All right, mock to your heart's content
|Of many possibilities for Toronto; Doug makes his pick below.|
Here’s the thing: This is hard.
You talk to this assistant coach and you get this order; you talk to that scout and you get that order; you talk to this guy and you get an e-mail equivalent of a blank stare. A scout tells you one thing, another beat guy tells you another.
And then you put it all down on a screen and it looks like the entire draft for the Raptors will depend on what Don Nelson and Larry Riley want in Golden State and if you can figure that out for sure, you’re a far better person than I.
Anyway, into the breach we go with Mock 2.0, An Exercise In Futility
(Please, remember, this should be used for the basis of entertainment and discussion only, no gambling allowed):
And that’s about as insightful as we need to get on this one.
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma.
This is actually where the draft starts. And so does the intrigue.
They need pretty much everything and have their choice of just about everything. The sexy pick, and the one that might sell a ticket or two, would be Tyreke Evans, who went to school in Memphis, but the consensus out there is that he’s not a good fit.
So, they do the expected, even if it kind of duplicates Marc Gasol.
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut.
The First Annual LaRue Martin Draft Bust List
Not much has changed here, it’s got to be a two-man race between Evans and Ricky Rubio, doesn’t it? I know Minnesota loves Rubio and there might be a deal here or there might have been one for the Memphis pick, although I don’t see Thabeet sliding past the Thunders if he’s there.
So, it’s got to be …
Ricky Rubio, Spain.
The wise Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee writes that there might be a bit of a surprise pick here. And since the decision’s really been made for them with what transpired five minutes earlier, why wouldn’t he be right? Of course, if he’s wrong and they go for Dell’s kid, nobody would be surprised.
Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Oh, there will be angst in the Twin Cities; they covet Rubio like mad. They may be putting Paella alongside fish on all the best menus in town as we speak.
Trouble is, he’s going to be gone if not to the Timberwolves in some trade, at least to one of the four teams above them.
Minnesota shook up the whole draft by getting the extra slot and no matter what, they should get a couple of pretty good players, it just depends on the order in which they take them.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse.
These guys again?
Okay, they got one backcourt spot filled with their first choice and while Jerry Zygoda thinks one thing in this story out of the Star-Tribune, I’m not so sure.
Late-night whispers sent me in another direction and despite my misgivings (I think Stephen Curry’s the right fit, too), I’ll stick to what I heard. Besides, Curry might be gone.
James Harden, Arizona State.
Logic says one thing but the Warriors can be so wacky, I’m not sure logic holds here. They seem to be divesting themselves of Jamal Crawford for a couple of iffy guards, which does nothing to solve the Monta Ellis dilemma, he’s still their best point guard and I don’t think they take anyone ahead of him.
Holiday didn’t work out for them, and they really don’t need to go off the board for a swingman, do they? No, which means they might.
Let’s go with the one that makes sense and hope Nellie and Larry Riley concur:
Jordan Hill, Arizona.
Finally, one that makes sense and one we figured on right from the start. Does that mean it’ll happen? Well, if everything unfolds like I’ve just laid out it sure will. That, though, is unlikely to have happened. And Dell Curry can have a nice birthday party with his kid. But if Minnesota scoops Curry with one of its picks, I think Harden lands here.
Stephen Curry, Davidson.
Okay, here’s where the rubber, as they say, hits the road.
All three guys they like – Holiday, DeRozan and Johnson – could very well be here and then it’s decision time.
And I have no real feel for what they’ll do. I think there are people around the table who love Holiday, those who love DeRozan and those who think Johnson’s the best bet to step in and contribute right away.
The feeling I got from talks yesterday is that the discussion will go on all day into the early evening.
The gut says DeRozan, right? Teenager with boatloads of potential, 6-7, jump out of the gym.
But what about Holiday? We know Bryan loves guys who can play multiple positions and I know they think they can put him on the court with Jose or without him and that’s some backcourt versatility.
But they have no twos or threes, right? That’s a huge hole and I don’t know if they can fill both starting spots in free agency. I guess they could start Jose, Delfino, either Marion or his replacement and Bosh and Bargnani, right?
Seriously, I think you can make the case for all three.
I’m going to go off the board here a bit and suggest this:
And I’m fully prepared to be mocked unmercifully.
Another confusing one, at least a little bit. They need a point guard but I wonder if Jennings is a fit with Scott Skiles and there aren’t a lot of other point guards left who you’d take at No. 10, are there? They dealt Richard Jefferson, which everyone figures is so they can sign Charlie this summer but what if they did it to sign Sessions?
I have a feeling, and it’s little more than that, that they go safe and old.
James Johnson, Wake Forest.
For real, this is the name I heard yesterday for more than one source and, as you can read here, the uber-smart Dave D concurs. Sort of make sense, too, but I’m not sure anyone figured on DeRozan falling this far. Still, I trust my boys.
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
This can’t be this easy, can it? My Man Rick Bonnell writes here that they want Terrence Williams and, lo and behold, Terrence Williams is still on the board!
Terrence Williams, Louisville.
Every indication I’ve got is that they want a guard, which seems a bit odd given all the guards they’ve got. But they also need some help on the wing and could use some assistance in the post. Other than that, they’re ready to do. But, they also need to spark some fan interest so the local kid makes sense. Sort of.
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest.
No Shaq, apparently, and who knows what they do with Amare over the summer so they have to get bigger, right? Or do they go with DeRozan because he fits their style of play better? Good questions. And I have few answers. I’m certainly not sold on the other Lopez or the Amundson kid as long term fixes so I bet they take Grant Hill’s replacement.
Demar DeRozan, USC
So there you have it.
I have no idea if this is how it plays out, which is going to make tonight rather interesting, I imagine. Usually, I’d be worried that we’re getting all set up for a terrible letdown and a draft that just goes according to script but the fact is, there is no script.
Which is very good.
Anyway, we’ll be back right around 7 p.m. to start a little chat and live bloggy thingy that’ll take us through the lottery portion of the selections before I’ll have to go and, you know, write stories.
Hope to see some of you then.
And if we get any whispers this afternoon about talks or trades or changes in the wind, we’ll let you know so click back often (it increases our hits and who knows what you’ll find when you do.)