Courtesy of the Everyone Else Is Doing It So Why Don’t We Department comes the official BallinEurope mock NBA draft for 2010. Our man in the UK, Sam Chadwick looks into his metaphorical crystal ball to see how the American clubs might be thinking on draft day. BiE will be running official mock draft 2.0 next week, once the chaos theory of the pingpong balls has taken effect.
1. New Jersey Nets: John Wall (6’4”, PG, Kentucky, Freshman). This will be the easiest pick of this year draft and is clearly everybody’s no. 1 pick no matter who wins the lottery. If the Nets drop to second, I’d suggest Evan Turner or Wesley Johnson at three or four, as they already have enough bigs.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Evan Turner (6’6”, SG, Ohio State, Junior). The battle begins here: Number 2 is currently a huge debate. Turner, the National Player of the Year, is currently the leader for number 2. If Minnesota drops lower than second, I suggest they pick up the next best SG, like Xavier Henry or James Anderson.
3. Sacramento Kings: Derrick Favors (6’9”, PF, Georgia Tech, Freshman) is listed third on almost all mock drafts, but based on need I’m not sure that Sacramento is the right fit considering they already have Landry. If the Kings drop to fourth or fifth, they should pick up someone like Henry: I know he’s a SG, but his ball handling skills are good and combining him with Tyreke Evans would make for an awesome backcourt.
4. Golden State Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins (6’10”, PF, Kentucky, Freshman). Golden State loves young, running, long kids and Cousins is clearly that. However, his maturity and mentality in a Don Nelson system might not work. If they don’t take him or they drop lower, look for the Warriors to snag Johnson or maybe even Donatas Motiejunas.
5. Washington Wizards: Wesley Johnson (6’7”, SF, Syracuse, Junior). Washington needs a new image and Wesley Johnson will happily fill that role: He’s a great scorer with great versatility, and could also sometimes play shooting guard. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Johnson may go one pick higher or Washington may drop; therefore, they may need to pick up someone like Henry or Cole Aldrich.
6. Philadelphia 76ers: Al-Farouq Aminu (6’9”, SF, Wake Forest, Sophomore). Philadelphia goes for the most athletic player, as they need to get back to their running-and-gunning ways that made them successful last year. If Elton Brand can continue to get back from injuries and Andre Igoudola stays, this team could be fun again. If Montiejunas is available or if the Sixers fall in the order, I suggest they’d take Motiejunas, as he’s a tall, athletic centre who can replace Delambert.
7. Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe (6’10”, PF, Georgetown, Sophomore). I kind of want Monroe in Milwaukee and if he drops that low, he would be a great pickup for them: I feel him and Jennings would be one of the best duos in the league. However, Detroit may draft Monroe just because of his skill set. If the Pistons drop lower, they could grab Patrick Patterson, who could help make the Pistons back into the Bad Boys.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Patrick Patterson (6’8”, PF, Kentucky, Junior). A Patrick Patterson/Blake Griffin lineup is rather scary, but both are power forwards. I feel if any team can make that work, though, it’s the Clippers. If they drop, I suggest they take athletic small forward Ed Davis.
9. Utah Jazz: Cole Aldrich (6’11”, C, Kansas, Junior) is a good pick here, especially if Boozer decides that he has had too much of the Jazz. Aldrich is probably the most polished of all centers in the draft and one who will work well under Sloan. The backup pick if they drop is Hassan Whiteside, as he can take up some of the scoring left by Boozer.
10. Indiana Pacers: Ed Davis (6’9”, PF, North Carolina, Sophomore). Davis’ injury spoiled his season and I think it will affect his draft stock. Some teams may take a chance; while Indiana has had a bad season and can really afford to take this chance, I suggest they pick someone a bit more proven. If they drop lower, I suggest they pick up Ekpe Udoh, as he is an athletic player much like Danny Granger.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Donatas Motiejunas (7’0”, PF, Lithuania). New Orleans needs a solid big man, which they currently do not have; they seem to be over flowing with talent at both guard positions, especially now that Chris Paul is back. Donatas is the best big man in the draft after Aldrich. If the Hornets drop lower, they could grab someone like Hassan Whiteside or Larry Sanders: Imagine the alley oops…
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Eric Bledsoe (6’1”, PG, Kentucky, Freshman). Apparently, Bledsoe is the second best PG in this draft; based on this, I say they should take him as Conley either needs to be replaced or needs a better back-up. If they don’t wanna pick him, I’d say Damion James as a small forward to replace Rudy Gay if he goes.
13. Toronto Raptors: Hassan Whiteside (7’0”, C, Marshall, Freshman). If Chris Bosh is off, the Raptors need a new low-post scoring threat, as well as a defensive presence in the key. Whiteside is the best available to fill this role. If Toronto drops lower, then Solomon Alabi is the best interior defender left but may not be as polished offensively.
14. Houston Rockets: Ekpe Udoh (6’10”, PF, Baylor, Junior). Houston already has a solid 1-2. As they traded away Landry, Epke is athletic, hustling, scoring player who can fill some of Landry’s gap. If Houston falls in the order, you could see Alabi taken.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Larry Sanders (6’10”, PF, VCU, Junior). I wanted Milwaukee to get Monroe; unfortunately, they probably won’t. Instead there’s Larry Saunders, which isn’t too bad. If they drop lower, I suggest they pick up either Gani Lawal for his size and athleticism or another European in Miroslav Raduljica.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves: Paul George (6’8”, SF, Fresno State, Sophomore). Minnesota now has enough guards, especially if they pick up Evan Turner at no. 2, so they go for a small forward and pick up Paul George. If not, they can take Gordon Hayward as a solid small forward.
17. Chicago Bulls: If Xavier Henry (6’6”, SG, Kansas, Freshman) is available, I think the Bulls will grab him as quickly as the Nets will grab Wall. Henry should go higher, but as a Bulls fan, I can still hope. If he’s already gone, Chicago should take James Anderson.
18. Miami Heat: Lance Stephenson (6’5”, SG, Cincinnati, Freshman). Miami can take a risk, D-Wade may leave, and The Heat will therefore need a shooting guard, thereby allowing Beasley to become the player he’s always wanted to be – I trust Pat Riley to contain his attitude. If not, Greivis Vasquez may be the Heat’s next best option.
19. Boston Celtics: Damion James (6’7”, SF, Texas, Senior). A solid, experienced small forward who is a lot like Paul Pierce, Boston would happily pick James up here if available. If not, I suggest Jordan Crawford, who has great range and would learn from Ray Allen; plus he dunked on Lebron, so the fans will love him, right?
20. San Antonio Spurs: James Anderson (6’6”, SG, Oklahoma State, Junior).They have a good PF, plus a backup PF in Blair, plus they own the rights to Tiago Splitter … the Spurs don’t really need an extra big, but do need depth at shooting guard. If Anderson is gone at this point, Stanley Robinson could serve as a back-up to Richard Jefferson.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Solomon Alabi (7’1”, C, Florida State, Sophomore). This team has improved so much. The Oklahoma City core is currently comprised of a PG (Westbrook), a SF (Durant) and a PF (Green), so they could do with a SG or C. Alabi may be the best Centre available, or the Thunder may go for Vasquez for his height and playmaking skills.
22. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Ebanks (6’8”, SF, West Virginia, Sophomore). The Blazers need a solid backup at small forward and Ebanks is the best availible at that position – if he’s available, Hayward is also a good pick.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves: Daniel Orton (6’10”, PF, Kentucky, Freshman). Minnesota has yet another pick here and basically just want to improve the bench. With no Orton, maybe the Wolves Avery Bradley or trade the pick. You never know with Minnesota…
24. Atlanta Hawks: Jordan Crawford (6’4”, SG, Xavier, Sophomore). The Hawks could do with a shooting guard in case Joe Johnson leaves and they are solid at almost every other position. In lieu of Crawford, the Hawks could grab a backup big man such as Gani Lawal or Jarvis Vernado.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Luke Babbitt (6’8”, SF, Nevada, Sophomore). I have Memphis picking a guard with their first pick and may just look to add depth here. If not, Babbitt may take Quincy Pondexter as an athletic wing player.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder: Greivis Vasquez (6’5”, PG, Maryland, Senior). Oklahoma picked Alabi earlier in this mock draft, so now they can pick Vasquez as their SG/PG backup in a rotation with Harden, Sefolosha and Maynor. If Vasquez is gone here, OKC could pick up a back up small power forward such as Jarvis Varnado.
27. New Jersey Nets: Avery Bradley (6’2”, SG, Texas, Freshman). Assuming the Nets go for Wall at no. 1, and figuring in their solid frontcourt of players like Lopez, Jianlian Yi and Terrance Williams, the Nets grab an SG who is a great defender. If Bradley is taken, look for the Nets to maybe pick up Willie Warren, although I’m not too keen on him.
28. Memphis Grizzlies: Terrico White (6’5”, SG, Ole Miss, Sophomore). I feel Memphis may trade away a pick or two for cash or something, but they could do with a bookend for Mayo, and Terrico may be best available. An alternative choice here might be Warren.
29. Orlando Magic: Gordon Hayward (6’9”, SF, Butler, Sophomore) is a solid player; Orlando is a solid team with only depth needed: Hayward will provide this depth. Otherwise, I’d suggest Armon Johnson as a backup guard.
30. Washington Wizards: Miroslav Raduljica (6’11”, C, Serbia). Wesley Johnson is a great first pick, so look for the Wizards to add a solid big man afterward to play alongside him. Miroslav may be the best player for such a purpose. If not, Washington may take Dominique Jones, who had a workout with the team on May 13th.
Sam Chadwick is a assistant coach for the Solent Kestrels U13 team. He also writes a basketball-centered blog called Hype.