Here is Version 7 (definitely the last one) of our NBA Mock Draft, posted on Thursday, June 24. The draft is about 5-6 hours from now and I am not happy with how Version 6 (yesterday's) turned out. It now appears that Derrick Favors
is going to the Nets (again), leaving the Wolves with Wesley Johnson
, but of course, that could change in a moment's notice. According to many people, the Top 7 picks are set in stone, but that sounds a little too easy. In any case, here's my best guess at what might happen tonight.
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1. Washington Wizards – John Wall PG Kentucky
Two words: Done deal.
2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner SG Ohio State
The Derrick Favors rumors have been put to rest and Turner is nearly a lock to go at No. 2. Thankfully, I never wavered on keeping him here.
3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors PF Georgia Tech
It's probably going to be Favors here, but there's also still a chance they could take Wesley Johnson. I had Favors here for most of these mocks and should have just left him there in the last version.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson G/F Syracuse
David Kahn should get his man – if he doesn't trade the pick and if the Nets don't pull a fast one on the Wolves. Minnesota is desperately trying to move Al Jefferson, which is something to keep in mind as well.
5. Sacramento Kings – DeMarcus Cousins C Kentucky
It is sounding very much like Cousins will land in Sacramento, but Greg Monroe is also an option.
6. Golden State Warriors – Greg Monroe PF Georgetown
I had Al-Farouq Aminu going here in Version 6, which was really bugging me. Either I'm a genius and the only person on the planet who thinks he'll go that high, or I'm an idiot. I'm caving to the pressure and dropping Aminu, and giving the Warriors the best-passing big man in the draft. And if the GSW takes Aminu, I am going to be crushed.
7. Detroit Pistons – Ed Davis F North Carolina
All signs are pointing to the Pistons taking Davis if Cousins and Monroe are off the board, but Davis is a tough guy to get a read on. Horrible season for the Tar Heels and plenty of question marks about his work ethic. He should have come out last year.
8. Los Angeles Clippers – Al-Farouq Aminu SF Wake Forest
I had Gordon Hayward here in Version 6, but nearly lost sleep over it. I've had Hayward going to Indy all along, and am going back to that. I was also losing sleep over having Aminu so high, but at No. 8 to the Clippers feels right. I'm also going to go ahead and call Aminu the steal of the draft, and my sleeper pick for Rookie of the Year.
9. Utah Jazz (from Knicks) – Luke Babbitt SF Nevada
The Jazz will likely need a replacement for free agent Kyle Korver, as well as some insurance for oft-injured Andrei Kirilenko. Babbitt is a sharp shooter whose stock has risen over the last couple weeks. Ed Davis is also a real possibility, as are any players listed above who slip through the cracks.
10. Indiana Pacers – Gordon Hayward F Butler
I've had Hayward here nearly all along and even though the Pacers still don't sound like they're planning on taking him, I'm gambling that it's a result of a Larry Bird smoke screen. We'll see.
11. New Orleans Hornets – Paul George G/F Fresno State
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 Davis, Babbitt or Hayward falls this far, the Hornets are going to throw a party. If they're all gone, George is the guy who makes the most sense, and could end up being the steal of the draft.
12. Memphis Grizzlies – Ekpe Udoh PF Baylor
It sounds like the Grizzlies really fell in love with George, but the Hornets, or another team, could easily swoop in and steal him. 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. Patrick Patterson is also a real possibility here. Udoh could also end up going much higher, as the Warriors and Pacers both love him. In fact, It wouldn't surprise me to see the Warriors take Udoh and the Pistons get Monroe, or for the Pacers to take Udoh instead of Hayward if both are available at 10.
13. Toronto Raptors - Cole Aldrich C Kansas
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. We had Daniel Orton going here for a minute, but his stock is falling faster than BP's. We also had Aldrich going much higher in the previous version, and while he could still land in Detroit, Toronto feels more likely to happen at this point.
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 is rising.
15. Milwaukee Bucks (via Bulls) – Patrick Patterson PF Kentucky
Patterson reminds us of guys like Carl Landry, DeJuan Blair and Jason Thompson, and could end up being a double-double machine. The Bucks have needs at several positions, and could really go in any direction here. They are said to like Henry with this pick, but we've got him off the board to the Rockets. Patterson's stock has been all over the board, but it seems like he'd be a good fit with Scott Skiles and his overachieving squad of guys many casual fans have never heard of.