Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (April 27th)

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)    Sacramento Kings (3)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


Turner's size and slashing ability will give the Kings quite a combo on the perimeter.  I can't name a defense in the league that wouldn't have a tough time stopping Tyreke Evans and Turner.


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


For months, Wall has been considered a no-brainer with the first pick, but he's not nearly the runaway talent that Blake Griffin was last year.  In all likelihood, it will be a three horse race in June, with Turner and DeMarcus Cousins giving Wall a run for his money.  It's even possible that the Nets opt for Derrick Favors instead of Wall here, but his value is too much to pass up.


3)    Los Angeles Clippers (8)- DeMarcus Cousins- C (Kentucky)


The Clippers are the big lottery winners today, and they opt for Cousins, who would be a great fit next to Blake Griffin in the long-term.


4)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Wesley Johnson- SF (Syracuse)


Johnson provides an efficient offensive game and leadership abilities to a team that badly needs them.  Minnesota could also trade this pick if they don't think Johnson has the skills to get it done defensively at the next level.


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


Golden State would probably rather have any of the four players drafted ahead of them, but they'll settle for Al-Farouq ("Don't call me Al") Aminu.  He doesn't have the outside shooting that the Warriors covet, but he would fit nicely in their up-tempo system.


6)    Washington Wizards- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


Admittedly, I have no idea what the Wizards will do in the draft, but Favors has way too much value to slip past them at #6.


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


Monroe is an interesting prospect, but Philadelphia would be a good fit.  They have enough returning talent to bring him along slowly, and a nice young core developing for the long-term.


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


I've said for months that the Pistons need to target a traditional back-to-the-basket big man in the draft, and if they miss on Cousins and Favors, they'll look at either Aldrich or Hassan Whiteside.


9)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Davis has a lot of upside and will be able to play either frontcourt position, which is a huge advantage for a Jazz team which will be thin up front, especially if Carlos Boozer leaves and/or Mehmet Okur misses time with his ruptured Achilles.


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


Henry is a do-it-all shooting guard, who will need some seasoning to reach his full potential, but should be able to take some heat off of Danny Granger right away.


11) New Orleans Hornets- Hassan Whiteside- C (Marshall)


Whiteside has huge upside and would benefit from learning behind a great shot blocker like Emeka Okafor.


12) Memphis Grizzlies- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


Zach Randolph took a huge step forward last year, but his role in Memphis' plans is still up in the air.  I expect the Grizzlies to take the best player available with their lottery pick, and Motiejunas fits the bill.


13) Toronto Raptors- Ekpe Udoh- PF (Baylor)


For some reason, I can see Udoh in Toronto.  Get used to his name in this spot.


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


Like the Pistons, the Rockets need a center.  Yao isn't getting any younger, and I don't expect his lower extremities to become any sturdier.


15) Milwaukee Bucks (from Chicago)- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Milwaukee needs help at the two and the four, so it's either Patterson or James Anderson here.


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


Jan Vesely's omission from the draft may have a bigger impact on the Timberwolves than any team.  They really could have used his outside shooting, length, and defense, not to mention his deferrable contract.  Still, Anderson is a more athletic version of Wayne Ellington, which would be a small upgrade at the two spot.


17) Chicago Bulls (from Milwaukee)- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)


This pick represents more fallout from the Vesely decision.  With Anderson gone, the Bulls will opt for the best shooter available in George.


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


This pick gives the Heat a promising young backcourt mate for Dwyane Wade, and a lot of flexibility for their pursuit of the big name free agents this summer.


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


Another pick affected by Vesely, as James moves up a few spots in the mock.


20) San Antonio Spurs- Gordon Hayward- SF (Butler)


Some teams may be worried by Hayward's lack of explosiveness, but he's a heady, versatile player, which would make him a great fit in San Antonio.


21) Oklahoma City Thunder- Daniel Orton- C (Kentucky)


Orton is a wildcard because of his limited playing time at Kentucky last year.  He played well in spurts, but wasn't able to sure his true colors.  I'm excited to see how the workout process treats him.


22) Portland Trail Blazers- Avery Bradley- SG (Texas)


Portland took a gamble on a combo guard named Brandon Roy four years ago; why not give it another shot?


23) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Miroslav Raduljica- C (Serbia)


I'm convinced that Raduljica will find his way into the first round, and as mentioned above, the Timberwolves could use a deferrable contract, as well as a true center.


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


A local product and a ferocious rebounder, Lawal is a great fit for a Hawks' team that could use some toughness of their bench.


25) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


Ebanks is a great athlete who didn't really play up to his potential in the Big East.  That should remind the Grizzlies' brass of a certain small forward currently on their roster.


26) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Luke Babbit- SF (Nevada)


Babbit would create matchup problems at the next level just like Jeff Green does.  He would also give the Thunder a lot of flexibility on the wings.


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


Sanders could go much higher, but the depth at power forward in this draft and his wire-thin frame will hurt him on draft day.


28) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)


Johnson is the player who will benefit the most from the scarcity at the point guard spot in this draft.  In a normal year, there is no way he's a first-rounder, but he may well find his way into a guaranteed deal in the 2010 draft.


29) Orlando Magic- Dominique Jones- SG (South Florida)


Jones has always reminded me of Courtney Lee, but after reading his updated profile on DraftExpress.com (http://www.draftexpress.com/blog/Jonathan-Givony), he reminds me more of Tony Allen.  He is a steady defender in a combo guard's body with enough handle to run the point, which will be an asset in a class devoid of point guard depth.


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


Robinson has elite athleticism, which should be enough for him to slip into the first round.  Sadly, though, he doesn't have much else to offer.

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