Looming Draft Question #4: Logjam in the Middle

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If you try to create you own mock draft, as Reid and I are doing for a drinking game tonight, you’ll see that the sure-fire lottery picks dry up around the 10 slot. From there, everything gets clogged to hell. By my count, 14 players are in the mix for the 11 draft slots between 10 and 20.

By picks 21 and 22, teams are looking at definite role players, like Courtney Lee and Ryan Anderson. But the 13 players in contention for the middle of the first round are all considered potential impact players, including a whole chunk of big men with TUP.

Here’s the 11 picks: NJ, IND, SAC, POR, GS, PHX, PHI, IND, WAS, CLE, CHA.
Here are the 14 players: Koufos, Speights, Westbrook/Bayless (at least one will go top 9), Augustin, Chalmers, Arthur, Rush, Greene, Tomic, Jordan, Randolph, Hibbert, R. Lopez, McGee.

Meaning, barring any surprise picks (likely) or more trades (inevitable), at least three guys considered borderline lottery material will slip into the mid to late twenties. My selective memory of history here says that one of those will probably become the sleeper of this draft (sleepers if you count CDR). Think: Rajon Rondo, Danny Granger, Josh Howard, Marcus Williams, Jameer Nelson, and so on. Not stars, but great picks that late.

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