2009 NBA Mock Draft Version 3.0 + Updated Consensus

The draft is just a few days away, so it’s a good time to take one final stab at mocking the first round of this draft. I’ll continue to update the consensus draft this week, but this will be my last attempt at predicting what will happen this Thursday.

First, let’s take a look at the most recent consensus. Chad Ford released the most recent version of his mock draft today, NBADraft.net also updated today, while DraftExpress updated their mock yesterday.

Now I’ll go, pick by pick, through the first round, taking the consensus into account while also throwing in my $0.02 here and there.

The Clips have shown no signs of trading away their opportunity to draft Blake Griffin. There is much fluidity with the next few picks, but the Oklahoma product is pretty much guaranteed to be the first pick. The Clippers will then (reportedly) try to move Zach Randolph or Chris Kaman, though it might be wise to move forward with Kaman and Griffin in the front court, Baron Davis at the point, and Eric Gordon and Al Thornton on the wing. Randolph is going to be tough to move. (I still can’t believe that Mike Dunleavy traded for him last season.)
Pick: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma

The consensus says that Hasheem Thabeet will be the pick and I don’t disagree, even though he just pulled out of a workout with Memphis due to a shoulder injury. DraftExpress thinks that Memphis will go with James Harden and move O.J. Mayo to the point, which they say is his natural position. I don’t know that they’ve given up on Mike Conley yet, so I think they will go big with this pick. Their biggest need is at power forward, so trading down and drafting Jordan Hill is a possibility. But if they stand pat, Thabeet could very well be the pick, even though he doesn’t seem to want to play in Memphis.
Pick: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn

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NBA consensus mock draft (6/16)

Chad Ford and Draft Express updated their mocks, so it’s a good time to take another look at the consensus. I also added Rotoworld’s most recent mock to the equation, and added a column (“consensus”) that makes a pick if two or more of the mocks agree on a player.

A few random thoughts…

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Brandon Jennings: ‘I’m better than Ricky Rubio.’

Brandon Jennings isn’t shy. When being interviewed by the Sacramento Bee after a workout with the Kings, Jennings had some sharp words for Ricky Rubio. [Transcript from The Sporting Blog.]

Jennings: Well, put it like this: If he was in a workout with me, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry, he wouldn’t even probably be at the top.

Reporter: You think he’s all hype?

Jennings: Yeah.

Reporter: Because?

Jennings: Because he played in the Olympics, he been playing pro ball since he been 14, so you know, there it is right there. And you know, his stats? 26 minutes, and he be having like 16 points, 7 assists [inaudible — sounds like he says 900] steals? Come on. Twenty-six minutes, and you have all that? So I really don’t know. I really don’t know. I can’t wait to play him, though. I’m just letting y’all know that now. I can’t wait.

Reporter: You think you should go before Ricky Ruubio in the draft?

Jennings: Yeah, I think I’m a better player than he is. I can shoot the ball better than he can. The only time I’ve seen him do something is when he has a home run pass or something. So I think the dude is all hype. I can’t even front. I’m going to be real with you guys.

Two weeks out, Rubio is still considered the top point guard in the draft, but his stock isn’t quite as high as it once was. While they love the “feel” that he has for the game, some personnel people are concerned about his overall athleticism and his suspect jumper.

Meanwhile, Jennings stock has slipped considerably since midseason largely because he got inconsistent playing time while in Italy.

Rubio is definitely more pass-first than he is shoot-first, and the opposite is true for Jennings, at least reputation-wise. Of the best point guards in the league, most are pass-first, so it’s no surprise that Rubio is favored right now.

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.

Brandon Jennings, the wild card

Of all the top prospects in this year’s draft, perhaps the least is known about Brandon Jennings, who skipped an opportunity to play a year at Arizona to join a team in Italy. He had an up-and-down season, his minutes were inconsistent, but by most accounts he did improve. Chad Ford wrote a nice piece for ESPN Insider — it’s long, but this struck me as particularly interesting…

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