1) New Jersey Nets- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)
Wall finally made his first collegiate mistake after a close win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, voicing his displeasure with John Calipari's assessment of his point guard's play against South Carolina earlier in the week. While the incident may show some immaturity on Wall's part, let's remember he's still a freshman.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves- Evan Turner- SF (Ohio State)
Minnesota needs help on both ends of the floor, along with a player who can bring leadership and versatility to the table. Turner and Wesley Johnson are the two players in this draft who fit the bill, and Turner seems to be the more consistent and more mature player.
3) Golden State Warriors- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)
This is a tough pick to project because the Warriors could go several directions. Wesley Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Donatas Motiejunas all make sense here too, but Favors has huge upside and would provide much needed frontcourt depth for Golden State.
4) Washington Wizards- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)
Everyday that passes without a trade is another wasted day for this organization. The Wizards are 16-31 and need to blow up their core and start over. Johnson is versatile and skilled on both ends of the floor. He would be a nice perimeter replacement for Caron Butler in the event that Butler changes addresses.
5) Detroit Pistons- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)
Aldrich has been sliding down draft boards because of his lack of explosiveness and upside, but his play has been very steady as of late, which should help his draft stock. Kansas also looks poised to make a run in March, and Aldrich is a great fit next to Charlie Villanueva, so this makes a lot of sense.
6) Sacramento Kings- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)
The Kings are on a major skid and find themselves on the doorstep of another top five pick. The Tyreke Evans-Kevin Martin experiment seems to be an overwhelming failure, so moving Martin would be prudent. However, if Sacramento still believes that Evans can play the point, Xavier Henry may be the pick here. Otherwise, it'll be Aminu.
7) Philadelphia 76ers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)
Considering that I had Henry going to the 76ers at number three overall just before Christmas, this would be a dream come true for Philadelphia. Henry has superstar potential and his outside shooting ability will make him an asset from day one.
8) Indiana Pacers- Avery Bradley- PG/SG (Texas)
Bradley has played mostly off the ball this season at Texas, but if he can demonstrate solid point guard skills, he'll be a top ten lock. If not, he's still an intriguing combo guard prospect with killer instincts and tenacity defensively.
9) Utah Jazz (from New York)- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)
Cousins had a relatively quiet start for the Wildcats, but he has really raised his level of play as of late. His athleticism and potential make him a lock to land in the lottery, with the top ten a real possibility.
10) Los Angeles Clippers- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)
Motiejunas has good size and a smooth shooting stroke, but in a class chalked full of traditional back to the basket power forward talent, he'll likely slide a bit on draft day. He's a steal for the Clippers at #10. They could use a point guard, but left with Willie Warren and Armon Johnson, the value just isn't there with this pick.
11) Milwaukee Bucks- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)
The Bucks land another big time talent in the late lottery with Davis, who has huge potential, but lacks the drive and polish to be a superstar. If he contracts Brandon Jennings' desire, he'll be a major headache at the next level.
12) Houston Rockets- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)
Houston would really love a true center to share time with Yao Ming, but Monroe will have to suffice. He does have the size to play center in the NBA, depending on the matchup, and has all the skills and IQ to become a great player.
13) New Orleans Hornets- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)
Stephenson has an NBA body and a knack for scoring the ball. He has some character issues and may be better suited for the small forward spot at the next level, but playing alongside Chris Paul should help on both fronts.
14) Memphis Grizzlies- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)
Rudy Gay will likely end up signing his Qualifying Offer and leaving next summer, so an ultra-athletic replacement like Robinson would be a good fit.
15) Miami Heat- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)
Udonis Haslem has been a longtime mainstay in South Beach, but with his contract due to expire this summer, Patterson would be a very solid and cost-effective replacement.
16) Chicago Bulls- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)
Aside from Wall to the Nets, this is the pick I feel the most comfortable with. The Bulls need a shooter badly, and Anderson is head and shoulders above the rest in this draft class.
17) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)
NBAdraft.net recently released an article stating that Vesely should wait a year or two before throwing his name in the ring, but with the relatively thin crop of international talent in this draft, and the big off-season to come, I think he still has value between 15 and 20. Minnesota, for instance, has their roster almost full for next season and three first-rounders for the second straight year.
18) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)
Ebanks has good size and great length, but often looks disinterested, and it's questionable whether or not he'll ever fulfill his huge potential. Still, he's worth the risk at #18 for a team still looking for its franchise small forward.
19) Oklahoma City Thunder- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)
Oklahoma City is loaded with young talent and has sufficient cap space to make some moves this summer. They may make a play for a top-tier free agent big man like Carlos Boozer or David Lee, but Sanders would make a very capable backup.
20) Portland Trail Blazers- Damion James- SF (Texas)
James has been a consistent player at Texas for four years. He puts up remarkable rebounding totals and impressive offensive numbers, but the one word that describes his game better than any other is smooth. Almost effortlessly he plays at a high level, and that success should translate at the next level, as well.
21) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Willie Warren- PG/SG (Oklahoma)
Oklahoma City uses their second first-rounder on homegrown talent Willie Warren. He may be an off-guard in a point guard's body, but he has proven scoring ability and would be a great addition to a backcourt rotation of Russell Westbrook, Eric Maynor, James Harden, and Thabo Sefolosha.
22) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)
Minnesota fills a need with a shot blocker and a true center all in one, with Jordan, who has good size and natural ability and should be a nice player at the next level.
23) San Antonio Spurs- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)
Alabi has great size and a surprisingly refined game. He is arguably a more polished prospect than Hasheem Thabeet when he went number two overall last April.
24) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Dexter Pittman- C (Texas)
Pittman is very active and extremely efficient offensively. He is also and underrated rebounder and shot blocker.
25) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)
Johnson has great size (6'3") and a very efficient game. He still needs some seasoning, but he has all the tools.
26) Boston Celtics- Da'Sean Butler- SG (West Virginia)
Butler has good size (6'7") and a deadly offensive arsenal. The Celtics may have to let either Paul Pierce or Ray Allen walk this summer, and if so, some perimeter depth is an area of huge need.
27) Orlando Magic- Sheron Collins- PG (Kansas)
Orlando would love to get their hands on Johnson because of his size and potential, but Collins is a nice second option. He has great leadership qualities, a lightning-quick crossover, and an underrated jump shot.
28) Atlanta Hawks- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)
Lawal isn't a freak athlete like teammate Derrick Favors, but he is a tenacious and consistent player, and perhaps the best rebounder in this draft class. He would be an improvement from Joe Smith, Randolph Morris, and Jason Collins.
29) Memphis Grizzlies- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)
Brackins had a huge sophomore year, but has taken a step back as a junior. He also employs a face-up small forward type of game, leading many to deem him a "tweener". Still, his consistent jump shot and rebounding ability should be enough for him to land in the first round.
30) Cleveland Cavaliers- Ekpe Udoh- PF (Baylor)
Udoh has taken a huge step forward after transferring from Michigan to Baylor, and is looking like a fringe first-rounder. He is very active and athletic, and has great shot-blocking instincts.