2010 NBA Mock Draft : Kentucky Still Rules the First Round
The investigation into Eric Bledsoe's high school transcript may cloud the issue a bit, but the Kentucky Wildcats will send more players into this year's first round than any other school.
With the uncertainty regarding next year's draft, this year's crop of NBA rookies will be heavy on youth and light on international flavor when compared to previous years. There are a lot of projects out there, but there is no lack of talent.
Here's a team-by-team breakdown of the first 30 selections in this year's draft.
1) Washington Wizards Select John Wall
Still a no-brainer, John Wall is the first pick in the draft.
While his shot may need a bit of work, the Wizards won't be able to pass on his lightning-fast acceleration, instinct, and driving ability.
All he has to do is sign the contract...
2) Philadelphia 76ers Select Evan Turner
The National Player of the Year will be the second player taken in the draft.
Evan Turner is a versatile player. He did everything the Buckeyes asked him to do during his tenure in Columbus. He also did everything extremely well.
The 76ers have a lot of work to do, and it will begin with taking Evan Turner.
3) New Jersey Nets Select Derrick Favors
Another "one-and-done," explosive forward Derrick Favors goes to the worst team in the league, the New Jersey Nets, with the third pick.
Favors is extremely quick for a post player. He needs to put on a bit of muscle, but could be an outstanding power forward in a few seasons.
Freshmen rarely enter the draft polished, but the potential is huge.
4) Minnesota Timberwolves Select DeMarcus Cousins
Kentucky player number two selected, DeMarcus Cousins will head north to Minnesota. Here we have another freshman and another diamond in the rough.
Cousins is also lightning-quick for his size and has an enormous wingspan.
Perhaps the next Chris Bosch?
5) Sacramento Kings Select Patrick Patterson
On to Wildcat selection number three.
Patterson is the elder of the bunch and probably the most coachable. He could make an impact from the beginning in Sacramento, where he'll be a reliable post presence for the Kings.
6) Golden State Warriors Select Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson is a pure shooter, which we all know puts him high on the list of all NBA scouts. His three-point percentage rose to nearly 40 percent in his final season at Syracuse.
He won't be an immediate starter for the Warriors, but Johnson will be a contributor off of the bench by season two in Oakland.
7) Detroit Pistons Select Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe will be drafted as a power forward, but plays more like a wing.
An unselfish giant, Monroe is an excellent passer and sees the floor better than most his size.
Monroe's lack of aggression and true post skills probably won't make him the perfect fit for the Pistons, but you can't question his ability. He may not stay in the Motor City for long, but sometimes you have to just take the best player on the board.
8) Los Angeles Clippers Select Ed Davis
Ed Davis is another wispy underclassman who could turn into an absolute stud. He has range in his scoring ability in addition to being a top tier shot blocker.
Davis has a work ethic that might put him over the top in the NBA. Were it another year, he might have hung around Chapel Hill, but not knowing what the future of the NBA draft is, it's time for him to come out and get paid.
9) Utah Jazz Select Al-Farouq Aminu
Al-Farouq Aminu is a true athlete. He was capable of carrying Wake Forest on his back for nearly an entire season.
That being said, he does have some limitations. He's not a true scorer, but his explosiveness and athleticism has covered that flaw in his game through his collegiate career.
In an up-tempo game, Aminu will flourish. When the pace slows, expect him to run into problems.
10) Indiana Pacers Select Cole Aldrich
Cole Aldrich won't be the most exciting player to watch in the NBA, but he will be effective.
Aldrich is a true center who is comfortable with his back to the basket. He has enough moves to score in the paint and he makes teams that choose to foul him pay when he steps to the line.
He's a throwback, but some things never get old.
11) New Orleans Hornets Select Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh is a long, athletic shot-blocker who can also contribute on the offensive end of the floor.
Udoh was the key in Baylor's resurgence and run in this year's NCAA Tournament. He's a big game player and that should translate well to the next level.
12) Memphis Grizzlies Select Daniel Orton
Here we go again. Daniel Orton is yet another Kentucky diaper dandy ready to cash a first round bonus check.
Orton has the entire skill set for a power forward in the NBA. He had the best range of all the Kentucky bigs, in addition to a finesse touch around the basket. He's also an excellent disruptor in the middle at the other end of the floor.
13) Toronto Raptors Select Avery Bradley
Great catch-and-shoot scorer. Avery Bradley is a bit undersized as an off-guard but more than makes up for it with his stroke from outside.
Bradley also is a student of defensive basketball. His quickness and tenacity at that end of the floor propel him to the thirteenth spot in this draft.
14) Houston Rockets Select Hassan Whiteside
Raw, raw, raw, but with tremendous potential. Hassan Whiteside will be a long-term project but will be the perfect replacement for Yao Ming in Houston.
Whiteside is handicapped by his lack of bulk and the fact that he played at Marshall. A few offseasons in the weight room and some minutes against next-level competition and he'll be good to go.
15) Milwaukee Bucks Select Xavier Henry
Xavier Henry is a young but polished finisher. His distribution skills hurt his stock, but his defensive prowess brings it right back up.
A few seasons coming off the bench and Xavier Henry will be ready to dominate.
16) Minnesota Timberwolves Select Luke Babbitt
Luke Babbitt is a student of the game and has skills to match. His glaring weakness is his lack of speed.
Babbitt will be effective if he is in a scheme that doesn't put too much pressure on his defense. Matched up with more athletic forwards, he is going to have issues shutting them down.
17) Chicago Bulls Select Solomon Alabi
Perhaps the biggest gamble in the draft, Solomon Alabi could become the next Dikembe Mutumbo. He could also become the next Shawn Bradley.
Alabi needs to work on his rebounding and defensive presence. He has the tools to become a great shot blocker, but seems to lack the aggression.
At least he's insanely good from the free throw line...
18) Miami Heat Select James Anderson
Great shooters just keep firing it up there. That, in a nutshell, is James Anderson. He's not the best ball-handler or passer, but he can sure light it up.
Anderson isn't a bad defender either. It shouldn't be a hard transition to the NBA for this shooting guard.
19) Boston Celtics Select Gordon Hayward
Of course he's going to Boston. The Larry Legend comparisons just keep pouring in for Gordon Hayward.
All that aside, Hayward is a winner. Butler goes months (at times) between losses.
He'll be a role player with limited minutes at first in Boston, but that shouldn't bother him too much.
20) San Antonio Spurs Select Larry Sanders
Despite coming out as a junior, Larry Sanders still projects to be a work in progress.
Sanders has an above the rim game and could become an elite rebounder. Athleticism is what will carry this prospect until the rest of his offensive potential catches up with him.
21) Oklahoma City Thunder Select Devin Ebanks
The Thunder with both Kevin Durant and Devin Ebanks?
Watch out for Oklahoma City for awhile. They may not be able to stop anyone, but they are capable of scoring 130 points a game.
22) Portland Trailblazers Select Gani Lawal
The other side of Georgia Tech's talented front line, Gani Lawal still has some work to do.
He's freakishly athletic and runs the floor well for a big man, but his game around the basket is a bit limited. Still, the NBA drafts on potential, and his is most definitely there.
23) Portland Trailblazers Select Jarvis Varnado
Jarvis Varnado is by far the best shot-blocker in the 2010 NBA Draft. His rebounding and offensive stats would be much better had he not played in Mississippi State's "chuck and duck" three-point based offense.
Varnado hasn't gotten a lot of press because he played in Starkville. Most mocks don't have him this high. That's simply because they haven't watched the tapes. Varnado is a first-rounder for sure.
24) Atlanta Hawks Select Wayne Chism
Just win baby. That's all that Wayne Chism does. He's been busy climbing draft boards since the season ended.
Chism's size and athleticism don't project that well. His effort and hustle do. That's what puts him safely in the first round.
25) Memphis Grizzlies Select Jordan Crawford
He can shoot the lights out, drive by anyone, and dunk on LeBron James. What's not to like about Jordan Crawford?
If Crawford learns to create space without the ball, he could be a superstar. If not, he'll win the dunk contest at some point.
26) Oklahoma City Thunder Select Trevor Booker
The height just isn't there. The motor and explosiveness are, and Booker has both of those in spades.
If only he was 6'10", Booker would be taken in the top 10.
27) New Jersey Nets Select Terrico White
Terrico White has excelled in his college career as both a scorer and distributor. He's a combo guard with a better-than-average work ethic.
Good, safe pick for the Nets here. White could turn into a steadying influence on this team for the rebuilding project.
28) Memphis Grizzlies Select Damion James
Damion James plays well bigger than his 6'7" frame. He's deceptively quick and should continue to be an excellent rebounder at his position in the NBA.
James is also a decent shooter. He has been consistent behind the arc in college, but may struggle with the range needed to be a sniper in the pros.
29) Orlando Magic Select Kevin Seraphin
Finally, some international flavor in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. Kevin Seraphin clocks in at number 29.
Seraphin is still a raw prospect, but has slowly been developing in France. He's only 20, and has just been playing basketball for five years. He is a finesse big man with a soft touch and extended range.
His mobility around the basket makes him a top-tier defensive prospect as well.
30) Washington Wizards Select Eric Bledsoe
Big risk pick here, but the Wizards already have John Wall. Why not draft his sidekick as well?
Were it not for Bledsoe's situation with his high school program, Eric Bledsoe would have been snatched up much earlier. The red flags have been raised, so he falls to the bottom of the first round.
Bledsoe is not even close to NBA ready. However, the upside is huge if he develops.