Live Mock Draft
Here we present our first LIVE MOCK DRAFT of the year.
NBADraft.net's Aran Smith and Adi Joseph played GMs for the entire first round and traded off on picks giving analysis on every selection....
The picks factor in team need and are based on who we think the teams SHOULD take, not who they will take.
Picks were made every 3-5 minutes completing the first round based on the current order of teams (which will change).
Join the discussion and leave comments about the picks below!
1. New Jersey Nets John Wall - Because there's no question.......So I think everyone knows who you will take 2nd but... If Ohio State bows out early, would Turner's stock be hurt? - Adi
2. Minnesota Timberwolves Evan Turner Wow, tough pick there at #1. Alright well I know I'm higher on him than you are: I'm taking Evan Turner at #2 for the T-Wolves. He fits in better with this team than Wall would after they took Flynn and Rubio last year, since you can play him at the 2 and 3 positions. Turner is an improved jumpshot away from being a bigger, stronger version of Brandon Roy showing a lot of the same attributes that make Roy such a versatile and effective NBA player. And no I don't see Turner's stock dropping him out of the top 2 with a disappointing tournament. -Aran
3. Golden State Warriors Hassan Whiteside I know this is going to draw some Ire from the message board fans, but with the third pick, I'm going with Hassan Whiteside. He's a perfect fit for what the Warriors NEED. Maybe not for what Don Nelson wants, though. I just believe with Whiteside running next to Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright, I'm not sure how anyone gets a shot off against that trio. Now Aran, you and I both know the Pacers are taking either Jon Scheyer or Sherron Collins with the fourth pick. But who would you take? - Adi
4. Indiana Pacers Derrick Favors Alright, I realize Larry Bird only takes 4 year players and preferably white ones but Favors would add some much needed athleticism to this team. Cousins obviously is the more polished player now and if he can pass the psychological and background checks, he might have a chance to go here. But Favors gives them a young, Al Horford type of high motor beast in the paint. He needs time, but this team isn't exactly going anywhere any time soon....Luke Harangody is back having put up 20 points in an impressive win. In related news, Larry Bird is now shopping for a late first round pick.
So Adi, the Kings grabbed a guy last year who has become the face of their franchise in less than a year (Tyreke Evans), what does Geoff Petrie do for an encore?-Aran
5. Sacramento Kings Wesley Johnson I think the perfect compliment to Evans would be Wesley Johnson. He's not very ball-reliant, he helps spread the floor, and he doesn't kick Carl Landry out of the post. I like the core group the Kings have assembled, but another wing would be a huge addition. Johnson is a solid all-around player, and though he's a hair lower on my board than Cousins and Al-Farouq Aminu. I think he's a better fit here, both in terms of what he brings to the roster and what the team is trying to do. -Adi
6. Detroit Pistons DeMarcus Cousins I think if Cousins indeed falls as we both think he could, at some point you have to take him and hope for the best. This is a team in need of a center, and a highly skilled one such as Cousins fits the bill. With the Piston's "Bad Boys" history, who better to step into Rasheed's role than Cousins? Can he learn to antagonize refs the way only Sheed knew how? Only time will tell. Who are you taking at 7 Adi O'Connor? -Aran
7. Utah Jazz Al Farouq Aminu Well if I'm the Jazz, who have the Knicks pick because God hates New York Knicks fans, I'm keeping Carlos Boozer. I am a huge Boozer fan, and I don't understand all the negativity around the guy. With that said, I would use this pick to address an area of concern, while also taking the player I believe is the best available: Al-Farouq Aminu. Andrei Kirilenko will only remain reliable for so long. Aminu will step into the starting role in a year or two and provide the kind of length and athleticism the Jazz lack. Whiteside would be perfect here, but he's long gone IMO. - Adi
8. Washington Wizards Donatas Motiejunas With all that has gone wrong in Washington over the past couple seasons, it wouldn't surprise me if they had a new GM by draft day. If Ernie Grunfeld somehow makes it to draft night, he's got to be looking first and foremost for talent. Motiejunas happens to play the same position as Andray Blatche, a player who has really come on over the past month. But in my opinion Motiejunas has top 5 talent and will pay dividends a la Andrea Bargnani for a team in position to be patient and wait for him. Whether this team can afford to be patient could depend on who their GM is. -Aran
9. Philadelphia 76ers Xavier Henry The 76ers have been starting Jrue Holiday and Louis Williams together in the back court. They're both good prospects, but they've lacked chemistry so far..Philly should just take Xavier Henry, a ready-made starting shooting guard, and put an end to it. -Adi
10. Los Angeles Clippers Devin Ebanks Let the forum bashers start bashing, this kid has TALENT. Travis Outlaw is their weakest link among their starters making the top SF on the board a priority. On a team full of young talent and able scorers, Ebanks' defensive ability and potential would fit them well. With a need at SF and a lot of depth at the position in this year's draft, the Clips could look to move down with this pick for a package from a team like OKC (21 and 22) and grab 2 SFs or one and add depth, with OKC looking to move up for a guy like Aldrich or Patterson. The Clippers finally ridded themselves of Mike Dunleavy, now if only the league could somehow do the same with their owner Donald Sterling. -Aran
11. Charlotte Bobcats Patrick Patterson Michael Jordan has gravitated toward players who made their names with strong college careers. In this case, that's the right move. With the 11th pick, I'm taking the best player available who also might be the draft's safest choice: Patrick Patterson. It's not an easy call, as Cole Aldrich would better fit the team's needs. But Patterson is a tremendous value pick here, and Tyrus Thomas, as much as I like him, has yet to show any real consistency.
12. Houston Rockets Cole Aldrich With Yao Ming's uncertain status, grabbing the top center on the board makes a lot of sense. Aldrich could learn behind Yao for a few seasons until Yao is finished (something that could come sooner than later). With a 7-6 wingspan, Aldrich brings shot blocking ability and NBA readiness to a scrappy young team. -Aran
13. New Orleans Hornets Greg Monroe The Hornets need a small forward. In this scenario, I don't see one worth taking this high. So I'm again going to the "best available" option and drafting Greg Monroe. David West is a very skilled player. Together, he and Monroe would be a super-skilled set of big men, with Monroe coming off the bench and backing up West and Emeka Okafor. It could work, and the Hornets will draft best available. They've proven that in the past. It could work, and the Hornets will draft best available. They've proven that in the past. -Adi
14. Memphis Grizzlies Damion James I'm sure I'll get ripped for this one but...The Grizzlies areas of need are PG and potentially SF, if Rudy Gay is allowed to walk in free agency. PG is not a strong position in this years draft and something they can target with their 2 late first round picks. Is this a reach? Probably. But James is a proven commodity. He doesn't have the skills of Gay but isn't far off in the athleticism department. He would provide depth if they are willing to max out Gay this summer. -Aran
15. Chicago Bulls James Anderson That Damion James pick seems like a pretty big reach, but I don't like him very much. I'm taking the Big 12's best player, James Anderson. The guy can score, and Chicago has needed some punch from the perimeter since letting Ben Gordon walk. Anderson has the potential to be the perfect kickout option for Derrick Rose. Ideally, the Bulls would love to see Monroe or Patterson available here, but I doubt that happens. -Adi
16. Miami Heat Larry Sanders With back to back picks here, the Heat have a chance to add some talent around their nucleus of Dwyane Wade. The Larry Sanders Show is certainly a project but with his combination of length (7-7 wingspan) and athleticism, he shows the potential to be a Theo Ratliff type of defensive presence. -Aran
17. Miami Heat Paul George With that said, a good argument could be made toward going with a safe pick on the second chance. I'm ignoring that logic and going with the talent. Paul George at one time looked like a potential top-10 pick. Now, he's slid. But Miami is starting Quentin Richardson, and George still has big time talent. He's a risk, as he's turnover prone. But in a system with a dominant ball-handler like Dwyane Wade, who we are assuming will come back, I think George could fit in very nicely with his great defensive abilities on the wing. -Adi
18. Milwaukee Bucks Dominique Jones The Bucks hit a homerun with the 10th pick last year grabbing their floor general of the present and future in Brandon Jennings, and have surprisingly developed into a playoff team without Michael Redd. Jones could become their SG of the future as the 31 year old Redd appears to be falling apart at a fast rate. Jones also brings the versatility to run the point and be a physical presense defensively filling in for Jennings at times. -Aran
19. Portland Trailblazers Jan Vesely What to do when you're the team with too much depth? When healthy, the Blazers are just loaded at every position. Well, as a result, they can take more risks than any other team. They've had tremendous success with foreign prospects recently, and while a sturdy backup center might be better, they can retain Marcus Camby for those duties. Vesely has great upside and he's pretty fun to watch. In addition, he can play both forward spots, and if the Blazers are missing anything, it's a good combo forward. He also gives them the option to possibly leave him in Europe (and off the books for another year). -Adi
20. San Antonio Spurs Ed Davis The aging Spurs could use a guy like Dominique Jones with his NBA ready skill set, but he's already off the board. San Antonio moved their first rounder again last year (they have done so in nearly every draft over the past 10 years), but could look to hold onto their pick since it will be higher than usual this year. Ed Davis' skills would mesh well with Blair's looking to the future. He may ultimately opt to return to school after suffering a broken wrist that put him out for half the season. His potential would be tough to pass up at 20 for the Spurs, a team that will need to start looking toward the future at some point soon. -Aran
21. Oklahoma City Thunder Trey Thompkins I'm not sure any team in the NBA has a more specific need than the Thunder's lack at center. With that said, I'm not picking one. Solomon Alabi would be a huge leap here on my draft boards, and the Thunder already have a project center in B.J. Mullens, who is younger and more gifted. Thompkins is a guy who has received almost no hype, but he is a sturdy, thick-bodied power forward who can step out and shoot with surprising accuracy. He's a talented post scorer on a team that could actually use such a player. Do I think the Thunder actually would make this pick? No. But I think they should. And I'm Sam Presti today, so it's my call. -Adi
22. Oklahoma City Thunder Stanley Robinson That was a ballsy pick Mr. Presti. And you make a good point, after this franchise's hard luck drafting centers, (Swift, Sene, Petro, and now potentially Mullens), taking Solomon Alabi could easily be more of the same. This team already has one defensive dynamo in Sefalosha and could potentially add another with the long armed, athletic Robinson. His game really dropped off after he made the decision to lose the braids. Unfortunately the entire team tanked and now there will be no NCAA tourney for these guys. -Aran
23. Atlanta Hawks Terrico White I don't think Atlanta will be resigning Joe Johnson. Call it a hunch, but with so many teams under the salary cap and looking for a franchise star, an all-star caliber player like Johnson seems destined to be drastically overpaid. With that said, White is a great fit. He's a unique talent who has been shoved aside a bit with the return of Chris Warren to the Ole Miss lineup. But those who remember his play down the stretch last season will understand why I believe he may be the second-best point guard in this draft class. But he's also big enough to defend shooting guards, making him a perfect compliment to scoring points Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague. White has the ability to step in for Johnson, and even if he can't be a star right away, down the road, he could be very good. -Adi
24. Minnesota Timberwolves Luke Babbitt After grabbing do-everything Evan Turner at pick 2 who fits in well with Flynn and company, they can look for the best player available. Babbitt gives the team the versatility to play both forward positions along with scoring ability and toughness. This team could look to go in a number of directions but Babbitt gives them good value at this pick. -Aran
25. Boston Celtics Elliot Williams There are two targets I had in mind with the Celtics' pick: Elliot Williams and Gani Lawal. Each would provide a potential replacement for an aging Hall of Famer. Each would provide much-needed athleticism. But what stood out with Williams was how he might fit next to Nate Robinson, should Robinson remain a Celtic next year. Robinson isn't a point guard, and neither is Williams. But together, the combo guards are big enough and skilled enough to make it work in the Celtics' backcourt. A power forward would have been nice, but I'm not sure Lawal is the best fit here. -Adi
26. Memphis Grizzlies Armon Johnson The Grizzlies haven't given up on Mike Conley but he obviously was a mistake taken so high (at 4) in 2007. After addressing the SF position with their 14th pick, Johnson gives them a high upside pick late in the first round with potential to develop into a starter. He's not a pure PG, but his size, athleticism and scoring ability should help him develop into an NBA contributor. -Aran
27. New Jersey Nets Gani Lawal So we've given the Nets the best player in the draft. Who's next? I'd already mentioned Lawal as the top power forward left on my board, and he's my pick here. I have concerns with his hands and post skills, but he's got a nice touch and a lot of springy athleticism. For a junior, he's a risk. But at this point, his upside is looking nice as Yi Jianlian seems to have leveled out at not-quite-good-enough-to-start. -Adi
28. Orlando Magic Alec Burks The soon-to-be-crowned World Champs (yes, you heard that right) will eventually need a replacement for Vince Carter. Burks is unlikely to enter, nor would I advise him to since he still needs time. But he would make a nice upside pick for the future. After being an afterthought in recruiting circles, Burks has progressed incredibly in the past year and has lottery potential for 2011.
It's about time Lawal got selected, I have him a lot higher on my board but just couldn't find a good fit for him. -Aran
29. Memphis Grizzlies DeSean Butler Aran's getting pretty fiesty with some playoff picks now. I'll make a safe one: I don't think the Grizzlies will be winning the title this year. But I do think, with our projection that Rudy Gay will be leaving town in place, they could use yet another wing. Butler is a very, very safe choice, a senior who has proved his meddle on both ends of the court. He's smart, he doesn't require a whole lot of time with the ball and he's able to play both wing positions. I doubt he ever starts, but he's a very nice value pick this late in the draft. - Adi
30. Washington Wizards Ekpe Udoh After taking the European 7-footer Motiejunas who has excellent offensive ability with their first pick, I'm taking a player with standout defensive ability with their 30th pick in Ekpe Udoh. Udoh is still a project lacking strength and his offensive skills are a work in progress, but at pick #30 there are no perfect prospects available. Lazar Hayward and Solomon Alabi were also considerations here. -Aran
Thanks to all that joined us for the LIVE MOCK! We will be back with another one before long. The list is sure to change considerably based on tourney performances and workouts.
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