Mock NBA Draft: First Look

Steve O Speak

Since the top 14 picks are determined by a Lottery system, the NBA Draft is hard to mock. Nonetheless we will give it a try, and use the current standings to determine draft order.

1. New Jersey Nets- PG John Wall, Kentucky. Wall is the top player in the nation, and will be the top pick regardless of who wins the lottery (except maybe if the Hornets win it). He is the type of player that you can build a team around and should jump start the Nets rebuilding effort.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves- G-SF Evan Turner, Ohio State. Turner is in the mix for the 2nd overall pick and would be a great fit for the Timberwolves who already have their point guard and two big men. He is a very complete player and give the T-wolves one of the top young lineups in the league. Wesley Johnson could also be a fit here, and I wouldn’t count out a big man if the Love-Jefferson rumored issues have any truth behind them.

3. Golden State Warriors-SF Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forrest. Aminu is a slight reach here but has the perfect run and gun style for the Warriors. Wesley Johnson might be a slighty better prospect, but Aminu seems to be a better fit for Golden State (a center prospect like Cousins could fit as well).

4. Detroit Pistons-PF Ed Davis, UNC. Davis might be an unlikely choice at first glance, but he does the the things well that the Pistons need the most, rebounding and shot blocking. His offensive game is still raw, but the Pistons have scorers. What they don’t have is an inside presence, which Davis will give them. They could also look at Cousins or Favors given their potential but overall Davis is a better fit.

5.  Indiana Pacers- PF Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech. Pacers could be getting a steal here with Favors, who has immense talent and potential, but still hasn’t been able to harness it completely. Favors would be a good fit in Indiana since he could be slotted between Granger and Hibbert, which could allow him to really develop into a star.

6. Washington Wizards- PF-C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky. The Wizards could pretty much use two of each, and could legitimately go in any direction, particularly with a more refined player like Johnson, but in the end Cousins should be the pick here. With Jamison and Haywood likely to be traded the Wizards will need major help in the front court. And while they do need help everywhere, the two hardest positions to fill in the NBA are PG and Center. Cousins has the potential to become a dominate inside presence, and given his game could develop into one of the most complete big men in the league. Cousins has his share of question marks, but his upside might be second only to Wall in this class.

7. Philadelphia 76ers- SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse. Johnson is probably the most refined prospect in this draft class, but will likely fall because he doesn’t have the upside of some of the younger players. The 76ers could potentially look at a big man, but I don’t see them passing up Johnson if he is there.

8. Sacramento Kings- C Cole Aldrich, Kansas. The Kings would be ecstatic if Aldrich fell to them. They desperately need another quality big man, and one that can play Center is an added bonus. Aldrich isn’t a complete player or a dominate center, but his size will get him drafted midway through the lottery. He would be a big boost to the Kings front court (though they’d probably prefer a stronger rebounder).

9. Utah Jazz (Knicks pick)- PF Patrick Patterson, Kentucky. The Jazz know one thing for sure about this offseason, Carlos Boozer will be wearing a different jersey next season and will need to be replaced. Patterson offers some nice upside, and has been impressive with fitting in with a new coach and a ton of freshman at Kentucky. At times he gets lost in the shuffle, but he’s a solid option to replace Boozer for the Jazz.

10. Los Angeles Clippers- PF-C Larry Sanders, VCU. Sanders is flying up draft boards with his development this season, he’s incredibly long and athletic and shows tremendous work ethic. With no top SF’s available and Marcus Camby done in LA, Sanders would be a great addition to the Clippers. Since he can play both PF and Center (when he fills out) he could back-up both positions and get 20 minutes a game to start out.

11. Milwaukee Bucks- SG Xavier Henry, Kansas. Henry is falling some, but would be a nice pick for a team like the Bucks, a team with a good young point guard and a solid center. Henry needs to refine his game especially with going to the basket, but he’s a sniper from the wing. A Henry and Jennings back court could bring the Bucks back to respectability.

12. Houston Rockets- PF Donatas Motiejunas, Euroleague. Rockets could go in any number of directions next season depending on what happens with Tracey McGrady. While a big man might not be their primary target I think they will nab Motiejunas here, given his athletic ability and upside.

13. New Orleans Hornets- C Solomon Alabi, Florida State. The Hornets could use another big man to go along with West and Okafor, names like Greg Monroe and Epke Udoh could fit here as well, but a true center prospect might be too hard for the Hornets to pass up.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder- PF-C Hassan Whiteside, Marshall. The Thunder need a big man to go along with all their scorers so Monroe and Udoh could fit here as well. Whiteside is probably the best fit here since he is already a quality defensive big man, who will help clear the glass in Oklahoma City. Given the Thunder’s quality scorers, offensive ability isn’t as much of a priority in their big man.

15. Miami Heat-SF Stanley Robinson, UCONN

16. Chicago Bulls-G Willie Warren, Oklahoma

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- PF-C Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

18. Miami Heat (from Toronto)- PF-C Greg Monroe, Georgetown

19. Memphis Grizzlies- SF Elias Harris, Gonzaga

20. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- G Avery Bradley, Texas

21. Portland Trail Blazers- C Jan Vesley, Euro League

22. San Antonio Spurs- SG James Anderson, OK State

23. Minnesota Tiberwolves (from Utah)- PF Craig Brackins, Iowa St.

24. New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- SF Devin Eubanks, WVU

25. Boston Celtics- SG Terrico White, Ole Miss

26. Atlanta Hawks- PF Jarvis Varnado, Miss. St.

27. Orlando Magic-SG Dominque Jones, South Florida

28. Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- PF Tevor Booker, Clemson

29. Memphis Grizzlies (From LA Lakers)-SF Damion James, Texas

30. Cleveland Cavaliers- PF Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

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