"Mocking" The Draft

Well, its that time of year. The NBA draft is quickly approaching. And in this time of non-stop mock drafts (and man are there a ton of them out there), I will throw out my own. Of course, its no fun in reading yet another mock draft like that. Especially from someone that knows nothing about what teams are thinking. So, instead (for fun), I will mock the draft in a different way. By literally mocking it. What fun is it predicting where players will end up? If you're going to be wrong - might as well be wrong in style. Right?

And yes, I spent way too long on this. But I figure maybe everyone can use a quick break from all the actual draft "news" and rumors floating around out there. (And yes, "quick" is not really what it is ... after all, it is 32 picks. With semi-sensible explanations.) Don't worry, there are some basketball players included. But also movie characters and book characters and politicians and ... objects. And other people too. (No musicians though, because I'm not up-to-date on the music world.)

Yes, I was very much bored. I found it entertaining, at least. You're entitled to your own opinions - but I've told you what its about. If you don't want to read it, don't worry - no one will make you.

#1- Cleveland:  Michael Jordan, owner, NBA franchise

A season after losing LeBron, there has been a lot of talk about how Cleveland needs to find a face for the franchise. And, quite honestly, chances are that the draft is lacking in such prospects. But that's the advantage of having the top pick - Cleveland can look for him amongst EVERYONE. They will give some consideration to Tom Brady, who is one of the better passers available, but in the end passing on Michael Jordan would just amount to a level of stupidity not seen since ... well, the last time Michael Jordan was passed on in the draft. They've got a face for the franchise, again, and who knows... maybe he'll be willing to suit up for them too. It beats having him ru(i)n  your draft.


#2- Minnesota:  Michael Scott, manager, The Office (TV show)

Simply put, the Timberwolves need a lot of help. The problems range all the way from up top (owner) down to the 12th man. And while adding talent is the ideal move here, the Wolves need to realize that that can't fix everything. They need something more. Someone to bring in a whole new atmosphere. By snagging Scott, they do exactly that. His managerial experience isn't great, and the quality of his work even less, but he works his heart out. Occasionally. Other times he burns his foot on a grill as he gets up in the morning, but the Timberwolves won't have to worry too much about that since he won't be running up and down the court with the team. And the Scott/Kahn combination gives the Timberwolves one of the most incompetent intriguing front office duos in the league.


#3- Utah:  Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU Cougars

Duh! Yeah... this one is kinda a no brainer. He'll improve jersey sales, which is important for merchandise revenue. (I know this because if I do "owner mode" in MVP '05, merchandise plays a role.) He'll ignite some interest in the Jazz within a generally not-so-into-it crowd, similar to what Kyle Korver did when he was acquired in trade. Oh, and he plays point guard, which the team is supposedly looking for. There were others under consideration, but rumors of teams jumping ahead of #12 to draft Jimmer before the Jazz pick caused them to take him a bit early. BYU/Jazz fans, BYU fans, the local media and Jazz fans all over SLC Dunk rejoice. 


#4- Cleveland:  Times New Roman, font

The Cavaliers look like early winners in this draft. One off-season after seeing everything fall apart due to the one-two punch of LeBron James and "Comic Sans," the Cavaliers have reloaded in style. After finding a new face for the franchise with the first pick, they go with a respectable font here, looking to regain all the respect they lost earlier. While that might take a while, Times New Roman is a great start in that direction. Any letter/announcement written by the team can now be taken more seriously - which will play a second role as the team and front office comes to realize that fans prefer teams that have respectable front offices. I mean, when was the last time you saw a front office send out a letter (of any sort) in wingding font? With a new face and font, the Cavaliers are looking strong for 2012. They might still lose a ton, but now they'll do it in style.


#5- Toronto:  Mickey Mouse, mascot, Disneyworld/Disneyland

Toronto ended up in a bad situation, with Michael Scott already off the board and it being too early for some of their other favorites. So they went BPA, taking Mickey Mouse - much to the outrage of Los Angeles and Orlando. Rumors are already flying of Los Angeles being forced by the fans to offer Bynum and Kobe for Mickey; it remains to be seen what happens. In terms of basketball, this is a questionable pick - his hands are really bad for a low-post player, and his low post presence is almost nil. According to GM Bryan Colangelo, the pick has a different sort of rationale behind it. The hope is that many of the players with young kids will see Mickey Mouse losing to other teams often. And then he'll be sad, which the kids won't like - and they'll ask their dads to stop defeating Mickey's team. And which dad would pick some random regular season win over his kid's wishes? In hopes of speeding up this process, the Raptors have signed an exclusive contract with the Disney Channel - every single game will be broadcast live. The announcing crew is expected to be Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers.


#6- Washington:  Mughal-e-Azam, movie, Bollywood

A bit of a surprise pick, given the presence of some pretty good wings. But this pick still makes sense. If  you look at their division, the Wizards go up against the likes of Miami (James, Wade, Bosh), Atlanta (Smith, Horford, Johnson) and Orlando (Howard, Nelson). Yes, and Charlotte too, but we're still waiting on them to reach that level. Anyhow, that's a lot of offense for them to stop. Mughal-e-Azam will be their secret weapon as they will follow a similar approach that the raja (king) took in that movie. He needs to separate his son (prince) from his love (she was a poor court dancer, so obviously they couldn't marry) - remember, this is set in the 16th century. So, after all else fails, he pretty much decides to kill her - by building a wall around her (while she's alive). While the movie doesn't actually end like that (I'll avoid spoilers, just in case you want to see the 3 hour movie), that idea is what the Wizards will take from the movie. They will build a wall around the hoop and then threaten other teams to drive in for an "easy" 2.

(For those who care - this is based on what is considered to be a true story. While evidence is lacking, it is thought that she was actually buried alive - she sacrificed herself so the prince would not be killed. As for the movie, it was the most expensive one to be made in Bollywood history, and took 15 years to film from beginning to end. 15% of the original movie is in color, though it has recently been re-released fully in color. That's an aside though; back to the draft.)


#7- Sacramento:  Lightning McQueen, race car, Cars (movie)

McQueen is an interesting player here. Loaded with talent, but he also bring an ego that could cause problems. Especially alongside Tyreke Evans - neither are really PGs. Both need/want the ball in their hands. This is clearly an example of going BPA and hoping for a trade later on down the line - if it doesn't happen, this team will be loaded with off-guard talent. Despite the egotistical approach, Lightning will give it his all to win - and isn't beyond upsetting his fans to win. Coaching will be really important in the development in his career - rumors already have it that he's looking to spend the summer playing overseas. For now, the fact remains - the Kings don't need a (Mc)Queen.


#8- Detroit: Barack Obama, president, United State

Ideally, they'd have gone big to put someone alongside Greg Monroe. But with the number of bigs lacking, they instead go a different way. Obama has shown an ability to play smart basketball - he won't force shots and is willing to be a distributor. Which will mesh well with a team of shooters. And with a new owner coming it, this is as good a time as any to believe in change. Obama will try to lead the Pistons on that front. He'll have his work cut out for him with a team loaded with guards, but if he can get on the court, he should be able to lead them back to the playoffs.


#9- Charlotte:  Candace Parker, SF, Los Angeles Sparks

The Bobcats needs wings. Desperately. With Crash traded and S-Jax being ... well, S-Jax ... they Bobcats jump at the chance to pick up Parker. A potential MVP candidate this year, Parker will look to bounce back from injury. As it sits now, she's already an immediate upgrade on the wing for the Bobcats. She's also only the 2nd WNBA player to dunk - and the first to dunk in consecutive games. So soaring new heights is nothing new for her, something that will be important when the Bobcats enter into a slump and need her to lead them. She's been leading for years, college and pro, and could quickly find herself in a similar role in Charlotte.


#10- Milwaukee:  Bill Gates, rich guy, America

As expected, a trade has been reached. Trade details: Milwaukee gets the rights to #7 pick Lightning McQueen, Sacramento gets the rights to #10 Bill Gates and G/F John Salmons. Milwaukee had no need for Gates, but the chance to pick up a talent like McQueen was too great to pass on. Salmons returns to the Kings, whom he left in free agency last season. He's a better option on the wing than McQueen for the Kings, as he won't demand the ball to run the offense. Meanwhile, the Bucks have surprisingly decided to pair up McQueen and Brandon Jennings. For McQueen, the Milwaukee market might not be enough to keep him satisfied - it'll be interesting to see how quickly he tries to pave a road out of town. As for the Kings, they pick up Gates - in hopes that he'll be able to help them stay in Sacramento past the season. Its a gutsy move, going for "high risk, high reward," but at this stage, it is totally worth the effort.


#11- Golden State:  Maya Moore, SF, Minnesota Lynx

And here goes another wing. A rookie with (now) one game of WNBA experience under her belt, Moore brings yet more wing talent to the Warriors. While they continue to ignore the elephant in the room (to be honest, an elephant would've been a better pick here - at least it could defend the paint), they continue to stock talent. Which could be useful - they could potentially swing Monta Ellis in a deal to acquire a big. Moore is the BPA at this point, and was arguably the best player available in either the NBA or WNBA draft. The Warriors could have a steal here. And when her outside shot is falling, a Stephen Curry/Maya Moore duo could cause major headaches for opponents.


#12- Utah:  Justin Bieber, singer, hearts of young girls everywhere

Continuing with the merchandise/guard approach, the Jazz snag another guard in Bieber. One of the first players to make an NBA All-Star Game BEFORE making the NBA, Bieber will team with Jimmer to give the Jazz one of the most-loved backcourts in the league - assuming you're a young BYU fangirl. No questions though, this draft will lead the Jazz to many new fans who tune in just to see the two rookies. As for actual basketball, there were better PGs available, but the Jazz decided to go for youth, high potential and star power over a couple of better passers who are closer to their ceilings. It will be a couple years down the road before we know if they made the right decision or not, but all $ign$ right now are pointing to ye$.


#13- Phoenix:  Watson, robot, IBM & Jeopardy

With Jimmer and his 3-point shooting gone, the Suns decide to go in a different direction. They did consider others, but in the end fear won out and led them to a risky pick. With talks about zombies and raptures, the Suns decided to get a head start on the Robot Uprising by picking their own robot in the draft. R2D2 is considered the better talent, but the language barrier was foreseen to be an issue - so they picked the robot less likely to be deported. Hopes are that the whole team can become friends with Watson, so that when the robots take over, Watson can vouch for their friendship and keep them alive. Risky move that could take years (or even longer) to pay off.


#14- Houston:  Keith Law, baseball stats guy, ESPN

Yes, he's a baseball stats guy. But for the stats hungry Rockets, that's not a problem. They'll quickly introduce him to NBA stats. Combined with Daryl Morey, he'll help create the most stats-heavy front office in the NBA. In the offseason, they could lend him to the Houston Astros - who have been horribly building for the future for years. But the main role will come during the season, as the Rockets try to build the first number-heavy team. Which doesn't seem like all that bad of an idea, given that a talent-laden team landed them with Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and dearth of playoff victories.


#15- Indiana:  Mater, rundown tow-truck, Cars (movie)

Given that this team barely made the playoffs, this is a really odd pick. While he's a "do it all" type of guy, Mater doesn't stand out in any one area. His scouting report just reads "average" under every category - he's not the guy to lead you to the next level. He'll be the one to chase after loose-balls, but it'll be a surprise if he ever scores more than 6 points/game. Occasionally makes boneheaded plays - before he realizes it - that hurt the team. The Pacers continue to add to their team of "good teammates but not star-quality" players.


#16- Philadelphia:  Benjamin Franklin, inventor, Philadelphia

The 76ers make the biggest reach thus far, gambling on Franklin despite concerns about age and his eyesight. The bifocals are a huge concern, though if he can overcome that, his bifocals-over-contacts approach could make him a league-wide favorite for his old school look. Age is a greater concern, but his agents have adequately calmed any fears of Franklin being older than advertised. The Sixers are a team that is happy with its current direction; they will look for Franklin to be a key member in providing a spark off of the bench.


#17- New York:  Time-turner, a machine, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book)

By acquiring Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks put themselves into a bit of a mess. Between Amar'e and 'Melo, they have 2 guys that would like the ball on every position. Which is a problem, because there is only one basketball. That's where they turn to the draft pick. They will give the time-turner to the PG, and have him pass the ball to 'Melo. He will the use the machine, go back to before, and pass the ball to Amar'e. Two players, two basketballs, two happy stars ... and arguably a lot of confusion. While the exact details haven't been worked out, this was considered a more high-upside pick than drafting a basketball rack.


#18-  Washington:  Ray Lewis, NFL, Baltimore Ravens

This was a pick that had been rumored for weeks. With Lewis' proclamation that a NFL lockout would lead to increased crime, fear shot up in Baltimore. Hoping to make sure that Lewis' past stayed in Atlanta, they agreed to a deal with the Wizards. In exchange for drafting Lewis and keeping him on the team, the Wizards will get 1 win for every win the Ravens get this coming season. (Yeah, the front office could use some help.) ... Luckily for the Wizards, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton are no longer on the team, or there could be a lot of bullets flying. Metaphorically, of course.


#19- Charlotte:  Po, panda, Kung Fu Panda (movie)

This pick is exactly why the Bobcats find themselves picking so close to the lottery every year. Po, himself, is not a bad pick - for a team that he fits. The Bobcats are not one of these teams. The Panda brings a questionable work ethic and little talent - he's been getting by on heart so far. That won't work in the league, where the lack of talent will cause him major problems. Throw in weight problems that make Eddy Curry look like John Stockton, and a strong desire to keep eating, and Po seems destined to be a bust for the Bobcats. After hitting gold with their first pick, the Bobcats strike out here.


#20- Minnesota:  Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

David Kahn strikes again, in what will be his last draft without Michael Scott's input. While Ricky Rubio seems to have been convinced to come over to the NBA, there are thoughts that Kevin Love might not be so happy with this. Kahn, realizing this, therefore decided to go out and add the best passer still left on the board in hopes of placating Love. (Or maybe he just wanted to give a QB to Adrian Peterson and will trade an unhappy Kevin Love later on?) Manning, passed on by the Jazz earlier due to being closer to his ceiling, brings amazing vision and court awareness to the team. He's not afraid to change plays half-way into the shot clock. His ability to scout opposing defenses is amazing; teams will have to learn to better hide their plays against him. He's also likely to lead the league in full-court alley-oops this coming season, though that stat is not officially recorded.


#21- Portland:  Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobot forces, Transformers (movie)

Prime, who was originally thought to be the most likely option for the auto city of Detroit at #8, is a surprise fall. The Blazers, struggling with injuries to their bigs, happily jump on the chance to pick up Prime so late in the first round. Prime is very active in the community, doing his best to keep everyone safe, and that doesn't seem likely to change in Portland. He doesn't bring much offensively, but is a defensive force. And occasionally, he can also been the team transportation should need be. And most importantly, the drafting of Prime could signal the end of the Greg Oden era in Portland.


#22- Denver:  Lisbeth Salander, private investigator, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (book)

I know, I know. Many of you will think that this draft choice was widely influenced by the presence of the tattoos. ... And you'd be right. It most definitely was. But beyond that, she brings toughness that the team needs. With all the changes set in motion by the 'Melo trade, Lisbeth brings a "don't touch me" attitude that will help shape the Nuggets into a more physical team. She's not afraid to fight for the ball. She'll argue with officials about what she perceives to be unfair calls. If this was hockey, she'd spend 58 minutes/game in the penalty box. While her anger will get her into trouble at times - especially with technical fouls - the coaching staff is confident they can get her to tone it down a bit. Not enough to disrupt her style of play, but enough to keep her from getting ejected from every game.


#23- Houston:  Jack Sparrow, pirate, Pirates of the Caribbean (movie)

The Rockets have put Keith Law to work right away. Numbers suggest the Sparrow is the best available option at this point - even concerns about season 4 being his worst one yet have not stemmed the numbers from coming out highly positive. His teammates underwent a major overhaul between seasons, but Sparrow showed up as dominant as ever. There are questions about whether Sparrow will be able to join the team right away - attempts to buy out his contract with Black Pearl have gone miserably as the team claims to have no idea where exactly he is. But this is expected to be just a minor delay - the Rockets plan on having him in training camp and potentially starting by the first week of the season.


#24- Oklahoma City:  Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher, Prussia

An interesting pick by the youth-laden Thunder, going for the veteran philosopher. The reasoning seems to be two-fold. First, he's not "young," which means he could bring some veteran experience. Even as rookie, he has more experience than the rest of the team combined. And the second reason, influenced by the playoff performance, is one to keep an eye on over the season. The hope is to make him roommates with Russell Westbrook. Under such an agreement, Nietzsche would talk philosophically to Westbrook all the time. The point, of course, is to get him to pass the ball to Kevin Durant more often - ideally either Westbrook understands Nietzsche's talking and gets the message, or he gets so annoyed that he passes the ball just to make the philosopher stop. Either way, Durant gets the ball and the Thunder win.


#25- Boston:  Benjamin Button, medical mystery, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (movie)

With the retirement of Shaquille O'Neal this becomes a bit less of a need, but the fact remains - Boston is one of the oldest teams in the league. So they'll take a reach on Button, knowing full well that if they didn't, Dallas (another old team) would take him with the next pick. Button gives the Celtics a different approach to an old team than other teams take - while other teams draft youth and prepare for the vets to leave, the Celtics will draft Button and watch him grow younger as the seasons go on. While his playing days in the NBA might be limited by this curious case, it will currently give the Celtics a "veteran" presence in the shape of Brad Pitt - and a player that will gain experience as he grows younger. If he's able to get into the rotation, he could provide huge dividends down the line.


#26- Dallas:  Tony, Ronald Weasley lookalike/hitman apprentice, Wild Targets (movie)

The Mavericks drafting Tony, who bares an odd resemblance to a Harry Potter movie character, will just cause more headaches around the league. Tony, a definite rookie, has been seen to be shaky when it comes to shooting - often shaking beyond his control. But if he's able to get a shot off, he doesn't miss. While the shaking often leads to blocks and turnovers, he has almost-deadly aim - as can be seen on video, where he's taken out one leg and one ear (on accident). His aim is sub-par, yet his shots continue to hit. He doesn't provide much else to the team - but as they sit right now, they don't need much else. They'll hope he can develop into a starter for the future, but if not, they can sit on him as a three-point threat late in close games.


#27- New Jersey:  Humpty Dumpty, egg, nursery rhyme

Based solely on talent, Humpty is a top 5 player. He's a solid rebounder, something the Nets need alongside Brook Lopez. He's got a solid post game offensively, and range out to 12 feet. Defensively, he's an egg. He's hard to get around, and very few players are going to be able to run through him for 2 points. His fall, though, was caused by injury concerns. He's had a couple of bad falls in his career, and his scouting report from a workout with the Kings was devastating to his stock - there were concerns that his knee could not be put together again, even after surgery. The Nets can give him limited minutes behind Brook and Mr. Kim, in hopes that he's slowly able to build himself up into a full-time starter and contributor. Odds are stacked against him, but he's been given a chance and he's not one to count his chickens before they hatch.


#28- Chicago:  Al Gore, politician, America

After being dismantled at the hands of the Heat, the Bulls are looking to reload and prepare for another run next year - and hope of giving the Heat a better fight. And how better to start than by drafting Gore? The Bulls were ripped apart by Miami, losing the series 4-1. On the other hand, Gore fought to the very end in Florida, coming just seconds away from winning. The Bulls hope that by pairing Rose and Gore, they've got the tandem they need to get past the Heat in the East. Gore brings the experience and the "near-win" stories. Rose brings the clutch shooting. This is a duo to watch for years. Almost like the Jordan/Pippen combination Bulls fans are used to.


#29- San Antonio:  Albus Dumbledore, headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (book)

Just a couple years after getting a steal in DeJuan Blair, the Spurs are at it again. The talk regarding Blair was his lack of knees. Yet he's been a steal for them. Dumbledore comes in with similar questions, mostly with regards as to whether he's dead or alive. He was a cornerstone for Hogwarts in his time there (albeit overshadowed by many of the newcomers his last couple of years), and there is little reason to think that he can't contribute to the Spurs assuming they can revive him. And with the Spurs medical crew, that is never out of the question. He could find himself getting major minutes behind Duncan as soon as opening day this season.


#30- Chicago:  Buzz Lightyear, space ranger, Toy Story (movie)

The Bulls are young, and full of talent. As such, they only really have 1 more need after drafting Gore two picks ago. That is a big who can be turned to late in games. Unfortunately, there are no such options available here for the Bulls, so they do the next best thing. Lightyear is a great player, one considered to be "out of this world." His contract with Star Command will keep him from joining the league for a couple of years, so the Bulls will pull the oft-utilized "draft and stash" move, allowing Buzz to finish out his contract while the Bulls play on. In a couple of years, when the Bulls team is in need of talent, they'll call on Buzz to come in and join them. Buzz is well known for his flashy moves, many of which can be found in his various highlight reels.



Slipped Into The Second Round

Dalai Lama (religious leader) -> The Raptors were considered to have the most interest, though Houston also worked him out. Expanding (Toronto) / Revisiting (Houston) Asia was part of the intrigue here - adding another foreign player, and thus fans, could be huge. There's also hope that a lack of foul calls could lead to international outrage, something that could lead to the refs showing a bit more love to him.

Jamal K. Malik (street child, Slumdog Millionaire) -> The Suns and the Grizzlies showed the most interest in him. The Grizzlies, after the game 7 collapse against the Thunder the playoffs, desperately want someone that can come through in the clutch. Malik has shown that ability time and time again, whether it comes to taking a shot he knows he can make or just launching up a prayer and hoping. The Suns, meanwhile, are just looking to replace Vince Carter with someone who will see action in the 4th quarter.

Tom Brady (QB, New England Patriots) -> Up there with Manning as a "ceiling reached" guy, Brady is a great passer who is able to find the open guys from anywhere on the court. He did suffer an injury a couple years back, but seems to be fully recovered. The Lakers, Cavaliers and Kings have all shown some interest in adding him in the 2nd round.

Jacob/Edward (werewolf/vampire, Twilight) -> A two-man combination, the thought of adding two players with one pick has appealed to some teams, including Detroit, the Clippers and the Nets. Unfortunately for these guys, the fear of fighting between the two (and potentially even death) led teams to look elsewhere in the first round. Will a team take a gamble in the second round?

Roger Federer (tennis champion, Switzerland) -> The guy is a winner. Its that simple. Whatever the stage, he will win. Most teams have interest in such players, but the lack of a true position for Federer is holding teams from pulling the trigger.


Yeah, I'm done now. I hope you enjoyed it, at least a little - now lets get back to actual draft talk, I guess.

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