2010 NBA Mock Draft: Will This Be A Historic Draft For The KU Wildcats?
It's nothing new for two players from the same school to be taken in the top 5 of the NBA draft. In fact, it's happened five times in the last 8 years.
Far more rare is four players from the same school being drafted in the first fourteen picks; that's happened just twice in the last twenty five years (Duke 1999, UNC 2005).
But never has one school lost four top twelve draft picks or five first round draft picks in one year. That will be the case in 2010, as five super talented Wildcats are projected to be taken in the top 20.
Along with the wave of Wildcats, this slideshow provides brief profiles of the 30 players likely to be taken in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft.
1. John Wall - New Jersey Nets
Wall has the transcendent athleticism and nasty competitive streak to be a once-in-a-generation player.
He has plenty to learn about running and defending pick 'n rolls, and will need to develop a jump shot, but don't expect that to keep him from being the 2011 Rookie of the Year.
Even more explosive than Derrick Rose, Wall has already shown the game-changing defensive ability to be an All-NBA defender within three or four years of entering the league.
What has teams salivating most, however, is his ability to dominate games without scoring. At 19 he already knows how to make his teammates better.
Wall has breathtaking speed and quickness, to go with a strong body, excellent vision and a slick handle.
So how much of a "can't miss" prospect is Wall? Some people have suggested that if the Utah Jazz end up with the No. 1 pick by way of the New York Knicks, they should still take Wall and deal All-Star point guard Darren Williams.
2. Evan Turner - Minnesota Timberwolves
Turner has a complete game, and showed the leadership and maturity throughout his junior year to warrant a top two pick. In his last year at OSU, he was a walking triple double, averaging 20-9-6.
The 6'7'' guard/forward would be an excellent choice for the TImberwolves, where his passing, shooting and ballhanding make him an obvious fit for coach Kurt Rambis's triangle offense.
Turnovers were a bit of a concern this year, but part of that can be attributed to playing with inferior talent.
Turner has shown the ability to take over games at will in college, while still maintaining a balance between scoring and making plays for others. Expect him to play multiple positions, and play them well, at the next level.
3. DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings
Cousins has an enormous talent, but some analysts worry about whether he can put it together well enough mentally to be a great player at the next level.
At 6'11'' 270 pounds, Cousins dominated his peers at the college level like no one else this year.
He ranked No. 1 in per 40 minute rates for rebounds, points, field goals and free throw attempts. The man produced huge numbers, but his on court antics produced nagging questions about his focus and character.
He has very mature offensive footwork for a 19 year old to go along with his huge frame and excellent hands. However, it is unclear exactly how well he will fare against superior athletes that can match his length.
Cousins is not a leaper nor does he have great lateral quickness, he is a true back-to-the-basket throwback. As a result, he sometimes struggles to finish against excellent athletes, like MSU's Jarvis Varnado.
However, the main concerns entering the draft have been attitude related, and you can expect Cousins to earn more than his fair share of technical fouls as a pro.
4. Derrick Favors - Golden State Warriors
Perhaps more than any other prospect, Favors suffered from his surroundings at Georgia Tech. Favors was stuck alongside another post prospect trying to make a name for himself, Gani Lawal, and guards who thought the ball would explode if they made a good post entry pass.
Expect Jay Bilas to use the word "length" 20-30 times when describing Favors. He has a a phenomenal wingspan to go with a solid 6'10'' frame, soft hands and agile feet.
His development as a post scorer is a bit unclear, but he is a terror in transition and rebounds with purpose.
He will probably take a few years to gain the skills necessary to dominate as a pro, but his physical abilities will be a great fit with the Warriors' running game.
5. Wesley Johnson - Washington Wizards
The 2010 Big East player of the year is a versatile wing who will immediately make plays as a professional. Johnson has a great first step, elevates well and developed a reliable outside shot this year.
He also does most of the little things well. He rebounds extremely well for his 6'7'' size and makes good decisions as a passer. While his skills are limited off the dribble, physically speaking he is a prototypical small forward.
Though he played zone almost exclusively this season, his athleticism and intelligence projects well as a man-to-man defender in the NBA.
Johnson may not be a superstar, and he showed a reluctance to take over games late in Syracuse's season. Nevertheless, he has developed enough skills along with his great physical tools to be an impact rookie.
6. Cole Aldrich - Philadelphia 76ers
Aldrich is a 6'11'' true center with long arms and a good understanding of team defense.
A bit limited on the offensive end, the Minnesota native needs to develop a greater variety of post moves and an 18 foot jumper for the next level.
Aldrich has good timing, which allows him to rebound effectively and block a surprising amount of shots (5.4 per 40 minutes this year). He also sets great screens and has good hands rolling to the basket.
He's a pretty good athlete, though he won't shock anyone with his explosiveness. He has great leg strength and can be left alone to defend in the post.
Because he is a limited post scoring threat, Aldrich will probably end up as a defensive specialist off the bench unless he develops a reliable outside shot.
7. Al-Farouq Aminu - Detroit Pistons
Aminu is a superior athlete with sometimes awful basketball skills. He rebounds like few other prospects (13 boards per 40 minutes), but he suffers from a lack of half court offensive skills.
He is a face up 6'8'' power forward who needs to develop more strength in his legs and upper body to succeed at the next level. As a rookie, he will produce plenty of high flying highlights and hard-to-watch mistakes.
A committed defender, it's on this end of the court that Aminu will immediately contribute. He can erase his teammates' mistakes with weakside blocks and will be a factor on the boards.
If he plays for a team that pushes the ball, and has guards to run with him, expect to see some ferocious Aminu dunks on SportsCenter in the 2010-11 season.
8. Greg Monroe - Utah Jazz (From New York Knicks)
Monroe would be a good fit with the Jazz, where his passing skills and understanding of complex offensive patterns will allow him to thrive in Sloan's system.
At 6'11'' 240 lbs, Monroe often played smaller than his size at Georgetown. In 2010, however, he showed more assertiveness and aggression on both ends of the court.
He has great footwork in the post and finishes in a variety of ways with his left hand. He can't really do anything with his right hand yet, but he sports an effective high-post game along with his work down low.
Monroe has poor lateral quickness and isn't explosive, though he can make up for these deficiencies by diversifying his offensive game and continuing to get stronger.
9. Ed Davis - LA Clippers
Davis is a few years from filling out his 6'9'' frame, but he is a fundamentally sound and intelligent player already. The big lefty needs to work on his athleticism and strength, but his hands are sure and he has good upside.
Davis's college career ended in February with a wrist injury, and his sophomore season did not showcase as much development as many had hoped. Davis suffered from his awful guards, but he showed the ability to score well around the rim.
His long arms make his jump hook very difficult to defend, though his offensive game is otherwise limited. The team that drafts him should expect a few years of development before we see how good he can be as a pro.
10. Epke Udoh - Indiana Pacers
Udoh burst onto the national scene with Baylor this year, and the 6'10'' junior never slowed down.
He has an offensive game that will project very well to the next level. Though also effective in the post, his triple threat game is what makes him special.
Udoh is a smooth athlete who passes well and understands how to maximize his team's offense. Baylor was able to put him in a variety of positions offensively, including isolation looks.
Defensively, Udoh has great timing though he isn't an elite leaper. As a result, he blocks shots and rebounds well but doesn't always finish well on his second or third jump.
Udoh will be 23 at draft time, so it's unclear how much more he will develop in the league.
11. Patrick Patterson - New Orleans Hornets
Patterson carried the Wildcats early in his career before becoming the third option on last year's squad. Patterson, who is an undersized power forward at 6'8'' 225, has expanded his game to include an accurate spot-up jumpshot.
Patterson was a bully in the paint in college, though his strength will have less impact at the pro level. He isn't a good defensive rebounder or perimeter defender, and this may be the biggest red flag for his NBA career.
He isn't a long term starter, but he has excellent character and a tough competitor. He rarely turns the ball over and has shown an ability to fit in where his team needs him. While his upside isn't huge, he is a safe pick.
12. Hassan Whiteside - Memphis Grizzlies
As a 7-footer, Whiteside was the top freshman in Conference USA and led the NCAA in blocked shots. He is an aggressive if raw offensive player who can knock down mid-range shots and put the ball on the floor.
Whiteside's struggles on both side of the ball are products of his rail-thin frame. He is easy to post up and is not great rebounder. He also has a low basketball IQ even for a freshman, and struggles making decisions with the ball.
Despite these deficiencies, Whiteside is phenomenal coming from the weakside to block shots and has a nice shooting stroke, especially when turning away in the post.
There is serious risk with taking Whiteside this high, but also intriguing potential.
13. Daniel Orton - Toronto Raptors
Despite only playing 13 minutes per game as a freshman, Orton's tremendous physical abilities have made him a lottery prospect.
This 610'', 260-pound 19-year-old puts the power in back power forward, though he is raw and immature on the offensive end.
He is a big time athlete with the potential to become an excellent defender and offensive rebounder.
Right now, his game revolves around his stupendous power, and it will take a few years for him to develop an NBA-ready game.
Orton's stock will probably rise or fall depending on how he plays against top talent in NBA workouts. Coaches and GMs will be very curious to see how his abilities stack up against more skilled and experience competition.
14. Donatas Motiejunas - Houston Rockets
In 2009-10, Motiejunas played over 20 minutes per game in Italy's Serie A league for Benniton Traviso. He is a skilled 7-footer who, like most European big men, is very comfortable away from the basket.
At 19, he already has a great first step going right or left, good body control and a knack for getting to the free-throw line. Scoring out of isolation looks is key for NBA players, and Motiejunas is already effective in this regard.
He is a pretty awful rebounder, in part because he hasn't developed the leg strength needed to root out other players and prevent smaller opponents from tossing him out of the paint.
He doesn't take much pride on defensive and it's hard to see him ever becoming reliable on this end.
That being said, he is 19, only 215 pounds, and could still develop over the course of the Euro league's busy summer schedule.
15. Xavier Henry - Milwaukee Bucks (from Bulls)
Henry had an up-and-down freshman season for the Kansas Jayhawks, but he showed enough in his offensive arsenal to move on to the next level.
Henry has a great release and does a good job finishing at the rim despite a lack of elite athleticism.
He has a great body for an 19-year-old and is effective spotting up or in transition. However, he's not a strong shooter off the dribble, and will need to develop his midrange and floater game in the NBA.
Defensively Henry gets plenty of mileage out of his strength, though he isn't that quick laterally. Teams will ultimately have to make a decision on whether he has the physical tools to say with quicker twos.
16. James Anderson - Minnesota Timberwolves (from Bobcats via Nuggets)
Anderson became the best player in the deep Big 12 this year as the focal point of the Cowboys offense.
He can score in a variety of ways and is efficient with the ball in his hands. As a 6'6'' wing, Anderson can handle, shoot and dish with the best.
He will fall to this spot because he has just average athleticism. However unlike many players who lack overwhelming physical tools, Anderson does not get in trouble forcing his game, playing at his own pace at all times.
Where he gets into trouble is on defense, though this may be because he wanted to avoid foul trouble due to his crucial role in the Cowboys' offense. Nonetheless, it is certainly a concern going into his professional career.
17. Damion James - Chicago Bulls (from Bucks)
James is a rare known commodity in this year's draft. He has excellent strength (6'8'' 225) and plays hard every second he is on the court.
If effort were graded out like other skills, he would certainly rank at the top of this years crop.
He has a strong pick-and-pop mid-range game and shoots well when he gets his feet set. Off the dribble, he is effective if not special, and carves space out for himself well at the rim.
Though he is a bit of a tweener at the pro level, he should be a good defender against most threes.
18. Larry Sanders - Miami Heat
At 6'11 215 pounds, Sanders is one of the best athletes in this draft. He jumps quickly, runs like a gazelle and has an albatross's wingspan.
Playing in a mid-major conference, Sanders was an efficient finisher though he needs to gain a significant amount of strength.
Sanders sports a developing offensive game that is still raw in terms of footwork and balance.
He will get his dunks at the next level, but should be drafted by a team that is prepared to spend time developing him.
His effort to get better at VCU is encouraging in this regard, though he suffers from some mental lapses on defense.
19. Gordon Hayward - Boston Celtics
Gordon Hayward introduced himself to America as the leader of Butler's improbable run to the NCAA finals. At 6'8'' 205 lbs, Hayward is one of the biggest wing players in this years draft.
Hayward has an NBA ready stroke from three and is comfortable taking a couple dribbles to get into his shot.
Going to the basket, Hayward has a nice little cross over but will need to develop his upper body strength to get his shoulders past pro defenders.
A member of one of the NCAA's best defensive team, Hayward understands help responsibilities and is not a liability one on one. He isn't too quick laterally, but he bothers offensive players with his length.
Hayward is also a very willing rebounder, with a high motor and a good ability to predict the bounces of the ball.
He is a player who does many things well and makes good decisions with the ball in his hands, even passing well off the dribble.
20. Stanley Robinson - San Antonio Spurs
Stanley Robinson has all the physical tools to be a strong player in the NBA. He has the size, 6'9'' 225, athleticism and strength to contribute immediately.
Along with his physical abilities, Robinson rediscovered his three point stroke this year and should be able to carry this over to the next level.
He is pretty good getting the basket off the dribble though he struggles shooting with a hand in his face.
Defensively, pro scouts see significant potential. He has a great combination of fundamentals, foot speed and strength which should allow him to guard multiple positions and be effective on switches.
Questions linger over Robinson's intangibles. He never realized his potential as a dominant college player, a fact that may belie struggles to come as a pro.
21. Solomon Alabi - Oklahoma City Thunder
Alabi is 7'1'', 250 pounds and will be a big center even as a pro. He has developed his strength and added weight each year at Florida State, and seems destined to be an elite defender as a pro.
While defending he rotates very well and is active off the ball. He understands the fundamentals of team defense and showed the potential to anchor an effective NBA "D." However to realize this potential he will have to clean up his post defense fundamentals and commit to being a better defensive rebounder.
Offensively, Alabi has a ways to go. He is raw and a bit uncoordinated at times, but his overall development at FSU was encouraging in this regard.
22. Eric Bledsoe - Portland Trail Blazers
At 6'1'' 190 pounds, Bledsoe, despite playing off the ball almost exclusively at Kentucky, will almost certainly be a point guard in the NBA.
Bledsoe has the quickness and handles to get where he needs on the court, though his decision making ability is relatively unknown.
Bledsoe has long arms and uses them to hound opposing ball handlers. As a rookie, he will likely be a defensive specialist/three-point shooter type player.
With the ball in his hands at Kentucky, he produced the worst assist/turnover ratio of any point guard prospect. He needs to develop as a floor leader, but already has the ability to penetrate at will and finish with either hand.
A ferocious competitor, his fiery nature makes him an obvious fit for teams looking for a spark off the bench.
23. Paul George - Minnesota Timberwolves (from Jazz via 76ers)
The wiry small forward out of Fresno State scored 17 pts/game despite being the only threat on a weak Bulldogs team. He has diverse abilities, though he has significant room for improvement throughout his game.
As a role player in the NBA, his game will likely shed some of the mistakes he made trying to force the action for his college squad. He has a nice release as a three-point shooter, and improved his finishing in his sophomore season.
His size and speed projects him to be an effective defender in the NBA, though his footwork and discipline need improvement. It will take a couple years, but George may develop into a multifaceted threat on both ends of the court.
24. Kevin Seraphin - Atlanta Hawks
This French forward is serious athlete with excellent size and potential. At 6'9'' 250, Seraphin attacks the rim hard and has decent touch in the paint.
Only 20, Seraphin is a rare prospect with a near NBA ready body. He rebounds effectively though not with sustained intensity.
On defense, he has great potential but needs to improve his fundamentals to prevent cheap fouls.
Offensively, his jumper has a nice high release that has pro scouts optimistic that he can develop a steady 15-footer.
Will he make an impact like countryman Rodrigue Beaubois did as a rookie? Probably not, but he is sure to be an effective role player.
25. Luke Babbit - Memphis Grizzlies (from Nuggets)
Babbit displayed impressive skills over his freshman year at Nevada. A McDonald's All-American, Babbit scores efficiently with a variety of moves off the dribble.
At the pro level, he will be relied on to make spot-up threes and occasionally attack off the dribble.
Though Babbit was able to get separation for his jump shot and use his crafty mid-range game to score at Nevada, his subpar athleticism may force him to change his game in the NBA.
Babbit is a willing and intense defender, though his lateral quickness and high defensive stance make him a relatively poor perimeter defender.
26. Elliot Williams - Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)
An explosive lefty shooting guard, the former Duke transfer became a reliable go-to scorer last season for the Memphis Tigers. Williams has the quickness to get to the rim and is devastating in the open court.
Additionally, Williams has a very clean shooting stroke that should allow him to knock down open looks in the pros.
Williams lacks traditional point guard skills like ball handling and floor leadership, but he has the potential to play limited minutes in that role because of his ability to penetrate.
Defensively, he can guard both guard positions though he needs to improve his upper body strength.
27. Jordan Crawford - New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)
Yes, he banged on LeBron James. But the 6'4'' shooting guard earned even more attention for his excellent play in the NCAA tournament.
Crawford gets to the rim at will but does not pass well out of his penetration. He is a streaky shooter who will never back down from a challenge, though he is hampered by an inconsistent form.
When he gets it going, he can score on anyone around, so he may be a good instant offense option off the bench as a pro.
Defensively, he needs to gain upper body strength to defend against bigger 2s.
28. Quincy Pondexter - Memphis Grizzlies (from Lakers)
Pondexter is a hyper physical 6'6'' small forward with superb athleticism and work rate.
As a senior, Pondexter rebounded consistently for the Washington Huskies and showed excellent understanding of team and individual defense throughout the year.
Though Pondexter gets his points by employing relatively basic maneuvers, his combination of strength, a quick first step and excellent body control during his jump shot made him an efficient scorer.
He was often effective in isolation spots, as when he hit a game winning leaner after crossing over a Marquette defender in the NCAA tournament.
Defensively, he has the ability to stay in front of guards and body up bigger players inside. He can contribute immediately in this regard, though he will likely have to develop a reliable three point shot to see extended minutes.
29. Avery Bradley - Orlando Magic
Bradley is on outstanding defender who can singlehandedly lock down an opposing point guard.
Though he has size most typically associated with the point guard position (6'3'' 180lbs), he lacks a point guard mentality and playmaking skills.
Bradley as a nice looking spot up jump shot and can sometimes create an open look for himself off the dribble. But when he has to put the ball on the deck, he rarely seeks out team mates for drive and kick opporunities.
Though Bradley is an elite defender, his size will hurt him against tall shooting guards. In the right system....
30. Willie Warren - Washington Wizards (from Caveliers)
Willie Warren has great scoring instincts but was far less effective as a sophomore than he was a freshman. At 6'4'' 200 pounds, Warren has a great frame and finishes aggressively and with strength.
His skill level offensively is very high, but he struggles to make good decisions and at times pounds the ball without result. Despite this fact, Warren does have playmaking abilities.
He has a better than average stroke, but, as with the rest of his game, Warren's shooting percentages suffer as a result of his mental game.
This is a factor on defense as well, where Warren often doesn't seem to care too much about stopping his man.
Warren has as much upside as many of this year's lottery picks, but his struggles as his team's best player have hurt his stock.