- Chad Ford, Senior Writer, NBA Insider
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At this point, very little is set in stone. The process of team workouts has just begun. And in the next few weeks, the Orlando NBA pre-draft camp, the Reebok Eurocamp and hundreds of team workouts will dramatically alter the face of the draft. So, expect this mock draft to fluctuate greatly over the next six weeks.
But for now, here's our best stab, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out in June.
The skinny: This will be a very difficult choice for the Bulls.
On the one hand, Chicago has needed a low-post scorer for a long time, and Beasley fits the bill. He's also a top-notch rebounder, which would fulfill another need for the Bulls.
However, Rose, a Chicago native, would be a major upgrade over Kirk Hinrich. His strength and athleticism could really ignite the Bulls' offense.
For the moment, we're putting Beasley here because he's the best fit.
The skinny: The Heat are big winners, too. They don't get the No. 1 pick, but they do get their favorite player in the draft. A Rose-Wade backcourt should be awesome.
But if the Bulls select Rose No. 1, the word on the street is that the Heat might be willing to deal the pick. While Beasley would be an upgrade over Udonis Haslem, it sounds like the Heat aren't sold.
The skinny: If the team drafts for need, Lopez will be the guy. The Wolves really need another big to help out Al Jefferson in the post, and Lopez should be a good fit.
But don't count out Danilo Gallinari, who could be the surprise pick here. The team also needs a small forward like Gallinari who can be a facilitator in the offense. His basketball IQ could make him an immediate contributor.
The skinny: The Sonics fell the furthest of any team in the draft, slipping from No. 2 to No. 4. Call it bad karma for leaving the fans of Seattle.
While the team would have loved to have had a shot at Rose, Bayless should be a very good fit for Seattle. His up-tempo game and excellent shooting ability would give the Sonics a potent weapon to pair with Kevin Durant.
The skinny: The Grizzlies need a power forward.
But although they do have a glut of guards, they also could use a guard with the strength, scoring prowess and star quality of Mayo. Team him with Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, and the Grizzlies are a big man away from having a bright future again.
The skinny: Rose was the Knicks' primary target, but with Gallinari, new head coach Mike D'Antoni lands the perfect weapon for his new team: a 6-10 point forward who knows how to think the game. D'Antoni played with Gallinari's father in the Italian League for eight years and knows how good the versatile Italian forward really is.
It might not be a popular pick in New York, but D'Antoni will make it work.
The skinny: The Clippers are sweet on Danilo Gallinari and O.J. Mayo, but it looks like neither will be here at No. 7.
Look for the Clippers to make a tough choice between Westbrook and Eric Gordon. Gordon is a polished scorer and shooter, but L.A. really needs a point guard and some perimeter defense, and Westbrook looks like the better fit.
The skinny: Milwaukee could go in a lot of different directions. Its biggest need is at small forward, but this may be too high to draft Joe Alexander or Donte Greene. With the Bucks expected to be active on the trade market this summer, they can draft the best available player and then work things out later.
Gordon is a dynamic scorer who could free up the Bucks to trade Michael Redd.
The skinny: Larry Brown loves guys who "play the right way." And Love is as fundamentally sound as anyone in the draft.
But after the Adam Morrison debacle, will they really draft another college guy noted for his lack of athleticism?
Anthony Randolph and DeAndre Jordan are other possibilities here.
The skinny: The Nets have lacked a super-athletic 4 since Kenyon Martin walked out the door. Randolph has been compared to a young Chris Bosh by some scouts. His combination of length and athleticism is exciting, but he has to get stronger and improve his perimeter game.
The skinny: The Pacers need a long-term replacement for Jamaal Tinsley, and they are crossing their fingers that either Augustin or Westbrook is still on the board when they pick. Of the two, Augustin is probably the better fit in Jim O'Brien's system.
Augustin is an excellent floor leader and can really shoot the basketball. Another bonus for Pacers fans is that he is an excellent character guy.
The skinny: The Kings are hoping that either Augustin or Westbrook falls into their laps. However, if they're not available, Sacramento will likely have to make a tough choice between a number of power forwards.
Of the group, Arthur has the greatest upside as an athlete and a scorer. But he's going to have to improve his rebounding to really make it in the league.
The skinny: Alexander could be the sleeper of the draft. His combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability has GMs drooling right now. He's still learning the game, but on a team like the Blazers, his versatility could be an immediate asset.
Donte Greene is also a possibility here.
The skinny: At some point you just draft talent. The Warriors don't have a huge need in the middle, but Jordan's too talented to let slip any further. He has the body and athletic skills of Dwight Howard. But his lack of motivation is scaring a lot of GMs away right now.
The skinny: Greene is a steal if he slips this far. He has the potential to be a Shawn Marion-type combo forward in the pros. While his game is still raw, he has great length and athleticism and an emerging perimeter game.
The skinny: The Sixers are still looking for a low-post banger. If they can't get Elton Brand this summer, they'll have to seriously consider Speights. Speights does a lot of the same things Brand does, though he doesn't have the same conditioning or drive yet.
The skinny: Lopez is drawing a lot of comparisons to Anderson Varejao. On a team that needs toughness and rebounding in the middle, he should be a great fit. He's kind of the anti-Andrea Bargnani.
The skinny: McGee is another wildcard. Long, athletic and skilled, he has huge upside and can fly up and down the court. But his thin frame and lack of position mean he's a few years away from contributing.
The skinny: If Koufos slips this far, it will be tough for the Cavs to pass on him. He's a very skilled big man who gets up and down the floor really well.
Some scouts compare him to a young Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He needs to get stronger, but he's got great upside for a pick this low in the draft.
The skinny: The Nuggets need a floor leader who can push the ball up and down the floor. While Lawson has his weaknesses, he should be an excellent fit in George Karl's up-tempo system.
The skinny: Budinger could easily be a late lottery pick, but he could also slip. Teams love his size and shooting ability but worry a bit about his lack of aggressiveness and defense. At this point in the draft, the Nets will be glad to take the risk.
The skinny: There's quite a bit of buzz over Rush at the moment. He's got the size, athleticism and shooting ability needed to excel as an NBA 2-guard. He is also an excellent defender and should be ready to step in and contribute right away. He's a perfect fit for Orlando.
The skinny: Is there a better fit for Hibbert than Utah? He needs a team that excels in half-court sets. His size and scoring ability make him an asset as long, as you don't ask him to run the floor or play 40 minutes a game.
The skinny: Expect Sonics GM Sam Presti to use a trick or two from his days in San Antonio and look internationally with his second pick. Ibaka has the talent to be a potential lottery pick someday, but he's still very raw. The Sonics can leave him over in Spain and reap the benefits down the road.
The skinny: The Rockets got a big boost from rookie Luis Scola this season, but they could still use another strong, bruising power forward like Hickson. He's not ready for the NBA yet, but the Rockets can afford to develop him.
The skinny: This low in the draft, the Spurs almost always look to the future, and I expect them to do it again. Batum has a lot of talent, but he needs more time in France to develop it. In a couple of years, San Antonio will look really smart.
The skinny: Walker could be a major coup for the Hornets if he's still on the board here. A year and a half ago, teams were talking about him as a top-5 pick. An ACL injury stopped that talk, but sources say his weight is finally down and his explosiveness is back. He and Chris Paul could make for a dynamite backcourt if Walker plays 2-guard.
The skinny: The Grizzlies need a power forward with some real power, and Jawai has that in abundance. He's coming off a big year in Australia, and his game resembles Elton Brand's a little. At this point in the draft, he's worth the risk.
The skinny: The Pistons thrive on getting players who don't get the respect they probably deserve. Adding CDR as a reserve who can play the 2 and 3 and provide some scoring off the bench seems like a steal here.
The skinny: The Celtics don't need rookies right now, and Tomic is stuck in a contract for the next few years overseas. They can afford to let him develop and hope in a few years he can be a building block.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.
The draft order is set. Here's Chad Ford's first stab at how the draft will play out in June.