I posted my lottery picks last month. Here’s a look at the whole first round.

1.Washington Wizards – John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Nothing has changed to move Wall out of the top spot.

2.  Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
Turner remains the Sixers’ best choice.

3.  New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
Favors remains the logical choice to bolster the Nets’ frontline.

4.  Minnesota Timberwolves – DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
While Wesley Johnson fills a need at the small forward position, they are easier to come by than true centers. Cousins gives the Wolves a force in the middle to pair with undersized Al Jefferson and/or Kevin Love.

5.  Sacramento Kings – Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown
With Cousins moving up a slot in this mock, the Kings go for Monroe instead to solidify the middle.

6.  Golden State Warriors – Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
Johnson slips to Warriors, who gladly snatch him up. He is a great fit in their system as he can run the floor and stretch defenses with his three-point ability.

7.  Detroit Pistons – Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor
Udoh gives the Pistons a talented big man that can help out on both ends of the court. His shot blocking ability will be coveted.

8.  Los Angeles Clippers – Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
The Clippers continue to put the pieces together as Aminu fills as need at small forward. With Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Aminu, Blake Griffin, and Chris Kaman, the Clippers have a talented, young nucleus.

9.  Utah Jazz – Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
The Jazz were exposed for their lack of size against the Lakers. Aldrich gives them a better chance to advance.

10.   Indiana Pacers – Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina
Davis could end up one of the top 3-5 players in this draft. Getting him at ten, while filling a need, is a steal for the Pacers.

11.  New Orleans Hornets – Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky
What Patterson lacks in size, he makes up for it with ability. Chris Paul will fall in love with him.

12.  Memphis Grizzlies – Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada
Babbitt won’t confuse anybody for a defensive stopper, but he is very talented offensively. He gives Memphis another shooter.

13.  Toronto Raptors – Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
Assuming Chris Bosh does not return to the Raptors, it’s rebuilding time. That affords them to take the raw Whiteside and allow him to develop. He should be a force immediately on defense and grow into an offensive player.

14.  Houston Rockets – Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky
Even if Yao Ming is healthy, they need insurance in case he is injured again. Orton needs some time to develop, which the Rockets can provide him as long as Yao is healthy.

15.  Milwaukee Bucks – Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler
Hayward made a name for himself in Butler’s impressive tourney run. He gives the Bucks another smart player that can knock down open shots.
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Here’s my first crack at a 2010 NBA Mock Draft. I’ll start with just the lottery picks. Click here for my updated 2010 NBA Mock Draft.

 

1.  Washington Wizards – John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Point Guards are the name of the game in this league it seems. Washington could consider Evan Turner since they have Arenas, but they can’t pass on the draft’s top prospect.

 

2.  Philadelphia 76ers – Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
There is always a chance that they trade out of this slot, but I doubt it. Instead they’ll add Turner to their backup with Jrue Holiday and slide Iggy over to the 3.

 

3.  New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
The Nets were removed from the LeBron Sweepstakes when they failed to land the #1 pick. While it would have been nice to land Wall, they can plug in Favors, and athletic big man, to play alongside Brook Lopez.

 

4.  Minnesota Timberwolves – Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
Back-to-back years the Wolves nab a top Syracuse player. Johnson gives the Wolves a talented wing player, a position of need. His three-point shooting can help stretch th floor. Of course, the Wolves make so many trades that it’s hard to predict what they’ll do.

 

5.  Sacramento Kings –  DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Kentucky
If Cousins didn’t have baggage (maturity, weight issues, inconsistency) he would likely be the top big man selected in this draft. There is still time for him to move up, or slide down if he doesn’t impress. For now I’ll add him to the Kings’ frontcourt.

 

6.  Golden State Warriors – Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
Aminu is very athletic and should thrive in the Warriors system. Gives them a boost in rebounding and defense.

 

7. Detroit Pistons – Greg Monroe, PF/C, Georgetown 
Monroe gives the Pistons length. He’s not a great rebounder or defender, but has the best passing skills of any big man in this draft.

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NBA Lottery Rant

19 May 2010

nba-draft-lottery

 

I may sound like a broken record, but the way the NBA handles their draft infuriates me every year. I still can’t for the life of me understand while the media and general public does not call the NBA out for having a lottery system in the first place. They have so little trust that NBA teams won’t tank that they actually have to have measures to protect against that. Baseball gets ripped for the steroids, where it’s going on in every sport, but the NBA tries to sell of the excitement of the draft as a cover-up for a tanking concern.

 

In every other sport the worst team gets the first overall pick (which could actually be a detriment in the NFL, but the intentions are good and that’s a conversation for another day) in order to give them a chance to improve. Not so in the NBA. They devised a ridiculous formula that flat-out doesn’t work. You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out something’s rotten in Denmark. All too often the team with the best odds doesn’t get the number one pick. That goes against mathematical probabilities. Here’s a look at the teams that ended up with the #1 pick and the odds.

 

2010:  Washington Wizards got the #1 pick with the 5th best odds
2009:  LA Clippers got the #1 with the 3rd best odds
2008: Chicago got the #1 pick with the 9th best odds
2007: Portland got the #1 with the 7th best odds
2006: Toronto got #1 with 4th best odds
2005: Milwaukee got the #1 pick with the 6th best odds
2004: Orlando got the #1 pick with the 1st best odds
2003: Cleveland got the #1 pick with the 1st best odds
2005: Milwaukee got #1 with 6th best odds
2002: Houston got #1 with 5th best odds
2001: Washington got #1 with 3rd best odds (Michael Jordan’s first pick, hmm)
2000: New Jersey got #1 with 7th best odds (Former NBA exec Rod Thorn’s first year with NJ, hmm)
1999: Chicago got #1 with 3rd best odds
1998: LA Clippers got #1 with 3rd best odds
1997: San Antonio got #1 with 3rd best odds
1996: Philadelphia got #1 with 2nd best odds
1995: Golden State got #1 with 5th best odds
1994: Milwaukee got #1 with 4th best odds
1993: Orlando got #1 with 11th best odds (1 in 66 chances, hmm)
1992: Orlando got #1 with 2nd best odds
1991: Charlotte got #1 with 5th best odds

 

So why would the NBA want the Washington Bullets, I mean the Wizards to get the number one pick? Simple. Gilbert Arenas disgraced the city and gave the NBA a bad name. What better way to put that fiasco behind you than awarding them John Wall. People are talking about Wall now and how Arenas has to adjust his game. The gun scandal is an afterthought.

 

I’m going to continue to be skeptical about the draft until they actually show us the ping pong balls. There have been too many instances where the two teams with the best odds have failed to get the top pick. In the last 20 years the team with the best odds only landed the top pick twice. The number two team landed it twice. That’s four times in 20 years of 20 percent of the time. The problem is, that number should be twice as high. That’s the same as the team with the 5th best odds won. The team with the third best odds has won five times. It’s staggering that 55 percent of the time the #1 pick goes to the team with the 3rd, 4th, or 5th best odds.


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