Consensus NBA Mock Draft (6/10)

Both ESPN (Chad Ford) and NBADraft.net updated their mock drafts today, so it’s a good time to update our consensus mock draft. (Come on, DraftExpress and DIME, your mocks are getting stale!)

A few things to note:

– Whether or not Jordan Hill slips might depend on what happens with James Harden. If he’s there at #5, the Wizards could very well take him, and the teams picking #6 through #9 will probably pass on Hill, leaving him for the Bucks at #10. As a Bucks fan, I’d be happy if the team got Hill in the draft and re-signed Ramon Sessions.

– It doesn’t look like Ricky Rubio is too keen on going to Memphis, but he probably won’t slip past the Kings at #4. If the Thunder see Russell Westbrook as their point guard of the future (which is what Chad Ford is reporting), then it wouldn’t make sense for OKC to draft him, though they could try to trade down and pick up a good player in the process. They could trade down to #5 and grab Hill, but the Wizards aren’t looking to trade up.

– Brandon Jennings’ range in this consensus is #7 to #14. Expect that to change as he does a few individual workouts. He was considered the top talent in his class by many coming out of high school, but his stock has slipped some since he played (inconsistently) over in Italy this season.

– The four mocks have the Warriors taking four different point guards. It just goes to show what kind of depth there is at the position this year.

– Of these four mocks, the one I trust least is DIME. From Earl Clark going #6 to the Jazz passing on Hansbrough at #20, there are a few headscratchers. I’d like to see an updated mock from DIME.

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NBA draft and free agency rumors: Jordan Hill slipping, Ron Artest to Greece and more

DraftExpress is over at the Reebok EuroCamp, and reported some rumors that are making the rounds.

Jordan Hill potentially slipping into the bottom of the top-10 or even possibly slightly beyond. The talk is that the Washington Wizards’ 5th pick could very well end up being claimed by Stephen Curry (whether for them or another team trading up), and that since Minnesota, Golden State, New York and maybe even Toronto appear to be looking at other positional needs, Hill could be on the short end of the stick come draft night.

Hill has a lot of upside, picked up the game late, and still averaged 18.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for a NCAA tournament-caliber team in a power conference. He has long arms and a great reach, and he can jump out of the gym. The only concern from his combine numbers is a lack of lateral quickness. He’d be a good fit for the Bucks at #10 and even the Raptors at #9, though Toronto might be interested in finding a banger so that they can move Chris Bosh to power forward full time.

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2009 NBA Mock Draft Version 2.0

It has been about two weeks since I published my first mock draft, so it’s a good time to check back in with all the news and rumors and take another stab.

Like I said in the intro of my first mock, it’s tough for me to make predictions about what teams will do because I’m constantly thinking about what they should do. These are obviously two very different things.

For this go-around, I’m going to try something a little different. I’ve compiled the picks for four mock drafts from sites that I respect — ESPN (Chad Ford), Dime Magazine, DraftExpress and NBADraft.net — and then I’ll provide my own picks taking their picks into account, to form some sort of consensus.

Let’s get on with it…

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2009 NBA Mock Draft Version 1.0

With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we now know the exact order of the first 14 picks. The Los Angeles Clippers hit paydirt when they won the right to draft Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin with the first overall pick. The Grizzlies moved up from #6 to #2, and the Thunder moved up one spot to pick #3. The big losers Tuesday night were Sacramento and Washington, who had the best and second-best shot at the top pick, but instead fell to #4 and #5, respectively.

Mock drafts are tough for me because I’m usually thinking about what teams should do instead of trying to predict what they will do. This mock will be more predictive, but if I disagree with a selection, I’ll say so. Over the next few weeks, I’ll update this mock to jive with the latest news from around the league. It’s still very early in the process so things are very fluid. One mock has a player going #11 while another may have him going #29.

I’m just going to make picks for the first fourteen slots on the first go-round and then provide the picks of a few different mocks that I respect for #15-#30, along with a short writeup for each team.

#1 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Even Mike Dunleavy can’t screw this one up. Barring something obscenely out of the blue, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin will be the first overall pick. The Clippers could use a power forward to replace Elton Brand, and Griffin is the only “sure thing” in this draft. He’s strong, skilled and athletic, and he has an improving offensive game. He has star written all over him.
Pick: Griffin, PF

#2 MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
The Grizzlies were reportedly one of the few teams more interested in UConn’s 7’3” center Hasheem Thabeet than they were in Blake Griffin. The Grizzlies already have 7’1” Marc Gasol, so Thabeet wouldn’t fill a need like Jordan Hill, Ricky Rubio or Brandon Jennings would (assuming the team isn’t sold on Hakim Warrick or Mike Conley), but Thabeet has the potential to become a dominant defensive center along the lines of Dikembe Mutombo. But will he be willing to put the work in to become an effective post player?
Pick: Thabeet, C

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Early entries keep coming

Arizona junior Jordan Hill will skip his final year and enter the NBA draft. Hill averaged 18.1 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats and the 6’10” power forward is projected to be a top 5 pick. His teammate, Chase Budinger, already declared for the draft…Wake Forest sophomore Jeff Teague will make himself eligible for the draft but won’t hire an agent, so there’s a good chance that he’ll return for his junior season…USC junior guard Daniel Hackett will enter the draft and hire an agent, ending his career at Southern Cal.

Mock drafts: NBADraft.net, DraftExpress

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