UPDATED: 6:00 CST
I feel like my thesis is due in a couple of hours and I keep going over the final draft time and time again to make sure everything is just perfect. Now that NBA Draft is upon us, my masterpiece of a mock draft gets put to the test. Do the months and hours of research and watching college hoops pay off? Here is my latest mock draft (you can also check out my 2011 NBA Mock Draft) and I will be updating it right until the first name is actually called. Be sure to join us at The Sports Bank during the draft for our live chat and check out my 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
For one of our MANY interview features on Evan Turner, EASILY the most blogged about individual athlete in The Sports Bank’s history, click this exclusive here
For more on Evan Turner’s effect on his opponents go here
For the all-Evan Turner BFF team go here
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- Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor, 6-10, Jr.
Outside of their backcourt, the Warriors roster is sort of a mess and they should take the best available player. The reportedly prefer Udoh rather than Monroe due to his (GASP) ability to be a difference maker on defense. Either would 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 the Warriors dealing Corey Maggette, they might take a more serious look at a small forward like Aminu as well.
Think: Serge Ibaka
7. Detroit-Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown, 6-11, So.
They would love to move up and get Cousins and well all the smoke has cleared, it may happen. If not, they are probably thrilled Monroe falls to them since he provides an inside presence Detroit so badly needs. If Monroe ends up going six to Golden State, Ed Davis is likely the pick.
Think: Chris Bosh
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. There is also a rumor out there this pick could go to Chicago for Luol Deng and #17.
Think: Marvin Williams
9. ^Utah (from NY)- Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina, 6-10, So.
One thought is that the Jazz should grab a big man in case Carlos Boozer leaves via free agency and Davis would bring some athleticism to their frontcourt. The Jazz are also very high on Luke Babbitt and could use his outside shooting since Kyle Korver is a free agent. The pick should come down to one of these two unless Monroe somehow falls to them.
Think: Al Horford
10. Indiana- Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky, 6-1, Fr.
My first “ballsy” pick that will make or break my mock. I have been saying since the ping pong balls were revealed that Indy should strongly consider taking Bledsoe. There is a good chance the Pacers end up dealing this pick because they covet a young point guard. If they don’t get one via trade why not draft Bledsoe who I think will develop into one of the top ten players in this draft. Indy could also use an athletic post player and would likely jump on Davis or Udoh if they fell to this spot.
Think: Raymond Felton
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 is a better option in Memphis than Babbitt because there aren’t many players in the league who are 6’9 and possess his type of skill set which is rather similar to that of Gay.
Think: A poor-man’s Tracy McGrady
13. Toronto- Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada, 6-9, So.
The Raptors are trying to deal an unhappy Hedo Turkoglu and probably don’t pass up Babbitt. With that being said, they also need to find a replacement for Chris Bosh and could use a post player like Aldrich or Patterson. This is another pick that is rumored to be on the market so anything is possible.
Think: Danilo Gallinari
1 4. Houston- Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas, 6-11, Jr.
The Rockets are in a position where they have no glaring needs and take the best available player. I don’t see Aldrich as being anything more than a solid back-up in the league but Houston could use a player like that considering Yao’s recent injury history and the fact that is entering the final year of his contract.
Think: Joel Przybilla
15.$Milwaukee (from CHI)- Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky, 6-9, Jr.
The Bucks addressed their need for a wing player via trades by acquiring Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts in the past two days. Now I think they turn their attention to the frontcourt where Andrew Bogut is the only real inside presence on the roster. Patterson denied an invitation request from Milwaukee but is too perfect a fit to pass up because of physicality and ability to contribute right away. The Bucks are rumored to be very high on Larry Sanders as well so he is another option.
Think: Kenyon Martin
16. @Minnesota (from CHAR)-Larry Sanders, PF, VCU, 6-11, Jr.
There have been rumors of the Timberwolves dealing this pick, possibly to Memphis for #25 and #28 but nothing is official. If Minnesota keeps the pick and grabs Johnson at four, they take a post player here. Sanders is the athletic, shot blocking big man Minnesota needs to compliment Love and Jefferson. If the T-Wolves get Favors or Cousins at #4, expect them to go after a wing player.
Think: Sean Williams
17. Washington(from CHI)- Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler, 6-8, So.
The Wizards acquired this pick and Kirk Heinrich for… um… nothing really. Washington is reportedly interested in Damion James but I don’t think they pass on Hayward if he does indeed fall this low.
Think: Dorrell Wright
Click here for an exclusive interview/profile of Hayward
18. Oklahoma City- Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State, 7-1, Soph.
The Thunder stole this pick from the Heat and are trying to move up. Alabi would help erase the mistake of drafting B.J. Mullens last year. OKC needs an inside presence to patrol the paint and Alabi is a great shot blocker.
19. Boston- Avery Bradley, G, Texas, 6-3, Fr.
The C’s appear to be shopping this pick. If they hang on to it, Boston could use some depth in their backcourt since Rajon Rondo.is the only guard under contract for next season, though Ray Allen is expected to re-sign. Bradley lacks a true position at the next level but has a lot of ability. I really think Damion James is a real option here as well since he could step in right away and contribute off the bench.
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. A big could also be an option to help take some of the load off Tim Duncan, but I am not sure any of the remaining post prospects are ready to contribute next season.
Think: Wilson Chandler
21. Oklahoma City- Daniel Orton, F/C, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.
Orton’s stock is all over the board because he is a serious project (finally, people are realizing this?) I wouldn’t be shocked if he went mid-teens and wouldn’t be shocked if he fell out of the first round. OKC needs a physical presence down low and with three first rounders, can hope he pans out.
Think: a poor-man’s Marcus Camby
22. Portland- Kevin Seraphin, PF, France, 6-10, 1989
Orton and Whiteside are also options here but I think Seraphin is the most NBA-ready of the three and could provide some muscle behind LeMarcus Aldridge if he comes to the league this season. If not, his development will not take as long as Orton’s or Whiteside’s. Recent reports say the Blazers are also high on Elliot Williams and would consider him with this pick but I think that is a pretty big reach.
Think: Kris Humphries
23. >Minnesota (from UTAH)- Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier, 6-5, Soph.
The T-Wolves could be dealing this pick, but if not, Crawford is a great value here and would be a terrific scoring option off the bench. I really like him especially this low. Minnesota could also go the foreign route with their first round pick and take a player like Seraphin to store overseas.
Think: Anthony Morrow
For a feature profile/interview of Crawford click here
24. Atlanta- James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State, 6-6, Jr.
I have had Anderson going to Chicago at 17 since forever, but now he drops with the Bulls making that trade. Atlanta needs to have an insurance plan since Joe Johnson will likely sign elsewhere in a couple of weeks and Anderson knows how to score the basketball. Dominique Jones is real option here as well.
Think: Brandon Rush
For a feature profile/interview of Anderson click here
25. =Memphis (from DEN)- Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State, 6-10, Jr.
The Wizards only post players under contract are Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee so they could use some depth up-front. Once a projected lottery pick, the Cycolne would be a good roll of the dice at this point.
Think: Hakim Warrick
Click here for a profile/interview of Brackins.
26. &Oklahoma City (from PHX)- Tibor Pleiss, C, Germany, 7-0, 1989
OKC has been reportedly high on Pleiss for quite some time and the Thunder could grab him at 18 or 21, but would be thrilled if he landed in their lap here. With three first rounders, (for the time being at least) OKC can afford to stash a prospect like Pleiss overseas.
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)- Greivis Vasquez, PG, Maryland, 6-7, Sr.
There’s late buzz that Vasquez has a late first round promise and it appears to be from Memphis. They need a back-up to Mike Conley who has yet to assert himself as the franchise’s future floor leader.
Think: Marco Belinelli
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)-Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall, 7-0, Fr.
Like Orton, I have no clue where Whiteside ends up. Minnesota at #16 would make sense, but despite his talent and up-side, he appears to be on a serious downslie. The Wizards only post players under contract are Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee so they could use some depth up-front, hoping he “gets it” when he arrives in the league.
Think: A very poor-man’s Dwight Howard
Click here for David’s second round.
Check out the Sports Bank’s 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
This mock is listed at the following databases: Hoop Doctors, Walter Football, DC Pro Sports Report
#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)