2010 NBA Mock Draft
Here’s my 1st Mock Draft for the 2010 NBA Draft. I’ve gone through every team making their first round pick based on who I think they will go for. In each explanation, I also tell you who I’d pick if I were selecting among. Who they will pick, who I would pick, explanation. That spells it out pretty clearly. Here goes the Lottery Picks, the first 14 picks in the draft. I’ll post the rest of my first mock next week.
1. John Wall – Washington Wizards: Who would I pick? John Wall. He’s the best NBA prospect in the draft. I would say Evan Turner was the best college basketball player in the country, and I know he’ll be a very good pro, but John Wall has that special motor and his feel for the game, his vision, and his leadership are underrated. He’s a must pick for the Wizards.
2. Derrick Favors – Philadelphia 76ers: Who would I pick? Evan Turner. I think Favors is a fantastic talent, and his upside might very well be greater than Turner’s, however Turner dominated the competition last season in a do-it-all fashion, and he’s the biggest sure thing in this draft. Turner might play the same position as Andre Iguodala but he’s a much smarter player, a much better passer, and a better shooter. If you don’t draft the best players, you are making a mistake. The 76ers weren’t in love with keeping Iggy last season, as he spent much of the pre-deadline time in trade rumors – why would you not draft a great player because he plays that same position? I see the sexiness in taking Favors, an elite NBA body, a big time upside front-court player on a team without any.
3. Evan Turner – New Jersey Nets: Who would I take? Evan Turner. The man in charge of New Jersey has a good head on his shoulders, he definitely gets it. If Turner falls to him at #3, he’ll smile and take the best college basketball player in the draft. Turner does it all for a team that has no real identity. He sees the floor very well and has great size and playmaking ability for a 2/3 player. To walk away with the biggest sure thing in the draft at #3 would be great for this 12 win team.
4. DeMarcus Cousins– Minnesota Timberwolves: Who would I take? Wes Johnson. Lets be honest, the Timberwolves aren’t great at any position. I would say they are solid at power forward, but at that spot they have two of the same guy. I would say that Al Jefferson is a great post offensive player, but his back-up, Kevin Love, is a better all around player. Jonny Flynn has some upside, and Corey Brewer showed some flashes, but neither are starters on a good team, right now. I think Wesley Johnson is a very good player that translates well to the NBA game. He shoots very well and has great size. He can play at least the 3 and the 4 in the NBA and can outshoot almost everyone at those positions. His game is refined. He can hit big shots. I think Cousins had great upside, but so do a lot of young guys with terrible attitudes that never turn out to be anything. He’s a chance, a big one, a guy I see the Wolves taking a chance on – but I’d take Wes Johnson if I were the Wolves. He’s the 4th best player in this draft.
5. Al Farouq Aminu– Sacramento Kings: Who would I take? Aminu. I think Cousins would be a good pick for the Kings. They don’t have any big question marks, and could really improve if they got a young stud center. If they have a chance to roll the dice on one of the best talents in the draft, I think they should take it. But he’s gone, and that leaves the Kings with a lot of guys to chose from. While I like Wes Johnson more as a player, and he could definitely help spread the floor for Evans, I just think Aminu’s athleticism and upside fits the best on a team with a ball dominant guard like Evans. Aminu would give them a completely different dimension off the bench at the small forward position. His upside is limitless and his athleticism is great.
6. Wes Johnson– Golden State Warriors: Who would I pick? Wes Johnson. I like Corey Maggette, but I think Wes Johnson would be a better player for this team. He does a lot of things well, can hit open shots, and has very good range – something Maggette doesn’t have. I honestly think Maggette and Ellis are very similar players, and having them on the floor at the same time doesn’t make much sense. I see Wes Johnson as a very good fit on any team, as he’s very versatile.
7. Greg Monroe– Detroit Pistons: Who would I draft? Greg Monroe. I think this would be a great pick for the Pistons. Regardless of what people say about Monroe, the kid does everything at a high level. He might not be dunking on people in the NBA, but the fact that he’s a great passer, a smart player, has a good feel for the game, and can do anything you want your PF/C to do makes him a great pick up for a Pistons team that is really missing that glue guy. He might not be an in-your-face tough guy like Dumars is after, but this kid will be a solid starter for a long time.
8. Gordon Hayward– Los Angeles Clippers: Who would I draft? Xavier Henry. I actually think these two guys are eerily similar. Both can shoot it well, but I think Xavier will end up being the better shooter down the line. Hayward is more athletic, but Henry has a very solid game. Both guys will be great #2, 3, or 4 options in a couple years.
9. Ed Davis– Utah Jazz: Who would I draft? Good question. I guess I’d take the guy I think is the best player left on the board, and that’s Henry. At the very least he can play a couple different dimensions. They would probably love Cousins, Monroe, Johnson, or Aminu to fall this far, but I don’t see any of them doing so. I have them reaching for an upside PF/C prospect in Ed Davis – a guy that probably lost some of his luster because his guards couldn’t really get him the ball, and he’s not a great low-post scorer. But he could do a lot of things for Utah, probably not fill in to Boozer’s spot, but his defensive presence, rebounding, and length makes him a decent pick. I think John Hollinger’s Player Rater doesn’t take into account the problems Davis had getting the ball from his guards at UNC. I tend to agree with what Hollinger is selling, but I disagree on Davis, I think he’ll be a solid contributor to a good team, off the bench early and maybe as a starter down the line. I still think Xavier will be the better player.
10. Avery Bradley– Indiana Pacers: Who would I draft? Eric Bledsoe. Why punish a kid for playing on the same team as the best pro prospect in college basketball? You give Bledsoe a chance to run the point at Kentucky, and I think he’s a Top 5 pick. I actually like A.J. Price, but Bledsoe has much better upside than him, and I definitely like him more than Earl Watson and TJ Ford. But I understand the lotto ticket you’re buying when you draft a guy like Bradley. Bradley’s physical talents and quickness are impressive. I don’t know how much he’ll be able to help offensively or run a team, but defensively he can help immediately. I like Bledsoe more, but I get it if the Pacers take Bradley.
11. Cole Aldrich – New Orleans Hornets: Who would I draft? Luke Babbitt. Everybody in New Orleans might as well start on the bench outside of their two point guards, Marcus Thornton, and David West. Emeka Okafor is greatly overpaid. David West is, too. The team’s two best players play the same position and both are small – tough to play together. But at least they have good something. What they need they probably will have trouble finding with the 11th pick, unless the reach for a good player that isn’t highly touted by NBA draftniks. One thing Babbitt can do is score. He can do that from many places on the floor, and that’s a great thing to team up with one of the best ball dominant guards in the NBA. Alrdrich may have been the better college player, and he does have good size and toughness, but this team doesn’t need another Emeka Okofor. One is too many, already.
12. Luke Babbitt– Memphis Grizzlies: Who would I draft? Eric Bledsoe. What the grizzlies don’t need is “upside” players. No, no – they need help fill in the cracks NOW players. This team definitely overshot their pre-season predictions, even with a tough 2nd half record. They are pretty solid up front, and they have depth with last years’ lottery pick, Thabeet. What this team really needs is to just get older, and get a point guard to either take Conley’s spot, or at least spell him. Mike’s not bad, but he’s not real good either. The Grizzlies are said to be in love with Babbit, so I say they take him here, but Bledsoe would be a solid option if Babbit’s off the board, and I still think Xavier Henry is the best player on the board. I don’t know if the Grizzlies need an offensive first scorer than doesn’t guard well – but what do I know?
13. Daniel Orton– Toronto Raptors: Who would I draft? Ekpe Udoh or Henry. They say Orton has huge upside, and lots of teams love him. But tell me how a guy can hardly get minutes for his college team and be a lottery pick that year? I’ve rarely seen that practice turn into success, but this could be the first. I know Orton has elite athleticism. While the Raptors will need help down low, especially with Bosh on his way out, I don’t think Orton is the answer. Amir Johnson is a solid enough “upside” guy that is already on their roster. I think Udoh is a guy that could help right now. He showed me a lot against Duke, and I think he would be a solid match with Andrea Bargnani, the one guy the Raptors will try to build around. I still like Henry a lot, and think taking the best player on the board is always a good move – but DeRozan is that same guy.
14. Xavier Henry– Houston Rockets: Who would I draft? Xavier Henry. I know they don’t need Henry – but looking at their roster, and what’s left in this draft, what do the Rockets need that can be filled here? A real Center? Not with Yao coming back, and Samhan is my highest rated guy left – probably not the best pick at #14. Hassan Whiteside has gobs of talent, but he seems a bit like a donkey if you ask me. Not that donkeys can’t flourish in a me-first league, but Houston is smart, and they don’t pick guys with those problems. I think Henry will be a good player in the NBA. Not a role player, a good player. He needs to grow up a little bit, physically, but he’s smart and he can help any team right out of the gates with his basketball IQ, his ability to shoot, and his versatility. Finally X goes off the board.