Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft


With about two weeks away from free agency insanity beginning, the NBA Draft is here. I told Jeff I would produce a column with a mock draft, although after the first couple picks this stuff becomes a crapshoot anyway and there will be plenty of trades. 

I fully expect the Thunder to package their picks to try and move up into the late lottery. I also expect the Nets to package their late first rounder and their pick at the top of the second, into the late teens, early 20’s. Memphis will almost definitely sell one of their picks for less than they sold Pau Gasol. Minnesota has three first-rounders, but who knows what they will do, after all they took point guard after point guard last year, so maybe this year’s strategy by David Kahn (who single handedly gives me and countless others confidence that they could run a franchise) will be to stockpile a new position. 

I will hopefully check back after the draft with my three to four winners and losers before the summer of LeBron, Wade, Bosh and company begins and Knicks fans ponder suicide if they fail to get James. Although I think the NBA has something on him in the blackmail department and he will head there with Amare Stoudamire. 

1.Washington Wizards-John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Like there is any doubt. The only question is how long they take to submit the pick; I’ll go with two minutes.

2. Philadelphia 76ers-Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
I think Turner goes here no matter what, whether he remains a 76er is another thing altogether. I don’t see the 76ers finding a taker for Elton Brand’s albatross of a contract and I think that’s the only real way they would move the pick.

3. New Jersey Nets-Derrick Favors, PF Georgia Tech
The Nets will likely have some attractive trade offers here and I wouldn’t rule out the pick being dealt for an established star, if one is being shopped since they will have the room to absorb a contract if need be. Even with the free agent class having a lot of quality at power forward, Favors is too good to pass on for them. If Turner should slip, they will definitely stay at 3 and take him.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves-Wesley Johnson, F Syracuse
David Kahn shook his magic eight ball and it told him to load up on small forwards.

5. Sacramento Kings-Greg Monroe, PF Georgetown
This would be an extremely smart pick for the Kings. Monroe has a high basketball IQ, is a great passer, and good ball handler for a big and solid defender. Personally, if the Wolves didn’t have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, he should go there. But for his sake I hope he doesn’t. Brief aside, the Wolves are the Kansas City Royals of the NBA. (I would have said Pirates, but many of the readers are Pittsburgh natives and they actually have a plan for the first time in years, where as the Royals really don’t –sorry fellas the outfield of Podsednik, Ankiel and Dejesus won’t get it done.)

6. Golden State Warriors-DeMarcus Cousins, C Kentucky
Everybody seems to agree Cousins is a talent, but the jury is out on his mental approach. From the games I watched, I think he has a 10-cent head and is not worth the trouble. Fortunately for him that means millions in the NBA and the chance to play Nelly-ball in Oakland.

7. Detroit Pistons-Cole Aldrich, C Kansas
How the mighty have fallen, oh so far in less than five years. Clutch Chauncey Billups was traded for Allen Iverson to create cap room that brought in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Sound move, Joe Dumars. Word is they are looking to move up for one of the better bigs in the draft, although the Warriors incompetence could allow for someone to slip to them. The Warriors usually draft well, but Don Nelson just doesn’t play the kids (see Anthony Randolph, Brendan Wright). Aldrich could bring some much needed grit and toughness to a team that has lost its way and went from Teflon tough to softer than a stick of butter, seemingly overnight.

8. Los Angeles Clippers-Al Farouq Aminu, SF Wake Forest
Clippers desperately need a small forward and despite what David Geffen may think, LeBron isn’t sharing a town with Kobe.

9. Utah Jazz-Ekpe Udoh, PF Baylor
The typical Utah Jazz player. A quiet, understated guy, who just goes about his business especially on the defensive end. Jazz need another big to replace Boozer in their rotation and to address some concerns about Okur’s health. Udoh is a freak on the defensive end, think a much more athletic version of Ben Wallace in his prime.

10. Indiana Pacers-Gordon Heyward, SF Butler
I don’t see the Pacers passing on the local product if they are indeed picking at 10. Although, I think this is too high a spot for him and the last thing Indiana needs to do is add to their collection of white college all-stars (Hansborough, Dunleavy, Murphy), the list continues.

11. New Orleans Hornets-Hassan Whiteside, C Marshall
Hornets can go in a lot of different directions here, but I think they will go big and reach a bit for a center if Aldrich is off the board. Whiteside has been a hit name among analysts and it will not be a shock for him to go late lottery to a team in need of size.

12. Memphis Grizzles-Paul George, SF Fresno State
I think Memphis will go best available with most of their picks, although if they can grab a solid small forward to potentially replace Rudy Gay, who could leave as a restricted free agent, they will do so quickly.

13. Toronto Raptors-Ed Davis, PF North Carolina
Raptors look likely to be completely overhauling this squad as soon as Bosh chooses a new home. Getting a frontcourt body that can run the floor would be a decent start.

14. Houston Rockets-Patrick Patterson, PF Kentucky
The under utilized Patterson would be a nice pick here for the Rockets, giving them size off the bench and a decent offensive game from their backup power forward.

15. Milwaukee Bucks-Xavier Henry, SG Kansas
If Henry falls this far, it’s a steal for the Bucks. They need a guard to replace John Salmons, who is likely to opt out of his deal following his great two-month stint in Milwaukee. A Jennings-Henry backcourt would give opponents headaches for years to come.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves-Luke Babbitt, SF Nevada
David Kahn sticks with the small forward strategy. It’s a really sound strategy, so sound in fact, that he will be out of a job in three years after the Timberwolves win less than 30 games for sixth straight year and Ricky Rubio is still in Spain.

17. Chicago Bulls-James Anderson, SG Oklahoma State
The Bulls never really replaced Ben Gordon’s offensive punch from the bench last year; Anderson would have given them one of the draft's best perimeter players. Really good value here and a great fit for the Bulls with Rose (and potentially LeBron). 

18. Miami Heat-Eric Bledsoe, PG Kentucky
The Heat will be active in free agency, I believe they will walk away with re-signing Wade, bringing in Bosh and adding Ray Allen, but they could use a point guard to help out Wade. Mario Chalmers is not the answer. Bledsoe didn’t play the point at Kentucky, but that is his NBA position.

19. Boston Celtics-Damion James, SF Texas
The Celtics have never truly replaced James Posey’s versatility off their bench from the 2008 title team. James can be the Posey clone of hitting the boards, taking the tough defensive assignments and knocking down the open three-ball off the bench.

20. San Antonio Spurs-Larry Sanders, C VCU
Spurs are desperately trying to move up and also are desperate for a big body up front that can take some of the blows off Duncan. At 20, grabbing the unheralded Sanders out of a small CAA school would be the typical, low on flash, high on production, Spurs move.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder-Daniel Orton, C Kentucky
All reports have the Thunder hot for big with Orton’s name mentioned most often and looking to move up a bit to grab him. I honestly don’t know what they see in him. This is a guy who rode the pine for much of the year with Kentucky. He’s very much a project, and that doesn’t make a ton of sense for a team that is looking to make the leap into the upper tier of the Western Conference. 

22. Portland Trail Blazers-Solomon Alabi, C Florida State
As the Blazers learned last year, you can never have enough bigs and can they really count on Greg Oden for more than one week?

23. Minnesota Timberwolves-Quincy Pondexter, SF Washington
This would be a good pick on its own as Pondexter was an underrated, jack of all trades player for the Washington Huskies, but given that Kahn will load up on the position, I feel bad for Quincy. 

24. Atlanta Hawks-Terrico White, SG Ole Miss
Atlanta needs to prepare for life without Joe Johnson. There is an outside shot they could gamble on Lance Stephenson from Cincinnati, but I think they will go with more of a sure thing and White can both handle the rock and play the off guard spot.

25. Memphis Grizzles-Avery Bradley, PG Texas
A lot of mocks have this guy in the lottery, and I don’t understand it. He doesn’t have that great of a jumper, decent defender, some have likened him to a poor man’s Rajon Rondo (perhaps that is why I don’t think much of him because unlike Bill Simmons I don’t think Rondo is this awesome point guard.) Anyways, if he can play the point, he gives Memphis someone who can push Mike Conley for minutes.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder-Craig Brackins, PF Iowa State
Brackins would give Oklahoma City a nice backup to Jeff Green, someone who can come in play solid minutes at the 4 and knock down the 15-foot, face up jumper as well as run the floor.

27. New Jersey Nets-Dominique James, SG South Florida
The Nets are going to be looking for some scoring punch at this spot and between James, Jordan Crawford and Lance Stephenson, they should find it. I think they will go with James who is the most disciplined of the group.

28. Memphis Grizzles-Kevin Seraphin, PF France
If Memphis holds all three first rounders, one will definitely be used on a guy they can stash overseas.

29. Orlando Magic-Armon Johnson, PG Nevada
Orlando needs an upgrade at backup point guard, as the Eastern Conference Finals showed. Johnson can provide that and energy off the bench.

30. Washington Wizards-Lance Stephenson, SG Cincinnati
I think the Wizards look for someone that they can take to grow with Wall, and Stephenson certainly fits the bill. The Wizards do have some guard depth in Randy Foye, Mike Miller and the gun toting Gilbert Arenas, but none of those are long-term backcourt mates for Wall. They could address the frontcourt but I think that will happen during free agency with their cap room.

Tom Petty - I Should Have Known It


  1. Solid analysis. Only thing is at least five of these picks will be Europeans that no one has ever heard of and probably won't show up in the league for a few years, if ever.

  2. Supposely, TWolves are close to swapping pick 16 to Memphis for picks 25 and 28. I was premature to say load up on a position, Kahn is just going to load up on picks in the mid 20's. Seriously, Kevin McHale lost his job to this guy?

  3. It appears Kahn is terrible, but I think the media and fans alike don't realize how hard it is to be a GM. If it were easy, busts wouldn't happen, at least not at the rate they do, and leagues with salary caps would be a lot more competitive.