While last night’s immediate Lottery fallout was all about the Washington Wizards and John Wall, now we can begin to get an idea of how the rest of the draft will play out after the top spot. This is the first of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 24. As usual, it’s a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:
1. Washington — John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Whether the Wizards will invest in Wall isn’t as much a mystery as what Wall’s arrival means for Gilbert Arenas. With a franchise point guard right there for the taking, this is the perfect opportunity for the Wizards and their new ownership to begin a new era with a fresh start and unload Arenas before handing Wall the keys to the franchise.
2. Philadelphia — Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
Meanwhile, it’ll be significantly less difficult for the Sixers to part with their ex-icon (Allen Iverson) and embrace the Turner era. With Turner and Jrue Holiday as the backcourt of the future, Andre Iguodala will be under less pressure to do it all and settle into the Scottie Pippen role he was born to play.
3. New Jersey — Derrick Favors, PF/C, Georgia Tech
Brook Lopez gets an athletic sidekick at the four, and yes, Lopez/Favors would (eventually) be the best front line LeBron has ever played with.
4. Minnesota — Wes Johnson, SF, Syracuse
Imagine in a couple of years when every elite perimeter scorer who faces the Wolves has to deal with the defensive tangle of arms and legs and quickness that is Wes Johnson and Corey Brewer.
5. Sacramento — Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown
Skilled big men can thrive in Paul Westphal’s system, and Monroe is the most offensively skilled big man on the board. He could be the Lamar Odom to Tyreke Evans’ Kobe.
6. Golden State — DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Kentucky
Best big man available. There are some questions about Cousins’ conditioning, but he was able to keep up with UK’s cast of track stars, so he should be fine in Oakland.
7. Detroit — Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
The Pistons finished 26th in the NBA in field-goal percentage defense, 26th in rebounding, and 27th in blocked shots. Ben Wallace is near the end of the line, and Aldrich is a defensive brick wall.
8. L.A. Clippers — Al-Farouq Aminu, SF/PF, Wake Forest
A lineup of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Aminu, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman will create plenty of buckets and highlights.
9. Utah — James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State
A fill-it-up scorer with three years experience in the Big 12 who can start right away at the two.
10. Indiana — Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas
The Pacers need defense, but they also need anybody who can score alongside Danny Granger. Henry is a big guard with NBA range who can create his own offense.
11. New Orleans — Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina
Probably won’t make the immediate impact backing up David West that Darren Collison made backing up Chris Paul, but Davis has star potential at the four. The Hornets were hurting for frontcourt depth this season.
12. Memphis — Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler
In the highly likely event that Rudy Gay leaves in free agency, Hayward has a chance to start at the three.
13. Toronto — Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky
In the highly likely event that Chris Bosh leaves in free agency, Patterson has a chance to start at the four.
14. Houston — Donatas Motiejunas, C, Lithuania
If Yao Ming comes back healthy and holds up, the Rockets have time to develop the 20-year-old Motiejunas as a project. If Yao goes down again, Motiejunas is the center of the future.
15. Milwaukee — Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
Athletic shot-blocker fits into Scott Skiles’ defensive scheme and still has a ton of room to improve.
16. Minnesota — Luke Babbitt, SF/PF, Nevada
Versatile forward was under the radar at a mid-major, but has NBA ability.
17. Chicago — Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis
Gives the Bulls another scorer in the backcourt who can create his own shot. Just in case D-Wade, LeBron or Joe Johnson doesn’t sign with Chicago, Derrick Rose needs that kind of help.
18. Miami — Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor
Best player available. We have no idea what the Heat roster will look like when the free agency period gets going.
19. Boston — Avery Bradley, PG/SG, Texas
The Celtics still don’t have a real backup PG to Rajon Rondo. Bradley’s defense is already pro caliber.
20. San Antonio — Larry Sanders, PF, VCU
Time to start auditioning sidekicks for Tim Duncan.
21. Oklahoma City — Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky
After getting ripped apart by L.A.’s front line in the playoffs, OKC will be looking to upgrade their interior defense. Orton is an Oklahoma native and natural shot-blocker who should fall right into their lap.
22. Portland — Eric Bledsoe, PG, Kentucky
True point guard allows Jerryd Bayless to play the two on Portland’s second unit and makes disgruntled Rudy Fernandez expendable.
23. Minnesota — Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State
The NBA’s second-worst defensive team behind Golden State can use another shot-blocker.
24. Atlanta — Lance Stephenson, SG, Cincinnati
Insurance plan in case Joe Johnson leaves, and Lance could be taught to play some point guard.
25. Memphis — Armon Johnson, PG, Nevada
Will push Marcus Williams and Jamaal Tinsley for minutes backing up Mike Conley.
26. Oklahoma City — Devin Ebanks, SF, West Virginia
An explosive athlete on the wing who can be brought along slowly behind Kevin Durant.
27. New Jersey — Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier
Best player available is instant offense for a team that finished last-place in scoring.
28. Memphis — Damion James, PF, Texas
The best senior on the board can help the playoff-ready Grizzlies immediately.
29. Orlando — Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
Next candidate up to give Dwight Howard some help in the paint. Stan Van Gundy would just have to play him.
30. Washington — Paul George, SF, Fresno State
Highlight-reel finisher above the rim can get out and run with Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and the rest of the young Wizards core.