With the eighteenth pick in the 2008 SBNation NBA Mock Draft, the Washington Wizards, represented by Bullets Forever , select...
Roy Hibbert, Center, Georgetown University. 7-2, 272 lbs.
Bullets Forever says:
Yeah, yeah, I know. Cue the skeptics who say that we're only making this pick because Hibbert is a local product, just like Juan Dixon or Steve Blake or any of the former Terrapins we trotted on the end of our bench for years.
Here's how I'd respond. Right now, the Wizards need a young player who can come in right away and cheaply provide solid production. We don't need a Euro project (bye bye Nicholas Batum!), and we don't need someone we can wait on to develop, not with our team desperately close to the luxury tax. Position isn't that big of a deal, but with the Cleveland series still fresh in my mind, another big man couldn't hurt.
I considered all possible positions before making this choice. I considered getting another point guard, and am a huge fan of Mario Chalmers, but decided that this was too high for him and that we can survive with Gilbert Arenas and Antonio Daniels. I considered drafting another wing player to back up the increasingly fragile Caron Butler, but with Brandon Rush and Chris Douglas-Roberts, my two top choices, off the board, I decided to move in another direction. I was not a fan of Donte Greene, and I considered Courtney Lee, but decided he was more of a 2 than a 3.
So that leaves drafting a big guy, and among the guys left, Hibbert's my favorite. I was hoping that Maureese Speights would fall to us, but damn Ziller had to reach for him. Hibbert's rebounding is supposedly a weakness, but his rebound rate placed him on the same level as Kostas Koufos and JaVele McGee and better than Robin Lopez (see here). Hibbert is a perfect fit for the Princeton offense, having played in it effectively in college, and despite his soft reputation, shoots far more free throws than the jump-shooting Koufos, who would only duplicate another young big we already have in Oleksiy Pecherov.
Most importantly, Hibbert's size provides us with a solid interior defender for when Brendan Haywood is on the bench. He may not block a ton of shots, but he'll alter them by just being in the lane. Years of seeing Etan Thomas fall woefully short with this task has made this a major area of need.
He may not be any better than a backup center, but that's fine with me, considering Thomas has been so terrible in that role, and considering that we get so angry at BF at Eddie Jordan for going small when Haywood is out of the game. We were talking about this guy as a lottery pick a year ago in a far stronger draft. His junior season was about as good as his sophomore campaign, and now he's available at 18? In the end, that sealed it for me.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, represented by Waiting For Next Year , are on the clock.
The 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft so far:
1. Chicago Bulls- Blog-A-Bull: Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat- Peninsula is Mightier: Michael Beasley
3. Minnesota Timberwolves- Canis Hoopus: OJ Mayo
4. Seattle Supersonics- Ridiculous Upside: Eric Gordon
5. Memphis Grizzlies- 3 Shades of Blue: Kevin Love
6. New York Knicks- Posting and Toasting: Russell Westbrook
7. Los Angeles Clippers- Clips Nation: Jerryd Bayless
8. Milwaukee Bucks- BrewHoop: Anthony Randolph
9. Charlotte Bobcats- Queen City Hoops: Joe Alexander
10. New Jersey Nets-Nets Daily: Brook Lopez
11. Indiana Pacers-Indy Cornrows: DJ Augustin
12. Sacramento Kings- Sactown Royalty: Marreese Speights
13. Portland Trailblazers-Blazers Edge: Brandon Rush
14. Golden State Warriors- Golden State of Mind: DeAndre Jordan
15. Phoenix Suns- Bright Side of the Sun: Danilo Gallinari
16. Philadelphia 76ers- Ridiculous Upside: Darrell Arthur
17. Toronto Raptors- The Dinosty: Chris Douglas Roberts
18. Washington Wizards- Bullets Forever: Roy Hibbert