The 2010 NBA Draft is merely one month away, forcing us all to take a closer look at the top NBA draft prospects, and matching them with possible destinations.
The Washington Wizards found their way to the top pick through the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, clearing the picture up even more for NBA fans starving to learn more about the draft that is quickly approaching.
Read on for a full first-round breakdown of picks and analysis, starting with the consensus top pick, Kentucky’s John Wall:
1. Washington Wizards – John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Washington has been looking for an excuse to unload Gilbert Arenas, and at the very worst, Wall’s presence at the point could allow Arenas to shift to shooting guard, his more natural position.
Wall is the only top-flight point guard in this draft, and is very arguably the best overall prospect. Unless the Wizards trade down, Wall is headed to Washington.
2. Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State
Philadelphia has learned through trial and error that, while Andre Iguodala is a fine player, he is not the type of player that can or should be carrying an entire offense.
Turner, however, is that type of player. Turner will bring an instant face to a sulking franchise, and could free-up trade possibilities with Iggy or Thaddeus Young, which could bring new pieces to the puzzle for the 76ers.
3. New Jersey Nets – DeMarcus Cousins, PF, Memphis
Cousins still has some questions to face as to what kind of player he can be at the next level, but if he can be convincing enough in work-outs, this third spot is all his.
The Nets may be drooling over a trade to land Wall, but in the end, they still have Devin Harris, and they badly need help on the inside. Cousins could be a formidable asset for Brook Lopez.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
The Timberwolves are still waiting on Ricky Rubio, while they also aren’t sure what they want to do with the Kevin Love/Al Jefferson combo.
They could opt for a new face to mash it up in the paint, but Johnson has a complete and NBA-ready game, and he could push Corey Brewer for minutes right away.
5. Sacramento Kings – Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
Sacramento is looking pretty solid with their guard and small forward play, so this pick is all about adding meat to their big man corps. They still don’t know what they have in Spencer Hawes, and outside of Carl Landry, they are severely lacking an inside presence.
Derrick Favors could go a long way in changing that.
6. Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
The Warriors are still a fast-paced scoring offense as long as Don Nelson is around, which in turn means: offense, offense, offense.
Aminu still has some things to work with on his game, but he’s a skiller player who could bring a lot of energy and potential to an already impressive offense.
7. Detroit Pistons – Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
Detroit can’t go into battle with Jason Maxiell, Kwame Brown, and Ben Wallace at center, and expect to be taken seriously.
Aldrich is an elite addition, as he has a nice, soft touch around the basket, and also brings an imposing defensive presence.
8. Los Angeles Clippers – Greg Monroe, F/C, Georgetown
Blake Griffin should be back and ready to partake in his first NBA season, and Chris Kaman can be an absolute beast, but for a team that has everything go wrong, you can never be too cautious.
Monroe is a great value pick, as he brings great depth and potential to a roster already stacked with talent.
9. Utah Jazz – Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky
If Carlos Boozer jumps ship, Utah will need a big man to bump around inside with Paul Millsapp. Patterson could go sooner, but this could be the perfect situation for him.
10. Indiana Pacers – Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas
Is Brandon Rush the answer at shooting guard in Indiana? If barely notching 10 points per game is the answer, then Indiana fans should safely be saying “no”.
Henry can bring instant offense to a position that is severely lacking consistency for the Pacers.
11. New Orleans Hornets – Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina
Davis is a tough inside man who can pair-up with David West and Emeka Okafor inside. Outside of the Hornets’ two big-name guys in the paint, they have had little help from anyone else. Davis couldn’t ask for a better place to call home.
12. Memphis Grizzlies – Avery Bradley, G, Texas
Bradley is a bit of a combo guard, and he’ll need to improve his toughness and point guard skills, but if he goes to Memphis, he could have an outside chance at un-seating Mike Conley Jr. as the starting point guard.
Even if that doesn’t end up being the case, Bradley is still a sound addition as a smart, athletic shooter off the bench.
13. Toronto Raptors – Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
The Raptors could be looking for some versatility and a big presence with Chris Bosh almost certainly skipping town. Motiejunas is ridden with potential, and the Raptors love the foriegn blood. It’s a perfect match.
14. Houston Rockets – Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
Whiteside is insanely raw, but he is oozing with defensive potential. With Yao Ming’s futuer in doubt, at the very minimum, adding some nice, young insurance is a must for a growing Rockets team.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – James Anderson, G/F, Oklahoma State
Milwaukee saw some solid results when they had another former Oklahoma State product (Desmond Mason), so adding another versatile, athletic wing man makes a lot of sense.
Anderson fits the mold of the athletic, hard-working player that head coach Scott Skiles craves.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves – Daniel Orton, PF, Kentucky
This pick likely depends a lot on how their first pick in this round goes, but Orton is a heck of a find here, regardless. Even if Minnesota opts to keep their combo of Kevin Love and Al Jefferson intact, a fresh, big body off the bench could really add to their roster.
17. Chicago Bulls – Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor
Chicago is lacking in their post game, and even with Taj Gibson playing well in his rookie year, they need to look to reinforcements. Brad Miller is likely out the door, too, so depth will be needed.
18. Miami Heat – Paul George, SF, Fresno State
If Dwyane Wade skips town, Miami could reach for Gordon Hayward and land themselves a play-making wing man. However, either way, George has the body and potential to bring a new dimension to the Heat’s attack.
No matter which way you look at it, any Miami fan has to admit that going to battle with Quentin Richardson just isn’t cutting it.
19. Boston Celtics – Larry Sanders, F/C, VCU
Boston has Kendrick Perkins and little else after the aging Rasheed Wallace. Sanders has solid versatility, and can bang inside at power forward or at center.
This addition will keep the Celtics young on the inside, and bring more toughness to their already seasoned and savvy approach.
20. San Antonio Spurs – Gordon Hayward, G/F, Butler
San Antonio knows a true player when they see it. Hayward won’t be brought in to be an A-level star, but the Spurs will be able to see that he has a lot of Manu Ginolbi in him.
A very under-rated prospect, Hayward could surprise a lot of people if he goes to a sound system like San Antonio already has in place.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State
Nenad Krstic is decent, but he can’t be the long-term answer at center. The same goes for Nick Collison. Alabi could use some refinement, but he’s another big body with loads of potential that OKC can groom for the next couple of years.
22. Portland Trailblazers – Nemanja Bjelica, SF, Serbia
Portland loves foriegn players and developmental projects, and Bjelica actually could fill a need. Portland will be set at center if Maruc Camby sticks around and Greg Oden can return. Small forward seems like the most likely position to seek an upgrade/addition.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves – Devin Ebanks, G/F, West Virginia
Minnesota already added a small forward and some inside help with their first two picks in this mock, so now it’s on to more versatility, athleticism, and scoring.
Ebanks fits the bill, and could work for minutes at either shooting guard or small forward.
24. Atlanta Hawks – Damion James, G/F, Texas
With Mike Woodson getting canned, things are about to shake-up in Atlanta, and it could have a major effect on how their pick in the first-round plays out.
However, the Hawks are present a roster full of athletic, versatile weapons, so drafting James makes sense.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Eric Bledsoe, G, Kentucky
Like Avery, Bledsoe could take a crack at the point guard job, but could also just as easily be a source of points off the bench. Bledsoe is actually arguably better than Avery, as he has better size and is a better passer. It will all depend on how Memphis plans on using either player, but adding shooters with versatility never hurts.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder – Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis
Kevin Durant can’t do it all by himself. Actually, it’s been made clear that he can, but adding Williams could sure do some good.
27. New Jersey Nets – Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada
The Nets have a slew of talent at guard and forward, so this pick may depend a lot on what their future plans are for guys like Terrence Williams and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Regardless, Babbitt is a versatile forward who can play inside and out, and brings a polished offensive game to the table.
28. Memphis Grizzlies – Lance Stephenon, SG, Cincinnati
The Grizzlies are back at it again with the guard play, getting their third guard in the first-round. It’s entirely possible that they reach for Gani Lawal here, but they already have a pet project in Hasheem Thabeet.
Their inside game is fairly set with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, as well, so loading up with shooters off the bench could be an interesting (but good) move.
29. Orlando Magic – Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier
Orlando seems to really like J.J. Redick these days, but since the former Duke star is a restricted free agent, the two sides could be parting ways. If Orlando sees that as a possibility, adding an elite shooter to come off the bench will become a top priority.
Even if Redick sticks around, the top three-point shooting team in the league would still be interested in landing an elite shooter if Crawford is still around.
30. Washington Wizards – Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
Lawal is a project, but he is loaded with potential. There’s a very good chance a team takes a chance on him very early, but if he drops this far, there’s no way the Wizards pass him by.
They have some talent on the inside, but most of it hasn’t come to fruition. Landing Lawal could make their draft class the best in 2010, paired with John Wall.