2010 NBA Mock Draft: One Final Look Before the Big Night
The 2010 NBA draft is only a few days away, and anticipation for what's to come is steadily growing.
The first few picks are pretty clear cut. But once we reach the fifth pick, things start to get hazy.
The recent trade between Sacramento and Philadelphia might possibly affect some selections. But with the draft so close, most teams have a good idea of who they want to select out of the players available to them.
In this mock draft, I will break down who I think will be taken in the lottery selections, with some teams picking by need and others by best available value.
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall
John Wall has been the consensus No.1 pick since day one. Not much explanation needed here. He will be a great player that Wasington can build around for years to come.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner
Some may think trading Samuel Dalembert away means Philly is looking to go BIG with this pick. But they have reported against that.
Philadelphia said the trade will not affect their draft plans. And honestly, Evan Turner is way too good to pass up, even though Derrick Favors or Demarcus Cousins could be better selections based on team needs.
3. New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors
New Jersey has more question marks than any other team in this draft, but Favors is a great pick that will help them to turn things around.
Favors is an athletic animal and will work nicely while paired with Brooks Lopez. If Devin Harris returns to his all-star form from seasons ago, New Jersey could enjoy a nice pairing between Harris and Favors, working together as a guard/big man duo.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson
The Timberwolves have a nice young nucleus of talent, even though their record last year didn't show it. Johnson is a perfect piece to add to the T'wolves puzzle. The team will keep improving with Johnson on their squad.
Minnesota has a solid front court in Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. And although the organization has claimed the two bigs can't work together, I believe with more time they will prove they can.
Al Jefferson is a back to the basket scorer while Love is more of a face up guy who can knock down the mid-range jumper, and is a great weak side rebounder.
They are almost perfect for each other and just need time to prove so, thus solidifying the T'wolves front court.
Minnesota needs an athletic perimeter player who can shoot. Johnson possesses both of those attributess and will be a great fit in Minnesota.
5. Sacramento Kings: Demarcus Cousins
This is where things get a little more uncertain come draft day.
The Kings recently made a trade with the 76ers to acquire Samuel Dalembert(as mentioned earlier), which have made some think they will now adress the need at small forward instead of going with a big.
Others believe the trade shows the Kings will do just the opposite and still select a big. Since Cousins and Greg Monroe are the two best players at this current spot, I believe the Kings will indeed go with a big.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Kings have said that Demarcus Cousins is their first choice if he is available. If not, they said they will select Monroe.
Chances are Cousins will be there. Therefore, Kings are happy to get Cousins, although he is the biggest boom or bust pick in the draft.
6. Golden State Warriors: Greg Monroe
The Warriors are set for the future in the back court with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis as the guards. But the team lacks quality skill in the front court.
Reports say that Don Nelson and other members of the Warriors staff like Greg Monroe's ability to score and pass the ball.
Monroe is a perfect big man to fit into Nelson's style in GS, and should thrive there, giving the Warriors the big man they have been lacking for a long time.
7. Detroit Pistons: Al-Farouq Aminu
Detroit would be extremely disappointed if both Cousins and Monroe were off the board by this pick. Unfortunately for them, both guys will most likely be gone by this selection.
That leaves the Pistons to pick the best player available, and so they draft Aminu.
He is a very athletic and versatile player that should work well with Rodney Stuckey. If the Pistons could get their moneys worth out of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva and draft Aminu, Detroit could see a drastic change in their team's success next season.
8. L.A. Clippers: Gordon Hayward
Next year will be like having two new lottery picka for the Clippers, since Blake Griffin could still be considered a rookie.
Gordon Hayward would be a great piece to add to this quickly developing team. Baron Davis and Eric Gordon make a nice back court tandum while Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman fulfill the front court nicely as well.
The small forward piece is still a weak spot, though.
Hayward is a great overall player who can shoot the ball very well. And don't let his nerdy white guy looks fool you. He is surprisingly athletic.
He would be a great piece for Griffin to kick the ball out to when he the big is doubled in the post.
9. Utah Jazz: Ed Davis
Utah should make their draft choice this year based off the belief that they are going to lose Carlos Boozer. Boozer might not necessarily leave, but there is a high chance he will.
Ed Davis is a great low post scorer with good athleticism that would help ease the pain of losing Boozer. A small forward selection would also make some sense here.
But Davis is the best choice, and the best available player here.
10. Indiana Pacers: Ekpe Udoh
Indiana could use both a point guard and a big man, but big man is the bigger need for them at this time.
Ekpe Udoh would be a nice addition, who can come provide Indiana with an immediate defensive presence.
He is great at protecting the rim and snagging the boards and can work on his raw offensive game in the meantime.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Xavier Henry
New Orleans has great back court pieces in Chris Paul, Darren Collison, and Marucs Thorton. They also have a solid front line in Emeka Okafor and David West.
Their only dire need in the starting rotation is a good small forward.
Xavier Henry would be a great fit for this team with his shooting. He would be a good target for Chris Paul to find off the drive and also for David West out of the post.
Henry also brings a solid defensive game to the table along with more athleticism than any other small forward on the Hornets roster.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Patterson
The Grizz drafted a huge bust last year in Hasheem Thabeet and will look to redeem themselves. Because Thabeet did not fill the front court hole they were hoping for him to, they will probably go for another big man in this year's draft.
Patrick Patterson is a great fit for them at this pick. They already have Conley, Mayo, and Gay as their two guards and small forward, and have a good front court of Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Patterson could be brought in as a solid big off the bench. He could bring a lot of energy and really add depth to the Grizzlies bench.
After a couple years, he would even take over for Randolph, who by then would be gone or getting pretty far up there in age.
13. Toronto Raptors: Avery Bradley
Toronto is expecting, like the rest of the world, that Bosh is gone, but grabbing any of the big men left at this spot would be a stretch.
Avery Bradley is a great choice here to fill in a guard spot.
He is a little undersized to fit in the shooting guard spot in the NBA and would most likely play the one. What does this mean for Jose Calderon, though?
At first, Calderon could start and Bradley could be put in a back up role. But reports indicate the Raptors have some desire to trade Calderon.
So if they don't do so by the end of the offseason, then they will before next season's trade deadline.
That will allow Bradley to step up and assume the starting role at the point.
14. Houston Rockets: Cole Aldrich
Houston did a great job at last year's trade deadline by picking up a very efficient scorer in Kevin Martin.
Although they gave up a very good post player in Carl Landry, they improved their back court situation immensly in the process.
Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, and Trevor Ariza are a great one, two, and three. Yao Ming is a good five, but is rarely healthy. Adding another big man would be smart here.
Scola already is a solid post man to help fill the Rocket's need there, but Aldrich would be a nice addition. He is a big seven footer that could play center when Yao is out and be a nice bench player when Yao is healthy.
Although I believe Aldrich is somewhat overhyped, he will add just what the Rockets need to get them over the hump and into the playoffs next year.