FreeDrafto #24883131: The Mock

We may never be capable of answering with "FreeDarko" means, but explaining the basis of the FD Mock Draft is a lot simpler. Like the real thing, it involves a sometimes delicate balance between best available and best fit—or in this case, most FD player and most FD state of affairs. Your pickers, in order: The Brown Recluse, Esq., Joey Litman, Tom Ziller, yours truly, and Ty Keenan. Honeysuckle and enjoy!

1. Los Angeles Clippers - Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
True, the last time the Clip Show drafted a raw giant of African descent with the number one overall pick, it didn't work out too well, but this time is different. The mind boggles at the potential chaos that could be wrought by a frontline of Thabeet, Marcus Camby, and Chris Kaman. Has it ever happened that a team had every shot attempt blocked for an entire game? Well, we're about to find out. Also, I overheard Dunleavy saying that Zach Randolph's face up game was so nice, he was thinking of playing him exclusively at the 3. Hey, don't shoot the messenger! (Brown Recluse, Esq.)

2. Memphis Grizzlies - Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Given all the lectures we've received about him, it was tempting to pass on Griffin here because that would just be funny in an absurd way. Like awarding Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo the Best Picture award for which it deserved consideration. (Seriously.) But fine, Griffin "makes sense." He's a great fit in Memphis given the city's tortured racial-identity issues stemming from Craig Brewer's career. And amidst a roster haunted by the Ghosts of Final Fours Past, he might already be the second-most-accomplished pro, after Rudy Gay. What up, Mihm? (Joey Litman)

3. Oklahoma City Thunder - Rodrigue Beaubois, France
The Russell Westbrook of Europe meets the Russell Westbrook of ... um, America. We (outside of stoicism fetishists like Joey) think of the San Antonio canon as one of boring, solid, workmanlike. But ignore Duncan for a minute. The team that brought us James White! This is what Presti took from the Spurs playbook, beyond the Big Three + flexibility trope: get players who can jump over canyons. I look forward to the first Green-to-Westbrook-to-Beaubois-to-Durant fastbreak in which feet never touch the ground. (Tom Ziller)

4. Sacramento Kings - Brandon Jennings, Compton
We may never know for sure if Jennings really is better than Rubio, if the latter is indeed "all hype," or if both are true. Sadly, Jennings was the only one to survive the Serbian Barf Wars, a skirmish which briefly rocked the airspace over Idaho and Nebraska, and into which both young point guards were enlisted against their will for the entirety of its two-day duration. Rubio died in the arms of his mother, slain, some said, by Jennings himself.

The Maloofs may want to win, but they also own Vegas and have a pet reality show. Suckers for the nexus of talent and publicity, they'll go with Jennings, whose return to the scene of his great rhetorical crime will be seen as both a tribute to Rubio (even though that makes no sense; possibly because Ricky would've been drafted here?) and in its wacky remorselessness, the beginning of his Speedy Gonzalez/Wild Bill persona. Also, Donte Greene stole a tank during the draft and forced this pick, and with the Kings hiring Paul Westphal, who once lead the league in scoring and is often mistaken for Paul Westhead, so this team will run. (Bethlehem Shoals)

5. Washington Wizards - Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Yeah, Obama might convince them to take a Euro for the sake of foreign relations, but cute gimmicks aren't necessary as long as you're not threatening Zapatero, and every foreigner's scared of playing in DC anyway after hearing rumors that Rubio died when the sculptures in the Smithsonian came to life. With Arenas a perpetual question mark, the Wizards need a more consistent source of combo-guard scoring, especially with Jamison likely to be traded this summer. As an added bonus, Tyreke can host long-arm contests with JaVale McGee. (Ty Keenan)

6. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Harden, Arizona State
Harden's going to need that t-shirt (and some sweaters) because it gets cold in Minnesnowta. The T-Wolves are actually kinda set in the frontcourt with Jefferson and Love, but they badly need some perimeter scoring. Harden scores in ways that Corey Brewer can't even imagine, and ironically, since he makes up for his perceived athletic deficiencies through craft and wiles, he's something like the guard version of McHale. Keep ya head up, Kev! (BRE)

(We have a trade. Shoals and Joey have agreed to swap picks, while Shoals was stuck in the airport and needed something to do.)

7. Golden State Warriors - Terrence Williams, Louisville
The next Stephen Jackson but better. Stephen Jackson if he'd known all along that he was going to turn into today's Stephen Jackson, instead of being forced into it when the NBA ate his family and he fled to the hills to fight for what he believed in. Joey, I think I'm going to pass on your creepy Omar/Brandon allusion. (Note from Joey: Before anyone in the comments has to say it--pause. Get over it.) (BS)

8. New York Knicks - Jordan Hill, Arizona
While Zombie Ricky Rubio remained under heavy consideration until the last moments of New York's time on the clock, New York's selection of Hill should prove that Amare was more important than Nash. At least in D'Antoni's eyes. (Note: Hill is not Amare, but Donnie Walsh is partially blind.) (TZ)

9. Toronto Raptors - Ricky Rubio, Muerte
They came from all over, and in the North Carolina dark, they frantically pressed their weight against the old tree's trunk, searching for the door. Finally, Jason Williams found it, and he led Nash and the Colangelos down a hidden staircase. Mike, a surgeon who happens to coach basketball, was waiting for them at the bottom, and he had the body. Invoking the names of Pete and Press, the men held hands and prayed before activating the ReviviChirp, a life-conferring machine powered by a substance so mystical and potent that its creator, Christopher, had spent two years in the wilderness while recovering from the experiments he had administered on himself.

Time drew out. Jerry and Bryan looked on anxiously, knowing that on the table lay their best hope for finally realizing the dream deferred in Phoenix. Bryan was especially nervous because each passing moment brought Chris Bosh closer to getting the fuck out of Toronto, and Bryan needed a plan to win games and sell tickets. Steve and Jason were somber, overcome by desire for the league to be dominated by a white guy who could play the black game, but also jealous that history would not speak first of them. All lost hope as the machine cut out. It was over.

And just when they were resigned to rolling with Jeff Teague, an ironic twist: a hero of Brandon Jennings's own home, Compton, rushed down the stairs. Shrouded in a cloak, the man lay his hands upon Ricky's chest, held them there for a moment, and then lifted them in the air, bringing Rubio's resuscitated body with them. The man placed Ricky in Bryan's arms and bounded up the stairs as swiftly as he'd entered. Bryan screamed up, "What just happened?" And then, Dr. Dre threw back his hood and reminded the men, "Real niggaz don't die." (JL)

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Stephen Curry, Davidson
It always bothers me when GMs lose all common sense during the draft and take a guy with potential over someone who produced in college. You're telling me Curry's a worse pick than a guy like Jrue Holiday? I watched UCLA this year because I live in LA, and he wasn't even the third-best player on his own team! That's almost as illogical as when Jennifer Aniston decides not to move out of Vince Vaughn's apartment in The Breakup. None of this would've ever happened if the Bucks had hired me as their GM. I will now commit ritual seppuku. I would say more, but that's a whole different column. (Anon.)

11. New Jersey Nets - James Johnson, Wake Forest
The Nets are totally weird. Any team with Vince Carter is automatically impossible to predict, but look at the rest of the roster. Their two young "studs" are Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, without question the goofiest tandem in the League. Keyon Dooling is their fourth leading scorer (seriously, look it up), and the rest of the squad is made up the likes of Yi Jianlian and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Talk about ciphers. All of this makes New Jersey the only possible destination for James Johnson, whose anonymous name belies his utterly strange background as the middle son of a clan of Idaho-based mixed martial artists. Given his unique skill set, it's surprising that Johnson gets lost on the basketball court as often as he shines on it, which only adds more haze to his already inscrutable persona. (BRE)

12. Charlotte Bobcats - Sam Young, Pittsburgh
Not sure if they know it, but the Bobcats are at war with each other. There's the FD faction (Gerald, D.J., Boris), the Play the Right Way faction (Ray, Sean, Emeka, Raja), the kids who get to sit with the counselors at the head table since they all went to UNC, the guys with funny names (Alexis, Nazr, Vlad, DeSagana). Every time you start to head in one direction, you lose the path. The hybrid lineup of Raymond, Raja, Gerald, Boris, and Emeka was pretty good last year. Michael isn't paying attention, and lugubrious Larry is going to hate whomever shows up soon enough, so why not score one for the FD team and subtly swing the Bobcats our way? Enter Mr. Young, something of an FD Trojan horse. He came up under a defense-and-fundamentals coach, so LB will like that. But really, dude wants to run, to leap, to soar; to bomb from three, finish on the break, and block shots swooping in from the wing. There is an audacity of hope in his game that should play well in newly blue Carolina. (JL)

13. Indiana Pacers - DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh
Following the selection of Roy Hibbert, the acquisition of Jarrett Jack, and the continued employment of Jeff Foster and Troy Murphy, the Pacers continue to attempt to build the slowest fast team of all time. Murphy makes a surprise Summer League appearance as a part of his personal brand reboot (the Irish Catholic Artest). A game against Toronto's squad results in only two Raptor rebounds in the fully 40 minutes. (One rebound by Zombie Ricky, the other by Bargnani's bitchy cousin Bella, a team inclusion which really stretches the bounds of NBA nepotism decency.) (TZ)

14. Phoenix Suns - Demar DeRozan, U$C
Because if he and Amare collide when both go up to catch a Nash lob (that will happen every single time, trust), there's a chance Stoudemire's knee could be destroyed, and his entire contract then traded elsewhere as a tax write-off. Also DeRozan can only survive in warm temperatures; if he doesn't get sun, his blood stops moving. You can actually specify that when you register for the draft, just no one ever checked that box before now. So there's kind of a moral imperative at play here. (BS)

15. Detroit Pistons - Omri Casspi, Israel
With General Motors in trouble, why not take the player whose name sounds most like a car? Not only that, but Casspi is earning a reputation in workouts as a hard-nosed player who's not afraid to get his hands dirty, qualities synonymous with the city he'll call home. The Ghost of Henry Ford probably won't relish having his industry represented by a Jew, but it's tough to be picky when you need all the help you can get. (TK)

16. Chicago Bulls - Jrue Holiday, UCLA
For years, people have been saying that the Bulls need a long defender at shooting guard, but it's time to give that shit up. It's not happening. They like having short combo guards, which is why they're going to re-sign Gordon, they're not trading Hinrich, and they're drafting Holiday. Chicago's management has to appreciate that he's a tough defender, whose wingspan and quickness should help make up for what he lacks in height. Also, I'm pretty sure that the kid doesn't even own a razor. Bulls fans can still hold out hope that he's got some more growing to do. (BRE)

17. Philadelphia 76ers - Robert Dozier, Memphis
Two years ago, the Sixers ran their way into playoff contention and poked a few new holes in a Pistons foundation already set to fall apart. The logical next step? Signing a plodding injury problem, albeit one quite talented. When he got hurt this year, the team again ran itself into playoff contention and had us finding a new coach for the Magic. Sorry about that, Stan. Sixer logic now dictates taking the fattest, slowest guy available. Has anyone seen Escalade Troy Jackson? If he can't be found and Blair isn't available, perhaps the team will stop acting like pussies and allow the new AI and Thaddeus to play as they'd prefer. In fact, I dare it to do just that. And to help, I'll give Philly Robert Dozier. Dozier can fill in for Brand once he ruptures his stomach or tears his entire lower body, and Robert's already spent the longest college career ever invented running his ass off. Plus, he's the kind of defender who will do something spectacular when not in foul trouble and buy himself a rep that may not be wholly deserved. Thus, Eddie Jordan will like his game. (JL)

18. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jonas Jerebko, Sweden
New McHale David Kahn famously wants to leave a big mark on this draft. What better way than to replace the contemptible Corey Brewer with a Swedish forward who falls between the Matts Harping and Barnes? How can this go wrong? Well, except that (after the McHale firing) this is Crime No. 2 of the Kahn empire, which means than the new GM is on schedule to be fired sometime around 2026. Polish that resumé, Hoiberg. (TZ)

19. Atlanta Hawks-- Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
Allow me to get serious for a second here. The Hawks are hurting inside. What's this, you say, they just finished a season that put them on the cusp of legitimacy? Their entire future hangs on whether or not they can satiate the slobbering overlord Mike Bibby happy. Their coach is like one of those chairs that makes you sit up straight by tearing at your tendon. The dream isn't at risk of dying—we may have to admit that it never really got off the ground. That's where Jonny Flynn comes in. So he won't rain threes like Bibby. He has the heart of Horford, the physical prowess of Smith, and some of Joe Johnson's multi-faceted competitiveness. Flynn isn't a vet, but the clinging to Bibby would be born out of a fear called A.C. Law IV; here, they get a PG whose confidence is neither flimsy nor shriveled, cynical. Jonny Flynn will save the Hawks before they even know what's missing. (BS)

20. Utah Jazz - Earl Clark, Louisville
With either Boozer or Millsap not coming back, it's time to restock with a tall, thin, do-it-all forward. In theory, Clark's skills are redundant as long as Kirilenko's around, but they could also animate AK and bring him back to the 5x5 glory days. Plus, if we're really lucky, Sloan will play them together and allow them to pick up the mantle that reformer Governor Jon Huntsman left when he moved to China. (TK)

21. New Orleans Hornets - B.J. Mullens, Ohio State
We must truly be in the Post-Shaq Era if an athletic, homegrown 7-footer can slip out of the lottery. Sure, he doesn't really know how to play basketball, but if you're a big man and you play with Chris Paul, all you really need to know how to do is catch the ball and dunk it. He seems to have that part down pretty well. If Chandler can't return to form, then Mullens will make an adequate, if significantly less handsome, replacement. (BRE)

22. Dallas Mavericks - Gerald Henderson, Duke
Ryan Hollins may be headed toward a long career as the player you love to hate. He's good enough to be on the floor, yet not good enough to get calls or command respect among those who don't ride (with) the Horsees. He's lanky and slight; his look is off. And like the lamentable majority, he has yet to think of a time when he actually committed a foul. He'll now have a partner with whom he can share in public scorn. Let's be honest: no one likes a Dookie, especially not one who's had the gall to actually act a little hard. Henderson is going to dunk on someone in a way which we don't like, and then make a face that only invites more yelling at the television. But he'll also be a good fit on a shook Mavs team that unexpectedly reverted toward its old self but still needs some help getting there. (JL)

23. Sacramento Kings (from Houston) - Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
Brandon Jennings throwing lobs to Psycho T, who can't finish but is pretty good at collecting the pass, landing safely, and getting fouled on the re-attempt? Yes please. We will call this the Hansbrough-oop. Jason Thompson will always perfect it, and it will be glorious. (TZ)

24. Portland Trail Blazers - Eric Maynor, VCU
Signing Andre Miller won't solve the Blazers point guard problems, it'll underscore what a parallel universe they've been living in. As in, a team doesn't just need one serviceable point guard, they need—get ready—TWO!!!!! When Miller comes to town, Steve Blake won't be "exposed" in game-type way, but revealed to be a round hole in a square peg, or an alien plant posing as your neighbor. Hence, the pick of VCU's Maynor. You might think they'd go for Ty Lawson, who pretty much won the tournament for UNC, and has all the tools needed to be a starter if necessary. But a couple drawbacks: 1) He was taken by the Nuggets in a bunch of mock drafts last year, which makes him an asshole. 2) He drank that beer once. 3) It won't make Pritchard look nearly as clever as a mid-major "sleeper" will (are there even sleepers anymore?) 4) People keep mentioning Raymond Felton when Lawson comes up. So Portland, welcome to the modern age. Now get the blasted ball out of Brandon's hands. (BS)

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from San Antonio) - Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
Like most players on OKC, Teague has no clear position. It's tempting to say they need someone who can bring clarity to the lineup, but that could introduce an entirely new set of problems, like a glaucoma patient who smokes medicinal pot only to end up suffering from really bad paranoia. Better to stick with someone who isn't even sure if he's playing point or shooting guard from possession to possession and confuse the opponent even more. This isn't versatility--it's the new Escher. (TK)

26. Chicago Bulls (from Denver through Oklahoma City) - DeMarre Carroll, Missouri
I would pay good money to see a frontcourt of Noah, Tyrus Thomas, and Carroll playing at the same time--just unbridled, occasionally imprudent hustle. He's the Renaldo Balkman of this year's draft, and I mean that as a compliment. It's extremely unlikely any team is going to get a star this late in the first round, especially in this draft, so why not take a player who's going to play defense, rebound, and sometimes awkwardly drive to the basket? There are reports that Carroll will need a liver transplant, but that it shouldn't affect his game. And you know what that means? A whole new liver to destroy with alcohol! Chicagoans are going to love this guy. (BRE)

27. Memphis Grizzlies (from Orlando) - Austin Daye, Gonzaga
Combining hope for this tidbit to come true (third-to-last paragraph) and our infallible prognostications, here is your 2010 Memphis Ten-a-Key starting lineup: Ovinton J'Anthony, Rudy Gay, Austin Daye, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love. That's a team whose arms would literally be long enough to box with god. How would you guard them? And they should all wear t-shirts. (JL)

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Boston) - Toney Douglas, Florida State
Drafting ACC players is, oddly, the easiest way to increase the average age of your team. I think T.D. is actually Sebastian Telfair's uncle, but on the non-Marbury side of the fam. Arm wrestling is so 2008, but I like to think a Douglas-Jefferson showdown sounds historic enough to renew the sport. (TZ)

29. Los Angeles Lakers - Tywon Lawson, North Carolina
He would perhaps offer Kobe's order and rationality as a true PG accustomed to juggling egos and needs, but his Carolina upbringing and natural game would encourage the athletic best of Odom and Ariza. A temperamental heir to Fisher, but a stylistic descendant of Showtime. (Pick: BS/Text: JL)

30. Cleveland Cavaliers - Chase Budinger, Arizona
Look, LeBron, Danny Ferry got you a tall, athletic swingman who can score when needed. It's just what you've been asking for! Except not, because for some reason Budinger's never been able to translate his considerable skills into a sustained period of excellence. That doesn't necessarily make him a bust waiting to happen, because lord knows he won't be expected to be a first option in the NBA, but it does make him the kind of guy who's more likely to fill in when he can. Unfortunately, the Cavs already have a lot of that on their roster, and we saw where it got them this year. You wouldn't expect much else at the end of the first round, but that doesn't make it any less unfortunate. (TK)

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At 6/19/2009 5:01 AM, Blogger The Till Show said...

Wouldn't be surprised if that Rubio scenario really happened.

T=Will and Sam Young (aka Sam Grizzle) will battle for steal of the draft.

Excellent work, FD crew. This is why I frequent the site.

At 6/19/2009 6:56 AM, Blogger Jamøn Serrano said...

0 love for Jeff Pendergraph; I have a feeling this entire mock draft was just a passing hallucination in Josh Heytvelt's sleep last night.

Arm wrestling is so 2008, but I like to think a Douglas-Jefferson showdown sounds historic enough to renew the sport. (TZ)

At 6/19/2009 7:53 AM, Blogger Tomcat said...

Nice work FD....however, I would've made one minor adjustment-I would have taken Kentucky's Jodie Meeks @ 27th to Memphis....the Grizz's brass strike me as just petty enough to take Calipari's best scorer out of spite for his leaving town to go to Kentucky. Thus causing them to cancel their "Buy Memphis Tiger's season tickets get Grizzlies season tickets for free" promotion...dropping their average attendance from around 84.2 to 34.5 fans per game...Doesn't seem like much of a hit considering the tickets were free but think of all the frogskins they'd be losing in O.J. Mayo bobblehead sales

At 6/19/2009 9:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can't believe the Grizzlies didn't take Omri Casspri. Since they won't win anything for the next few years, why not play a key role in solving the ongoing conflict in Israel by using their unique Middle Eastern roster profile.

At their first press conference, televised on C-Span at the baller-in-chief's behest, Hamed Haddadi reveals to Casspri that he has Persian heritage. Chris Wallace's head explodes; he trades Rudy Gay for a second round draft pick.

At 6/19/2009 10:23 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I'd like to point out that sometimes, this kind of mock involves players we like going later than they will in real life (so they end up on the right team), which would make us . . . less FD than the real world?

Then again, it's not like discussed letting Flynn drop to the Hawks. It was just meant to be.

At 6/19/2009 1:50 PM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

Is this Joey fellow's real name Joey Litman? I think I might like him better if he used a fun pseudonym.

At 6/19/2009 2:13 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Was that an actual Bill Simmons pick, or just one of the regulars doing a fine imitation?

At 6/19/2009 4:22 PM, Blogger Joey said...

@spanish any suggestions? i don't really think i've ever had a nickname. i was called "big monkey" one time, but that was as a child.

At 6/19/2009 4:28 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

At the GQ party, somewhat asked Seth Rosenthal if that was his name, or his blogging alias.

At 6/19/2009 5:30 PM, Blogger Jordan Ginsberg said...

At the GQ party, somewhat asked Seth Rosenthal if that was his name, or his blogging alias.

Glorious. Joey, start posting as Herschel Leibowitz. Instant cred.

At 6/19/2009 5:47 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Or Jordan Ginsberg.

At 6/20/2009 12:07 AM, Blogger Toasterhands said...

Was sort of hoping Lester Hudson would appear here but just call me insane.

At 6/20/2009 4:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Since all this talk of Leibowitzes is making this somewhat germane, I move that we start calling this Dirk fiancee crisis Crystalnacht.

At 6/20/2009 4:32 PM, Blogger El Presidente said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/20/2009 4:34 PM, Blogger El Presidente said...

html desplendor

did you guys see the Minnesota PG battle writeup? Very interesting.

At 6/20/2009 7:46 PM, Blogger Seth said...

My real name is Big Country Carlisle.


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