Unsubstantiated Speculation: Team by Team Draft Rumors & Links

    
June 24th, 2008

Team by team 2008 Draft links and rumors:

1. Chicago Bulls
It's becoming more and more apparent that Chicago will take Rose, even though I don't think they should. Although those ready to put Miami on the clock should be wary that Rose is openly politicking for his hometown team to pick him just a week before the draft. The one thing I don't like is this idea that Rose is a better pick because he acts serious and professional in interviews and Beasley does not. These kids are 19, neither of them are professional. Rose is shy, Beasley is not. Can Rose do his taxes better than Beasley or something? Is Rose more proficient in Excel? No. They are both really good at basketball but happen to have different personalities. Derrick Rose is going to be freaking great but give me Beasley this year. That is all. Now, the idea that Rose should be the pick because he is by far the best true point guard for a league that covets them more than ever -- that works.

2. Miami Heat
This is probably where Beasley is going to go, whether it's by Miami or not, so let's talk about him. First, ESPN is cashing in on this whole, "The Next Arenas" thing by capitalizing on Beasley's personality even while its writers bash his draft prospects. They have him blogging. They have an "in-depth" feature on him, which tries to overtake that old Wash Post feature as the "link all Internet writers must provide when discussing Beasley's character issues." They have some ESPN Digital Video things (part 1, part 2) of him, which are pretty tame but awesome for a Philly native like me because he hangs out in the city all day. For the record, he does not stab anyone in the videos nor does he give anyone a wedgie. Rose did work out for Miami so if you're the type of person that likes to make blind leaps of faith (and as someone writing about the Draft, I am), that's another sign that Chicago hasn't made up its mind.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves
They hold the key to the rest of the Draft. Not only does their pick affect those after it but it apparently affects those in front of it. If Miami thinks they can get Mayo at No. 4 or No. 5, they may be inclined to trade the No. 2. The T'Wolves seem to be all over the board. Mayo should be the pick but they have brought in Eric Gordon and Jerryd Bayless recently. Brook Lopez and Danilo Gallinari were in there too. As Ian Thomsen at Sports Illustrated writes, this is one of the toughest drafts to predict in recent memory and a lot of it rests on Miami and Minnesota's uncertainty. Thomson says it's down to Mayo and Love. Mayo has been neglecting small markets (although given that he worked out in Minny, his tune may have changed), and Love is a white person. You do the math.

4. Seattle Supersonics
Another team that long seemed to be locked in on a player (Jerryd Bayless), but now could go any number of directions. It appears Brook Lopez and Russell Westbrook (who Chad Ford has the Sonics taking -- now who is the one with the crazy man crush on Russ?), are very real possibilities. Apparently my man Westbrook has shut down workouts and according to Ford, has a promise in the mid-lottery, possibly at No. 4.

5. Memphis Grizzlies
Many reports have the Grizz trading this pick along with Mike Miller (good) and Brian Cardinal (and his franchise crushing contract). It seems like the Grizzlies best bet is if Mayo falls to them so Miami or another teams that wants him will come calling. Otherwise they will probably take Kevin Love. Some are reporting "Chubby Bryce Drew" Gordon is high up there, but others are reporting he doesn't want to play there. Also, this made me laugh out loud, although I'm sure that wasn't the writer, or Chris Wallace's, intention.

6. New York Knicks
Another pick that seems to be way up in the air and also seems to affect all that comes after it. Danilo Gallinari worked out there recently and supposedly balled, which is good because he said he won't play anywhere besides the Knicks or the Nets. Obviously with Donnie Walsh at the helm, who is very much unlike Isiah Thomas, trades are distinct possibilities if the right vet is available.

7. Los Angeles Clippers
It's highly possible that none of the current Clippers besides Al Thornton and Chris Kaman will be on the team next year. It looks like they will be going small, which assumes they are for some reason optimistic that Thornton, Brand, Kaman will be their front line for more than another month or so.

8. Milwaukee Bucks
Another team that will likely look far different next season. With Scott Skiles now at the helm you can be certain that the pick will be boring. Joe Alexander seems about right. I'm not entirely sure why DJ Augustin isn't an option here, seeing as how Mo Williams stinks and is a shoot-first PG on a team with a glut of shot-hoisting forwards, but then again, it's the Bucks so I guess I should be surprised they won't be taking Sasha Kaun.

9. Charlotte Bobcats
If it was up to Larry Brown he would try to take Aaron McKie, but alas, there is no such option. I haven't read much about the Cats trading this pick which means they most certainly will. But if they do pick, it might be someone that hasn't worked out for them, because no one wants to. I suppose playing for Michael Jordan and Larry Brown has lost its luster. Besides you can wait one more spot and play for Jay-Z!

10. New Jersey Nets
Speaking of Hov, he is about to make a new friend. Who that friend could be is completely impossible to predict however. Logic says another big man for NJ, but then again logic has no place in the Meadowlands. Gallinari seems to be a lock if he is available because, you know, he doesn't want to play anywhere else, but a "rich man's Bostjan Nachbar" probably isn't too appealing to a future Brooklyn fanbase. They can barely understand the dude who sells Gyros on the corner.

11. Indiana Pacers
With the rumors surrounding a makes-too-much-sense deal involving TJ Ford and Jermaine O'Neal, DJ Augustin might not be the surefire pick here anymore. I guess Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy are long-term options so one of those wacky, athletic bigs will probably go here if Augustin does not.

12. Sacramento Kings
Not a lot of action on this pick. It seems like they will just keep it and probably take Augustin if he's available. Otherwise a Wheel O' Big Man will be spun and any of the Speights/McGee/Jordan mess will be chosen.

13. Portland Trailblazers
Some have them trading this thing for sure, others have them keeping it and taking something called Alexis Ajinca. One thing is for sure, the Blazers have options and probably don't need to get any younger.

14. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are the team that every prospect seems tailor-made for, which is funny because Don Nelson hates youth. Apparently Jason Thompson, a guy who has been underrated throughout this process, is in play. A 7-footer who can run and shoot? Doesn't sound like something thing that would interest Nellie at all. Initially an upside big man like Koufos, McGee or Randolph would seem to make sense, but don't they already have Brandan Wright and Patrick O'Bryant? (Yes, they do).

-Read more of Jason's Draft coverage at the Super, Scintillating, and Sarcastic blog