Less than 24 hours until draft time, and nobody really has an idea of what's going to happen at 18. Frankly, I'm prepared for anything.
Here's what the mocks are saying (if there's one I'm missing, e-mail/comment. This list is hardly comprehensive):
- ESPN, Chad Ford: Darrell Arthur
- Draft Express: JaVale McGee
- NBADraft.net: Roy Hibbert
Ian Thomsen, SI: Brandon Rush
- Sam Smith, Sporting News: Kosta Koufos
Jeff Goodman, FOX Sports: Jason Thompson
- Kerry Eggers, CBS Sportsline: Darrell Arthur
- Jeff Reynolds, CBS Sportsline: Marreese Speights
NBC Sports: JaVale McGee
- Real GM: DeAndre Jordan
- Pro Basketball News: Nicholas Batum
- About.com: Mario Chalmers
HoopsWorld: Marreese Speights
- Inside Hoops: JaVale McGee
CollegeHoops.net: Darrell Arthur
SB Nation: Roy Hibbert
- Hoops Addict: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Hoops Vibe: Brandon Rush
- DC Pro Sports Report: Roy Hibbert
- Most Valuable Network 1: Darrell Arthur
- Most Valuable Network 2: JaVale McGee
As you can see, this is all over the place. Nobody says Robin Lopez or Donte Greene, which surprised me a bit. I also hope that the JaVale McGee love is confined to these mocks, because he's the last guy I'd want.
At this point, I'm all drafted out (until tomorrow at least). If you need a reminder, though, be sure to check out the complete draft section here, which includes the following.
- Our final draft board, up to 18
- Relevant blogger Q&As about Walter Sharpe (not really a Q&A), DeVon Hardin, Richard Hendrix, Kyle Weaver, D.J. White and the Kansas trio.
- An early look at Roy Hibbert
- Searching for Sr. Prolopo
Some final thoughts: I'm at the point where it really doesn't matter who we draft, as long as that guy can come in and play right away. I'm thinking a big man, but only because there seem to be a lot around that can help us. The argument against using the pick because we have too many young guys is ridiculous, but the argument against using the pick on a project because we have too many projects (which I think was Truth's point) is legit. As such, the only guys I'd be vehemently against are McGee, a Euro who won't play next year, or DeAndre Jordan. Even though he's athletic, I'd also rather not deal with Anthony Randolph, despite his recent lottery status and immense upside. This team needs a young guy who can come in now and produce enough to justify his salary. We're that desperate for cheap production.
Outside of the aforementioned players above, I can live with anyone. I'd prefer not to select Koufus, because he duplicates Pech, or Donte Greene, because he's not much of a driver despite his athletic ability (and he's a bit of a project). I'd also rather not see Darrell Arthur or Robin Lopez; Arthur because he can't rebound, Lopez because he is riding his brother's coattails. Still, those guys can at least be justified.
My top choices would be Speights (big who can rebound and score, but also can hit from the outside), Chalmers (combo guard who can defend, shoot, and play right away), or Hibbert (solid backup center). I'd be cool with Rush, CDR, J.J. Hickson (because of his bullish nature and his upside) or Batum, if he plays.
If we move out of 18, we better be getting something for it. That means either moving up, or moving down and securing another player like Lowry. I'd actually have few problems with moving down, because we could get a backup point and then select a Sr. Prolopo like Hickson or Richard Hendrix.
As for the second round, a Sr. Prolopo would be cool, and Kyle Weaver might work. One guy that hasn't been discussed at all that I'd love to have is J.R. Giddens. His rebounding numbers are ridiculous (12th in the entire country in defensive rebound rate, wow!), he can defend, and he's a pretty efficient scorer that has experience in a big program. If there weren't character issues, he'd be a first-rounder. Kind of like a Dominic McGuire for the shooting guard position, which is intriguing.
Ultimately, this draft will be remembered as the one where everyone guesses wrong. I'm prepared to be surprised, both by our actions and those of the other teams.