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Posted on: March 26, 2009 2:20 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2009 3:29 pm
 

The Rise and Fall of Planet Orange

I know it’s hard to accept, but even in the world of sports all good things must come to an end.  It’s been an exciting stretch for us Suns fans.  We have seen the unexpected, heard the unbelievable, and suffered the agony of disappointment.  It seems no one has had as bad of luck as us, and it’s reasonable to understand that.       

It’s tough to let go, and it’s tough to admit to the truth, so I thought we could go over the ups and downs of “Planet Orange.”  The sun might be setting, but the least we could do is look at those purple and orange skies and remind ourselves of the moments of our past.

It all started in 2003 when Mike D’Antoni became the coach of the Suns 21 games into the season.  The injury riddled team went 21-40 in that time and finished 6th in the pacific division.  During that same year General Manager Brian Colangelo traded Stephan Marbury, Cezary Trybanski, and Penny Hardaway to the Knicks in a deal that involved Antonio McDyess , Maciej Lampe, Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley, the rights of Milos Vujanic, a 2004 first round pick, and a future first rounder.

The 2004-2005 season is when the Suns became one of the most exciting teams in the NBA.  With off-season acquisitions of Quentin Richardson and Steve Nash, Colangelo gave Coach D’Antoni the perfect lineup to make his “7 seconds or less” style of offense the biggest craze of American basketball. 

The 04-05 regular season was one of the most successful the franchise had ever seen.   Richardson set the franchise record for 3-point field goals made, Nash won the Most Valuable Player award, Coach D’Antoni won the NBA coach of the year, Colangelo won Executive of the year, and the Suns tied a franchise record with 62 wins.  The regular season might have gone smooth, but a face injury to Joe Johnson may have cost them an NBA championship.  Phoenix ended up getting all the way to the Western Conference Finals, but fell 1-4 to the San Antonio Spurs.

During the 2005 off-season the Suns went through a major facelift.  They traded Richardson and first round pick Nate Robinson to the Knicks for Kurt Thomas and first round pick Dijon Thompson.  They also sent Joe Johnson in a three team sign and trade deal to the Atlanta Hawks for Boris Diaw and a conditional first round pick, and acquired James Jones from Indiana.  Their new-found hole at shooting guard led to the signing of Raja Bell.

Before the 2005-2006 season even began the Suns had a major problem.  Just off the best season of his career, fourth year player Amar’e Stoudemire had season ending knee surgery.  This knew opening had the Suns scrambling for a solution, and they eventually decided to start Thomas at center and Diaw at  forward.

Even with the loss of Stoudemire, the Suns went on to a 54-28 record and won the Pacific Division for the 2nd year in a row.  Nash also won his 2nd straight MVP award, and Diaw won the leagues Most Improves Player award.  The post season finished nearly the same as the last.  After reaching the WCF they lost to the Mavs in 6 games, arguably having their greatest postseason success.

There wasn’t much to speak of in the 2006 off-season.  Coach D’Antoni ended up becoming GM/Head Coach, the Suns sold whatever draft picks they did have, and mike D’Antoni ended up bringing on his brother, Dan D’Antoni, as a bench coach in place of the recently departed Mike Iaveroni.

The Suns started off the ’06-’07 season hot opening up with a 15 game winning streak.  Later that year they put on a streak of 17 games.  Nash was playing once again at an MVP level leading the Suns to a 61-21 record, but was beat out by Dirk Nowitzki who led his Mavericks to the best record in the NBA, only to be beat in the first round by the number 8 seed Golden State Warriors.

That year’s playoff run was one of the most controversial in Phoenix Suns history.  They defeated the Lakers with ease, but the next round proved to be fatal.  In game 3, the most pivotal in their series against the Spurs, Robert Horry hip checked Nash into the border between press row and the court.  Bell immediately got in Horry’s face, while Stoudemire and Diaw left the vicinity of the bench in order to get a closer look of the scuffle. 

The league ended up handing down suspensions to both Diaw and Stoudemire, as well as giving one to Horry.  The Spurs went on to win the series in six games along with the NBA championship, and Suns fans to this day still claim they were cheated out of a title.

In the 2007 offseason the Suns made a hiring that would soon change the shape of the franchise.  Steve Kerr, former NBA player and TNT broadcaster, was named by owner Robert Sarver as the new GM.  That off-season the Suns ended up making their first draft picks since 2003 when they selected Zarko Cabarkapa in the first round.  With their first pick they took Big Ten Player of the year Alando Tucker.  In the 2nd round they took D.J. Strawberry, son of former baseball player Darrel Strawberry.  Neither played much for their pro squad.

Just like the previous season, the Suns started out ’07-’08 as one of the top teams in the western conference, but disgruntled superstar Shawn Marion still wasn’t happy.  He felt he was deserving of a max contract, which typically goes to the league’s elite players, but Phoenix didn’t feel he was good enough to warrant that type of contract.  This little squabble proved to impact the franchise more than anyone would have thought at the time.

Right before the February trade deadline, GM Steve Kerr would end up making a controversial move.  He traded Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for the Big Diesel himself, Shaquille O’neal.  This had some fans screaming in fear and others gleaming with joy.  At the time of the deal the Suns were in first place in their conference, but by the end of the year they fell all the way to the 6th seed, but still were only 2.5 games back from the top spot.

In the first round of the playoffs Phoenix got matched up with the San Antonio Spurs, a team that had knocked them out of the postseason in three of the last five seasons.  The same would hold true in this series.  The first game went to overtime after Tim Duncan of all people made a three point shot to tie it up.  The Suns countered with one of their own in the first over time, but then the Spurs ended up getting the best of them.  Emotionally and physically drained, the Suns proved no match, losing to the Spurs in five games.

The following off-season is arguably what led to the beginning of the end.  Kerr requested to D’Antoni that he hire a defensive assistant coach, develop a bench, and be tougher on Stoudemire.  Not only did D’Antoni refuse to comply, he took it as an insult that Kerr would tell him how to do his job, even if the players were asking for the same thing.

D’Antoni then asked to be allowed to search for a new job.  He ended up choosing to coach the New York Knicks over the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls.  This triggered about a month long coaching search that ended in signing Terry Porter, friend and former teammate of Kerr’s, as the new head coach.  That same offseason Kerr drafted Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic, passing on the likes of Maurice Speights, Nicolas Batum, and JaVale McGee. 

The 2008-2009 season started off very rocky, with players like Diaw, Bell, Nash, and Stoudemire speaking out against Coach Porter’s philosophy.  It wasn’t too long before Kerr packaged Bell, Diaw, and newly acquired rookie Sean Singletary in a deal that brought Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and a future Charlotte Bobcats 2nd round pick to the valley.  The team performed better for a while, but after the New Year the ship started to sink.

Rumors of a trade involving Stoudemire, O’Neal, and just about every other player not named Nash began circulating.  At one point everyone thought a trade was going down, but then Phoenix made an alarming move and fired Porter before he even completed a single year as head coach.  Alvin Gentry became the interim coach.

The Gentry Era started off hot with three straight 140 point victories, but the Suns couldn’t keep that stretch going for long.  After a season ending eye injury to Stoudemire they became fairly inconsistent, winning three games here and then losing a few there.  It wasn’t until recently they started their longest winning streak of the season in pursuit of the final playoff spot in the West.

Currently they’re neck and neck with the Mavericks, but it looks like Planet Orange is all but over.  Gentry was recently granted the coaching job for next year, but stars like Nash and O’Neal are expected to be shipped out for youth, draft picks, and expiring contracts.  It was great while it lasted, but you have to say there will be no more Planet Orange for the next few years to come. 

 

Category: NBA
Posted on: March 13, 2009 4:21 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2009 9:32 pm
 

2009 NBA Mock Draft version 2.2

 

Sacramento Kings: Ricky Rubio – PG 

Many think the obvious number one overall pick will be Blake Griffin, but like last year with the Rose/Beasley debate, I’m here to tell you why the experts are wrong.  Ricky Rubio is the best PG prospect since I can’t remember who.  This guy has size, quickness, and speed.  He put on a show during the Olympics not only offensively, but defensively as well.  This guy can pass and score.  Many Pgs such as Chris Paul have said this player will put their name to shame.

On top of the fact that Rubio is the top prospect in this draft, he is a huge need for the Kings.  Yes, I know they have Beno Udrih, but is he really that good.  He will be fine as a back up, but if a back up is the only legit PG you have then you have problems. 

They have plenty of young bigs – Thompson and Hawes are both quite serviceable.  If they need a big they can take a flyer on someone like Jerome Jordan or Michael Washington later in the draft.

Here are the facts.  Jason Thompson is a solid, young PF who could emerge into one of the games best.  Blake Griffin is too small to play center in this league.  The Kings don’t have a legit starting PG on their team.  If you don’t have a do-it-all guard you aren’t going to win in this league.  Just as last year, the prime time guard goes over the highly talented forward. 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Blake Griffin – F

As if fate was on their side (Or maybe the Kings just get it) the Thunder end up landing the home town kid, and one of the most talented bigs in this draft.  It might not be known how big this hid is (Is he 6’8, 6’10, or somewhere in between), he is defiantly someone that can play either forward spot for one of the leagues worst.   

They could go with a more pressing need here like James Harden or Hasheem Thabeet, but who’s gonna pass up the home town kid?  Maybe a GM that doesn’t know how to win?  I for one am not on the Blake Griffin bandwagon, but I still think he will be a good player.  His main strength is his scoring, but the Thunder have enough scorers to give defensive players nightmares.

Although I’m not a huge fan of taking him here, this is a mock draft of what will happen, not what I think should happen. 

Washington Wizards: Hasheem Thabeet – C

Most would have James Harden going here, but I’m going to tell you why he won’t.  This guy has thrived against weak Pac-10 competition.  When tournament time comes around he won’t struggle, but we will see he isn’t as good as we think he is.  Harden is a good scorer, rebounder, and defender, but he isn’t a good ball handler or passer.  Also, the Wizards already have a couple good young Guards in Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson. 

The other reason they won’t take Harden is because they need a defensive post presence.  Thabeet is a beast inside and he has the frame to be able to add a few pounds.  The Wizards have plenty of offense in the post.  What they need is defense.  Thabeet is a shot blocker and a rebounder.  He doesn’t have an offensive game, but he doesn’t need to.  He can get his through put backs and alley oops.  Ben Wallace had no offensive game, and if I remember correctly, he’s a pretty decent player.

Los Angeles Clippers: Brandon Jennings – PG 

It is rare you see a team draft a back up with the #4 pick, but no matter what position they take they will be drafting a back up.  This team has an extremely talented core of players, but their season has been filled with injuries and unmotivated players.

That said, the Clippers have no back up PG to speak of, and it’s not like they’re in love with Baron Davis.  IMO Jennings is only ranked this high because of a weak draft class, and some would say he is highly over rated.  If he came out last year he would be ranked behind Rose, Westbrook, and Augustin for sure, and possibly be a mid to late first rounder. 

His strengths are his quickness and his athleticism.  He is also a decent passer.  Don’t expect this kid to be launching shots from three.  He is a drive and kick kind of guy.  Like I said earlier, I’m not a huge fan of this guy, but he should be a decent pro.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Hill – PF 

This team has two cows as their big men (Gasol, Milicic).  It’s time to inject some athleticism.  With top picks like Mayo, Gay, and Conley in that starting line-up, they don’t need anymore flashy players.  Let’s give them a Mo-Town special.  Hill is an absolute freak as an athlete, and he is very physical.

Hill’s strengths are his rebounding and inside scoring.  He doesn’t have a great mid range shot, but he can still knock it down.  The only problem with Hill is foul trouble.  When I watch him play I see a lot of stuff let buy that won’t fly in the pros.  He could be a Chris Wilcox type.  I don’t expect him to be a great, but he should be a decent player. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: Al-Farouq Aminu – F

The Timberwolves have needs at SF and PG.  Right now there isn’t a PG worth taking, so the obvious selection is SF. 

Aminu is a player that brings some much needed size and athleticism to that 3 spot.  They have size (Miller), they have athleticism (Brewer), but they don’t have both.  Aminu is a good defender and a decent scorer.  He will bring some added toughness to the team.  Some think this guy will be a bust.  I say he will be a better than last years #6 pick.

Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe – PF 

Do you notice a trend here?  Look really hard.  Harder, harder, there it is!  6 of the top 7 picks belong to western conference teams.  Its hard to dub your self supreme when you have so many bottom feeders.

Golden State is in the same situation as the Clippers.  They have a lot of talent, but injuries and bad chemistry have kept them from being successful.  Since they are set on playing Anthony Randolph at the 3 they could afford to look at a big man here. 

Greg Monroe is a perfect fit for their style of ball.  He is extremely gifted offensively, and at 6’11 240 lbs. he poses a mismatch for anybody.  Monroe might not be the best defender, but you don’t play defense when you play Nelly Ball.  If given a starting role and the right amount of playing time, look for this big out of Georgetown to be a rookie of the year candidate.

Toronto Raptors: James Harden – SG 

If you’ve been reading through this and haven’t seen James Harden yet your not dreaming.  As I said before, he isn’t the top 3 talent most dub him.  That paired along with the bevy of teams that don’t need a 2 guard, Harden ends up falling to a team that is jumping with joy.

Anthony Parker is a solid player, but he’s no starter.  Harden brings them a solid perimeter defender who can score from anywhere.  He brings leadership, and he is a good clutch performer.  Him and a big name free agent could be all it takes to keep Bosh in Toronto. 

New York Knicks: Stephen Curry – G

Gosh the Knicks are so bad, and their only 5 ½ games out of the playoffs!  They could use any guard on the board, and they could use some big man depth.  The only positions they are okay at are PF and SF.  I could see them taking a guy like Curry because he fills two needs in one.  He can run an offense, although it’s not clear how well.  He is also a great scorer, and that’s one thing they’re lack in there back court. 

There are three knocks on this kid.  One is his size, then there’s his defense, and finally there is his streakiness.  His size is definitely something he needs to improve, but his defensive abilities mean nothing if he is going to play for D’Antoni.  His streakiness could pose a problem, but he seems to always be money at the end of games.  He will also be on a team where he doesn’t need to be the only scorer, and that could end up working to his advantage in the long run.

Charlotte Bobcats: Jrue Holliday – G 

The Bobcats are a team that is great at home, but struggles mightily on the road.  Jrue Holliday will bring them some of that toughness that they lack.  He is a solid all around player that can pass, score, defend, and rebound.  Some have compared him to Dwyane Wade.  While he might not be that good, he is still a solid player.

Along with SG, C is another weak spot for Charlotte.  They might have Emeka Okafor, but he is way better suited for the 4.  If they aren’t sold on going guard here, they could always look to take a bug man, but there might be none worth taking at this point. 

Indiana Pacers: B.J. Mullens – C

Over the past two months Mullens has finally started to show what made scouts rave about this guy.  At 7’ 275 lbs. Mullens has arguably the best combination of size and athletic ability we have seen in a while.  He isn’t very polished on either side of the ball, but his overall potential is amazing, and that makes him a perfect option here at 11. 

Indiana doesn’t have anything great at center.  Murphy and Hibbert are there, but Murphy is more of a 4, and Hibbert hasn’t showed much promise, having more DNPs than double figure games in the month of January.  Mullens is the right choice for this team, unless you think Rasho Nesterovic is your savior of course.

New Jersey Nets: Earl Clark – F 

If the Nets want to lure in LeBron in the summer of 2010 they’ll need to bring in some key pieces to put around him.  Clark is good at almost everything.  He might be undersized for the 4, but he is a decent rebounder and defender.  The best part of his game is his offense.  He is a good passer in the high post, and is a decent scorer as well.  I’d compare him to Boris Diaw, but a little quicker and with better handles.

Milwaukee Bucks: Kyle Singler – F 

For right now the Bucks are set at PG and C.  They Have Richard Jefferson and Michael Redd at the 2 and 3, but both of those names were in trade rumors this year and could very well be dealt in the off-season.  They have Charlie Villenuava and Joe Alexander at the 4, but they aren’t really that starter worthy.

A guy like Singler could help them kill two birds with one stone.  He is big enough to play the 4, and he is quick enough to play the two.  He gives them a guy with good range for a 6’9 forward, and he is a decent all around player.  Don’t look for him to be the star of your team, but he can defiantly be that glue that holds things together. 

Phoenix Suns: Ty Lawson – G

The Suns might be high on Dragic, but Nash isn’t going to be around for ever, and this team needs more than one PG.  With a duo of Leandro Barbosa and Lawson the Suns would arguably have the fastest back court the NBA has ever seen.  He is a solid defender, a good scorer, and a good passer.  Some might say Jeff Teague would be a good fit here, but Teague is more of a scorer than an all around PG, plus he might not be that great on the defensive end. 

The Suns also have needs at a couple other positions.  If they plan on pushing J-Rich to SF and slotting LB at the 2 they could look at getting another PF.  Patrick Patterson would be a good option but he is off the board.  There aren’t that many big men worth taking here unless you’re on the Kyle Singler/DeJuan Blair bandwagon.

Another option could be a SF or C.  Once again there aren’t any big men worth picking at this point, but a player like Evan Turner, Terrence Williams, or Demar DeRozen could be an option.  What ever the Suns do, they better get it right.  Their fan base won’t be able to tolerate another Robin Lopez or Alando Tucker. 

Chicago Bulls: Patrick Patterson – PF

Patterson is an absolute beast in college, and the Bulls will be hoping for the same in the pros.  He is a good interior scorer, and he is as strong as an ox.  Patterson is a solid rebounder and an above average defender.  The Bulls have been looking for an inside presence for years, and no offense, but Jokim Noah isn’t cutting it. 

They don’t really have any other glaring needs.  Their back court is solid, and with the addition of John Salmons they now have a duo of good SFs.  The missing link is a big man, and Patterson could be that link.

Philadelphia 76ers: DeJuan Blair – PF 

The sixers signed Elton Brand in the off-season, but they didn’t get what they expected.  Now there going to draft the next best thing.  Blair is an absolute best on the boards.  He is averaging more per 40 minutes than anyone in the last 40 years.  He isn’t that athletic, but neither is Brand, and at one point he was a candidate for MVP.

With a 7’3 wingspan and a solid frame, Blair more than makes up for his lack of athleticism.  He gives so much hustle and he is stronger than most NBA players.  If there’s any question of how he will pan out, just look at how he played against Hasheem Thabeet.  Blair’s offensive game is quite mediocre, but his hustle and rebounding should get him all the points he needs. 

Detroit Pistons:  James Johnson – PF

The Pistons are in a place they haven’t seen in a while.  They are taking their own pick in the top 20.  With Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stucky they are set at the 1, two, and three for a few years.  Off the bench they bring Wil Bynum and Aaron Afflolow, who bring the defense at those positions.   What they really need is some front court depth.  Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess will both be gone next year, and I doubt the Pistons plan on bringing back Kwame Brown either.  That gives them Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell as their big men.  Gosh, that really does scare you, doesn’t it?  They need some depth up front, and while there might not be a center worth taking here, there is defiantly a couple power forwards. 

If there is anything Johnson can do it is score.  He is a decent ball handler as well.  Over shadowed by the likes of Jeff Teague and Al Farouq-Aminu he could feel as if he has something to prove.  This guy isn’t great defensively, but he is no slouch either.  This should be another in a long line of good picks since that Darko incident.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Teague – G 

That Aminu pick isn’t looking so bad now, is it?  The other day I was watching Wake Forest take on Clemson and I noticed three things.  One of them was very encouraging.  The other two were down right scary.  First, the kid can score.  He might be one of the best scoring guards to come out of the draft in a while.  One thing that scared me was it looked like he needs to be in a high paced offense in able to succeed.  That may not be a huge problem, but it limits the teams he can go to. 

The thing that really scared me was the fact that he plays no defense.  At times it looked like he was disinterested and was showing some false hustle.  He showed little lateral quickness, and he couldn’t keep anyone in front of him.  He wasn’t even active with his hands.  If he wants to be a starter at the next level he needs to give some effort on the defensive end.  Otherwise he will just be another Jason Terry. 

Atlanta Hawks: Evan Turner – G/F

The Hawks are one of those teams that are solid at every position.  At this point in the draft most teams should be anyway.  The one thing the Hawks could really use is a 6<sup>th</sup> man that can play multiple positions on the court.  Turner is exactly that.  It might have taken this guy a while to burst onto the seen, but he is a kid with some pro level talent.  He is solid on offense and capable on defense.  He also brings in some insurance if Joe Johnson tries to leave during the summer of 2010. 

Dallas Mavericks: Darren Collison - PG

It’s not like Jason Kidd is getting any younger.  Dallas will need a starting PG next year, and I doubt they think J.J. Barea is their fix.  Collison is one of the best defenders in this draft, and even though he will be a rookie he will have experience.  He might not be a scorer, but he can shoot lights out when needed to.  Collison and Barea should be a solid combination for at least a few years. 

Chicago Bulls: Tyreke Evans – G

The Bulls don't really have a true SG, and they don't really have a backup PG either.  Tyreke Evans is a guy that can help with both.  I wouldn't expect him to ever be a starter with this group, but he can be a solid 6th or 7th man.  His ability to set up his teammates or score on his own is something you rarely see with players of his size.  He is not only gifted offensively, but defensively as well.  His lenght is above average, and he has good latteral quickness.

Portland Trail Blazers: Eric Maynor – PG

If there is one thing Portland truly needs it is a PG.  Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez?  I mean, there good but they aren't that great.  Jarryd Bayless is a guy that some people are high on but he is more of a combo guard than a pure point Maynor has put VCU on the map with victories over Duke and Kentucky.  He might be a little small, he might not be great at anything, but he is good at everything.   

New Orleans Hornets: Willie Warren - G

Warren is a guy that can come off the bench and really help out the Hornets.  He is a guy that can come off the bench and play the one or two.  Something the Hornets have lacked this year is a solid backup for Chris Paul, and Warren is someone that can come in and do just that.  He is a scoring threat and can run the point.  Why not kill two birds with one stone if you're New Orleans. 

Utah Jazz: Damar DeRozen – G/F

Talk about disappointment.  DeRozen was supposed to replace O.J. Mayo and keep USC as a contender, but it looks like they’re going to come up short.  Regardless, DeRozen is a heck of a talent and should be a consistent contributor to what ever team he is on. 

Sacramento Kings: Craig Brackins – PF

If Sacramento truly wants a PF they can go ahead and get one here.  I’m not a huge fan of this guy, but he does show some promise.  He has the awkwardness of Al Jefferson and from what I’ve seen that seems to be an accurate comparison.  He might never be as dominant, but he should be a good contributor to a bad team. 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Jerome Jordan – C

With their first pick the Thunder solidified their forward position.  Now they need a true bug man.  Jordan is a guy that I like to compare to Dwight Howard.  They have similar body types and a similar type of game.  Jordan can rebound and block shots with the best of them, but his offensive game is lacking other than dunks and easy put backs.  The good thing; he is a true 7’ center with the frame to add about 20-30 more pounds.  This is one of those high risk high reward picks.  He has the potential to be great, but he also has the potential to be a Kwame Brown type of player – no I don’t mean a complete bust, I mean a 7 and 5 guy. 

Orlando Magic: Chase Buddinger – G/F

LUKE JACKSON ALERT!!!  LUKE JACKSON ALERT!!!  If you don’t know who he is, well there’s a reason why.  Just ask Cavs fans who he is.  Buddinger was supposed to be the next Larry Bird,  but his failure to soar against big time opponents has me thinking he’s the next athletic white guy to turn into nothing.  Someone is going to give this guy a shot, and IMHO that team will be regretting it. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyler Hansburough - PF

I know what your thinking.  Why would the T'Wolves take a guy like Hansburough?  Well, here's the reason.  You can deny his athletic ability, you can deny his talent, but one thing you can't deny is his heart and his work ethic.  He is the type of player that will make everyone work harder.  He is the type of player that everyone needs.  He might not be the leader in points, rebounds, or blocked shots, but he will be one of if not the leader on the team. 

Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonny Flynn - PG

Flynn might not be the most talented or the most physically gifted player in this draft, but one thing he does have is heart and desire.  He is solid at everything and he knows his place.  If there is any question to this guy's ability just look at the 6 OT game against UCONN, or look at what he will accomplish during the tournament. 

The Cavs need a true PG, and Flynn is just that.  It's all fine and dandy to have guys like Mo Williams and Delonte West, but those guys are more 2s than 1s.  You almost never get a star when drafting in this spot, but you can still get solid players.

Los Angeles Lakers: Terrence Williams - G/F 

With the final pick of the first round the Lakers go to a position where they are thin at, both figuratively and literally.  Shasha is more of a 2 than a 3 so you can't count him there.  Adam Morrison, Luke Walton, and Trevor Ariza are all they got.  While two of them are great role players, they still need someone to come in and be starter worthy.

Williams is a very athletic player who can play the two and the three.  He isn't as good of a defender as Ariza, but he is still pretty solid.  He should be starter worthy after a couple years, but I doubt he'll ever be an all-star.  He is a top 25 talent, so the Lakers are lucky he fell this far. 

2nd Round

Sacramento Kings: Damion James - PF

Denver Nuggets: Michael Washington - PF

Washington Wizards: Marcus Thorton - G

Portland Trail Blazers: DeJuan Summers - F

Houston Rockets: Sam Young - F

Detroit Pistons: Tyler Smith - F

San Antonio Spurs: Omri Casspi - F

Detroit Pistons: Vitor Faverani - PF/C

Portland Trail Blazers: Sergio Llull - G

Los Angelas Lakers: Vladimir Dasic - F

Miami Heat: Lee Cummard - SF

Charlotte Bobcats: Henk Norel - PF

Milwaukee Bucks: Robert Dozier - PF

Phoenix Suns: Antonio Anderson - G/F

Cleveland Cavaliers: Josh Heytvelt - PF

Minnesota Timberwolves: A.J. Price - PG

Detroit Pistons: Tyrese Rice - G

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Pendergraph - PF/C

Atlanta Hawks: Lester Hudson - G

Indiana Pacers: Wesley Matthews - G/F

Portland Trail Blazers: K.C. Rivers - G/F

San Antonio Spurs: Jack McClinton - G

New Orleans Hornets: Dominiq James - PG

Utah Jazz: Jeremy Pargo - PG

San Antonio Spurs: Jonas Jerebko - F

Charlotte Bobcats: Emir Preldzic - SF

Phoenix Suns: Slava Kravtsov - C

Boston Celtics: Danny Green - G/F

Miami Heat: Ahmad Nivins - PF

Los Angeles Lakers: Melinko Tepic - G

Category: NBA
Posted on: March 3, 2009 2:10 pm
 

Mock Draft version 2.0

Sacramento Kings: Ricky Rubio – PG

 

Many think the obvious number one overall pick will be Blake Griffin, but like last year with the Rose/Beasley debate, I’m here to tell you why the experts are wrong.  Ricky Rubio is the best PG prospect since I can’t remember who.  This guy has size, quickness, and speed.  He put on a show during the Olympics not only offensively, but defensively as well.  This guy can pass and score.  Many Pgs such as Chris Paul have said this player will put their name to shame.

 

On top of the fact that Rubio is the top prospect in this draft, he is a huge need for the Kings.  Yes, I know they have Beno Udrih, but is he really that good.  He will be fine as a back up, but if a back up is the only legit PG you have then you have problems.

 

They have plenty of young bigs – Thompson and Hawes are both quite serviceable.  If they need a big they can take a flyer on someone like Jerome Jordan or Michael Washington later in the draft.

 

Here are the facts.  Jason Thompson is a solid, young PF who could emerge into one of the games best.  Blake Griffin is too small to play center in this league.  The Kings don’t have a legit starting PG on their team.  If you don’t have a do-it-all guard you aren’t going to win in this league.  Just as last year, the prime time guard goes over the highly talented forward.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Blake Griffin – F

 

As if fate was on their side (Or maybe the Kings just get it) the Thunder end up landing the home town kid, and one of the most talented bigs in this draft.  It might not be known how big this hid is (Is he 6’8, 6’10, or somewhere in between), he is defiantly someone that can play either forward spot for one of the leagues worst. 

 

They could go with a more pressing need here like James Harden or Hasheem Thabeet, but who’s gonna pass up the home town kid?  Maybe a GM that doesn’t know how to win?  I for one am not on the Blake Griffin bandwagon, but I still think he will be a good player.  His main strength is his scoring, but the Thunder have enough scorers to give defensive players nightmares.

 

Although I’m not a huge fan of taking him here, this is a mock draft of what will happen, not what I think should happen.

 

Washington Wizards: Hasheem Thabeet – C

 

Most would have James Harden going here, but I’m going to tell you why he won’t.  This guy has thrived against weak Pac-10 competition.  When tournament time comes around he won’t struggle, but we will see he isn’t as good as we think he is.  Harden is a good scorer, rebounder, and defender, but he isn’t a good ball handler or passer.  Also, the Wizards already have a couple good young Guards in Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson.

 

The other reason they won’t take Harden is because they need a defensive post presence.  Thabeet is a beast inside and he has the frame to be able to add a few pounds.  The Wizards have plenty of offense in the post.  What they need is defense.  Thabeet is a shot blocker and a rebounder.  He doesn’t have an offensive game, but he doesn’t need to.  He can get his through put backs and alley oops.  Ben Wallace had no offensive game, and if I remember correctly, he’s a pretty decent player.

 

Los Angeles Clippers: Brandon Jennings – PG

 

It is rare you see a team draft a back up with the #4 pick, but no matter what position they take they will be drafting a back up.  This team has an extremely talented core of players, but their season has been filled with injuries and unmotivated players.

 

That said, the Clippers have no back up PG to speak of, and it’s not like they’re in love with Baron Davis.  IMO Jennings is only ranked this high because of a weak draft class, and some would say he is highly over rated.  If he came out last year he would be ranked behind Rose, Westbrook, and Augustin for sure, and possibly be a mid to late first rounder.

 

His strengths are his quickness and his athleticism.  He is also a decent passer.  Don’t expect this kid to be launching shots from three.  He is a drive and kick kind of guy.  Like I said earlier, I’m not a huge fan of this guy, but he should be a decent pro.

 

Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Hill – PF

 

This team has two cows as their big men (Gasol, Milicic).  It’s time to inject some athleticism.  With top picks like Mayo, Gay, and Conley in that starting line-up, they don’t need anymore flashy players.  Let’s give them a Mo-Town special.  Hill is an absolute freak as an athlete, and he is very physical.

 

Hill’s strengths are his rebounding and inside scoring.  He doesn’t have a great mid range shot, but he can still knock it down.  The only problem with Hill is foul trouble.  When I watch him play I see a lot of stuff let buy that won’t fly in the pros.  He could be a Chris Wilcox type.  I don’t expect him to be a great, but he should be a decent player.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves: Al-Farouq Aminu – F

 

The Timberwolves have needs at SF and PG.  Right now there isn’t a PG worth taking, so the obvious selection is SF.

 

Aminu is a player that brings some much needed size and athleticism to that 3 spot.  They have size (Miller), they have athleticism (Brewer), but they don’t have both.  Aminu is a good defender and a decent scorer.  He will bring some added toughness to the team.  Some think this guy will be a bust.  I say he will be a better than last years #6 pick.

 

Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe – PF

 

Do you notice a trend here?  Look really hard.  Harder, harder, there it is!  6 of the top 7 picks belong to western conference teams.  Its hard to dub your self supreme when you have so many bottom feeders.

 

Golden State is in the same situation as the Clippers.  They have a lot of talent, but injuries and bad chemistry have kept them from being successful.  Since they are set on playing Anthony Randolph at the 3 they could afford to look at a big man here.

 

Greg Monroe is a perfect fit for their style of ball.  He is extremely gifted offensively, and at 6’11 240 lbs. he poses a mismatch for anybody.  Monroe might not be the best defender, but you don’t play defense when you play Nelly Ball.  If given a starting role and the right amount of playing time, look for this big out of Georgetown to be a rookie of the year candidate.

 

Toronto Raptors: James Harden – SG

 

If you’ve been reading through this and haven’t seen James Harden yet your not dreaming.  As I said before, he isn’t the top 3 talent most dub him.  That paired along with the bevy of teams that don’t need a 2 guard, Harden ends up falling to a team that is jumping with joy.

 

Anthony Parker is a solid player, but he’s no starter.  Harden brings them a solid perimeter defender who can score from anywhere.  He brings leadership, and he is a good clutch performer.  Him and a big name free agent could be all it takes to keep Bosh in Toronto.

 

New York Knicks: Stephen Curry – G

 

Gosh the Knicks are so bad, and their only 5 ½ games out of the playoffs!  They could use any guard on the board, and they could use some big man depth.  The only positions they are okay at are PF and SF.  I could see them taking a guy like Curry because he fills two needs in one.  He can run an offense, although it’s not clear how well.  He is also a great scorer, and that’s one thing they’re lack in there back court.

 

There are three knocks on this kid.  One is his size, then there’s his defense, and finally there is his streakiness.  His size is definitely something he needs to improve, but his defensive abilities mean nothing if he is going to play for D’Antoni.  His streakiness could pose a problem, but he seems to always be money at the end of games.  He will also be on a team where he doesn’t need to be the only scorer, and that could end up working to his advantage in the long run.

 

Charlotte Bobcats: Jrue Holliday – G

 

The Bobcats are a team that is great at home, but struggles mightily on the road.  Jrue Holliday will bring them some of that toughness that they lack.  He is a solid all around player that can pass, score, defend, and rebound.  Some have compared him to Dwyane Wade.  While he might not be that good, he is still a solid player.

 

Along with SG, C is another weak spot for Charlotte.  They might have Emeka Okafor, but he is way better suited for the 4.  If they aren’t sold on going guard here, they could always look to take a bug man, but there might be none worth taking at this point.

 

Indiana Pacers: B.J. Mullens – C

 

Over the past two months Mullens has finally started to show what made scouts rave about this guy.  At 7’ 275 lbs. Mullens has arguably the best combination of size and athletic ability we have seen in a while.  He isn’t very polished on either side of the ball, but his overall potential is amazing, and that makes him a perfect option here at 11.

 

Indiana doesn’t have anything great at center.  Murphy and Hibbert are there, but Murphy is more of a 4, and Hibbert hasn’t showed much promise, having more DNPs than double figure games in the month of January.  Mullens is the right choice for this team, unless you think Rasho Nesterovic is your savior of course.

 

New Jersey Nets: Earl Clark – F

 

If the Nets want to lure in LeBron in the summer of 2010 they’ll need to bring in some key pieces to put around him.  Clark is good at almost everything.  He might be undersized for the 4, but he is a decent rebounder and defender.  The best part of his game is his offense.  He is a good passer in the high post, and is a decent scorer as well.  I’d compare him to Boris Diaw, but a little quicker and with better handles.

 

Chicago Bulls: Patrick Patterson – PF

 

Patterson is an absolute beast in college, and the Bulls will be hoping for the same in the pros.  He is a good interior scorer, and he is as strong as an ox.  Patterson is a solid rebounder and an above average defender.  The Bulls have been looking for an inside presence for years, and no offense, but Jokim Noah isn’t cutting it.

 

They don’t really have any other glaring needs.  Their back court is solid, and with the addition of John Salmons they now have a duo of good SFs.  The missing link is a big man, and Patterson could be that link.

 

Phoenix Suns: Ty Lawson – G

 

The Suns might be high on Dragic, but Nash isn’t going to be around for ever, and this team needs more than one PG.  With a duo of Leandro Barbosa and Lawson the Suns would arguably have the fastest back court the NBA has ever seen.  He is a solid defender, a good scorer, and a good passer.  Some might say Jeff Teague would be a good fit here, but Teague is more of a scorer than an all around PG, plus he might not be that great on the defensive end.

 

The Suns also have needs at a couple other positions.  If they plan on pushing J-Rich to SF and slotting LB at the 2 they could look at getting another PF.  Patrick Patterson would be a good option but he is off the board.  There aren’t that many big men worth taking here unless your on the Kyle Singler/DeJuan Blair bandwagon.

 

Another option could be a SF or C.  Once again there aren’t any big men worth picking at this point, but a player like Evan Turner, Terrence Williams, or Demar DeRozen could be an option.  What ever the Suns do, they better get it right.  Their fan base won’t be able to tolerate another Robin Lopez or Alando Tucker.

Picks 15-30 will be comming soon.

 

 

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 16, 2009 11:32 pm
 

Promise from two Suns fans

If they do this trade, i wont post about or watch the Phoenix Suns untill the season is over. - ChrisperJ10I second that.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 9, 2009 11:05 pm
 

Who Dat? Pt. 1

As the self appointed draft guru of this board, over the next few month I'm going to make a thread on the not so well known prospects comming into next years draft.  These guys might not get the pub that your Blake Griffens and Stephan Currys of the world get, but they have just as much potential, and just as much of a chance to sky rocket up the draft boards come rookier work out time.  In this first segment we will focus on a couple of big men.

  1. Jerome Jordan/C - Tulsa:  If you looked at this kids stat line last year you wouldn't have been that impressed, but this year the junior out of Tulsa is showing he has some real NBA potential.  He is averageing 14 and 9 with 2.5 blocks per game, and is one of the best players a mid-major has to offer.  He has the potential to be a 20-10 guy in this league, but if he doesn't get the right coaching then potential is all he has.  He is very raw offensively, but he can finish with authority, and he knows he belongs in the paint.  He is 7' 235 lbs and has a wingspan rumored to be around 7'6".  If you thought Hasheem Thabeet was the sultan of swat then you obviously haven't seen this guy play.  Currently projected as a late first rounder, this guy could easily be a top 10 pick by draft day.
  2. Michael Washington/PF - Arkansas: This 6'10 225 pound stud could be the next Amar'e Stoudemire.  Like Jordan, he is a junior with loads of potential that could be taken in the top 10.  He is a dinomyte scorer, and a good rebounder.  Unlike some players that have potential but can't put up the big numbers, he is averaging 17 and 9 a game and shooting 61% from the field.  If you can't get Greg Monroe, Blake Griffen, or Jordan Hill this wouldn't be a bad 4th option.  His only downside; defense, but he does give effort and has that desire to get better.  His D might never reach the level of his O, but he could become seviceable.

These guys might not be big names in college, but in the right situation you could definatly here their names in the pros.  The dredded 10-14 picks that go to bad teams that just aren't bad enough might not look so bad in this years draft.

Category: NBA
Tags: Draft
 
Posted on: February 5, 2009 1:32 pm
 

Draft Preview Pt. 1 of 30: Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings have been at the bottom of the league for a while now, and they are still heading in the wrong direction.  At the beginning of the year they were somehow able to fool me and everyone else by making us think they were one of the more talented young teams in the league that were a couple years away from making the playoffs.  Now they look like there a new owner and GM away from even sniffing mediocrity.  In a league where GM’s and coaches are recycled like it’s going out of style, why hasn’t this team been able to get anything done?  It comes down to one simple thing – drafting.

Since 2000 only 5 of their draft picks are still currently on the team, four of which are showing some sort of promise.  Spencer Hawes, Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, and Jason Thompson are all big contributors to this team, and that could be part of the problem.

Hawes and Garcia are solid bench players, but that’s all they look to be.  Hawes might be able to knock down the outside shot and give some sort of effort on the inside, but defensively he seems to be lacking – he is overpowered by larger centers.  Like Hawes, Garcia can score, but is lacking the defensive intensity you look for in an everyday starter.

Martin and Thompson look to be the best of them, but even they aren’t the perfect players.  Kevin Martin can score with the best of them, but his wiry frame makes it hard to defend bigger guards, and he can’t out muscle anybody.  Thompson has played outstanding lately, but he is an inconsistent rebounder.  Luckily for him he is a rookie, and has plenty of time to work that out.

Sacramento’s veterans are Brad Miller, Beno Udrih, and John Salmons.  Miller is a solid veteran presence, but has been in trade talks for near a year now.  Udrih looks to be a solid back up PG, but he is starting for this team.  Salmons has turned into a top 20 small forward, but he is 29 years old and has only had two good years in this league.

The Kings are filled with back ups and two starters.  Luckily for them their two starters are young and still have their best years ahead of them.  What they need is a PG, SF, and C.  They are currently projected as a top two pick, but I have a feeling they will trade out of this spot because their aren’t any players at these positions worth taking so high.  I could see them trading down to a team like the Thunder, who really want Blake Griffin.

With a possible trade they will be picking somewhere between 3 and 5.  There are a lot of small forwards in this draft, but none worth taking this high unless they really like Al Aminu.  There are a couple center and point guard prospects that could be really enticing to the Kings.

Jrue Holliday, Stephen Curry, Jeff Teague, Brandon Jennings, and possibly Ricky Rubio are the top PGs in this class.  Sacramento already has their scorers, so they need someone that can distribute the ball, yet still be able to score if needed.  That automatically eliminates Jeff Teague and Jrue Holliday, who look to be in that Dwayne Wade/Allen Iverson mold.  Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Ricky Rubio are the ones left out of the Group.

All of these players are able to pass and shoot.  The most prolific scorer out of this group is Curry – he is thought to be the team favorite.  The most well rounded of these players is Rubio, and he is expected to be an absolute star in this league, and a possible first overall pick.  Jennings is the more flashy of the three.  He is known for his ankle braking cross overs and his no look passes, along with his explosive leaping ability that has this 6’1 guard throwing it down like he’s Vince Carter.

The centers that could be available are Greg Monroe, Hasheem Thabeet, and B.J. Mullins.  All three are very different players.  Monroe is further along offensively that either of them.  He has the strength to fight down low, the range to hit from deep, and the handles to create his own shot.  Mullins is a freak of an athlete.  He can jump out of the gym, and is one heck of a presence down low.  Neither of these two is that great on the defensive end, but they both have the ability to become serviceable. 

Thabeet is the exact opposite of those two.  He I a beast on defense, and is a great rebounder.  He swats shots like their flies, and he won’t get posted up by other big men because of his huge body.  Offensively he has a lot to work on.  He has no post moves to speak of, and he can’t knock down a jumper either.  Unless someone can pull off a miracle, this guy will only get his points off put backs and alley-oops.

The Kings could pick a big man here, but they have worse problems at point guard.  They can go after a raw big man with loads of potential later on in the draft if they end up acquiring another pick.  I believe with their pick Sacramento will end up drafting Stephen Curry, the 6’3 guard out of Davidson.  This is a risky selection compared to grabbing Rubio or Jennings, but this kid could be an absolute star – at least they hope so.

Category: NBA
Tags: Draft, Kings, NBA
 
Posted on: January 6, 2009 10:15 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2009 3:45 pm
 

The Model Franchise

Every team knows it. They want to be them. They want to have their success, their longevity, their respect. Heck, most teams would want to be half of what they are. They have continued to scare everyone, even after everyone claimed they are nothing. They’ve proven that old isn’t bad – it doesn’t mean your over the hill. They have replaced one legend with another, and they look ready to do it again. Who are they? They are the San Antonio Spurs.

It’s hard to find a franchise quite like them. Over their thirty-two seasons in the NBA they have only missed the playoffs four times. In that same time span, the LA Clippers have only made the playoffs four times.  Since drafting Tim Duncan in the '97-'98 season they have been first in their division all but four times, in which they were second.

Some claim they’re dirty. Some claim they’re not fun to watch. Hey, who said being the best team of the decade is fun. Sure, its fun to win games and put up big points, but the practice and time spent in the film room requires commitment. It’s not that easy to build a dynasty, or is it?

The Spurs have followed a simple “game plan” for quite some time now. It might not make them the most attractive team to fantasy players, but it makes them look oh so good to line betters. This “game plan” has allowed them to succeed with no true superstars, no prima donnas, and no head cases.

It’s quite simple to figure out if you look at their make up. They know a big man is very important, and they know how to make sure you don’t get a bust. They drafted a rookie out of Wake Forest with a ton of potential that excelled in the fundamentals of the game.  They put him next to a future HoFer to teach him the ins and outs of the game. They have expirience in the right places - a big man, shut down defender, and their bench.  They have youth in the right places - a point guard and a change of pace off the pine.  They've built them selves with players that know their jobs, and will sacrifice self accolades for team success.  They never take on players that don't get it.

San Antonio has found the perfect blend of shooters, defenders, roleplayers, and game changers.  They've managed to gain respect from the officials and the league.  They play a slow paced game, but can still put up 100+ any night.  They are diverse; they can play with anybody.

Its amazing other teams haven't gotten it yet.  You can't win with me first players, and you can't win if your one demensional.  So when you ask yourself, "How do the Spurs keep on keeping on," just remember three simple words.  They get it.

 

Category: NBA
Tags: NBA, Spurs
 
Posted on: December 20, 2008 12:31 am
Edited on: February 26, 2009 3:48 pm
 

NBA Mock Draft: 12/20/08

It might be more than half a year until the 2009 NBA Draft, but its never early to start fantasizing over who your favorite team will take first over all. The unanimous favorite to be the top dog is Blake Griffin, but teem needs could have something to say about that. Unlike in past years, there isn’t yet a debate on who is truly the best in the draft. The Western Conference may be thought to be supreme, but they could have 6 teams pick in the top 8. Well, enough with my rambling. 

Lets get on with some picks.

 

Its no secret that the Thunder are one of the worst teams in the league, and that usually means they have a lot of holes.  They have Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Russle Westbrook, but thats about it.  The two biggest needs for this team are SG and C.  There aren't any shooting gaurds worth taking this high, so that makes a center the obvious selection. 

The only true center woth taking here is Hasheem Thabeet, but is he really THAT good.  If you look at OCK's stlye of play, they at least try to score alot of points.  If they wan't to run up and down the court they need to have a small line-up.  As I said before, do we really think Griffin WON'T go numero uno.  For the 2nd year in a row the top spot goes to the home town kid.

The Thunder select: PF/C Blake Griffin 6'10" 239 LBS

 

The 'Wolves seem to have been up here for a few year in a row now.  I wonder why?  BECAUSE THEY DON"T KNOW HOW TO DRAFT!!!!!  Now that Kevin "McFail" is out as the GM, you would think things are going to turn around.  For this drafts sake, lets just say they don't.

Minnesota has expressed the want for a true center since the aquisition of Al Jefferson, and besides their want, they actually do need one.  Kevin Love is looking like an average joe, and I really doubt he's the 6'10" they claim him to be.

The pick comes down to two players - Hasheem Thabeet and B.J. Mullens.  Mullens is a freak of nature physically, and he is great on the offensive side.  You cant really say the same about the other end.  Hasheem Thabeet is the exact opposite.  He swats shots like there flies, and he is a beast on the boards.  We all know defense wins championships.  Well, atleast most of us.

The Timberwolves select: C Hasheem Thabeet 7'3" 260 lbs

 

Hmmm..... who exactly do they need.  When healthy, their starting five includes Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Stevenson, and Arenas.  That seems pretty solid to me.  Oh, wait.  I seem to remember "Hibachi" wanting the next Tim Duncan.  Well there aren't any Duncans here, but there are some good big men.  Jordan Hill and B.J. Mullens are the only ones that are top 10 prospects, but I don't think you'll even find a Wildcats fan that thinks Hill should go this high.

The Wizards select: C B.J. Mullens 7'0" 260 lbs

 

A year ago if you said Stephen Curry was going top 5, I would have said, "Who?".  In less than a year this kid has gone from 2nd round hopeful to one of the hottest names in not just college, but basketball itself.  He is a favorite of the Kings organization, who would love to bring Garcia as a main threat off the bench instead of a 2nd or 3rd option in their 5.

The Kings select: G Stephen Curry 6'3" 180 lbs

 

The Warriors have to be one of the more dissapointing teams in the NBA.  They came into the season looking to make it into the playoffs, but are now looking to get lucky in the lottery.  They are pretty strong at every position, so I think they trade out of here.  A team that could be looking to trade up is the New York Knicks.  They need a PG other than Chris Duhon.  The perfect fit would be Ricky Rubio.  This kid put on a show in the Olympics, playing on both sides of the ball as well.  He could wait another year before entering the draft, but he hasn't made an announcement yet, so I'll assume he comes out this year.

The Warriors select (for Knicks): PG Ricky Rubio 6'4" 180 lbs

 

See GSW.  No really, just scroll up and re-read what I said about the Warriors.  This is a team that made a huge splash in the offseason, and then made another early in the season.  You have to think Camby isn't going to be in LA long term, so it would make sense to draft a big man.  They are loaded with scorers - Davis, Gordon, and Thorton can all light it up.  What they need is a young, athletic, versatile big man.  Sound familier?  Thats right, Jordan Hill comes off the board.  He is a super athelete that can throw it down with authority.  Think a young Amar'e Stoudemire that plays defense and grabs rebounds.

The Clippers select: F/C Jordan Hill 6'10" 235 lbs

 

With the recent trade of J-Rich for an over the hill role player and an underachieving frenchman thats softer than a stick of butter, the 'Cats have basically mailed it in for the season.  This team could use a true C, a SG, and some debth at every position other than PG.  I hate to see Harden move any past this point, but I'm not sure he is the type of player Charlotte is looking for.  A better fit is someone who doesn't need to creat his own shot to succeed, someone who can stand on the wing an hit the open J at will.  Two years in a row, a "Diaper Dandy" is taken from USC in the top 10.

The Bobcats select: SG Demar DeRozan 6'6" 207 lbs

 

Congradulations, your out of the top 5!  Now to work on getting out of the top 10.  Surprisingly, Memphis has drafted really well for a team that can't get over the hump.  Ever since Big Country this team hasn't had a big bust.  They are solid at every position other than PF.  They already have a big, physical center in Gasol, so they can afford to go finess at this position.  I look at them to take a guy that can score and play multiple positions.

The Grizzlies select: F Earl Clark 6'9" 200 lbs

 

Gosh this is horrible.  How can one of the greatest players of all time take a championship contending team and turn them into nothing in just a few years?  Oh wait, his teammate did it too.  Note to self.  Don't hire a former Celtic great as your GM.  Larry Bird will be shaking in his boots. 

"There's no butta soft white guys or players from Indiana I can take.  What am I gonna do?!? *ring ring, ring ring* Oh thank goodness, I've been offered a trade."

Thats right.  Indiana's tradin baby!!  At the last second Utah calls in to save Larry's pale backside, offering some undisclosed deal.  How could this happen?  How could one of the top teams in the league trade up to get a top pick?  Finally my boy comes off the board!

The Pacers select (for Jazz): SG James Harden 6'5" 218 lbs

 

Toronto fans are pissed.  Not only has Indiana dumped Jermaine O'Niel on them, but they also just made a trade that allowed Harden to be taken right out of their grasp.  I have good news Raptors fans.  Jrue Holiday is still available.  The man most compare to Dwyane Wade can be yours for 18 million less than the real thing.  Isn't the draft great.

The Raptors select: G Jrue Holiday 6'4" 200 lbs

Full 30 team mock draft will be posted closer toward the draft day.  14 team lottery mock will be posted sometime in January.

 

Toronto Raptors

Indiana Pacers

Memphis Grizzlies

Charlotte Bobcats

Los Angeles Clippers

Golden State Warriors

Sacramento Kings

Washington Wizards

Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com