1. Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin PF, Oklahoma - Blake, enjoy your last few hours of feeling free and liberated because soon, while you may be rich, you will be dawning a Clippers uniform, which is never a good thing for anyone. Especially when you have to compete for starting time with Zach Randolph.
2. Memphis Grizzlies - Hasheem Thabeet C, UConn - There is speculation that the Timberwolves could be packaging their 5th and 6th pick for the #2 but for now, with the Grizz owning the pick, I still believe Thabeet is the answer. He has the size and defensive ability to change a game from the gecko. Thabeet going #2 just shows you how crappy this draft is, and this is coming from someone who is a big believer in the Tanzanian.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder- James Harden SG, Arizona State - The Thunder are a bit of a wild-card. They could break Minnesota's heart and draft Rubio which would cause Harden to slip a little bit. However, I think with people becoming a little sour on Rubio in terms of his physical attributes, his attitude, and his contract situations, the Thunder can rest easy knowing they have a capable point guard already in Russell Westbrook. Harden is in my mind, one of the surest prospects in the draft and will fit in nicely with the Thunder.
4. Sacramento Kings - Johnny Flynn PG, Syracuse - For a while now I have had Rubio in this spot but like I mentioned above, the Kings have began to turn the page on Rubio. Flynn has had some great workouts and is physically ready for the NBA. He will be a voice in the Kings locker-room that seems to be missing. Not to the same extent, but this somewhat reminds me of the NFL Draft when Crabtree seemed to be the sure-fire number one receiver off the board but surely enough the Raiders took Heyward-Bay. If the pick is not Flynn it's Tyreke Evans.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Ricky Rubio PG, Spain - Maybe the Wolves do not need to go up to 2 to pocket Rubio. With the trade of Randy Foye, the Timberwolves certainly need a point guard and it was no secret it was Rubio who they were targeting. Rubio is going to need to work on his mid-range game and his physical stature but his court vision and passing ability are variables that we have not seen come out of the draft for perhaps the last ten years. Think Nash without the offense. Now the real pick comes here...
6. Minnesota Timberwolves - Tyreke Evans PG, Memphis - In my mind, the Wolves can go one of two ways. Draft Stephen Curry or go with Evans. With Rubio already holding down the point, the Wolves are looking for someone to play off the ball. Harden is gone, and Henderson or DeRozan here is a big stretch. Tyreke Evans broke out last season when John Calipari decided to make him the full time point guard. He has a terrible shot selection and is ability to get inside the paint is overrated in my mind because he struggles at finishing. However, Alan Hahn is reporting that Curry is the fifth guard on the Wolves draft board which leads me to believe they are going to make a mistake and draft Evans, something that shakes up the rest of the draft a bit.
7. Golden State Warriors - Stephen Curry PG, Davidson - Monta Ellis wants to run the point and Don Nelson could pay the price for it if he allows it to happen. The Warriors are salivating for Curry and they might get the chance to grab him if the Wolves make the mistake of drafting Evans. Curry can share time at the point with Ellis and would be perfect for Don Nelson's offense.
8. New York Knicks - Jordan Hill PF, Arizona - With Curry and Evans off the board, the Knicks will settle for Jordan Hill who is an athletic big man who could flourish under D'Antoni's offense, kind of like Amare Stoudemire. Hill is a gifted rebounder who plays with a lot of energy. By drafting Hill, Knick fans will be sending their good-bye gift baskets to the man everyone has fallen in love with, D-Lee.
9. Toronto Raptors - Demar DeRozan SF, USC - The Raptors need help at the wing because they could potentially be losing Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion to free agency. DeRozan, because is so athletically gifted and could play the 2, could be drafted even higher by either the Wizards or Timberwolves. If DeRozan is gone, the Raptors can look at point guard or someone else to fill their void at the three or two.
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Jrue Holiday PG, UCLA - By trading away Richard Jefferson, the Bucks can now make an effort to resign Charlie Villaneuava which I think can get done. Now they need a point guard. While I think Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson are better picks than Holiday, tems love Holiday's ceiling and defensive potential.
11. New Jersey Nets - Terrance Williams SF, Louisville - ESPN has Tyler Hansbrough going here and even me being a die-hard Tar Heel fan have to question that idea. Hansbrough just does not have lottery level talent to me, but he definitely is mid-late first round worthy. With that being said, Williams continues to be impressive at the right time and is showing people why he is truly one of the most versatile players in the draft. At Louisville last year, T-Will averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5 assists, very impressive numbers.
12. Charlotte Bobcats - Gerald Henderson SG, Duke - Will this pick ever change?!?! Henderson averaged 17 points in his final season with Duke but had an abysmal tournament. He is an effective slasher who will get his points that way and has above average on the ball defensive skills. He is one of the few shooting guards in the draft and would fill the void left when Jason Richardson was shipped to the Suns.
13. Indiana Pacers - Brandon Jennings PG, Italy - Recently, Jennings has slipped on some people's mocks and I have seen him as low as 17 to Philly or even 19 to the Hawks. To me the chances of that happening are close to impossible. The wild-card teams for me with Jennings are the Warriors, Knicks, and Bucks. Because all three passed on him, he is left for Indiana. The Pacers need a big body and DeJuan Blair is a possibility but there are large concerns over his knees. Jennings fills a need at the point guard position and gives the team a certain amount of swagger they have been missing.
14. Phoenix Suns - Ty Lawson PG, North Carolina - Lawson continues to improve his stock and I believe he is still being undervalued. The Suns seem to definitely be targeting a point guard and they will narrow their choices between Lawson and Jeff Teague out of Wake Forest. Lawson is a guy who can get to the basket and is a proven winner.
15. Detroit Pistons - Earl Clark PF, Louisville - Clark slips out of the lottery for the first time in my mock draft but is selected here. Detroit will have to make the decision between Clark and Austin Daye of Gonzaga. Daye also took his decision down to the final hours and stayed in the draft, a move questioned by some. Clark can be the second coming of Lamar Odom because of his versatility and ability to shoot from the outside considering his frame.
16. Chicago Bulls - DeJuan Blair PF, Pittsburgh - Blair could slip somewhere in the late lottery to a team like Indiana but questions about the health of his knees have steered some teams away. The Bulls are looking to bulk up their front-court and no player in the draft can bulk like Blair can.
17. Philadelphia 76ers - Eric Maynor PG, Virginia Commonwealth - Ah, back to the original pick that was in the first three mock drafts. Whoever picks Maynor is going to feel very fortunate as he is one of the most NBA ready prospects having played four seasons at VCU.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves - B.J. Mullens C, Ohio State - The Timberwolves are looking for a true center and Mullens has the potential to be one. However, his game is going to need some serious maturing and he is 2-3 years away from seeing any sort of productivity. However, by having the 5th and 6th pick the Wolves can afford to draft someone who has as much upside as Mullens does and wait.
19. Atlanta Hawks - Jeff Teague PG, Wake Forest - The Hawks have swung and missed on three point guards. Marvin Williams over Chris Paul. Shelden Williams over Rajon Rondo. Acie Law over Rodney Stuckey. They can't make the same mistake 4 times in a row can they? Mike Bibby is a free agent and Jeff Teague can provide scoring the same way as Bibby.
20. Utah Jazz - Tyler Hansbrough PF, North Carolina - Hansbrough can go in the lottery to the Nets or Pacers or could go to the Bulls at 16. Hansbrough's workouts have been impressive as he has measured in taller than what was expected, showed decent athleticism, and demonstrated good strength. Hansbrough's work ethic and underrated offensive game should make him good enough to go in the top 20.
21. New Orleans Hornets - Austin Daye SF, Gonzaga - Daye has the potential to go in the top half of the draft and staying in Gonzaga would have been the right choice but because of what he may become it makes sense for the Hornets to roll the dice. Daye can provide scoring in a numerous amount of ways and could be a nice piece off the bench for the Hornets down the road.
22. Portland Trail Blazers - James Johnson PF, Wake Forest - Even though it is a different team I still believe Johnson gets drafted here. Johnson is someone who has borderline lottery talent but really disappointed people in workouts and showed up out of shape. The Blazers can use a power forward who can also play from the perimeter.
23. Sacramento Kings - Omri Casspi SF, Israel - Sac-town loves tall European swingman who can shoot effectively from downtown. Examples, Peja and Hedo Turkoglu. The biggest difference is that Casspi is more athletic and is a much better defender than the two.
24. Dallas Mavericks - Darren Collison PG, UCLA - Again, new team but this pick just makes sense. Jason Kidd is aging and his days in a Dallas uniform could be numbered. J.J. Barea showed some positive signs last year but I never see him as a starter in this league. Collison can learn from Kidd for a year or so and take over the reigns. This would be a very smart pick that fits a need.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder - Sam Young SF, Pittsburgh - Young is one of the more NBA ready players in the draft because of his size and his ability to do many things on the court. Young can come off the bench and provide solid minutes and be an asset for any team in the NBA.
26. Chicago Bulls - Chase Budinger SF, Arizona - Budinger will provide scoring for a team that might end up losing Ben Gordon and Luol Deng. He is athletic enough where he can create his own shot. However, the Bulls will be playing 4 on 5 when the other team has the ball as Budinger is just awful on defense.
27. Memphis Grizzlies - DaJuan Summers SF, Georgetown - Summers ability to play both forward positions should be welcomed by the folks in Memphis. The Grizz need to add size to their front court and Summers NBA-ready body along with his scoring ability to be a nice pick late in the first round.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jonas Jerebko SF, Sweden -Jerebko can stay overseas and wait to come over to the NBA which would allow the T-Wolves to not carry three rookies on their 12 man roster. There has been talk that the New York Knicks could be buying this pick.
29. New York Knicks - Jack McClinton PG, Miami - The Knicks number one need coming into tonight's draft is at the point guard position. As the draft stands now, I have the Knicks taking Jordan Hill at 8 so the need for a guard is still there. McClinton recently worked out with the Knicks and it was said he impressed them. If the Knicks get a guard at 8, Danny Green or a power forward such as Taj Gibson could be the choice.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers - Toney Douglas PG, Florida State - The Cavs just made a splash by acquring Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns. Douglas can turn out to be a solid pro because he is a very good defender and work nicely with the Cavs.
31. Sacramento Kings - Victor Claver PF, Spain
32. Washington Wizards - Taj Gibson PF, USC
33. Portland Trail Blazers - Derrick Brown SF, Xavier
34. Denver Nuggets - Patty Mills PG, St. Mary's
35. Detroit Pistons - DeMarre Carroll SF, Missouri
36. Memphis Grizzlies - Jeff Pendergraph PF, Arizona State
37. San Antonio Spurs - Nick Calathes SG, Florida
38. Portland Trail Blazers - Wayne Ellington SG, North Carolina
39. Detroit Pistons - Josh Heytveldt PF, Gonzaga
40. Charlotte Bobcats - Danny Green SF, North Carolina
41. Milwaukee Bucks - Jeff Adrien PF, UConn
42. Los Angeles Lakers - Jermaine Taylor SG, Central Florida
43. Miami Heat - Jon Brockman PF, Washington
44. Detroit Pistons - Rodrigue Beaubois PG, France
45. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jodie Meeks SG, Kentucky
46. Cleveland Cavaliers - Marcus Thornton SG, LSU
47. Minnesota Timberwolves - Dante Cunningham PF, Villanova
48. Phoenix Suns - Dionte Christmas SG, Temple
49. Atlanta Hawks - Ahmad Nivins PF, St. Joe's
50. Utah Jazz - Curtis Jerrells PG, Baylor
51. San Antonio Spurs - A.J. Price PG, UConn
52. Indiana Pacers - Jerel McNeal SG, Marquette
53. San Antonio Spurs - Goran Suton C, Michigan State
54. Charlotte Bobcats - Alade Aminu PF, Georgia Tech
55. Portland Trail Blazers - A.J. Abrams SG, Texas
56. Dallas Mavericks - Robert Dozier PF, Memphis
57. Phoenix Suns - Leo Lyons PF, Missouri
58. Boston Celtics - Sergio Lull PG, Spain
59. Los Angeles Lakers - Chris Johnson PF, LSU
60. Miami Heat - Tyrese Rice PG, Boston College
There's the final mock, if any moves happen I will edit the mock as soon as I can get to a computer. Leave a comment, tell me who you think your team should target.
Don't forget, on the night of the draft, Thursday June 25th, I will be hosting a live chat on 3rdstringsafety.com discussing everything about the draft. Make sure you check that out.