Here you go. Commentary on only the lottery for now. Endulge yourself. Comment below, make it all right.
1. Washington Wizards - They’ll take John Wall (PG Kentucky) and not even think twice about it. Gilbert and Wall will clumsily co-exist for just as long as it takes the Wiz to find a trade partner willing to take on the old gunslinger, ala the Kevin Martin donation to Houston from a few months back. A year ago Washington was primed to contend in the Eastern Conference. A stacked veteran roster with a new playoff tested head coach set the stage. A series of escalating debacles later and they’re rewarded with the #1 pick in the draft. Rebuilding sure is easy.
2. Philadelphia 76ers - Evan Turner (SG/SF Ohio State) is the guy here. Pairing him with Andre Igoudala is a bit suspect, as neither can really shoot all that well. This suggests they might be open to moving down a spot or two if it meant adding a couple of equivalent pieces and unloading one of their terrible contracts in the process. However, unless they are wowed by an offer they’ll sit tight, take Turner and eventually unload Iggy if the duo is proved to be too flawed.
3. New Jersey Nets - One thing we have learned for sure is that having the worst record in the NBA basically guarantees you will not have the #1 pick in the draft. It’s only happened four times in the twenty five year history of the lottery, and that includes the LeBron-Cavs rigging of 2003. The Nets will take Derrick Favors (PF Georgia Tech) because he matches up well with Brook Lopez and because his ceiling is right up there with Wall. Favors is an athletic freak. The combine and workout sessions are where his gifts will truly come out, meaning from here on his stock will only rise.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves - The Wolves will do every thing in their power to trade into the top 2. Assuming that doesn’t work, because nothing every works for the Wolves, they’ll take DeMarcus Cousins (C Kentucky). His college stats were ridiculous and if the guy had a better history of intelligent decisions he’d be right up there with Turner as a toss up for the 2nd pick. He makes Al Jefferson expendable, who will be flipped into a wing or another lottery pick.
5. Sacramento Kings - Tyreke Evans and a bunch of roleplayers. That’s what the Kings have right now. They’ll give Wesley Johnson a long look but eventually decide on Greg Monroe (PF Georgetown). His stock is on the rise and he’s exactly the kind of guy to anchor the other end of the Kings starting lineup. His well-regarded passing makes for an intriguing inside-outside game with Evans.
6. Golden State Warriors - The Warriors really wanted Favors or Cousins. Instead they’ll continue to gorge on scorers when they take Wesley Johnson (SF Syracuse). He’ll probably average 20 points a game in the Golden State offense…and play no defense whatsoever.
7. Detroit Pistons - Ekpe Udoh (PF/C Baylor) might be a surprise here but I doubt that would be the case if he had played for a bigger college program. He reminds me a lot of Ben Wallace; high energy and defensively oriented, a lesser shot blocker but more offensively talented. The odds that Detroit trades out of this spot are extremely likely in my opinion.
8. Los Angeles Clippers - The one player who fills a major need for the Clippers in Al-Farouq Aminu (SF Wake Forest) actually falls to them. He’s raw but has the potential to hold down their small forward spot as a versatile defender who, unlike all their other players, doesn’t need the ball to be effective.
9. Utah Jazz - If Greg Monroe falls they’ll take him to replace Carlos Boozer. They’ll also give Ed Davis a look, but let’s be honest, Ed Davis sucks. In the end, the Jazz prepare for the eventual departure of Mehmet Okur and take Cole Aldrich (C Kansas). Greg Ostertag comparisons will be abound but they’re way off in anything other than a racial sense. Aldrich can be a strong defender immediately and pair nicely with Paul Milsap.
10. Indiana Pacers - Gordon Hayward (SF Butler) getting picked here will probably be regarded as the biggest reach of the draft, not entirely unlike their first round pick last year, Tyler Hansbrough. The hometown Goliath killer, the Larry Bird comparisons. It’s all too perfect. How he fits with Danny Granger is beyond me and whether or not he actually gets picked in this spot or later via trade down I’m not sure, but I really believe he’s a Pacer before the end of draft night.
11. New Orleans Hornets - The Hornets are in limbo right now. They have a lot of high priced veteran talent but find themselves outside the playoffs. Much of that can be attributed to Chris Paul’s chronic injuries last season. The rest of it has to do with their high priced veteran talent not being very good. I think they’ll go with the boom or bust pick in Hassan Whiteside (PF/C Marshall), hoping they get what they had in Tyson Chandler for a fraction of the cost.
12. Memphis Grizzlies - I think there’s a 90% chance that the Grizzlies trade out of this spot. Their only glaring need is point guard and no one outside of John Wall warrants a pick this high. I’ll say they lose Rudy Gay to free agency and draft Damion James (SF Texas) as his replacement. James can also play power forward in a pinch and will bring a nice element of a power game to their mix. But again, this is moot because they won’t pick here.
13. Toronto Raptors - Ed Davis (PF North Carolina) will assume the Chris Bosh mantle, which will be nearly impossible for a vastly inferior talent to live up to. I personally wouldn’t touch Davis with a Top 20 pick but the report on him is inexplicably decent and he’ll probably end up going around here.
14. Houston Rockets - The Rockets are also a candidate to trade but I think they’ll end up using this pick on Patrick Patterson (PF Kentucky). Even Patterson probably knows he’ll never be a star, but a fair projection is as a versatile role player who can contribute immediately in a system such as the one Houston runs. He’ll quickly establish a reputation as one of the best long distance shooting big men in the league. Think Channing Frye but stronger…and shorter.
15. Milwaukee Bucks - Xavier Henry (SG Kansas)
16. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Anderson (SG Oklahoma State)
17. Chicago Bulls - Donatas Montiejunas (PF/C Europe)
18. Miami Heat - Avery Bradley (PG/SG Texas)
19. Boston Celtics - Luke Babbitt (SF Nevada)
20. San Antonio Spurs - Daniel Orton (C Kentucky)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Larry Sanders PF (VCU)
22. Portland Trailblazers - Dominique Jones (PG/SG SouthFlorida)
23. Minnesota Timberwolves - Paul George (SF Fresno State)
24. Atlanta Hawks - Lance Stephenson (SG Cincinnati)
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Eric Bledsoe (PG Kentucky)
26. Oklahoma City Thunder - Soloman Alabi (C Florida State)
27. New Jersey Nets - Darrington Hobson (SG/SF New Mexico)
28. Memphis Grizzlies - Stanley Robinson (SF Connecticut)
29. Orlando Magic - Willie Warren (PG Oklahoma)
30. Washington Wizards - Gani Lawal (PF Georgia Tech)
That's it. Agree? Disagree? Thanks for your participation.