Well, a little over a week ago I brought you my first attempt at a legit NBA mock, and as promised, for your reading pleasure, here’s my second attempt. A few caveats:
A. I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert. If you want an expert, listen to Stephen A. Smith. Just kidding. That dude’s a total moron.
B. This version of the draft is the one where I deliberately shake things up with trades, pretend scenarios and bogus predictions. Just fair warning.
1. WAS—John Wall PG Kentucky: Don’t get cute. Wall is your #1, no matter the scenario. As Michael Lee from the Washington Post smartly mentions, Arenas is probably more natural off the ball anyway, and as long as he doesn’t pull a gun on Wall, they, well, they might work fine together. If the Wizards don’t buy Arenas out, look for an…um…interesting backcourt scenario in D.C.
2. IND (via PHI)—Evan Turner PG/SG/SF Ohio State: Trade alert! The Pacers execute the trade that’s been lighting up message boards, and for better or for worse bite Elton Brand’s awful contract for a chance at Evan Turner. It takes
Troy Murphy, Solomon Jones, Brandon Rush and the #10 pick.
3. PHO (via NJ)—Derrick Favors PF Georgia Tech: Trade alert! In the midst of some sort of mind-boggling roster shakeup project, the Nets swing for the fences and acquire Amare Stoudemire to go along with another max-level free agent (like Joe Johnson). The compensation? Some random bundle of salaries and the #3 pick, which the Suns uncharacteristically use to start rebuilding with a raw (but extremely exciting) prospect in Favors.
4. MIN—Wesley Johnson SF Syracuse: I almost sent this pick to Indiana in a Danny Granger trade, but thought better of it. I’m not crazy enough to think that Bird would scrap his own rebuilding plan for a shot at Wesley Johnson. Besides, he seems like a perfect fit in Minnesota, a team that badly needs a playmaker on the wing.
5. SAC—Demarcus Cousins C Kentucky: I sold Cousins short in my last mock because he’s fat, lazy and I hate him. But he truly is the only clear-cut dominant, NBA-ready post player in this draft. I just see a little too much Eric Dampier and Eddy Curry in him.
6. GS—Gordon Hayward SG/SF Butler: Hayward has scheduled workouts with several teams in the top 10, including Golden State, and his agent thinks he has a real shot to be drafted somewhere in that range. He fits in with Nellie-ball, and I guarantee you he looks all-world in workouts against guys like Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright.
7. DET—Cole Aldrich C Kansas: I still think Detroit needs a C. I now think Aldrich is the most natural available at the position. That’s very sad to say.
8. LAC—Paul George SF Fresno State: This year’s Danny Granger has been flying up draft boards. The Clips need a wing in a bad way.
9. UTAH—Greg Monroe PF/C Georgetown: Monroe makes perfect sense in Jerry Sloan’s offense. He can pass from the high post, and should start by the time Mehmet Okur’s contract is up in 2012.
10. MEM (via PHI, via IND)—Epke Udoh PF/C Baylor: Trade alert! Unsure about their situation with Zach Randolph and his recent legal troubles, Memphis leapfrogs New Orleans after hearing they’re in love with Udoh (I’m completely making that up). I love Udoh, and think he’s about as NBA-ready of a 4/5 as you can ask for at this point in the lottery. Meanwhile Philly gets Memphis’ #25 pick for their trouble and only had to move down two spots.
11. NO—Al Farouq-Aminu SF Wake Forest: Aminu is a steal at this point. With Peja coming off the books at season’s end, a starting spot could open up for one of this draft’s most NBA-ready prospects.
12. PHI (via MEM)—Patrick Patterson PF Kentucky: Patterson is bigger and more athletic than anyone thought. The Sixers find themselves in need of a four, and Patterson is NBA-ready and a potential year one starter.
13. POR (via TOR)—Xavier Henry SG/SF Kansas: Trade alert! Okay, in this weird scenario, Hedo Turkoglu gets his wish and gets shipped off to the team that he almost signed with last summer. But get this: In order to agree to take back his awful contract, Portland insists that the two teams swap picks. Toronto gets Joel Przybilla and Martell Webster to match salaries, and Portland gets its wing situation locked up for the foreseeable future with Turkoglu and Henry.
14. HOU—Hassan Whiteside C Marshall: I still like Whiteside here, as Yao’s injuries get harder and harder to deal with every year.
15. OKC (via MIL via CHI)—Daniel Orton C Kentucky: Trade alert! In order to ensure they land Orton, the Thunder trade the #21 and #26 picks to Milwaukee. OKC badly needs help in the low post, and Orton, while raw, has a big body and tons of potential.
16. SA (via MIN via CHA)—Ed Davis PF North Carolina: Trade alert! With two extra first rounders, Minnesota can afford to agree to move down four spots and acquire SA’s 2010 second rounder (#49 overall) so the Spurs can take Davis, who’s a steal at #16. Duncan won’t last forever, and the Spurs have been rumored to be interested in moving up.
17. CHI (via MIL)—James Anderson SG/SF Oklahoma State: Anderson should fit in well as a spot up shooter for any sort of superstar free agent-type who happens to draw frequent double teams. Chicago will have its sights set on a title next year and the team needs prospects who are ready to contribute right away, and that’s Anderson.
18. MIA—Eric Bledsoe PG Kentucky: This draft’s top two PGs may be from Kentucky. Bledsoe didn’t get to show off his playmaking skills much in college, but is getting rave Combine reviews and is shooting up draft boards. If Wade sticks around his distributing skills would take some of the pressure off of Bledsoe, and while Mario Chalmers is a nice role player, he’s not much starting competition.
19. BOS—Donatas Motiejunas SF/PF Benetton Treviso (via Lithuania): This is just stupidly far for Motiejunas to fall. He may not fit in initially, but Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace, who both play the same position, aren’t getting any younger.
20. MIN (via SA)—Solomon Alabi C Florida State: Alabi benefits from a shallow C class. He’s got legit size to bang with the Bynums, Duncans and Yaos.
21. MIL (via OKC)—Larry Sanders PF/C VCU: Rugged, raw and athletic, Sanders should fit in nicely in Scott Skiles’s system. He’d be like Dan Gadzuric but not comically overpaid and actually sort of good.
22. TOR (via POR)—Damion James SG/SF Texas: After trading Turkoglu earlier in this draft, and losing Bosh to someone (TBD), the Raptors are rebuilding again, and need all the help they can get. James is the BPA.
23. MIN (via UTAH)—Avery Bradley PG/SG Texas: Minny’s stocked at PG, so Bradley would have no pressure to run the offense.
24. ATL—Terrico White PG/SG Mississippi: White has been a recent riser. Mike Bibby is on his last legs, and Joe Johnson is likely out of town. Addressing the backcourt now should be Atlanta’s top priority.
25. PHI (via MEM via DEN)—Luke Babbitt SF Nevada: Philly uses its acquired pick on Babbitt for an infusion of instant offense and their first pure 3 point shooter since Kyle Korver.
26. MIL (via OKC via PHO)—Nemanja Bjelica SF/PF Red Star (via Serbia): Bjelica is a great distributor out of the high post, which should help Milwaukee, who doesn’t have any true passing PGs.
27. NJ (via DAL)—Devin Ebanks SF West Virginia: Ebanks is more NBA ready than the guy they passed up with pick #3 in this scenario (Favors) in order to trade for Amare Stoudemire…but Ebanks is no Wes Johnson, who would’ve been a great fit.
28. MEM (via LAL)—Quincy Pondexter SF Washington: If Rudy Gay skips town, Pondexter could be thrust into a starting role.
29. ORL—Armon Johnson PG Nevada: Johnson reminds scouts of a young Jameer Nelson. If he improves his passing and three point shooting, he may replace Nelson in a couple years.
30. WAS (via CLE)—Stanley Robinson SF/PF UCONN: Robinson catching alley-oops from Wall will be a thing of beauty.
31. NJ—Gani Lawal PF Georgia Tech
32. OKC (via MIN)—Sherron Collins PG Kansas
33. SAC—Dominique Jones PG/SG South Florida
34. WAS—Jerome Jordan C Tulsa
35. GS—Paulao Prestes C CB Murcia (via Brazil)
36. DET—Craig Brackins PF Iowa State
37. MIL—Luke Harangody PF Notre Dame
38. NYK—Jarvis Varnado PF Mississippi State
39. NYK (via LAC)—Greivis Vasquez PG/SG Maryland
40. IND—Mikhail Torrance PG/SG Alabama
41. MIA (via NO)—Alexey Shved PG Dynamo Moscow (via Russia)
42. MIA (via TOR)—Derrick Caracter PF UTEP
43. LAL (via MEM)—Matt Bouldin PG/SG Gonzaga
44. POR (via CHI)—Latavious Williams SF/PF Tulsa 66ers (D-League)
45. MIN—Trevor Booker PF Clemson
46. PHO (via CHA)—Willie Warren PG/SG Oklahoma
47. MIL—Dexter Pittman C Texas
48. MIA—Elliot Williams PG/SG Memphis
49. MIN (via SA)—Lance Stephenson SG Cincinnati
50. DAL (via OKC)—Tim Ohlbrecht PF/C Telekom Baskets Bonn (via Germany)
51. OKC (via POR)—Kevin Seraphin PF/C Cholet (via French Guyana)
52. BOS—Jordan Crawford SG Xavier
53. ATL—Dwayne Collins PF Miami
54. LAC (via DEN)—Artsiom Parakhouski C Radford
55. UTAH—Darrington Hobson SF New Mexico
56. MIN (via PHO)—Vladimir Dasic SF/PF Real Madrid (via Serbia and Montenegro)
57. IND (via DAL)—Lazar Hayward SF Marquette
58. LAL—Dennis Clemente PG Kansas State
59. ORL—Charles Garcia PF Seattle University
60. PHO (via CLE)—Jon Scheyer PG/SG Duke