Go ahead, mock at will
Okay, you asked for it.
The First Annual D. Smith Beat Grunt Mock Draft
I have no idea if it’s right or wrong but it’s here and there aren’t a whole lot of surprises at the moment. Those are still to come.
The disclaimer: There is all kinds of speculation out there, legitimate and not, so the order that’s here may not actually be the order that unfolds next Thursday night.
Still, people I’ve spoken to are pretty sure the six guys at the top will stay there in some order, but the teams making the picks may change.
This is the only lock on the board, isn’t it? Mike Dunleavy said the night of the lottery that the decision was made and there’s been nothing to suggest he’s either changed his mind or found a deal worth making.
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Here’s where it gets interesting already. Does Memphis take Ricky Rubio to trade him? To keep him? Or do they take the big fella Thabeet and not worry about Rubio’s buyout or the fact he’s not all that in love with the Grizzlies (more like Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro than Marc Gasol)? Best guess?
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut.
Another relatively easy one, isn’t it? The Thunder need a big man – I’m sure they’d love to get their mitts on Thabeet – but if there’s no trade with Memphis, I don’t see how they can get him. So, it’s on to Plan B, adding another young athletic kid to a team that’s got a lot of them.
James Harden, Arizona State.
They need a lot out there in Kings-land. They were terrible last year and there’s not a whole lot one draft pick is going to solve just by his arrival. But they can fill one glaring weakness with the logical pick.
Ricky Rubio, Spain
This pick is absolutely in play and very few people I talk to think Washington will end up keeping it. Whether they make the selection for someone else on a pre-arranged deal or trade it before draft night remains to be seen. But even if they end up making it, the guy – my friends tell me – probably remains the same
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Lots of stuff going on with the Timberwolves, who have about half a dozen front office types, no coach and a roster full of bewildered players who wanted Kevin McHale back.
Should be a heckuva week over there, no?
Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Now the fun really begins. Does Golden State move Monta Ellis to the two and draft a point guard? They really don’t need a wing, do they? This is Larry Riley’s first draft as GM and I can just see Don Nelson like a mad scientist pushing the buttons behind the curtain.
Jrue Holiday, UCLA
This is one where I have no real idea and no one I’ve spoken to can get a good handle on it, either. They love Curry but he’s probably going to be gone so now we’re down to taking what’s there that fits a need. They have free agent decisions on David Lee and Nate Robinson and could take a replacement for either here. Like …
Jordan Hill, Arizona
Ta-da! Just as we expected, a few names are on the board that they like and it’s time to make a choice. But unless Bryan’s got something up his sleeve – which is an absolute possibility – they currently don’t have a two or three under contract for next season.
Luckily, there’s a guy here who fits that bill.
Demar DeRozan, USC
A bit of a no-brainer, since they aren’t sure Sessions is coming back and Luke Ridnour probably isn’t a long-term solution at the point.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
How bad were their bigs a year ago? Yeah, they were that bad. This is a team that probably drafts for need more than anything else.
Dejuan Blair, Pittsburgh
Local kid makes good? Hard to see this guy dropping this far but I don’t see where he goes in the top 11.
Gerald Henderson, Duke
The Pacers need a little bit of everything, although they do seem set at point guard. Which is too bad because the two best guys here are probably Jennings and maybe Ty Lawson. And that means no one can be sure what they’ll do. The troubling knee woes of Mike Dunleavy might play a factor in a wild card pick.
Tyler Hansbrough, UNC
Haven’t heard much out of the Suns about the draft, everyone’s preoccupied with whether or not they’ll move Amare or Shaquille. And if they do, that’ll have an impact on what they do here because this pick may be in play as well. But what the heck, we gotta give ‘em someone.
Earl Clark, Louisville
So, there you have it. For now.
Things could change significantly in the next week so this is for fun and frivolity only; don’t hold me to it. We’ll do another one just before the draft, after I’ve had a chance to really pick the brains of my boys and girls out there in gruntland.