Here are the first few picks in the first round of our NBA Mock Draft. To view the rest of the draft click here
# 1 Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma, 6-9, So.
Poor Blake Griffin. This has to be the worst case scenario for him. The Clips are are a destination where players just do not thrive. They already have some talented big man in Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph. Maybe Griffin can be the spark and hard worker the Clipper franchise has been longing for for the past decade-plus.
Think: Amare Stoudamire
#2 Memphis Grizzlies: Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain, 6-4, 1990
Even though there are rumors he doesn’t want to play for Memphis, Rubio HAS to be the pick here. He is by far the second-best prospect in the 2009 NBA Draft. If I am the Griz, I either take Rubio and then trade Mike Conley for a power forward, or try to trade down a couple spots (the Kings would be a perfect partner) and pick either Hasheem Thabeet or Jordan Hill, who would fill a need for Memphis up front.
Think: Steve Nash
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn, 7-3, Jr.
Thabeet would be the defensive presence the Thunder desperately need down low and another building block in OKC alongside Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Russell Westbrook. If Thabeet is taken No. 2 by Memphis, Rubio is a no brainer and Westbrook is shifted to the two-guard spot.
Think: Ben Wallace, but six inches taller
#4 Sacramento Kings: Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona, 6-10, So.
Hill is the fourth pick, but by the Grizzlies in a swap of picks. This makes too much sense (which is probably why it won’t happen.) I have made it obvious that I think Rubio is the perfect fit for the Kings and they should do everything in their power to move up to get him. Hill would be a great addition in Memphis alongside Conley, O.J. Mayo, and Rudy Gay. If the Kings can’t trade up, don’t be surprised if they reach for a point guard like Brandon Jennings or Jrue Holiday.
Think: LaMarcus Aldridge
#5 Washington Wizards: James Harden, SG, Arizona State, 6-5, So.
Early buzz has the Wizards trying to shop this pick to acquire a veteran to help them get back to the playoffs since they have the pieces in tact to do so (they just need to stay healthy.) If they can’t find a taker, Harden makes the most sense since he can come in and contribute right away and possibly grow into a solid backcourt running mate for Agent Zero.
Think: Paul Pierce
#6 Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis, 6-6, Fr.
I love Evans and think he would be the perfect fit for the T-Wolves who need a player that can attack the basket which is Evans’ strength. He can also play some point guard, a position that Randy Foye has never really taken over since arriving in Minnesota. The knock on Evans is his inconsistent outside shot, but that improves with time.
Think: Manu Ginobli
Here are the first few picks in the second round of our NBA Mock Draft. To view the rest of the draft click here
#31 Sacramento Kings: Victor Claver, F, Spain, 6-11
Claver has first-round potential but won’t be ready to come to the NBA for a couple years.
#32 Portland Blazers: Jonas Jerebko, PF, Sweden, 6-9, 1989
The Blazers have four second-round selections and will likely take a few foreign prospoects or trade a couple of the picks.
#33 Washington Wizards: Vladimir Dasic, SF, Montenegro, 1988
The Wiz have a pretty full roster and would be wise drafting a foreign player who can come over and contribute in a couple years.
#34 Denver Nuggets: Darren Collison, PG, UCLA, 6-0
A potential backup to Chauncey Billups, Darren Collison is an experienced floor leader and could sneak into the late first round.
#35 Memphis Grizzlies: Marcus Thornton, SG, LSU, Sr.
I think Thornton would be a steal of a second-round pick and could be a three-point threat off the Griz bench.
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