Jeff Bzdelik is the new head coach at Wake Forest. (Icon SMI)
By Ryan Feldman
Monday, July 12, 2010
1. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: John Wall, 6-3 196 PG Fr. Kentucky
This is the easiest pick in the draft. There is no doubt the Wizards will take Wall. The electrifying point guard has incredible potential and will immediately be the most athletic point guard in the NBA.
2. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: Evan Turner, 6-7 205 PG/SG/SF Jr. Ohio State
Sure, the Sixers could go for a big man with upside, but Turner is ready to play right now. He could start for the Sixers immediately and could be the best rookie in the league. His basketball IQ and work ethic is off the charts. The Sixers are the only team Turner is working out for. The Sixers are also hosting Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Johnson this week. Unless they are overwhelmed by one of those three and underwhelmed by Turner and they decide to trade down for one of those three, then Turner will certainly be their guy.
3. NEW JERSEY NETS: Derrick Favors, 6-9 245 PF Fr. Georgia Tech
Favors may not be able to play a lot right away but he has a ton of upside. He is very athletic and score well around the basket. In a few years, Favors could be the best big man from this draft. With the Nets building for the future, Favors is the right fit.
4. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Wesley Johnson, 6-7 206 SG/SF Jr. Syracuse
Johnson could certainly end up as the best player overall from this draft. He has the size, skills and athleticism to be a Kobe-type player in a few years. Johnson will be an immediate upgrade over Corey Brewer or he can play alongside him at the 2-guard. The Wolves apparently loved Johnson when they hosted him this week. There is no way he goes any lower than to the Wolves at No. 4.
5. SACRAMENTO KINGS: DeMarcus Cousins, 6-10 292 PF/C Fr. Kentucky
The Kings could use a shooting guard to play alongside Tyreke Evans, but there isn't one worth taking here. Instead, they can take the best player available in Cousins to bolter their frontcourt. Cousins in probably the most NBA-ready big man in the draft, so he can immediately help the Kings win some games. The only other choice here could be Greg Monroe unless the Kings fall in love with Gordon Hayward or Luke Babbitt when they bring them in next week. There is also a real possibility that the Kings trade down and take the the best available big man when they are on the clock.
6. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Al-Farouq Aminu, 6-8 216 SF So. Wake Forest
The Warriors have been in need for a real big man for a while and there are plenty to pick from in this draft. But they are tough to predict. Not many people thought they would take Stephen Curry last year, so there is a good chance they will just take the best player available. After all, they don't really play with positions anyway. Aminu would be a power forward for the Warriors and he can turn into a star in a few years. Other options could be Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Hassan Whiteside and Ekpe Udoh.
7. DETROIT PISTONS: Ed Davis 6-9 227 PF So. North Carolina
The Pistons could really use a big man and they're in a great spot to get one. Greg Monroe, Hassan Whiteside and Ekpe Udoh would be great options because all of them can play either big man position. But Davis has a ton of potential and the Pistons reportedly are in love with his game.
8. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Gordon Hayward, 6-7 211 SF So. Butler
The Clippers have plenty of quality big men and they have a quality backcourt with Baron Davis and Eric Gordon, so a quality small forward is what they are lacking. Hayward's stock has been rising and a lot of teams really like him in the lottery. If Aminu is off the board, look for the Clippers to definitely take Hayward.
9. UTAH JAZZ: Greg Monroe, 6-10 247 PF/C So. Georgetown
With Carlos Boozer possibly opting for free agency, the Jazz need a big man to potentially replace him. If Monroe falls to No. 9, the Jazz would be estatic. He is solid defensively, can pass the ball well from the post, can play either big man position, and can contribute immediately. The Jazz would also consider Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and Luke Babbitt, plus Gordon Hayward if he were available, but Monroe appears to be their No. 1 target.
10. INDIANA PACERS: Eric Bledsoe, 6-1 192 PG Fr. Kentucky
The Pacers are in need of a point guard because T.J. Ford is not the answer. They are considering taking Ed Davis, but point guard is more of a priority. Avery Bradley and Eric Bledsoe are the two options. The word is that the Pacers may have told Bledsoe they will take him after his workout, thus the reason he hasn't had any workouts since and the Pacers haven't really worked out any candidates for this spot since. The Pacers could trade down to take Bledsoe lower or take a big man, but if they stay at No. 10 Bledsoe looks like the guy.
11. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: Xavier Henry, 6-6 210 SG/SF Fr. Kansas
The Hornets need someone to play alongside Chris Paul and knock down outside shots. Henry can be that guy and he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. The Hornets have only had one draft workout and the word is that Henry came away the winner.
12. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Luke Babbitt, 6-8 218 SF So. Nevada
If Rudy Gay opts for free agency, the Grizzlies will need a replacement small forward. If Gay stays, Babbitt can play power forward and give the Grizzlies a versatile frontcourt. He could go earlier than this, but if he is availabe he will likely be the pick for the Grizzlies. Other options could be Gordon Hayward or Paul George. The Grizzlies have multiple first round picks, so don't be surprised if they trade up to get their guy.
13. TORONTO RAPTORS: Cole Aldrich, 6-9 236 PF/C Jr. Kansas
The Raptors need a big man to team up with Andrea Bargnani and they'll be happy to take any big man that falls to them. If Aldrich is there, they won't be able to pass him up. They also would be happy with Ed Davis. They love Avery Bradley as well, but they will likely pass him up if there is a quality big man available, which there certainly will be.
14. HOUSTON ROCKETS: Ekpe Udoh, 6-9 237 PF/C Jr. Baylor
With Yao Ming's injury concerns, the Rockets need some size. Udoh is as good of a defender as any big man in this draft and he can knock down shots on the offensive end.
15. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Paul George, 6-8 214 SF So. Fresno State
Last year, the Bucks went for the player with the most star potential in Brandon Jennings. Now, they need another scorer with star potential, and George would have the most potential of any player available. He can be the small forward of the future for the Bucks.
16. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Hassan Whiteside, 6-11 227 PF/C Fr. Marshall
After taking Wesley Johnson at No. 4, the Timberwolves will want to pick up another big man to rotate with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. If a player like Whiteside falls to them, they will be plenty happy. Whiteside has a lot of potential and is the longest player in this draft with a 7-foot-7 wing span.
17. CHICAGO BULLS: James Anderson, 6-5 208 SG Jr. Oklahoma State
The Bulls need a prototypical shooting guard to play alongside Derrick Rose. At 6-foot-5 with solid strength and athleticism and a nice outside jumper, Anderson will fit well in Chicago.
18. MIAMI HEAT: Solomon Alabi, 7-0 237 C So. Florida State
The Heat have multiple needs at center and at point guard. It's tough to find a quality 7-footer, especially this late in the draft. Other options, if available, would be Avery Bradley, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton.