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1. Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose, PG, 19, 6-3, 190 pounds (Memphis freshman): Chicago appeases the locals by taking the player that fits the culture and direction of its organization. He also brings an incredible amount of talent to the table.
2. Miami Heat – Michael Beasley, PF, 19, 6-9, 235 pounds (Kansas State freshman): No hesitation here. The Heat are happy to take the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors.
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 – Russell Westbrook, PG/SG, 19, 6-3, 187 pounds (UCLA sophomore): Kings traded Mike Bibby and would like to re-sign Beno Udrih. An athletic, defensive-oriented combo guard with major potential makes some sense.
13. Portland Trail Blazers – Joe Alexander, 21, 6-8, 230 pounds (West Virginia junior): Portland needs a point guard, but won’t find one and thus may opt to trade the pick for a veteran. Alexander is the best player available here, with the kind of athleticism, attitude and upside that can provide short-term and long-term dividends.
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) – Brandon Rush, SG/SF, 22, 6-7, 211 pounds (Kansas junior): Steve Kerr gets the best of both worlds, by picking up another outstanding perimeter shooter who just happens to be one of the best defenders you’ll find on the board here.
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 – Donte Greene, SF/PF, 20, 6-10, 220 pounds (Syracuse freshman): Toronto needs a small forward who can spread the floor and are elated to see a talent like Greene fall to them.
18. Washington Wizards – Nicolas Batum, SF, 19, 6-8, 214 pounds (Le Mans Sarthe Basket, international): The Wizards are in a position to draft the best player available and will like the defensive ability, passing skills and all-around talent Batum brings to the table.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers – Chase Budinger, SG/SF, 20, 6-7, 190 pounds (Arizona sophomore): The Cavs have been struggling to find a wing player who can make shots for some time now. Budinger can do that, and is a team player to boot.
20. Denver Nuggets – Ty Lawson, PG, 20, 5-11, 175 pounds (North Carolina sophomore): The Nuggets love to play up-tempo basketball and really need to find a better solution at the point than Anthony Carter. Lawson may have a promise here.
21. New Jersey Nets (from Dallas) – JaVale McGee, C, 20, 7-0, 237 pounds (Nevada sophomore): The Nets could be too intrigued by McGee’s all-around talent to let him slip any further, even if it will take him considerable time to develop.
22. Orlando Magic – Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG/SF, 21, 6-7, 200 pounds (Memphis junior): The Magic’s biggest hole is at the 2-3 spot, and Douglas-Roberts is ready to help them out immediately.
23. Utah Jazz – – Marreese Speights, PF/C, 20, 6-10, 245 pounds (Florida sophomore): The Jazz need size and are yearning for an athlete who can play both frontcourt positions.
24. Seattle SuperSonics (from Phoenix) – Roy Hibbert, C, 21, 7-2, 272 pounds (Georgetown senior): Hibbert is reunited with his old buddy from Georgetown Jeff Green, and will be able to give Seattle quality minutes right away at the center position.
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 – Alexis Ajinca, C, 20, 7-1, 225 pounds (Hyeres-Toulon, international): The Hornets are in a position to take the best overall talent on the board, and could afford to develop Ajinca in the D-League until he’s ready to play.
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 – Bill Walker, SF, 20, 6-6, 225 pounds (Kansas State freshman): The Pistons could use some added depth on the wing, and Walker is the type of athlete and competitor who fits the brand of basketball they embrace.
30. Boston Celtics – DeVon Hardin, C, 21, 6-11, 250 pounds (California senior): The Celtics get the defensive-oriented athletic backup center they need.