1. Chicago Bulls – Michael Beasley, PF, 19, 6-9, 235 pounds (Kansas State freshman): Chicago strikes gold by securing the athletic scoring power forward they’ve been lacking for some time now. This pick also could be in play.
2. Miami Heat – Derrick Rose, PG, 19, 6-3, 190 pounds (Memphis freshman): No hesitation here. The Heat will count their blessings as they draft arguably the most physically gifted point guard to enter the NBA since Baron Davis.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – Brook Lopez, C, 20, 7-0, 260 pounds (Stanford sophomore): Not a sexy pick, but Minnesota needs a low-post presence to move Al Jefferson to power forward. Timberwolves also might not have given up on Randy Foye quite yet to take Jerryd Bayless or O.J. Mayo.
4. Seattle SuperSonics– Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG, 19, 6-3, 199 pounds (Arizona freshman): Bayless isn’t ready to play the point full time, but he’s the best value at this pick and suits the Sonics’ needs better than anyone else.
5. Memphis Grizzlies – Kevin Love, PF/C, 19, 6-9, 255 pounds (UCLA freshman): This may be a reach, but Memphis likes Love and needs to take a frontcourt player at all costs.
6. New York Knicks – O.J. Mayo, PG/SG, 20, 6-5, 195 pounds (USC freshman): Clearly the best player available. A great fit for Mike D’Antoni’s offense, and probably the most ready player around for the New York City circus.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Gordon, SG, 19, 6-3, 215 pounds (Indiana freshman): The Clippers need a pure point guard here, but they could also have a hole to fill at the other guard position, and will want to get value at this pick.
8. Milwaukee Bucks – Danilo Gallinari, SF, 19, 6-9, 209 pounds (Armani Jeans Milano, international): Gallinari is the best player available, the best fit for the Bucks’ needs and also an outstanding compliment to their existing personnel.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Anthony Randolph, SF/PF, 18, 6-11, 220 pounds (LSU freshman): Charlotte has talent and potential at every position. With no center with value in sight, the Bobcats may opt for an athletic forward and keep Okafor at center.
10. New Jersey Nets – DeAndre Jordan, C, 19 , 7-0, 260 pounds (Texas A&M freshman): Jordan is a bad fit for Lawrence Frank, but is likely the best big man available, which is New Jersey’s biggest need.
11. Indiana Pacers – D.J. Augustin, PG, 20 , 5-11, 175 pounds (Texas sophomore): The Pacers feel fortunate to secure the best player available at their biggest position of need – while also filling their necessity of drafting a player with strong character.
12. Sacramento Kings – Donte Greene, SF/PF, 20, 6-10, 220 pounds (Syracuse freshman): The Kings have long-term needs at both forward positions and therefore value an athletic perimeter shooter like Greene.
13. Portland Trail Blazers – Russell Westbrook, PG/SG, 19, 6-3, 187 pounds (UCLA sophomore): With a big point guard in Brandon Roy already on the roster, an athletic, defensive-oriented combo guard with major potential makes some sense here.
14. Golden State Warriors – Kosta Koufos, C, 19, 7-1, 245 pounds (Ohio State freshman): The Warriors love their shooters, and could always use another long big man who can play under Don Nelson immediately.
15. Phoenix Suns (from Atlanta) – Joe Alexander, SF/PF, 21, 6-8, 230 pounds (West Virginia junior): The Suns have all kinds of needs with their aging starting lineup, but Alexander has the kind of athleticism, attitude and upside that can provide short-term and long-term dividends.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Darrell Arthur, PF, 20, 6-9, 215 pounds (Kansas sophomore): The Sixers’ biggest need is at power forward and Arthur has the athleticism and skill to run in their up-tempo system.
17. Toronto Raptors – Nicolas Batum, SF, 19, 6-8, 214 pounds (Le Mans Sarthe Basket, international): The Raptors’ biggest hole is at small forward, and Batum’s athleticism, perimeter defense and international background will be very appealing to their staff.
18. Washington Wizards – Chase Budinger, SG/SF, 20, 6-7, 190 pounds (Arizona sophomore): The Wizards may have bigger needs, but Budinger has a lot of value at this spot and Washington can definitely use an athlete and perimeter shooter with a high basketball IQ.
20. Denver Nuggets – JaVale McGee, C, 20, 7-0, 237 pounds (Nevada sophomore): The Nuggets could be too intrigued by McGee’s all-around talent to let him slip any further.
21. New Jersey Nets (from Dallas) – Marreese Speights, PF/C, 20, 6-10, 245 pounds (Florida sophomore): The Nets need help in the post, and Rod Thorn will love the upside that Speights has as a running mate for Devin Harris.
22. Orlando Magic – Alexis Ajinca, C, 20, 7-1, 225 pounds (Hyeres-Toulon, international): The Magic are desperate for size up front, and Ajinca can play both behind and next to Dwight Howard thanks to his length, athleticism and versatility, even if it will take time for him to develop.
23. Utah Jazz – Roy Hibbert, C, 21, 7-2, 272 pounds (Georgetown senior): Hibbert’s stock has fallen, but no system in the NBA suits him better than Utah’s flex offense, and Jerry Sloan will value his experience, character and basketball IQ.
24. Seattle SuperSonics (from Phoenix) – Brandon Rush, SG/SF, 22, 6-7, 211 pounds (Kansas junior): You can never have enough athleticism and perimeter shooting on the wing, and that’s exactly what Rush provides, as well as defense.
25. Houston Rockets – Robin Lopez, PF/C, 20, 7-0, 255 pounds (Stanford sophomore): Yao Ming’s injuries make this pick a no-brainer, especially considering the energy and activity level Brooks Lopez’s less-heralded brother brings.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Courtney Lee, SG/SF, 22, 6-5, 200 pounds (Western Kentucky senior): High character, extremely versatile defender, which is exactly what the Spurs have been looking for the past few years to eventually replace Bruce Bowen.
27. New Orleans Hornets – Ty Lawson, PG, 20, 5-11, 175 pounds (North Carolina sophomore): The Hornets have bigger needs on the wing, but they might not pass up an opportunity to draft an athletic, up-tempo backup to Chris Paul.
28. Memphis Grizzlies (from L.A. Lakers) – Jason Thompson, C, 21, 6-11, 250 pounds (Rider senior):
Memphis needs all the size it can get, and Thompson has plenty of that, as well as skill.
29. Detroit Pistons – J.J. Hickson, PF, 19, 6-9, 242 pounds (North Carolina State freshman): Hickson fits the tough, athletic mold of player Detroit likes, and he still has upside to grow alongside their veteran core.
30. Boston Celtics – DeVon Hardin, C, 21, 6-11, 250 pounds (California senior): The Celtics get the defensive-oriented athletic backup center they need.