Washington Wizards- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)
Just like last year, the number one pick is a virtual no-brainer. Wall is the franchise cornerstone that the re-building Wizards simply can't do without.
Philadelphia 76ers- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)
I may be over-thinking this one, but it seems to me that if the 76ers really wanted Evan Turner, there would be no whispers over this pick. Since there is, it must be Favors here. Favors is the hands down choice to go number three if Turner lands here, so every other player would be available via a trade down to number four. If the 76ers stay at two and don't draft Turner, no one else even remotely makes sense.
New Jersey Nets- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)
The Nets would love to land Favors, and they still could, because these two picks will be the pivot point of the whole draft. After the Combine, there's no doubt in my mind that Wall, Turner, and Favors will be the top three in some order or another. However, there could well be a trade here, which (especially if Minnesota is involved) would change the complexion of the whole draft.
Minnesota Timberwolves- DeMarcus Cousins- C (Kentucky)
I like Cousins a lot, but not necessarily for my Timberwolves. His immaturity would be a major issue on a team without a proven leader, so Minnesota is a less than ideal fit. With that said, I think that Cousins will be the pick at #4, although the odds of Minnesota holding this pick on draft night are essentially zero. If they're not able to move up to #2 for Evan Turner (or #3 in this scenario), they should move down to #7 and add an asset (Tayshaun Prince or Jonas Jerebko).
Sacramento Kings- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)
Monroe has enough size to defend NBA centers, and the plight of his fellow big men (Hassan Whiteside and Cole Aldrich, specifically) will drastically help his standing. His passing ability also reminds some of Chris Webber, who had a great career in Sacramento.
Golden State Warriors- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)
I love Aminu's fit in Golden State. He's extremely versatile, meaning he'll be able to play the four in Don Nelson's system or the three in any sane person's system. He also loves to get up-and-down, which works well with the Warriors' current system, as well as their existing personnel.
Detroit Pistons- Wesley Johnson- SF (Syracuse)
After drafting three small forwards last year (Jerebko, Daye, and Summers), Johnson makes very little sense here. However, I like the idea of Minnesota moving back for Johnson and allowing Detroit to move up for Cousins.
Los Angeles Clippers- Gordon Hayward- SF (Butler)
Aminu or Johnson would be perfect for the Clippers, but with both of them off the board, the Clippers will have to choose between reaching for need (small forward or point guard) or drafting value (power forward). I think they'll opt for need, eventually choosing between Hayward and Luke Babbit.
Utah Jazz (from New York)- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)
Patterson is one of the most NBA-ready big men in this draft. That makes him a perfect fit for the only playoff team in the lottery.
Indiana Pacers- Eric Bledsoe- PG (Kentucky)
Without question, this is a bit of a reach. However, Indiana has a major need at the point guard, and Bledsoe is much better than the next lead guard on the board, Willie Warren. The Pacers could move back to try to grab Bledsoe, but that would be a risky move because Bledsoe's value is all over the board. Larry Bird and company would hate to move back and miss him, so I think they'll play it safe by picking him at #10.
New Orleans Hornets- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)
New Orleans needs some fresh bodies up front, and Davis provides a nice balance between production and potential, which is a nice fit for a team like New Orleans who may or may not be looking to re-build.
Memphis Grizzlies- Luke Babbit- SF (Nevada)
Babbit had a solid showing at the Combine, which should only help to cement his position in the lottery. Memphis has reportedly been very high on Babbit from the start, making his selection here even more likely.
Toronto Raptors- Ekpe Udoh- PF (Baylor)
I still like the idea of Udoh in a Raptors' jersey. A sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh seems more and more likely, and any potential trade would bring back a frontcourt starter (LAL- Bynum, MIA- Beasley, CHI- Gibson, NYK- Lee). Along with Bargnani and that player, Udoh would give Toronto a lot of versatility, similar to the role Lamar Odom plays in Los Angeles.
Houston Rockets- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)
The biggest need for the Rockets is still backup center, and Aldrich is a great value at #14. Paul George has potential at this spot too, but Aldrich has way too much value to pass up.
Milwaukee Bucks (from Chicago)- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)
The Bucks could use a power forward or a shooting guard, with a big man proving to be a more immediate need. Motiejunas is the last lottery-caliber power forward on the board, and there seems to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding him at the moment. Instead, the Bucks opt for Henry, a great shooter with upside, who some worry is too one-dimensional to be effective as a pro.
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Hassan Whiteside- C (Marshall)
Whiteside is a very exciting prospect, but his character concerns are well documented. Still, at #16 the risk is worth the reward, especially for an extremely young team like Minnesota.
Chicago Bulls (from Milwaukee)- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)
Regardless of what you may have read on this blog, Anderson is still the best pure shooter in this draft, and that is Chicago's most pressing need.
Miami Heat- Avery Bradley- SG (Texas)
Bradley is a fantastic defender and an above average outside shooter, but he doesn't seem to have lead guard skills at this point. That makes playing along with Dwyane Wade the perfect fit. Miami can trot out two lockdown perimeter defenders, let Wade handle 65-70% of the time, and use Mario Chalmers off the bench with either starting guard.
Boston Celtics- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)
Boston gets a steal at #19, and replaces free agent Ray Allen, all in one motion. George has a smooth jump shot, and his skill set is about four inches smaller than his frame, which sounds a bit like Kevin Durant.
San Antonio Spurs- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)
There are reports that Motiejunas will drop out of the draft if he's not projected as a lottery pick, and he stock seems to be on the decline. If he stays in, he'll probably in the late teens or early 20's, and I really like the fit in San Antonio.
Oklahoma City Thunder- Daniel Orton- C (Kentucky)
Orton is as much of an unknown commodity as there as in this draft, at least as far as domestic prospects go. He has tremendous upside, and should mature into a solid player if he can keep his weight issues under control.
Portland Trail Blazers- Damion James- SF (Texas)
James can rebound, score from the mid-range, and defend either forward spot. He is the opposite of Orton in that he is a very well known commodity. He didn't show huge improvement year-to-year at Texas, but he was very steady and consistent.
Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Kevin Seraphin- PF (France)
Minnesota will likely trade away at least one of its non-lottery picks, but if they hold onto all three, a foreign project like Seraphin makes a lot of sense.
Atlanta Hawks- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)
Atlanta's frontcourt reserves are very old and frankly pretty poor, so they could use a player like Sanders, who should be able to log minutes as a rookie.
Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)
Memphis is reportedly very high on Eric Bledsoe, but if they miss out on him they'll settle for Warren, who is more of a combo guard. Warren and OJ Mayo would form a nice fit down the line for the Grizzlies.
Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Terrico White- SG (Mississippi)
The Thunder will likely move one of these picks (I think this will be the spot the Cavaliers move in if that is, in fact, their intention.), or draft a foreign player. If they hold steady, White would be a better choice given the circumstances. He can play both guard spots, has good size (6'5"), and is a proven scorer.
New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Trevor Booker- PF (Clemson)
After missing out on Favors at the top, the Nets tap Booker to fill their power forward spot. He had a great showing at the Combine, and should garner first round consideration if his individual workouts go well.
Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)
Memphis opts for a very different kind of power forward in the perimeter-oriented Brackins. He should good range at the Combine (out to 18 or 20 feet), and should develop into a capable stretch four man in the NBA.
Orlando Magic- Jordan Crawford- SG (Xavier)
Crawford would be an ideal replacement for Vince Carter in a couple of years. He made 20-of-25 NBA 3-pointers at the Combine, and outside shooting is clearly a skill coveted by the Magic.
Washington Wizards (from Cleveland)- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)
Ebanks is an interesting case. I like to think that I pay pretty close attention to the rumor mills surrounding the NBA Draft, and I haven't heard a word about Ebanks since before the Combine. He missed a real opportunity to showcase his athleticism, and his status as a first rounder is in real jeopardy.
New Jersey Nets- Quincy Pondexter- SF (Washington)
Oklahoma City Thunder- Miroslav Raduljica- C (Serbia)
Sacramento Kings- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)
Washington Wizards- Jarvis Varnado- PF (Mississippi State)
Golden State Warriors- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)
Detroit Pistons- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)
Milwaukee Bucks- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)
New York Knicks- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)
New York Knicks- Darington Hobson- SF (New Mexico)
Indiana Pacers- Elliot Williams- SG (Memphis)
Miami Heat- Tiny Gallon- PF (Oklahoma)
Miami Heat- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)
Los Angeles Lakers- Sherron Collins- PG (Kansas)
Portland Trail Blazers- Dominique Jones- SG (South Florida)
Minnesota Timberwolves- Nemanja Bjelica- SF (Serbia)
Phoenix Suns- Mikhail Torrance- SG (Alabama)
Milwaukee Bucks- Charles Garcia- PF (Seattle)
Miami Heat- Artsiom Parakhouski- C (Radford)
San Antonio Spurs- Robin Benzing- SF (Germany)
Dallas Mavericks- Sylven Landesberg- SG (Virginia)
Oklahoma City Thunder- Lazar Hayward- SF (Marquette)
Boston Celtics- Jerome Randle- PG (California)
Atlanta Hawks- Manny Harris- SG (Michigan)
Los Angeles Clippers- Matt Bouldin- PG (Gonzaga)
Utah Jazz- Ryan Richards- C (England)
Minnesota Timberwolves- Da'Sean Butler- SF (West Virginia)
Dallas Mavericks- Paulo Prestes- PF (Brazil)
Los Angeles Lakers- Tibor Pleiss- C (Germany)
Orlando Magic- Greivis Vasquez- PG (Maryland)
Phoenix Suns- Wayne Chism- PF (Tennessee)
IN: Tiny Gallon, Lazar Hayward, Ryan Richards, Wayne Chism
OUT: A.J. Ogilvy, Aubrey Coleman, Omar Samhan, Latavious Williams