2010 NBA Mock Draft: Evan Turner Still a Lock for Sixers at No. 2?
We've had several "who's No. 1?" debates with regards to the NBA draft over the past several years.
In 2008, the Derrick Rose vs. Michael Beasley debate raged on. If their first two seasons are any indicator, the Bulls made the better choice.
In 2007, we had the much more heated Greg Oden vs. Kevin Durant episode.
Oden has played in exactly 82 games over the course of two seasons, as he missed all of what would've been his rookie season with a knee injury.
Durant, as you know, has gone on to become an All-Star and, at just 21, may already be the best pure scorer the league has to offer.
Before that, 2004 was the last real up-in-the-air choice, when the Magic (wisely) selected high-schooler Dwight Howard over UConn stud Emeka Okafor.
So, in 2010, we have John Wall and Evan Turner.
However, if the Wizards' pre-draft actions are any indication, there isn't much debate, after all.
So, without trades, here's how the first round of next Thursday's NBA Draft could shape up.
1. Washington Wizards - John Wall, G, Kentucky
It's been reported that Evan Turner won't even accept the Wizards' request to bring him in for a workout, taking all of the drama out of this selection.
It's been stated that Turner and his agent, David Falk, are convinced that Washington is taking John Wall.
Wall is considered the top overall prospect in this class.
He has good size at 6'4", and just has the demeanor of a player destined to succeed at the next level.
While his jump shot could stand to improve, his supreme quickness and excellent ball-handling ability put him a level above anybody else.
Wall has drawn comparisons to Rose and Russell Westbrook in terms of his build and athletic ability, which clearly bodes well for his NBA future.
He certainly has the ability to be an elite-level defender as well.
It would seem that the sensical move here would have Wall running from the point position and Gilbert Arenas, should he be retained, can run with him as the off-guard.
He'll attempt to become the third-consecutive John Calipari-coached player (Rose, Tyreke Evans) to take home the Rookie of the Year award.
2. Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State
There's been some debate about where the Sixers will go with this pick, but, ultimately, Turner has to be the guy.
The hesitation comes because Philly's current best player, Andre Iguodala, plays the same position.
Iggy was involved in several trade rumors throughout last season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see those continue to swirl.
With regards to Turner, the 2010 National Player of the Year, is perhaps the most versatile prospect available.
He's 6'7", but played lots of point guard for the Buckeyes this past season.
His handling ability allows him to get to the rim very effectively, and he possesses a vast array of moves from anywhere inside-the-arc.
He's an all-around player, as he averaged nine rebounds and six assists per game to go along with 20.4 points.
Turner's size and strength allow him to guard several different positions, and he excels offensively off-the-dribble.
He's not a great overall three-point or free-throw shooter, but, obviously, those skills can be honed over time.
Reports also exist that say the 76ers could be interested in trading this pick.
3. New Jersey Nets - Derrick Favors, F, Georgia Tech
This is where the uncertainty begins, and the woeful Nets have several options here.
Taking Favors would immediately give Brook Lopez some help along the frontline.
He has ideal size for a power forward at 6'10", and, while he didn't get many touches in his only collegiate season, has shown enough to be considered an elite prospect.
He's extremely quick with his back to the basket, and is going to need to improve his free-throw shooting in order to make defenders pay for not being able to keep up with him down there.
He's far from being considered as polished as a player like Turner, but the upside is certainly there.
He's drawn comparisons to players like Chris Bosh and Nene.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves - Wesley Johnson, F, Syracuse
Minnesota is another team reportedly interested in improving their draft position, but would be happy with Johnson should he fall to them at No. 4.
He's a very skilled 6'8" forward, and is talented enough to potentially make a significant impact as a rookie.
With Minnesota's lack of wing scoring, Johnson should be able to provide quite a spark.
He's been compared to a more offensively-inclined Shawn Marion.
Johnson could also stand to bulk up a bit, but his height and athletic ability already make him a very tough check for opposing defenders.
When he's given the ball from 15 feet-and-in, he's a very fluid decision-maker and should continue to improve as his career progresses.
5. Sacramento Kings - DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Kentucky
The Kings pick will depend largely upon who is selected in front of them, but Cousins is expected to be available when their time comes around.
Cousins could also go as high as No. 3 to the Nets.
He's an immense 6'11", 270-pound center-type already with quite polished offensive skill.
He averaged about 15 points and 10 rebounds per game for the young Wildcats last season, and would be a welcome addition to a young frontline that already includes Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, and Samuel Dalembert.
Cousins is very talented, and would potentially give the Kings one of the most versatile frontcourts in the league.
Conditioning and maturity are of some concern.
6. Golden State Warriors - Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Wake Forest
Aminu is likely considered the second-best small forward prospect behind Wesley Johnson.
The Warriors could go several different directions here, and will likely go in the direction of Cousins should he fall to them here.
However, we have them jumping on Aminu, who stands at 6'9" with a massive 7'3" wingspan.
He's still a very raw offensive player, though his shooting numbers in his two years at Wake are impressive.
His athleticism is his major selling point, as he averaged almost 11 rebounds per game this past season.
Aminu is regarded as a plus defender, and should be able to guard both forward spots at the next level.
His athletic ability should be a nice fit for Golden State's running, high-scoring style.
7. Detroit Pistons - Greg Monroe, F, Georgetown
The Pistons don't have much of an offensive presence in the post, and a player like Monroe would be a welcome addition.
While the 6'11" forward will likely be spending lots of time in the post, he's versatile enough to play on the perimeter as well.
Monroe is one of the smarter players in the draft, and is an excellent passer for his position.
8. Los Angeles Clippers - Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada
The Clippers currently have a hole at small forward (LeBron, anyone?), and could go several different directions at No. 8.
Butler's Gordon Hayward is another possibility here, but Babbitt appears to have the higher ceiling.
He has a smooth stroke on his jump shot, as he averaged 22 points and nine rebounds per game for the Wolfpack last season.
He certainly looks like he could be a capable secondary scorer at the next level, as he can get his points spotting up or pulling up.
9. Utah Jazz - Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
The potential departure of Carlos Boozer leaves the Jazz frontline very thin, and the pickup of Aldrich could help add some depth.
He's not a flashy pick at all, but Utah could definitely benefit here.
He's a huge body that will help to clog up the middle, and should provide the Jazz with some much-needed shot-blocking.
While it isn't his strength, Aldrich is capable offensively, and could eventually be a consistent double-double threat.
10. Indiana Pacers - Daniel Orton, F/C, Kentucky
Recent reports indicate that the Pacers are high on Orton, although there are several players here to potentially nab.
Orton measures out as a center in the NBA, which may prove to be confusing considering Indiana's possession of a rising, young center in Roy Hibbert.
Orton was largely overlooked during his only season at Kentucky due to the star-studded roster.
He has a surprisingly smooth shooting touch, and is strong and wide enough to bang with the best of them down low.
His size also allows him to finish well around the rim.
He's not a very good passer, and is also not yet all that confident in his ability to score.
He'll take time to develop.
11. New Orleans Hornets - Ed Davis, F, North Carolina
Davis is certainly a candidate to go higher than this, but the Hornets will be quite pleased if he drops down.
He was highly sought-after after his freshman season at Carolina, and fell off the radar a bit as a sophomore during the Tar Heels' forgettable season.
Davis isn't very polished offensively, but his physical talents make him extremely enticing.
He's listed at 6'10", and should be able to rebound and block shots upon his arrival in the league.
His offensive game should come along.
12. Memphis Grizzlies - Patrick Patterson, F, Kentucky
Patterson's production dipped a bit as a result of the incoming freshman talent at Kentucky last season, but his NBA stock hasn't taken a hit.
Like Greg Monroe, Patterson is very smart with the ball in his hands, and is not prone to committing many turnovers.
The Grizz boast one of the most productive frontlines in the league, and Patterson's addition should provide some depth, and could also serve as insurance should Rudy Gay leave in free agency.
Many see him as a player capable of contributing significantly immediately.
13. Toronto Raptors - Avery Bradley, G, Texas
With DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani appearing to be the only real long term pieces the Raptors may have at the moment, this pick is a crapshoot.
The uncertainty here could also lead to a trade.
Bradley can play either guard spot, and they could try him at the point to start out.
His scoring is usually perimeter-oriented, and he's not proficient at getting to and finishing at the rim.
He's certainly a plus athlete, and he uses that athleticism and length to be the best defensive guard prospect in the group.
14. Houston Rockets - Ekpe Udoh, F, Baylor
The Rockets could stand to add some size, as they were the worst shot-blocking team in the league last season without Yao Ming.
Even with the return of Yao next season, Houston's backup center is 6'6" Chuck Hayes.
While Hayes may be the best post defender the league has to offer, the lack of shot-blocking was a gaping hole for the scrappy Rockets.
Udoh could potentially provide quite a spark off the bench with his energy, and he's also capable of developing into a pretty solid offensive player.
He can step out and shoot a nice jumper, but could stand to improve his strength and post skills.
15. Milwaukee Bucks - Xavier Henry, G/F, Kansas
Paul George and Gordon Hayward are possibilities here, but Henry appears to be the player with the highest ceiling of the three.
He was somewhat overshadowed in his only season at Kansas, but he looks to be a capable scorer at the next level.
He's not a great athlete, which could limit his effectiveness in creating offense off the dribble.
However, he's one of the best pure shooters in this class, and should be able to find his niche as a complementary scoring option.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves - Damion James, F, Texas
Adding James to a strong frontcourt gives the Wolves some versatility to play with.
He's not a star player in the making, but he's always been a reliable all-around player for the Longhorns.
For a 6'9" forward, he has great ball-handling skills and can run the floor with the best of them.
He'll spend the majority of his time at one of the forward slots, but has the skills to perhaps see some time as a big off-guard.
Great rebounder as well.
17. Chicago Bulls - Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
Whiteside is a lanky seven-footer with extreme shot-blocking ability.
He put up very good numbers in his only season at Marshall, averaging 13 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks per game.
While he's raw on the offensive end, he's shown flashes of a nice shooting touch as well as a back-to-the-basket game.
His personality has presented some red flags, which could cause him to fall a bit come draft night.
The Bulls could also be interested in some perimeter scoring help to go along with Derrick Rose here.
18. Miami Heat - Gordon Hayward, F, Butler
Hayward became a household name during Butler's near-championship run through the NCAA tournament, and is certainly a candidate to go higher than this.
He's a wiry, 6'8" forward with a fluid offensive game.
He can score either off-the-dribble or as a spot-up shooter, and has surprisingly good speed.
Hayward certainly isn't going to be shutting anybody down on the defensive end, though, and may struggle to keep up with some of the stronger wing players.
He's a good rebounder and passer, and seems like a potentially very good role player in the NBA.
19. Boston Celtics - Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State
Alabi has been all over draft boards, and could be an option for the Celtics and their aging frontcourt.
He's looked like a poor rebounder despite being 7'1", as he averaged just over six boards per game for the Seminoles last season.
He doesn't have much of a post game, but he's shown good instincts and could be an impact defensive player.
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Rasheed Wallace and the inevitable decline of Kevin Garnett, the C's could use some insurance up front.
20. San Antonio Spurs - Paul George, F, Fresno State
San Antonio could use some help at small forward, especially with the horrible flop of an acquisition in Richard Jefferson.
This is another player that could easily go much higher.
He's been listed anywhere between 6'7" and 6'9", and showed considerable offensive talent for the Bulldogs last season when he averaged about 17 points per game.
He's been compared to Wilson Chandler in terms of his unspectacular, yet productive ability to score consistently.
George has shown that he is a bit prone to turnovers, but could help curb that with good coaching and veterans around him.
Solid defensive prospect as well.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Kevin Seraphin, F, France
It's uncertain whether or not Seraphin is a player that would come over to the NBA immediately, but he's drawn comparisons to Serge Ibaka.
He's a very good defender and rebounder at 6'10", and is another big man that lacks polish offensively.
You can never really have too much size in the NBA, and adding Seraphin would only aid the already-strong OKC defense.
22. Portland Trail Blazers - James Anderson, G, Oklahoma State
With Brandon Roy's injury history, Portland could be in search of a capable fill-in.
Anderson was the Big 12 Player of the Year this past season when he averaged 22 points and seven rebounds per game for the Cowboys.
He's comparable to Roy in terms of his size at 6'6", and has a knack for scoring.
He would be able to provide a nice punch off the bench should the Blazers land him here.
Anderson is also a candidate to go as high as No. 14 to Houston.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves - Lance Stephenson, G, Cincinnati
Stephenson has been rising on some draft boards, and could help Minnesota with some perimeter scoring.
The 6'5" guard averaged 12 points per game as a freshman for Cincinnati.
He doesn't have NBA three-point effectiveness yet, and does most of his damage off-the-dribble.
The Wolves could go anywhere with their three first-round picks.
Who knows, maybe they'll take three point guards again.
24. Atlanta Hawks - Elliot Williams, G, Memphis
With Joe Johnson likely out the door, the Hawks are going to need to find a replacement somewhere.
Jamal Crawford seems most likely to step in and start at the position, but Elliot Williams offers serious intrigue.
Williams is a super athlete and averaged 17 points per game last season.
He has potential to be a Marcus Thornton-type scorer as a rookie.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Eric Bledsoe, G, Kentucky
Bledsoe's stock has been rising, but here he is.
He might not be a major contributor right away, but he has all the physical tools to eventually succeed.
With the uncertainty surrounding Mike Conley's potential, the Grizz could use a guy to press him a little bit.
He was turnover prone during his only collegiate season, and will need to mature a bit before making a big impact.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder - Craig Brackins, F, Iowa State
Brackins already has shown ability to score down low, which is something the Thunder lack.
He could stand to beef up a bit, and when he does, he should be very tough to handle on the low block.
He's got good athleticism and runs the floor very well.
Brackins isn't a great defender, but his size and long arms make him a candidate to improve greatly at the next level in that area.
27. New Jersey Nets - Dominique Jones, G, South Florida
He could have better size at 6'4", but his sturdy frame helps make up for that a bit.
Teams worry that he'll struggle to get off his shot against taller and more athletic defenders, but his quickness and strength help him create for himself effectively.
Courtney Lee was disappointing in his first season for the Nets, so they could look here should he struggle again.
28. Memphis Grizzlies - Larry Sanders, F, VCU
Sanders is very athletic, and that's been the main reason for his presence fairly high on draft boards.
He's a plus finisher at the rim, and he has a decent repertoire of post moves.
He also needs to add strength, and he could struggle against strong forwards in the post.
He could help to make the Memphis frontcourt more versatile.
29. Orlando Magic - Quincy Pondexter, F, Washington
Pondexter is a 6'7" forward that looks more like a big man in terms of his offensive skill.
He isn't a great threat on the perimeter, but has good strength and athleticism.
He was a great rebounder in college, and should be able to provide a boost in that aspect.
Plenty of room still to grow.
30. Washington Wizards - Devin Ebanks, F, West Virginia
Ebanks doesn't have a typical game for a 6'8" small forward.
He has little-to-no range on his jumper, but is solid as a midrange scorer.
He doesn't have great strength, either, which makes it difficult for him to finish at the basket.
He does excel at running the floor, and also has shown a knack for grabbing rebounds at a high rate.
Ebanks appears to love playing defense, and has good footwork and great height, allowing him to disrupt ball handlers.
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