Departures: Jarrett Jack (restricted), Josh McRoberts (restricted), Maceo Baston, Marquis Daniels (team option), Travis Diener (player option), Stephen Graham, Rasho Nesterovic.
Emergence: As the winner of the most improved player award this season, Danny Granger emerged as a top 10 player in the NBA. He can score the ball at the rim or from the perimeter, is a solid rebounder for a small forward and averages a block and a steal per game on defense. I have him finishing in the top five of MVP voting next season.
Needs: A point guard that can replace the horrific contract of TJ Ford, and both a power forward and center. I love a Jack (if he stays)/Rush/Granger line, and Troy Murphy is solid at power forward. Still, they need depth in the front court and a guard to replace Jack if he leaves.
The Pick: Brandon Jennings, Point Guard, Italy. Some will be shocked if he falls this far, but I think his ego lands him here. He is in the top five easily if he stayed in the states for college. Jennings is very quick and should work well with Granger on his side. He plays with a cockiness about him, which helps him stay a step ahead of his competition. His quickness translates on defense with his lateral movement and quick hands. I like the kid, but I think he slides.
Other Options: Best point guard available.
Other Draft Previews:
14. Phoenix Suns – Austin Daye, Small Forward, Gonzaga
15. Detroit Pistons – B.J. Mullens, Center, Ohio State
16. Chicago Bulls – James Johnson, Small Forward, Wake Forest
17. Philadelphia 76ers – Jeff Teague, Point Guard, Wake Forest
18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jrue Holiday, Point Gaurd, UCLA
19. Atlanta Hawks – Eric Maynor, Point Guard, Virginia Commonwealth
20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough, Power Forward, UNC
21. New Orleans Hornets – Terrence Williams, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Louisville
22. Dallas Mavericks – Chase Budinger, Shooting Guard, Arizona
23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, Small Forward, Israel
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Ty Lawson, Point Guard, UNC
25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Sam Young, Small Forward, Pittsburgh
26. Chicago Bulls – Darren Collison, Point Guard, UCLA
27. Memphis Grizzlies - DaJuan Summers, Small Forward, Georgetown
28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Toney Douglas, Guard, Florida State
29. Los Angeles Lakers – Marcus Thorton, Guard, LSU
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – DaMarre Carroll, Forward, Missouri