For full draft coverage visit TheRookieWall.com
The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone. There was a big shakeup at the top, and people in New Jersey/Brooklyn are disappointed, while those in our nations capital are rejoicing. The Wizards won the lottery and the 76ers have to be elated with picking second, with the Nets rounding out the top three.
Despite having a 25 percent chance at landing the No. 1 pick, the New Jersey Nets slipped to third overall. In the past 20 years, the NBA team with the worst regular season record has won the No. 1 overall pick just three times: 1990 — New Jersey Nets, 2003 — Cleveland Cavaliers, and 2004 — Orlando Magic.
The Nets, and new owner Mikhail Prokhorov, were hoping to repeat as the No. 1 overall team, they had No. 1 overall in 1990 and selected Derrick Coleman, and in 2000 they selected Kenyon Martin, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The night belonged to the Washington Wizards and their good luck representative, Irene Pollin. After the whole Arenas situation, the Wizards needed a shot of life into the organization, and Wall will certainly provide that.
The lottery went according to plan until the sixth pick was announced. The Warriors had the fourth worst record in the NBA this season, but slipped to the No. 6 giving the Sixers and Wizards a glimmer of hope at landing the No. 1 overall pick.
Coming into the night, the Sixers had the sixth worst record in the NBA and only a 5.3 percent chance at landing the first pick. Now they'll draft second, adding one of the top prizes in the draft, either John Wall or Evan Turner.
The Wizards had the fifth worst record and a 10.3 percent chance at winning the first pick. Now they have their choice of Wall or Turner, and the word HOPE is being thrown around in Washington almost as much as it was leading up to the election.
The lottery isn't perfect, but it changes fortunes. The Wizards got lucky, and now a 10 percent chance has turned a franchise around 180 degrees.
Kevin Seraphin, currently playing for French team Cholet, gives Washington a power forward with a lot of value to the Wizards at the end of the first round.
Seraphin has decent size, but an above average wingspan, good athleticism, but is still raw offensively. Blatche showed that he can be great in stretches, however, with no other real front court options, Seraphin could see a decent number of minutes as a rookie.
By the same token, Washington could stash Seraphin for a year to wait and see how Javale McGee develops. Also, the new Wizards may sell this pick and whatever team picks here would look at Seraphin for his upside.
Dominque Jones would be an absolute steal for the Magic at 29 overall. He could spell Nelson for some minutes at point guard, and also provide some pop off the bench. With that said, this pick is as much best player available as it is need. Dominique is a pick with no real downside this late in the first round.
The Grizzlies have three first round picks, and if they keep them all, they're bound to draft a player at a position already filled.
Gay is their small forward today, but with looming free agency, they may be looking for a replacement. With their last pick in the first round they'll add an NBA ready small forward in Quincy Pondexter. Pondexter was one of the Pac-10's best players and can play significant minutes if needed for the young Grizzlies.
Chad Ford has him going eighth, which we don't agree with, and think something in the 20s is more realistic. With the Nets falling to third overall, they're going to have their choice of bigs. Adding a scorer ready to contribute now with their second pick of the first round seems like a smart move.
That brings us to Luke Babbitt, the small forward out of Nevada. He can score from the outside and can add strength to give the Nets a unique look with he, Lopez and Yi in the front court.
The Thunder were a surprise playoff team this year and the best years are absolutely ahead of them. What they do need is a player devoted to defense and rebounding. Solomon Alabi fills both those needs and is also the best prospect left on the board at No. 26. This would be an absolute steal for the Thunder.
Memphis took Mike Conley with the fourth overall pick, but point guard is still their weakest position. They can add Elliot Williams, who could start alongside OJ Mayo from day one. Williams has to show the ability to play point guard full time, but assuming he continues to improve, the hometown boy would be a great pick for the Grizzlies.
Devin Ebanks could go anywhere in this draft. He doesn't really fit a need for the Hawks, but he is the best player on our board at this point. He has the potential to turn into a less athletic Josh Smith, so who better to learn under than the man himself?
Stanley Robinson can play with Kevin Love or with Al Jefferson, giving the Timberwolves a few new front court looks. After taking three point guards last year and seeing Love and Jefferson go down with injuries, drafting some front court depth is a good idea. Also, Robinson was the best player available on our big board at this spot.
To be completely honest, we aren't entirely sure what to do with Gordon Hayward. The small forward for Butler put them on his back and carried them to the NCAA title game.
Despite that, we aren't sure he's athletic enough to create his own shot in the NBA. He is crafty with the ball and plays the game with a very high level of intelligence, so he can fill a role somewhere. For us, in this mock, that is with the Blazers.
Larry Sanders showed improvement every year at VCU. He was defensive player of the year in the CAA twice, and at times was dominant on offense. He needs to add a lot of polish, but all the tools are there. This seems redundant after Alabi, but Sanders translates to more of a power forward at the next level, where Alabi is only a center.
Coming into the season many thought Avery Bradley could be the best freshman in the country.
After a roller coaster year at Texas, Bradley finds himself on the outside of the lottery looking in. The Spurs are going to be rebuilding and have the point guard (Hill) and power forward (Blair) of the future. With Bradley, they add their shooting guard.
Damion James was a player of the year candidate early for Texas. Then he began to play at a slightly lower level as the Longhorns struggled.
With that said, he still has the ability to crash the glass, and has shown a better ability to put the ball on the floor. He is one of the most NBA ready players in this draft and the Celtics would be lucky to have him.
Eric Bledsoe is our favorite to be the steal of this draft. He has lottery type ability, but wasn't able to show it playing out of position in Kentucky.
He's a point guard who can score, where most of the combo guards in this draft are shooting guards who can dribble. The distinction is Bledsoe can run a team from day one, especially if he's in the backcourt with a player like DWade.
James Anderson can straight up score. The Bulls have their point guard (Rose) and center (Noah) set, but they lack a real third scoring option.
James Anderson gives them that from opening day, and possesses great size for the shooting guard position. He also is strong enough to see limited minutes at small forward, allowing the Bulls flexibility.
Paul George can score from the outside and rebound like the ideal NBA small forward. He is a definite sleeper to sneak into the lottery, and having him fall out of the teens is becoming more and more unlikely. The Timberwolves need a small forward, so George fills both a need and is the best player available.
Donatas Motiejunas is probably the only European player who will be selected in the first round. People think he is in the Nowitzki/Bargnani mold.
What that means for the Bucks is a sweet shooting power forward to team up with Andrew Bogut for years to come. It is worth noting that Donatas' agent has said if he isn't guaranteed in the lottery, he'll likely return to play overseas.
Ekpe Udoh is the last pick of the lottery, falling to the Houston Rockets. Udoh can play either power forward or center, which is big for Houston considering Yao's injury history and the trade of Carl Landry. This pick gives them front court stability and Udoh was our best player on the board, so a great pick for the Rockets.
Daniel Orton wasn't the starter at Kentucky, but he could find himself playing early and often for the Raptors.
Chris Bosh is gone. Bargnani is too soft to play center, so in steps Orton. This allows Bargnani to thrive on the perimeter, and adds much needed toughness and rebounding to a Raptors squad that has a rabid fan base that expects to be in the playoffs next year.
Memphis has to know that Zach Randolph isn't a long term answer, especially if he wants Pau Gasol money. Patrick Patterson could be Zach Randolph's without the baggage.
Both players can score facing up and rebound the ball well. Each player has a style that compliments Marc Gasol, so it isn't as though Patterson and Gasol couldn't play together. If the power forward out of Kentucky can add more to his post game, he could be the starter for the young Grizzlies in the future.
The Hornets are closer than most people think to being a contender. They have Chris Paul and David West for at least another year, but lack a third scoring option. Xavier Henry can be that third scoring option.
Henry can shoot the lights out, put the ball on the floor, and doesn't need the spotlight. He played on a star studded Kansas team, but came in and played his role. The Hornets are scary with him knocking down open shots off Paul's penetration.
Hassan Whiteside basically came out of nowhere this season for the Thundering Heard. He needs to work hard on his fundamentals, but he has the tools to be a contributor for a long time in this league.
The Pacers only have Roy Hibbert at center. The thing Hibbert does well is block shots, and Hassan already does that better. Couple that with Whiteside's incredible potential, and the Pacers happily scoop him up with the 10th overall pick.
The Jazz desperately need size, rebounding, and reliability out of their next center. Greg Monroe can provide all those things next season, which is important for a Jazz team that needs to focus on winning now.
Monroe can fit a system, which he proved playing at Georgetown. If he can develop a more consistent outside jumper, he would be a great companion with Williams running the pick and roll.
Ed Davis is coming off a disappointing sophomore year with the Tarheels. The team couldn't win and Davis didn't make the jump many expected. Despite all that, he is worth the eighth overall pick for the Clippers, even if they already have Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman.
Davis is a project, so learning with Kaman and growing a rapport with Griffin is a good thing. Also, the Clippers only have five players under contract, so they should be focused on taking the best player on the board, regardless of position.
The Pistons' prayers weren't answered, and they remained at number seven in the draft. They need a big man in a big way, and Cole Aldrich fits the bill. He isn't the high glamor pick like a Hassan Whiteside, but he can contribute now.
The Pistons spent a ton of money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, so the focus has to be on the now. Aldrich gives them the most today, and that's what the Pistons need.
The Warriors may have actually won by falling to number six. They have a ton of young big men already, and they need a small forward more than another guard. Sure moving up to number two would have been nice, but if they were third what would they do?
They probably would have "reached" for Al-Farouq Aminu. The fact is Aminu is the best fit for them, and he's a top five talent. He showed an increased ability to score off the dribble and would be comfortable running the floor in the Warriors fast paced offense.
Also, he has a great ability to find the open man after putting the ball on the floor, which means more open looks for Curry and Ellis.
The Kings would have been ecstatic to be in the top two. That would have meant a backcourt of John Wall and Tyreke Evans. Or it would have meant Evan Turner being added to a team that lacks a real small forward.
Instead, they're picking fifth. Their prize? Arguably the best center in the draft, DeMarcus Cousins. The problem is their adding him to a front-court that already has Carl Landry, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Thompson. One of those players might be traded soon, and since they brought in Landry it is probably Thompson or Hawes.
No matter who they end up keeping, the Kings are set for a long time in their front-court if they add DeMarcus.
Typically we advise teams to draft the best player available. Here, we're having the Timberwolves reach just a little for Wesley Johnson. On our big board Wes is the sixth best prospect, so it isn't a huge reach. Johnson can score from the perimeter, but has a frame that can add weight. We see him as a hybrid forward, but playing primarily small forward.
The fact is the Wolves are locked at power forward and center for years with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Taking DeMarcus Cousins isn't going to make anyone happy, especially DeMarcus Cousins. So go ahead David Kahn, go against the grain and take the player that fits best.
Obviously the Nets, and their fans, have reason to be disappointed. We could practically see John Wall throwing lobs to LeBron James next year. Devin Harris would have been moved again, or he would have been asked to play the two. Now, not so much.
Now we see super freshman Derrick Favors catching a whole lot of alley-oops from Devin Harris. Favors really came into his own late in the season, despite sub-par guard play.
Teaming Favors up with a guard like Harris and a post player like Lopez means a lot of easy baskets. If they add a free agent, the Nets could be poised to make a playoff run, in no small part due to taking Favors.
The City of Brotherly love pulled off a mini-miracle moving up to second overall. Evan Turner is the consensus No. 2 pick, and some players have him No. 1 overall. He can do absolutely everything well, which is important for a Philadelphia team that had very little go right last season.
Given the team's make-up Turner will probably see a lot of minutes at small forward with Iguodala at shooting guard. That takes pressure off Iguodala, who is at his best in a supporting role. If Elton Brand can stay healthy, and Thaddeus Young takes to a supporting role, the 76ers may be dangerous in the East.
YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! The Wizards have to be ecstatic to have won the lottery this year. After going through the problems with Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards needed some good news. They got it on lottery night, winning with only a 10 percent chance of getting the first overall pick.
Their reward is John Wall. Wall is an incredible talent, often compared to Derrick Rose, and will try and duplicate Rose's rookie of the year campaign from two years ago. Wall would also like to see the Wizards move up the standings as the Bulls have since Rose's arrival.
Expect to see President Obama at a few more Wizard home games this season.
For complete coverage of the NBA Draft, please visit TheRookieWall.com!