It's the week of the '06 NBA Draft, and mock drafts are everywhere. I'd be remiss if I didn't join in, despite the fact that I have no idea what the hell is going to happen. Basically I don't know anything about the European players, none of the college guys seem like sure things, and with high-school players as ineligible as I am, it just doesn't promise to be all that interesting anyway (except, of course, for the anti-Dolan forces that are coalescing in New York at this very moment). Honestly, with the World Cup going on, I care about the NBA Draft less than I ever have before (and this with my Bulls having the second overall pick). But what the hell.
1. TORONTO RAPTORS
NEEDS: Well, if you have the No. 1 pick, and it wasn't given to you as an early Christmas present by Isiah Thomas, you probably need everything. This is pretty much true, as the only place the Raprots are set is at power forward, with Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva. What the Raptors really need is a star to help at the gate, which they won't be finding in the Draft. (And, as Bosh gets closer to becoming that star, he's probably busy planning his exit strategy.) If the owners were smart, they wouldn't worry about attracting fans. That way the Raptors will become the Oklahoma City Drillers in no time.
THE PICK: BRANDON ROY, Washington
THE REASON: The alleged best players in this draft are power forwards, but none of them are proven. And the Raptors have a scout named Larry Siegfried, so Roy seems like the right choice.
2. CHICAGO BULLS
NEEDS: What the Bulls don't need is more youth, but when Isiah Thomas offers you a first-round pick, you take it. What they really need is solid frontcourt scoring (since Tyson Chandler is never gonna do it) and a star-quality veteran with playoff experience. What they should do is undo the Chandler deal and offer the No. 2 back to the Clippers and get back Elton Brand. Although even Donald Sterling isn't THAT dumb. Still, trading the pick would be wise if (as part of a package, obviously) it could bring in someone like Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O'Neal or even Vince Carter. That would get them further along in the playoffs—and they still have another potential lottery pick next year regardless. Thanks, Isiah!
THE PICK: TYRUS THOMAS, LSU
THE REASON: Everybody loves Tyrus, so if the Bulls decide not to keep him, they'll be plenty of takers. And if they keep him, he anc Chandler should prevent EVERYONE from scoring inside. Now, if they could only find a way to score themselves.
3. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
NEEDS: In just their third year, the Bobcats have roughly three locks: Raymond Felton, Sean May, and Emeka Okafor. Given their short draft history, they probably would have taken Joakim Noah if he came out, but he didn't, and there really aren't any Gators available worth considering this high. So they'll have to do without a college champion this year. What they should do is see who new employee Michael Jordan likes, then take virtually anyone else.
THE PICK: RUDY GAY, UConn
THE REASON: Bernie Bickerstaff may not be able to get a champ, but he can go with a proven player from a proven program. Also, apparently Jordan wasn't impressed by his workout. Unlike, uh, Kwame Brown's.
4. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
NEEDS: Someone without a police record. And who isn't a point guard.
THE PICK: ADAM MORRISON, Gonzaga
THE REASON: With Roy gone, take the next available somewhat local hero. Besides, the wispy mustache and long hair should evoke memories of the glory days of '78.
5. ATLANTA HAWKS
NEEDS: Another 6-8 athlete for Billy Knight's ongoing experiment.
THE PICK: LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Texas
THE REASON: At 6-10, Aldridge doesn't fit the height requirement, but even Billy Knight wouldn't pass on him here.
6. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
NEEDS: Latrell Sprewell's head on a stick.
THE PICK: ANDREA BARGNANI, Italy
THE REASON: ESPN's Chad Ford has him going first overall, but then again he liked Darko Milicic. Provided Bargnani isn't the next Nikoloz Tskitishvili, he can help make up for the absence of Kevin Garnett, either due to trade or homicidal rage.
7. BOSTON CELTICS
NEEDS: To figure out how to win before Paul Pierce is old and grey and not walking through that door. (Do you think Antoine Walker waited a day to call him and gloat, or did he ring him directly from the locker room?)
THE PICK: MARCUS WILLIAMS, UConn
THE REASON: A semi-local based point guard who knows how to win? Makes sense to me.
8. HOUSTON ROCKETS
NEEDS: A trip to Oz to get Yao a heart (all kidding aside, he's getting there) and T-Mac a back (can the Wizard do that for a brotha?). jeff Van Gundy could use some better hairplugs, too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
THE PICK: MOSES MALONE, Petersburg High School
THE REASON: Because I've stopped caring about this draft and there's still half of the lottery to go. Terrific.
I might get back to this later, but I doubt it.