1. Washington Wizards
John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Congratulations to the Wizards, who will almost certainly take Wall with the first pick. The bigger question is whether or not Gilbert Arenas is back with the Wizards or moved at a discounted price. But either way, Wall is now the future in Washington, despite the fact they don't have much to surround him with right now.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
I keep hearing Brandon Roy's name when people are talking about Turner, and perhaps no player is as NBA-ready as the Ohio State product. He should vie for Rookie of the Year in Philly, who were the other big winner on draft night. And if the Wizards somehow pass on Wall, the Sixers will gladly take him, even if it doesn't make a ton of sense with Jrue Holiday coming on.
3. New Jersey Nets
Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
The Nets were the most popular losers on draft night, as dreams of LeBron started slipping away when they lost out on Mr. Wall. The pick here is either DeMarcus Cousins or Favors, and because Cousins is more C than PF in my mind, I'm going with Favors. I slept on him in Version 1, but he's going to be a Top 5 pick. He's still somewhat of a project - as in a guy who won't be ready to really produce for a couple years. I doubt he is in the running for Rookie of the Year and offensively, he's probably going to struggle. But a timeshare with Yi Jianlian might be just what the doctor ordered, and three years from now he could be a beast.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
As usual, the Wolves had the same luck in their lottery that I have in Powerball, and Keno down at the local pub. Yes, The Wolves already have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, but keep in mind that David Kahn is a man who seems to enjoy collecting guys who play the same position - at least with point guards. They could take a small forward like Al-Farouq Aminu or Wesley Johnson, which would make the most sense to almost everyone. But then again, this is the Wolves we're talking about. But even though it doesn't seem like it right now, Cousins could end up being the second best player in this draft.
5. Sacramento Kings
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
What do the Kings need? They're pretty set at most positions, but the only sure bet is Tyreke Evans, who can play both guard spots. Small forward seems to be a place they could use help, and I like the freakishly athletic Aminu with this pick, although it could easily be Wesley Johnson instead.
6. Golden State Warriors
Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
With the disastrous season the Warriors'' big men had (Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright), the Warriors would have loved to get their hands on Cousins, but that dream is now history. Um, good thing they won all those meaningless games for Nellie. A center really makes sense here and Cole Aldrich is the best one on the board. Can he play for Nellie? We may be close to finding out.
7. Detroit Pistons
Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
The Pistons really wanted a center here, but it looks like both Cousins and Aldrich will be gone. If Aldrich is still there, I like him here. If not, small forward makes sense, and Johnson or Aminu should be the pick.
8. Los Angeles Clippers
Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown
Monroe is a bit of a wildcard and could go anywhere from No. 5 to 10. The Clippers are still unsure of how healthy Blake Griffin's going to be, so Monroe might be a nice insurance pick.
9. Utah Jazz (from Knicks)
Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky
Patterson reminds me of guys like Carl Landry, DeJuan Blair and Jason Thompson, and could end up being a double-double machine. The Jazz already have Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap, but probably won't by the time Patterson is ready to make a significant contribution. Patterson's stock appears to be falling, and I may end up moving him down in the next version of this draft.
10. Indiana Pacers
Gordon Hayward, F, Butler
Do I really believe the Pacers will reach for Butler's phenom at No. 10? Not really, but it would be pretty cool if it happened, and would definitely sell some Pacer tickets in a hurry. Which is their second biggest issue, closely trailing the fact that they have a terrible basketball team. Hayward is going as high as 14 in other mocks I've seen, meaning he could easily jump up to play for his hometown team. And while this still seems to high for Hayward, his name just keeps coming up in the Indy Star. But if Hayward doesn't blow them away in workouts, look for the Pacers to take the popular pick, Ed Davis out of Carolina.
11. New Orleans Hornets
Ed Davis, SF, North Carolina
The Hornets don't need a starting PF with David West still plugging along, but Davis will likely be the best player on the board. He has the potential to be an Al Horford clone, which is why he should go in the lottery. If he's not available, Epke Udoh or Daniel Orton is a likely choice.
12. Memphis Grizzlies
Epke Udoh, PF, Baylor
Zach Randolph isn't going to be around forever and Darrell Arthur hasn't exactly knocked anyone's socks off. Udoh averaged 14 and 10 at Baylor, but will probably be more of a role player in the NBA.
13. Toronto Raptors
Daniel Orton, F-C, Kentucky
Chris Bosh seems good as gone in Toronto, while Andrea Bargnani is a center only on paper. Orton would provide some immediate size and strength for the Raptors and seems to make a lot of sense here. The only problem is that Orton averaged just three points and three boards while playing behind some studs at UK last year, meaning he's going to be a project.
14. Houston Rockets
Xavier Henry, G, Kansas
The Rockets have Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin, but also don't really need any more big men who aren't centers. Henry's draft position is up in the air and he could easily go 10 picks later than this, although I have a feeling his stock will rise.
15. Milwaukee Bucks (via Bulls)
Hassan Whiteside, PF, Marshall
Whiteside will be a bit of a project, but is still a possible lottery pick. He should become a defensive specialist, somewhat like a junior version of Marcus Camby. But it going to take him a few years to develop.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Bobcats)
James Anderson, G-F, Oklahoma State
They've got Jonny Flynn (and maybe Ricky Rubio?) to run the point, and Corey Brewer at shooting guard. Anderson looks like an NBA swingman, and while he won't be a great player, he is a very good shooter - and Minnesota could certainly use one of those.
17. Chicago Bulls (via Bucks)
Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada
Babbitt is a lefty with an eagle eye from the free throw line and beyond the arc. Luol Deng's constant injury concern could make Babbitt a nice insurance policy for the Bulls.
18. Miami Heat
Avery Bradley, G, Texas
The Heat are obviously desperate for a point guard, so they may throw Bradley out there and see if he sticks. He loves to shoot and isn't the fastest guy around, but should be able to have a decent NBA career.
19. Boston Celtics
Paul George, G-F, Fresno State
Tony Allen has come up big for the Celtics in the playoffs, but knee surgeries are surely going to cut his career short. The Celtics could get a steal by taking George here. He started out as a relative unknown this year, but is quickly gaining fans in the NBA. He's an athletic power dunker who can contribute in almost any fantasy-scoring category, and averaged nearly 17 points and seven boards for Fresno. He's my favorite sleeper in the draft, and I doubt I'm alone in that thinking.
20. San Antonio Spurs
Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Benetton Treviso
Motiejunas is a seven-footer playing in Italy and appears to be NBA ready. Like many of his fellow Euro competitors, defense will be an issue, but the Spurs have a knack for quickly turning prospects into effective starters.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Larry Sanders, PF, VCU
First of all, I love Larry Sanders, the fictional talk show host, and his sidekick Hank. But I also kind of love the Larry Sanders who played at VCU last year. He plays great D, rebounds and blocks shots. The Thunder could use another big body to complement Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and James Harden. Hey now ...
22. Portland Trail Blazers
Eric Bledsoe, G, Kentucky
He can play either guard spot and would make for a nice backup for Andre Miller. He's primarily a shooting guard, although He's undersized and struggled in the NCAA Tourney.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Jazz)
Quincy Pondexter, SF, Washington
Ryan Gomes may not be the long-term answer at SF for the Wolves, so taking Pondexter here makes sense. He's aggressive and quick, and could challenge for a starting job in Minnesota next year.
24. Atlanta Hawks
Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State
Alabi averaged 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and a school-record 2.1 blocked shots in 77 games for the Seminoles. The Hawks need a coach and some leadership, but they also desperately need a center. Maybe Alabi will be the answer.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (via Denver)
Damion James, F, Texas
Rudy Gay is a free agent and Zach Randolph is entering the last year of his contract, so the Grizzlies might need a small forward ASAP. James may not be around at No. 25, but would be the pick if he falls. James seems to have all the tools to be a quality combo forward in the NBA, but will need to improve his jump shot.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns)
Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis
James Harden appears to have a solid future in the NBA, but The Blazers are loaded with big men (albeit not many healthy ones) and have Brandon Roy and Andre Miller in the backcourt. Williams is a strong offensive player and could eventually provide some instant offense in the NBA.
27. New Jersey Nets (via Dallas)
Stanley Robinson, SF, Connecticut
Terrence Williams' strong finish makes him look like the SF of the future in Jersey, but some good old-fashioned competition would be good for him. Robinson isn't guaranteed to go in the first round, but the Nets taking him here seems to make sense. He's a good defender, can score, and will hit some threes if left open.
28. Memphis Grizzlies (via Lakers)
Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State
Zach Randolph is in the last year of his contract and Brackins' stock is on the rise. He's got a high basketball IQ and is a team player in every sense of the word. Darrell Arthur doesn't look like the answer, but Brackins might be.
29. Orlando Magic
Terrico White, SG, Mississippi
White is freakishly athletic and has as much potential as any player outside of the Top 5. He is inconsistent and might lose concentration at times, but with Vince Carter's future in Orlando (and the NBA) running out of steam, taking White here makes sense.
30. Washington Wizards (via Cleveland)
Dominique Jones, G, South Florida
Jones is a combo guard out of South Florida who could slide into Round 2. He can create his own shot and looks like he'll play shooting guard in the NBA. The Wizards need all the help they can get, and Jones could be a solid NBA player.
PBT: The Pacers were too tough for the Knicks, but Miami is a different animal. The clubs face off in the East finals, starting Wednesday night.
Rotoworld: The Cavaliers won the draft lottery on Tuesday night, and the latest mock gives them the big man with the highest upside.
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