Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (Version 11)

1)    New Jersey Nets- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)


I know, it's a real shock, right?


2)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


This is the first time I've had Turner this high in a mock draft, but I think his play will earn him a look here.  He has shown that he is fully recovered from his frightening back injury (His 20-point, 13-rebound, eight-assist performance against Northwestern on Tuesday should have erased all doubt.), and has displayed more consistency than Wesley Johnson as of late.  He doesn't have a dependable outside jump shot yet, but I get the sense that Turner really loves the game, which will motivate his development into an elite player at the next level.


3)    Washington Wizards- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)


The trade winds are still blowing in Washington and I would be shocked if something didn't happen before the trade deadline.  If the Wizards are able to blow up their core and void Gilbert Arenas' toxic contract, they'll be heavy hitters this summer.  I would expect Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh to be their target, and Johnson's end-to-end game would make a great inside-outside compliment with either of them.


4)    Golden State Warriors- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Davis has put up solid numbers as a sophomore (15.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks on 63% shooting), but I still question his motor and his heart.  He does have superstar potential and the Warriors could use some depth up front.  A small forward like Al-Farouq Aminu or Devin Ebanks is a possibility, as well.


5)    Detroit Pistons- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


Favors has been a very highly touted prospect from day one, but he appears to have hit a wall lately.  He is still putting up nice numbers for a good team, but teammate Gani Lawal has taken some of the freshman's hype.  Still, there is no doubt Favors will make the leap this summer, and someone will grab him in the top half of the lottery.  Detroit needs a back-to-the-basket big man more than anyone else in this draft, so they are a great fit.


6)    Indiana Pacers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)


Indiana gets a steal in Henry at #6.  He is already a very solid player with an NBA body, and still has a lot of room to improve.  Granger and Henry will be a ferocious duo for years to come.


7)    Philadelphia 76ers- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


Philadelphia could use an outside shooter like Johnson or Henry, but they'll settle for a big man who can stretch the floor.  Motiejunas is only 19-years old, and he'll need some time to mature, but with Marresse Speights on the roster and Elton Brand virtually untradable, the 76ers will be able to move him along slowly.


8)    Sacramento Kings- Avery Bradley- PG (Texas)


If the Kings believe, as many do (myself included), that Tyreke Evans is better suited to play off the ball, Bradley would be a very smart choice.  He has good size and is a tenacious defender, which would make him a good fit beside an undersized two-guard like Evans.


9)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


I still think that this has the most trade potential of any in the top ten, as long as Utah's own pick lands in the top 17.  There is some real value here with players like Aminu, Cole Aldrich, and Willie Warren still on the board, and Utah could parlay it into a solid NBA veteran.  If not, Aminu is a good fit because of his versatility and athleticism.


10) Milwaukee Bucks- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)


Milwaukee gambles again in the late lottery, and hits another homerun.  Monroe has huge upside, but his numbers have been mildly impressive in the Hoya's half-court slow-it-down system.  He'll develop into a great pro and be a huge upgrade over Hakim Warrick.


11) Los Angeles Clippers- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


The Clippers could use a franchise point guard to go along with cornerstones Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin, but Willie Warren's point guard prospects are definitely a concern.  Also in question is how Al Thornton fits into the team's future plans.  I get the sense that his time in L.A. could be nearing an end, and in that case, Ebanks would be a nice replacement.


12) New Orleans Hornets- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)


Although Hornets fans hate to hear it, David West needs to be traded.  New Orleans simply can't contend as constructed and West is their most valuable asset not named Chris Paul.  If he does go, Cousins would do a nice job of replacing his offense, and make a nice fit next to Emeka Okafor.


13) Memphis Grizzlies- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)


Warren was once considered a top five talent in this class, but his lack of outside shooting ability and questionable on-ball abilities have led his stock to slip.  Still, Memphis could use some depth in the backcourt, so they'll take a bit of a risk on him at #13.


14) Houston Rockets- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)


Houston has gone ice cold over the last couple of weeks and is now in danger of missing the playoffs.  If they do land in the lottery, they would love to land Aldrich, and may be willing to move up to #9 to get him.  Landing him at #14 is their dream scenario.


15) Chicago Bulls- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)


I've had Anderson penciled in here for quite a while, and I'm sticking with it.  He'll probably be a 3-point specialist at the next level, but that is exactly what the Bulls need to open up the floor for Derrick Rose.


16) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)


In this scenario, Minnesota will get three first round picks for the second straight year.  Last year they traded one and kept two, but this time around I expect one to be used on an international prospect.  I haven't heard much about Vesely, but what I have read sounds very promising.  He has great size (6'11") and real tenacity defensively, which is a refreshing evaluation of a European prospect.


17) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)


Miami will almost certainly have back-to-back picks in the middle of the first round, and I expect them to grab one big and one small.  Stephenson is far and away the best perimeter player available at this spot.  He has great athleticism and fantastic upside, and he would benefit from playing with a consummate professional like Dwyane Wade.


18) Miami Heat- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Patterson has limited upside after playing his full four years at Kentucky, but he seems to be a low-risk choice.  He'll be a good rebounder and a fairly efficient low-volume scorer with a good attitude.


19) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Damion James- SF (Texas)


James has the potential to be one of the steals in this draft.  Like Patterson, he's largely a known commodity- he's a surprisingly effective rebounder with a smooth offensive game, but it's his intangibles that set him apart.  James is very competitive and provides good leadership.  He would be a great fit for a young Minnesota team.


20) Oklahoma City Thunder- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


Alabi is another interesting prospect, because as we've seen, size sells in the NBA draft.  Alabi has a great frame (at 7'1") and surprising touch, but will definitely need some seasoning before he's ready to contribute at the next level.


21) Portland Trail Blazers- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)


Robinson is arguably the best athlete in college basketball, and he's a proven winner.  He will be a very useful rotation guy in the NBA.


22) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)


Sanders is a natural shot-blocker, but he's still lean and very raw.  He'll need to put on 20-30 pounds to stick in the NBA, but he has all the athletic skills.


23) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)


Memphis would love to find a replacement for Rudy Gay at this spot (Robinson would have done nicely), but instead they'll opt for some frontcourt depth.  Lawal is a great rebounder with an underrated offensive game, who could project to be a Drew Gooden-type player at the next level.


24) San Antonio Spurs- Dexter Pittman- C (Texas)


San Antonio is very deep with a young bench rotation, but they still lack a true backup center.  Pittman is very efficient and much more athletic than when he first arrived in Austin.  Opting for a foreign prospect is another possibility here.


25) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Jarvis Varnado- PF (Mississippi State)


Varnado will be a specialist at the next level, but after watching the profound impact that Chris Anderson had in Denver last year, he should still hold onto the end of the first round.


26) Orlando Magic- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)


Johnson has great size (6'3") and has had a very productive junior season in Reno.  He is averaging 16.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in the Wolf Pack's first 18 games.


27) Boston Celtics- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)


Jordan has good size and has put up good numbers at Tulsa (albeit against mid-major competition).  Boston's frontcourt continues to get older, so an infusion of youth makes sense.


28) Atlanta Hawks- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)


Brackins is a hybrid forward who's game resembles Charlie Villanueva or Yi Jianlian, but he has consistently put up good numbers for an overmatched Iowa State team.  He has been sliding down draft boards, but someone would be smart to grab him in the late first round.


29) Cleveland Cavaliers- Da'Sean Butler- SG (West Virginia)


Butler is a great shooter and a volume scorer with good size (6'7").  He could be a great sidekick for LeBron James moving forward, but would be ill equipped to be the focal point of the offense if LeBron bolts next summer.


30) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Chris Wright- SF (Dayton)


Wright is an athletic small forward with the size to play smaller fours at the next level, a lot like Ryan Gomes when he came out of Providence.  Memphis could opt for a foreign prospect here instead.

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