Ridiculous Upside and SB Nation's basketball crew have a fantastic little tradition of running their own, unique mock draft around this time of the year each season, and this year I've got three picks to make.
The SB Nation mock is a little more interesting then your average fake draft because each team blogger makes their own selections in order, so it's quite a bit more unpredictable. Like in real life, players have a tendency to slide or get reached for in this setting.
And I got one of the sliders, grabbing Ed Davis with the 12th overall pick. North Carolina's big man typically falls around 7 in your standard mocks, but apparently our Pistons, Jazz, Pacers, and Hornets were feeling risk averse this year.
Davis might be too raw to be the "impact player" Chris Wallace is looking for this upcoming season -- he doesn't shoot and will get backed down by elite power forwards -- but that's hardly a priority with several NBA-ready scorers likely to be on the board for the 25th and 28th picks.
Davis is one of the few players in this draft that seems guaranteed a true position on both ends, with a huge frame, long arms, and great speed and hops for a power forward. His combine scores and game just scream dominant finisher; Davis should make an Amar'e Stoudemire-esque impact in the poster industry. He'd also finally give Mike Conley a legitimate option in the pick and roll, since he was even able to make North Carolina's horrible backcourt look like decent distributors at times.
And Davis really gets it done on defense too, averaging almost 10 boards and 3 blocks in just 28 minutes of playing time at North Carolina. He's been mentored by Ben Wallace, which should tell you something about where he's really looking to impact the game.
Ultimately it comes down to this question, though: Who are the Grizzlies more scared to overpay, or to walk away for more money than they're willing to pay, Zach Randolph or Rudy Gay? Randolph's next contract will take him well past 30, and he's not known for conditioning or durability. For the Grizzlies it's an easy decision, you've got to pay Rudy and keep Davis as safety for the future, where he should peak with the promising young core.
I know I've backed up Luke Babbitt for about a week now, but I'll take my philosophy of always drafting best-player-available with me to the grave. Ed Davis was just too much value to let slip past this point. So how did I do? Who would you have taken?