Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Updated: June 10, 7:03 PM ET
Mock Draft: Version 4.0
By Chad Ford
The info about the 2009 NBA draft keeps pouring in. The 2009 Reebok Eurocamp, first-ever NBA draft combine and two major group workouts have finished. We now have official measurements, combine results, medical reports and interview results for virtually every prospect in the league.
The process is far from over, however. In the next week, underclassmen still sitting on the fence will have some major decisions to make. And many team workouts remain that will dramatically alter the face of the draft.
But for now, here's our best stab, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out June 25.
Analysis: The Clippers brought in Blake Griffin for a public workout and continue to be on the path to select him with the No. 1 pick. Sources around the league say that trade talks with the Clippers are virtually nonexistent when it comes to Griffin. In other words, Griffin will be a Clipper. Meanwhile, the Clippers are focusing on finding a new home for Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph.
Analysis: The Grizzlies continue to be a bit of an enigma right now. They are talking to a number of teams about a potential trade, and teams including the Kings, Wizards, Knicks, Rockets and Celtics have shown interest.
The Grizzlies continue to publicly pursue Ricky Rubio, as well, although a well-placed source in the point guard's camp said it's likely (though not definite) that Rubio will skip Memphis when he goes on a three-city U.S. tour next week.
There also have been rumblings that Tyreke Evans is in the mix in Memphis. But when the dust clears, it looks as though the most likely scenario has Thabeet in Memphis on draft night if the Grizzlies keep the pick.
Analysis: The Thunder have been their typical quiet selves. GM Sam Presti has told a number of agents that he is interested in their players, but it has been difficult to ascertain the direction toward which the team is leaning.
We continue to hear that the Thunder have expressed interest in Rubio, Thabeet, James Harden, Jordan Hill and Stephen Curry.
Rubio likely will make a visit to OKC sometime before the draft, but major questions exist about how he would fit there. The team sees Russell Westbrook as its point guard of the future and isn't sure how he would fare without the ball in his hands. Maybe more importantly, Presti is an opportunist. If he can get a couple of good assets in return for the No. 3 pick, he won't be afraid to pull the trigger.
But if he doesn't, and if Rubio is off the board, the team will have to make a tough decision. Thabeet would give the Thunder the shot-blocking they desperately need. Harden would give them the savvy of a veteran. Curry would give them shooting. Hill would give them rebounding and energy. Oklahoma City could use all those things, but our guess is that it will settle on Harden.
Analysis: Another week, another player for the Kings. I think, ideally, the Kings will figure out a way to move up in the draft. They've had some preliminary discussions with the Grizzlies, but the price is high. Moving up two spots would cost them the No. 4 pick and last year's lottery pick, Jason Thompson. That's a high price for Rubio. Probably too high.
If they don't trade up and if Rubio doesn't fall to them, they will be in a tough position. The team needs a point guard, preferably a big one, and two players stand out. Jrue Holiday's combination of size and defensive ability is intriguing. However, his lack of production at UCLA is a big concern. Evans was much more productive at Memphis and has terrific upside as a scoring point. The other possibilities here include Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn and Curry.
As we've been reporting since draft lottery night, the Wizards continue to shop the pick. A source in Washington told me that they've had a number of interesting offers. Their goal is to get back a veteran who can play right now -- and to shed a few million dollars off their cap if possible.
A number of teams -- including the Knicks, Mavericks, Rockets and Pacers -- are possibilities here. If the Wizards keep the pick, they'll have a tough choice between Harden and Hill. From the intel I've received, it sounds as though Harden might be slightly ahead.
• Click here for picks 6-30 of Chad Ford's mock draft.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN.com.