The REAL Decision ’08: THE 2008 NBA DRAFT  

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls and Children of all ages, lets put the politics aside for one minute and talk about something that really matters; The NBA Draft.  We all know McCain and Obama have their issues and platforms to defend, but so do another entity in this country; The Chicago Bulls.  If you think choosing your next president is hard, choosing the future of your franchise is even harder.  Good luck to you John Paxon, let’s see if your selection can match the efficiency of your three-point jumper.  We all remember game six of the 1993 NBA finals when Paxon hit the game winning three to bury Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, “Thunder” Dan Majerle and the rest of that Phoenix Suns team that fell victim to Jordan and the Bulls.  Now it is time for Mr. Paxon to come through in the clutch once again as the fate of the Bulls future rests on this pick.   Besides the Bulls though, there are other teams in this draft that can benefit from this talented draft class.  I am proud to present, one week before the draft, my second and final mock draft.   Since my last draft we have seen players stocks plummet and rise.  Brook Lopez’s stock has fallen nearly out of the top 10 while Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook’s have risen.  But are we in store for an even bigger stunning surprise in Miami?  I’ll explain that in a moment.  Let’s get started.  I have analyzed the entire first round.

1st pick:  Chicago Bulls

I cannot stress enough how important this pick is for this team.  They had a 1.8% chance of getting it and they beat all of the odds without even having a ridiculous good luck charm present with them at the Lottery.  On one end you have an amazing point guard and on the other hand a phenomenal combo forward.  After doing my research I have to agree with realgm.com that this league is now a guard dominated league and I think in order for the Bulls to be able to run with big boys, I think that they need the same the New Orleans has, a point guard.  Without Chris Paul, that team is not what is now and I still think that you can go either way with this pick and still have success.  If you hear of Ben Gordon being traded to the Knicks or another team, don’t be surprised.  That event will clinch Rose as the number one pick.  Experts are pretty split down the board and the Bulls can’t go wrong with either player.  I have made a final decision though and I’m not 100% confident but it makes the most sense.  J-Fense Pick:  Derrick Rose

2nd Pick:  Miami Heat

The latest rumors say that the Heat might pull a fast one at the draft and leave Beasley on the board if Rose is selected at one.  This shocked me because a player like Beasley is very valuable and a great asset to have on a team.  Hey Pat Riley, I think all of that gel that you’ve been putting in your hair over the last 30 years has finally reached your brain and is effecting your decision making.  The Heat are considering taking OJ Mayo over Beasley with their pick.  I like Mayo, but I like Beasley more.  Imagine a front court of Beasley, Marion and Mourning or Earl Barron, sounds good.  I just don’t think Mayo and Wade can co-exist in the backcourt.  It doesn’t make any sense.  If the Bulls pick Beasley first, reports say that the Heat will select Rose.  J-Fense Pick:  Michael Beasley

3rd Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves

Bottomline, the T-Wolves need a shooting guard.  They have none.  I hope OJ Mayo likes the Midwest because that is where he will go if the Heat don’t pick him at 2.  If by chance, Riley picks Mayo, just pick Beasley and figure a way to transfer Corey brewer into a shooting guard.  A backcourt of Randy Foye and Mayo would be stellar. J-Fense Pick: O.J. Mayo         

4th Pick:  Seattle (for now) Supersonics

I would just like to say that the rally was very impressive to keep the Sonics in Seattle.  Gary Payton was there along with 3,000 other Sonics faithful.  This pick has already been decided so don’t expect any surprises.  With the fourth pick in the 2008 NBA draft, the Seattle Supersonics will select Jerryd Bayless from the University of Arizona.  I still don’t think Bayless will save the Sonics from their assumed fate, of moving to Oklahoma, but hopefully for the team, him and Kevin Durant will mesh well together.  J-Fense Pick:  Jerryd Bayless

5th Pick:  Memphis Grizzles

  Memphis needs a big guy.  Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic, and Jason Collins (sorry Tommy T), are all failures.  You can go one of two ways here as there are two big men out there who have had impressive workouts and no Brook Lopez is not one of them.  I’m talking about Anthony Randolph and a certain nephew of the lead singer of the greatest American classic rock band ever, The Beach Boys, KEVIN LOVE!  He looks a lot like his uncle Mike Love but that’s besides the point.  Right after the lottery, experts had this guy going between picks 9-14 and now the experts have changed their tune on Love.  Love is an excellent inside player and is easily seen as averaging a double-double and his workouts have been very impressive.  Anthony Randolph is not only an accomplished scorer, but he can also play defense and has nice ups.  My only beef with him and this is why his stock has fallen a bit, he doesn’t play up to his height.  He is nearly seven feet and didn’t average 10 boards last season.  That’s a bit problematic.  I have faith though that both would make this team better.  I have to go with the guy who I think is more aggressive.  J-Fense Pick:  Kevin Love

6th Pick:  New York Knicks

I am sorry but to all you Italian New Yorkers, the “Italian Stallion” Danillo Galinari will not be selected with this pick.  His stock has fallen tremendously.  He is too raw and the Knicks are not willing to take the risk.  There are reports that that out of anyone that has worked out with New York, Donnie Walsh was most impressed by Russell Westbrook.  I called this guy a few weeks ago to be a possible selection and now it appears he is a finalist.  However, there is another player in this draft that has impressed me time and time again and his name is D.J. Augustin.  Bottom-line:  The Knicks need a point guard of some sort and I think Westbrook would fit the system well but I like Augustin better because he is a natural point guard.  The Knicks have enough scorers and now they need someone who can create and penetrate.  J-Fense Pick:  D.J. Augustin

7th Pick:  LA Clippers

There seems to be three people who the Clippers are interested in:  Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook and Danillo Galinari.  The reason why coach Dunlevy likes Galinari is because apparently his basketball IQ is amazing.  I still wouldn’t pick someone based solely off of that.  I personally like the other two options for them.  Shaun Livingston is too injury prone to depend on so I think someone who can play the point at least a little bit would be good for them.  That is why I think Russell Westbrook is a great fit for them.  He not only can play the point, but if the Clippers need him to score he will.  He will need time to develop but I think he will fit well with their system.  J-Fense Pick:  Russell Westbrook

8th Pick:  Milwaukee Bucks

Experts say that this situation is confusing but I really don’t see why.  Chad Ford says the Bucks biggest need right now is a small forward to help out Desmond Mason.  Oh, and don’t worry about Michael Redd.  Scott Skiles assured him that he wouldn’t be traded despite the rumors so that won’t effect the Bucks pick.  I think the Bucks should go with a guy like Danillo Galinari.  I really am confident he would fit better for them than Joe Alexander.  I think with his B-ball IQ, he can really help this team out on all ends.  If the Bucks don’t take him, the Nets will.  If worse comes to worst, you start Mason until Galinari develops more.  He could be a good role player off the bench because of his quickness and versatility.  J-Fense Pick:  Danillo Galinari

9th Pick:  Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats are a big man away from becoming an unbelievable force in the East.  I am very excited about this team and Portland personally.  My original pick for the Bobcats was Kevin Love, but experts say that he will be picked by Memphis so I think the next best player for them is Brook Lopez.  Lopez is 7-3 and with Okafor by his side, just Lopez’s presence will help on the defensive end.  Okafor is a confident scorer and rebounder.  That front court of Gerald Wallace/Adam Morrison, Okafor and Lopez would be amazing with J-Rich and Felton in the backcourt.  Lopez is the most sensible pick for the ‘Cats and he will step up this team on the defensive end and take care of the garbage points as well.  J-Fense Pick:  Brook Lopez

10th Pick:  New Jersey Nets

The Nets need to build on their frontcourt.  They have the scorers taken care of between Jefferson and Carter alone.  I think you need to add more depth because when I look at their front court of Williams, Boone, Kristic and Swift, the only reliable player I see is Williams.  This is why I think the Nets should pick Anthony Randolph which would add a lot more depth and pep to their step.  They don’t have to start him right away because they have other players that can fill the void temporarily, but long-term I think Randolph can be the Nets PF of the future.  Him, along with Sean Williams, can make a fantastic front court along with Jefferson unless the Nets decide to start Kristic instead and have Williams continue coming off the bench.  Rumor has it though, that the Nets have “guaranteed” Danillo Galinari that he would be their pick if he was still on the board.  Rumors are not always true though.  J-Fense Pick:  Anthony Randolph

11th Pick:  Indiana Pacers

Indiana can go one of two ways.  They can either select a sharp-shooter in Eric Gordon or PF Marreese Speights.  This all will depend on Jermaine O’Neal and where to place Dunlevy and Granger.  Will Jermaine O’Neal be a pacer next season?  Nobody knows.  I really want them to select Gordon, but I think because A. they don’t know what will happen with J.O. and B.  because Dunlevy and Granger can play the 2 and the 3, I think that for liability reasons, the safe bet and the best bet for the Pacers would be to go with Speights.  J-Fense Pick:  Marreese Speights

12th Pick: Sacramento Kings

The Kings are also in a messy situation because the on and off rumors of Ron Artest being traded have surfaced yet again.  This could effect their pick.  Unfort. I do not think Eric Gordon would fit well on this team because they seem to have enough at the guard-small forward spot.  I think they should concentrate on getting a power forward because they need defense.  If the Pacers do select Gordon with their pick, I would say that the Kings should pick Speights, but if not, I think the next best avalable PF for them would be Darrell Arthur.  They could also take a risk and draft JaVale McGee but I think Arthur has less bust potential then McGee. He is also more of a PF then McGee and that is the position that they need because Brad Miller is still a force at Center.  Arthur is quick and explosive and can play both ends of the floor.  J-Fense Pick:  Darrell Arthur

13th Pick:  Portland Trailblazers

Portland will most likely trade their pick because they have just about everything they need.  I can see them trading to a team who wants to draft either Eric Gordon or Joe Alexander.  I think Joe Alexander would be a great fit for this Portland team if they do decide to draft.   However, Portland has a good thing going at the 3 spot with Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw.  At the point guard spot they have Steve Blake and Jarrett Jack.  I have severe doubts that this team will be selecting at 13 because they have a great system ready for them and the only thing they lack is veteran leadership.  The team that trades with them will prob. At this point draft Eric Gordon if he is still on the board.  If I am forced to make a decision I will have to say Joe Alexander because Portland could use Alexander as a backup PF to LaMarcus Aldridge.  J-Fense Pick:  Joe Alexander (If they draft)  MY REAL PREDICTION:  The team that trades with Portland will draft Eric Gordon or Joe Alexander

14th Pick:  Golden State Warriors

The Warriors need a big guy who can rebound.  This is where I would select either DeAndre Jordan or JaVale McGee because both are big men with tremendous upside.  The Warriors need some defensive help and they need it now which is why I think Jordan would be too much of a risk because he is underdeveloped.  I think McGee who averaged nearly three blocks a game last season for Nevada and would fit well for this team and help them step it up on defense.  J-Fense Pick:  JaVale McGee

15th Pick:  Phoenix Suns (from Atlanta)

The Suns situation is interesting because there are rumors that they are trying to trade Raja Bell and/or Boris Diaw.  Normally I would have them drafting Gordon, but I believe that Shaq and Amare alone are not enough to handle the beasts of the west.  They need an off the bench big man.  Shaq is not half of what he used to be in his prime and will need help.  The most sensible pick at this juncture would be either DeAndre Jordan or Donte Greene.  I like Jordan better, he just needs to be motivated and if Shaq takes him under his wing, he can become a beast like Shaq was.  Jordan is a seven footer.  J-Fense Pick:  DeAndre Jordan 

16th Pick:   Philadelphia 76ers

They need a PF and the next best available seems to be JJ Hickson.  Good scorer and rebounder.  J-Fense Pick:  J.J. Hickson

17th Pick:  Toronto Raptors

The Raptors want another big man who can be compared and related to Brook Lopez.  Oh yeah his brother Robin is in the draft as well and the Raptors want him.  J-Fense Pick: Robin Lopez

18th Pick:  Washington Wizards

It is unknown whether the Wiz will have Antawn Jamison on their team next season due to the fact that he’s a free agent.  I think a perfect replacement for him would be Donte’ Greene from Syracuse.  Hes a scorer, just like Jamison and also a pretty solid defender and 6-10.  J-Fense Pick:  Donte’ Greene

19th Pick:  Cleveland Cavaliers

Big Z and Joe Smith’s career’s are just about over so the Cavs need a big man.  Standing at 7-1 is Kosta Koufos from Ohio State.  He is 19 but has a lot of upside.  J-Fense Pick:  Kosta Koufos

20th Pick:  Denver Nuggets

They have a lot of scorers and this is also tough because Carmello might not be on the team next season.  Let’s assume that he is, Denver needs a young point guard and I like Mario Chalmers.  J-Fense Pick:  Mario Chalmers

21st Pick:  New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)

The board is there’s.  They can go with anyone at this point.  On my board I’d say go for Eric Gordon.  VC needs a back up and won’t play forever.  J-Fense Pick:  Eric Gordon (He will be selected earlier most likely via trade)

22nd Pick:  Orlando Magic

They are in dire need of a SG.  They have none.  Brandon Rush would be a great fit for them because it will up their scoring even further. J-Fense Pick:  Brandon Rush

23rd Pick:  Utah Jazz

They need a SG, why not pick a guy who has a great shot and can slash to the rim as well.  That is the only thing they are lacking.  J-Fence Pick: Chris Douglas-Roberts

24th Pick:  Seattle Supersonics (from Phoenix)

History has shown that the Sonics like the foreign big men.  They need a big man.  I think that due to their history, there is an international PF waiting to be selected by them.  He is 18 and is from Congo. He’s 6-10.  J-Fense Pick:  Serge Ibaka

25th Pick:  Houston Rockets

I agree with Chad Ford that at this point in the draft, you take the most talented available player.  Here is a SF from France that is said to be very talented and they can use the extra forward.  J-Fense Pick:  Nicolas Batum

26th Pick:  San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs were very successful when they had the twin towers of Duncan and Robinson.  Maybe with this pick the twin towers can be resurrected.  They do need a big man after all.  J-Fense Pick:  Roy Hibbert 

27th Pick:  New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets need another shooter in my opinion and I think Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky is the right choice.  He’s a scorer and a slasher and will work well with Chris Paul.  J-Fense Pick: Courtney Lee

28th Pick:  Memphis Grizzles (From Lakers I guess:   Not Confirmed)

In my opinion, if Memphis takes love, I think I found a decent replacement for Gasol that would fill the PF void.  Jason Thompson from Rider averaged 20 and 12 last season.  Maybe Memphis will have twin Towers of their own.  J-Fense Pick:  Jason Thompson

29th Pick:  Detroit Pistons 

If Joe Dumars wants to clean house and try something new, there is a Center out there who I have been reading about and Chad Ford also said, has been most impressive in his workouts.  He is 7-1 and from France and is compared to LaMarcus Aldridge.  J-Fense Pick:  Alexis Ajinca

30th Pick:  Boston Celtics:    

This pick matters very little to the champs.  Kyle Weaver from Washington State is a good combo guard who can come off the bench and score.  He’ll do.  J-Fense Pick:  Kyle Weaver

 

THERE IS YOUR FIRST ROUND.  THERE IS A LOT OF TALENT TO GO AROUND THIS YEAR WITH THIS DEEP DRAFT.  EXPECT A FEW SURPRISES AND YES ERIC GORDON WILL GET DRAFTED.  I PROMISE.  I JUST ALSO WANT TO GIVE A SHOUT-OUT TO MY PARTNER BEARD WAGMAN FOR CALLING THE CELTS OVER THE LAKERS.  PROPS TO YOU BEARD, GOOD CALL.

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman   

 

 

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