The NBA Draft Lottery provided the league with quite a few twists and turns last week.
We may know which team selects where, but the question of whether to draft upon talent or need still arises.
This mock draft promises to provide a tease of what is to come in just a few weeks.
Selecting John Wall opens many doors for the Wizards.
Clearly the best player in the draft, Wall could excel in an offensive system like Flip Saunders’.
Saunders has also coached good point guards such as Stephon Marbury, Chauncey Billups, and Sam Cassell (who is on the Wizards staff now).
His experience with good guards should only benefit Wall.
Wall would bring desperately needed excitement to Washington.
Wall is the type of player who can also be the center of attention if need be, but would also play well with Gilbert Arenas, should Arenas make a now unexpected return to D.C.
The 76ers desperately needs a player who can create his own offensive opportunities. Turner is definitely their man.
Turner is not only a go to guy on offense, but a stat-sheet stuffer.
This guy can do it all; points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
Turner would be a perfect fit as the shooting guard in Philly.
Although he has drawn comparisons to Brandon Roy early on, Turner is not considered as NBA ready as Roy.
That shouldn’t be a problem for the 76ers, who still have a somewhat young core coming into its own.
It was last week that Johnson began to pick up steam as the draft’s best small forward.
As the Nets lose out on the first pick and John Wall, they will begin to focus on a serious team need—wing-men.
This is where Johnson wins.
The big men in this draft may be better overall players, but if the Nets aren’t going to snag Wall, then the priority is going to be filling a void.
The Nets have lacked an athletic wing-man since Vince Carter fled the city, and Johnson is talented enough to hold his own playing with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris.
The Timberwolves will be begging for Wesley Johnson to drop down a spot, but I’m not expecting that to happen this week.
Out of the race for an offensive wing, they would then automatically select Favors as the best player left by default.
He can rebound and score on the inside, which is obviously something the Timberwolves’ value.
Although he is only a freshman, he is known around the circuit for his great attitude, which should pay off when polishing the other facets of his game.
Although the Kings already have Carl Landry and Jason Thompson up front, Cousins is a much more aggressive big man.
His physical presence on offense is something this team lacks. The Kings could potentially have all three big men together which would certainly result in mismatches on the court.
Having Cousins on the court would take the pressure off Landry and allow him to position himself around the perimeter.
Drafting Cousins would also be an example of simply selecting the best player available at this spot.
The Warriors, a team that obviously lacks defense, needs a physical force inside on both ends of the court.
All of the good big men left to this point are defense oriented players, but Aldrich may be the best of the alternatives for the Warriors.
Whether or not he can play for Nellie, however, is certainly a concerning question going into this. That same question could be applied to just about any of the big men left.
The Warriors may just take their chances.
If there is anyone who can realize Davis’ potential, it would be Joe Dumars.
Davis is similar to Ben Wallace with more of an offense presence. Davis may not be a star, but is the type of player every winning team needs. (Ala Al Horford on this year’s Hawks or Wallace on the championship winning Pistons a couple years back.)
Wallace and Horford have both proven that if enough of a positive impact is made, all-star selections could follow.
The future could be bright for Davis.
In addition to his skills, Davis also has a high basketball IQ coming from North Carolina.
Aminu could see a drop in his draft position and the Clippers would consider themselves very lucky.
Aminu is a very good defensive player, but is not as explosive on offensive as some of the other wing-men in the draft.
If his offensive ability can improve to that of Josh Smith’s ability, the Clippers would benefit.
Aminu could benefit with the Clippers because he wouldn’t need to be the first or even second option on offense. This takes the pressure off, but he nevertheless needs to work on his jump shot.
If Monroe is available at nine (as he should be), the Jazz will be very happy with this pick.
Although he may not be an All-Star type player, Monroe will fit in almost seamlessly into Jerry Sloan’s system.
As past picks have proven, a player’s success could very well be based on the type of system he enters.
Having been compared to Brad Miller, this perimeter shooting big man should spell Mehmet Okur well off the Utah bench.
Although there is an abundance of big men, the Pacers may be set in that area if they consider Roy Hibbert a piece for the future.
With that, the Pacers may select a shooting guard in hopes of upgrading its (to this point) unsuccessful core of shooting guards by adding a proven winner in Henry.
His above average offensive skills make him a prime candidate to still crack the top ten, and could possibly be selected earlier as well.
The Hornets have hit jackpot in recent years at the draft as far as first-rate guards are concerned. Maybe it’s time to take a chance at a big man.
The Hornets could draft Motiejunas as a good complement to Emeka Okafor.
With comparisons to Andrea Bargnani (hopefully the Bargnari of last year and not years prior), Motiejunas could provide some nice shooting around the perimeter.
Okafor has a nice mid-range jumper, but if Motiejunas can prove to hit the long ball, that would really open things open for the Hornets.
In this big man laden draft, yet another gets chosen.
Another Kentucky product, Patterson would be the best option for the Grizzlies in this spot.
The team went for broke and drafted for upside last year, and Patterson is the complete opposite.
A very safe pick, he may be even more ready than Thabeet to play at this level.
A very mature and intelligent player, Patterson can play with his back to the basket.
With the chance of Chris Bosh leaving next season, the Raptors will select the best offensive big man available.
Udoh is similar to Bosh, a good jumper with good hands, and the ability to rebound.
However, like Bosh needed to earlier in his career, Udoh needs to become stronger.
He definitely needs to polish his game, but given his similarities to Bosh, Toronto should be comfortable pulling the trigger on him anyway.
As noted before, this is a very heavy big man draft, which could lead to Orton falling a couple of spots down to the Rockets.
A back up big man last year in Kentucky (surprise, surprise), Orton is a bruiser and has a very impressive defensive ability that should help Houston.
One thing is for sure, he would definitely be a more appropriate sized player to spell Yao Ming off the bench, rather than the 6’6" Chuck Hayes.
With Andrew Bogut’s injury troubles and Ersan Illaysova’s plain lack of skill and toughness, it would be tough for the Bucks to pass up on Whiteside.
Although it’s unclear just how ready he is forNBA level play given his lack of grip on basic fundamentals, he’s a physical presence down low that can block shots and rebound.
Because the Bucks do have the above stated big men, they have the time for Whiteside to develop.
However, if an injury occurs to one of their other big men, Whiteside’s development may very well come through experience.
With another pick here, the Timberwolves will shore up its wing positions.
Anderson could provide to be a late draft surprise and will likely comfort the Timberwolves as they miss out on Evan Turner.
Although he is a below average defender, he should be able to work on that with the team’s defensive minded coaching staff.
His offensive skills and high basketball IQ make up for what he lacks on the other end of the court.
Should Jones drop this low, the Bulls will feel very lucky.
Although he is a tough and physical minded player who sees a lot of time at power forward (like quite a few of the Bulls’ current players), Jones has shown potential of developing into an above average perimeter player as well.
The Bulls would be silly to pass up on such a player.
If he can combine his current skills with that of a perimeter player, Jones would provide the Bulls with a combination of talent that none of the team’s other big men have.
With Babbitt’s value increasing by the day, the Heat may select him early in hopes of shoring up its small forward position.
With Quentin Richardson not able to live up to his potential of past years, Babbitt may evolve into an upgrade from Q.
Babbitt’s three point shooting could help the Heat just like Jason Kapono was able to a couple seasons back.
With the Celtics potentially losing a couple of its outside shooters in free agency, and having traded Eddie House and Bill Walker to New York, it would be smart to draft this outside shooting stud at this point in the draft.
Hayward is an excellent three-point shooter who could provide the Celtics with timely hoops off the bench if given a chance to be in the mix with its veteran and ever so quickly aging squad.
After leading underdog Butler to the NCAA Final, Butler would join another winner in Boston.
The Celtics have taken the league a little bit by surprise, on the verge of pushing the Magic out of the way.
Hayward, like the Celtics, is used to proving doubters wrong.
The Spurs will gamble here and hope that Alabi is the answer to its center woes.
The team has been getting by without a true center for years, and by the way Coach Poppovich shuffles his starting lineup, Alabi would be bound to even get a few trial starts next season.
With nothing to lose (and all to gain) at the center position, Alabi would be a worthwhile pick for the Spurs.
With multiple comparisons to Gerald Wallace to his credit, there is a chance Robinson goes higher.
If he falls to the Thunder, however, it could very well be a great fit for both sides.
Robinson’s high octane style of play fits the Thunder’s young talent nicely, as he could provide the team’s young budding starting lineup with a boost off the bench.
With Greg Oden’s injury problem and Joel Przybilla coming off season ending surgery, the Blazers may be smart to select a big man.
Sanders is a very physical post player on both ends of the court. He plays the same style of basketball as the above mentioned centers, so selecting him may simply be to take the physical toll off of the Blazers’ big men.
Having already addressed its need for another big, Utah can afford to be a little free spirited here.
Going with an offensive minded wing-man would also address a need for the Jazz.
George is a good perimeter shooter that could play well under Utah’s Jerry Sloan.
It seems like a team cannot go wrong with a Kentucky product in this draft.
The Hawks could fill their point guard void here, with Mike Bibby getting older and slower, and Jeff Teague not shaping up to be what the Hawks had hoped.
Of course, drafting Bledsoe would be a move for the future for this playoff contender, but it’s always nice to have a strong point guard waiting in the wings.
With O.J. Mayo moving over the point next season and Rudy Gay a possibility to depart, Pondexter’s stock may go up if the Grizzlies select him here.
Pondexter would clearly be the best wing-man available if all else goes to plan.
Given the Grizzlies’ quick turnaround (for the most part) with young talent, Pondexter’s skills could be maximized in a system like Coach Hollins’.
If for no other reason at all, it would be nice to see the Thunder draft a hometown kid.
Lucky for them, though, Warren is a good match.
He is an athletic guard who struggled with his instincts and decision making skills this season.
Perhaps he could learn from Russell Westbrook’s early on mistakes as he develops into a smarter player.
A bit of a stronger basketball IQ to go with his skills, and Warren could be a good player.
As the Nets draft John Wall and (perhaps) trade Devin Harris, look for them to draft another Harris. Ebanks is a very strong minded defensive player but lacks offensive ability.
Although he is not much of a shooter, he is the right guy for the Nets to help them make fans forget about the Sean Williams failure.
Even if Kevin Seraphin falls this late, don’t expect the Grizzlies or the Magic to bite after already having international big men of their own.
Bradley then becomes the best option available, and could end up playing some decent minutes at point guard after Mike Conley. (Should the O.J. Mayo-point guard situation not work out as planned.)
The Magic brass love guards, so expect them to pick yet another in this position.
Williams has a very athletic upside and has an NBA ready body. Already a championship-contending team, the Magic is just looking for talent to give them a boost off the bench and Williams would do just that.
If Seraphin falls here (that's big “if”) the Wizards will get a steal at this point in the draft.
Particularly an off the ball type player, Seraphin has offensive talent but is a raw prospect.
However, with a top five pick already in the draft, the Wizards can definitely afford to wait on Seraphin. Or even trade him to a playoff contender looking for young talent in return for an immediate upgrade.