Details From The Less Common Version Of The Dream Where I Win The Lottery
When the NBA draft lottery was announced, I told myself that I'd resist the temptation to join the masses with a mock draft. But like Charles Barkley saying he wouldn't gamble, I knew it wouldn't last long.
Rather than an actual prediction, which would be just as inaccurate as any of the other online experts, here instead are my selections, as I would make them if I were the GM of each team.
1. Chicago, Derrick Rose, PG
Looking at what Chris Paul has done for New Orleans, it would be tough to resist an electric, game-changing point guard like Rose. Giving the ball to Rose is like having another coach on the team. Or in Chicago's case, it's like actually having a coach on the team. Now if only they could find a team desperate enough to take Kirk Hinrich's contract.
2. Miami, Michael Beasley, PF
If Shawn Marion elects to stay- and I think he will once he realizes nobody will give him a big contract- then the triumvirate of Wade, Marion, and Beasley might be able to replace the Phoenix Suns as the team that can score a ton of points but not defend a soul. At least for two or three weeks until Wade is injured again, at which time, they'll just stink.
3. Minnesota, Jerryd Bayless, PG
The TWolves already have Randy Foye at point, but I don't think you can afford to pass up on a guy that can fill the statsheet like Bayless does. He caught a bit of the injury bug at Arizona, and you hope it doesn't follow him to the pros. Bayless will remind Minnesota fans of the Stephon Marbury days. That may not sound great, but these days, they'll take it.
4. Oklahoma City, OJ Mayo, PG/SG
It's awfully tempting to go with Brook Lopez here. Afterall, someone's got to get the rebound while Durant keeps chucking up shots. Lopez would look great next to Robert Swift, Saer Sene, and Johan Petro. But Mayo would be an interesting addition, as Mayo, Durant, and Green would be a very athletic nucleus to build on. Now if only someone could find a way to get Durant to play closer to the basket.
5. Memphis, Kevin Love, PF
Love is a bit of a reach here, but I'm making this pick solely for the entertainment value. Imagine all of the tv highlights and blog features your team would get everytime a tandem of fans was spotted in the stands wearing these jerseys:
It beats the current state of anonymity.
6. New York, Anthony Randolph, PF
Mike D'Antoni says he'll adjust his offense to his personnel, but I'm not buyin' it. Looking at the remaing players for the best player to fit his high octane, high energy system and the guys that stand out to me are Randolph, Chase Budinger and Russell Westbrook. Since Randolph has the size, I'll give the edge to him. He's not as strong as Amare Stoudamire, but he could fill that role, while Eddy Curry takes the Shaq role of oversized stiff clogging up the lane.
7. Los Angeles Clippers, Eric Gordon, PG/SG
With Shaun Levingston having more question marks than The Riddler, the Clippers need to address their backcourt. Gordon may not be a true point guard, but with Maggette's status an uncertainty, I'd pick someone with Gordon's range over the next best true point guard, DJ Augustin.
8. Milwaukee Bucks, Danilo Gallinari, PF
If I'm the GM for Milwaukee, my main goal is to try to get my team relocated, hopefully to Seattle to replace the displaced Sonics. What better way to accomplish that than to follow up a 1st rd pick of a player from China that none of my fans had seen before with a player from Italy that none of my fans have seen before? I'll be able to print up those travel plans to Seattle by the All-Star break.
9. Charlotte Bobcats, Brook Lopez, C
The Lopez slide finally comes to an end, and Charlotte gets a relative steal at #9 and a viable replacement for Okafor should the Bobcats decide to let him go. Now I just have to talk Michael Jordan into letting the team keep Lopez...assuming I'm able to find Jordan anywhere near team headquarters this summer.
10. New Jersey Nets, DJ Augustin, PG
Devin Harris is a decent player, but Augustin is a far more electric point guard. He's already played with a big time scorer in Kevin Durant, so he should adjust easily to playing alongside Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. (Note: I'm making this pick assuming that Marreese Speights is available at #21, but if Speights starts climbing other teams' boards, I consider pulling the trigger for him early at this slot.)
11. Indiana Pacers, Chase Budinger, SG/SF
With the city still reeling from the Ron Artest incident, I have to go with the best white player available. Then I can print out my season ticket forms with a photo of Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Budinger and the message, "It's safe to come back now." I'm not saying it's right, but well...it is Indiana.
12. Sacramento Kings, Russell Westbrook PG/SG
Ok, if I were really the GM for the Kings, I'd probably be blitzed out of my mind at The Palms and forget that draft day had even arrived. But assuming someone dragged me away from the casino or Playboy club long enough to call in my pick, it would be for the super athletic, but inconsistent shooting Westbrook. Lucky for me, my fans had six years of Mike Bibby, so they're used to a point guard hitting around 37% from 3 pt land.
13. Portland Trailblazers, Donte Green- TRADE
The only player that could make this roster is point guard, and they are all gone. So I package this pick with a player or three and try to pry Jose Calderon from Toronto. Otherwise, I might have to pull a Phoenix and just sell the pick for cash.
14. Golden State, DeAndre Jordan, C
Value pick here. Besides, I know I might be losing Don Nelson, Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, or Monta Ellis soon, so the style might change. The new coach might actually want a big man on the floor at some point, and right now, my only option is Adonal Foyle. That's not going to work. Koufos is another option here, but Jordan has more upside. Oh how we GMs love the upside.
I'm going to stop here. As you can see by my picks, I would most likely only be a GM of a team that was in the lottery. Any readers can feel free to leave their thoughts in the comments section. Any owners looking for someone to hire as a fall guy can email me directly.
Labels: NBA Draft