Detroit Pistons (7)- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)
I really think that the Pistons have to consider either drafting DeMarcus Cousins or trying to find some way to move down and get him. In any event, they could also use a true point guard, sliding Rodney Stuckey to the 2, and making Richard Hamilton even more expendable.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)
Turner makes a ton of sense for a Minnesota team with huge holes on their perimeter. His passing ability makes him a good fit in the Triangle, and his ability to play the 2 or the 3 gives Minnesota some flexibility with their later picks and their free cap space.
New Jersey Nets (1)- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)
I would love to see Favors next to Brook Lopez. They would form the most ferocious frontcourt duo since Amare and Shawn Marion roamed the desert together.
Sacramento Kings- DeMarcus Cousins- C (Kentucky)
With Cousins anchoring a roster that already includes Tyreke Evans, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson, the Kings have some things in the works. If they get consistent play from Donte Greene and Francisco Garcia, that group could be a playoff contender sooner rather than later.
Golden State Warriors- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)
The Pistons' gain is the Warriors' loss, as Golden State misses out on the top four, which are widely considered the top tier in this draft. Instead, they opt for Monroe, who could play both frontcourt spots and should benefit from an up-tempo system that surrounds him with shooters.
Washington Wizards- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)
Aminu would be a nice replacement for Caron Butler's length and energy on the perimeter. He may not be ready to be a double-digit scorer in the NBA right now, but I have no doubt that Aminu will find a way to make an impact.
Philadelphia 76ers- Wesley Johnson- SF (Syracuse)
There is a very strong chance that Andre Iguodala gets traded this summer, and Johnson would be the perfect replacement. Like Iguodala, he can defend multiple positions and score from various positions on the floor. Unlike Iguodala, however, Johnson also has range to the NBA 3-point line, which was one of the biggest deficiencies for the 2009-2010 76ers.
Los Angeles Clippers- Hassan Whiteside- C (Marshall)
This is a calculated risk by the Clippers, who will be forced into a corner if both Aminu and Johnson are off the board before they pick. The top players on the board are all big men, mostly power forwards, which the Clippers drafted last year in Blake Griffin. Cole Aldrich is also an option, but he is very similar to Chris Kaman, and doesn't possess Whiteside's potential.
Utah Jazz (from New York)- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)
Aldrich is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft, which will be an asset to the only playoff team choosing in the lottery. He also provides depth at a need position with the futures of Mehmet Okur (injury) and Carlos Boozer (free agency) very much up in the air.
Indiana Pacers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)
I expect Henry to be one of the players who benefits the most from the combine process. He clearly has an NBA body, but he's been labeled a below-average athlete. I expect Henry to work hard to erase those misconceptions both in Chicago and in his individual workouts.
New Orleans Hornets- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)
Davis is another player whose stock could sky rocket between now and the draft. North Carolina struggled as a team this year, and Davis suffered a broken wrist near the end of the season, but he has all the physical tools, meaning the nature of the one-on-one workout circuit should treat him well.
Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)
Like Henry and Davis, George should be able to help himself between now and the draft. His time at Fresno State prepared him well for the workout circuit by regularly placing him in isolation situations. His smooth stroke and ability to get by defenders should gain him lottery consideration.
Toronto Raptors- Eric Bledsoe- PG (Kentucky)
This pick is a bit of a reach, but if the Raptors are able to complete a sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh (which is beneficial to all parties), they'll likely target a young power forward in return. That would make drafting Ekpe Udoh or Patrick Patterson redundant. Bledsoe, on the other hand, has a high ceiling and plays a need position.
Houston Rockets- Luke Babbit- SF (Nevada)
Houston has one of the most outside-the-box thinking front offices in the entire league. Convention says they need a backup at center or point guard, but with Chris Bosh potentially joining the fold, their outlook may change. Babbit is a very efficient scorer and a very good rebounder, but he lacks a natural position, which figures to hurt him with every team other than the Rockets.
Milwaukee Bucks (from Chicago)- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)
Milwaukee projects to have two need positions this summer- shooting guard and power forward. The power forward side of the coin falls right into their lap with Patterson, Udoh, and Motiejunas all still available, but the savvy Bucks select Patterson because he is the most NBA-ready.
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Gordon Hayward- SF (Butler)
Minnesota will likely have some choices at this pick. They could opt for depth at center (Daniel Orton or Solomon Alabi), but the news that Nikola Pekovic will likely join the team next season makes that scenario less likely. They could also opt for another shooting guard with the size to play alongside Evan Turner, but small forward is the best fit here, and Hayward is the best player on the board at that spot.
Chicago Bulls (from Milwaukee)- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)
Chicago is devoid of outside shooting, and Anderson would fix that problem in an instant. Motiejunas and Udoh have better value here, but if the Bulls aren't assured of adding a top-flight talent on the perimeter (Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, or LeBron James), a shooter is a much more immediate need.
Miami Heat- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)
The odds that Motiejunas slips this far are slim-to-none, but I can't find any of the first 17 picks that I really disagree with. Miami would be happy to snatch him up at this spot, even if he's not ready to come over right away, because his trade value should only increase as he matures.
Boston Celtics- Ekpe Udoh- PF (Baylor)
Udoh has been compared to a poor man's Kevin Garnett due to his slight frame and his ball-handling ability. Avery Bradley would probably be a better fit, but there's no denying the value of Udoh at this stage in the draft.
San Antonio Spurs- Damion James- SF (Texas)
James is a very consistent scorer and rebounder, who has developed some really nice leadership qualities in his time in Austin. He is also a good character guy, and a hard worker, making him a good fit for Greg Popovich.
Oklahoma City Thunder- Daniel Orton- C (Kentucky)
There are already rumors circulating that Orton decided to stay in the draft because he received a guarantee from the Thunder. I think those reports are more than bogus, but Orton will certainly find his way into the first round, and the Thunder provide as good of a fit as anyone.
Portland Trail Blazers- Avery Bradley- SG (Texas)
Bradley doesn't have a natural position, but he's already receiving some positive press from Chad Ford (http://tinyurl.com/nbadraftblog) after his workouts against the likes of Sheron Collins and Armon Johnson in Las Vegas.
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Kevin Seraphin- PF (France)
Seraphin has good size (6'10" and 260 lbs) and good potential. He is still very raw, but with the Timberwolves nowhere near competitive, they could afford to wait a year or two.
Atlanta Hawks- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)
I really like Gani Lawal at this spot because he is arguably the best rebounder in this class, but Sanders is a better shot blocker, and he's more advanced offensively.
Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Willie Warren- PG/SG (Oklahoma)
Like Bradley, Warren lacks a true position. Warren also doesn't have the outside shooting ability or defensive prowess of Bradley, but he is adept at getting to the basket and scoring in the lane.
Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)
Ebanks is a polarizing prospect in this class, but his physical tools and versatility are undeniable. That versatility, along with his ability to get up and down the floor should make him a good fit on a young Oklahoma City team.
New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)
Similar to Orton, I expect Stephenson to sneak into the first round based almost solely on his potential. Playing in New Jersey (and eventually Brooklyn) may prove costly, but it could also provide him with the confidence needed to become elite at the next level.
Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)
As mentioned earlier, I think Lawal is the best rebounder in this class. It is widely agreed that rebounding is the one skill that translates the best from college to the pros, so Lawal seems like a safe bet at #28.
Orlando Magic- Jordan Crawford- SG (Xavier)
Orlando has made it very clear that their strategy is to surround Dwight Howard with shooters. Crawford is that and then some. He could develop into an eventual replacement for Vince Carter.
Washington Wizards (from Cleveland)- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)
Johnson has good size (6'3") and good penetration ability. His outside shot definitely needs some work, but he could develop into an effective player at the NBA level.
New Jersey Nets- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)
Oklahoma City Thunder (from Minnesota)- Miroslav Raduljica- C (Serbia)
Sacramento Kings- Terrico White- SG (Mississippi)
Washington Wizards- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)
Golden State Warriors- Quincy Pondexter- SF (Washington)
Detroit Pistons- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)
Milwaukee Bucks (from Philadelphia)- Dominique Jones- SG (South Florida)
New York Knicks- Elliot Williams- SG (Memphis)
New York Kincks (from LA Clippers)- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)
Indiana Pacers- Sheron Collins- PG (Kansas)
Miami Heat (from New Orleans)- Greivis Vasquez- SG (Maryland)
Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Jarvis Varnado- PF (Mississippi State)
Los Angeles Lakers (from Memphis)- Darington Hobson- SF (New Mexico)
Portland Trail Blazers (from Chicago)- Trevor Booker- PF (Clemson)
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Houston)- Artsiom Parakhouski- C (Radford)
Phoenix Suns (from Charlotte)- Da'Sean Butler- SG (West Virginia)
Milwaukee Bucks- Nemanja Bjelica- SF (Serbia)
Miami Heat- Robin Benzing- SF (Germany)
San Antonio Spurs- Charles Garcia- PF (Seattle)
Dallas Mavericks (from Oklahoma City)- Sylven Landesberg- SG (Virginia)
Oklahoma City Thunder (from Portland)- Jerome Randle- PG (California)
Boston Celtics- Manny Harris- SG (Michigan)
Atlanta Hawks- JP Prince- SF (Tennessee)
Los Angeles Clippers (from Denver)- Matt Bouldin- PG (Gonzaga)
Utah Jazz- Mario Delas- SF (Croatia)
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Phoenix)- Alexey Shved- PG (Russia)
Dallas Mavericks- Tibor Pleiss- C (Germany)
Los Angeles Lakers- Omar Samhan- C (Saint Mary's)
Orlando Magic- Ryan Wittman- SF (Cornell)
Phoenix Suns (from Cleveland)- Pablo Aguilar- PF (Spain)