2010 Extended Mock Draft
With just over a week before the draft, things are beginning to become a little clearer at the top. Expect another trade-filled evening with plenty of unexpected moves and excitement. Here's a look at how we see the draft playing out, for now ...
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, 6-4, 195, PG, Fr., Kentucky
Unlike the NFL, when an NBA team has decided on a player, as the case is here, it is asked not to make it public, as it supposedly retains more drama for the draft. But for all intents and purposes, the Sixers are on the clock, as John Wall is the Wizards' pick. The big question with adding Wall is what now with Gilbert Arenas. Agent Zero would be shipped out of town if it weren't for the ridiculous contract he has. The team's only option may be to try playing Wall and Arenas together and seeing what happens.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, 6-7, 215, SG/SF, Jr., Ohio State
It's hard to argue against the idea that Derrick Favors has more upside. But for a GM on the hot seat like Ed Stefanski, taking a player other than surefire Evan Turner makes little sense. Favors could be the right pick in three to four years, but it could easily be a new GM reaping the benefits from him. Turner is a guy that will fit in well with anyone and should add stability to a young team as the most NBA-ready player in this draft. The team is pleased with the progress Jrue Holiday showed late in the year, and Turner should be an excellent complement to him at the 2 position.
3. New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors, 6-10, 245, PF/C, Fr., Georgia Tech
New Jersey is in an excellent position to form one of the league's most formidable young frontcourts for years to come. Brook Lopez is one of the top handful of centers, and Derrick Favors has a great chance to become one of the league's premiere power forwards. They should ultimately work extremely well together, with Lopez's offensive skill and Favors' athleticism on the boards and defensively.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson, 6-7, 205, SF, Jr., Syracuse
Wesley Johnson gives them a reliable scorer and athlete on the wing. If not for off-court concerns, DeMarcus Cousins would be the rational choice. But now it appears Cousins won't even work out for the team, making his selection highly unlikely. The Jefferson/Love combination may not be the answer, but taking Cousins and moving one of the two no longer appears to be an option. Johnson is a safe pick who would be an instant upgrade over Corey Brewer, who suddenly has some trade value.
5. Sacramento Kings: Greg Monroe, 6-11, 245, PF, Soph., Georgetown
Though not a freak athlete, Greg Monroe has the versatility to make those around him better, which is rare from a big man. The C-Webb Kings were known for being a tremendous passing team, and adding Monroe would give them a chance to assemble a similar style of team. Unlike Cousins, who uses his length and strength to overpower guys, Monroe plays a finesse game with his tremendous passing ability and versatility.
6. Golden State Warriors: Al-Farouq Aminu, 6-8 1/2, 215, F, Soph., Wake Forest
The trouble with taking Cousins for the W's is they don't have the right organization in place to facilitate the development of a problem child. Granted, the team's sale is imminent, and they could be a completely different organization by next season. A better call would be to target a player such as Patrick Patterson or Paul George and move down five spots or so (dumping a contract or adding an additional pick) with a team looking to move up.
7. Detroit Pistons: DeMarcus Cousins, 6-11, 290, C, Fr., Kentucky
Detroit would be ecstatic to see Cousins fall into its lap at 7. Cousins is the big mystery of this year's draft. His draft position will be directly related to psychological evaluations by teams, which he has received mixed reviews on. He's a talent, but it will take the right situation with a coach and team that is able to get him to stay focused and doing the right things on and off the floor to be successful. Despite the Pistons' mini-collapse since the Billups trade, Joe D has made this a long-standing winning organization known for stability, which is exactly what Cousins needs.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Luke Babbitt, 6-9, 220, F, Soph., Nevada
The Clippers are in an excellent spot with so many quality small forwards in the draft and a real need at the position. If either Wesley Johnson or Al-Farouq Aminu somehow fell to them, they would be ecstatic, but Johnson should be long gone, and possibly Aminu as well. Luke Babbitt, Paul George or Gordon Hayward should all be considered here, or the team could trade down a few spots to target one of them and add another piece. Babbitt proved to be bigger (6-9 in shoes) and more athletic than he appeared at the draft combine.
Utah will have a number of options here. Cole Aldrich also makes sense with Mehmet Okur beginning to show his age (injuries). They could also look to shore up their backcourt with Xavier Henry, a player they are high on. Though we see him as a reach here, Ed Davis is a real possibility.
10. Indiana Pacers: Ed Davis, 6-10, 225, PF, Soph., North Carolina
Indiana went with a power forward from North Carolina late in the lotto last year and could very well do it again by taking Ed Davis at 10. While, in our opinion, Davis is a little overrated, teams are high on him, and there's a good chance he will find a spot in the top 10 picks. He didn't play to his abilities before going down with a season-ending wrist injury. He did test out well in the combine, however. Would this team give up the pick if Denver offered Ty Lawson for it?
11. New Orleans Hornets: Paul George, 6-9, 215, F, Soph., Fresno State
George stands a great chance of going in the lottery. Scouts were wary of him early in the season because of playing in the WAC and in such a helter-skelter system. He has blown teams away with his length and athleticism in individual workouts, and going top five or six is not out of the realm of possibility. He would look very nice on the receiving end of some Chris Paul back-door alley oops.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Patterson, 6-9, 240, PF, Jr., Kentucky
With Zach Randolph quickly morphing into Pablo Escobar, the Grizzlies suddenly have a need for a power forward. Patterson lacks the elite level length and athleticism of a Derrick Favors, but his skill level and toughness should allow him to come into the league and be better from the start. He's not an NBA difference maker, but he can become an excellent third or fourth cog on a contending team.
13. Toronto Raptors: Avery Bradley, 6-3, 180, G, Fr., Texas
Bradley is one of a few players the Raptors are considering here. Bradley could team with DeMar Derozan in an extremely dynamic backcourt. A dark horse for this pick is Devin Ebanks, whom the team worked out and remains very high on. Thirteen, however, seems too high. The team is also looking to add a pick around 20 with him likely as one of their targets.
14. Houston Rockets: Gordon Hayward, 6-8, 210, F, Soph., Butler
Hayward impressed folks in Chicago at the combine and has done well in workouts. He's seen as a legitimate possibility for the Pacers at 10 and could go as high as eight to the Clippers. Houston doesn't have a huge need for a small forward and could look to grab a shot blocker such as Ekpe Udoh or Hassan Whiteside, but it also could be moving this pick in a deal for a veteran.
Michael Redid isn't getting any younger coming off his second knee injury. If Henry falls to them at 15, he'll be extremely difficult for Milwaukee to pass up. Henry would help shore up the backcourt, alongside Brandon Jennings, for years to come.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte Bobcats): Ekpe Udoh, 6-10, 235, PF/C, Jr., Baylor
Udoh showed surprising offensive development after transferring from Michigan to Baylor. He has a real shot to go in the lottery, but there are some concerns with him after having such a standout year following a number of less impressive seasons. He's also older than the average senior.
17. Chicago Bulls (from Milwaukee Bucks): Hassan Whiteside, 7-0, 225, C, Fr., Marshall
Whiteside has the talent to go much higher, but his lack of maturity and readiness could knock him out of the lottery. His lack of confidence is apparent in interviews, and it's obvious he will need time to adjust to being a professional and developing a professional mind-set to perform night in and night out. As a true 7-footer with shot-blocking ability and touch, he has major upside but will take time. Whiteside would be in a great situation backing up Joakim Noah and playing with a premiere young point guard such as Derrick Rose.
18. Miami Heat: Daniel Orton, 6-9½, 270, PF, Fr., Kentucky
Despite averaging just over three points and three rebounds, Orton shows more maturity, polish and readiness than you would think. He needs time to grow into an NBA contributor, but his strong frame and length make him intriguing. The Heat could use some beef in the post, and Orton can provide that.
19. Boston Celtics: James Anderson, 6-6, 210, SG, Jr., Oklahoma State
If they keep the pick, the Celtics will likely look for a player who can bring something right away, as they still have a window of opportunity with their current core in range of a title. Despite suffering an injury a couple weeks ago, Anderson isn't likely to fall too far. He could back up Ray Allen and provide a possible eventual successor at the 2-guard spot.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Elliot Williams, 6-4, 180, G, Soph., Memphis
After missing the draft combine because of injury, Elliot Williams is one of the draft's big sleepers. Some feel he will ultimately slip into the second round on draft night, but he showed enough during his two years in college to get taken in the early 20s.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Devin Ebanks, 6-8, 208, SF, Soph., West Virginia
Ebanks has worked out well for teams. The concerns about his shooting ability are not as apparent as they were at the end of the season. He appears to be a great fit for a team looking for a defensive- and rebounding-minded wing.
22. Portland Trail Blazers: Craig Brackins, 6-9, 229, PF, Jr., Iowa St.
Portland can look to add depth to a talented roster. It is in good shape at all positions, so taking the player the Blazers consider the best talent makes sense. Brackins struggled in his junior year, and many began to question his toughness. But he was considered a possible lottery pick before the season, and his length and scoring ability are tough to ignore.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah): Larry Sanders, 6-11, 220, F, Jr., VCU
Minnesota continues its quest for defensive-minded big men, adding Sanders to the early choice of Udoh at 16. Sanders shows a lot of upside but could take some time to realize it.
24. Atlanta Hawks: Armon Johnson, 6-3, 190, PG, Jr., Nevada
Atlanta Assistant GM Dave Pendergraph has said he would like to add a player who can be a factor defensively in the backcourt for this team. Armon Johnson makes a lot of sense here as a player who could spell Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague when the team needs defensive stops. Don't be surprised to see Johnson go before Eric Bledsoe despite the East Coast bias/hype.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver Nuggets): Eric Bledsoe, 6-1½, 190, PG, Fr., Kentucky
Eric Bledsoe was at one point thought to be a potential lottery pick but is now seen as a likely late first to early second rounder. Memphis continues to wait on Mike Conley, who has yet to fulfill his fourth pick overall expectations. Though this draft lacks many point guards, the problem for Bledsoe is how few teams are really in need of a point guard after last year's 10-point-guard first round.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix Suns): Gani Lawal, 6-9, 230, PF, Soph., Georgia Tech
For a young team such as Oklahoma City, adding a talented PF like Lawal late in the first round would be an excellent move. Lawal appears willing to be a guy that does the dirty work as a contributor off the bench.
27. New Jersey Nets (from Dallas Mavericks): Damion James, 6-8, 225, F, Sr., Texas
New Jersey should be able to grab a quality 3 or 4 here. James is getting looks in the late teens with teams such as Boston looking for a defensive-minded combo forward. If not for the fact that James struggles to fit a pro position, he would go much higher, and might anyway.
28. Memphis Grizzlies (from Los Angeles Lakers): Terrico White, 6-5, 203, PG/SG, Soph., Mississippi
Memphis interviewed Kevin Seraphin in Treviso and will likely consider him here, but with so many talented American players available late in the first round, there's a good chance no Europeans get in. White would add depth to the backcourt with a lot of upside to his game.
29. Orlando Magic: Dominique Jones, 6-4, 216, SG, Jr., Florida International
For a contending team, Jones makes sense as a ready-to-contribute draft pick. He could challenge J.J. Redick in the role of scorer, with less shooting ability but more defense and strength.
30. Washington Wizards (from Cleveland Cavaliers): Trevor Booker, 6-7, 236, PF, Sr., Clemson
The Wizards have a pick five spots later, so they will have to consider whom they really want and balance that against who they think might be there at 35. Booker worked out extremely well at the group workout in Minnesota and, despite being just 6-7 is the type of workhorse and freak athlete who can make it as an undersized 4.