POSTED: Jun 24, 2013 12:13 PM ET
Ben McLemore has the star potential of a No. 1 overall pick, which may be good news for the Cavs.
You mean, let me understand this cause, you know maybe it's me ... but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to ... amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
--Tommy DeVito, hoodlum, "Goodfellas"
What am I, some kind of clown? Am I here to amuse you?
GameTime: Aldridge's Big Board
This is the dumbest thing I do all year. And I spend much of the year doing really dumb things.
Every year, my bosses at NBA.com ask me when I'm going to submit a mock Draft. I try to delay them as much as possible. I mention the grout work that needs completing in the bathroom. There are the commemorative ALF stamps that I want to buy at the Post Office. The dentist insists she needs to see me, pronto, for some root canal work.
I've DVR'd "Gigli".
Eventually, though, I run out of excuses. The fact that a mock Draft -- any mock Draft -- is a) almost certain to be completely incorrect, and b) a colossal waste of everyone's collective time is of no matter. You, dear readers, can't get enough of this. You are determined to know what the lottery teams are going to do, and which team is going to buy its way into the first round, and which European players will be stashed overseas.
The reason it's going to be wrong is because there is almost no one -- no coach, no GM, no scout, and certainly no agent -- who is in any way being honest with me, or any other reporters, about their true preferences. Teams that want a certain player engage in an elaborate game of deception.
A team that covets Joe Jones, for example, but knows that Jones won't likely be on the Draft board when their time comes, has no problem spreading the most scurrilous lies about Ol' Joe to gullible members of my profession, so that he might fall to them when their time comes to pick. You know them. (The lies, not the gullible members of my profession.) I hear he's not working out well. Doesn't really go to his right. There's a medical red flag on his knee/elbow/foot. He's kind of a head case. Entourage issues. And on and on.
Agents who don't want their clients playing for a certain team for whatever reason hint at "instability" within that organization. You know, Smith and Wesson don't really get along. The coach is on his way out. They told me they don't like my guy. He's not a good fit there, anyway. And on and on.
And because everyone is lying -- not to mention that there are teams genuinely conflicted about whom to take -- you have no idea how the first 10 picks, much less the 50 that follow, are really likely to go. Nor do you have any idea what last-minute trades are being concocted, and acted upon, as you read this.
But here I am, giving it my best guesses, based on talking to execs around the league; educated guesses based on needs, team wants and the like.
Last year, I got five first-round picks right out of 30 -- a sterling success rate of 17 percent! (And I am including that I had the Celtics taking Jared Sullinger -- though I had Boston grabbing him at 22 overall instead of 21, where they actually took him.) A 17 on a test -- Quantum Physics, Driver's Ed, Name that Golden Girl -- is a failing grade. I hate failing.
But here I am, again, No. 2 pencil in hand, ready to play Carnac the Magnificent. (Kids! Ask your grandparents who Carnac was. Or Johnny Carson, for that matter. Sigh.) And as ever, my caveat: if I get your team's pick wrong, I completely disavow any responsibility. If I get your team's pick right, I will lord it over you for years to come!