Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

June 17, 2008
Mock draft: Follow the bouncing Brook

Of all the people sliding up and down the draft board, the most unlikely candidate for greased feet would ordinarily be the lone proven center guaranteed a spot in the lottery. Yet there's Brook Lopez of Fresno and Stanford, and maybe Minnesota, or maybe Memphis, or maybe New Jersey.

He doesn't project as a superstar-in-waiting, and that's a problem at the top of the draft. Teams want a major payoff in those spots, not a complementary player, and some will go for the gamble of the prospect with greater upside than settle for the solid contributor. Russell Westbrook of UCLA has obvious holes -- point guard with little experience running an offense -- but he is exciting and has the potential to become a dynamic difference maker on both ends.

Lopez will score, is a 7-footer with a sturdy frame and scouts see his ceiling as somewhere around 16 points a game from the post and out on the perimeter. That's all good. But he's the only safe pick at center, a position very hard to fill, and that still isn't good enough to generate measurable buzz from his workouts.

The Timberwolves at No. 3 (to be able to move Al Jefferson to power forward) and the Grizzlies at No. 5 (though also needing a power forward) both need centers and both may pass. That means the real signs of Lopez and his future according to the NBA comes June 26 and the night of the draft.

For now:

  1. Bulls. Derrick Rose, Memphis point guard
  2. Heat. Michael Beasley, Kansas State power forward
  3. Timberwolves. O.J. Mayo, USC shooting guard
  4. SuperSonics. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona point guard
  5. Grizzlies. Kevin Love, UCLA power forward
  6. Knicks. Danilo Gallinari, Italy small forward
  7. Clippers. Anthony Randolph, LSU power forward/small forward
  8. Bucks. Eric Gordon, Indiana shooting guard
  9. Bobcats. Russell Westbrook, UCLA point guard
  10. Nets. Brook Lopez, Stanford center
  11. Pacers. DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M center
  12. Kings. D.J. Augustin, Texas point guard
  13. Trail Blazers. Joe Alexander, West Virginia small forward
  14. Warriors. Robin Lopez, Stanford center
  15. Suns. Marreese Speights, Florida power forward
  16. 76ers. Darrell Arthur, Kansas power forward
  17. Raptors. JaVale McGee, Nevada center
  18. Wizards. Kosta Koufos, Ohio State center
  19. Cavaliers. Brandon Rush, Kansas shooting guard
  20. Nuggets. Nicolas Batum, France small forward
  21. Nets. Donte Greene, Syracuse small forward
  22. Magic. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis shooting guard
  23. Jazz. Roy Hibbert, Georgetown center
  24. SuperSonics. Serge Ibaka, Congo power forward
  25. Rockets. Ryan Anderson, Cal power forward
  26. Spurs. Mario Chalmers, Kansas point guard
  27. Hornets. Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky shooting guard
  28. Grizzlies. Nathan Jawai, Australia power forward/center
  29. Pistons. Joey Dorsey, Memphis power forward
  30. Celtics. Alexis Ajinca, France center
The list remains fluid as teams continue to schedule workouts and bring back some players for second looks, with the possibility that important auditions will even be conducted next Thursday, the day of the draft. One sure first rounder (Chase Budinger of Arizona) and one possible (Ty Lawson of North Carolina) withdrew Monday to beat the deadline, so at least the final list of candidates is set.

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