The 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft is still(!) underway, with each SB Nation blogger making selections for their respective teams. At The Hive, SB Nation's New Orleans Hornets blog, checks in to make the eleventh overall selection in this year's mock.
With the eleventh overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft, the New Orleans Hornets have selected Patrick Patterson, power forward, Kentucky Wildcats.
At The Hive explains: The Hornets need rebounding bad, but the remaining "bigs" on the board - Ekpe Udoh and Ed Davis - aren't tall or large enough to warrant a selection over Patterson simply for positional fit.
Patterson doesn't have much Upside, nor is he extremely Ridiculous, but he is is crazy efficient (1.139 points/poss, best among PFs), plays both ways, probably fits long term (the end is at last in sight for Messrs. Stojakovic and Posey) and ranks very favorably on the Tim Tebow Intangible Scale™.
The Hornets likely won't hit a home run with the eleventh pick but, with Patterson, they won't mishandle a weak shot into their own goal either.
Ridiculous Upside reacts: For a team that missed the playoffs last year, there really aren't that many holes in the Hornets' lineup either. I could see them going with a player like Luke Babbitt as well.
A Sea Of Blue weighs in: Ken Howlett did an excellent piece on Patterson entitled "The Legacy" in which he broke down Patterson's decision to go to Kentucky, his time at Kentucky and what Patterson will be remembered for now that he's on his way to the NBA.
The impact a player such as Patterson has on a team, any team, can't be wholly found in the statistics. Although Patterson leaves Lexington ranked No. 13 on the Wildcat career scoring list (1,564 points), No. 13 on the Wildcat career rebounding list (791 rebounds), No. 7 on the Wildcat career blocks list (152), No. 6 on the Wildcat career field goal percentage list (58.6%), No. 14 on the Wildcat career field goals list (617), and No. 18 on the Wildcat career free throws made list (306), as well as being one of only 26 'Cats to be named All-SEC three times, his contributions to the teams he graced goes well beyond the numbers.
For rather than his physical skills, Patterson's unnatural maturity and intense focus on winning not only were his strongest attributes -- those characteristics are at the core of his character -- but they allowed him to lead like a warrior, and in the end, give up leadership of his team to a younger player.
Their emphasis, not mine - but likable emphasis regardless.
Ridiculous Upside's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada. 2 - Ekpe Udoh, PF/C, Baylor. 3 - Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina. 4 - Hassan Whiteside, PF/C, Marshall. 5 - Paul George, G/F, Fresno State.
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of the Patterson-to-New Orleans pick?
And please, remember to check out At The Hive for everything you need to know about the Hornets (and for more on Patterson from the Hornets' perspective, check this Better Know a Prospect).