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2008 NBA Mock Draft

Mock Draft, NBA Draft

The Bulls won the right to the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft against very long odds. In fact, they had only a 1.7% chance of receiving the first pick. Now that the draft order is set, we can begin to speculate on the players selected during the 2008 NBA Draft on June 26 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Here’s my best guess at the first round:

1. Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose 6’3” PG Memphis Freshman

It’s hard to pass up on the hometown boy, especially when he’s the best point guard in the draft. Rose is athletic, plays smart and is a leader. He has the potential to be a star in the NBA and could greatly improve and already talented Bulls team.

2. Miami – O.J. Mayo 6’4” SG USC Freshman

This is a little higher than Mayo is being projected in most mock drafts, but Miami wants to draft a backcourt mate for Wade and may reach for Mayo here. Mayo is a very good scorer with some NBA point guard skills. He and Wade will have interchangeable skill sets.

3. Minnesota – Michael Beasley 6’10” PF Kansas State Freshman

If Miami takes Mayo at #2, Minnesota will be very happy to draft Beasley. He can score inside or out and is a rugged rebounder. He’ll team with Al Jefferson to form a very tough frontcourt.

4. Seattle – Jerryd Bayless 6’3” PG Arizona Freshman

While Earl Watson had a good year and is a nice player, the Sonics may want to try to upgrade the position with Bayless. He didn’t have great “point guard” numbers in his one season, but he does have some playmaking skills and can shoot and score.

5. Memphis – Brook Lopez 7’0” C Stanford Sophomore

The streak of Freshmen at the top of the draft comes to a halt as the Grizzlies will take the top center in the draft to help improve their rebounding. The Gasol trade left Memphis without a great rebounder. Lopez will provide rebounding and scoring both in the low post and with the mid range jumper.

6. New York – Danilo Gallinari 6’10” SF Italy

The Knicks need a lot of help and will begin to reshape the franchise. Gallinari is a very skilled European who plays unselfishly and intelligently. This pick may get New York headed back in the right direction in the NBA pecking order.

7. Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Gordon 6’4” SG Indiana Freshman

The Clippers have scorers, but they’ll draft another here. Gordon can score in a variety of ways and has the ability to get to the free-throw line. What remains to be seen is what other skills he’ll be able to show at the NBA level. His athleticism would allow him to play good defense, but he did not show that in college.

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8. Milwaukee – Anthony Randolph 6’10” PF LSU Freshman

With Andrew Bogut, Charlie Villanueva, and Yi Jianlian they Bucks don’t have a need for more frontcourt players, but Randolph may be too good of a prospect to pass up. He appears to be a taller version of former LSU Tiger (and current NBA player) Tyrus Thomas, but with a little more versatility.

9. Charlotte – Kevin Love 6’9” PF UCLA Freshman

Drafting Kevin Love could help take some of the pressure off of Emeka Okafor. Love’s athleticism has been questioned, but he is a good low post scorer and an excellent rebounder. He may have difficulty fitting on the up-tempo Bobcats and adjusting to NBA athleticism.

10. New Jersey – Darrell Arthur 6’10” PF Kansas Sophomore

Arthur was a solid player on the National Championship team and possesses good upside. He is very athletic and is an above-average scorer and rebounder. This draft pick will help fill some needs for the Nets.

11. Indiana – Russell Westbrook 6’4” PG UCLA Sophomore

Jamaal Tinsley has put together one full season in the last five years. Even if he was able to play every game, the Pacers would probably still look to upgrade the point guard position in this year’s draft. Westbrook has good size and point guard skills. He’s an adequate shooter.

12. Sacramento – D.J. Augustin 5’11” PG Texas Sophomore

I’m not sure the Kings are convinced that Beno Udrih is their long term point guard solution. Augustin is undersized, but is a very good floor general and pure point guard and a good draft option for Sacramento.

13. Portland – JaVale McGee 7’0” C Nevada Sophomore

McGee may not play right away in the NBA, but he’ll fit the style of play for the young and talented Blazers. He’s versatile enough to find time in the frontcourt with Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge in the future.

14. Golden State – DeAndre Jordan 7’0” C Texas A&M; Freshman

Now that the Warriors are lucky enough that Jordan fell to them, they hope they are lucky enough that he’ll be their future center for years to come. Jordan shot an amazing 62% as a freshman in the rugged Big 12 conference. He has a great combination of strength, size, and athleticism.

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15. Phoenix – Robin Lopez 7’0” C Stanford Sophomore

Although not as skilled as his brother, he may be more athletic. He does a lot of the dirty work of rebounding, defense, and shot-blocking. With these skills, he’ll fit right in with the Suns.

16. Philadelphia – Marreese Speights 6’10” PF Florida Sophomore

The Sixers draft the big tough interior presence that they need. Speights is a very good low post scorer and rebounder. He’s able to hold his ground effectively in the post in the NBA.

17. Toronto – Donte Greene 6’10” SF Syracuse Freshman

If Greene falls this far in the draft, Toronto may not be able to pass him up. He’s dripping with potential and athleticism, and he has a very effective inside-outside game. In a couple of years, Chris Bosh and Donte Greene may be a very formidable NBA combination.

18. Washington – Roy Hibbert 7’2” C Georgetown Senior

The Wizards take the center (and first senior in the draft) from nearby Georgetown. But, how will he fit in with the Wizards up-tempo style? Hibbert is a very good low post scorer and passer. He does not rebound as much as you would think for someone his size.

19. Cleveland – Joe Alexander 6’8” SF West Virginia Junior

Alexander is an athletic forward and above average shooter. He could give the Cavs and Lebron James another shooter. Alexander is a little raw and may not play right away, but he could pay dividends later.

20. Denver – Mario Chalmers 6’2” PG Kansas Junior

Chalmers is a bit of a tweener with good scoring skills. He has a good assist to turnover ratio and may be able to develop his point guard skills. Chalmers is an excellent shooter and was a leader on the National Championship team. Denver could use Chalmers as a combo-guard off the bench.

21. New Jersey – Kosta Koufos 7’0” C Ohio State Freshman

The Nets pick up their second frontcourt player in the draft. Koufos’ skill set should compliment Arthur’s. Koufos is very skilled big man and excellent shooter.

22. Orlando – Brandon Rush 6’6” SG Kansas Junior

Rush should come into the NBA ready to play. He’s a leader and defender with a good offensive game and may be able to start for the Magic next year. He has prototypical shooting guard skills.

23. Utah – Nathan Jawai 6’10” PF Australia

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Jawai is very raw and does not run the floor well, but he may not need to in Utah. He’s a power player with a ton of potential.

24. Seattle – Chase Budinger 6’7” SG Arizona Sophomore

With their second pick in the first round of the draft, Seattle takes Bayless’ teammate at Arizona. While he may not be at a need position, Budinger is too good to pass up at this point. He has great size, athleticism, and shooting ability.

25. Houston – Ty Lawson 5’11” PG North Carolina Sophomore

Lawson is a lightning quick point guard with a good assist to turnover ratio. He could provide a spark off the bench for the Rockets.

26. San Antonio – Chris Douglas-Roberts 6’7” SG Memphis Junior

Douglas-Roberts is a shooter and a scorer. He may be a good swingman off the bench to provide a scoring punch. However, he may not do much else well a the NBA level.

27. New Orleans – Nicholas Batum 6’8” SG France

Batum is a large and incredible athlete. He’s young at 19 and is a project. However, he may eventually turn into a very good NBA player.

28. Memphis – Bill Walker 6’6” SG Kansas State Freshman

If the Grizzlies can add Walker to Lopez, this could be a terrific draft for them. Walker is a great athlete, but is a little inconsistent. He’ll need to improve his shooting to be effective in the NBA.

29. Detroit – J.J. Hickson 6’9” PF North Carolina State Freshman

Pistons will hope they can draft a future Rasheed Wallace. Though a bit raw right now, Hickson is big and strong, and could develop into a very good NBA power forward.

30. Boston – Wayne Ellington 6’4” SG North Carolina Sophomore

The Celtics grab a great shooter with the last pick in the 1st round of this year’s NBA Draft. However, like Douglas-Roberts, he’s a bit one dimensional.

NBA Mock Draft First Round Breakdown

Point Guards – 7
Shooting Guards – 7
Small Forwards – 3
Power Forwards – 7
Centers – 6

Freshmen – 12
Sophomores – 10
Juniors – 4
Seniors – 1
International – 3

This year’s NBA Draft may be very light on upperclassmen. It appears that a lot of teams will be drafting on the potential to be stars in the NBA.