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Sizing up the lottery

May 21, 2008|Mark Heisler

Proving not everything can go wrong, Chicago jumped up from No. 9 to No. 1 in Tuesday's NBA lottery.

This was such good news, Shameless Steve Shanwald, the Bulls' marketing executive who accepted the pick, gave out their telephone number for ticket sales, making this the NBA's first lottery/telethon.

Now that we've got a batting order, Times staff writer Mark Heisler takes a look at who could be going where. Let the mock drafts begin!

1. Chicago -- Derrick Rose, Memphis. Gut call for GM John Paxson, who needs a big man even more than a point guard but can't pass up a home-grown phenom whose head is less of a question mark.

2. Miami -- Michael Beasley, Kansas State. Better than Kevin Durant at this stage, which is saying something, but unlike Durant, has a knucklehead factor.

3. Minnesota -- Brook Lopez, Stanford. Skilled big man who could play high-low with Al Jefferson.

4. Seattle -- O.J. Mayo, USC. If pros cared about amateur standing, there wouldn't be a draft. As far as the game goes, he's a talented player and a demon worker.

5. Memphis -- Anthony Randolph, LSU. A 6-10 athlete for a team with Darko Milicic and Kwame Brown up front.

6. New York -- Jerryd Bayless, Arizona. Knicks have to take a point guard. He's more of a shooting guard but so are Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson.

7. Clippers -- Eric Gordon, Indiana. They need shooters and that's what he is and more.

8. Milwaukee -- D.J. Augustin, Texas. They'd like a point guard who looks for teammates more than Mo Williams does.

9. Charlotte -- Kevin Love, UCLA. Co-owner Michael Jordan likes athletes, but new Coach Larry Brown will love the idea of a big man who's a great passer.

10. New Jersey -- Danilo Gallinari, Armani Milan. Power forward who can shoot and make plays. He drops this far after struggles of international players like Milicic, Yi Jianlian and Andrea Bargnani.

11. Indiana -- Russell Westbrook, UCLA. I never thought he'd be this high but compared to what's left, his athleticism and potential as a point guard give him a real shot. They would just like someone who doesn't get on police blotters as often as Jamal Tinsley.

12. Sacramento -- Darrell Arthur, Kansas. With Brad Miller, Mikki Moore, Spencer Hawes and Shareef Abdur-Rahim, they have to take the best big man they can find. This one is talented but drifts.

13. Portland -- Chase Budinger, Arizona. They'd like a grown-up point guard but as far as what they can get in the draft, they need shooters to complement Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.

14. Golden State -- JaVale McGee, Nevada. If Don Nelson didn't play promising Brandan Wright, he might kill sulky DeAndre Jordan, the next best big man, with his bare hands. Pam McGee's reedy 7-foot son isn't ready but works hard and fits Nelson's fast-paced style, in case Nellie stays on.

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