It's time for yet another big board and mock draft update from your resident friendly ghost.
With the college season nearing an end, and people seemingly chomping at the bit for summer to come this is the time it gets interesting to see how things develop. So sit back, relax, enjoy Darko mania for another two weeks, and get ready for all the mock drafts, off-season plans, rumors, and player development banter you can handle.
Me? I love the next two months even if there is little basketball news outside of the playoffs and the thousand of rumors.
Who will declare? I'm not going to claim to have any answers to that, only personal opinion.
Which guys will jump up the boards for seemingly no reason, and who will fall because of minor detractions in their game or character? I am normally steady in my takes when no new information is coming about, but I am not impervious to hype. Players rankings may shift because maybe I hear an argument I didn't hear before, or maybe there are second-hand reports which catch my eye and make me rethink things.
How will the lottery turn out? Will the Timberwolves finally get a top-2 pick? What happens to Rubio if the Timberwolves get the #1? What happens to Al and Love this offseason? And perhaps the biggest question of all... will Darko come back?! So many things.
Here's my latest take on how the draft may play out to get you all "in the mood" for this weekend of basketball and get excited for the summer. Don't forget, my board has flexible tiers, allowing for teams to go down one tier if there is a much greater need there.
1. John Wall
2. Evan Turner
Mock Time! John Henson, Kemba Walker, Elias Harris, Luke Babbitt, Jordan Crawford, and Jeff Taylor were excluded from the mock. The rest of the guys listed above are fair game. You can see I added Vesely and Motiejunas to the big board since the last mock, but I'm certainly not knowledgeable about either, going to do my best on placing them, however.
1. New Jersey - John Wall (PG):
2. Minnesota - Evan Turner (SG/SF):
No Wall? Okay, I'd be kind of bummed, but getting Turner would still be fantastic and fill a big... no... humongous need. 35mpg of great all-around play straight out.
3. Golden State - DeMarcus Cousins (C):
One of the tougher decisions. Favors fits their uptempo style while also being able to physically play against any PF and most Cs in the league. Cousins, however, gives them a beast down low to form a pretty good inside-outside game with Curry.
4. Washington - Derrick Favors (PF/C):
Blatche doing well? That's good and all, but Favors has star potential and Blatche and Favors really aren't a bad fit in the frontcourt, especially with McGee being the third big in the trio. Nice start to their rebuild by picking up a guy with the potential to be the best player in the draft.
5. Detroit - Ed Davis (PF/C):
Curious team they have assembled, so it's kind of hard to peg where they'd go with this pick. Davis can come in and give them solid production right away at PF or C while having plenty of room to grow. Problem is, he seemed passive on both ends.
6. Sacramento - Hassan Whiteside (PF/C):
Another tough spot. Johnson is BPA and Whiteside is a headcase. However, Sacramento needs to go with potential, and Whiteside has plenty of that and could be a pretty nice fit in their frontcourt if he pans out.
7. Philadelphia - Wesley Johnson (SF):
Might be the steal of the draft. Then again, it might be the correct kind of value. Seems like a nearly perfect fit next to Iguodala and this could launch them into the playoffs next year.
8. Utah (from NY) - Cole Aldrich (C):
This one seems like a pretty good match. Utah needs a defensive presence and size in the frontcourt, even if they play great team defense. This pick allows them to get an NBA ready player who is great at what he's made to do.
9. LA Clippers - Al-Farouq Aminu (SF/PF):
They have a hole at SF, and could use the versatility for their SF to play inside or out if they decide to go small-ball and have Griffin at C for some of his minutes. Great athlete with upside, however I'm skeptical if he'll ever reach it.
10. Indiana - Xavier Henry (SG/SF):
Another sharpshooter in Indiana? Well, they are kind of shooting themselves in the foot by playing so well. This pick wouldn't doom them to mediocrity, because Henry has room in his game to grow and become a star, but it's not the athletic PF that they desperately need.
11. New Orleans - Greg Monroe (PF/C):
If they move CP3, which some would say is a real possibility, then this pick could become a pure upside pick because they'd be in rebuilding mode. As it stands now, however, they need a player who still has potential to add to his game, but also can give them minutes right away. Would be able to play off Okafor or West pretty well.
12. Milwaukee (from CHI) - Jan Vesely (SF/PF):
Upside, upside, upside. I have no clue what his exact contract situation is, but an athletic 4 who can spread the floor and seems to have the game to work extremely well off of Bogut and next to Jennings who likes to run... I like it.
13. Houston - Donatas Motiejunas (PF/C):
Same deal as in all the drafts I've done - Houston is kind of stuck not really needing help anywhere, but certainly could use a backup plan in the frontcourt in case Yao never returns to what he was, and needs a guy on their roster who could potentially blow up and become something great.
14. Memphis - Devin Ebanks (SF/PF):
Makes Gay expendable if they don't want to pay? I think he could be the consummate role player at SF in the NBA. Great pairing with Mayo, and even if Gay stays, he fits in better with that team than Sam Young backing up the forward spots.
15. Miami (from TOR) - Ekpe Udoh (PF/C):
If Wade stays, they need an NBA-ready player. If Wade leaves, they need a guy with upside. Udoh is both, though may never become more than a 3rd big in the NBA. Defense, playmaking, and athleticism all in one frontcourt player is nice to have.
16. Minnesota (from CHA) - Paul George (SG/SF):
Athleticism which the Timberwolves desperately need? Check. Outside shot the Timberwolves desperately need? Check. Nice playmaking to work in the triangle? Check. Weakside defense the Timberwolves need? Check. Why does a guy like him fall then? Inconsistent, a defensive gambler, and doesn't attack the rim like he should.
17. Miami - James Anderson (SG/SF):
I don't know how well he'd work defensively next to Wade, but getting a guy this low who can score right away in the NBA is pretty good value. Not having to be a primary option makes those ball-handling issues become minute.
18. Chicago (from MIL) - Patrick Patterson (PF):
Likely wish they never made the deal with Milwaukee if they don't land a star FA in the summer, but if they do, then falling six spots and missing out on a chance at the two Europeans is going to sting. Patterson is a nice fit and can play next to a guy very similar to Wall, but more seasoned. I think it'd be great if he worked himself into playing spot minutes at SF.
19. San Antonio - Darington Hobson (SG/SF):
Kind of an odd pick for a Spurs team. However, with Manu potentially leaving, Jefferson not really giving them what they'd hope... I like it. Hobson can allow Parker to be more of a scorer while Hobson is a playmaker when he's in the game.
20. Portland - Larry Sanders (PF/C):
Decimated by injuries in the frontcourt, Portland went out and traded for Camby. Sanders isn't a Camby-clone, but he is athletic and does have nice weakside skills and ability to defend PFs (he gets pushed around by Cs) in the post. Kind of a tricky pick for me to come up with.
21. Oklahoma City - Artsiom Parakhouski (C):
They need size in the post. They have great players and prospects in the backcourt. They have Ibaka coming into his own in the frontcourt, but they need a big C to bang down low and grab rebounds. If he were a better defensive player, or played more teams which could offer him a challenge, he may go higher, but he wasn't and he didn't.
22. Boston - Willie Warren (SG):
Could be the steal of the draft. Could be a guy who never gets it. Could stay in school. But man... he could be great. Lots of could's, that pretty much sums up what I think of Warren.
23. Memphis (from DEN) - Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG):
I think he should stay in school, but it seems like he's leaving. Is he really a PG? We never really got to see at UK, but when he had the ball in his hands he seemed like a comboguard with relatively poor playmaking skills. Either way, Memphis needs another PG, and Bledsoe could be a nice pairing with Mayo.
24. Atlanta - Solomon Alabi (C):
They need size and defense to win a championship. Alabi technically gives them size... even if he's one of the softest C's outside of Hollins. I like the potential reward for Atlanta, however, and in his first year he can just be a fouling machine who gives them defense for 15mpg while they try to become a true contender.
25. Oklahoma City (from PHX) - Stanley Robinson (SF/PF):
Eh, I don't know what OKC is going to do with two rookies. Robinson plays the same position as Green, but he has a different type of role. Seems like a waste in OKC, however.
26. Minnesota (from UTA) - Damion James (SF/PF):
One wing. Two wings. Three wings? Last year it was about the PGs for the Timberwolves, this year it will be about the wings. Very nice value pick here and makes Gomes very expendable. Gives them a tougher wing than either Turner or George, and a guy who will give you his maximum effort every game.
27. New Jersey (from DAL) - Gordon Hayward (SF):
Nice value pick for them, even if they have a lot of wing prospects already on their roster. With the way Williams has been playing, Hayward would be a pretty good player next to him and Wall if they all do what I think they could. I might have him falling too far in this mock, however.
28. Orlando - Quincy Pondexter (SF/PF):
Pondexter plays bigger than he is, which works well next to a softie PF in Lewis. I don't know how well his game would work with a tank inside like Howard who stays in or near the paint at all times, but he's well worth a look for them if only because it gives them an athlete.
29. Memphis (from LAL) - Avery Bradley (PG/SG):
I can't see Memphis keeping three picks with the roster they have, but if they do, how interesting would it be for them to have Bledsoe, Bradley, and Mayo in the backcourt?
30. Washington (from CLE) - Dominique Jones (SG):
He's a scorer, who likely will be best served coming off the bench in the NBA, but for a Washington team who will likely struggle mightily, he seems like a decent option.
There you have it. Comments? Criticism? Questions? Have at it.
Also, Check out the blog at casperkid23.blogspot.com every once in a while because I throw write-ups up there and plan on putting quite a bit of stuff on there. The "Useful Files" section on the sidebar is a great place to start.