NBA Draft 2010: The Editor’s Picks

NBA Draft 2010: The Editor’s Picks

intro_Nick Engvall

With the 2010 NBA Draft coming up later this week, we’ve gathered the top picks from the editors of the Sole Collector and Eastbay blogs to compare who has who going where. It’s pretty much agreed that John Wall of Kentucky is the number one choice in this year’s draft. Wall has been a favorite since before he even set foot on the Kentucky hardwood, but with the NBA’s policy requiring at least one season of basketball, Wall chose Kentucky for a year before entering this year’s draft. After the top spot however, there is a lot of debate on who will land in the spots that follow.

You can watch this year’s draft Thursday June 24th at 7pm on ESPN, but first check out our choices below and let us know your choices in the comment section.

2010 NBA Draft Preview

Zac Dubasik’s Picks

1. Washington Wizards, PG John Wall, Kentucky
Wall has been the consensus #1 draft choice since before the college season even began, and with good reason. He’s the best player right now, and has as high of a ceiling as anyone.

John Wall

2. Philadelphia 76ers, PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Thanks to John Wall, there was no shortage of national coverage for the Wildcats this year. But after each and every game I watched, it wasn’t John Wall that I was most intrigued by.  Cousins has legit big man size, great moves and even a decent jumper. That combination of size and skill doesn’t come around too often, and at only 19, I think he has a lot of development left. I realize that there are some off-court issues that could make Cousins a risk, but his potential is too great to overlook.

3. New Jersey Nets, PF Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Favors’ excellent size and skill make a great argument for him being the top big man in the draft.  But his agent’s request to the Nets to keep him out of drills directly with Cousins says all you need to know about the order those two should go in.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
Johnson isn’t terribly exciting to me, and I don’t think he has star potential, but his consistency and defense make him a safe and solid choice at number four.

5. Sacramento Kings, SG Evan Turner, Ohio State
Turner has drawn many comparisons to Brandon Roy, which I feel are pretty accurate. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily a good thing to me – negatives come with the positives there. Turner’s best case scenario just doesn’t excite me the way a player like Cousins does.

Brandon Richard’s Picks

Evan Turner

1. Washington Wizards, PG John Wall, Kentucky
Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans ring a bell? John Calipari’s point guards have taken the last two NBA Rookie of the Year awards. Poised to complete the trifecta, Wall not only gives the Wizards organization a desperately needed fresh start, he brings playmaking ability that is sure to also enhance the games of Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

2. Philadelphia 76ers, SG Evan Turner, Ohio State
Your consolation prize for “losing out” on the John Wall sweepstakes?

A player that some people say may end up being a better pro. National Player of the Year Evan Turner is a versatile athlete who can play both guard positions. For a team with a lot of holes to fill, unexpectedly landing a player who can do a little of everything makes perfect sense.

3. New Jersey Nets, PF Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
So, you’re disappointed that you didn’t get the first overall pick that you played so horribly to get. Not even the second pick for your troubles. Where do you go from there? You pick the guy, that along with Brook Lopez, can solidify your front court for 10 years. Favors is a raw talent, but a talent nonetheless. He can score in a variety of ways and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty on defense. How many times can you say that about a 19-year old kid coming out of school these days?

4. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
In the last week, we’ve heard rumors of Minnesota possible shopping Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer. So, it’s hard to get a feel for what they’re doing there. One thing we are sure about is their desire to land swingman Wesley Johnson. Johnson is a versatile player who would help Minnesota address several offensive deficiencies. However, news recently surfaced that the Nets are heavily interested in Johnson. Bad news for the Wolves, as they expected him to surely be there at 4.

5. Sacramento Kings, PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
For a team that just moved Spencer Hawes, they have to be looking for a long term solution in the middle. Enter Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins. “Big Cuz” is a physical, shot blocking center who finishes well on offense and has a nose for rebounding. With their point guard situation settled, they need, as Stephon Marbury would say – “a beast to throw the ball to.”

One To Watch: SG Dominique Jones, South Florida

After 11 25-point outings last season, most experts think that it’s a given that Dominique Jones will be able to score at the NBA level.

He’s a pure scorer with a good mid-range game and the ability to create his own shots. Jones plays both guard positions, demonstrating skill in transition with the ability to make the right pass or finish with both hands. The knock on him has been that he’s a bit undersized and that he forces too many shots. While the shooting can be addressed with coaching, his size may be the reason he slips in this draft.

However, the team that picks him up will be getting their hands on a guy who has the potential to be an explosive scorer.

Jordan Hagedorn’s Picks

Xavier Henry

1. Washington Wizards, PG John Wall, Kentucky
By taking Wall #1 overall, the Wizards are instantly on the hoops world’s radar. He’s extremely quick and has amazing athleticism. Wall will sell some tickets in DC and should be a great NBA player in a couple years.

2. Philadelphia 76ers, SG Evan Turner, Ohio State
The Naismith Player of the Year should go #2 to the 76ers. He is unselfish and is a really solid offensive threat. Depending on what Philly does this summer with their other talent, Turner could be the go-to guy in Philadelphia.

3. New Jersey Nets, SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
This Syracuse stud should go 3 or 4 to the Nets or TWolves. He’s a versatile kid and seems ready for the NBA. Should be a solid player if he keeps working hard.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves, PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Cousins proved he is a winner in his only year at Kentucky.  He is a tough raw talent and has to improve but I’ll take his upside over Aldrich, Aminu and Monroe if I need a big guy.

5. Sacramento Kings, SG Xavier Henry, Kansas
The hoops world has been buzzing about Henry for a handful of years and he’s still a teenager. He has a good head on his shoulders and continues to work hard. He will bring some offense and a winning attitude to whatever team he goes to.

One to Watch: Ed Davis
The projected top 5 pick last year decided to go back to school for another year at UNC. I am interested to see where he lands and what kind of impact he will have in the league.

Nick Engvall’s Picks

DeMarcus Cousins1. Washington Wizards, PG John Wall, Kentucky
John Wall is unquestionably the number one choice, and even if the Wizards weren’t in dire need of a player to spark the crowd and city, they wouldn’t be able to pass on Wall’s natural abilities with the basketball. Wall will bring an excitement level that Washington basketball has never seen, with the exception of maybe last year’s Gilbert Arenas/Javaris Crittenton square off.

2. Philadelphia 76ers, SG Evan Turner, Ohio State
Evan Turner is a solid pick at number two, but the 76ers will need more than him to turn things around. He’s an all around player that will fit in the Philadelphia starting lineup no matter who comes and goes for the next few years. Hopefully his luck will be better than that of fellow Ohio State alum Greg Oden, who has been plagued with injuries.

3. New Jersey Nets, PF Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
The Nets will either select Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech, or DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky. Both players are an excellent start to a solid rebuilding phase, and either would give the Nets a presence inside. Favors’ slightly smaller build than Cousins makes him a better choice to run with New Jersey’s two existing big men, Yi Jianlian and Brook Lopez.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
The Wolves and Wesley Johnson would be a perfect fit, but that’s because Johnson is one of the most level headed and versatile players in the draft. His shooting ability makes him a contributor instantly in Minnesota, but also mean he could easily be snatched up by the 76ers or the Nets. Not to mention, with Johnson choosing Rob Pelinka to be his agent, there’s got to be some sort of Fab Five connection bonus points for that right?

5. Sacramento Kings, PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
As a Kings fan I’d like to think that the Kings would go with Cousins here, however their GM Geoff Petrie is known for pulling rabbits out of hats, which means this could be the most unpredictable spot near the top of the order. Cousins makes sense in the Sacramento lineup, and there’s also a good chance that his experience with John Wall at Kentucky will make him a good big man to run with another Kentucky star in current Kings guard Tyreke Evans.

One to Watch: Texas Guards — Avery Bradley & Damion Jones

Both of these Longhorns guards are capable of contributing to any team at the NBA level. Coach Rick Barnes seems to groom solid guards — T.J. Ford and D.J. Augustine are perfect examples. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these guys become one of those names that make themselves known as their teams make playoff runs next season.

Nick DePaula’s Picks

This past year, I watched less college basketball than ever before. I’d probably have to go back to when I was in elementary school to find a season where I watched fewer games.

Between loaded one-and-done factory schools that actually aren’t well coached and a lack of excitement from more traditional powerhouse schools like UCLA, UNC and Duke (who just so happened to win the whole thing afterall), it was a pretty lackluster college season for me. Perhaps you could also blame it on the PAC-10 being terrible.

But as long as “draft experts” that watch hundreds of season games a year can predict guys like Josh Smith to be absolute busts and the Marvin Williams’ of the world to be can’t-miss studs, I still feel perfectly qualified to throw in my top 5 players in this year’s NBA Draft. It’s also worth noting that this list is of my five best available players, and not necessarily how these teams should or will draft.

For what it’s worth, it’s a particularly weak draft in terms of sneaker contracts. John Wall, of course, signed a huge endorsement deal with Reebok, while DeMarcus Cousins hasn’t drawn considerable interest, and Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson are considering several brands, including some surprises. Derrick Favors arrived to a recent workout in a Nike tee, threw on an Under Armour compression top for drills, and was wearing adidas sneakers. It’s safe to say he doesn’t have a sneaker contract nailed down just yet.

1. Washington Wizards, PG John Wall, Kentucky
He’s fast, explosive, a playmaker, and just generally a good kid. For a team like the Wizards, that has a glaring need at point guard and also desperately needs a high character guy that the city and fans can rally around, John Wall is the perfect pick. While I hate Flip Saunders as a coach with his overly complicated offensive sets and pretty much every Wizards player had tuned him out by mid-season last year, hopefully John Wall can bring a flash of excitement and grow with the team’s young core in need of direction and leadership.

2. Philadelphia 76ers, PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Huge fan of DeMarcus. Not only for his on-court skills, great footwork, soft hands, low post moves and underrated jumper that can extend to the elbow, but also because he’s a fun-loving guy with a personality. While some may mistake his outgoing nature and immaturity for being a knucklehead and a potential risk, I think it’s pretty much a guarantee that Cousins will be an impact presence for the team that drafts him. He’s also an easy guy to root for and should instantly connect to a fanbase. I’d take him as high as #2, though it’s looking more likely that he’ll end up being drafted a few slots lower.

Derrick Favors3. New Jersey Nets, PF Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Often compared to Amar’e Stoudemire, Favors is a great fit for the New Jersey Nets and is the most explosive big man in the draft. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs are strongly pursuing a trade to move up and take him, and he could very well be the most valuable player in the draft for several teams with a specific need at the 4. Along with John Wall, Favors would appear to be the biggest sure thing in the draft, and his strength, size and versatile offensive skills will translate great to an NBA team’s isolation and pick & roll sets. Like Stoudemire, he could also develop into a fairly dependable pick & pop spot-up shooter.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF Evan Turner, Ohio State
I live in Portland, where Brandon Roy is the “star” player for the Blazers. Everyone deservedly loves him, as Brandon is a great guy, with versatile and well-tuned all-around skills, and he often comes up big in the clutch. Why the mention of BRoy? Evan Turner is most often compared to the multi-skilled All-Star combo guard, and to me, Brandon Roy or Evan Turner as the face of a franchise will never win a title. I just don’t see the franchise player potential in Turner that I do in Wall, Cousins and Favors, and while he’d be a great addition to any team, I’m not certain he’ll be the second best player from this draft when the 2010 Class is analyzed in a decade. While he’s a great mid-range shooter like Roy, he’ll need to improve his consistency from the NBA’s much-longer 3-point distance, and he can also be prone to forcing the issue and turning the ball over. I’m not as sure about Turner as most experts seem to be, as a ball-dominant guard like Roy or Turner can sometimes halt the flow of an offense.

5. Sacramento Kings, SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
After sitting out a year between his transfer from Iowa State, Wesley Johnson had a terrific year at Syracuse and earned all of the attention that came his way. He’ll have to add some more size to his 6’7″ frame, but he’s got tremendous athleticism, versatility and is an excellent shooter from deep — the best shooter among these top 5 picks. Several teams appear to be very high on Johnson, and it’s entirely possible that he goes as high as #3 overall.

One To Watch: Lance Stephenson

He’s been nicknamed “Born Ready” since his highly touted high school career began, but he was anything but ready for his freshman season at Cincinnati. He’s moody, carries an “I’ve Made It!” arrogance, has at times horrible body language, and doesn’t seem to be a great teammate, but he also has a great 6’6″ frame, is incredibly crafty and can score in a variety of ways, and his game certainly will translate better to the iso-style offense that NBA teams employ than it did at the college level. Though many experts were shocked that he actually declared for the draft after an unimpressive one-and-done college career, I’d look for Lance to sneak into the 20’s of the draft and make more of an impact at the next level than many may expect.

images via yahoo

NBA Draft 2010: The Editor’s Picks

NBA: Wizards Win NBA Draft Lottery

words_Brandon Richard

As NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver revealed the card that named the Washington Wizards as the winners of the 2010 NBA Draft lottery, Irene Pollin stood in awe and simply said, “Oh my God.” Irene is the widow of the late long time Wizards owner Abe Pollin, and wore his 1978 NBA Championship ring for good luck. “This is wonderful. My husband never took this ring off his finger,” said Irene. Irene hopes the good fortune of that championship ring will help the Wizards find their way to another.

This season was certainly a trying time for the Wizards franchise. Guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were both suspended for the season after a locker room altercation that involved firearms. Following that incident, the Wizards parted ways with core players Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler in trades that were more about dropping salary than they were bringing in new talent. The Wizards finished the season 26-56, and were unclear in their plans moving forward. That all changed with the luck of the ping-pong ball on Tuesday night.

The Wizards had just a 10.3 percent change of coming out of the lottery victorious. They, and the Philadelphia 76ers, leapfrogged into the top 3 when the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors all tumbled down the list. The Sixers, who were represented by guard Jrue Holiday, brought one of the hockey sticks that was used in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 0-3 series comeback against the Boston Bruins. The magic must have worked, as the Sixers only possessed a 6.03 chance of winning the lottery. Perhaps the biggest loser in the lottery were the New Jersey Nets, who finished with the league’s worst record and only came out with the third overall pick to show for it.

The presumed prize of the lottery is standout Kentucky freshman John Wall. Wall is the third straight John Calipari starting point guard projected to be selected toward the top of the NBA draft. The last two NBA Rookie of the Year award winners, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, also played under Calipari. The other coveted player in this year’s rookie class is National Player of the Year, Evan Turner. Turner, a guard out of Ohio State, lead the Big Ten in scoring and finished second in rebounds and assists. He’s expected to go to Philadelphia with the second overall pick. However, there’s still a little over a month until the draft, and plans always change.

You can watch the 2010 NBA Draft on June 24th at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

images via Yahoo & ESPN