Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (April 19th)

Similar to ESPN's Chad Ford, I've designed a "Lottery Machine" that selects the 2010 NBA Lottery at random, based on the prescribed lottery odds of each team.  Using a program called Mathematica (Courtesy: Wolfram Research), I've compiled 22 random lotteries, which I will use to complete a different mock draft each weekday from now through May 18th when the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery is held.


1)    Washington Wizards (5)- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)


Gilbert Arenas has always been more of a shoot-first point guard, and drafting Wall would allow him to move off the ball at times.  The Wizards are an interesting case at the top, because Evan Turner, or even DeMarcus Cousins could come into play here.


2)    New Orleans Hornets (11)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


For whatever reason, the Hornets were very lucky in my lottery simulations.  While Turner may not fit a need, he has the size and versatility to guard multiple positions, and his value is too much to pass up with the second pick.


3)    Sacramento Kings (3)- DeMarcus Cousins- C (Kentucky)


The Kings would be thrilled with any of the top three players in this class, and this pick is as close to a no-brainer as we'll see in the lottery.


4)    New Jersey Nets- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


If the Nets were so unlucky as to fall to #4, Favors would be a wonderful consolation prize.  Of the players at the top of the draft, he probably provides the best fit for the re-building Nets.


5)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)


Minnesota's roster is beginning to look like a Syracuse alumni team, but Johnson is a really nice fit.  He is a good shooter, a solid rebounder and defender, and provides good leadership qualities.


6)    Golden State Warriors- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


Golden State gets put into a tough spot here, because there is a pretty substantial drop off from picks five to six.  Aminu isn't quite the player the Warriors would like because his jump shot is still a work in progress, but he should thrive in their up-tempo system.


7)    Philadelphia 76ers- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)


The 76ers need to put Elton Brand behind them any way they can.  They have some nice young pieces on their perimeter, and a physical force down low in Marresse Speights.  Monroe would be the perfect frontcourt compliment.


8)    Detroit Pistons- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)


Something tells me that Detroit may be the team to move up into the top three in the lottery, but if not, they'll likely grab Aldrich, who is the most polished of the big men in this class.


9)    Los Angeles Clippers- Hassan Whiteside- C (Marshall)


The more I think about it, the more I think about getting on board the Hassan Whiteside Hype Train, but if he lands with the Clippers, I'll know I was right all along.


10) Utah Jazz (from New York)- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


It didn't even take one playoff game for the thin frontline of the Jazz to become entirely relevant, so I think that must be addressed this off-season, regardless of Carlos Boozer's plans.  Motiejunas is a work in progress, but he has a very high ceiling.


11) Indiana Pacers- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Tyler Hansbrough had some productive spurts as a rookie, but Davis has the makings of a franchise power forward.  Xavier Henry would also be a very nice fit here.


12) Memphis Grizzlies- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)


Memphis kills two birds with one pick- they get a small forward to replace Rudy Gay in the event that he signs elsewhere, and they grab an international prospect to lessen the burden of having three first-round picks with guaranteed contracts.


13) Toronto Raptors- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Chris Bosh appears to be the most likely of the big name free agents to change addresses, and Patterson is one of the few players in this draft who would be able to make a tangible impact from day one.  He may never be a superstar, but he'll provide steady production for a fringe Eastern Conference playoff team.


14) Houston Rockets- Daniel Orton- C (Kentucky)


Orton makes it four Wildcats in the lottery, including three freshmen.  He is very raw, but has a good frame and solid defensive instincts.


15) Milwaukee Bucks- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)


The Bucks hit another homerun in finding a replacement for Michael Redd.  Henry is a very efficient scorer with an NBA body.  And, unlike most one-and-done guys, I expect him to have solid production as a rookie.


16) Minnesota Timberwolves- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)


Minnesota is able to find two starter-quality wingmen with their first two picks in the draft.  Anderson is the best pure shooter in the draft, and his other skills have also developed nicely over the past year.


17) Chicago Bulls- Gordon Hayward- SF (Butler)


The Bulls would love to land Anderson, but they'll settle for Hayward, who is also a very adept shooter.


18) Miami Heat- Eric Bledsoe- PG (Kentucky)


It's plainly obvious that Mario Chalmers is not in the long-term plans for the Heat, so going another direction makes sense.  Drafting a point guard also gives Miami the flexibility to go after a premier wing (LeBron James) or big man (Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, or Amare Stoudemire) in free agency.


19) Boston Celtics- Ekpe Udoh- PF (Baylor)


The mighty certainly have fallen, as the Celts find themselves picking in the late teens.  Udoh was very productive in his first season at Baylor, and he has the makings of a poor man's Kevin Garnett.


20) San Antonio Spurs- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)


George has all the talent of a lottery pick, but he needs to learn how to win.  There's no better place to learn to be a winner than San Antonio.


21) Oklahoma City Thunder- Larry Sanders- PF/C (Virginia Commonwealth)


I may be a bit off base, but I still feel like interior defense is Oklahoma City's most pressing need in the draft.  Sanders has great length and shot-blocking instincts, and could be a very attractive trade asset during and after the draft.


22) Portland Trail Blazers- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


Ebanks has a lot of work to do in order to reach his potential, but he and Nicolas Batum could create an impenetrable perimeter for the Blazers moving forward.


23) Minnesota Timberwolves- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


Wolves' GM David Kahn has been vocal about his team's desire to add a 7-footer this summer, and Alabi could be the guy if he enters.  Miroslav Raduljica could get a look here, too.


24) Atlanta Hawks- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)


Lawal is a local product, a good value, and fits a need for an aging Hawks reserve corpse.  This makes too much sense not to happen.


25) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Avery Bradley- SG (Texas)


Bradley is a classic combo guard who really gets after it on the defensive end.  Memphis could really use an infusion defensively, and Bradley is an awfully good start.


26) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Damion James- SF (Texas)


Like Jeff Green, James has good size and a very versatile skill set that will create matchup problems at the next level.  He also has experience playing with Kevin Durant.


27) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Elliot Williams- SG (Memphis)


After landing a stud power forward with their first pick, New Jersey will look to target a guard at #27.  There are several options here (Williams, Jordan Crawford, Dominique Jones, and Willie Warren), but Williams has the most to offer moving forward.


28) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Miroslav Raduljica- C (Serbia)


Raduljica has great size and has been very productive this season, and considering teams' tendency to target international prospects late in the first round, I would be surprised to see him slip past #30.


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


Orlando is arguably the deepest team in the league, but they could use an upgrade at backup point guard.  The position is very thin in this draft, but Johnson is by far the best available.


30) Washington Wizards (from Cleveland)- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)


Robinson will be one of the top five athletes in the NBA the first time he takes the court, but I can't help but wonder what exactly he'll be able to do at the next level.  Unfortunately, Gerald Green comparisons seem warranted.

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