Of course, the greatest thing about the NBA draft is that there actually is a Swedish power forward this year, lost JoBro Jonas Jerebko. Searching for YouTube videos and scouting reports on improbably bred players you have never heard of is a time-honored tradition. (Miss you, Petteri Koponen!) We know the names who will fill the top end, but do we know where they'll end up? YOU BE THE JUDGE.
- 1. Clippers: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
Unlike most years when there's a last-minute flurry of rumors surrounding the top pick, I think we can safe etch in Griffin right here. But perhaps the Clippers will find a way to be active on draft night with regards to the packed (with salary) frontcourt.
- 2. Grizzlies: Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Memphis won't keep Rubio, but he has more widespread value than any other prospect but Griffin. How far down will Memphis trade? This last week will remain critical in keeping up Ricky's value -- if he only visits the Kings and Knicks, the Grizz may not end up with too much treasure in a trade.
- 3. Thunder: James Harden, SG, Arizona State
Harden manages to fit a Thunder need and the Thunder style. I don't believe pairing Russell Westbrook with a true point guard will work properly. But stick him with a two-guard who can handle (with Jeff Green and Kevin Durant up front) and things might get less erratic back there.
- 4. Kings: Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA
Things get hairy from here. Will Sacramento be willing to give up anything Memphis wants for the opportunity to pick Ricky? If so, who does Memphis want down here? Boston has been rumored to be targeting this pick (and others in the top 10), as well. Holiday is a bit of a placeholder.
- 5. Wizards: Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
The big men always rise on draft day. Beyond that, who knows? Washington has a hole up front, if anywhere, especially with the sentiment Antawn Jamison could be traded.
- 6. Timberwolves: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
As I've believed for a few weeks, the Wolves could be in play to move up for Thabeet (photo above) if they don't believe he'll be around at No. 6. This pick plus No. 18 might get the Kings at No. 4 to bite, especially if the latest Jonny Flynn romance in Sacramento is real. But Thabeet is making no friends by remaining invisible in June. He could fall this far.
- 7. Warriors: Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
The traveling Monta Ellis-Brandon Jennings show could start selling out opponents' gyms from Day 1. There's a little known clause in the FreeDarko Articles of Constitution that require a viking burial for Bethlehem Shoals if this were to happen.
- 8. Knicks: Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson
You know, the conventional wisdom that seemed too perfect to be correct last year (Danilo Gallinari) ended up accurate. Why fight the bumrush?
- 9. Raptors: Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
The future of Chris Bosh obviously weighs heavily here. But don't think any draft pick dictates the future -- the Raps have a stunning lack of depth across the roster.
- 10. Bucks: DeJuan Blair, PF, Pitt
The Bucks need more bangers to fit Scott Skiles' gameplan. Blair is more banger than a Brit's breakfast.
- 11. Nets: Terrence Williams, SG, Louisville
I can't seriously believe Tyler Hansbrough could go this high. Williams provides something New Jersey needs -- tough defense -- at a pretty good value. DeMar DeRozan could fall here as well.
- 12. Bobcats: DeMar DeRozan, G/F, USC
So many players have such wide ranges this year. DeRozan might be the toughest to crack, though. No one would be surprised if OKC took him at No. 3, and few would be shocked to see him slip to the very bottom of the lottery zone.
- 13. Pacers: Ty Lawson, PG, UNC
Can Lawson be a better T.J. Ford in the NBA? Probably not, but it's worth a shot, even if this is the position at which Indiana is most stocked.
- 14. Suns: Earl Clark, F, Louisville
At some point, Steve Kerr needs to start shooting for potential stars. Clark is as good a play as any right here.
- 15. Pistons: B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
- 16. Bulls: Tyler Hansbrough, F, UNC
- 17. 76ers: Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
- 18. Timberwolves: Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke
- 19. Hawks: Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest
- 20. Jazz: Sam Young, F/G, Pitt
- 21. Hornets: Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona
- 22. Mavericks: Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
- 23. Kings: Omri Casspi, F, Israel
- 24. Blazers: Jonas Jerebko, F, Sweden
- 25. Thunder: Rodrigue Beaubois, PG, France
- 26. Bulls: DaJuan Summers, F, Georgetown
- 27. Grizzlies: Josh Heytvelt, PF, Gonzaga
- 28. Timberwolves: Toney Douglas, G, Florida State
- 29. Lakers: Jack McClinton, PG, Miami
- 30. Cavaliers: Wayne Ellington, SG, Carolina