkward place for Portland, they take a good little PF that can become an immediate part of their rotation.
  25. OKC Thunder (via San Antonio)– Nick Calathes, SG/PG, Florida. Sam Presti clearly has no issue taking guys who are going to be abroad for a few years, and their roster flexibility allows them to get a guy who will be just nasty in a few years.
  26. Chicago Bulls (via Denver thru OKC)– Derrick Brown, PF, Xavier. The Bulls need big man depth, and Brown is probably the best option at this juncture.
  27. Memphis Grizzlies (via Orlando)– DaJuan Summers, SF, Georgetown. There is always the distinct possibility they take a PG here, but I see them as the frontrunners for guys like Sergio Rodriguez, so Summers makes sense as a Chris Wallace pick here.
  28. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Boston)– Victor Claver, PF/SF, Spain. The T-Wolves are adding enough new pieces as it is, so they can either keep Claver in Europe for a year or just bite the bullet and dump a 2010 expiring to bring him over now.
  29. LA Lakers– Sergio Llull, PG/SG, Spain. Seems like an awfully good fit in the Triangle for a team that needs productive PG play like nobody’s business.
  30. Cleveland Cavaliers– Sam Young, SF, Pitt. The BPA just happens to be the swingman that the Fightin’ Lebrons need.


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The Day Of- VFT NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

It’s the day of people! I wanted to put out a quickie revised Mock after all that has gone on

The Draft, Baby!

The Predictions Mock:
1. Chicago Bulls– Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis. The best decision for the Bulls to make, and the one they will do.

2. Miami Heat– Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State. The news of the Sonics/Clippers stuff makes this much clearer.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves– Kevin Love, PF, UCLA. OJ Mayo is commonly bandied around for this pick, and there is a rationale behind it. That said, I don’t see McHale as seeing a guy like OJ as being a good fit for the team and organization. One potential alternative would be the T-Wolves drafting Mayo anyway and just waiting for the trade offers, just like the leap of faith the NY Giants did when they drafted Phillip Rivers without knowing if the Chargers would go through on the trade. In the end, this should be about finding the best compliment for Al Jefferson, and Kevin is unquestionably that guy in this draft.

4. “Seattle Sonics”- OJ Mayo, SG/PG, U$C. Mayo would be an interesting wing man for Durant and be a pivotal part of their foundation. If Mayo goes #3, this pick will go to the Clippers, probably for them to take Eric Gordon, but it could be Russell Westbrook too.

5. Portland Trailblazers (via Memphis)– Russell Westbrook, SG/PG, UCLA. The trade here is Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins’ corpse, and the #5 pick for Raef’s expiring contract and #13. Gives the Grizzlies ownership more precious money and the Blazers get a great fit. Continue reading

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NBA Draft Day Notes: (Trades, Draft Notes, Rumors)

Our thoughts on some of the trades being rumored ahead of Thursday’s draft:

Portland trades Jarret Jack, Josh McRoberts, and Brandon Rush to Indiana for Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu.

Great trade for both sides. Rush is a great fit in Indiana, Bayless was a poor fit. Jack is a good backup point. Indians is having a great week.

Sonics and Clippers agree to swap picks should OJ Mayo be selected 3rd.

I don’t know whats included in this deal, but it seems like, if Mayo is off the board, the Sonics will be sending their #4 pick to the Clippers in exchange for the #7 pick. I’m sure there’s some compensation to make the deal worth it, besides the smaller amount of money that a rookie drafted at 7 would get.

Holy God: Marc Stein reports that the Nets are now ready to trade Richard Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks for Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian. SImmons is only signed through the 09/10 season (though at an atrocious $10 milion), and Yi is on his rookie contract, of course. Jefferson, on the other hand, is signed through the 10/11 season at $15 million. This is a huge trade that gives Milwakuee another scorerer (though Jefferson is wildly overpaid) and allows the Nets to develop a foreign star as well as shave years and dollars off their books. A wildly successful trade for New Jersey.

Peter Vescey is reporting that Ron Artest will in fact opt out of his contract with the Kings. New York will likely be a heavy suitor, and Artest has long said he wants to play there. For Sacramento, drafting a PG like Augustin will still be a priority, but depending on how the Knicks view ther chances of signing him, their draft/trade strategy might change, with players like Balkman and Lee becoming more expendable.

New Jersey sends the #10 pick and a future 1st to Memphis for the #5 pick.

Basically, Memphis wants out of the #5. I don’t know why, but its Chris Wallace, so I’m not going to try to figure it out. The trade makes sense for New Jersey, who can get a Gallinari or Kevin Love (should Minnesota not take him).

Portland sends the #13 pick and Jarret Jack to New Jersey for Marcus Williams and the #10 pick.

This is an intriguing trade idea, the Nets acquire a good backup point guard, the Blazers take a flier on Marcus Williams, whose option they can decline next year (instead of Jack who has a qualifying offer and therefore would require a cap-hold that would hamstring their salary cap flexibility). With the 10 pick, the Blazers can select one of the better guards available, probably landing DJ Augustin, since most projections have him going to Sacramento at #12. The Nets, on the other hand, can still take one of the many forwards projected for the mid-teens.

Overall: I like this trade. The Nets can use another versatile forward, and picking at #13 does not diminish their ability to select one. So why not get a backup point guard in Jack while they’re at it? For Portland, they can acquire a DJ Augustin level point guard and increase their future salary cap flexibility.

 

Heat trade Shawn Marion and the #2 pick to Los Angeles for Elton Brand and the #7:

This trade sounds a little desperate to me. Brand is an incredible talent and I’m confident he’ll regain his previous playing form, but the Heat don’t need another PF, that’s why they’re trading out of the 2 pick to begin with. Of course, trading Haslem is always a possibility, and there are a lot of teams who would want him, but after picking up Elton Brand, the Heat would lose some leverage there too. For the Clippers, this is a great trade. They probably draft Beasley to play the 4, insert Marion at 3, and run last year’s draft pick, Al Thornton off the bench and sometimes at the 2. With Kaman having a breakout season last year, all they need is a sure-handed point guard, and could sign Beno Udrih at the MLE to put them back in contention.

Overall: I like this trade, but not as much for the Heat as for the Clippers.

Just in: Evidently Denver is trading out of this draft (like the Hornets did yesterday with the Blazers).They’re sending their #20 pick to Charlotte, in exchange for a future first, with no word on potential conditions attached to that pick. According to DraftExpress, Charlotte is keen on taking Roy Hibbert with the 20 pick, though his stock has been rising so much recently, he might not last that long.

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One Week Out Vegan Fish Tacos NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

We’re less than a week away folks, and I’ll try to hammer out predictions and opinion pieces throughout the week and of course an insanely long Draft Review either Thursday night or Friday morning. I’m also going to try to be more specific about player movement on my Draft Board, so check it out. The meat of my talent evaluation is there, should that interest you, oh valued reader

The Draft, Baby!

The Predictions Mock:
1. Chicago Bulls– Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis. The best decision for the Bulls to make, and the one they will do.

2. “Seattle Sonics” (via Miami Heat)– Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State. I was on this long before it was reported, and it makes a ton of sense for both parties. The most sensical trade to me is Wilcox, #4, and one or two of the Sonics’ million 2nd rounders for Alexander Johnson, Marcus Banks, Joel Anthony (for cap purposes) and #2. It would make sense for both parties if there was a way to get Ridnour in on it too, but the problem is that he makes too much money and the Heat have no $4-6m contracts of players they could move, unless Haslem works for them. I don’t like Beasley in a variety of situations, but playing with his good friend (and competitive dude) Kevin Durant would keep him on his game even when the Sonics are having a tough 2 years.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves– Kevin Love, PF, UCLA. OJ Mayo is commonly bandied around for this pick, and there is a rationale behind it. That said, I don’t see McHale as seeing a guy like OJ as being a good fit for the team and organization. One potential alternative would be the T-Wolves drafting Mayo anyway and just waiting for the trade offers, just like the leap of faith the NY Giants did when they drafted Phillip Rivers without knowing if the Chargers would go through on the trade. In the end, this should be about finding the best compliment for Al Jefferson, and Kevin is unquestionably that guy in this draft.

4. Miami Heat (via Seattle)- OJ Mayo, SG/PG, U$C. Mayo probably is the second-best fit for this current Heat squad. Why the trade makes sense is that it gives them a C in Wilcox who can eat up some valuable minutes (and contribute) and unloading Marcus Banks’ deal gives them additional flexibility to bring in some help wherever they feel it’s necessary.

5. Memphis Grizzlies– Brook Lopez, C/PF, Memphis. Lots of people talk about this as a PF pick, but I really don’t see them as being sold on Darko as their C of the future, so they take the player who is the BPA at this slot and would really allow them some flexibility to find their PF, either in this draft or further on down the line. Also, moving Darko to the bench allows them to have more control over his minutes and can put him in situations which better help his confidence. Continue reading

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Brand New Vegan Fish Tacos NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

Be sure to check below- the Draft Board has new comments and features for players in this draft.


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The Predictions Mock:
1. Chicago Bulls– Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis. The right pick, and the best pick for the long-term future of the franchise.

2. “Seattle Sonics” (via Miami Heat)– Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State. There are a ton of different ways this trade could work, but something like Ridnour, Wilcox, and the #4 for #2, D. Cook, and a salaries to match (S+T J-Williams or R. Davis, or Blount) would fit the bill.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves– Brook Lopez, C, Stanford. In the end, it seems like McHale will go with a big, and Brook allows the T-Wolves to essentially run a 3-man rotation with Big Al, Brook, and Craig Smith for the time being, which is pretty potent.

4. Miami Heat (via Seattle)- OJ Mayo, SG/PG, U$C. Mayo probably is the second-best fit for this current Heat squad, and the ability to pull some extra talent could help them pull out of their rut much faster.

5. Memphis Grizzlies– Kevin Love, PF, UCLA. Why? Because he’s Chris Wallace, baby! He can run an all-white frontcourt if he wants to! Continue reading

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Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

It’s time for an update!

This time, the “If I Were the GM” Mock Draft gets the substantive comments and for the first time, I’ll consider trades that as I see fit (though it’s still too early to project them in the prediction mock). Just to clarify, the first list is what I would do in a perfect world, the second is what I expect to happen.

1. Chicago BullsDerrick Rose, PG, Memphis. This blog (specifically me) will discuss this excessively over the next two months, but Rose is the best pick because he is a far better prospect and a perfect fit for the fast-paced system they damn well better be implementing even without D’Antoni. In an up and down game, the core of Rose/Deng/Tyrus/Noah gains nastiness, and Hinrich and Gordon can either be used as assets in trades or kept and used in different roles. Oh, and for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT HIRE AVERY IF YOU DRAFT ROSE. Athletic PG + Avery’s system = Bust-o-rama

2. Oklahoma City Fightin’ TBA’s (via Miami Heat)– Brook Lopez, C/PF, Stanford. Lots of zany options here. One of the weirdest possible scenarios my brain has cooked up in the past few hours is the Heat trading down from this pick a few times (picking up assets), then moving that pick to Chicago for Hinrich. Would be bizarre to see the teams with the top two picks make a swap not involving either selection. That said, I really don’t see the Heat’s use for Beasley, as both Marion and Haslem are better fits as 4’s depending on what system they run, and neither is a 5. Where they run into a problem is that the best non-Rose fit is Brook Lopez, but it’s hard to trade down from here and get him since he’s probably the #3 player on most team’s boards. As such, the Sonics give up some pieces (Chris Wilcox, Earl Watson, whatever- I’ll work out the trade in the next week or so) and the Heat get a good fit soon enough.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves– Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State. He would make sense next to Al Jefferson up in Minnesota, though I worry about the “content to be a good player on a bad team” issue, which could loom large on what will likely be a bad team for most if not all of Beasley’s rookie contract. Still the BPA here.

4. Miami Heat (via OKC)– OJ Mayo, SG/PG, U$C. As much as I dislike Mayo, he’d be an amazing fit in Miami as a scorer and defender of PG’s next to Mr. Wade. The Juice Deuce could be a very nice off- the-ball scorer and also alleviate the need to overpay a true PG, which is somewhat unnecessary next to Wade anyway (not that any are available besides Calderon who isn’t really available).

5. Memphis Grizzlies– Kevin Love, PF/C, UCLA. He would be a nasty, nasty player in their up-tempo system, often acting as a second distributor on the floor who could hit their speedy guys (like Conley, who is an underrated finisher) and rebound until they get a good C like the Pau they donated to the Lakers or Blake Griffin. Continue reading

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New NBA Mock Draft and Draft Board

This time, I’m giving the bulk of my writing attention to my prediction mock draft, but there will be my “if I were the GM” mock draft as well as an updated draft board below that.
As a note before beginning, one thing that’s fun about the NBA is that the playoffs have zero effect on the draft order, which makes doing mocks easier and can create fun situations where teams overperforming don’t change where they pick.

1. Miami Heat– Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State. Some people will put Mr. Rose here, but Pat Riley’s quest for Jose Calderon (as well as his history) bears out that he likes more experienced PG’s. Plus, if they could get a guy like Beasley, they could run a Marion/Beasley SF/PF combo that would just dominate in the East if they get the right PG.

2. Oklahoma City “Bombers” (aka the Ex-Sonics)– Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis. Just like last year, the Sonics could be sitting at #2 doing backflips at who is on the board. Rose gives them the PG for an up and down team, which also gives them more freedom to play Durant and Green together (at the 3 and the 4, not the 2 and the 3, PJ). He is an absolute terror in the open floor, and they could then work to move some of their other assets (Nick Collison, one or both of Ridnour/Watson, and either Petro or Sene) to get a few better fit players.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves– Jerryd Bayless, SG/PG, Arizona. Doesn’t it just sound like McHale to take an undersized combo guard when compliments for Al Jefferson are on the board? Bayless is a fascinating combination of abilities, but I genuinely worry about what his position is, and while the SF/PF wall is breaking down thanks to the Phoenix influence, the PG/SG wall is still relatively strong for starters.

4. Memphis Grizzlies– Eric Gordon, SG, Indiana. See above. Gordon is a decent player, but I just don’t see Chris Wallace going for a stable, lew ceiling (or at least percieved so) player over a boom/bust guy. He could see Eric as the heir to the Mike Miller throne and a dangerous piece either off the bench or in the starting lineup long-term.

5. New York Knicks– Brook Lopez, C/PF, Stanford. Call it a gut instinct, but I don’t see Donnie Walsh taking a guy with any character red flags here- getting out of the Isiah era will be sort of like getting out of the Michael Vick era in Atlanta. The problem with taking Lopez here is that he isn’t a guy with the mental makeup for NYC. He’s a good kid, but I worry that the bright lights would be a little too much for the kid out of Fresno, at least starting his pro career. Also, there’s no chance they’d get Robin too, which would make the transition harder. Continue reading

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