The NBA Draft is Thursday night and like everyone else, I’ve made my predictions. I am getting ready for the horrible suits, the draft picks making David Stern look like Verne Troyer, the analysts faking amazement, a foreign guy being selected in the 2nd round that no one knows, and the New York Knicks making a mockery of the entire process. The talent in the draft is very deep this year, so I am looking for a lot of trades.
1. Bulls – Derrick Rose, Memphis , PG – I don’t see any other scenario that the Bulls will not select Rose. Unless some offer comes available that they can’t refuse, Rose will be back home in Chicago.
2. Heat – Michael Beasley, Kansas State,PF – I know the Heat have been baiting the #2 pick out there to tempt a trade. Whoever ends up trading the Heat for this pick, will pick Beasley. If the Heat decide to keep it, look for either O.J. Mayo or Jerryd Bayless’s name to be called.
3. Twolves – O.J. Mayo, USC, G – Minnesota was unlucky during the Lottery draft, but they could end up with something really nice here. Mayo is a scorer and will help distribute the ball to Al Jefferson, who is bound to have a break-out season.
4. Sonics – Jerryd Bayless, Arizona, G – Bayless is one of those names that is on the rise the week before the draft. He did well in the individual workouts
5. Grizzlies – Eric Gordon, Indiana, G – I was a huge fan of Gordon at the beginning of the college season last year, but then he fell off. I know he had a wrist injury that bothered him, but I think he has a bit of an attitude and didn’t take to Dan Dakich after Sampson was dismissed. He could end up being a Gilbert Arenas-like player, but he could also end up being Shawn Respert.
6. Knicks – Danilo Gallinari, Italy, SF – I know there is history between D’Antoni and Gallinari’s father, but it would be hard for the Knicks to pass up on Russell Westbrook here too. Gallinari would be playing David Lee’s position and we like Lee a lot.
7. Clippers – Russell Westbrook, UCLA, G – The Clippers are in need of a point guard and this seems to be a pretty good fit. They need someone to distribute the ball to a healthy Elton Brand. If Bayless is still here, I could see them taking him or moving up to acquire Bayless.
8. Bucks – Joe Alexander, West Virginia, SF – I know the Pacers would love to have Alexander, but he will not fall to #11. Alexander is a high-energy guy that should play well with Andrew Bogut and Yi.
9. Bobcats – Brook Lopez, Stanford, C – I know Kevin Love is still available, but Lopez would fit with Emeka Okafor a little better. The duo of Okafor/Lopez would be a defensive show every night. I could see them being a David Robinson/Tim Duncan-like duo defensively, but I can see the Bobcats trading this pick since they already have a roster full of young guys.
10. Nets – Kevin Love, UCLA, PF – I know the Nets really like Brook Lopez, but Love isn’t bad for a consolidation prize. His offensive skills could stretch the defense and help Carter and Jefferson get some much-needed points in the paint (We know those boys like to dunk).
11. Pacers – Kosta Koufos, Ohio State, C – The Pacers could be stretching a little with picking Koufos this high, but like him, from what I hear. He had some really good workouts and he finished the season strong for Ohio State with being named NIT MVP. This also fills the “white boy” quotient for the Pacers.
12. Kings – Roy Hibbert, Georgetown, C – The Kings would like to move Brad Miller to PF and by drafting Hibbert, it would help them solidify their front court. In the Western Conference, it is important to have some big bodies clogging the lane, Hibbert is wide enough to cover it himself, as long as Stephen Curry isn’t driving to the hole.
13. Blazers – Anthony Randolph, LSU, PF – The Blazers are not going to keep this pick, so I am picking Randolph to go at the #13 spot. A team that can afford to let Randolph sit on the bench of spend two seasons in the D-League will jump up and pick him. If the Blazers actually keep this pick, they will most likely go International and pick Alexis Ajinca from France. They already have a roster full of young big men and they can wait a few seasons before he comes to the U.S.
14. Warriors – Mario Chalmers, Kansas, PG – By picking Chalmers, the Warriors are saying bye-bye to Baron Davis. They are in need of a point guard since it is very unlikely that Davis will re-sign with the team.