Monday, December 11

2010 Nba Mock Draft: Kentucky Has Four Going High

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The 2010 NBA mock draft is being completed by draftniks everywhere as the much anticipated 2010 NBA draft will take place June 24, 7 p.m.- 12 a.m. ET at Madison Square Garden. In the meantime, this is the fun time of year when both experts and nonexperts will assemble their 2010 NBA mock draft charts. Here is my own 2010 NBA mock draft list:

#1. WIZARDS: John Wall (Kentucky) PG; 6-4; 184 lbs.

John Wall is the consensus choice here and I have to concur. The Wizards management will get booed loudly if they don’t choose John Wall here.

#2. 76ERS: Evan Turner (Ohio State) SG; 6-7; 205 lbs.

Concensus #2 pick amongst draftniks. I concur due to his dynamo athleticism. He is a dunking machine which will garner mucho attention at the NBA dunking contest, runs the floor very well, and a defensive gem. Needs to work on free throws (63%) and scoring average (12.1 ppg). However, when he did shoot he did at an excellent mark at 61%.

#3. NETS: Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech) F; 6-10; 230 lbs.

Although it would be interesting if new Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov went with his national roots in picking Alexey Shved (#2 best international player) or Artem Zabelin (#5), I doubt he will tempt negative fan support.

Most draftniks have their #3 2010 NBA mock draft pick going to Derrick Favors, with an outside chance going to DeMarcus Cousins. Although Steve Kyler, publisher of Hoopsworld, has Evan Turner going #3 and Favors going #2 with the 76ers. I believe new Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov will play it safe in his first year by taking a less “volatile” player in Favors compared with Cousins. An added factor I see in Prokhorov going more conservative is he is also currently in search of a head coach. You want a player that you know has a better chance of meshing with a new coach and team. Secondly, if Prokhorov goes 0-2 in both his coaching and first round player selection, he will not garner much fan support. Bad fan support equals bad revenue.

#4. TIMBERWOLVES:Donatas Motiejunas (International, Lithuania; Euroleague–Benetton Treviso, Italy) PF/C; 7-0, 224 lbs.

The first shocking pick of the 2010 NBA mock draft! International players are becoming more prominent as lottery and top 10 picks. In the past 5 years international players have been selected in the top 10. In 2009 (#5), 2008 (#6), 2007 (#6), 2006 (#1, #10), 2005 (#1, #7). If you include the international players that were drafted out of American colleges they are even more prominent. The 2002 draft produced 17 international players, with only three of them (all second-round picks) having U.S. college experience. I am going against popular opinion for this 2010 NBA mock draft pick and will slot the first international player here. Motiejunas is the #1 international player on many lists.

#5. KINGS: Demarcus Cousins (Kentucky) C; 6-11, 195 lbs.

A volatile player like Cousins would fit perfect in the L.A. scene. But let’s not forgot why he is a top 10 pick for all the expert draftniks that filled out their 2010 NBA mock draft sheets: 1) Scorer–15.1 pts/game, 2) Size– 7’6″ wingspan, 3) Power, and 4) Great ball handling skills for a big man, 5) Projected to make an impact from day one in the NBA; possible starter by mid-season, 6) Presence in the post, 7) Shot blocker.

#6. WARRIORS: Wesley Johnson (Syracuse) F; 6-7; 195 lbs.

The Warriors are one day going to be a great team. Last year their #1 pick was the sensational college player from Davidson in Stephen Curry. If the Warriors get Johnson they will receive what scouting reports are saying is a wonderful team player with an incredible attitude. Last year for the Orangemen Johnson averaged 16.4 ppg, shot 50% from the field (44% 3-pt), and averaged nearly 9 rebounds a game.

#7. PISTONS: Ed Davis (North Carolina) PF; 6-10; 215 lbs.

According to mlive.com, Davis said at the pre-draft camp in Chicago that Ben Wallace is like family to him and that he works out with Wallace during the summer. Nbadraft.net gave him a 9 out of 10 for defense which should bode him well in an always defensive minded Detroit. Nbadraft has Mr. Ed going two more slots down in their 2010 NBA mock draft.

#8. CLIPPERS: AlFarouq Aminu (Wake Forest) SF; 6-9; 210

I agree with slamonline.com, nbadraft.net, and Chad Ford’s Mock Draft, Version 1.0 that Aminu will go to the Clippers. Aminu may possess the greatest athletic talent in the whole draft. Quick first step, excellent defender and rebounder. Aminu will make the top 10 in my 2010 NBA mock draft.

#9. JAZZ:Artem Zabelin (International, Russia; Euroleague–CSKA Moskow) PF; 7’1″, 200 lbs.

This pick may be the most mysterious pick of the bunch since no prospects have done any pre-draft workouts with the Jazz as of 5/26/10. There are three reasons for Artem as my 2010 NBA mock draft pick at #9: 1) Every year at least one team makes a pick that absolutely befuddles the NBA basketball world. Its like everybody else is in touch with reality except for the very person that needs to be–the one in charge of picking, 2) Utah needs a big man (not that Artem’s weight would qualify), and 3) International players have been a hot commodity in the top 10 draft picks over this past decade. However, this will be the pick that leaves everybody scratching their head even though Artem is a top 5 international player.

#10. PACERS: Greg Monroe (Georgetown) PF; 6-11, 247

The Pacers at this point will be totally shocked that Greg Monroe is still on the boards at this point. SI’s Ian Thomsen has him going at #6, nbadraft.net at #5, and Chad Ford of espn.com has him at #7 on his 2010 NBA mock draft board. Monroe is an excellent post man, passer and has quick hands.

#11. HORNETS: Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) PF; 6-9, 240

It’s hard to believe that three players from the University of Kentucky are actually being projected by many to go in the top 10. However, in my 2010 NBA mock draft only two made the top 10 cut. Has fundamental post moves, a baby hook shot that is tough to defend and his mid-range shot has improved (18 ppg./ 66% FG%/ 9 Reb.). Great numbers. May go higher than #11.

#12. GRIZZLIES: Xavier Henry (Kansas) SG; 6-6, 210

NBA body type. 28 ppg in high school, 13 ppg in college. Proven scorer if given the chance. His 3-pt% (41%) is almost the same as his FG% (45%). Pure shooter with quick smooth release. Even though he is a slasher to the rim though, he does not possess a quick first step nor tremendous explosive speed.

#13. RAPTORS: Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) PG/SG; 6-6, 211

Surprise! Surprise! Many drafniks and experts do not have Greivis going until the second round. What many overlook though are two things: 1) scored almost 20 ppg in the ACC, and 2) the wonderful intangibles of intensity and passion for the game. Actually, I would shock the world and choose him #1 just on those lovely intangibles alone. But that’s why I the only choice I get this year is to do the 2010 NBA mock draft and not the real thing.

#14. ROCKETS: Ekpe Udoh (Baylor) PF/C; 6-10, 240

Houston stays inside their home state with Ekpe. Will be an excellent backup to Yao. Ekpe is a defensive gem possessing shot blocking prowess (3.7 ppg). In fact, he is nicknamed “the nightmare” for his ability to swat shots. In addition, Ekpe has great quickness for a big man. Also, he can score (14 ppg).

#15: BUCKS: Paul George (Fresno St.) F; 6-9, 214

Runs the floor real well. Shoots 91% from the free throw line. Rebounds at a 7 ppg clip. Great passer and a great dunker.

#16: TIMBERWOLVES: Cole Aldrich (Kansas); 6-10, 250

A 15 ppg/11 rpg producer. 7’4″ wingspan makes him a defensive giant. Has great agility, runs the floor well and can finish on the break

#17: BULLS: Avery Bradley (Texas); PG; 6-3, 180

Attacks! Drives! Elevates! A natural born scorer.

#18: HEAT: Luke Babbitt (Nevada); SF/PF; 6-9; 218

A pure shooter (21 ppg) and is money from downtown (41% 3FG). In addition, he is a 90% plus free throw shooter. He passes and shoots well off the dribble.

#19: CELTICS: Hassan Whiteside (Marshall) C; 7-0, 227

A gamble. Lightweight. Shoots poorly at the stripe (40%). However, averages 4.4 blocks per game, athletic, and his father played in the NFL.

#20: SPURS: Daniel Orton (Kentucky) PF; 6-10, 269

Now that we have taken the whole Kentucky starting lineup for the floor we must say to UK, “Good luck next year” (remember Carolina after they lost the Hansborough class last year). Anyway, back to Daniel–size and potential are his two big words.

Picks #21-30 of my 2010 NBA mock draft round out the list. They are as follows:

#21: THUNDER: James Anderson (Oklahoma St.)

#22: TRAILBLAZERS: Larry Sanders (VCU)

#23: TIMBERWOLVES: Jon Scheyer (Duke)

#24: HAWKS: Elliot Williams (Memphis)

#25: GRIZZLIES: Gordon Hayward (Butler)

#26: THUNDER: Terrico White (Mississippi St.)

#27: NETS: Solomon Alibi (Florida St.)

#28: GRIZZLIES: Miroslav Raduljica (Serbia)

#29: MAGIC: Craig Brackins (Iowa St.)

#30: WIZARDS: Alexey Shved (Russia)

This rounds out my 2010 NBA mock draft. What did you think and how did you do?

SOURCES:

http://www.mynbadraft.com/2010-NBA-Mock-Draft

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/derrick-favors

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/04/nba-draft-top-5-international-prospects/

http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2010/05/pistons_mock_draft_kentucky_ce.html

http://www.clipsnation.com/2010/5/6/1461656/chad-fords-mock-draft-version-1-0

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/ian_thomsen/05/19/mock.draft/index.html

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