NBA Mock Draft 6.0: Final Destinations
The 2010 NBA Draft kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET. At 5 p.m., your favorite NBA FanHouse writers will gather to preview the draft and chat about some rumors. Then we'll have breaking news and analysis for you all night long. Be sure to stop by.
And now, our final mock draft. Enjoy.
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, Kentucky
The only mystery here: can we get a D.C. personality -- maybe Stephen Strasburg, or at least Rahm Emanuel -- doing the John Wall Dance on film for tonight's broadcast? I would also accept a version by David Stern or Anyone But Stuart Scott.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, Ohio State
Ladies and gentlemen, the Willie Green Era may finally be over. Clap your hands and say, "Thank God."
3. New Jersey Nets: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
If I may interject for a minute, please note that on Wednesday the top 10 picks in the mock drafts on ESPN.com and DraftExpress were identical. Not similar, not quasi-the-same-ish. Identical. Both spots reported New Jersey's love of Johnson on Tuesday, and other sources jumped in to pile on, so if the Nets do go with another prospect, many people will have been had.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Positions are stupid. Hear me out; I'm not just dropping positional revolution handbills and slinking away. Favors is a power forward in the NBA, right? But he measured virtually identical to post-high school Dwight Howard, who is considered the league's last real center. It makes no sense! And meanwhile, I guarantee one of ESPN's chattering heads will question the positional fit of Favors and Al Jefferson or Kevin Love (or both, if Minnesota can't drop one by 7:30), even though it seems pretty clear an ultra-athletic rim assaulter and defender is exactly what those Earthbound power forwards need next to them.
Again, positions are stupid. You need some big dudes and some dudes who can handle the ball, and they all need to compliment each other based on what you're trying to do. Draft accordingly.
5. Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Will Cousins be the best player to come out of the 2010 draft? Only time will tell.
6. Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe, Georgetown
These are the new Warriors, and word is that Latvian center (and longest-tenured W) Andris Biedrins will be the next old Warrior to receive a ticket out of town. Monroe should be an able replacement, and I must say it could be a real blast to see Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis (not to mention Kelenna Azubuike and Reggie Williams) dive backdoor for a Monroe bounce pass.
7. Detroit Pistons: Ed Davis, North Carolina
If only the Pistons could grab a time machine, not sign Charlie Villanueva and instead grab one of this year's fine big men like Davis, Ekpe Udoh or even Cole Aldrich. As it stands, because of Detroit's gaping problems all over the court last year, the Pistons have to shore up the frontcourt before worrying about what to do elsewhere. Ben Wallace can't rebound forever. It just seems like it.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
If the Clippers do trade this pick to Chicago for Luol Deng, I have no clue which direction the Bulls go, though it should be said they would also have a newly formed hole at small forward. They'd prefer to fill it with LeBron James, but Aminu could still be a nice insurance policy.
9. Utah Jazz: Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Babbitt could replace Kyle Korver not only in the rotation, but also on the walls of Provo dorm rooms. /swoon
But seriously, Babbitt is a great prospect, a dark horse for first-team All Rookie, in my estimation. He's the type of player who does need some development, but will find a way to produce from Day 1.
10. Indiana Pacers: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor
If Indiana does grab Udoh, adding to what has become a not-bad defensive squad, how does the frontcourt of tomorrow shake out? Is Roy Hibbert-Udoh really acceptable, or does Udoh replace Hibbert? Heady questions, friends.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Xavier Henry, Kansas
Drafting Henry would either leave the Hornets with strong backcourt depth (with Chris Paul, Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton already in hand) or with a rather small wing starting line-up (Paul-Thornton-Henry).
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
There are myriad rumors that the Grizzlies have been talking to the Wolves about various swaps, and the No. 12 pick is always involved, so who knows if Memphis will even pick here. Regardless, Patterson's a talented big who figures to help immediately.
13. Toronto Raptors: Avery Bradley, Texas
The Raptors had Bradley in, and nice things were said, and Jose Calderon has a suitcase by the front door just in case.
14. Houston Rockets: Paul George, Fresno State
I'm under the impression the Rockets could use another big man. But I'm also under the impression Cole Aldrich is not exactly what the Rockets have in mind. I could be completely wrong -- and probably am. George adds to the wing lineup but could stand out quickly.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Kurt Thomas can't live forever (and why would he want to?). Andrew Bogut isn't frail -- that was a nasty injury he suffered in last season's stretch run. But you do need insurance at the key spots, and Aldrich can fill in behind Bogut almost immediately.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gordon Hayward, Butler
I'm still not sold on Hayward, who is (in my opinion) Kevin Martin without the athleticism or consistent shooting (as of right now). I'd love to be proven wrong, though.
(I'd also loved to be joined by Jared Dudley for life's most important moments, as Hayward apparently will be.)
17. Chicago Bulls: James Anderson, Oklahoma State
It depends on where he goes, but Anderson is my early pick for "Shocking Rookie Performer," taking the title away from Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko.
18. Oklahoma City Thunder: Larry Sanders, VCU
19. Boston Celtics: Damion James, Texas
20. San Antonio Spurs: Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky
What a coup Bledsoe to the Spurs would be!
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Seraphin, Cholet Basket (France)
22. Portland Trail Blazers: Tibor Pleiss, Bamberg (Germany)
23. Minnesota Timberwolves: Solomon Alabi, Florida State
24. Atlanta Hawks: Daniel Orton, Kentucky
Many are now projecting Orton to fall all the way out of the first round. But there's enough time for the conventional wisdom to sprint in the other direction in this Twitter Age.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
It seems the Grizzlies are trying to give O.J. Mayo a shot at point guard, which means Mike Conley is disappointing the front office, which means depth at PG is an issue. The Venezuelan Vasquez is a big guard who loves to control the ball and take jumpers. Which means he'll fit right in with the Grizzlies.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder: Hassan Whiteside, Marshall
How the (quasi-)mighty have fallen.
27. New Jersey Nets: Sylven Landesburg, Virginia
28. Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Crawford, Xavier
29. Orlando Magic: Mikhail Torrance, Alabama
Torrance is exactly the type of point guard the Magic need: a big, powerful playmaker who can defend.
30. Washington Wizards: Craig Brackins, Iowa State