|ESPN.com: Draft 2008||[Print without images]|
|Derrick Rose, ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the 2007 ESPN 100, should run an up-tempo attack for the Bulls.|
If the Bulls decide to keep Larry Hughes, he should benefit immensely from Rose's presence, and the Bulls will have two guards in the backcourt with length and the ability to defend. Rose will provide some leadership and a winning attitude that the team could use. Look for new head coach Vinny Del Negro to bring some of the high-octane basketball that he witnessed in Phoenix to the Windy City with Rose at the controls.Michael Beasley, Miami Heat
Having Beasley down low will provide the Heat with the inside scoring threat they have lacked since Shaquille O'Neal departed for the desert in Phoenix. With defenses having to account for Wade and Marion (if Miami keeps him), Beasley should have easier looks and plenty of room to operate inside.
Beasley's skills, diverse offensive game and athleticism will allow him to mesh perfectly with the athletic exploits of Wade and Marion.O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies
On the court, Mayo's offensive skills as a combo-guard should help the Grizzlies almost immediately. Pairing Mayo and Mike Conley together in the backcourt will provide Memphis with two guards who can put a great deal of pressure on opposing defenses through dribble penetration. Mayo has some point guard skills and should help Conley in the playmaking department. The Grizzlies needed to pair Conley in the backcourt with another guard who could shoot the ball, and Mayo should fit the bill while Conley continues to improve his perimeter touch.
The combination of Mayo, Conley and Rudy Gay on the perimeter gives the Grizzlies a very talented, athletic, young trio to build around. Having Gay means Mayo will not have to assume the scoring load by himself, but the Grizzlies will need him to score almost immediately, which Mayo has the talent and maturity to accomplish. Mayo also gives Memphis a top-notch wing defender, which they could definitely use.With the addition of Mayo, the Grizzlies have a full house in the backcourt and might look to use some of the surplus of guards as trade assets. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
With Foye and Miller scoring from the perimeter, Love should have the space to operate in the post and he also has a point guard who will create scoring opportunities for him in a healthy Foye. Love's ability to pass out of the post will give Miller a number of opportunities to shoot it from the outside. He has improved his conditioning and will have to continue to get in better shape for the NBA.
Al Jefferson should also benefit from Love's presence, as he will receive a number of great passes from Love either in high-low situations or from post-to-post passes in the low-block in traffic. In the high-low sets, Love should have chances to shoot his accurate jumper. His rebounding ability will help Jefferson patrol the boards, which the Wolves could use after finishing 22nd in rebounding. The perimeter shooting ability of Love and Miller will stretch defenses and provide more room for Al Jefferson to operate in the paint.Eric Gordon, Los Angeles Clippers
If guard Shaun Livingston, who has the size to defend NBA 2-guards, returns with some level of effectiveness, Gordon can play point guard on defense while he lines up as a 2-guard on the offensive end. With Livingston's playmaking abilities, Gordon could concentrate on scoring if they played together in the Clippers' backcourt. The Clippers finished second-to-last in scoring, so Gordon's scoring prowess should help.
If the Clippers hold on to Elton Brand, they will have the dominant low-post scorer to pair with the outside scoring exploits of Gordon.Jerryd Bayless, Portland Trail Blazers
Though Bayless does not rank as a pure point guard at this point on his career, having stud guard Brandon Roy already on the roster will help Bayless significantly. Roy spends considerable time at the point, which should help ease Bayless' transition and also allow Bayless to initially focus on putting the ball in the basket for this young, but very talented team.
Portland could not land the elite point guard it lacks in the draft, so it did the next best thing: find a scoring threat in Bayless it can pair with Roy in the backcourt. Bayless could also see minutes with Steve Blake in the Blazers' backcourt. With Sergio Rodriguez on the roster, minutes in Portland's backcourt will remain scarce unless more Portland GM Kevin Pritchard has more trades on the horizon, which should not come as a surprise given his resourceful and aggressive nature.Anthony Randolph, Golden State Warriors
With Golden State's frantic pace, Randolph's ability to run the floor will mesh perfectly. His ability to step away from the basket and hit jumpers should come in handy in Nelson's free-flowing, nonrestrictive offense. If Randolph, Wright and Andris Biedrins continue to develop, the Warriors will have a very impressive frontline with length, athleticism and shot-blocking ability.
J.J. Hickson, Cleveland Cavaliers
2007 ESPN 100 Ranking: 15
Hickson has a strong, NBA-ready body that should help him absorb the pounding he will endure on the interior on the nightly basis. Once on the block, he uses his strength and body to wear down and overpower defenders. Hickson has solid post skills, but he could develop in that area in addition to adding a perimeter jumper with range in the 12- to 15-foot area.
Playing with LeBron James, Hickson should benefit from a number of drive-and-dish assists coming from the King. The Cavs also have veterans Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, Anderson Varejao (if they do not trade him) and Joe Smith on the interior. With plenty of bodies on the inside, Hickson does not have to come in and control the boards immediately. Still, the Cavs could use his youth and scoring ability on the frontline rather soon, though Hickson might not have the experience necessary to contribute immediately.
Kosta Koufos, Utah Jazz
His passing ability should also help in the NBA as he will have the opportunity to play with big men in Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, who both score very easily. Playing with Boozer and Okur also means Koufos does not have to come in and carry the interior scoring load immediately. Having Boozer and Okur will also ease the rebounding and development burden on Koufos, allowing the Jazz to bring him along slowly.
When Koufos steps on the floor with Boozer and gifted point guard Deron Williams, he should see some opportunities to play off of them, providing nice, open looks for him on the perimeter in pick-and-pop situations or on the block.Donte Greene, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies will not need Greene's scoring ability from the perimeter with Rudy Gay and Mike Conley currently shouldering the scoring load from the wing, but Greene could make an impact as a perimeter scoring threat off the bench, something the Grizzlies do not have at this time on the roster.DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
At this time, he does have not have a polished or developed post game and will need to make major strides in that area for the NBA. Jordan will have to continue to add strength and reshape his body for the next level. Current Clipper Elton Brand (if they decide not to deal him) and Chris Kaman both score and rebound at a high rate, so the Clippers would not have to depend on Jordan immediately. He should benefit immensely from practicing with and experiencing the low-post exploits of Brand and Kaman on a daily basis. Jordan would do well to study Kaman's remarkable ability to finish in the paint and shoot jump hooks with either hand.
Jordan now shares a home venue with guy the Clippers hope his development mirrors in Lakers center Andrew Bynum.Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.