So, MCeezy did a NBA mock draft right after the ping pong balls fell into place a month ago. He may have been less than impressed with the results for our beloved Kings and Warriors since we unsurprisingly fell spots instead of moved up, so we needed to put up another one after cooler heads prevailed. We traded off picks for this mock draft 2.0, and here’s what we came up with.
#1 Washington Wizards – John Wall, SG, Kentucky – No surprise here. Washington isn’t even trying to create any suspense with this pick. Check out Bullets Forever…. it’s like he’s a member of the team already. Not sure how he’ll fit with Arenas, but something tells me Washington management is saying, “Gilbert who?”
#2 Philadelphia 76ers – Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech – Philly passes on Turner, mainly because they couldn’t find anyone to trade out of the spot. If they take Turner they pretty much have to trade him or AI. Not sure which they’d rather have, so they take Favors as the safer more sane big man on the board. He put up numbers with nobody around him, so we will see if he can do the same with nobody around him in the NBA.
#3 New Jersey Nets – Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State – If Chappy, er, the Sixers, decide to go with Favors, then Turner at the third spot is a no brainer. New Jersey is set at the PG and C spot, a luxury most teams would love to have, but they’re still in need of help. They dealt Chris Douglas-Roberts, who was looking like their third best player, for pennies on the dollar, so that leaves a sizeable gap out on the wing. (Sizeable Gap = not to be confused with Yi Jianlian)
#4 Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse – Honestly he doesn’t really excite me. I’ve had a few people tell me he’s going to be a great pro, but still find that hard to grasp. Sure he’s an NBA style athlete, but does that really make him worth the number four pick? I say yes, only because I’m channeling my inner David Kahn.
#5 Sacramento Kings – Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown – Now that Yahoo is reporting it, everyone expects the Kings to go with Cousins at the fifth spot. But the Maloofs would never show their cards before the flop. As much of an upside as Cousins has, I still think Jason Thompson is the power forward of the future in Sacramento. Memories of Vlade Divac and Brad Miller dropping backdoor dimes are too much to ignore to pass up a guy like Monroe. Plus I predicted it in my knee-jerk mock back in May. I know they just got Dalembert, but the Lakers were dominating the boards with Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. Three bigs is the way to go these days.
#6 Golden State Warriors – Demarcus Cousins, PF, Kentucky – If he’s not in shape, he will surely get into shape soon running with the dubs. Needing size is an understatement for them, and if he’s available at six, why not take the 280 pound big man that probably only fell because he’s a headcase. I think the Warriors know plenty about having headcases on their teams (SJax). There is the possibility they might even trade the pick to save a few bucks like they did with their 2nd round pick ($2M in the bank for Cohan). I remember a guy named Charles Barkley that was overweight coming into the league, and he turned out pretty good!
#7 Detroit Pistons – Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall – Let’s face it, the Pistons are not known for their drafting. Darko Milicic will forever be the Sam Bowie pick of the franchise… and last year’s selection of Austin Daye isn’t doing much to help their case. I know Detroit seems sold on Ed Davis, but I can’t help but think they’ll blow their load on Whiteside to hold down the paint. They’ve got plenty of perimeter scoring, so it seems inevitable they’ll look for a big man here.
#8 Los Angele Clippers – Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forrest – The Clippers seem pretty set at most positions, but they do have a hole at the SF spot. I guess picking Aminu means they won’t be going after Lebron, since they now have their newest franchise player.
#9 Utah Jazz – Epke Udoh, PF, Baylor – It’s no secret Utah is looking for a replacement for Boozer, who probably has his Salt Lake home on the market – if it isn’t sold already. Though they have Paul Millsap in tow, Epke Udoh seems too hard to pass up here. What they really need to find is a replacement for Kyle Korver – if they intend to let him walk.
#10 Indiana Pacers – Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina – Lots of potential with Davis. If there was a PG out there that was worth a pick this high, they probably would’ve taken him, but they have so many needs they may as well beef up since Murphy and Hibbert aren’t going to dominate the paint anytime ever.
#11 New Orleans Hornets – Paul George, SF, Fresno State – A lot of “credible sources” have George going to the Clippers. But, now that they’ve passed him up for Aminu, New Orleans has one glaring need, and that’s a slasher out on the wing. Whether or not Paul gets traded, they have plenty of capable PGs. Add to that Okafor, West, and Stojakovic, and there’s only one clear spot to fill.
#12 Memphis Grizzlies – Luke Babbit, SF, Nevada – The Grizz need some scoring. I’m not sure Babbit is the answer, since Hayward and Bradley are still on the board, but Luke has improved a ton over his two years in college. I don’t see why his work ethic wouldn’t translate into success in the NBA, so why not pair him with OJ on the wing.
#13 Toronto Raptors – Cole Alrich, C, Kansas – Aldrich is the guy nobody seeks, but can’t pass up. With Bosh’s departure a foregone conclusion, Toronto will need to get bigger down low. Since “Big Country” has already been taken, the Raptors will call on “Big Plain” out of Kansas to be their cornerstone down low.
#14 Houston Rockets – Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler – As By wrote, he could be the steal of the draft. I honestly don’t see him making quite as big of an impact, but still think he should be a solid player. I see him more as a JJ Reddick type, that comes off the bench to launch a few threes. It will be nice for Brooks to have someone to pass to other than Ariza.