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Hicks
06-12-2008, 12:33 AM
Derrick Rose was selected as the best pick in the NBA draft with 32 of the 47 votes.
Michael Beasley was selected as the second best pick in the NBA draft with 24 of 33 votes.
O.J. Mayo was selected as the third best pick in the NBA draft with 20 of 33 votes.
Jerryd Bayless was selected as the fourth best pick in the NBA draft with 19 of 28 votes.
Kevin Love was selected as the fifth best pick in the NBA draft with 20 of 31 votes.
Eric Gordon was selected as the sixth best pick in the NBA draft with 7 of 16 votes.


1. Derrick Rose
2. Michael Beasley
3. O.J. Mayo
4. Jerryd Bayless
5. Kevin Love
6. Eric Gordon

I want this to be a series of companion threads to Jose Slaughter's "The PD NBA Draft (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=39225)" threads.

That series will be about predicting what will happen on draft night. Picking based on what you think that the team in question will do.

What THIS series of threads is going to be for, is to simply generate a PD-consensus ranking of the best picks. The objective is to look at who is on the board, and say to yourself "If I'm trying to take the best talent, not just for today, but for the long-term, what is the best pick to make?"

My apologies/thanks to Jose Slaughter in advance. I'm only able to do this because of his work creating the lists of players out there and his work providing the details on some of those players, which I will be using for this series as well.

Jose will be going every three days, and I will match him. That means this first pick will be cut short by a day, but after that we'll be lined up.

Who is the best player on the board as of the 1st pick in the 2008 draft?

What is the overall best pick to make if you are looking for the best player REGARDLESS of whether they already are, or soon will be.

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Point Guards

1. D.J. Augustin
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/dj-augustin-nba-draft-profile-42326
College: Texas
Class: Sophomore
Position: PG
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 180lbs
 
Accolades: Wooden Award All-American (08), First Team All-American – USBWA (08), All-Big 12 First Team (08), Bob Cousy Award Winner (08), First Team All-American - AP (08), NCAA Tournament South Regional Team (08), Big 12 All-Tournament Team (08), First Team All-American – CHN (08), Honorable Mention All-American – AP (07), Freshman All-American (07), All-Big 12 Second Team (07), Big 12 All-Rookie Team (07), First Team All-Freshman Team – CHN (07), McDonald’s All-American – high school (06), Fourth-Team All-American – Parade – high school (06).

Scouting Report: A diminutive floor general with lots of game.

Strengths: Lightning quick. Can get into the lane with ease. Good leaper. Uncanny knack for splitting double-teams. Good ability to use the rim as a shield and hit tough lay-ups to avoid defenders. Excellent playmaker and passer. Takes great care of the ball – twice as many assists as turnovers. Solid physique. Prolific scorer – nineteen 20-plus point games his sophomore year. Good three-point shooter – hit about two a game this year. Solid free throw shooter. Used to playing heavy minutes.

Weaknesses: Height – will be vastly undersized for the NBA - may actually be 5’11”. Bigger, stronger NBA guards will give him problems on both ends of the floor (like against Memphis in the Elite Eight). Can be a streaky scorer – went 3 for 25 from the field combined in back-to-back games. Doesn’t shoot for an extremely high percentage.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Lottery to late first round pick.

Consensus: If D.J. Augustin is to excel in the NBA he will have to be a trendsetter - there are currently no sub-six foot stars in the League. There is no doubt he has the speed, skill-set and intelligence to play at the next level, but to become a star he will have to be find a way to slay the NBA’s Goliaths.

2. Russell Westbrook
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/russell-westbrook-nba-draft-profile-42324
College: UCLA
Class: Sophomore
Position: PG/SG
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 189lbs
 
Accolades: Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (08), Pac-10 All-Defensive Team (08), Third Team All-Pac-10 (08).

Scouting Report: An NBA-level athlete able to play both backcourt positions.

Strengths: Versatile – can ably play both point and shooting guard positions. Tremendous athlete. Can jump out of the gym. Great defender – had 63 steals his sophomore year. Very good assist man who takes good care of the ball. Has three-point range on his jumper. Capable scorer. Long wingspan. Big hands. Got to practice against some very good guards his two years at UCLA. Great work ethic. Game seems to vastly improve with each year – late bloomer.

Weaknesses: Very inexperienced – didn’t play many minutes his freshman year. Will need more experience playing the point guard spot. Needs to become a more consistent outside shooter. Still quite inconsistent and streaky. Is he a dreaded “tweener” (no real position)?

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Lottery pick.

Consensus: Westbrook is an NBA highlight reel type of athlete that excels at both ends of the floor. His ability to play both guard positions makes him even more valuable, however, due to his size he will have to become more of a pure point guard. With his skills and athletic ability the sky is the limit.



Shooting Guards

1. Chris Douglas-Roberts
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/chris-douglas-roberts-nba-draft-profile-42322
College: Memphis
Class: Junior
Position: SG
Height: 6’7”
Weight: 200lbs
 
Accolades: First Team All-American – CHN (08), First Team All-American – AP (08), Wooden Award All-American Team (08), Conference USA Player of the Year (08), All-Conference USA First Team (08), First Team All-American – USBWA (08), Conference USA All-Tournament Team (08), NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team (08), Honorable Mention All-American – AP (07), NCAA Tournament All-South Region Team (07), Conference USA Tournament MVP (07), Conference USA All-Tournament Team (07), All-Conference USA First Team (07), Conference USA All-Freshman Team (06).

Scouting Report: A very unorthodox, yet deadly, wing player.

Strengths: Great slasher. Very good floater shot he is confident shooting from deep. Long arms (6’9” wingspan). Experience playing in big games. Decent ball handler. Good rebounder. Good height/length for an NBA two guard. Used to being the go-to guy on one of the country’s best teams. Decent defender – long arms helps get steals. Accurate three-point shooter. Shot for a fantastic average for a guard – over 53% FG all three years in college. Crafty player – knows how to get the job down.

Weaknesses: Very thin – needs to bulk up a bit for the NBA. Not an off-the-charts athlete. Didn’t play in one of the top conferences. Can he guard the NBA’s top wing players? Needs to improve his assists to turnovers to play guard in the NBA. Good three-point shooter but didn’t hit very many – just over one a game. Missed clutch free throws in the NCAA championship game.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Late lottery to late first round pick.

Consensus: CDR couldn’t have had a much better junior season with the Tigers (besides that loss to Kansas). It is hard to pin down how effective he will be in the NBA with his unique style, but with his good length and tricky game he should make a nice living in the NBA.



Small Forwards
1. Danilo Gallinari
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/danilo-gallinari-nba-draft-profile-42315
Team: AJ Milano
Birth Year: 1988
Position: SF
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 209lbs

Accolades: Italian League All-Star (07), Italian U-16 National Team, Italian U-18 National Team, Italian National Team.

Scouting Report: A strong, highly skilled Italian prospect.

Strengths: Young but experienced – played pro since 2004. Plays in the top league outside of the NBA, the Euroleague. Despite being only 19-years-old, he is the best player on his team. Very good offensive player. Great shooting stroke. Long arms. Very good off the dribble – can go left or right and finishes strong. Great leaper. Can hit the tough shot. Shooting range extends to three-point territory. Good size and strength for a small forward. Solid defender – moves feet, blocks shots, grabs steals. Great free throw shooter and knows how to get himself to the line.

Weaknesses: Needs to improve his three-point accuracy, and get used to the deeper NBA line. Quick and strong for Europe, but is he athletic and strong enough to guard NBA small or power forwards? Still isn’t totally consistent – had a zero point Euroleague outing. Will take time to adjust to the NBA game. Still young – won’t turn 20-years-old until August.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Lottery pick.

Consensus: Gallinari is a very impressive NBA prospect and should be a solid NBA pro. Whether he has as much “upside” as a prospect like Nicolas Batum is debatable, but Gallinari is definitely more NBA-ready than Batum and has the potential to be an above average NBA player.

2. Donte Greene
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/donte-greene-nba-draft-profile-42345
College: Syracuse
Class: Freshman
Position: SF/PF
Height: 6’11”
Weight: 226 lbs

Accolades: Honorable Mention All-Freshman – CHN (08), Second Team All-Big East (08), Big East All-Rookie Team (08), USA Under-19 National Team (07), McDonald’s All-American – high school (07), First Team All-American – Parade – high school (07), Second Team All-USA Today – high school (07), USA Under-18 National Team (06).

Scouting Report: An athletic forward with great size for the wing spot.

Strengths: Great size for the small forward position. Great shooting touch. Can hit shots over defenders. Shooting range goes out beyond the three-point arc – hit almost three three-pointers a game his freshman season. Versatile scorer – three-pointers, fast-breaks, one-on-one moves. Can get out and run the floor. Very good rebounder. Good vertical. Can be an explosive scorer – fourteen 20 plus point games his freshman year.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t have an above-average wingspan. Can he guard NBA small forwards or power forwards? Played mostly zone defense at Syracuse. Needs to work on his ball-handling. Inexperienced – only one year of college. Needs to cut down on turnovers – had more turnovers than assists this year. Shoots way too many three-pointers – almost eight a game. Needs to get stronger and bigger. His three-point accuracy (less than 35%) needs to improve. Inconsistent.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Late lottery to late first round pick.

Consensus: There aren’t too many guys with Donte’ Greene’s size, athleticism and shooting range so NBA teams will be intrigued by him. But his draft stock is all over the board and he could use at least another year in college to get his body ready for the pros and to improve his consistency.

3. Joe Alexander
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/joe-alexander-nba-draft-profile-42336
College: West Virginia
Class: Junior
Position: SF/PF
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 230lbs

Accolades: Honorable Mention All-American – AP (08), Big East All-Tournament Team (08), First Team All-Big East (08).

Scouting Report: A perfect combination of size, skill and athleticism.

Strengths: Very athletic. Great leaper – everything ends in a dunk. Finishes strong around the hoop. Great wingspan. Good size for a small forward. Good jump shot – gets high off the ground and has a high release. Can hit tough shots over defenders. Good body control. Ability to beat man off the dribble with either hand. Great shot-blocker for his position. Good passer. Can post up strong. Hard worker. His game increased each year in college. Good rebounder for a wing player.

Weaknesses: Gets beat off the dribble – does he posses the foot speed to cover NBA wing players? Still inexperienced – a late bloomer – didn’t play much his sophomore year. Needs to become a better three-point shooter to play the three-spot in the NBA. Still inconsistent. Needs to improve his assist to turnover ratio.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Mid to late first round pick.

Consensus: Joe Alexander had a breakout junior season at West Virginia and is primed to make some big-time NBA dough. While he is still inconsistent and a little inexperienced, his package of skills, size, athleticism and work ethic are rare. He should be a fine NBA pro.


4. Nicolas Batum
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/story/nicolas_batum_nba_draft_profile40741
Team: Le Mans
Birth Year: 1988
Position: SF
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 210lbs

Accolades: French Junior National Team, LNB All-Star – France pro league (07).

Scouting Report: A long, athletic wingman with huge upside.

Strengths: Huge wingspan – over 7 feet. Great height/length for a small forward. Used to going up against top-notch competition – currently plays in the world’s second best pro league, the Euroleague. Held his own against the States’ top high school players in last year’s Nike Hoop Summit – 23 points. Shoots for a high percentage. Shooting range goes out beyond the three-point line. Very athletic – can get out and run and has good leaping ability. Length comes in handy on the defensive end – deflects passes and blocks shots. Very good playmaker for a wing player.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent – doesn’t always assert himself. Needs to add strength and weight for the NBA game. Very young – won’t turn 20-years-old until December. Needs to improve his three-point accuracy. Needs to work on his shooting mechanics – needs to follow through more. More potential than finished product right now.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Lottery pick.

Consensus: Batum’s combination of length and athleticism has NBA scouts drooling. Whoever drafts him will have to be patient, but as his game and body matures Batum could be an excellent NBA pro. However, similar to fellow Frechman Boris Diaw, Batum can get you a triple-double one night and then bring nothing to the stat sheet the next – his consistency and aggression level have been questioned.


Power Forwards

1. Anthony Randolph
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/anthony-randolph-nba-draft-profile-42327
College: LSU
Class: Freshman
Position: SF/PF
Height: 6’10”
Weight: 205lbs
 
Accolades: Honorable Mention All-Freshman Team – CHN (08), All-SEC Honorable Mention – AP (08), SEC All-Freshman Team (08), Fourth Team Parade All-American – high school (07).

Scouting Report: A long, lean highly skilled forward

Strengths: Wingspan – uses long limbs to his benefit on offense and defense. Great at blocking and altering shots. Very quick/athletic for his height. Competitive spirit. Quick face up post moves. Good leaping ability. Good shooting touch for a player his size. Fast feet on defense. Good ballhandler for an almost 7-footer. Capable of playing out on the wing or in the post. Lots of potential. Good rebounder – had nine double-digit rebounding games his freshman year. Good at slashing and getting to the hoop. Gets to the free throw line a decent amount of times.

Weaknesses: Very thin – will get abused in the post in the NBA. Very inexperienced. Turnover prone – averaged three turnovers a game. Can he guard NBA post players? Will need to improve his three-point touch if he is to play the wing in the NBA. Played mostly power forward in college.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Top 10 to Lottery Pick

Consensus: Anthony Randolph is the ultimate “potential” pick – he’s not ready for the NBA yet, but his package of skills and length make him real attractive to potential suitors. He could end up being a star, but on the flip side, his game and body needs enough work that he also could turn out to be a bust.

2. Darrell Arthur
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/darrell-arthur-nba-draft-profile-42311
College: Kansas
Class: Sophomore
Position: PF
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 225lbs
?
Accolades: All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (07), Big 12 All-Rookie Team (07), USA U-19 Team (07), McDonald’s All-American – high school (06), Third Team Parade All-American (06), co-Mr. Basketball – Texas – high school (06), 4A Player of the Year – Texas – high school (05 & 06), 4A State Title Tournament MVP – Texas – high school (05 & 06).

Scouting Report: An ideal NBA prospect – big, strong, athletic, and skilled.

Strengths: Very athletic for his size – can run the floor, good jumping ability. Good range on his jumper. Solid back to the basket moves. Gets good position in post and attacks. Good passer. Good shot blocker. Has the ability to take his man off the dribble. Long wingspan.

Weaknesses: Will need to add some weight/strength to play the post in the NBA. Still inexperienced and young. Due to Kansas’ depth he never played major minutes in college – averaged less than 20 mpg his freshman year, less than 24 mpg his sophomore season. Also never put up big stats due to the Jayhawks’ depth. Foul prone.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Lottery pick to mid-first round pick.

Consensus: Watching Arthur play he just looks the part of an NBA prospect. With decent size, wingspan and offensive skills, Arthur is made for the pro game. He might not be ready right away, but within a few seasons he should be a NBA starter.

3. Marreese Speights
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/marreese-speights-nba-draft-profile-42365
College: Florida

Class: Sophomore

Position: PF/C

Height: 6’10”

Weight: 245lbs

 

Accolades: N/A

Scouting Report: A long, athletic big man who came on after being a relative unknown to start his college career.

Strengths: Long wingspan. Shoots for a very high percentage from the field – over 60% each year. Practiced against three future NBA big men his freshman year (Horford, Noah, Richard). Nice shooting touch for a big man. Athletic for a big man. Good hands. Has good NBA size. Good shot-blocker. Very good rebounder. Got more consistent as his sophomore season progressed.

Weaknesses: Very inexperienced – didn’t play much his freshman year. Age – will be 21-years-old in August, making him older than other sophomores. Has had conditioning issues in the past. Has to improve his low post game. Needs to get tougher. Needs work on the defensive end.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Late first round to early second round pick.

Consensus: No doubt Marreese Speights has a future in the NBA due to his size and skills. However, considering he doesn’t appear to be a first round lock this year he should go back to Gainesville for his junior season.


Centers
1. Brook Lopez
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/story/brook_lopez_nba_draft_profile41876
College: Stanford
Class: Sophomore 
Position: PF
Height: 7’0”
Weight: 260lbs
 
Accolades: Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 (07), All-Pac-10 Freshman Team (07), McDonald’s All-American – high school (06), Third Team Parade All-American (06).
 
Scouting Report:
An athletic big man with tons of potential.
 
Strengths: Long, lean and athletic – has a NBA frame that looks like it is capable of filling out even more. Can run the floor well for a big man. Plays tough – not afraid to go to the floor and mix it up. Nice jump hook shot that he uses often. Soft touch down low. Catches the ball and attacks immediately in the post – not hesitant. Good shot blocker. Good free throw shooter, especially for a big man. Very good at drawing fouls and getting to the line. Capable of explosive scoring outbursts.

Weaknesses: Still inexperienced – missed first five games last season and first nine games this year. Needs to develop more moves in the post – uses the jump hook too often. Shoots for a much lower field goal percentage (under 50%) than other top big man prospects. Is foul prone. Would like to see more boards from a player with his size and skills.
 
Projected 2008 Draft Range:
Top five pick.
 
Consensus: The best big man prospect in the draft not named Beasley, Lopez should make whatever NBA drafts him very happy. He should be a solid pro with the potential to be even better than that.

2. Kosta Koufos
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/kosta-koufous-nba-draft-profile-42331
College: Ohio State
Class: Freshman
Position: PF/C
Height: 7’0”
Weight: 265lbs
?
Accolades: NIT Championship MVP (08), Third Team All-Big Ten (08), Big Ten All-Freshman Team (08), McDonald’s All-American – high school (07), Greek Under-18 National Team (07), Under-18 European Championship MVP (07), Third Team All-American – Parade – high school (07).

Scouting Report: A highly skilled big man with high-level international experience.

Strengths: Big, strong frame. Along with 7-foot height he has a long wingspan. Hard worker – a gym rat. Good hands. Able to put the ball on the floor to score. Uses the glass wisely on jump shots. Tough rebounder. Possesses three-point range on his jumper. Great face up shooter. Soft touch down low. Great shot blocker. Was the best player at a high-level international tournament last summer. Seems to play better in big games.

Weaknesses: Not super fast or athletic. Tends to face-up to the hoop more than post up. Can drift out to beyond the arc too often. Still inexperienced – big guys tend to need more time to develop. Does he have the foot speed to guard mobile NBA big men?

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Mid first round pick.

Consensus: Players with Kosta Koufos’ size and skill package don’t come along too often, so his decision to enter the draft shouldn’t come as a surprise. While he would probably benefit from at least another year in college, Koufos should be an early pick this year and could pan out to be an above-average pro.

3. DeAndre Jordan
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/deandre-jordan-nba-draft-profile-42316
College: Texas A&M
Class: Freshman?
Position: C
Height: 7’0”
Weight: 240lbs
?
Accolades: Third Team Parade All-American – high school (07), USA U-19 Team (07), Two-time All-State – Texas – high school.

Scouting Report: A big man with big “upside”

Strengths: Long wingspan – blocks and alters shots with it. Soft hands in the post – catches difficult passes and converts. Good springs – can get off the floor. Can run the floor well for a big body. Good at getting post position. Solid rebounder. Shoots for a very high percentage from the field.

Weaknesses: Still more prospect than NBA player right now – will need time to develop. Very inexperienced – only played one season of college ball and didn’t play huge minutes (about 20/game). Productivity declined as his freshman season went on. Still a little clumsy. Needs to add some more muscle to his frame. Horrible free throw shooter – barely above 40%. Offensive game is still a work in progress – averages less than 10 points per game.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Top 10 pick.

Consensus: Whichever NBA team drafts Jordan will have to be patient with him. As the Lakers can attest with Andrew Bynum, the wait could be well worth it as Jordan has all the makings of a quality NBA big.

4. JaVale McGee
http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/javale-mcgee-nba-draft-profile-42335
College: Nevada
Class: Sophomore
Position: PF/C
Height: 7’0”
Weight: 237lbs
Accolades: Second Team All-WAC (08), WAC All-Defensive Team (08).

Scouting Report: A long, athletic 7-footer.

Strengths: Extremely long wingspan – reportedly measuring at 7’6”. Very athletic for his size. Can run the floor. Attacks the rim and dunks often. Good hands. Makes quick moves once he gets the ball. Terrific shot-blocker. Has a good hook shot in the post. Has range on his jumper – can hit the college three-pointer. Able to put the ball on the floor and get by defenders.

Weaknesses: Very inexperienced – only played significant minutes his sophomore year. Didn’t play in a BCS conference, so didn’t go up against top talent every game. Poor free throw shooter. Needs to get physically stronger for the NBA. Will have to learn to post up stronger for the NBA. NBA players will be able to overpower him and back him down when he is on defense. Extremely turnover prone – had four times as many turnovers than assists this past season.

Projected 2008 Draft Range: Late lottery to mid first round pick.

Consensus: JaVale McGee is the ultimate “high-risk, high-reward” pick. His length and athleticism are very enticing, but with his game and body still a work in progress there is no guarantee he’ll ever turn out to be a solid NBA pro.

Shade
06-12-2008, 01:46 AM
Gotta go with the Pez dispenser.