Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft version 2.0

By John McMullen

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine)- Last year's NBA Draft saw a couple of big
men, Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet, go 1-2 before it became all about the
backcourt, specifically the point guard position.

The league was infiltrated in 2009-10 by a whole host of quarterbacks with some
serious upside. Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Minnesota's Jonny Flynn, along
with the Hornets' Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday of the Sixers, all look like
long-time starters. Denver's Ty Lawson also showed enough to suggest he may
also be handling a team relatively soon.

Meanwhile, Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings and Golden
State's Stephen Curry proved to be upper-echelon combo guards in their rookie
seasons, and perhaps the most ballyhooed backcourt prospect of them all,
Spain's Ricky Rubio, never even made it over from Europe after being selected
by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick.

The frontcourt was a different story. Griffin was last season's No. 1 overall
pick by the Los Angles Clippers but missed his entire rookie season with a
stress fracture in his left knee. Thabeet, the second pick by Memphis, showed
little in his first season on Beale Street, while another lottery pick,
Arizona forward Jordan Hill, ended up being a bust in New York and was shipped
to Houston.

This year, things have taken a 180. The depth in the backcourt figures to fall
off the table after Kentucky point guard John Wall and Ohio State swingman
Evan Turner go 1-2. However, there are plenty of legitimate prospects up
front, starting with Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, Georgia Tech power
forward Derrick Favors and Syracuse small forward Wesley Johnson.

Who goes where?

Let's take a look with The Sports Network's 2010 NBA Mock Draft, version 2.0:

1. - Washington Wizards - John Wall (Kentucky), Point Guard (6-3, 195) - Wall
combines rare speed with the ball, along with the size and athleticism to be
an elite player very early in his career. He needs to improve his jumper but
could be a quicker version of Derrick Rose.

Think: Rose

2. - Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner (Ohio State), Combo Guard (6-7, 215) -
The Sixers jumped up from six to No. 2 in the lottery and lucked out with a
virtually mistake-proof pick in Turner, the college player of the year. Turner
has a tremendous feel for the game and is an extremely efficient offensive
player in the mold of Portland's Brandon Roy. He should team with Holiday to
give the Sixers a top-tier backcourt for the next decade or so.

Think: Roy

3. - New Jersey Nets - Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech), Power Forward (6-9, 245)
- The Nets will have the first real decision in the draft. I think Cousins has
a bigger upside than either Favors or Johnson, but New Jersey already has an
All-Star type center in Brook Lopez so look for them to go with Favors, a
prototypical four in the mold of Kenyon Martin.

Think: Martin

4. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), Small Forward (6-7,
205) - The Wolves' annual hard luck in the lottery continued this year, as the
team fell from the second spot to No. 4 and will have to make a decision
between Cousins and Johnson.  My guess is the Wolves take the safe bet and
that's Johnson, a silky-smooth small forward with a big wingspan and a nice

Think: Alex English

5. - Sacramento Kings - DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky), Center (6-11, 280) -
Last year Sacramento fell from No. 1 to four in the lottery and lucked out by
snaring Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, a player that should be the
cornerstone of the franchise. The Kings reportedly asked Evans his opinion on
who the pick should be this season and Tyreke wasn't shy about professing his
desire to play with Cousins. The Sacramento brass reportedly thinks Georgetown
big man Greg Monroe is a safer pick but in the end, I think Cousins' upside is
the difference.

Think: Shawn Kemp

6. - Golden State Warriors - Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest), Combo Forward
(6-8, 220) - There is a significant drop after the top five players on the
board so Golden State ended up being the biggest loser in the lottery, falling
from four to six. Aminu, however, has elite physical tools and a nice upside
but he's a bit of a tweener and needs to add strength.

Think: Andrei Kirilenko

7. - Detroit Pistons - Cole Aldrich (Kansas), Center (6-11, 250) - Since Ben
Wallace and Kwame Brown were the big men in the Motor City last year, you have
to think Joe Dumars goes with Aldrich, a legitimate center with top-tier
rebounding and defensive skills. He is limited offensively, however.

Think: Joel Przybilla.

8. - Los Angeles Clippers - Luke Babbitt (Nevada), Combo Forward (6-8,
220) - The next grouping of players features more than a few power forwards
and centers. Since the Clippers have Chris Kaman in the pivot and will have
Griffin coming back next year at the four, they would probably like a small
forward but Aminu will be off the board, so expect them to reach for Nevada's
Luke Babbitt, a high-energy player with some offensive skill.

Think: Keith Van Horn

9. - Utah Jazz - Ed Davis (North Carolina), Power Forward (6-9, 225) -
The rich get richer, as Utah uses the New York Knicks' pick to select the Tar
Heels power forward as insurance for the injured Mehmet Okur and free agent
power forward Carlos Boozer.

Think: Dale Davis

10. - Indiana Pacers - Greg Monroe (Georgetown), Power Forward/Center (6-10,
245) - The Pacers need a point guard badly and are reportedly shopping this
pick with the intent of landing Lawson from Denver or Collison from New
Orleans. Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe would be a reach here so if they are
forced to stay put, getting Danny Granger a long, athletic running mate like
Monroe, a lefty with the skills of a much smaller player, wouldn't be the
worst thing in the world for the Pacers.

Think: Lamar Odom

11. - New Orleans Hornets - Ekpe Udoh (Baylor), Power Forward (6-10, 235) -
Udoh has the wingspan of a 7-foot-4 player and should develop into an elite
shot-blocker early in his career as well as an exceptional offensive
rebounder, two attributes the Hornets desperately need.

Think: Theo Ratliff

12. - Memphis Grizzlies -  Patrick Patterson (Kentucky), Combo Forward (6-8,
235) - Patterson seems like a good choice here. The Kentucky junior has the
ability to move between the three and four, meaning he can play with Marc
Gasol and Zach Randolph as well as provide insurance in case Randolph is
involved in more off-the-floor nonsense.

Think: Luc-Ricard Mbah a Moute

13. - Toronto Raptors - Daniel Orton (Kentucky), Power Forward (6-10, 255) -
The Raptors figure to lose Chris Bosh in the offseason so they will need a big
man and Orton has a significant upside. He's already got the NBA body and has
impressive length but his offensive game needs a lot of work despite a very
soft touch that is rare among young bigs today. If Orton ends up slipping from
here, he won't get by Oklahoma City at 21.

Think: Marreese Speights

14. - Houston Rockets - Hassan Whiteside (Marshall), Center (7-0, 240) -
Houston has the final lottery pick and takes some insurance for the oft-
injured Yao Ming. Whiteside is coming out after his freshman season so he
needs some seasoning but will be an imposing physical presence once he grows
into his body. Meanwhile, Whiteside has already been working out in Houston
with former Rocket great Hakeem Olajuwon.

Think: Kwame Brown

15. - Milwaukee Bucks - Larry Sanders (VCU), Power Forward (6-10, 235)
- Sanders was scheduled to work out for the Blazers but his agent nixed it, and
some think he got a guarantee from the Bucks that he will be selected here if
available. The Bucks added an impressive quarterback last year in Jennings,
and Sanders is the type of athlete that will fit right into what the team is
trying to accomplish. Scott Skiles seems to be enamored with his length and
ability to help on the defensive end and the boards.

Think: Marcus Camby

16. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Xavier Henry (Kansas), Shooting Guard (6-6,
220) - Henry, the Kansas freshman, is a physical specimen that is tailor-made
for the NBA game and a young team playing the Triangle Offense like Minnesota.

Think: Dahntay Jones

17. - Chicago Bulls - Damion James (Texas), Small Forward (6-7, 230)  - The
Bulls want to win now and may make the big push for LeBron James. I see them
going the "best available" route and that might be "the other" James, the rare
senior that figures as a first-round pick. James excels in transition and is an
exceptional rebounder and defender for his size.

Think: Derek Smith

18. - Miami Heat - Gordon Hayward (Butler), Small Forward (6-8, 210) - Dwyane
Wade is the first order of business in South Beach. If Miami gets its
superstar back, they could use a weak-side shooter with a high basketball IQ
like Hayward to take advantage of the double-teams Wade often gets.

Think: Mike Dunleavy Jr.

19. - Boston Celtics - Avery Bradley (Texas), Shooting Guard (6-2, 175) - This
is a pretty high pick for a team that made a serious run at the NBA title.
Since Ray Allen will likely move on in the offseason, the C's can take a flyer
on Bradley, an undersized freshman that is a pure shooter and scorer.

Think: Jeff Hornacek

20. - San Antonio Spurs - Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky), Combo Guard (6-0, 195) -
The tread is wearing thin on both Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. George Hill
could be a difference-maker down the line but the Spurs could use another
active body in the backcourt and Bledsoe, while not quite ready, can play both
positions and has a solid upside.

Think: Rafer Alston

21. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Solomon Alabi (Florida State), Center (7-1, 240)
- The Thunder are very skilled on the wings and in the backcourt so they
should be looking for another big body and the raw Nigerian big man with a
defensive upside is a nice value pick here.

Think: Dikembe Mutombo

22. - Portland Trail Blazers - James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Shooting Guard
(6-6, 195) -  Anderson is slight but tough and could be the best pure shooter
in this year's draft. Chad Buchanan, the Blazers' director of college
scouting, recently said there would likely be "two really solid catch-and-
shoot guys" that could help the team at 22 and that definition fits Anderson
to a tee. A reach would be Jon Scheyer from Duke.

Think: Dell Curry

23. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Paul George (Fresno State), Combo Forward (6-8,
210) - George is a rangy guy that can handle the ball very well for a wing
player and run the floor. Anybody who can put the ball in the basket should be
considered by the Wolves.

Think: Trevor Ariza

24. - Atlanta Hawks -  Armon Johnson (Nevada), Combo Guard (6-3, 190) - With
Joe Johnson likely moving on and Mike Bibby getting a bit long in the tooth,
Johnson, a lefty combo guard with decent size, seems like a nice fit. Johnson
should be a 10-to-15 minute guy to give Bibby a blow early on with the
ability to turn into a starter down the line. "Realistically, at that area in
the draft, you are looking at the best available player," new Hawks coach
Larry Drew said.

Think: A bigger Damon Stoudamire

25. - Memphis Grizzlies - Elliott Williams (Memphis), Shooting Guard (6-4,
180) - The Grizz will have already selected at No. 12 and also have the 28th
pick, so you can assume that there will be some wheeling and dealing at some
point. But for this exercise, they stay put and take the local product, a
versatile southpaw guard with upper-echelon athleticism.

Think: A left-handed Larry Hughes

26. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Devin Ebanks (West Virginia), Small Forward
(6-7, 205) - Ebanks is an active wing player that can get after people
defensively and has a nice touch around the basket.

Think: Tony Allen

27. - New Jersey Nets - Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), Shooting Guard (6-5,
210) - A tough, athletic freshman with an NBA-ready body. His power and
quickness could cause a lot of trouble on the blocks in a few years.

Think: Aaron McKie

28. - Memphis Grizzlies - Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech), Power Forward (6-9, 235)
- Lawal is a big guy with great length that can play minutes at both center
and power forward.

Think: Joakim Noah

29. - Orlando Magic - Stanley Robinson (UConn), Combo Forward (6-8,
220) - Normally, I would expect the Magic to take a European player and leave
him overseas but a poor performance against Boston means they will take a
talent. Robinson can run the floor and finish, but lacks a top-tier jumper.

Think: Shawn Marion

30. - Washington Wizards - Dominique Jones (South Florida), Shooting Guard
(6-4, 215) - The Wizards finish the first round by getting Wall a running mate
in Jones. a powerfully-built combo guard with a nice offensive game.

Think: Vinnie Johnson


31. - New Jersey - Trevor Booker (Clemson), Combo Forward (6-7, 236)

32. - Oklahoma City - Craig Brackins (Iowa State), Power Forward (6-10, 229)

33. - Sacramento Kings - Terrico White (Ole Miss), Combo Guard (6-5, 203)

34. - Golden State Warriors - Kevin Seraphin (France), Power Forward (6-9,

35. - Washington Wizards - Lazar Hayward (Marquette), Small Forward (6-6, 226)

36. - Detroit Pistons - Willie Warren (Oklahoma), Combo Guard (6-4, 208)

37. - Milwaukee Bucks - Jordan Crawford (Xavier), Shooting Guard (6-4, 198)

38. - New York Knicks - Quincy Pondexter (Washington), Small Forward (6-7,

39. - New York Knicks - Art Parakhouski (Radford), Center (6-11, 270)

40. - Indiana Pacers - Nemanja Bjelica (Serbia), Small Forward (6-10, 223)

41. - Miami Heat - Jerome Jordan (Tulsa), Center (7-1, 244)

42. - Miami Heat - Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Combo Guard (6-6, 211)

43. - Los Angeles Lakers - Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), Combo Guard (6-5, 214)

44, - Portland Trail Blazers - Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Power Forward
(6-8, 250)

45. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Tiny Gallon (Oklahoma), Center (6-10, 300)

46. - Phoenix Suns - Dwayne Collins (Miami), Power Forward (6-8, 240)

47. - Milwaukee Bucks - Mikhail Torrance (Alabama), Combo Guard (6-5, 212)

48. - Miami Heat - Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State), Power Forward (6-9,

49. - San Antonio Spurs - Jon Scheyer (Duke), Combo Guard (6-6, 185)

50. - Dallas Mavericks - Derrick Caracter (UTEP), Power Forward (6-9, 275)

51. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Denis Clemente (Kansas State), Point Guard (6-0,

52. - Boston Celtics - Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Power Forward (6-7, 240)

53. - Atlanta Hawks - Charles Garcia (Seattle). Power Forward (6-9. 230)

54. - Los Angeles Clippers - Latavious Williams (NBADL), Combo Forward (6-8,

55. - Utah Jazz - Alexey Shved (Russia), Combo Guard (6-6, 180)

56. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Darington Hobson (New Mexico), Small Forward
(6-6, 205)

57. - Indiana Pacers - Sherron Collins (Kansas), Point Guard (5-11, 215)

58. - Los Angeles Lakers - Mac Koshwal (DePaul), Center (6-9, 240)

59. - Orlando Magic - Tyren Johnson (Louisiana-Lafayette), Small Forward (6-8,

60. - Phoenix Suns - Manny Harris (Michigan), Shooting Guard (6-5, 170)


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