We looked at our first Draft, and immediately started quibbling. The elements in italics are from Corn.
- The first big issue arises in the 3 spot. There's been a mountain of talk about the Wolves taking Lopez if they get the 3 spot. We keep staring at this with disbelief. You have Gomes and Al Jefferson (AKA the Harbinger) and you want another big man? With this crop of scoring guards out there? The Wolves were definitely not good at rebounding last year but they weren't bottom five, either. We tend to agree with Canis Hoopus on the subject, you can get a rebounder and low post defender in the 2nd round, easy. So since our mock drafts are built on what they should do and not what they will do, this leaves us with small guards. It's this point we would like to demonstrate that the Wolves currently have McCants and Marko Jaric at the small guard position. This, as they say, is bad. They need a scorer, and they need it bad. Luckily, the three spot gives them their pick of OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, and, if they're looking to reach, Eric Gordon. All three can score, shoot, and handle point duties for stretches alongside Foye. The question then becomes defense, and that's a tricky subject we'll get to later.
- The D'Antoni hiring makes the Knicks' 5 pick a complete FUBAR based on the fact that Quinton Richardson is the only Knicks player with familiarity with D'Antoni, and the only one who knows the run and gun. It therefore doesn't make sense for D'Antoni to therefore use the 5th pick on either of the remaining top three small guards. With Stephon Marbury, who you have to get value out of, considering his massive contract, Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson, both of who actually contributed significant minutes last year, to go along with QRich who's a knowledge asset, taking another scoring guard makes approximately zero sense. Conversely, Jared Jeffries got serious minutes at the 3 spot last year, with Wilson Chandler and David Lee spending time at the 4. It's pretty clear that Zack Randolph is not going to be a longterm contributor to this team, and that means D'Antoni will be looking for a big man that can run the floor and score. And guess who's rising up draft boards very quickly just in time?
- Corn : For what it's worth, I think Jerryd Bayless will be a Point in the league. Maybe not for a couple years, but his handle is too good and frankly, he was coached very poorly at Arizona. A lot of folks will disagree with me. But then again, a lot of folks disagreed with me when I said Leon Powe would turn into a great pro too. So there.
- The lack of quality point guards in this draft is going to make DJ Augustin a very rich man. If you ask us to slot him in a draft group (1-5, 5-10, 10-15, etc.), based on talent alone, we put him in the 10-15 range. But after Rose, there's a severe dropoff in talent at the point guard position in this draft. DJ's the next viable candidate, with Russell Westbrook right behind him. Needless to say, after trying to designate a small guard for the Bucks to pick and finding ourselves covered in vomit whenever we tried to have them pick up ANOTHER shoot-first guard behind Michael Redd, DJ Augustin jumps way up in V1.5.
- Corn : Let's be clear with you, dear readers. O.J. Mayo WILL be going in the top 5 of this draft. Book it. Not because he is so great and not because teams won't like his "off court drama," but with the right coaching and a smaller market (to keep him out of trouble), he could use his awesome skill set and really turn himself into a great NBA guard. Of course, I predict he will become the perfect inbred offspring of Ricky Davis and Smush Parker.
- Danilo Gallinari is unquestionably the biggest wild card in this draft. Stupid Euros always confusing us with their combinations of size, touch and agility. Who doesn't need that in a small forward? Lots of teams, actually. But he's got too much talent for someone not to take him in the top 10. Doesn't he? Or did Andrea Bargnani scare off too many teams?
- DeAndre Jordan vs. Kevin Love is a nasty, nasty fight. Size versus scoring. Upside versus immediate impact. You can't teach size. You also can't teach a big man to have Love's athleticism. The Bobcats may have a pretty tough one in front of them.
- The DeAndre Jordan/Kosta Koufos/Darrell Arthur trifecta made us nauseous from swimming around in it.
- Russell Westbrook is unquestionably going to be a steal. Whether he works out is, of course, completely unpredictable as all draft picks are, but considering his value and skills, he's going to be a sweet pickup from somebody. He's one of the few players we have LOCKED at 12 to the Kings.
- In case anyone was wondering, yes we are completely aware that none of this will be the same come Tuesday. We're actually hoping for it. We want complete chaos in the Lottery. Our preferred selection order is Bobcats, Timberwolves, Clippers, Miami, etc. just because it makes for the most chaos. And we love chaos.
- Corn: But, if things hold true, the Sonics are in terrific shape. They get a second year in a row of getting an "almost" top overall pick, who we think will be Beasley. Then they get another good pick in the 20s, which we think will be Mario Chalmers. A good defensive point/combo who can pass the ball and hit open 3s. Exciting times for Oklahoma City!
- The Blazers are SOL. They need a point to run with Brandon Roy, and there won't be one available. After that, they need a small forward, and the only option we can see there is reaching for Donte Green. So they're SOL. And by SOL, we mean "going to compete for a championship for the next six years."
- Corn: Remember these two names: Richard Hendrix and Shan Foster. I predict Hendrix will work out well and make it into the back half of the first round. Foster is likely to be the next Michael Redd, a second round steal who can put up 20+ a game.
- Corn is also HUGE on Darrell Arthur, and trying to keep him down in this draft is exceedingly difficult. Upside's going to hurt him a bit, though. That seems to be the story with most of the Kansas guys. Should be solid, could be great, not enough upside to guarantee high selections. Interestingly, the Memphis guys are the exact opposite. Rose and CDR both make pretty much every blogger drool. (Ed. note - Corn- Matt is positively wrong about Arthur.)
- Corn:Trying to peg where Nicholas Batum is headed is akin to self lobotomy. Could be in the Top 10, could be much later. One thing Matt and I agreed on instantly was that if he were around when Toronto picks, he is theirs. I mean really, he's foreign. It's a lock.
- Top of the first round, everyone needs big guys, there aren't that many, but there are tons of small guards that few teams need. Back of the draft? Tons of big guys, who nobody needs, and no small guards, who everyone needs. What does this tell you about the value of shooting guards versus competent rebounders and low post defenders in the NBA?
- Corn - If the Magic do not take the best available rebounding/defensively minded big man with their pick (and there will be many left) we'll put good money on someone in Orlando and asphyxiating Otis Smith.
We'll have V. 1.5 up a little later on tonight.