Yesterday, we asked some of the top bloggers for each Lottery team to share a list of favorite potential prospects, and discuss who they thought the team should select and why. The New Orleans Hornets made the biggest Lottery move last night, trading their #11 overall pick (Cole Aldrich) to the Oklahoma City Thunder, leaving the Hornets bloggers from At The Hive without a selection. With the 2010 NBA Draft officially in the books, here are the initial reactions from the rest of the bloggers that participated.
No. 2 – Philadelphia 76ers – Jordan Sams of Liberty Ballers
Who he picked: Evan Turner
Who they picked: Evan Turner
One word to sum up my reaction to the pick last night: relief. I’m sure most Sixers fans felt the same, because there’s no move too simple for Ed Stefanski. Turner was a no-brainer for the Sixers. The fan base is legitimately excited again, the team has a true go-to scorer for the first time since Iverson originally left, and the Sixers backcourt is set for the next decade. I don’t expect the Sixers to be good anytime soon, but pairing Turner with Holiday and Iguodala should make this team incredibly fun to watch. Is it too early to start “The Villain” for Rookie of the Year campaign?
No. 3 – New Jersey Nets – Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching
Who he picked: Derrick Favors
Who they picked: Derrick Favors
If the Nets end up keeping Derrick Favors, they could have a very special player on their roster. I like the pick, because he is the perfect fit with Brook Lopez (while DeMarcus Cousins is not). He can work the high post, and I see him making the catch and either finding Brook, a wing outside, or taking one dribble and finishing strong at the rim. On the defensive end (from the games I have watched), Favors shows the instincts that could make him a very good defender. He knows what to do when defending the pick and roll and when bringing the help. My only worry right now is his body size. He is going to need to get bigger if he wants to be able to defend power forwards consistently.
No. 4 – Minnesota Timberwolves – Dave Kelsey of TWolvesBlog
Who he picked: DeMarcus Cousins
Who they picked: Wesley Johnson
I am in shock. I literally do not know what to say. What are we doing? Teams would have traded us for Cousins. This draft = opportunities squandered. Sigh.
No. 5 – Sacramento Kings – Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom
Who he picked: DeMarcus Cousins
Who they picked: DeMarcus Cousins
The Kings needed to get a potential star in the draft and Cousins gives them exactly that. I don’t know that he’s going to be great but he has the makeup, the size and the game to do so. Cousins may be a hothead by reputation, but if he can get past that and take his emotions out on his opponents then the Kings have a guy who can make a lot of All-Star teams. Having Tyreke and DeMarcus isn’t all the Kings need, but they now have two pieces to build on with a lot of complementary role players around them. If they can add a couple of shooters for their stars to work with, then this team could be in the playoffs a lot quicker than everybody assumes.
No. 6 – Golden State Warriors – Rasheed Malek of Warriors World
Who he picked: DeMarcus Cousins
Who they picked: Ekpe Udoh
The consensus pick of everyone at the Warriors official Draft party at Oracle Arena was DeMarcus Cousins. Everyone was hoping somehow Cousins would slip to the Warriors, and the Draft Gods would finally reverse the Warrriors’ horrible luck. That obviously didn’t happen, and the fans let their voice be heard as they loudly booed the selection of Ekpe Udoh.
Udoh wasn’t the “sexy” pick, he’s not going to come in and put up big numbers right away or anything like that. Udoh is a role player who gives the Warriors a different dynamic than most other players on the roster. Udoh brings defense, hustle, team play and a commitment to making the right play everytime I spoke to Udoh’s assistant coach at Baylor and he described Udoh as a “Culture changer, for the better.”
If Udoh can come in and bring to the Warriors what he’s brought to the previous teams in his basketball career, the Warriors just got themselves a winning player.
No. 7 – Detroit Pistons – Kevin Sawyer of Detroit Bad Boys
Who he picked: Greg Monroe
Who they picked: Greg Monroe
Among the realistic possibilities, this is the pick I wanted. The comparisons to Vlade Divac and Brad Miller are on point. In fact, Monroe’s statistics were virtually identical to Miller’s at a similar age. If he maximizes his potential, his ceiling projects as an Arvydas Sabonis type of player.
Of course, none of the players were known as defensive stalwarts, and Monroe’s conditioning and lack of height could well be a liability at that end. They were also rather unique in that they weren’t conventional centers. On this roster, which lacks a conventional point guard, I welcome him.
Monroe isn’t going to dominate with shot-blocking and rebounding, but by contributing across the board on offense. He won’t turn around the franchise, but I am confident he will improve Detroit’s offensive efficiency by facilitating the offense from a different reference point.
No. 8 – Los Angeles Clippers – Camron Ghorbi of Dime Magazine
Who he picked: Al-Farouq Aminu
Who they picked: Al-Farouq Aminu
The Clippers look to be one of the winners of the 2010 Draft, after a night that was spent acquiring Aminu and Eric Bledsoe in the first round and Willie Warren in the second. Aminu fills an immediate need at the small forward position for the Clippers, who add another weapon in an ever-expanding arsenal. Aminu’s ability to play defense and rebound is going to be crucial for the Clippers, and though his offensive game could use some improvement, his addition to the Clippers frontline was a no-brainer at No. 8.
No. 9 – Utah Jazz – Basketball John of SLC Dunk
Who he picked: Greg Monroe
Who they picked: Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward may end up having his jersey retired in the ESA when all is said and done, but right now most Jazz fans are not pleased with the pick. The “Knicks pick” was supposed to send Utah another franchise player and help turn the team into true contenders.
Right now, it’s hard to see how Hayward accomplishes that. Everyone else in the West is getting bigger and better while the Jazz seem to be taking a couple of steps back.
The Jazz couldn’t trade up and the big men they coveted were off the board by the time No. 9 rolled around. The issue wasn’t so much that they took a wing, it was that they passed over players like Paul George, Xavier Henry and Luke Babbitt that many believe are better players than Hayward.
I hope like hell we’re all proven wrong, so only time will tell. I just don’t know if we have that much time. Maybe it was the disappointment of the Knicks having a better season than expected.
No. 10 – Indiana Pacers – Tim Donahue of Eight Points, Nine Seconds
Who he picked: Xavier Henry
Who they picked: Paul George
Unable to complete a deal to land a point guard, the Pacers did pretty much what we thought they would do in this situation: draft Paul George. Though I would have liked filling that gaping hole at the point much better, I do like this pick. George looks like a player who is ready to contribute offensively almost immediately, though it’s not entirely clear what position he’ll play. Regardless, the Pacers need guys who can score from the perimeter and they need athletes. George is both. Defensively, he needs to improve his mechanics and grow into his body, but he has the tools to be a special player at this level. It might not be this season, but down the road, he could be a force defensively on the wing.
No. 11 – New Orleans Hornets – Rohan of At The Hive
Who he picked: Cole Aldrich
Who they picked: Cole Aldrich (traded)
The first NBA Draft of the Gary Chouest era was probably the wildest in franchise history. A fair number of people expected New Orleans to trade out of the lottery, but the amount of late confusion was pretty surprising.
Oklahoma City had actually offered an early version of the eventual trade, before the Draft started. They proposed sending the 18th and 21st picks for the 11th pick, which New Orleans shot down. Just as the Hornets were getting ready to take either Patrick Patterson or Xavier Henry at No. 11, OKC agreed to take back the contract of Morris Peterson as long as they sent the 26th pick instead of the 18th. The Hornets were going to trade either Peterson or Songaila at some point during the year, so picking up two first rounders (something they’d expressed interest in doing for a while) seemed like a good side benefit to pick up.
Overall, I’ll take Quincy Pondexter, Craig Brackins and getting below the tax line over picking up just one of Aldrich, Henry or Patterson.
No. 12 – Memphis Grizzlies – Allen Law of Straight Outta Vancouver
Who he picked: Luke Babbitt
Who they picked: Xavier Henry
Luke Babbitt was definitely the preferred pick for me, but Xavier Henry has great size for a shooting guard and should be a solid pickup. X isn’t going to put us over the top, but he’s a real professional and his three-point shooting will help the second unit for this team. Also, he does seem to have a shot at starting in the NBA, which gives the Grizz the option of moving O.J. Mayo to the point sooner rather than later if Mike Conley continues to disappoint defensively.
The best news, though, is that the Grizzlies didn’t take a true small forward, which seems to signal that they’ll be keeping Rudy Gay around.
No. 13 – Toronto Raptors – Steve Gennaro of Raptors Republic
Who he picked: Avery Bradley
Who they picked: Ed Davis
If at No. 13, you can draft a guy who can crack your rotation off the bench, you are doing well. If you can draft a starter, you have done real well. If you can draft an All-Star, you have won the Draft. Ed Davis has All-Star potential. Going into this past season, Davis was No. 1 on most big boards, and if UNC didn’t tank its season, he would have gone Top-5. Couple the poor season for the Tar Heels (who lost three starters to last year’s Draft) with a wrist injury, and Davis saw his stock drop from Top-5 to Top-7 or Top-10 at worst! Rebounder, shot-blocker, explosive…this is a home run at No. 13.
Moving forward, Davis is now a huge piece of a rebuild that also includes Top-10 picks DeMarDeRozan (20 years old) and Andrea Bargnani (24 years old), in addition to Amir Johnson (23 years old) and Solomon Alabi (22 years old). If Bosh goes, Davis and Bargnani will complement each other in the frontcourt for the next decade. And if Bosh stays, the situation is even better, as you now have a frontcourt rotation of Bosh, Bargnani, Alabi and Davis. All with All-Star talent, all 6-10 or bigger, and Bosh is the oldest player in the group at 26!
No. 14 – Houston Rockets – Tom Martin of The Dream Shake
Who he picked: Patrick Patterson
Who they picked: Patrick Patterson
It’s not often that the sixth-highest-rated player on a team’s draft board slips down to the 14th pick. But, against all odds, team favorite Patrick Patterson fell into the Rockets’ lap. Perhaps the club has the Golden State Warriors to thank for that. With perhaps the most surprising selection of the lottery, the Warriors took Baylor forward Ekpe Udoh, considered by many to be a lottery candidate, but by no means a top-six selection.
After Udoh went off the board, the dominoes began to fall. Suddenly, Greg Monroe was Detroit’s for the taking. And Al-Farouq Aminu slipped to the Clippers at No.8. The Utah Jazz found themselves a Gordon Hayward, leaving Indiana the chance to take their second Danny Granger in five years (er, Paul George). Once New Orleans decided that Cole Aldrich was the best big man available, it came down to the Toronto Raptors. Ed Davis or Patterson? Luckily, the took upside over production.
Patterson is a perfect fit for the Rockets’ ideology and system. He’s a hard-nosed, polished power forward with the maturity level of an NBA veteran. He’s a great fit for the flexible offense that Rick Adelman likes to run, as he can play the perimeter and even shoot a few threes. Patterson was perhaps the safest pick in the entire Draft – you know exactly what you’re going to get from him: a solid all-around player with his head screwed on straight. The only things he needs to work on are basketball-related, which makes life much easier for the Rockets coaching staff.
Unfortunately, while Patterson may be a great fit for the Rockets, he doesn’t exactly fit on the roster. Currently, the Rockets have indicated that they would like to re-sign Luis Scola, and Jordan Hill was acquired at the trade deadline last February. The question becomes: who stays, and who goes? There won’t be enough room on the roster for all three of them unless Chuck Hayes’ team option is declined. Rarely will you see a team cut its captain, leading me to believe that some kind of deal will be made in the future. Whether it will involve Patterson remains to be seen, but until something drastic happens, enjoy your newest Rocket. He sure was a lucky find.
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