Plenty or rumors, trade possibilities, and jockeying for position. NBA Draft week has certainly been anything but quiet. Here is my latest mock draft (you can also check out my 2011 NBA Mock Draft.) Be sure to join us at The Sports Bank during the draft for our live chat and live pick-by-pick grades. You can also check out my Big Board by clicking here.
By: David Kay
1. Washington- John Wall, PG, Kentucky, 6-4, Fr.
Blowing up their roster at the trade deadline paid off as the Wizards had luck on their side by winning the draft lottery. Wall is the obvious choice since the Wiz only point guard is Gilbert Arenas who just cannot be counted on at this point of his career. Arenas can move to the two while Wall becomes the new face of the franchise.
Think: Derrick Rose
2. Philadelphia- Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State, 6-7, Jr.
New head coach Doug Collins reportedly really likes Favors but it appears Turner gets the edge because he is the needed compliment to Andre Iguodala on the wing and will bring his versatility to a franchise badly in need of a go-to player.
Think: Scottie Pippen
3. New Jersey- Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech, 6-10, Fr.
The latest chatter out of Jersey is that Wesley Johnson has leaped ahead of Favors as the likely pick but some reports are contradicting, saying Favors will still be the pick. The Nets need all sorts of help and a scorer on the wing like Johnson will help, but is he a better long-term prospect that Favors? I don’t think so. I still think Favors is the pick.
Think: Al Jefferson
For a feature profile/interview of Favors click here
4. Minnesota- Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse, 6-8, Jr.
If Turner and Johnson are off the board, the T-Wolves are “forced” to take Favors or Cousins at four. But the T-Wolves have been high on Johnson all along as he would bring some needed talent to the wing. This selection could also be dealt with a team like Detroit possibly trying to move up to grab one of the top bigs though Minnesota seems set on hanging onto the selection.
Think: Shawn Marion
5. Sacramento- DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky, 6-11, Fr.
The Kings will likely take whoever is on the board of the Johnson/Favors/Cousins trio but will also take a serious look at Monroe. The Kings did just acquire Samuel Dalembert but he is a free agent after this season so there is still a long-term need for a big man like Cousins.
Think: Zach Randolph
6. Golden State- Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown, 6-11, So.
Outside of their backcourt, the Warriors roster is sort of a mess and they should take the best available player. Monroe’s versatility would be a good fit in Nellie Ball and provide a boost up-front since Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright have not developed like the franchise would have hoped and Andris Biedrins has seemingly fallen out of favor in G-State. With G-State dealing Corey Maggette yesterday, they might take a more serious look at a small forward like Aminu though.
Think: Chris Bosh
7. Detroit- Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina, 6-10, So.
The Pistons need to get some fresh young talent inside and would likely be thrilled in Monroe falls to them that it is unlikely. Reports are they like Aminu as well and think he could play the four in the NBA, but I just don’t see how he is any different then what Detroit has in Charlie V. Detroit is also very active in trade rumors about moving up to grab Cousins. If they stay at seven, Davis or Udoh are the best options with Davis getting the edge due to his potential.
Think: Al Horford
8. L.A. Clippers- Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest, 6-9, So.
This is the ideal situation for L.A.’s other team. The biggest hole on the Clips’ roster is at the small forward position and they would probably be thrilled if Aminu fell to them. If not, the Clips will take whoever they like best of the Henry/Babbitt/George/Hayward group.
Think: Marvin Williams
9. ^Utah (from NY)- Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada, 6-9, So.
I don’t understand how Babbitt has suddenly gone from a borderline first round pick to being in the top ten of some “expert’s” big boards during the past month, but it appears as if he will not fall out of the lottery. One thought is that the Jazz should grab a big man in case Carlos Boozer leaves via free agency. But Utah could also use some help on the wing since Kyle Korver is a free agent.
Think: Danilo Gallinari
10. Indiana- Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor, 6-10, Jr.
Indy needs to add an athletic post player who can board and block shots. I think Bledsoe makes a lot of sense here since the Pacers also desperately need an upgrade at the point even though it would be a bit of a risk. If I am the Pacers, I take Bledsoe but I think Bird plays it safe with Udoh.
Think: Serge Ibaka
11. New Orleans- Xavier Henry, G/F, Kansas, 6-7, Fr.
The Hornets have two pretty glaring needs; depth up-front and a wing player of the future since Peja is in the final year of his deal. There will be a lot of options for both with this pick between Patterson and Aldrich or George/Henry/Hayward. I think Henry is the best prospect of that group so I will make him the pick.
Think: Paul Pierce
12. Memphis- Paul George, G/F, Fresno State, 6-9, So.
The Griz could be losing Rudy Gay this off-season and need to have a back-up plan. George continues to climb up draft boards because there aren’t many players in the league who are 6’9 and possess the type of skill set he has. If one of the top power forwards drops that would also be an option due to Zach Randolph’s recent off-the-court issues.
Think: A poor-man’s Tracy McGrady
13. Toronto- Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky, 6-9, Jr.
The Raptors need to prepare for like post-Chris Bosh. Patterson would bring some physicality up-front to compliment the perimeter based Andrea Bargnani and be ready to contribute immediately. The Raptors could go for Aldrich or Whiteside if they are looking to add a true center.
Think: Kenyon Martin
1 4. Houston- Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler, 6-8, So.
The Rockets are in a position where they have no glaring needs and take the best available player and that would be Hayward or George. A big man like Whiteside would be a possibility as well since Yao is coming off a season-ending injury and will be a free agent next summer.
Think: Dorrell Wright
Click here for an exclusive interview/profile of Hayward
15.$Milwaukee (from CHI)- Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas, 6-11, Jr.
The Bucks addressed their need for a wing player Tuesday when they acquired Corey Maggette from the Warriors. Now I think they turn their attention to the frontcourt where Andrew Bogut is the only real inside presence on the roster. Aldrich is a good option since he could provide some defensive help inside but the team also really likes Larry Sanders as well.
Think: Joel Przybilla
16. @Minnesota (from CHAR)-Larry Sanders, PF, VCU, 6-11, Jr.
There have been rumors of the Timberwolves dealing this pick to Memphis for #25 and #28 but nothing is official yet. If Minnesota keeps the pick and goes with wing #4, they take a post player here and vice versa. Sanders is the athletic, shot blocking big man Minnesota needs to compliment Love and Jefferson.
Think: Sean Williams
17. $Chicago (from MIL)- James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State, 6-6, Jr.
The Bulls will try to make a major splash in the off-season by signing one of the top available wing players but they should be prepared to have a plan B in case they don’t land one. Recent rumors have Chicago trying to trade out of the draft but if they keep this pick, Anderson would be a great perimeter weapon to compliment Derrick Rose’s ability to get to the rim.
Think: Brandon Rush
For a feature profile/interview of Anderson click here
18. Miami-Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky, 6-1, Fr.
The Heat need help all across the board with less than a handful of players under contract for next season and would probably jump for joy if Bledsoe fell to them. I think he is a top ten talent and could eventually becomes their point guard of the future.
Think: Raymond Felton
19. Boston- Avery Bradley, G, Texas, 6-3, Fr.
NBA teams love his athleticism and defensive abilities, but he is an under-sized two guard who does not have a true position and will need to learn the point to be effective at the next level. The only guard under contract for the Celtics is Rajon Rondo although Ray Allen is expected to re-sign. Still, Boston could use some depth in their backcourt.
Think: Shannon Brown
20. San Antonio- Damion James, SF, Texas, 6-8, Sr.
I have had James going to the Spurs for the past couple of months and am not going to change that pick. He brings a great deal of collegiate experience and toughness that fits well with the Spurs style of play.
Think: Wilson Chandler
21. Oklahoma City- Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State, 7-1, Soph.
Alabi is another player who I cannot get a great feel for in terms of where he lands. Despite drafting a project like B.J. Mullens last year, OKC needs an inside presence to patrol the paint and Alabi is a great shot blocker. Daniel Orton is also an option with this pick.
Think: Johan Petro
22. Portland-Hassan Whiteside, F/C, Marshall, 7-0, Fr.
Questions about Whiteside’s maturity has him on the downfall in mock drafts including mine. The Blazers do not have a glaring need and could roll the dice on this young seven-footer since Greg Oden’s injury issues are a concern and Joel Przybilla will be a free agent after next season.
Think: A very poor-man’s Dwight Howard
23. >Minnesota (from UTAH)- Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier, 6-5, Soph.
If the T-Wolves pull off the trade with Memphis and acquire the 25th and 28th picks, anything is possible. If not, Crawford is a great value here and would be a terrific scoring option off the bench. I really like Crawford especially this low.
Think: Anthony Morrow
For a feature profile/interview of Crawford click here
24. Atlanta- Dominique Jones, G, South Florida, 6-5, Jr.
Jones is a natural scorer who many think could play some point in the NBA. Atlanta needs to have an insurance plan since Joe Johnson will likely sign elsewhere in a couple of weeks and Jones is the most NBA-ready of the available two-guards available.
Think: Roger Mason
25. =Memphis (from DEN)- Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State, 6-10, Jr.
The Griz need a back-up plan at power forward due to Randolph’s run-ins with the law. Once a projected lottery pick, the Cycolne would be a good roll of the dice at this point. Memphis has big bodies up-front, but doesn’t have an athletic big man like Brackins meaning he would bring something different to the table.
Think: Hakim Warrick
Click here for a profile/interview of Brackins.
26. &Oklahoma City (from PHX)- Daniel Orton, F/C, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.
His stock seems to be all over the board with rumors the Pacers reportedly interested at 10. But because he is a serious project, I think he falls in a draft heavy on post prospects. OKC will look consider him at 21 and if they keep this pick, likely jump on the opportunity to take him and hopes he can develop down the line.
Think: a poor-man’s Marcus Camby
27. *New Jersey (from DAL)- Lance Stephenson, SG, Cincinnati, 6-6, Fr.
Assuming the Nets get Favors at three, they are best served adding some depth on the wing with this pick. If they take Johnson with their earlier pick, look for Jersey to add a post player. I like Stephenson’s potential at the next level even though he didn’t have the best freshman season at Cincy.
Think: Isaiah Rider
28. #Memphis (from LAL)- Armon Johnson, PG, Nevada, 6-3, Jr.
Mike Conley has not taken over the point guard role in Memphis like the team would have hoped and could look for another option with one of their three first round picks (if of course they keep all three with the rumored Minnesota deal being possible.)
Think: Marcus Banks
29. Orlando- Darington Hobson, G/F, New Mexico, 6-7, Jr.
The Magic could use a back-up for Jameer Nelson or a wing prospect to possibly replace free agent Matt Barnes. Hobson is extremely versatile and could play a point forward position at the next level.
Think: A mix between Matt Barnes and Shaun Livingston
30. +Washington (from CLE)- Kevin Seraphin, PF, France, 6-10, 1989
The Wizards only post players under contract are Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee so they could use some depth up-front. Seraphin could go as high as the early 20’s and would be a great value at this point of the draft.
Think: Kris Humphries
Click here for David’s second round.
Check out the Sports Bank’s 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
#Pau Gasol trade (top 6 protected)
*Jason Kidd trade (unprotected)
&Kurt Thomas trade (unprotected)
=Steven Hunter trade
@Ty Lawson trade via Alexis Ajinca trade (lottery protected)
>Rodney Carney trade via Kyle Korver trade (top 17 protected)
+Antawn Jamsion trade
$John Salmons trade (Bucks have right to swap picks with Bulls)