Here it is - Ridiculous Upside's second stab at mocking the 2010 NBA draft. I hope you like it, but if you don't, we'll have these updated every Monday - and the lottery on May 18th will certainly (probably) bring more changes.
You'll notice there weren't that many pick sthat changed from last week's rendition (at least early in the draft/types of players selected for each team), but those that did change were the direct result of:
- feedback from people in and around the NBA (sources, as they call them),
- myself being able to watch more of some of the players I was interested in
- feedback in the comments on picks that made more sense than what I originally pegged in Version 1.0
- Players deciding to go back to school instead of staying in the draft.
Please check out our Guide To Mock Drafts to answer any questions before any flambéing occurs. After the jump I've provided brief analysis on all 30 first round picks, along with links to blogs about each team and player (updated this week to incorporate what I could find from SB Nation's wonderful plethora of college blogs). Feel the excitement!
Also, if you have any issues, leave the feedback in the comments. If there are so many issues that you think you can make a better version, post it in the fan posts and, if we like it, it could make the front page. If there are enough people that use the fan posts for their mock, we'll probably have a contest - with prizes!
1. New Jersey Nets - John Wall, PG (Kentucky freshman)
Do I really have to write more than "duh" for the analysis? I guess so, because NetsDaily is debating John Wall versus Evan Turner right now. I really think it's closer than it appears, but I don't think anyone is going to be able to pass on Wall with the top pick. May 10th Update: The thing I learned this week from our friends over at SB Nation's Kentucky blog A Sea Of Blue is that Wall might be a better guy off the court than a baller on the court - and that's saying something.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Evan Turner, SG/SF (Ohio State junior)
My man Stop-N-Pop over at Canis Hoopus actually has DeMarcus Cousins at the top of his big board, but I don't see the Wolves passing on Turner unless he performs poorly in workouts (or declines to work out for Minnesota, a la Stephen Curry). In the end, neither does Stop-N-Pop, saying "He is a fantastic defensive rebounder for his position. He also carries a TS% of 58.1%. Lots of possessions + lots of assists + lots of rebounds + good shooting = you can't pass this kid up." May 10th Update: It should also be reassuring that Kevin Pelton called Turner the "most NBA-ready player in college basketball," no?
3. Sacramento Kings - DeMarcus Cousins, C (Kentucky freshman)
Sactown Royalty has a post with some great discussion on which player the Kings should draft and ultimately, after reading through the comments, it comes down to either the best available player or a big ol' center. I think right now Cousins probably fits in regard to both, but I could also see Derrick Favors make the leap once workouts begin (moving Jason Thompson to the 5). May 10th Update: I know attitude is the biggest knock on Cousins, but after reading this article from Yahoo! Sports, I'm not as worried.
4. Golden State Warriors - Derrick Favors, PF (Georgia Tech freshman)
The Warriors definitely need help in the front court, as I learned while watching them when they transitioned into the Golden State D-Leaguers. Golden State of Mind's Poor Man's Commish did a pretty good job of breaking down why the Warriors would like Favors while he was tuning into the NCAA Tournament: "Favors is a big body -- not too heavy, and certainly not considered skinny -- who can run the floor, rebound, make inside moves, all of that. He doesn't have a midrange game, but neither did Amare Stoudemire when he came into the NBA, although Favors will need to work on conditioning and chiseling out his frame. He's certainly far better than Andris Beidrins as-is, and look how much the Warriors are paying AB and how badly Warrior fans miss him. Finally, Favors is only a freshman and he has a great attitude, which means he is one hot commodity." May 10th Update: While lurking over at SB Nation's Georgia Tech blog, From The Rumble Seat, I get the notion his defense is sketchier than I had planned. Not that the Warriors would necessarily mind this, I guess.
5. Washington Wizards - Wesley Johnson, SF (Syracuse junior)
I really, really like Wesley Johnson. He didn't play last season after transferring from Iowa State, but there's a lot to like about the guy. He can shoot, run the floor, and hit the boards pretty hard at 'Cuse. Unfortunately, he'll be 23 when the NBA season starts and he played in Syracuse's zone defense (tough to project to the NBA). For more on this pick from a Wizards fan, check Rook6980's in-depth profile of Johnson over at Bullets Forever. May 10th Update: In case you were wondering: No, I'm not the only one that likes him. Check out how much Sean Keeley over at Nunes Magician likes him.
6. Philadelphia 76ers - Al-Farouq Aminu, F (Wake Forest sophomore)
I readily admit I'm not in love with this pick, but it's the one I made. Really, the Sixers aren't going to be happy with this draft pick unless they are helped out in the lottery or are able to trade down and pick somebody that doesn't replicate, essentially, what they already have. Plus, it seems to be fate. May 10th Update: I wrote the preceding for the first rendition of the mock draft with plans on putting a more tradition power forward in this space. Then I hopped on over to Blogger So Dear, SB Nation's Wake Forest blog, to see what they thought, and it seems Aminu should translate better to the NBA than I had planned.
7. Detroit Pistons - Ed Davis, PF (North Carolina sophomore)
It doesn't seem that the Pistons fan base will like me for making this pick, but 6-foot-10 with 58% shooting while getting to the line and cleaning the boards is pretty hard to overlook. In fact, I think he'd probably be in consideration with the top five in the draft had he not been injured to end the season. On the plus side, he has some upside - and some might even say it's ridiculous. May 10th Update: It seems that Davis wasn't even liked by North Carolina fans according to SB Nation's UNC blog Carolina March.
8. Los Angeles Clippers - Greg Monroe, PF/C (Georgetown Sophomore)
The Clippers don't need a big man, really - and I realize this. Steve Perrin from ClipsNation told me as much which is why I went with Xavier Henry last week. Then I was called "ridiculous" by pretty much everyone, so I decided we're going to go the best player available route. Monroe sounds like another character guy that we can get all behind after reading this report from Casual Hoya. If Sokoklis Schortanitis decides not to come over, Monroe will at least be able to fill in any potential holes in the front court rotation. And, just for funsies, we could always try out that experiment with Blake Griffin at the three!
9. Utah Jazz - Cole Aldrich, C (Kansas junior)
With the Jazz having to play Kyrylo Fesenko as much as they have during the playoffs, I think it's rather clear that a big man is needed. "Is Cole Aldrich on a LOST-type collision course with the Jazz?" Basketball John asked. Well, yes, probably. He seems "old school", he's smart and he's tough, all things the Jazz typically value when drafting. If Aldrich is here, I think this almost has to be the pick. At worst, they finally get the next Greg Ostertag (Kansas alum and all)! May 10th Update: I came across a report from Rock Chalk Talk that essentially said Aldrich could have been a lot better had he had a competent backcourt. Deron Williams is a competent backcourt.
10. Indiana Pacers - Xavier Henry, SG (Kansas freshman)
I had Greg Monroe in this spot last week. This week, however, Monroe moved up to take the spot of Xavier Henry (a pick even I admitted was a reach). Luckily, Xavier Henry didn't have to fall too far (because I still like him) and Indy Cornrows readers decided he's the best option - or at least not as bad as fetch9 wants all of us to believe.
The Hornets could probably have used a small forward just as well at this spot, but there really isn't one available without reaching. In Orton, they'll get their center of the future as well as their top backup in the frontcourt right now (with Emeka being able to slide to the 4). Jeff Bower has shown he knows what he's doing with the draft and I don't think he's scared of taking a potential-laden pick (especially since he doesn't have to worry about coaching him). May 10th Update: I'm trying to decide if I like this highlight video from his high school days because he shows a soft touch and seems to be more agile than planned or hate it because he doesn't look as strong as I thought he was.
12. Memphis Grizzlies - Patrick Patterson, PF (Kentucky junior)
It's kind of surprising that his draft stock actually rose this season while his production dropped, but he showed maturity, leadership and all of the other nice words you'd expect out of someone older than the 21-year-old from Kentucky. With Memphis drafting for upside with their first pick last season, I'd expect them to play it safe this year. May 10th Update: No updates, really - but read this about his time at Kentucky and tell me what's not to like.
With the possibility of Chris Bosh leaving, a big man seems to be the likeliest pick at this juncture (both because it fills a potential need and their aren't many other options available). He's a versatile shot blocker with a sweet nickname (The Nightmare) and emerging basketball game. I might be overrating him based on the Tourney, but NBA GM's are known to do that as well.
Chad Ford explained it well enough in his first mock draft: "The Rockets have a habit of drafting value, and this low in the draft, Motiejunas would be a good get. He'll probably spend another year in Italy honing his skills and getting stronger, but when he does get to the NBA, he has the makings of a player." With the Rockets not really having a need in the front court with Yao coming back from injury, may as well draft for value.
15. Milwaukee Bucks - Hassan Whiteside, PF/C (Marshall freshman)
The Bucks need a power forward to play next to Andrew Bogut because Ersan Ilyasova just really didn't get it done. Whiteside should be able to, though his boom-or-bustiness obviously scares Frank Madden and the Brewhoop faithful after the Joe Alexander disaster (debacle? I'm sure there's a phrase for this by now). Oh, and his attitude isn't exactly something they're keen on either. Still, it'd be really tough to pass on Whiteside with this pick and the team's needs.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Anderson, SG (Oklahoma State junior)
Last season, Minnesota took too many point guards. This season, I apparently envision it being wing men. For what it's worth, it'd seem worthwhile to package a couple of their picks and move back into the lottery, but for now I'll slot the sweet-shooting wing who Stop-N-Pop describes as this year's James Harden. Can't hurt, can it? May 10th Update: I checked to see what TAFKAMikeBourn thought about Anderson since he's been too busy to write about anything at RU other than his pizza delivery job. Turns out, he likes him. I'm happy we were able to agree.
17. Chicago Bulls - Gordon Hayward, G/F (Butler sophomore)
Is he being overrated based on his performance in the NCAA tournament? Yes. Is he a versatile, smart player who can shoot? Yes again. I asked your friendly BullsBlogger what the Bulls might be looking for and he essentially said three-point shooting, preferably from a 2-guard and preferably with athleticism. Though Henry and Anderson both fit that description better than Hayward, it does seem Hayward will be able to step in and help an NBA team without too much trouble. May 10th Update: I'm sticking with this pick for now until another 2-guard blows me away (or Xavier Henry continues his inevitable fall). Sorry, Bulls fans - Sue me. Or read what TAFKAMikeBourn had to say about him.
18. Miami Heat - Solomon Alabi, C (Florida State sophomore)
It was painfully obvious during their quick playoff run that Udonis Haslem can't do it all in the frontcourt, making this pick easier than expected. He can score and block shots and be 7-foot-1, all things that should be of interest to the Heat. He also went to Florida State, which is a bonus (because I like Florida State, not because Miami is in the state of Florida). May 10th Update: I still like him. The jury seems to still be out on him from a Florida State fan perspective, however.
19. Boston Celtics - Paul George, SF (Fresno State sophomore)
What do the Celtics need? I've been lurking over at CelticsBlog for awhile, but they really seem quite content (even Scalabrine gets some love). That said, I'm going to go with the best available player, at least in the eyes of TAFKAMikeBourn. Check this post for everything you need to know about George (and don't ask why he didn't use a picture of Paul George). May 10th Update: None, so check out these highlights until next time!
The Spurs are pretty set as well, with no immediate needs (sure, a center would be nice, but they've been getting by forever without one and seem to like the older free-agent types to fill that role). That said, I will vote for Babbitt to fill the Matt Bonner-role. He might even be a better Bonner, if you believe the hype. May 10th Update: Nope. I could see Alabi falling to this spot, though. I'm not sure that would change things, but it could.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Larry Sanders, PF (VCU junior)
This pick probably isn't going to need to contribute right away, which is why it makes sense to pick a big with potential (he at least has better numbers than Byron Mullens, if nothing else). He kind of replicates the skillset of Serge Ibaka, but if one Ibaka on the floor is nice, two would be even better! Right? Eric Maynor was also his college point guard - which could help his development. May 10th Update: Interestingly enough, Welcome To Loud City (Miss you, Mr. Pappagiorgio) found out exactly what would happen if the Thunder draft Sanders.
22. Portland Trailblazers - Damion James, F (Texas Senior)
I had Quincy Pondexter here earlier, but after talking to some people who have opinions that I trust more than my own I've decided to give James a considerable bump. Chad Ford still likes him more than me, however, as James went No. 20 to the Spurs in his first mock draft saying "James might be one of the more underrated players in the draft. Very few players have his combination of athleticism and motor. He doesn't have a position on offense, but he's a Spurs type of player all the way." Well, the Spurs and the Blazers both have smart front offices, so I'll assume he can be a Blazers type of player as well. BlazersEdge has had their eye on him as well. Check out Burnt Orange Nation as well. I couldn't decide on an individual article, but they know their stuff so feel free to browse around.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kevin Seraphin, F/C (France)
Here's the deal - as much as I'd prefer the Wolves to do what I want them to do, I have to assume they're either going to trade this pick or stash this pick. With Seraphin on the board (someone I'm really intrigued with in what I was able to watch over the past week), I think he's the pick. He's not ready yet, and maybe he never will be, but it's a pick that could pay off down the road.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Elliot Williams, G (Memphis Sophomore)
With O.J. Mayo apparently sliding over to the point, the Grizzlies will need to fill in at the two - and what better way to do it than with the local kid? Williams can play defense, is a good athlete and could also fill in at the point when needed. May 10th Update: Do it. He's local - those types of things always work out, right? (Wrong)
26. Oklahoma City Thunder - Quincy Pondexter SF/PF (Washington senior)
I really like Pondexter, but I had to drop him in favor of Damion James this week. Still, he seems like an OKC type of guy - a lanky, athletic defender that can play multiple positions. Chad Ford says that "he is an elite athlete and proved this season that he can really score. He's a jump shot away from being a star." With enough shooters, I think Pondexter will fit in just fine.
27. New Jersey Nets - Devin Ebanks, SF (West Virginia sophomore)
Help on the wings definitely wouldn't hurt, as Nets fans well know. Ebanks is the best option remaining - and would be higher if he could shoot. Luckily, he can play defense - so all isn't lost. He should be a good complementary piece in the NBA (and could get better). Not surprisingly, West Virginia fans aren't happy about losing what would have been their best player next year.
28. Memphis Grizzlies - Stanley Robinson, F (UConn senior)
Just go with it. With the possibility of losing both Rudy Gay and Ronnie Brewer, the wing is a position of need. While I'm not totally sold on Robinson, there's a lot to like getting him at this spot. If nothing else, the pick adds to the athletes. Robinson's senior class wasn't exactly a favorite of Huskies' fans, however.
29. Orlando Magic - Willie Warren, G (Oklahoma sophomore)
With Anthony Johnson and Jason Williams both becoming free agents, the Magic could do a lot worse as Warren was projected as a top five pick coming into the season. I'm not sure what happens when he gets to the NBA, but it's probably worth this pick to try and figure it out. The magic are deep enough to be able to take the loss if he looks as bad as he did this past season, but it'll be a steal if he's able to regain his freshman form.
30. Washington Wizards - Avery Bradley, G (Texas freshman)
He can play defense, we know that. We also know he's a (generous) 6-foot-3 "combo guard" that shoots free-throws at a Shaquesque 54% clip. There's a lot to like about him if he can develop just one or two parts of his game, but even as-is he'd be a good lockdown defender in the backcourt for the Wizards who could learn on the job.