1. Washington – John Wall, PG, Kentucky. The last time Washington had the 1st pick, it was in a weak draft and they selected Kwame Brown. This draft is different. Barring injury, Wall will be a franchise player. Expect the Wizards to win at least 35 games this season.
2. Philadelphia – Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State. If Wall is 1A, then Turner is 1B. Despite rumors indicating that Turner would eventually land in Minnesota for a package of picks, just look no further than the mere handful of players that the 76ers have worked out. They have their man in Turner.
3. New Jersey – Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech. The physical forward is an impact player at both ends of the floor and can become a 20/10 guy in three years’ time. Favors will need to learn how to stay out of foul trouble. Rumors are flying about a blockbuster trade with Indiana involving Danny Granger and Devin Harris.
4. Minnesota – Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse. A great shooter, rebounder, and defender. Though others have not pointed this out, I question Johnson’s durability.
5. Sacramento – DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky. Jay Bilas (and everyone else) put it best. DeMarcus Cousins is the only thing preventing DeMarcus Cousins from being a star in this league. He’s talented, a great rebounder, with a surprising 7’5” wingspan. Cousins needs to become more skilled, but the Kings will be happy to acquire his physicality down low to abut that of Samuel Dalembert.
6. Golden State – Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown. Monroe is the best passing big man in the draft, and perhaps the most complete frontcourt player in the draft.
7. Detroit – Epke Udoh, PF, Baylor. He’s an athletic 4 who can play the 5. He’s 23, which causes concern. His athleticism fits into the scheme, but Udoh is limited in the half-court set.
8. LA Clippers – Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest. An amazing leaper with excellent athleticism and versatility, Aminu could be the best prospect from this draft. The knocks on him are his [in]ability to create his own shot and securing the basketball.
9. Utah – Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada. There are two camps. One that Utah taking Luke Babbitt and one that has them taking Ed Davis. Babbitt is a great shooter, who excelled in two seasons at Nevada. He could the long-term replacement for Kyle Korver.
10. Indiana - Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler. Larry Bird has expressed his interest in Hayward, who like Bird, played his hoops in Indiana. Hayward is a brilliant scorer, who’s an underrated defender and rebounder. He can dominate without a lot of offensive touches, which is something that can be said about few players in this draft class.
11. New Orleans – Paul George, SF, Fresno State. At 6’9”, he’s taller than the other wing prospects in this draft and is among the most skilled as well.
12. Memphis – Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky. Patterson is an inside-outside threat who had a marked improvement at the defensive end this season. If the Grizz do not re-sign Zach Randolph, then Patterson serves as an insurance policy. Let’s just hope Randolph is not his off-court mentor.
13. Toronto – Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina. Davis presents a lot of upside at the power forward position. Wiry and explosive, Davis is active in the paint. Davis struggled in his sophomore season, enabling him to nearly drop out of the lottery.
TRADE: Toronto trades the 13th pick overall to Portland for the 22nd pick overall and cash considerations
14. Houston – Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas. Aldrich will not a league MVP title, but he can patrol the lane at the defensive end and improve a weak Houston frontcourt.
15. Milwaukee – Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas. Henry’s an upside guy who has great athleticism and a freakish wingspan. However, he’ll need to make better decisions re: shot selection and improve at the defensive end.
16. Minnesota – Larry Sanders, PF/C, VCU. A prolific shot-blocker at VCU, Sanders improved each year offensively. He’ll be a nice addition to the frontline.
17. Chicago – Damion James, SF/PF, Texas. James is a hustle player who averaged a double-double for much of his collegiate career in the Big XII thanks to a 7-foot wingspan. To get better, James will need to improve his ball-handling and passing skills.
TRADE: Chicago sends Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick overall to Washington for future considerations
18. Oklahoma City – Tibor Pleiss, C, Brose Baskets. Among the more skilled big men in this draft class, Pleiss’s weight has been listed as 210 and as high as 257 depending on your source.
19. Boston - James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State. Boston will not hold onto this pick, so Anderson is the best player available.
TRADE: Boston trades the 19th pick overall to Cleveland for a future 1st-round pick, Leon Powe and cash considerations
20. San Antonio – Avery Bradley, SG, Texas. A combo guard, Bradley may be the best backcourt defender in this year’s class. At 6’2”, Bradley may be expected to play the point, which he struggled at.
21. Oklahoma City – Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, Kentucky. Bledsoe is among the best on-the-ball defenders in the draft. While not a true point guard, he can develop into one.
TRADE: Oklahoma City trades the 21st pick overall to Indiana for cash considerations
22. Portland - Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State. Alabi is a proven shot-blocker with a limited offensive profile. He has ties to the Toronto organization, which makes this pick more believable. Not to mention, Toronto cannot spell defense.
(PICK GOES TO TORONTO per earlier listed trade)
23. Minnesota – Kevin Seraphin, C/PF, Cholet. Raw in terms of offensive footwork, Seraphin can contribute defensively. Don’t be surprised if Seraphin stays in Europe for a year or two to develop.
24. Atlanta - Dominique Jones, SG, South Florida. Jones is a dynamic combo guard with an NBA body who can create shots for himself in a variety of ways and has been known to have several scoring outbursts.
25. Memphis – Devin Ebanks, SF, West Virginia. Ebanks is a wiry, physical player who crashes the boards and does not give up on defense. Unless he adds muscle, he will be pushed around when asked to guard power forwards.
26. Oklahoma City - Hassan Whiteside, PF/C, Marshall. The rationale for picking Whiteside is that he presents a skill set as a specialist (shot blocking). He is unproven offensively, but that is not a bad thing if he can clean up the boards.
TRADE: Oklahoma City trades the 26th pick overall and Byron Mullens to Denver for cash considerations and a future pick
27. New Jersey – Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier. When he was at Indiana, you could see the potential. You could see that Crawford could go on scoring sprees. He could easily average 20 points a game in the right situation.
28. Memphis – Daniel Orton, PF, Kentucky. When a team has players who take a lot of shots, you need to surround them with role players who can contribute in other ways. Orton fits that bill as a physical defender who can also block shots. Don’t be surprised if he slips into the 2nd round.
TRADE: Memphis trades the 28th pick overall and Marko Jaric to Dallas for DeShawn Stevenson, Eduardo Najera and cash considerations
29. Orlando - Greivis Vasquez, PG, Maryland. The Magic have only worked out a few players. If they hang onto the pick, then Vasquez can immediately step in at backup point guard, which will be a position of need with Jason Williams and Anthony Johnson out of contract.
30. Washington - Quincy Pondexter, SF, Washington. A matchup nightmare. That’s what opposing coaches have called Pondexter over the years. Pondexter excels in an open game, but has improved his skills in the half-court set.
31. New Jersey – Jerome Jordan, C, Tulsa
32. Miami – Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
33. Sacramento – Sherron Collins, PG, Kansas
34. Portland – Ryan Richards, PF, Gran Canaria
35. Washington – Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State
36. Detroit – Armon Johnson, PG, Nevada
37. Milwaukee – Terrico White, PG/SG, Ole Miss
38. New York – Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis
39. New York – Stanley Robinson, SF/PF, Connecticut
40. Indiana – Willie Warren, PG/SG, Oklahoma
41. Miami – Lance Stephenson, SG, Cincinnati
42. Miami - Jon Scheyer, PG, Duke
43. LA Lakers – Alexey Shved, PG, Dynamo Moscow
44. Milwaukee – Omar Samhan, C, St. Mary’s
45. Minnesota – Trevor Booker, PF, Clemson
46. Phoenix - Darington Hobson, SF, Milwaukee
47. Milwaukee - Jarvis Varnado, PF, Mississippi State
TRADE: Milwaukee trades the 47th pick overall to New York for cash considerations
48. Miami – Lazar Hayward, SF, Marquette
49. San Antonio – Elijah Millsap, SF, UAB
50. Dallas – Dexter Pittman, C, Texas
51. Oklahoma City – Nemanja Bjelica, SF, Red Star
52. Boston – Ryan Thompson, SG, Rider
53. Atlanta – Keith “Tiny” Gallon, PF, Oklahoma
TRADE: Atlanta trades the 53rd pick overall to New Jersey for cash considerations
54. LA Clippers – Mikhail Torrence, PG/SG, Alabama
55. Utah – Thomas Huertel, PG, Strasbourg
TRADE: Utah trades the 55th pick to Toronto for cash considerations
56. Minnesota – Charles Garcia, SF, Seattle
57. Indiana – Samardo Samuels, PF, Louisville
TRADE: Indiana trades the 57th pick overall to Houston for a future 2nd-round pick and cash considerations
58. LA Lakers – Luke Harangody, PF, Notre Dame
TRADE: LA Lakers trade the 58th overall pick to Golden State for cash considerations
59. Orlando – Da’Sean Butler, SF, West Virginia
60. Phoenix – Andy Rautins, SG, Syracuse