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NBA Mock Draft No. 1

Mock Draft No. 1
In the first of many surprises sure to come, the Bulls turned the league's ninth-worst record into the No. 1 pick by winning the draft lottery -- and with it the right to instantly undo all of the negative trends that suddenly emerged this season. Their coaching job suddenly became more attractive, didn't it?

The swing picks up high in this draft will be at No. 3, where Minnesota could choose from any one of a half-dozen prospects, and No. 8, where the third tier of talent begins. New York is expected to be among the teams willing to consider trading its pick.

(Weigh in with your thoughts on the draft here.)
 
1PFMichael BeasleyKansas StateFr.6-10235
The obvious thought is to pick Chicago native Derrick Rose. But Beasley is the most talented player in the draft, and the one thing the Bulls lack is an elite talent. For a franchise with championship aspirations, the early guess is that the Bulls risk passing up the sure thing in Rose to go for potentially the greatest thing in Beasley.
2PGDerrick RoseMemphisFr.6-3205
Pat Riley might have taken Rose with the No. 1 pick because of his character and leadership qualities. With a backcourt of Rose and Dwyane Wade, the Heat may be back in contention sooner than anticipated.
3CBrook LopezStanfordSoph.7-0260
Going with a true center enables them to shift Al Jefferson to his natural position of power forward and saves him from being worn down against bigger players. The Timberwolves may try to trade down to get Lopez a few picks later, but they'll risk losing him to Memphis, which is looking for size up front too.
4GJerryd BaylessArizonaFr.6-3199
An explosive Gilbert Arenas-type who is more of a scorer than a point guard. Some will see him as a tweener, but the rebuilding Sonics have the flexibility and time to add the right pieces around him. He's another building block to go with Kevin Durant.
5F/CKevin LoveUCLAFr.6-10271
This may be a reach, but the Grizzlies need strength and toughness and they can get that from Love, who will also facilitate their offense with his playmaking and intelligence. There is no sure All-Star pick here, so why not go for someone who could help unleash their lively, young perimeter scorers?
6SFDanilo GallinariArmani Jeans Milan (Italy)--6-9221
If the Knicks don't trade this pick, they'll go for the best international player in the draft -- and it won't be because Mike D'Antoni used to play with Gallinari's father on the Italian championship clubs in Milan. It will be because Gallinari is a better prospect than 2006 No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani of Italy, he has been a 19-year-old leader of a Euroleague team and he has the athleticism, versatility and personality to succeed in New York.
7SGO.J. MayoUSCFr.6-5200
Never mind the amateur-rule controversies involving Mayo. He'll develop into a lockdown backcourt defender in addition to his combo-guard abilities. If Shaun Livingston returns in good shape from knee surgery, the Clippers will be strong in the backcourt for years to come.
8SGEric GordonIndianaFr.6-4215
He's the best player available here, an explosive scorer with a solid family background. His arrival may allow the Bucks to move Michael Redd's enormous salary if they're so disposed.
9PGD.J. AugustinTexasSoph.6-0180
New coach Larry Brown will want a true point guard and this guy is it. He isn't nearly as fast as former Longhorn T.J. Ford, but he's a scrappy defender and a playmaker. Augustin also has a superior jump shot to neutralize his lack of size.
10PFDarrell ArthurKansasSoph.6-9225
Arthur enters the league with a feel for scoring in the paint as well as an emerging face-up game, and he can run the floor. He's raw but worth the investment as the Nets enter their transition from the Jason Kidd era.
 
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