In New Jersey next year? Not in this mock, and probably not come draft night. …Probably.
So after my illustrious first mock went up last week, I made the solemn promise that I would be bringing you updated mocks every week until the remainder of the draft. As you will learn quickly, I’m a man of my word, and thus the second Wednesday brings the second mock draft.
In the world of the draft, one week can make all the difference. However, since the full combine measurements haven’t come out yet, there hasn’t been too much of a buzz surrounding the NBA Draft. The first measurements are in, and while there are a couple of interesting notes (DeMarcus Cousins’s body fat, Cole Aldrich’s 2-inch shoes), not too much was shaken up.
There are a couple of changes, though, and this will be the last week that we’ll have only the top 14. Next Wednesday, expect a mock that’s expanded to the top 20.
Without further ado, version 2.0:
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, PG, Kentucky. Some things will never change. I’ve heard a couple of reporters try to make up a story that the Wizards are actually considering Turner, too, just to stir the pot. It won’t happen. That would be like the Cavs taking Carmelo instead of LeBron in 2003. Nope. Wall-to-Washington is going to happen. & it hurts my soul deeply.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, SG/SF, Ohio State. Now, there are also rumors that the Sixers aren’t going to take Turner with the #2 pick, and those I can believe. I think it’s unlikely – Turner is just too productive to pass up – but Favors did extremely well at the combine and if Cousins passes a couple of Philadelphia interviews it’s safe to say that they’ll consider him, too. I still have Turner here and chances are that’s not changing, but in this draft it’s certainly possible.
3. New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech. No change here – yet. Favors tested out excellent at the combine – a legit 6’10” in shoes, less than 7 percent body fat, big hands, and although they haven’t been released yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he jumped out of the building. Nets fans are apparently leaning towards Favors, and while I’m still 50-50 between him and Cousins (expect giant John Wall-like posts on both players within a week) there seems to be a lot of pro-Favors momentum.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse. If they don’t find a way to make a move (and word has it that they’re trying), I’m hearing that the Timberwolves may make a giant mistake and take Johnson over Cousins. I think Wes is going to be a fine player, but the need-over-BPA rule has generally proven to be a failure, and Cousins has far more NBA ability & upside. Hey, at least David Kahn isn’t trying to take a point guard this time. (Side note: look out for next week’s mock, which has the Timberwolves trading up to #2 to snag Eric Bledsoe.)
5. Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Kentucky. The Kings would probably be doing backflips if this happened. A guy who arguably has #1 talent, at a position the Kings are weak at, falls to them at #5? They’d probably wait the five minutes just as a formality. Seriously though, Cousins would be a giant upgrade over Hawes and give Sacramento a giant inside presence that they’ve desperately needed for years.
6. Golden State Warriors: Al-Farouq Aminu, SF/PF, Wake Forest. No change here – & I don’t see one happening anytime soon. Aminu was made to play for Golden State, and barring something very surprising (such as Johnson falling to 6) this one feels as locked in as #1.
7. Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown. I know I had Aldrich here earlier, but after the measurements show Monroe and Aldrich as having very similar bodies I give Monroe the edge. The Pistons are definitely taking a long look at Monroe from what I’m hearing, and while I don’t think he’s better than Aldrich they may prefer him because of his great court vision and fundamental post game. Tom Ziller does a great piece on why Monroe is stronger than some think, & while I think there are better ways to gauge toughness he certainly makes a good case.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor. My biggest mover since the first week, Udoh combined much better than I expected (6’9.75 in shoes, 7’4.5″ wingspan) and despite both his age and the position logjam in Los Angeles would serve as an excellent backup power forward to Griffin next year. Udoh is as NBA-ready as they get at 23, & if Griffin doesn’t come back as strong as expected because of the knee injury Udoh would be a nice fallback while they make that transition.
9. Utah Jazz: Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas. I know, a big, slow white center falling to Utah? Shocking. Aldrich is a solid pick at 9, and although I think the Clippers might take him I definitely don’t see him falling anywhere past 9 because of his ability to impact games on both sides of the floor.
10. Indiana: Ed Davis, PF, UNC. Still have Davis here, but that’s only because we haven’t seen the athletic test numbers yet. This is as high as I see him being taken, and truthfully if enough teams are scared he could slip into the 20s or even 30s a la Rashard Lewis or Darrell Arthur (although, to be fair, Arthur’s condition was far more serious than Davis’s broken wrist). He’s a top-10 talent on tools alone, though, so he’ll stay here for now.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Benetton Treviso. No change here – although like I mentioned, it’s still early, and lots of things could change. Motiejunas is the kind of player who could thrive next to the Paul/Collison types – he’s got enough skills to work in isolation but can also work effectively as a spot-up shooter and bunnies-receiver.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Xavier Henry, SG/SF, Kansas. After thinking about it (and talking with Matt Moore, Grizzlies fan and creator of the awesome blog Hardwood Paroxysm) I realized that the Grizzlies aren’t likely to take a C given their logjam and recent history of draft selections. Matt’s argument (that I agree with) is that it’s almost assuredly going to be a swing man, and Xavier is the best fit here. Don’t be shocked to see them make a trade though – Jordan Crawford is a guy projected in the late 20s but would certainly fit in a Memphis uniform.
13. Toronto Raptors: Daniel Orton, C, Kansas. Logical pick. Gives Toronto a strong big man to do the dirty work that Bosh would have done and Bargnani is allergic to. They’ll probably also take a long look at Whiteside & Patterson here, but I think Orton makes the most sense.
14. Houston Rockets: Hassan Whiteside, PF/C, Marshall. Again, not even worth trying to dissect what Houston is going to do, and it’s even more difficult to discern how Whiteside will end up as a pro. For a 14-team mock, it’s a match made in heaven.
So there you have 2.0. Watch out for a bigger mock coming next Wednesday, as well as more content – I’ll be dissecting the Cousins-Favors debate in depth starting sometime next week. Until then, watch out for a retrospective tomorrow!