Steve Alexander

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Mock Draft: Version 5

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Here is Version 5 of my NBA Mock Draft, posted on June 17. The big news since the last update is that the Sixers traded Samuel Dalembert to the Kings for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. While some folks believe this increases the odds the Sixers will draft Derrick Favors instead of Evan Turner, I'm not one of them.

1. Washington Wizards – John Wall PG Kentucky

Wall had a nice workout for the Wiz on Thursday and this is a no-brainer. Wall is going to start for the Wizards next season, with or without Gilbert Arenas. And I fully expect Arenas to start alongside Wall at shooting guard.

2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner SG Ohio State

Perhaps no player is as NBA-ready as the Ohio State product, who should be a lock to the Sixers at No. 2. He should vie for Rookie of the Year in Philly, who was the other big winner on lottery night. Rumors are still swirling that the Sixers might take Derrick Favors with this pick, but I get the sense Doug Collins wants to use Elton Brand at center and Thaddeus Young at power forward. Their biggest hole is at shooting guard, and Turner will step right in and likely start for the Sixers next season – as long as they follow the script and pass on Favors.

3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors PF Georgia Tech

Favors is going to be a Top 5 pick, the only remaining question is how high will he go? He's still a project – as in a guy who won't be ready to really produce for a couple years – and the T-Wolves' David Kahn said he's obviously out of shape after a recent workout. I doubt he is in the running for Rookie of the Year and offensively, he's probably going to struggle. But a timeshare with Yi Jianlian might be just what the doctor ordered, and he should be a beast down the line. Favors could still be taken with the No. 2 pick by the Sixers, but I don't think it's going to happen. I also think Favors is the riskiest of the top picks, as it could take him three years to turn into an NBA force.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson SF Syracuse

The Wolves don't need another big man and Johnson's stock rose quickly over the last few weeks. The Wolves aren't exactly strong at small forward, and Johnson looks like he's ready to step in and contribute on Day 1. They took a look at Favors, but given Kahn's sheepish reaction to his conditioning and current skill level, it would be surprising to see the Wolves take him, even if he falls. And at this point, it would be surprising if the Wolves don't take Johnson.

5. Sacramento Kings – DeMarcus Cousins C Kentucky

The Kings already have big men Dalembert, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, but could really add to their depth with Cousins up front. He also blew the Kings away with an outstanding workout. Some people love Cousins, while others see him as a bust candidate. Either way, it's not likely he'll go later than No. 5 or 6 in the draft. They actually have more of a need at small forward, so Al-Farouq Aminu makes a lot of sense, as does a shooter like Gordon Hayward. Number 5 sounds too high for Hayward, so they could also be looking to trade down a bit if they don't want to take another big man.

6. Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu SF Wake Forest

With the disastrous, injury-plagued season the Warriors' big men had (Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright), the Warriors would love to get their hands on Cousins, and its' possible he could still fall to them. If not, Cole Aldrich seems to make sense at No. 6. But he's not very athletic and the Warriors may opt for an athlete instead. That's where Aminu comes in. His stock is still rising and he could play meaningful minutes for the Warriors next season. You just have to wonder how many athletic swingmen the Warriors can possibly play at once.

7. Detroit Pistons – Cole Aldrich C Kansas

The Pistons need help at almost every position, but especially in the middle. Ideally they'd like to see Cousins fall to them at No. 7, but it doesn't appear likely that he'll be there. Aldrich is not a sexy draft pick, but he would fill an immediate need for the downtrodden Pistons. Greg Monroe, Ed Davis and Ekpe Udoh are also possibilities if they don't have a true interest in Aldrich.

8. Los Angeles Clippers – Greg Monroe PF Georgetown

Gordon Hayward, whose stock continues to rise, could be the pick, as it's been said that the Clips will take a shooter. Luke Babbitt is another possibility. But Monroe is highly thought of by folks in the know and Blake Griffin's injury still leaves a bit of a question mark for the Clips. The Clippers appear to be dialed into Monroe, Hayward or Babbitt, but it's anyone's guess as to which one they roll with. Their true need is a small forward, but Hayward's a real risky proposition at No. 8.

9. Utah Jazz (from Knicks) – Ed Davis SF North Carolina

The Jazz will likely need a replacement for free agent Kyle Korver, as well as some insurance for oft-injured Andrei Kirilenko. Davis is a legitimate Top 10 pick, and he could end up going anywhere from No. 6 to 11. He has the potential to be an Al Horford clone, which is why he will go in the lottery. The Jazz would be pleased to see Monroe here, and also have an eye on Gordon Hayward.

10. Indiana Pacers – Gordon Hayward G/F Butler

We caught some heat when we released Version 1 that had the Pacers taking the Butler star at No. 10, as it didn't appear he could possibly be a Top 10 pick. Guess what? Now there's even chatter about the Kings reaching for him, and they hold the No. 5 pick. The Clippers and Jazz are also interested, but I still think the ideal fit for him is in his hometown of Indianapolis. He'd sell tickets in Indy, and they need as much help in that department as they do on the court. The Pacers No. 1 priority appears to be getting a point guard, but it sounds like they plan on trading for one (either this pick, or Troy Murphy) to get Darren Collison or Ty Lawson. And obviously, if they trade the pick, they won't be taking anyone at 10. And if they trade Murphy, they'll then have a gaping hole at power forward. Late word out of Indy is that they are now in love with Daniel Orton of Kentucky. Good luck figuring it all out, Larry.

11. New Orleans Hornets – Luke Babbitt SF Nevada

The Hornets are set at point guard with Chris Paul, have a promising young shooting guard in Marcus Thornton, David West at power forward and Emeka Okafor at center. Small forward is a serious need due to the age and injury history of Peja Stojakovic, and If Ed Davis falls this far, the Hornets are going to throw a party. Paul George is also a guy they could target, as he appears to be everyone's favorite sleeper in this draft, but No. 11 seems a little high. Hayward would also work, but he will almost certainly be gone. That leaves the Hornets with the sharp-shooting lefty, Babbitt, but there are a lot of questions about his strength and defense. We'd rather see them take George, but just don't think it's going to happen.

12. Memphis Grizzlies - Ekpe Udoh PF Baylor

Zach Randolph isn't going to be around forever and Darrell Arthur hasn't exactly knocked anyone's socks off. Udoh averaged 14 & 10 at Baylor, but will probably be more of a role player in the NBA. The Grizzlies could also be losing Rudy Gay to free agency, which brings a guy like Paul George into play as well, while they're also said to like Patrick Patterson.

13. Toronto Raptors - Daniel Orton F/C Kentucky

Chris Bosh seems good as gone in Toronto, while Andrea Bargnani is a center only on paper. Additionally, Hedo Turkoglu wants out and the team is shopping Jose Calderon. Pick and position in Toronto, and there's likely a hole to fill. Orton would provide some immediate size and strength for the Raptors and seems to make a lot of sense here. And word that the Pacers might want him at 10 probably helps his stock. The only problem is that Orton averaged just three points and three boards while playing behind some studs at UK last year, meaning he's going to be a project. And maybe a long-term project, which might be a turn off for Bryan Colangelo. We initially felt a little guilty about having Orton this high, but late rumors are breaking that the Pacers are seriously looking at him at No. 10.

14. Houston Rockets – Xavier Henry G Kansas

The Rockets have Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin, but also don't really need any more big men who aren't centers. Henry's draft position is up in the air and he could easily go 10 picks later than this, although we have a feeling his stock will rise.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (via Bulls) – Hassan Whiteside PF Marshall

Whiteside will be a bit of a project, but is still a possible lottery pick. His wingspan is huge and he's been impressive in workouts. He should become a defensive specialist, somewhat like a junior version of Marcus Camby. But it could take him a few years to develop.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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