NBA mock draft 2.0
|06.22.10 at 6:48 am ET|
On Thursday night, the next batch of young talent enters the NBA in the 2010 draft. The consensus No. 1 pick by the Wizards remains John Wall, and Evan Turner is most likely to be selected second by the 76ers. However, since our last mock, there have been players who have seen their stock rising.
Two of those players are Luke Babbitt from Nevada and Paul George from Fresno State. Babbitt’s offensive prowess and shooting ability have teams considering him in the second half of the lottery. George’s athleticism and and NBA body make him one of the best small forwards in this draft, tempting teams to give him another look.
Also, an international player makes his first appearance in our mock at pick No 21. Power forward Kevin Seraphin from France is a raw talent with a lot of potential, something that teams have reached for in past drafts when evaluating players from overseas.
While Seraphin makes his way into our first round, another international player in Donatas Motiejunas is left off after deciding to withdraw from the draft. Unlike many of the previous drafts, this one doesn’t boast exceptional international talent. Excluding the first few picks, it also seems like one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory.
John Wall, Kentucky, Fr., PG, 6-foot-4, 196 pounds
Wall is the no-brainer No. 1 pick in this draft. Possessing incredible quickness and athleticism that allows him to drive by defenders in a Rajon Rondo-like fashion, he will give Washington a true point guard to play alongside Gilbert Arenas.
Evan Turner, Ohio State, Jr., SG, 6-7, 214
Turner was the best player in college basketball this past season and is far from just a consolation prize after Wall. With the ability to play three positions with his size, Turner is a versatile scorer who can create his own shot at any time. Think Brandon Roy with the ability to fill up a stat sheet. Though Philadelphia could use a frontcourt player, this is a case of taking the best player on the board ‘ and a really good one at that.
3. New Jersey
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, Fr., PF, 6-10, 245
Often forgotten because he wasn’t spectacular at Georgia Tech, Favors could develop into the best big man in the draft. His rebounding and defense are polished as he averaged over two blocks a game, but he’s still getting better on the offensive end. By taking Favors to go alongside Brook Lopez, the Nets will have two potential All-Stars to anchor the frontcourt for years to come.
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse, Jr., SF, 6-7, 206
At age 22, Johnson is older than most lottery picks. That, however, shouldn’t be reason to stay away from the smooth and athletic swingman. Though he doesn’t seem to be a go-to guy, he can be a great complementary player and will be a large piece in the Timberwolves‘ rebuilding process.
Greg Monroe, Georgetown, So., PF, 6-11, 247
With his passing ability and varied skill set, Monroe could remind people of past Sacramento big men Brad Miller, Chris Webber and Vlade Divac. He still needs to improve his rebounding and paint presence, but his dynamic offensive game would make him a weapon alongside Tyreke Evans.
6. Golden State
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest, So., SF, 6-8, 216
With shooters and scorers in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, the Warriors could use an athletic small forward to complement their backcourt. As an excellent rebounder who runs the floor well, Aminu would fit nicely in a high-tempo offense like Golden State’s.
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, Fr., PF, 6-11, 292
Due to the questions surrounding Cousins about his personality, he could very well slip a few picks in the draft. He could also be on par with Favors, if not better, because of his size, strength and ability to bull his way to the basket. As a high-risk/very-high-reward pick, Cousins could erase the memory of Darko Milicic and provide the Pistons with a center to build the franchise around.
8. LA Clippers
Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, Jr., PF, 6-10, 227
As a long and talented big man, Udoh is a nice sleeper in this draft, even as a lottery pick. He’s skilled with both his back to the basket and facing up, with a nice outside stroke. On defense, he uses his wing span to bother a lot of shots and averaged nearly four blocks per game last season. After taking Blake Griffin with No. 1 pick last year, the Clippers could add to their athleticism by picking Udoh.
Cole Aldrich, Kansas, Jr., C, 6-10, 236
Aldrich is a great low post defender with a terrific frame and size. His offensive game still needs work, but his rebounding and defense will give him value right away as a rookie. With underrated athleticism as well, he’s an intriguing pick for the Jazz, who have big men who can score but none who can potentially be a defensive presence like Aldrich.
Ed Davis, North Carolina, So., PF, 6-10, 227
Davis has a ton of potential and has shown that he can play, even if it’s been in a limited amount of games. He has a good feel in the post offensively and his length and athleticism make him a presence on defense, where he averaged over two blocks a game. The Pacers have many areas to address in the draft, but Davis would fill a big need at power forward.
11. New Orleans
Luke Babbitt, Nevada, So., SF, 6-9, 218
Babbitt’s stock has been on the rise, and rightly so because of his ability to create his owns shots with an array of offensive moves. He can also knock down mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers effectively, making him dangerous when paired with an effective point guard. That’s exactly the situation he would be in with the Hornets and Chris Paul, who would benefit from Babbitt just as much as Babbitt would benefit from him.
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, Jr., PF, 6-9, 240
Patterson is the only Kentucky non-freshman who is projected to be selected in the draft. His scoring numbers went down with the addition of the four one-and-done recruits, but that shows his unselfishness and willingness to win. He plays bigger that his size in the post and has a mid-range jumper that he can use to score outside of the paint.
Avery Bradley, Texas, Fr., SG, 6-3, 180
After selecting DeMar DeRozan last year, the Raptors need to continue adding energetic, athletics players. Bradley is a scoring guard with the ability to consistently put the ball in the basket. Playing alongside Jose Calderon, Bradley won’t need to worry about handling the ball and will be able to focus on doing what he does best ‘ putting up points.
Paul George, Fresno State, So., SF, 6-9, 214
George looks to have the complete package for a small forward with his athleticism, shooting and defense. He had a good showing in the draft combine and turned a lot of heads coming from a low-profile school. Just a few years ago, the Rockets were lacking sufficient offense. If they select George, they will add to their core of Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin and Trevor Ariza for a stable of scoring options.
Xavier Henry, Kansas, Fr., SG, 6-6, 210
With Brandon Jennings creating and Andrew Bogut on the inside, the Bucks need a shooting threat on the perimeter. Xavier Henry fits that role with his deadly spot-up shooting ability and great range. The one-and-done Kansas product also possesses a high basketball IQ with good instincts and can help carry the load on offense.
Hassan Whiteside, Marshall, Fr., C, 7-0, 227
As an exceptionally long player who rebounds well and averaged a ridiculous 5.4 blocks per game, Whiteside is one of the more intriguing big man prospects in the draft. With Minnesota receiving a good amount of offense from Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, Whiteside would immediately add defense off of the bench.
Gordon Hayward, Butler, So., SF, 6-8, 211
After Hayward led Butler to the NCAA championship game, his stock has never or will ever be higher than it is now. With a high basketball IQ, Hayward is a team player and has good shooting ability. The Bulls will try to add at least one big name free agent in the offseason and Hayward would be a strong role player to complement Rose and whomever else Chicago brings in.
Daniel Orton, Kentucky, Fr., C, 6-10, 269
Despite not seeing a lot of playing time with Kentucky this past season, Orton has the potential and skills to be an impact center with seasoning. His numbers are underwhelming, but there’s no doubt that Orton has talent just waiting to come out. Though Miami could go many ways at No. 18, finding a replacement for Jermaine O’Neal, who most likely won’t return, is at the top of the list.
James Anderson, Oklahoma State, Jr., SG, 6-6, 208
After watching the NBA finals, it’s clear the Celtics need help in the post, especially with Kendrick Perkins on the shelf with an injury and Rasheed Wallace contemplating retirement. Nevertheless, Anderson would make sense for Boston in the first round to provide scoring from the shooting guard position regardless if Ray Allen departs via free agency. General manager Danny Ainge could address the need for a bruising rebounder in the second round, where he has acquired the likes of Glen Davis and Leon Powe.
20. San Antonio
Damion James, Texas, Sr., SF, 6-7, 227
James has great athleticism and quickness, making him an excellent rebounder and scorer in transition. He also is one of the few seniors who could be drafted in the first round, making him a possibility for San Antonio at No. 20. The Spurs are not shy about drafting older players who have proven they can play, rather than taking projects in need of development.
21. Oklahoma City
Kevin Seraphin, France, PF, 6-9, 263
Seraphin likely will be the first international player off the board in the draft. The French big man is very raw with an NBA frame and likely will be a project until he develops and gains experience. The Thunder will look to add some bulk through the draft, and if Seraphin is still available when they draft at No. 21, they could take a chance on him.
Larry Sanders, Virginia Commonwealth, Jr., PF, 6-10, 222
Though Sanders’ height doesn’t suggest his length, his wingspan allows him to play bigger than he really is. His defensive prowess will inject energy into any team and he rebounds well with his hustle and timing. Sanders is limited on the offensive end, but the Trail Blazers have plenty of scoring. With injuries always seeming to hit their big men, the Blazers could use front-line depth and defense.
Craig Brackins, Iowa State, Jr., PF, 6-10, 229
The decision to return for his junior season hurt Brackins, whose numbers dropped after a stellar sophomore year. He’s still long and athletic and has a variety of ways to score through his post moves. His jump shot is consistent from mid-range, which allows him to create for himself, even as a big man. Brackins would be a solid pick by the Timberwolves to add bulk, size, and offense.
Dominique Jones, South Florida, Jr., SG, 6-4, 216
With the probability of Joe Johnson leaving this offseason, the Hawks need to draft a scoring guard. Despite his lack of size, Jones would help the Hawks with his polished offensive game. He can create his own shot, finish at the rim, shoot well from outside and have big scoring outbursts. With his good vision, Jones also can play the point at times but is more fit to play shooting guard.
Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, Fr., PG, 6-1, 192
Bledsoe is the best point guard in the draft after his Kentucky teammate, John Wall. Even with a point guard in Mike Conley, the Grizzlies would be tempted to select Bledsoe, who has the characteristics of an NBA point guard with his athleticism and wingspan. Playing with Wall, however, didn’t give him plenty of experience running an offense at the college level. Bledsoe will need to learn how to take care of the ball and create for others, but his potential is evident.
26. Oklahoma City
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, So., SF, 6-8, 208
Ebanks is a lanky and athletic combo player with the high potential. One cause for concern, however, is that Ebanks didn’t improve much from his freshman to sophomore season. Nevertheless, he has the ability to guard multiple positions on defense and is a good rebounder. He would do well with more experience by coming off the bench to spell one of the best small forwards in the NBA, Kevin Durant.
27. New Jersey
Armon Johnson, Nevada, Jr., PG, 6-3, 190
A lefty point guard with excellent athleticism and quickness, Johnson could be the second Nevada player drafted in the first round. He still needs to work on setting up teammates and running an offense, but his ability to create for himself makes Johnson an intriguing pick. With the Nets looking to add a point guard and Bledsoe likely off the board, Johnson will get a look at No. 27.
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech, Jr., PF, 6-9, 223
Playing alongside Favors last season, Lawal saw his offensive numbers drop in his junior year. Regardless, he needs to work on his post skills and is limited offensively. He doesn’t possess a consistent mid-range shot and is a poor free throw shooter, but he has a good motor and finishes very well around the rim. He’s still raw but is a hard worker and has good potential, making him a possible late-first round pick.
Quincy Pondexter, Washington, Sr., SF, 6-7, 215
Another senior who could go in the first round, Pondexter improved his game with four years at Washington. He can guard multiple positions on defense and is a very good rebounder for his size. Pondexter doesn’t have the outside shot that Orlando covets, but his athleticism and hustle make him a good fit for the Magic, who like to get out and score in transition.
Solomon Alabi, Florida State, So., C, 7-1, 237
Alabi is a very raw big man with excellent size and potential. His presence in the paint on defense is something he’ll add to any team right away. His offensive game is limited and he doesn’t possess many post moves, but he does have the tools to get better. On a team in which players won’t be shy about taking shots, the Wizards would give Alabi time to develop offensively.