1. Washington Wizards – John Wall / PG / Kentucky
YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! The Wizards have to be ecstatic to have won the lottery this year. After going through the problems with Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards needed some good news. They got it on lottery night, winning with only a 10 percent chance of getting the first overall pick.
Their reward is John Wall. Wall is an incredible talent, often compared to Derrick Rose, and will try and duplicate Rose’s rookie of the year campaign from two years ago. Wall would also like to see the Wizards move up the standings as the Bulls have since Rose’s arrival.
Expect to see President Obama at a few more Wizard home games this season.
2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner / SG / Ohio State
The City of Brotherly love pulled off a mini-miracle moving up to second overall. Evan Turner is the consensus No. 2 pick, and some players have him No. 1 overall. He can do absolutely everything well, which is important for a Philadelphia team that had very little go right last season.
Given the team’s make-up Turner will probably see a lot of minutes at small forward with Iguodala at shooting guard. That takes pressure off Iguodala, who is at his best in a supporting role. If Elton Brand can stay healthy, and Thaddeus Young takes to a supporting role, the 76ers may be dangerous in the East.
3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors / PF / Georgia Tech
Obviously the Nets, and their fans, have reason to be disappointed. We could practically see John Wall throwing lobs to LeBron James next year. Devin Harris would have been moved again, or he would have been asked to play the two. Now, not so much.
Now we see super freshman Derrick Favors catching a whole lot of alley-oops from Devin Harris. Favors really came into his own late in the season, despite sub-par guard play.
Teaming Favors up with a guard like Harris and a post player like Lopez means a lot of easy baskets. If they add a free agent, the Nets could be poised to make a playoff run, in no small part due to taking Favors.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson / SF / Syracuse
Typically we advise teams to draft the best player available. Here, we’re having the Timberwolves reach just a little for Wesley Johnson. On our big board Wes is the sixth best prospect, so it isn’t a huge reach. Johnson can score from the perimeter, but has a frame that can add weight. We see him as a hybrid forward, but playing primarily small forward.
The fact is the Wolves are locked at power forward and center for years with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Taking DeMarcus Cousins isn’t going to make anyone happy, especially DeMarcus Cousins. So go ahead David Kahn, go against the grain and take the player that fits best.
5. Sacramento Kings – DeMarcus Cousins / PF-C / Kentucky
The Kings would have been ecstatic to be in the top two. That would have meant a backcourt of John Wall and Tyreke Evans. Or it would have meant Evan Turner being added to a team that lacks a real small forward.
Instead, they’re picking fifth. Their prize? Arguably the best center in the draft, DeMarcus Cousins. The problem is their adding him to a front-court that already has Carl Landry, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Thompson. One of those players might be traded soon, and since they brought in Landry it is probably Thompson or Hawes.
No matter who they end up keeping, the Kings are set for a long time in their front-court if they add DeMarcus.
6. Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu / SF / Wake Forest
The Warriors may have actually won by falling to number six. They have a ton of young big men already, and they need a small forward more than another guard. Sure moving up to number two would have been nice, but if they were third what would they do?
They probably would have “reached” for Al-Farouq Aminu. The fact is Aminu is the best fit for them, and he’s a top five talent. He showed an increased ability to score off the dribble and would be comfortable running the floor in the Warriors fast paced offense.
Also, he has a great ability to find the open man after putting the ball on the floor, which means more open looks for Curry and Ellis.
7. Detroit Pistons – Cole Aldrich / C / Kansas
The Pistons’ prayers weren’t answered, and they remained at number seven in the draft. They need a big man in a big way, and Cole Aldrich fits the bill. He isn’t the high glamor pick like a Hassan Whiteside, but he can contribute now.
The Pistons spent a ton of money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, so the focus has to be on the now. Aldrich gives them the most today, and that’s what the Pistons need.
8. Los Angeles Clippers – Ed Davis / PF / North Carolina
Ed Davis is coming off a disappointing sophomore year with the Tarheels. The team couldn’t win and Davis didn’t make the jump many expected. Despite all that, he is worth the eighth overall pick for the Clippers, even if they already have Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman.
Davis is a project, so learning with Kaman and growing a rapport with Griffin is a good thing. Also, the Clippers only have five players under contract, so they should be focused on taking the best player on the board, regardless of position.
9. Utah Jazz – Greg Monroe / PF / Georgetown
The Jazz desperately need size, rebounding, and reliability out of their next center. Greg Monroe can provide all those things next season, which is important for a Jazz team that needs to focus on winning now.
Monroe can fit a system, which he proved playing at Georgetown. If he can develop a more consistent outside jumper, he would be a great companion with Williams running the pick and roll.
10. Indiana Pacers – Hassan Whiteside / C / Marshall
Hassan Whiteside basically came out of nowhere this season for the Thundering Heard. He needs to work hard on his fundamentals, but he has the tools to be a contributor for a long time in this league.
The Pacers only have Roy Hibbert at center. The thing Hibbert does well is block shots, and Hassan already does that better. Couple that with Whiteside’s incredible potential, and the Pacers happily scoop him up with the 10th overall pick.
11. New Orleans Hornets – Xavier Henry / SG / Kansas
The Hornets are closer than most people think to being a contender. They have Chris Paul and David West for at least another year, but lack a third scoring option. Xavier Henry can be that third scoring option.
Henry can shoot the lights out, put the ball on the floor, and doesn’t need the spotlight. He played on a star studded Kansas team, but came in and played his role. The Hornets are scary with him knocking down open shots off Paul’s penetration.
12. Memphis Grizzlies – Patrick Patterson / PF / Kentucky
Memphis has to know that Zach Randolph isn’t a long term answer, especially if he wants Pau Gasol money. Patrick Patterson could be Zach Randolph’s without the baggage.
Both players can score facing up and rebound the ball well. Each player has a style that compliments Marc Gasol, so it isn’t as though Patterson and Gasol couldn’t play together. If the power forward out of Kentucky can add more to his post game, he could be the starter for the young Grizzlies in the future.
13. Toronto Raptors – Daniel Orton / C / Kentucky
Daniel Orton wasn’t the starter at Kentucky, but he could find himself playing early and often for the Raptors.
Chris Bosh is gone. Bargnani is too soft to play center, so in steps Orton. This allows Bargnani to thrive on the perimeter, and adds much needed toughness and rebounding to a Raptors squad that has a rabid fan base that expects to be in the playoffs next year.
14. Houston Rockets – Ekpe Udoh / PF-C / Baylor
Ekpe Udoh is the last pick of the lottery, falling to the Houston Rockets. Udoh can play either power forward or center, which is big for Houston considering Yao’s injury history and the trade of Carl Landry. This pick gives them front court stability and Udoh was our best player on the board, so a great pick for the Rockets.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – Donatas Motiejunas / PF / Lithuania
16. Minnesota Timberwolves – Paul George / SF / Fresno State
17. Chicago Bulls – James Anderson / SG / Oklahoma State
18. Miami Heat – Eric Bledsoe / PG / Kentucky
19. Boston Celtics – Damion James / SF-PF / Texas
20. San Antonio Spurs – Avery Bradley / SG / Texas
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Larry Sanders / PF / VCU
22. Portland Trailblazers – Gordon Hayward / SF / Butler
23. Minnesota Timberwolves – Stanley Robinson / PF / Connecticut
24. Atlanta Hawks – Devin Ebanks / SF / West Virginia
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Elliot Williams / SG / Memphis
26. Oklahoma City Thunder – Solomon Alabi / C / Florida State
27. New Jersey Nets – Luke Babbitt / SF / Nevada
28. Memphis Grizzlies – Quincy Pondexter / SF / Washington
29. Orlando Magic – Dominique Jones / SG / South Florida
30. Washington Wizards – Kevin Seraphin / PF-C / France
Last Updated: May 19, 2010