Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (Version 10)

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


I might as well start my subsequent mocks at #2.  This pick is a complete lock.


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


As the pro and college seasons progress, this choice seems to be more and more of a lock, as well.  Johnson has the ability to play both perimeter positions and should be an end-to-end contributor from day one.  His maturity and leadership would also valuable commodities on such a young roster.


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


Favors seems to be sliding down draft boards a bit, and mine is no different.  He has been uninspired and unimpressive as of late, and was completely overshadowed by teammate Gani Lawal in Tech's comeback win over Duke on Saturday.  With that said, he is a remarkable physical specimen with superstar potential and the Pistons need a lot of help up front.


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


Henry has all of the tools to be the extraordinary player that Indiana thought it was getting in Brandon Rush.  Henry is an efficient scorer and an underrated defender, making him a great fit next to Danny Granger on the Pacers' perimeter.


5)    Washington Wizards- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


Washington seems to have descended into full rebuilding mode with Gilbert Arenas out indefinitely (presumably for the remainder of the season).  Voiding his contract seems unlikely, but trading one of his running mates (Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison) looks so likely it's almost a certainty as we near the trade deadline.  Motiejunas has great size and range, and at 19-years old, as much upside as anyone in this draft not named John Wall.


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


Golden State loves perimeter-oriented players who can shoot, but while Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Devin Ebanks are solid players, none appears to be the outside threat Don Nelson covets.  Instead, the Warriors sure up their frontcourt rotation with Davis, who is a good runner of the floor and a great rebounder.


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


Like Golden State, the 76ers could use a perimeter player with a consistent jump shot, but he just isn't available at #7, so Philadelphia opts for Monroe, another talented big man with huge upside.


8)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


If the draft plays out this way, something tells me there could be a trade at this pick.  With quality point guards (Avery Bradley and Willie Warren), perimeter players (Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Devin Ebanks), and big men (Cole Aldrich, Patrick Patterson, and DeMarcus Cousins) available at an affordable price, someone would be smart to move in for their pick of the litter.  Turner is the highest left on my board and provides a nice fit for Utah if they keep the pick.


9)    Chicago Bulls- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)


Joakim Noah has taken a huge step forward for the Bulls this season, but they still need a dominant offensive presence on the inside to take some pressure off of Derrick Rose.  Aldrich has the most refined post moves of anyone in this draft and is a pretty good value at #9.


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


Tyreke Evans has been fantastic for the Kings, but his ability to run the point once Kevin Martin returns is still very much in question.  In either case, Bradley would give the Kings a remarkable amount of versatility with his defense and highly developed mid-range game.


11) Memphis Grizzlies- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


Ebanks could be a seamless replacement for Rudy Gay, should he decide to change addresses this summer. Ebanks is skilled and athletic, with an unbelievable wingspan.  His game definitely needs some seasoning, but Memphis has shown a willingness to let its players learn on the floor rather than the bench, which would help Ebanks tremendously.


12) Los Angeles Clippers- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)


Warren is a combo guard with questionable point guard prospects, but he has an undeniable ability to get to the basket and score the basketball.  The Clippers would love to get their hands on Bradley, but will settle for Blake Griffin's former teammate as consolation.


13) New Orleans Hornets- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


Aminu is a great value at #13 and New Orleans could use an athletic three man, as it appears Julian Wright's time in the Big Easy is nearly through.  Aminu is a little raw, but he loves to get out and run, which should be music to Chris Paul's ears.


14) Utah Jazz- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Utah will need a backup for starter-in-waiting Paul Milsap after Carlos Boozer flees from Mormon country this summer, and Patterson will do the job quite nicely.  He will be ready to play on day one, and will likely have a long career ahead of him.


15) Milwaukee Bucks- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)


This pick probably depends on Michael Redd's address come June.  If Redd is still in Wisconsin, Cousins makes a lot of sense.  If the Bucks move Redd, however, Lance Stephenson would be a great choice to replace him.


16) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)


Stephenson has all the skill of a top 10 pick and could develop into a superstar in the right system.  He could also end up a bust if he lands on a team without an established leader.  (Editors note: This is the same criticism I levied on Brandon Jennings before the 2009 draft, and look how that turned out.)


17) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)


Drafting a foreign player with this pick makes a lot of sense for the Heat.  They plan on being a major player in free agency this summer, so keeping an extra 1-2 million dollars in their back pocket could prove useful.  Additionally, Vesely has great size (6'11") and real grit defensively, which is unusual in a European prospect.


18) Miami Heat- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)


Anderson has established himself as the premier jump shooter in the NCAA this season, and that perception will do wonders for his draft stock.  Miami seems to be all but through with the Daequan Cook experiment, and Anderson would make a nice replacement.


19) Oklahoma City Thunder- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)


This is the dream scenario for the Thunder.  Not only do they land in the playoffs for the first time since their move from Seattle, but they also grab a very solid player at a need position. 


20) Houston Rockets- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


Houston has a nice roster and will soon be rid of Tracy McGrady and his toxic contract.  Keeping Yao Ming healthy, however, still remains a concern.  Adding a true center with a huge frame (7'1") should take some pressure off as Yao returns from injury.


21) Portland Trail Blazers- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)


Portland lands a gem in George, an athletic small forward whose stock seems to be plummeting after he started the season with top-10 buzz. 


22) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Sheron Collins- PG (Kansas)


After passing on Warren with their first pick, Memphis lands Collins at #22.  Collins has limited upside, but good leadership qualities and a fantastic crossover dribble that should still be an asset at the next level.


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


Pittman is a local product and a very hard worker.  He also has great hands and underrated shot-blocking ability.


24) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)


New Jersey has some great pieces on the perimeter and a franchise center in Brook Lopez, but they could really use a shot-blocking presence at power forward.  Sanders is more skilled offensively than Jarvis Varnado, so he gets the nod.


25) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)


Brackins has had a down junior year after dominating the Big 12 last season, but he should still land in the first round if he decides to declare.  Oklahoma City has an athlete in Jeff Green, and now a shot blocker in Jerome Jordan, so Brackins' face-up game would be a nice compliment.


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


Orlando is one of the deepest teams in the league, but they badly need a backup point guard as they move forward.  With Collins off the board, and Kemba Walker struggling as of late, Nevada's Armon Johnson moves into the first round for the first time.


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


Atlanta gets a great value in Lawal at #27.  Lawal is a ferocious rebounder with an underappreciated offensive game, who seems like a mix of Reggie Evans' rebounding and Drew Gooden's athleticism.


28) Boston Celtics- Damion James- SF (Texas)


Boston has done a nice job of assembling a solid bench behind their big three, but small forward seems to be a little thin with Marquis Daniels lost to an injury.  James would give the Celtics versatility at the three or the four and be a Jared Jeffries-like defensive presence.


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


Butler has good size for a shooting guard (6'7") and can really shoot the basketball.  If Cleveland is unable to land another scorer (Michael Redd or Antawn Jamison, for example), Butler would be a nice substitute.


30) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)


Whereas Ebanks is a great athlete who will need time to learn, Robinson is a phenomenal athlete who will be able to play right away.  As a pair, they replace Gay's productivity and then some.  (Like Armon Johnson, this is Robinson's first inclusion in round one.)

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