Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (April 30th)

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)    Minnesota Timberwolves (2)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


Minnesota may catch amnesia and opt for another point guard, but Turner or Cousins makes more sense, and Turner fills more of an immediate need.


2)    Sacramento Kings (3)- DeMarcus Cousins- C (Kentucky)


While I still believe that Tyreke Evans is better suited at shooting guard, his best assets (his size and strength) would be much less pronounced at that spot.  Therefore, the Kings opt for Cousins in front of John Wall.


3)    Indiana Pacers (10)- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)


Indiana gets lucky twice in a row, moving into the top three and then landing the draft's top talent at a (slightly) reduced pay scale.


4)    New Jersey Nets- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


The Nets face their worst-case scenario but still land a great talent, who may provide the best fit of anyone in the draft.  Looking back five years from now, this may be a blessing in disguise for the Nets.


5)    Golden State Warriors- Greg Monroe- C (Georgetown)


The more I think about it, Aminu and Johnson don't make sense because Golden State already features Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams at that spot.  Monroe has a huge ceiling and could likely play with either Andris Biedrins or Anthony Randolph up front.


6)    Washington Wizards- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


Washington could go several ways here, but small forward has the most value.  Aminu isn't as polished as Wesley Johnson, but his ceiling is higher, and the Wizards don't appear to be in a huge hurry.


7)    Philadelphia 76ers- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)


Johnson would be a perfect fit next to Andre Iguodala because of his outside shooting and length.  The pair could play along with a point, a two guard, or a small forward on the perimeter depending on the matchup.


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


I still think the Piston's direction in this draft is a slam-dunk if they don't make a trade.  Aldrich is more polished and consistent, but Hassan Whiteside offers huge upside, so he could slide in here too.


9)    Los Angeles Clippers- Hassan Whiteside- C (Marshall)


Whiteside is a classic boom-or-bust pick, meaning he'll probably be a bust if the Clippers select him.  Eric Bledsoe could also have an outside chance at this spot.


10) Utah Jazz (from New York)- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Utah isn't far away from being a legitimate title contender, and I'm sure they know such windows close quickly.  Patterson doesn't have great upside, but he is ready to contribute right away, and that will likely be a huge selling point for the Jazz.


11) New Orleans Hornets- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Whiteside and Patterson will likely be very high on the Hornets' board, and with them both gone, the Hornets are a bit of a wildcard.  Davis has the best upside on the board, so picking him would be smart for a Hornets' team on the brink of re-building.


12) Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)


This is significantly higher than I've had George in my previous mocks, but I anticipate his stock rising after a strong showing in the pre-draft combine.  There is also a lack of perimeter talent in this range, so someone is bound to reach eventually.


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


Motiejunas may have more value, but he and Andrea Bargnani are too similar to justify his selection, and as I've mentioned, this just seems right for some reason.


14) Houston Rockets- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


I've had this picked pegged as a center for quite a while, but I'm moving away from that assumption.  The Rockets are rumored to be on Brad Miller's short list, and they're reported to be working on a sign-and-trade offer for Raptors' big man Chris Bosh.


15) Milwaukee Bucks (from Chicago)- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)


This is a better indicator of Henry's true value than where I've had him slotted (#10), but he seems like a good fit for several lottery teams, especially the Pacers.  However, I wouldn't be surprised to see him land between #15 and #18.


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


Minnesota picks two players at the same position for the second time in a row, but it (AGAIN) makes sense.  While Turner is a great player, he doesn't have a great outside shot, which is something the Timberwolves really need, and something that Anderson certainly offers.


17) Chicago Bulls (from Milwaukee)- Gordon Hayward- SF (Butler)


Selecting at #17 with George, Henry, and Anderson off the board would be the doomsday scenario for the Bulls.  If that were the case, I wouldn't be shocked to see them trade out of this pick.  If they do stay, Hayward is probably the best shooter left on the board.


18) Miami Heat- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


It seems more and more like Michael Beasley is on his way out of South Beach, and depending on the compensation the Heat receive, this pick could go several directions.  However, the Heat likely won't receive a small forward for a small forward, so Ebanks would conceivably be a nice fit.


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


The run on swingmen continues with James, who is a versatile player who should be able to contribute right away.


20) San Antonio Spurs- Luke Babbit- SF (Nevada)


Babbit is a great shooter and a very underrated rebounder.  He doesn't have great explosiveness, but he'll be a nice fit in the Spurs' half-court system.


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


The Thunder would love to be able to choose from Orton, Alabi, and Sanders, but Orton has way more upside than the other two, and would be a great fit on an athletic, young Thunder team.


22) Portland Trail Blazers- Eric Bledsoe- PG (Kentucky)


Remember that Andre Miller trade that was supposed to happen at the trade deadline?  Bledsoe puts that option back on the table for the Blazers.


23) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


It's highly unlikely that Minnesota keeps all three of their first-rounders, and even less likely that they select three domestic prospects.  However, GM David Kahn has been vocal about his desire to add a true 7-footer, and Alabi is than and then some.


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


Lawal is a ferocious rebounder, and would add some youth and toughness to an aging Hawks frontline.


25) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Kevin Seraphin- PF (France)


Seraphin will likely be the second international prospect off the board, and will likely take over for Zach Randolph down the lind.


26) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)


Oklahoma City grabs two athletic big men to add to their young stable of talent.  An international prospect like Miroslav Raduljica would make sense here as well.


27) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Elliot Williams- SG (Memphis)


Williams is a promising combo guard prospect who would be a nice addition to the existing corpse of perimeter talent in New Jersey.


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


The point guard prospects in this class are few and far between, which should help Johnson slip into the first round.


29) Orlando Magic- Avery Bradley- SG (Texas)


Bradley isn't a pure point guard, but he has a nice outside shot and could develop lead guard skills as he matures.


30) Washington Wizards (from Cleveland)- Dominique Jones- SG (South Florida)


Jones is a high-volume scorer who should find a niche as a 6th man at the next level.  His game is reminiscent of Tony Allen.

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