2010 NBA Mock Draft: Part II (15-30)
As promised, here is the second half of my 2010 NBA Mock Draft. Workouts are still taking place, but I think you’ll get a lot out of my take on the draft. Just like my first Mock, (The Lottery Picks), this write up has who I think the teams will take, followed by who I would take. Once a player is chosen, he leaves my draft board. If you missed my first half of the NBA Mock Draft, check it out HERE. Enjoy!
15. Ekpe Udoh– Milwaukee Bucks: Who would I draft? James Anderson. I think both guys make a lot of sense. I liked Udoh in college, but am not sure he’ll be able to out-athlete guys at the next level. Against Duke he seemed like an NBA player to me, and the Bucks could definitely use more bigs to play behind Bogut. However, with Salmons hitting free agency and the Bucks really taking off after John joined the club, I think getting a big scoring guard with polish would help them continue to win now. Anderson could get that done.
16. Donatas Motiejunas– Minnesota Timberwolves: Who would I draft? Damion James.I understand stashing a foreigner away, especially when you have 3 1st round picks, and if they grab Donatas at #16 then they pick up the highest rated foreigner in the draft – which all makes a lot of sense – but this team could really use some polished players to become a winning team, and picking up a small forward with a winning pedigree like Damion James, makes the most sense to me. James can hit jumpers, he likes taking big shots, and he plays tough as all hell. Good qualities for a Timberwolves team that needs an identity.
17. James Anderson– Chicago Bulls: Who would I draft? James Anderson. The Bulls really missed Ben Gordon’s scoring punch, and if James Anderson is still on the board, he makes sense here. There are a couple other shooting guard, scoring types that could find their way to Chicago (especially when you consider free agency and what might take place) but a guy like Anderson makes a lot of sense for the Bulls. Eric Bledsoe, if they think they can play him at the two and not be at a defensive disadvantage, might be a guy they would hope for. Dominique Jones, the SG from South Florida, is another guy I like who isn’t getting much 1st round attention, but should be a solid scoring option. Jordan Crawford is another guy with some big upside, a guy that might do well in Chicago if a solid leader is picked up to coach the team.
18. Eric Bledsoe– Miami Heat: Who would I draft? Eric Bledsoe. The Heat need somebody to run the point in Miami, and where Chalmers used to be looked at as a steal, he’s now being used minimally as a back up. I think Bledsoe’s upside is grand, and if John Wall had attended anywhere but Kentucky, we would have really seen what Bledsoe is capable of. As is, Bledsoe showed that he can succeed and have big games as a second fiddle in the backcourt – a great thing for a place like Miami. If the young pg/sg is available, I think the Heat would be stupid to pass him up.
19. Solomon Alabi– Boston Celtics: Who would I draft? Damion James. I think the Celtics have earned the right to take the best player, and I think that guy is likely James. If Bledsoe dropped, a back up shooting guard/point guard might be a brilliant decision, but he’s gone in my mock. Alabi, I see what the Celtics are doing by picking him – he has great defensive upside, works his but off, plays very smart, and is a huge body down low. They don’t need an offensive center, and Alabi could take care of some bench minutes. However, James is a polished player with a very solid all around game that is ready to be a pro right now. The Celtics have a small window, and James could show up for big minutes right off the bat. Tough call, but I would go with James if I were making the pick.
20. Damion James– San Antonio Spurs: Who would I draft? Jordan Crawford. Oh, the Spurs could go many different ways here, including over seas. I wouldn’t be stunned if they grabbed James because the kid knows how to play, will be a solid player in the NBA, is greatly undervalued, and they always seem to make sound decisions on draft day – and I think James will be good. But Crawford is a scoring guard that could flourish under the Spurs’ solid leadership, but in the front office, the coaching staff, and amongst the players. It’s a very good atmosphere for a kid with tons of scoring upside. San Antonio could get the most out of a guy like Crawford.
21. Patrick Patterson– Oklahoma City Thunder: Who would I draft? Patrick Patterson. This kid was a great player for Kentucky. At times, he looked like the best player on the floor, and that team was not only loaded with talent but claimed two of the best guards in the draft, the best player in the draft, and a big that might slip into the lottery that didn’t even get minutes because of a guy like Patterson. I don’t know how Patterson doesn’t get more love as a solid PF at the next level. He’s explosive, aggressive, plays smart, has range on his jump shot, and finishes hard at the rim. Oklahoma could use a power forward that works hard and can spread the floor a little – I guess I’m not sold on the Thunder being able to defend your average power forward with the likes of Jeff Green.
22. Lance Stephenson– Portland Trailblazers: Who would I draft? Terrico White. I think Stephenson has solid upside. He might be the most talented player left, he has good size, and while he underperformed last season – he looks like he has plenty of room to improve and grow as a player. The Blazers aren’t dying for anything, so taking a high upside kid with plenty of potential and ideal size might just makes plenty of sense. I like Terrico White a little more than Stephenson, as I see him as a little more polished and very explosive.
23. Quincy Pondexter– Minnesota Timberwolves: Who would I draft? Darington Hobson. Both these guys are productive players at the college level that some think might not transfer to the NBA. Pondexter probably played himself into a sure thing first round position with his awesome second half of the year at UW – but then he played him self into the latter picks of the round by stinking it up for most of the NCAA Tournament. He’s a good player that goes on streaks, but Minnesota could definitely use his long body and improved offensive game at small forward. But I like Darington Hobson just a little more. Hobson struggled big time during the post-season, but this kid showed me flashes of greatness all year – I see him being a solid pro.
24. Jordan Crawford– Atlanta Hawks: Who would I draft? Jarvis Varnado. The Hawks are going to lose Joe Johnson, don’t get it twisted – the guy is as good as gone. Crawford can score the basketball, has good upside, and has shown that he has the will to show up big time in the most important games. A lot of people don’t love his attitude, but every team needs a guy that wants the ball with the game on the line. This pick makes sense to me. I like Varnado because I think the Hawks suck against teams with a post presence. I think Varnado is a very good shot blocker that could help to give opposing offenses some trouble. The Hawks need post defense really bad.
25. Terrico White– Memphis Grizzlies: Who would I draft? Terrico White. White showed all season long how athletic he is. At the NBA Draft Combine, he proved it once again. The kid is super explosive and he can shoot the basketball. His speed and ability to handle the basketball give him a big point guard upside, while still being able to help put points on the board as a shooting guard. Memphis isn’t saddled with any huge holes, so taking an athletic scorer with upside makes sense.
26. Paul George– Oklahoma City Thunder: Who would I draft? Larry Sanders. George can really shoot the ball, and I understand the Thunder wanting to add some shooters around Durrant, because face it, guys are going to get open. But I don’t think this team needs any more players getting shots. They have Durrant, Westbrook, Jeff Green, and James Harden is going to be a good pro as well. You’re telling me a 5th guy to get shots is what they need? I don’t see it. I think Larry Sanders would be a much better pick. His size is very impressive, as is his athleticism. He isn’t a very polished player, but he’d give the Thunder another look, and his upside is a good value pick here.
27. Armon Johnson– New Jersey Nets: Who would I draft? Willie Warren. If I were the Nets, I’d take a chance on Warren. He was a lottery possibility last year, and some struggles off the court seemed to get the best of his this season. But the kid can really play, as he showed during his freshman campaign. Injuries, issues with the coaching staff, a disappointing season – whatever you want, there’s plenty of reasons to go a different direction – which is what I expect New Jersey, and the rest of the first round, to do. But Warren is still that potential Top 10 player, and at 27 I think he’d be a steal. Armon Johnson is a beast of a point guard, very strong, athletic, and fast. He has long arms and he can really score the basketball. He doesn’t have a great jumper, but his physicality and quickness could make him a productive late round pick.
28. Kevin Seraphin– Memphis Grizzlies: Who would I draft? Trevor Booker. Yeah, I would take Trevor Booker. Some people say him and Zach Randolph are a lot alike – they are wrong. Sure, Booker can score on the post, has a solid touch, and is a smooth player – but he’s also a hard worker that is much faster and more athletic than people think. He might not have All-NBA upside, but he can help any team in the league. Seraphin is a very big body, a nice project player from overseas. He might pull out of the draft, but right now he’d be a guy that Memphis could grab with one of their 1st round picks, stash him away for a few years, and grab him when and if he’s more NBA ready – or if they need post help.
29. Hassan Whiteside– Orlando Magic: Who would I draft? Trevor Booker. Whiteside is an interesting guy. He thinks he’s going to be an all star, he claims that he wants to be one of the best, but he just doesn’t put in the work to back up all his talk. Lots of people claim they want to be something, but when it comes right down to it, their dedication and hard work is a good indicator of what they really want. Whiteside, to me, is a perfect example of why an NBA body doesn’t mean you’ll ever be a success at that next level. Talent-wise, he’s got plenty, but mentally he’s too immature. The Magic have plenty of leaders on and off the court to keep Whiteside grounded. Getting his face dunked on by Dwight Howard in practice might be just what the doctor ordered for Hassan. However, I would go with Booker. The kid is way faster and stronger than people give credit. He’s a tough kid that would be a perfect compliment player to any good team. As workouts continue, and Booker dominates competition, he’ll move up the draft charts into the first round.
30. Stanley Robinson– Washington Wizards: Who would I draft? Stanley Robinson. Nobody is sure about what Stanley Robinson is going to bring to a basketball game, but at his best he’s athletically gifted with an NBA body ready to play right now. With a leader and quick floor general like John Wall on his squad, I feel like you would get the best from Robinson on a consistent basis. If the Wizards are going to run, Robinson would be a nice energy player that could finish around the rim and score points on the break. Somebody has to take a chance on this guy.