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The Times' NBA mock draft

Mark Heisler's predictions for the first round of today's NBA draft, to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York (4:30 p.m. PDT, ESPN):

June 26, 2008|Mark Heisler

PICK: 1. Chicago

PLAYER: Derrick Rose

HT: 6-1 1/2

WT: 196

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Memphis

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Pass-first point guard whose size and athleticism make him a physical prodigy at the position.

--

PICK: 2. Miami

PLAYER: Michael Beasley

HT: 6-7

WT: 239

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Kansas State

HEISLER'S COMMENT: After all that trade talk, they can't pass up a major talent capable of putting up big numbers as a rookie.

--

PICK: 3. Minnesota

PLAYER: O.J. Mayo

HT: 6-3 1/4

WT: 200

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: USC

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Half the league tried to trade up for Mayo, who tested off the board athletically with a 41-inch vertical leap.

--

PICK: 4. Seattle

PLAYER: Brook Lopez

HT: 6-11 1/4

WT: 258

CL: So.

SCHOOL: Stanford

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Wanted to trade down to get a starting player and still take Russell Westbrook. When that didn't happen, they went for a big man.

--

PICK: 5. Memphis

PLAYER: Eric Gordon

HT: 6-2

WT: 222

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Indiana

HEISLER'S COMMENT: After the heat Grizzlies got for giving Pau Gasol away, may do this just to avoid a controversy over taking Kevin Love, a tweener.

--

PICK: 6. New York

PLAYER: Russell Westbrook

HT: 6-2 1/4

WT: 192

CL: So.

SCHOOL: UCLA

HEISLER'S COMMENT: With enough shoot-first point guards (Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, et al.) GM Donnie Walsh starts with gutty call, passing up Jerryd Bayless.

--

PICK: 7. CLIPPERS

PLAYER: Jerryd Bayless

HT: 6-1 3/4

WT: 204

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Arizona

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Still going back and forth between Bayless, who has star potential, and D.J. Augustin, who's only 5-10 but a real point guard.

--

PICK: 8. Milwaukee

PLAYER: Joe Alexander Jr.

HT: 6-7 1/4

WT: 220

CL: Jr.

SCHOOL: West Virginia

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Will need a small forward since Charlie Villanueva and Coach Scott Skiles won't last long.

--

PICK: 9. Charlotte

PLAYER: Kevin Love

HT: 6-7 3/4

WT: 255

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: UCLA

HEISLER'S COMMENT: New Coach Larry Brown loves him. Tweener, anomaly or whatever he is, he's off the charts as a passer.

--

PICK: 10. New Jersey

PLAYER: Danilo Gallinari

HT: 6-9

WT: 212

CL:

SCHOOL: Italy

HEISLER'S COMMENT: After Darko Milicic and Andrea Bargnani, GMs are leery of Europeans or this crack shooter might have gone in top five.

--

PICK: 11. Indiana

PLAYER: Robin Lopez

HT: 6-11 1/4

WT: 255

CL: So.

SCHOOL: Stanford

HEISLER'S COMMENT: With Jermaine O'Neal ticketed to ride, Pacers have front line to rebuild.

--

PICK: 12. Sacramento

PLAYER: D.J. Augustin

HT: 5-10

WT: 171

CL: So.

SCHOOL: Texas

HEISLER'S COMMENT: If he were 6 feet, he'd have been in the top five. Great pick here.

--

PICK: 13. Portland

PLAYER: Anthony Randolph

HT: 6-9

WT: 197

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Louisiana St.

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Wanted to trade this pick but can't resist this talented young forward.

--

PICK: 14. Golden State

PLAYER: Jason Thompson

HT: 6-8 1/2

WT: 250

CL: Sr.

SCHOOL: Rider

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Big man who's skilled enough to play their up-tempo game.

--

PICK: 15. Phoenix-a

PLAYER: Brandon Rush

HT: 6-4 1/2

WT: 210

CL: Jr.

SCHOOL: Kansas

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Switching over from their free-wheeling style, they want players who can defend as well as score.

--

PICK: 16. Philadelphia

PLAYER: Darrell Arthur

HT: 6-7 1/2

WT: 216

CL: So.

SCHOOL: Kansas

HEISLER'S COMMENT: This is the rare draft with big men dropping rather than climbing. For all Arthur's talent, he wasn't overly active.

--

PICK: 17. Toronto

PLAYER: Kosta Koufos

HT: 6-10

WT: 252

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Ohio State

HEISLER'S COMMENT: If the O'Neal deal goes through, this will become Indiana's pick, giving Pacers another big man who can shoot.

--

PICK: 18. Washington

PLAYER: J.J. Hickson

HT: 6-7 1/2

WT: 235

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: N. Carolina St.

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Their next Etan Thomas, they hope.

--

PICK: 19. Cleveland

PLAYER: Mareese Speights

HT: 6-8 1/2

WT: 250

CL: So.

SCHOOL: Florida

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Raw but athletic. Their next Ben Wallace, they hope.

--

PICK: 20. Denver

PLAYER: DeAndre Jordan

HT: 6-9 3/4

WT: 250

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Texas A&M

HEISLER'S COMMENT: They can't pass him up here. Projected in top five before freshman year, but his output barely moved the needle.

--

PICK: 21. New Jersey-b

PLAYER: JaVale McGee

HT: 6-11

WT: 241

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Nevada

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Dropped like a rock in pre-draft workouts but still has promise.

--

PICK: 22. Orlando

PLAYER: Courtney Lee

HT: 6-3 1/2

WT: 200

CL: Sr.

SCHOOL: W. Kentucky

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Not huge or explosive but physical and can play.

--

PICK: 23. Utah

PLAYER: Roy Hibbert

HT: 7-0 1/2

WT: 278

CL: Jr.

SCHOOL: Georgetown

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Glacially slow but skill-wise far ahead of athletic wunderkind Kyrylo Fesenko, who's still a year or two away.

--

PICK: 24. Seattle-c

PLAYER: Alexis Ajinca

HT: 6-10

WT: 216

CL:

SCHOOL: France

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Talented but could blow away if air conditioning is up too high. Perfect for team on shoestring budget to leave in Europe.

--

PICK: 25.

SCHOOL: Houston

PLAYER: Donte Greene

HT: 6-8 1/4

WT: 221

CL: Fr.

SCHOOL: Syracuse

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Second coming of Tim Thomas; great body and athleticism, likes to sit outside and shoot.

--

PICK: 26. San Antonio

PLAYER: Mario Chalmers

HT: 6-0 1/2

WT: 181

CL: Jr.

SCHOOL: Kansas

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Not really a point guard but a backup who can shoot and would be an upgrade over Jacque Vaughn.

--

PICK: 27. Portland-d

PLAYER: Serge Ibaka

HT: 6-8 1/2

WT: 250

CL:

SCHOOL: Spain

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Congo native who just started playing but a fabulous athlete they can leave overseas to develop.

--

PICK: 28. Memphis-e

PLAYER: Nicolas Batum

HT: 6-6 1/2

WT: 210

CL:

SCHOOL: France

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Second pick lets them gamble on this athletic small forward who was in teens before he was red-flagged for a heart issue.

-

PICK: 29. Detroit

PLAYER: D.J. White

HT: 6-6 1/2

WT: 242

CL: Sr.

SCHOOL: Indiana

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Not as bouncy as Jason Maxiell but as tough.

--

PICK: 30. Boston

PLAYER: Ryan Anderson

HT: 6-8

WT: 230

CL: So.

SCHOOL: California

HEISLER'S COMMENT: Want to trade pick, but if they keep it, he would give them another shooter. Spurs like Anderson, so who knows?

--

a-from Atlanta; b-from Dallas; c-from Phoenix; d-from New Orleans; e-from LAKERS.

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