1. Chicago Bulls select.....PG Derrick Rose
Rose is a terrific athlete and at 6-3, 196 lb., he has great size for a PG. What really hurt Michael Beasley though is that the Bulls just figured out today that Beasley is acctually listed at 6-7. Sure, many people argue that Miami won a title with Udonis Haslem as their starting power forward, but what the Heat had back then that they don't contain now is a healthy Shaq. With the association evolving into a guard-oriented league, Derrick Rose is the favorite at No. 1. Rose is also the safest selection because Rose's defense is much more developed then Beasley's. Beasley still doesn't have the leadership and intangibles that the #1 pick needs to have.
Denis' pick: Derrick Rose
I agree. Rose is the best pick the Bulls could make. I'm not so sure Beasley is big and strong enough to bang with the big guys of the NBA just yet, and that hurts his chances with Chicago, someone who is in need of a banger down low. However, you're completely right. The League is becoming more guard-oriented and Rose has a bright future in it.
GOAT's pick: Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat select.....SF/PF Michael Beasley
You guessed it, Michael Beasley is the No. 2 selection here. He is a better athlete than people give him credit for. Along with his NBA ready body, he has the rebounding skills to make him one of the best in the NBA, even being 6-7, as was reported by the Chicago Bulls. He reminds many people of Carmelo Anthony, and that is what he will turn out to be in my opinion. His jumpshot is flawless, although he doesn't play like a 6-7 wing. His post skills are top-notch while he still is one of the quickest forwards in the draft. You will see him starting in the All-Star game in the future, I can guarentee it.
Denis' pick: Michael Beasley
No argument from me here. He's the obvious choice with the second pick. You also have to love the fact that he's a lefty. It makes him difficult to guard as it is awkward for the defender to play the left hand. He's the perfect fit in Miami and should be great playing alongside Dwyane Wade.
GOAT's pick: Michael Beasley
3. Minnesota Timberwolves select..... C Brook Lopez
Yes, I'm going with the surprise pick here, Brook Lopez. I am not one of those people that are buying all the hype and jumping on the O.J. Mayo bandwagon. Mayo acctually averaged more turnovers (3.5) than assists (3.3), which is a major problem in my opinion. I don't understand if he is a shooting guard or point guard, so there are many questions with him. Lopez has great strength and post skills for a collegiant bigman, but what people don't give him enough credit for is his jump shot, which is ranked 9 out of 10 according to NBAdraft.net. If you want to move Al Jefferson back to his natural position, drafting this stud center would really help. Lopez acctually registerd a rare triple-double against Mayo's USC team, with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 12 blocks. Don't be surprised if the T'Wolves trade this pick.
Denis' pick: Brook Lopez
I hate to keep agreeing with you, but Lopez is my pick here as well. The T'Wolves would absolutely love to give Jefferson a solid frontcourt mate, and Lopez is the perfect guy for them. Not only is he a great scorer, but he's also an underrated defender, ranking 8 out of 10 on NBADraft.net. Some are worried about his athleticism, or lack thereof. I wouldn't worry all that much. His post skills are top-notch and he is fundamentally sound. Denis, you better be disagreeing with me on the fourth pick.
GOAT's pick: Brook Lopez
4. Seattle SuperSonics select..... SG O.J. Mayo
Since both OJ Mayo and Jerryd Bayless are combo guards, I just have to take the best player here, and that is OJ Mayo. Mayo is such an explosive scorer that he can make plays from anywhere on the court. I just don't believe Bayless has the special swagger or leadership about him to carry a team like OJ Mayo does. Mayo's defensive ability and NBA range is what make him stand out in my mind to be the forth pick in this very talented draft. But what really impressed the scouts out there is his outstanding 41" vertical.
Denis' pick: OJ Mayo
Here is where we disagree. I believe the Sonics will take Jerryd Bayless. Mayo has as many questions marks as a game of 20 Questions. His character is up in the air, and he has been criticized for being a ballhog at times. Seattle definitely does not want that problem. To top it all off, OJ averaged more turnovers than assists last season (3.5 TO to 3.3 AST). Bayless, on the other hand, is much more team-oriented and turns the ball over less while dishing out more assists. OJ may have the higher vertical, but Jerryd is just as good of an athlete as Mayo.
GOAT's pick: Jerryd Bayless
5. Memphis Grizzlies select..... PF Kevin Love
If Memphis makes this move, they will be getting a gifted bigman with an amazing basketball IQ. He can mix his game up greatly, playing anywhere from physical to finesse basketball. This is also a selection based on desperate need at the power forward position. They have Hakim Warrick, Brian Cardinal, Darko Milicic, and Jason Collins, which isn't very good from a talent perspective. Kevin Love would bring some needed help, which is a combination of his mid-range jump shot and his back-to-the-basket post moves.
Denis' pick: Kevin Love
I agree that Love is the best choice here. Some people have said that OJ Mayo would be chosen here. However, the Grizzlies already have Mike Conley and Rudy Gay in the backcourt. Is there really a need for a player such as OJ? Take Love and have him play alongside Warrick. In a few years, they'll be very competitive in the ultra-tough Southwest.
GOAT's pick: Kevin Love
6. New York Knicks select..... PG/SG Jerryd Bayless
The Knicks have been praying that Bayless would fall to their laps at No. 6. Bayless may not be the playmaker they are looking for, but he sure is athletic and skilled, and that is what the Knicks are looking for. With Jamaal Crawford and Jerryd Bayless in the backcourt, this team could acctually be decent. But of course, nothing could change the Knicks, that's for sure. Bayless just might be the next Gilbert Arenas because his potential is so huge. I wouldn't be surprised to see his excellent floor speed make contributions in New York.
Denis' pick: Jerryd Bayless
Mike D'Antoni will be taking OJ Mayo with this pick. I don't think Bayless will still be on the board by now, and Mayo gets the nod over Russell Westbrook. His defense and scoring abilities are top-notch, but has some room for improvement with his passing and leadership. We can only hope that the bright lights of NYC don't have him doing stuff he shouldn't be.
GOAT's pick: OJ Mayo
7. Los Angeles Clippers select..... SG Eric Gordon
With his talent still being available, the Clippers have to pick Eric Gordon. His combination of strength and athleticism is just outright amazing. His jumpshot seems so smooth when you watch him play. Defensively, he has the potential to be a lock-down defender in this league because ofthe physical tools he has. I know that they are weak at other positions, but if Maggette and Brand decide to depart from the team, that will clear some space up to go out and fill those wholes, and right now, Gordon is definately the right choice here.
Denis' pick: Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon is the right pick for the Clippers. You're right on the money with him. He has the potential to be a very good defender along with being an accomplished scorer. Some are comparing him to Mitch Richmond, which I can understand with his kind of ability. He's quite small for a 2-guard though and may have to play some time at the point guard position. That's my only real concern with him.
GOAT's pick: Eric Gordon
8. Milwaukee Bucks select..... SF Anthony Randolph
Milwaukee would love to have Danilo Gallinari on their team, but reports have it that Galinari refuses to work out for the Bucks, leading to some speculation that he doesn't want to be the next Yi Jianlian. Both didn't want to come to the US and play in a city like Milwaukee. That may cause some problems in the future, but for now, Randolph is the safest and best pick. He's a long and lenghty wingman with tremendous upside. He is a very raw talent and could eventually turn into the next Lamar Odom or Tayshaun Prince. His overall talent, along with his untapped potential, can make him a really good starting small forward in this league some day.
Denis' pick: Anthony Randolph
I, too, think Milwaukee will take Randolph with the ninth pick. He's pretty athletic and he plays bigger than he really is. His potential is through-the-roof, and Randolph has great size to play the 3. Some have Joe Alexander going at this position, but I believe he is overrated. He gets reckless and doesn't play fundamentally-sound all that much or all that well. On the flip side, if Randolph wants to make an impact at the next level, he needs to bulk up.
GOAT's pick: Anthony Randolph
9. Charlotte Bobcats select..... SF Danilo Gallinari
Their is no big man available with the talent to go this high on the board, so I wouldn'd be surprised if the 'Cats traded this pick in the situation. But if I'm forced to predict, it'd have to be the best player available, Danilo Gallinari. This player's an absolute stud. He has basketball in his blood and his intangibles are off the charts. Scouts love his jump shot, plus they believe he has point guard skills in an 6-8 body. We are hearing some Gerald Wallace rumors, and, let's face it, Adam Morrison is and forever will be, a total bust in the NBA.
Denis' pick: Danilo Gallinari
I don't think Gallinari is what they're looking for. They already have Gerald Wallace and Adam Morrison and all that. Why add on? They need a big guy. DeAndre Jordan is the pick here. Some weren't expecting him to be chosen until later, but he's the best big guy left at this point. He has the potential to be the next Dwight Howard and features much athleticism and good size. I got to see him play at Madison Square Garden against Washington. He finished the game with 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks yet his presence in the lane seemed to deter penetration from the Huskies.
GOAT's pick: DeAndre Jordan
10. New Jersey Nets select..... SF/PF Joe Alexander
I know you might be surprised to see DJ Augustine and Russell Westbrook still on the board, but that just isn't what the Nets are looking for. Joe Alexander is their man here, even though I know you will disagree. His winner's mentality and untapped potential combine to give him one of the biggest upsides in the draft. His athleticism is just amazing, and you never know what move he will make on the perimeter, which makes him so unpredictable. Some people are really bashing him, but after the performances he put up in the Big East Tournament and March Madness, I don't see how he doesn't go at least in the top 15, if not top 10.
Denis' pick: Joe Alexander
You bet I'm disagreeing. I'll take Donte Greene from Syracuse with this pick. I'm not so sure he'll get chosen here as much as I am sure that he's the better of the two players. He's just as athletic as Alexander yet features a much better jump shot. Greene, just like your pick, has much potential and is a very good penetrator. Last season, Greene, with much less experience than Alexander had at WVU, averaged one point and one rebound more while averaging the same amount of assists, steals, and blocks.
GOAT's pick: Donte Green
11. Indiana Pacers select..... PG/SG Russell Westbrook
If DJ Augustine and Russell Westbrook are still available, the Pacers would probably select Westbrook because of his quickness and athleticism, while playing the combo guard position. The problem with him is his heighth at SG, but his lenghth makes up for that. He really gets to the lane effortlessly, and he is a real gym rat. Indiana needs to replace Jamaal Tinsley, who is on his way out of Indiana.
Denis' pick: Russell Westbrook
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Tinsley's days are numbered in a Pacers uniform so they're looking to pick up a guard, and Russell Westbrook will be that guard. You forgot to mention the outstanding defense he plays and is considered by many to be the best defensive guard in the draft. Although bulking up and getting stronger would help him against the bigger point guards in the NBA. Russ will be able to play the 1 no problem; he's an underrated ball-handler and passer, and he's exactly what Indiana needs and wants.
GOAT's pick: Russell Westbrook
12. Sacramento Kings select..... C Roy Hibbert
This might be a very questionable selection here, but Roy Hibbert is the best available big man, and that is what they need. He's a center with great size and strength around the basket. He has soft hands to go along with his excellent post moves. The only question I have with Hibbert is his quickness and athleticism. He will immidiately become one of the best half-court defenders on the Kings roster.
Denis' pick: Roy Hibbert
Key word is half-court. He'll be playing in the Western Conference where they get up and down the floor, and he won't be able to keep up. Ron Artest may be on his way out of Sacramento, and that's the exact reason why they'll be taking Joe Alexander with this pick. He's one of the most athletic people in the entire draft class, and truly plays above the rim when he drives. If he wants to succeed though, he must work on his fundmentals and his jump shot.
GOAT's pick: Joe Alexander
13. Portland Trailblazers select..... PG DJ Augustin
DJ Augustin is one of the only true point guards in this year's draft. He is the kind of guy that looks for his teammates first, and that's why he averaged 6.7 ppg. His quickness with the ball and leadership ability is what intrigues Portland the most. I don't believe in Steve Blake and Jarret Jack being solid starting point guards, while Sergio Rodriguez is entering his first year in the league. The Blazers also aquired the 27th selection, where they can go with either Ante Tomic or Nicolas Batum. The Blazers also had trade talks with the Nets about Richard Jefferson, the Suns about Leandro Barbosa, and the Grizzlies about a deal that would package the No. 13 pick and the expiring contract of Raef LaFrentz to Memphis for No. 5, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins. We'll just have to wait and see.....
Denis' pick: DJ Augustin
I agree with their taking Augustin at #13. The only weakness I really see in Portland's starting lineup is at point guard, and what they need is a true point guard. DJ Augustin will facilitate and make those around him better. In two years, the Blazers will be an obvious pick to make the playoffs because of this guy even though they're in the ultra-tough Western Conference. For the record though, I think Tomic isn't worth a first-round selection and Batum will be off the board by then.
GOAT's pick: DJ Augustin
14. Golden State Warriors select..... C Kosta Koufos
Koufos has been rising in most people's draft boards, and for one reason: he's playing more physical. He's a very skilled bigman to say the least. He can score the basketball from both inside and out, reminding some people of Utah's Mehmet Okur. Defensively, he will be able to handle the big and talented centers in the West. Don't be surprised to see Robin Lopez go here if the Anderson Varejao trade rumors don't pan out, because both Varejao and Lopez are hustle players, but as of right now, Koufos' offensive skills and Biedrins' defensive and rebounding ability are a perfect complement for each other.
Denis' pick: Kosta Koufos
Golden State doesn't really have any glaring weakness that they need to address in the draft. They finished the season above .500 and are set pretty well down low with Biedrins and Al Harrington. I say they take the best available in Danilo Gallinari. He's a good scorer who possesses a good jump shot and all the right intangibles. Gallinari could step in right away and make a difference in games. He's also a pretty good passer for a forward.
GOAT's pick: Danilo Gallinari
Rest of the Draft:
15. Phoenix Suns: SG/SF Brandon Rush
16. Philadelphia: PF/C Robin Lopez
17. Toronto: PG Mario Chalmers (If in fact the Jermaine O'neal deal goes down)
18. Washington: PF Darrell Arthur
19. Cleveland: PF Jason Thompson
20. Denver Nuggets: PF/C Marreese Speights
21. New Jersey: C DeAndre Jordan
22. Orlando: C JaVale McGee
23. Utah Jazz: PF/C Alexis Ajinca
24. Seattle: PF/C Serge Ibaka
25. Houston: SF Donte Greene
26. San Antonio: SF/PF Ryan Anderson
27. Portland: SG/SF Nicolas Batum
28. Memphis: PF JJ Hickson
29. Detroit: SG Chris Douglas-Roberts
30. Boston: SG Courtney Lee
15. Phoenix: Brandon Rush
16. Philadelphia: Nicolas Batum
17. Toronto: Roy Hibbert (O'Neal was never all that reliable)
18. Washington: Darrell Arthur
19. Cleveland: Chris Douglas-Roberts
20. Denver: Marreese Speights
21. New Jersey: Robin Lopez
22. Orlando: Jason Thompson
23. Utah: JaVale McGee
24. Seattle: Ryan Anderson
25. Houston: Alexis Ajinca
26. San Antonio: Omer Asik
27. Portland: JJ Hickson
28. Memphis: Mario Chalmers
29. Detroit: Courtney Lee
30. Boston: Bill Walker
Watch the 2008 NBA Draft June 26th, 2008, on ESPN at 7 p.m.-12 a.m. ET