2010 NBA Mock Draft: Post NBA Draft Lottery, John Wall Headed to Wizards
Agent Zero and the Wall.
What sounds like the title of a summer movie is instead the future of the Washington Wizards, who defied the odds and netted the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, setting the stage for them to select Kentucky PG John Wall.
The addition of Wall, coupled with the return of SG Gilbert Arenas, is a pleasant jolt of fresh air for a Wizards franchise that imploded last season. A winter of promise turned into disaster, as injuries and Arenas' suspension for improper conduct led the team to tear apart the core of the team.
While the Wizards' cup runneth over, there was no such luck for the New Jersey Nets, who had the greatest odds to get the top pick.
Instead, the Nets will select third, behind Washington and Philadelphia, setting an awkward tone for what Nets fans are hoping will be a decisive offseason of change.
As for the other 27 selections....
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, PG, Kentucky
It's too early to suggest that Wall will be a franchise savior, but the combination of he and Arenas would give the Wizards a volatile backcourt duo.
Wall would also free up Arenas to play his natural position of shooting guard, which would likely move Nick Young to the bench.
Adding Wall to a lineup that features Arenas, potential star PF Andre Blatche, SF Josh Howard and swingman Al Thornton would make Washington a solid choice to return to the playoffs next season along with giving them the foundation of a possible sleeper in the East.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, SF, Ohio State
Turner's versatility and all-around skills provides the 76ers with a player who will contribute both on and off the court. He also could move SG Andre Iguodala to the 3 or set the stage for Philadelphia to finally trade him.
In order for Turner to approach elite status, he will have to do a much better job of protecting the ball.
3. New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
In the long run, "settling" for Favors may work in the Nets' favor (pun intended).
Those who remember Antonio McDyess' early years in the NBA could be watching the second coming in Favors, a 6-9, 215-pounder who would pair with C Brook Lopez (and maybe....just maybe SF LeBron James), automatically upgrading the Nets' front court.
Favors could be the first step in the rebuilding of the Nets, who will be a factor in free agency, James or bust.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
The sleek, 6-7 Johnson fills a needed hole in Minnesota, where Ryan Gomes' serviceable act as the starting 3 won't take the T-Wolves quite far.
More solid than superstar, Johnson brings the caveat of being 22-years-old, providing a maturity factor that the club could use. As the first of three selections among the first 22 picks for Minnesota, Johnson is the one pick that will deliver an impact.
5. Sacramento Kings: Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
DeMarcus Cousins would be the choice of many, but his on and off-court frolicking has scared off several teams, and the Kings can ill-afford to have someone distract from their slow but sure rebuilding process.
Aldrich may not be the athlete Cousins is, but he is a sound rebounder and shot blocker who could also move Jason Thompson to power forward and return Carl Landry back to the bench, where he shined as a sixth man in Houston before arriving to the Kings in the Kevin Martin trade.
6. Golden State Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
Cousins oozes talent, and the fact he can run like a racehorse and has 3-point range makes him more enticing to the Warriors, especially if they are still committed to their run-and-gun style.
In a best-case scenario, the Warriors envision Cousins as a Chris Bosh-type who can dominate the game on both ends of the floor. The talent is there, but it remains to be seen if Cousins is willing to put in the work necessary to become an All-Star or if he will be content to coast on talent alone.
7. Detroit Pistons: Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor
Pistons GM Joe Dumars is on the verge of going into complete rebuilding mode, but the selection of Udoh would be a nice choice to get the ball rolling.
A former University of Michigan player, Udoh is still very raw, but the 6-10 youngster has barely scratched the surface of his potential. While he continues to discover his offensive game, Udoh's shot blocking prowess and rebounding will make him a fan favorite.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
Aminu may be the best athlete in the draft. Freakishly gifted with a 7-4 wingspan, Aminu will also be a fixture on highlight reels with his explosiveness to the basket.
The Clippers would be getting a player who could be an immediate impact player on a roster slowly filling up with talent. A frontcourt of Aminu, PF Blake Griffin and C Chris Kaman would give the franchise an impressive foundation for a certain player currently in Cleveland to consider.
9. Utah Jazz: Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown
(From New York) The potential loss of Carlos Boozer would be eased greatly with the addition of Monroe, who would be a perfect fit in coach Jerry Sloan's methodical half-court offense.
Like DeMarcus Cousins, the potential for much more lies inside the 6-11 Monroe, but for a player that looks the part of a rebounding terror, Monroe's pilot light tends to go out at times. That will change immediately under Sloan, who will be able to tap into Monroe's skills.
10. Indiana Pacers: Ed Davis, SF, North Carolina
For the second straight season, the Pacers head down to Chapel Hill with their first round pick, adding the 6-10 Davis to go along with fellow Tar Heel ex Tyler Hansborough.
Davis was something of a letdown last season, as injuries and inconsistency led to his underachievement. Still, there's a reason why scouts have been waiting on him to arrive to the NBA; he is an active rebounder and shot blocker, while his offensive game is slowing emerging.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky
Patterson could slip further than 11, but the Hornets are in need of a big man who can compliment the talent yet injury-prone Emeka Okafor inside. At 6-8, 245, Patterson doesn't look the role of a 4, but his wingspan and impressive leaping skills offset any doubters.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Hassan Whiteside, PF, Marshall
Admitting that last year's Hasheem Thabeet selection was a mistake, the Grizzlies go back to the drawing board and grab the 6-11, 225-pound Whiteside, whose rebounding and shot blocking skills would earn him a spot in the starting lineup.
Whiteside needs to work on his offensive game, and a trip or three at the buffet table wouldn't hurt him. This would be a good pick for a Memphis team whose complexion could change if SF Rudy Gay departs, making them more defensive-minded.
13. Toronto Raptors: Daniel Orton, PF, Kentucky
The potential loss of PF Chris Bosh would allow the Raptors to move Andrea Baragani to the 4 and open the door for the selection of Orton, who barely got an extended sniff last season at Kentucky, but still has NBA scouts drooling at his potential.
The 6-10 Orton is strong, physical and plays with an edge. His offensive game is better than expected, but he'd be better off improving his free throw percentage (.524).
Had he stayed in school another season, Orton may have been a top 5 pick next June.
14. Houston Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
Motiejunas has drawn comparisons to Toni Kukoc, and the 7-0 dynamo has lived up to those similarities. An excellent scorer and elite passer, Motiejunas will probably spent next season in Europe to hone his outside shooting and add bulk to his frame (220 pounds).
The Rockets envision him as a high-scoring forward that would be a great fit with guards Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin and forwards Trevor Ariza, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger in a wide-open attack.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler
John Salmons will likely depart this summer, leaving the Bucks in search of an offensive threat to compliment PG Brandon Jennings. The 6-8 Hayward is still a work in progress, but has a dizzying array of ways to put the ball in the basket.
Adding Hayward would be a popular pick for the Bucks, who may also need him to take on a larger role should Michael Redd also leave the club this offseason.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State
The 6-6 Anderson can light it up, as his 22.3 points per game last season at OSU indicates. He also hit the boards well for a guard, and likes to attack the basket, where his 81 percent free throw shooting becomes an asset.
Anderson would provide the Timberwolves with a needed outside scoring option, as the team shot just 34 percent from 3-point range last season.
17. Chicago Bulls: Xavier Henry, SF, Kansas
Henry will need time to develop his skills, as many think he needed another season of college to further his game.
At 6-7, Henry has an NBA-ready build, and his 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc last season only showed a glimpse of his potential. But there is concern that his game is one-dimensional, yet a dimension the Bulls are in need of.
18. Miami Heat: Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky
One way the Heat could improve their chances of retaining SG Dwyane Wade would be choosing Bledsoe, which would give the team a hard-nosed player that only needs time to evolve into a quality point.
Bledsoe would be an upgrade over the mediocre combination of Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers. His scoring needs work, but there is a possible Rajon Rondo-type point in the making.
19. Boston Celtics: Paul George, SF, Fresno State
With Paul Pierce nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career, the Celtics grab George, whose feel for the game would allow him to contribute early.
George is a solid free throw shooter (90 percent) to go along with an impressive long range shot and the ability to aggressively attack the rim.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Damion James, SF, Texas
The marriage of James and the Spurs seems perfect. The 6-8 James is more of a tweener, but his off-the-charts intangibles make him a perfect fit for a franchise in transition.
If the Spurs can add James to go along with the possible arrival of European banger Tiago Splitter, the transition will be quicker than expected.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State
The up-and-coming Thunder lack a low-post enforcer, and Alabi would be a huge piece to the puzzle. At 7-1, 245, Alabi can also run the floor with the likes of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green and would provide a much-needed shot blocking presence.
Alabi can help his cause with more time in the weight room; his low-post moves are lacking, but the Thunder have plenty of scoring options to offset Alabi's developing game.
22. Portland Trail Blazers: Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada
Possessing one of the sharpest basketball minds in this year's draft class, the 6-9 Babbitt would be a welcome addition to a Blazers team that has shown the knack for mental errors.
Babbitt also has a great mid range touch and a surprising low post game. The biggest knock on him is that he lacks the size to play power forward and the speed and athleticism to handle small forwards. Still, his style of play is conducive to a long, productive career.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Seraphin, PF, France
(From Utah) With their third first rounder, the Timberwolves will take the 6-10 Seraphin and allow him continue developing overseas.
Seraphin has terrific shot blocking skills and can run the floor, yet has no offensive game beyond slam dunks and tip-ins. He'll need at least a couple of seasons before becoming a factor in the NBA.
24. Atlanta Hawks: Avery Bradley, PG, Texas
Bradley would bring the Hawks a needed toughness to go along with a potential replacement for aging PG Mike Bibby.
A quality defender, Bradley is still developing his game. He has a tremendous first step that serves him well on the offensive end, but his size (6-1) and uncertainty to handle the point has left him projected to go anywhere from the later portion of the lottery to the end of the first round.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Willie Warren, PG, Oklahoma
(From Denver) Once considered a top 5 lottery pick, the Grizzlies would be getting a steal in Warren.
There are questions as to whether Warren's maturity is ready for the NBA, but at 6-5, he has solid ballhandling skills and a lethal outside game. He could be viewed as a shooting guard, but can handle running the point.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder: Quincy Pondexter, SF, Washington
Pondexter's stock continues to climb, as his impressive senior season has carried over to postseason workouts.
The Thunder grabbed this pick from Phoenix, and would add more firepower to an already-impressive young team with the 6-7 Pondexter, whose athleticism is further fueled by an intensity for the game. He would be a great spark off the bench; further minutes will be had once he improves his jumper.
27. New Jersey Nets: Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier
Scoring isn't an issue for Crawford, who would give the Nets a needed jolt on the offensive end. Like his older brother, Atlanta's Jamal Crawford (the NBA's 6th Man of the Year), Jordan Crawford can change the complexion of a game with shooting range that extends to multiple area codes.
The 6-4 Crawford lacks a defensive presence, and his attitude could turn off some teams. Still, a pick attained from Dallas as part of the Jason Kidd-Devin Harris deal will give the Nets an interesting -- and exciting -- selection.
28. Memphis Grizzlies: Stanley Robinson, SF, Connecticut
Former UConn star Rudy Gay could depart as a free agent, leading the Grizzlies to take a pick acquired from the Lakers to replace Gay with another star from the Jim Calhoun factory.
The 6-9 Robinson is an explosive scorer with a solid mid range jumper and a developing 3-point shot. An exceptional rebounder, he will need to bulk up his 215-pound frame to hang in the paint over the course of an 82-game season.
29. Orlando Magic: Robin Benzing, SF, Germany
The 6-10 Benzing's lights-out shooting -- especially from 3-point range -- would be a great fit for the Magic. Rashard Lewis is reaching the tail end of his career, and the club can afford to let Benzing fill out his thin 210-pound frame overseas for the next 2-3 seasons.
Like most European players, Benzing will also need to work on his defense, but he has a strong feel for the game and is a hard worker that would make this pick pay dividends for Orlando down the road.
30. Washington Wizards: Terrico White, SG, Mississippi
With a pick acquired from Cleveland, the Wizards select one of the draft's top athletes in the 6-5 White, who can play both guard positions and has few fundamental holes.
White must improve his outside game in order to live up to his potential. With Randy Foye expected to leave via free agency, White could work his way into the Wizards' rotation early.