As the NBA heads into one of its most intensely anticipated offseasons, one thing that could be overlooked is the NBA draft, which admits some of the best players from oversees and the college game. To top it all off the NBA playoffs are just getting exciting as all things basketball seem to be in the spotlight. This is a mock draft for the upcoming NBA draft in June.
(Statistical and Biographical information from http://www.nbadraft.net/ will be used in projection).
John Wall is a superstar. Period.
He has everything it takes to make it in the NBA with not only his great quickness and athleticism but also a great basketball mind. He will no doubt one of the best and most effective players in the NBA in the upcoming years. He has played among NBA type talent with his Kentucky Wildcats, and was able to prove that he was the best player in the college game.
He can be a somewhat streaky player. We saw he vulnerability in the elite eight game against West Virginia. However, in the NBA, your whole life is revolved around shooting and improving your game. Look for Wall to live up to the hype.
Evan Turner proved that he could be one of the most effective players at the college level, and in the upcoming season he will have to prove that he has what it takes to dominate at the next level.
Turner is a tall guy, but has the range (as we all saw in his buzzer beater against Michigan in the Big 10 tournament). He is a good ball handler. He knows how to find the shot, take it, and make it. He is a very agressive player, and will be a great addition to any team.
Derrick Favors is one of the most athletics big man going in this this draft. Standing at nearly seven feet tall he has the quickness and the size to be very good with who ever he plays for. He is still just improving as a player and will be a star in the coming years as he is still just 18 years of age. He is a good defender and has decent range, but all of his skills will likely improve in the near future.
DeMarcus Cousins is one of the hardest players to defend, not only because of his size, but also uncanny ability to post up and make the short range shot. He is a great rebounder and a good defender. As long as he can stay healthy, he will have a great NBA career. He has had good experience playing for John Calipari and starting with John Wall, Patrick Paterson, and Eric Bledsoe.
Although their year came to an abrupt ending to the hands of eventual Cinderella, Butler, this year was a giant coming out celebration for the Syracuse star Wes Johnson. Syracuse was picked to be in the middle of the Big East, but Wes led this team to an eventual number one seed in the NCAA tournament. He has size, range, speed, and just about all the tools that it takes to succeed in the NBA.
Cole Aldrich was the centerpiece of one of the most dominant offenses in College Basketball. He is a great rebounder, and has a great post precense. His footwork is improving, and he has experience in big games. He is a very athletic big man, and will be a great center for whoever picks him up.
Ed Davis is a great defender, and he has a great ability to get his way to the basket. He is very quick and athletic, but will maybe need sometime to develop in the NBA, but he has a vast potential to be a great player.
He is the type of player that commonly excels in the NBA out of college.
Coming off a struggling Wake Forest team, Al-Farouq will have a better shot to showcase his talents as he is a lock for a first round pick in the NBA draft. Again, we see the big man being picked early, and we see in a guy like Al a lot of potential and a lot of athleticism. He, like most of the big men being chosen has more than just the inside game. He has decent mid range, strong defense, and good ball handling skills. He is a multi-tool, multi-use type player.
(Big man) Greg Monroe ended his college career with a first round loss to Ohio. But the slate will be clean come June as his future is a vast sea of potential. Monroe is a solid rebounder, and a good post scorer. His offensive ability is varied, and he has a lot of different options.
After leading Baylor to one of their best seasons in franchise history, Udoh will have a new type of task in his horizon. Udoh is a great defender, but will need to work on his strength and rebounding in order to be a top NBA threat. He is yet another big dude, and although he has a lot of potential, he will need to put in a lot of hard work to succeed at the next level.
Having played alongside some of the best college players in the game, including four other potential first rounders, Patrick Paterson already has a pretty decent resumé. He is a great defender, good rebounder, and effective scorer. And yes, he is 6-8.
"We Are...Marshall"! Well, in reality Whiteside is Marshall no longer as he will bolt after his freshman season as fast as he can with his seven foot frame. This defensive force. He is strong and athletic, and with some work in the NBA, he will be quite a consistent player.
Daniel Orton could potentially be the fourth of five Kentucky players to go in the top 30. Although he leaves Kentucky after his freshman season, many think that he is ready to play. Standing at 6'10 and weighing at 255 pounds, you've got to believe that this guy is built to be an athlete. He is an explosive rebounder and defender. He can draw contact, and he will be able to develop an outstanding post precense at the next level.
Hailing from Lithuania, Donatas Montiejunas looks like a young boy. The only thing is, he is a staggering 7'0 feet tall. He is a great rebounder, and his quickness will help him in his transition game, which is so important for the big man these days. He blocks shots, and will be a force for any team.
Gordon Hayward was just inches away from making the most clutch shot in the history of basketball against Duke in the national championship game, now he will need to make a name for himself in the NBA. The Indiana man could very well be headed off to Milwaukee to a team on the brink of true success. Haywards all around shot making ability and athleticism might just get them over the edge. He is very much considered to be a team player. He is good at driving to the basket. The name Hayward might be infamous in Hinkle Fieldhouse, but whoever gets him will have a star no matter the gym is.
We have yet another big man. James is one of the few projected first rounders to stick it out all four years of college (University of Texas) before going pro. James is a mighty fellow who has a strong defensive capability. He is very quick and basketball smart. He has decent range, and can also play in the post.
Xavier Henry is known as one of the most athletic and versatile players in the country. He was one of the top players with the overall number one team in Kansas. He plays smoothly. He has great ball handling ability and a good jump shot for a man standing at 6-6. His defense is off the charts. However, some worry his ability at the next level might not be up to par.
Coming off a spectacular three year career at Virginia Commonwealth, Sanders will have a huge leap to the NBA. However, his large frame and defensive prowess will help him make the jump. He is a reliable player, and with a few years of experience, might be one of the best at his position on the league.
James Anderson is yet another big man standing at 6'6. I feel like I am getting repetitive. This man is all about the defense. He can pick himself up quickly after a miss. He is a good rebounder. He needs his teammates to create scoring for him. However he can catch and shoot effectively, which he will need if his ball handling skills are not up to par.
Solomon Alabi is from Nigeria, but he is sure becoming well known here in the states. He's not too hard to miss standing at 7'1, with a giant wingspan and a decent long range game, combined with his good basketball mind, this guy is a sure thing All-Star in the near future.
No, it wasn't a good year for the Connecticut Huskies, but that won't stop Stanley Robinson from going into the sports top level. Robinson is a tall 6'8 big man, that can do a lot of things. He is a good ball handler. He will grab a lot of offensive rebounds, where he will often make a putback. His athletic talent will make him an NBA force in the coming years.
Coming from a small mid-major in Fresno St., a school that hasn't been that successful, it must take a great player to make himself a projected first rounder for the NBA draft. Well, Paul George is the man. Playing the small forward, at 6'8. He has great range, and is a good free throw shooter. He also runs well in transition. He might take a few years to develop, but there is a lot to be excited about if your drafting Paul George.
This sophomore from Memphis stands at just 6'4 (I know, it's shocking) will bring a lot to the table. This man is very quick and great at defense. He can create his own shots as he drives to the basket. He guards the passing lanes well and plays well in transition. And just like everyone in this draft, his ability will only increase.
This man is as quick as a Wildcat. Oh wait, he is. Or at least he was, and that "was" will be attributed to four other Wildcats, as a projected 5 Kentucky players are expected to be selected in this first round. This guard is strong, quick, and basketball quick. Had it not been for John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, or Patrick Patterson, he would have been a superstar. But luckily for him, whoever he plays for next, won't have any of those players (probably).
Luke Babbitt has lived his entire life in Reno, Nevada. Well, now he is going to make a huge life change. This 6'8 forward has a great long range shot. He can create shots for himself, as well as make one with a hand in his face. He's got decent handle and is a good rebounder. He is an above average big man, but the jump from WAC to NBA might be pretty big.
This guard is a warrior like scorer, with great speed and defense. He has a great jump shot. The only concern for this Long Horn is that he might not be ready. He is a bit of a ball hog who isn't afraid to take the outside shot.
He may have made his name in the home of Country Roads, but he will look to widen his horizons past the Blue Ridge Mountains and onto the NBA as Devin Ebanks is assured to be a great NBA player. He is a great scorer and he good rebounder. Good defender. But he can score around the rim and in the middle range.
There were not many bright spots in the Pac-10 this year, well, excluding the talent of Forward, Quincy Pondexter. He tries hard, gets the rebounds, does the defense, while mixing that with his speed makes this man a very versatile player.
Willie Warren has a lot of potential, but has yet to fully live up to it. He finishes well on the putback, good rebounder. He is a big strong player, but needs to become more of a smart type of player.
Lance will be returning to New York, his home city, but not for long. He will be making a short stop and then be shipped off to the nation's capital as he will just make it in the first round. The long, lanky, long range shooting, good passing Lance will be a good player for no matter who he plays for. He can play multiple roles on the floor.