With this year's lottery picks set, SB Nation's Scott Schroeder at Ridiculous Upside has posted the newest version of his 2010 NBA Mock Draft. Head here to check out the full two rounds of prognostication. What follows are his lottery picks, with the blurb he wrote about each.
1. Washington Wizards - John Wall, PG (Kentucky freshman)
While there seems to be some dissent wondering if John Wall can play next to the current face of the Wizards franchise, Gilbert Arenas, it seems that the answer is a resounding "yes." Arenas will no longer have to constantly create all of his shots (formerly known as the Wizards offense), while Wall has shown that he can play alongside another point guard already - he did so at Kentucky when fellow first-round pick Eric Bledsoe was in the game. By the way, SBN's Wizards blog Bullets Forever seems to be kind of excited about winning the lottery - just in case you were wondering. And, for that matter, Wall and his posse are happy with the Wizards winning as well (just as long it wasn't Minnesota, it seems). [Ed. note: For more on what Wall means to the Wizards, check out this piece from Andrew Sharp.)
2. Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner, SG/SF (Ohio State junior)
The Sixers are already said to be open to trading this pick, according to Sam Amico, but that wouldn't seem to be the prudent idea - regardless of their current roster. With Willie Green and Jason Kapono both seeing more NBA starts than they should have last season (meaning that they started NBA games), it definitely makes sense to draft Turner to play on the wing Andre Iguodala. While, as Chad Ford states in his new mock draft, Turner duplicates a lot of the same things Iguodala does, a few of those duplications include excellent rebounding for their size and great defense - and don't worry, they're not too bad on offense, either. For what it's worth, Sixers Nation has already weighed in - and they want Turner.
3. New Jersey Nets - Derrick Favors, PF (Georgia Tech freshman)
While DeMarcus Cousins is the more NBA-ready prospect, Favors has what those in the know call "Ridiculous Upside" at the ripe young age of 18. It doesn't hurt that he's much more suited to play next to current big man Brook Lopez with his blend of speed and athleticism, either. It's probably the not most prudent pick to win now or, for that matter, to lure LeBron James to New Jersey/Brooklyn/where ever but it should pay off in the long-run - and after finishing with the worst record in the NBA this year, the Nets should definitely be thinking long-term so they don't end up in this same predicament sometime soon. As an aside, this may or may not be karma for Nets' fans prematurely debating the merits of Wall versus Turner.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves - DeMarcus Cousins, C (Kentucky freshman)
Canis Hoopus actually had DeMarcus Cousins at the top of their big board, so while they're unhappy that they didn't win the lottery, Stop-N-Pop reasons that "it's not that awful." While neither Al Jefferson or Kevin Love are certifiable centers, Cousins certainly certainly is at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds. While there are red flags concerning Cousins' attitude, there isn't a player in the draft that doesn't have issues - nor is there a better on-the-court player available at this selection.
5. Sacramento Kings - Wesley Johnson, SF (Syracuse junior)
I really, really like Wesley Johnson. He can shoot, run the floor, and he hit the boards pretty hard at 'Cuse. Unfortunately, he'll be 23 when the NBA season starts and he played in Syracuse's zone defense (tough to project to the NBA). Though the Kings most wanted a legitimate big man to pair with former lottery picks Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes, the best player available won't be a terrible option - especially when the small forward spot was the least productive position for Sactown last season. Johnson can shoot (42% from beyond the arc last season), rebound and get up and down the floor and seemingly play defense (he averaged just under two steals and two blocks per game). He's probably not going to be the star Tyreke Evans turned out to be, but he'll more than likely make Evans happy when he's able to dish the ball to Johnson for a corner three.
6. Golden State Warriors - Al-Farouq Aminu, F (Wake Forest sophomore)
While it's almost unanimous that the Golden State Warriors need a big man to replace the production(?) of Andris Biedrins, it'd be a mistake to take a plodder for the fun-and-gun Warriors offense (Chad Ford suggests Cole Aldrich). Aminu is an athletic tweener that can play both forward spots in the Warriors offense - and we know how much Don Nelson loves to play Nellieball with versatile players all around the court. Aminu is currently working on his jumper and ball handling in Los Angeles according to Draft Express, two of the biggest knocks against currently against him, and it sounds like everything is going great. Since Anthony Tolliver did well in Golden State's system, I have no doubt that Aminu can do the same. According to Blogger So Dear, SB Nation's Wake Forest blog, it seems Aminu should translate better to the NBA than I had planned. As a plus, I'm fairly certain he's not going to be the next DerMarr Johnson.
7. Detroit Pistons - Greg Monroe, PF/C (Georgetown sophomore)
Greg Monroe is not going to do the dirty-work that Ben Wallace brought the Pistons, but with Jason Maxiell that isn't exactly a need. Monroe is the most skilled big man in the draft as he can shoot, pass, score in the post and even put the ball on the floor. His rebounding is often said to be a problem, but he did average 9.6 boards while at Georgetown last season. While he's not a throwback Piston, the Pistons aren't really built like that right now anyway.
8. Los Angeles Clippers - Cole Aldrich, C (Kansas sophomore)
The Clippers don't need a big man, really - and I realize this. Steve Perrin from ClipsNation told me as much which is why I went with Xavier Henry last week. Then I was called "ridiculous" by pretty much everyone, so I decided we're going to go the best player available route. This week, it seems that Aldrich is that player - while he resembles current big man Chris Kaman, he's honestly too good to pass up. Plus, with seemingly-constant trade rumors surrounding Kaman, it doesn't hurt to have a much cheaper replacement ready and waiting in the wings.
While I juggled with putting Luke Babbitt here (he seems to be rising up everyone's draft board and Cole Aldrich wasn't available so he's the best white dude available), Davis would be very tough to pass up with his combination of rebounding and shot blocking and energy he brings to the floor. With the very real possibility of Carlos Boozer heading to free agency this offseason, Davis would represent a nice change-of-pace forward to come off the bench for Millsap - and if he can add a little bit of bulk, he could probably even play along side him.
10. Indiana Pacers - Xavier Henry, SG (Kansas freshman)
Xavier Henry seems to be losing fans every day, unfortunately (Ford dropped him to the 19th spot in his most recent mock). Fortunately for Pacers fans, I've not heard/read anything that makes me not think he's the best option in Indiana to replace fellow Kansas alum Brandon Rush. Henry has NBA size and an NBA-ready stroke, meaning he should be able to step right in and contribute.
11. New Orleans Hornets - Daniel Orton, C (Kentucky freshman)
The Hornets could probably have used a small forward just as well at this spot, but there really isn't one available - without reaching. In Orton, they'll get their center of the future as well as their top backup in the frontcourt right now (with Emeka being able to slide to the 4). Jeff Bower has shown he knows what he's doing with the draft and I don't think he's scared of taking a potential-laden pick (especially since he doesn't have to worry about coaching him).
12. Memphis Grizzlies - Ekpe Udoh, PF (Baylor junior)
It's tough to draft for the Grizzlies this year because there aren't really any major holes - especially if they're able to hold on to Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo makes a succesful transition to the point. While a big man isn't necessarily needed for this season (especially after drafting Hasheem Thabeet second overall last season), their position in the draft makes it almost a certainty that it happens. I'm not as sold on Udoh as some, but he'd be a more-than-capable replacement for Zach Randolph if he doesn't resign with the Grizzlies next season.
13. Toronto Raptors - Hassan Whiteside PF/C (Marshall freshman)
With the possibility of Chris Bosh leaving, a big man seems to be the likeliest pick at this juncture (both because it fills a potential need and their aren't many other options available). Whiteside has been said to be the biggest risk/reward pick in the draft, but the Raptors will definitely be looking to make a splash if they indeed lose the face of their franchise. If he's able to get stronger, and improve a bit on offense, this will become an awesome pick. As is, his 5.4 blocks per game should would certainly be nice if they translate.
14. Houston Rockets - Patrick Patterson, PF (Kentucky junior)
It's kind of surprising that his draft stock actually rose this season while his production dropped, but he showed maturity, leadership and all of the other nice words you'd expect out of someone older than the 21-year-old from Kentucky. With the Rockets seemingly looking for a big man in free agency (hopefully Bosh from the sounds of it), Patterson's ready to step-in right now - and comes at quite the discount.