Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 8, 2010

What might the other teams do if the lottery holds to form?

This is a great question I think many fans automatically will assume “yes”. Since I want Favors (and believe his workouts/interviews will shoot his draft stock for many teams to be a solid top 3 pick), I’m going to believe that Favors has a lot of value and may not drop beyond the 3 pick. But, is that really the case?

As far as holding to form, I mean assuming every team ends up where their current slot says they will end up being there. (This scenario hasn’t happened yet, but anything is possible.)

Here is DX’s mock draft.

Let’s look at the lottery team by team (best to worst odds of winning the 1st pick):

#1 Nets: They’re going to want John Wall or Derrick Favors most likely. If the Nets end up not picking #1 (a possibility we all know can happen), they will likely take Favors or pick a player the team at #1 wants and try to grab Wall anyway. The Nets have multiple assets (the 27th pick, cap space this summer and young talents at multiple positions) to be able to procure Wall. The worst scenario for the Kings is for a team below them to not only jump into the top 3, but knock the Nets out of the top 2 spots, too.

As I say, I think Favors will end up higher on a lot of draft boards.

#2 Timberwolves: This is a tough call really. I’m pretty sure the Wolves want Evan Turner at this point, and Wolves fans probably do too. Since Ricky Rubio is still a big part of the Wolves future plans (or so David Kahn says), it’s likely they covet Turner more than any other player in this draft. But would the Wolves want Favors as a consolation prize?

I do not know. Needless to say I think Turner & Favors are likely to be 1-2 on the Wolves draft board.

(I’ll skip the Kings. I’ve made my opinions clear on the subject.)

#4 Warriors: This is an excellent question of whom the Warriors covet. I think they would likely covet either Favors or Cousins in the middle. My guess is that they would prefer Cousins because of his size, offense, and rebounding. Cousins and Curry seem like a good pairing, Cousins would fit with Biedrins pretty well (I’m not sure Favors would), and the other concerns could pretty much play itself out. The Warriors, for everything they are and aren’t, have a lot of touches they could use up with Cousins in the block.

Of all the teams out there, the potential fit with current roster for DeMarcus Cousins is higher with the Warriors than any other roster out there. The question is do other teams really want Cousins given how he plays and everything else? Again, it’s a tough call. As far as other players, I don’t think the Warriors are in heavy need of swing type players with Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike (who recently chose to not opt out of his contract), Anthony Tolliver, Reggie Williams among others.

As I say, I think Cousins is likely to be #1 on the Warriors big board, and looking at the way he plays, I think he makes more sense in Oakland than any other team. (That is not necessarily a good thing if you’re a Kings fan.) If I had to guess, of any team in the top 4, Cousins is probably just as locked into the Warriors as Wall/Turner would be if the Nets/Wolves end up 1-2 in the draft.

#5 Wizards: This may be the keystone to how the draft makes or breaks. The Wizards, if Wall/Turner/Cousins/Favors are all off the board by #5, and the Wiz are picking there, are likely to be looking at 2 guys: Al-Farouq Aminu and Cole Aldrich.

Aminu is the high flying (and high usage) F out of Wake Forest. There are questions of where Aminu is going to play, but I think most teams see him as a combo F who matches up better with 3’s and stretch 4’s in the NBA. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re the Wizards.

I also think Cole Aldrich will get a lot of play because of his defense, rebounding, and in general tough play that the Wizards could get from Aldrich. There’s a belief that Aldrich’s value is primarily defensive (no doubt on this), but the Wiz could believe in Aldrich more.

As far as other players like Hassan Whiteside (who I don’t think a lot of teams are in love with at this point nor do I see him being a real top 10 pick), or Epke Udoh, I don’t know how much of a project the Wizards will want to take on given the difficulties of the roster and franchise over the past calender year. I do think Epke Udoh, Ed Davis, and Greg Monroe could get consideration here, too.

Still, I think the Wiz, if they’re picking at 5, will end up with either Aldrich or Aminu. Because I think Aminu can impact the game defensively right away, and could improve offensively as time drags on, the Wiz may feel that Aminu is the BPA for them and they are in need of talent everywhere. I would bet that Aminu ends up with the Wiz if they are at 5 and the top 4 (that most people have listed as the top 4) are gone.

#6 Sixers: The Sixers are in need of help everywhere, and they would like help up front most likely. But I think they can go any way they want here, most likely, and that will end up being the BPA.

If Aldrich is still on the board, I can see him actually dropping past the Sixers at 6. It’s not that he’s so bad, but there are players with more upside like Epke Udoh who could be taken by the Sixers at this spot. It’s amazing, but once you start getting past the 4th or 5th picks, teams draft boards greatly splinter depending on needs, evaluators and the like.

Of all the players who aren’t currently on most fans top 10 boards, Ekpe Udoh is the most likely to move up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up as high as 6, or as low as 10. His draft stock at Baylor improved that much this past season.

As far as other players, I would bet that Ed Davis and Cole Aldrich will be very much considered in the mix for the Sixers.

#7 Pistons: I think the Pistons are likely to take a big, and whatever mix of Davis, Aldrich, Monroe and possibly a Donatas Motiejunas may be picked here. If the Pistons go with whom they feel the BPA is, they may end up with Wesley Johnson. (I doubt this.)

#8 Clippers: I think they will end up with somebody, and it’s anybody’s guess whom that might end up being. Roster speaking, the Clipps have a hole at the SF spot with Rasual Butler & Travis Outlaw both being FA’s this summer. Up front, the Clippers already have Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan (who may end up being one of the pure steal’s of the 2008 draft), and Blake Griffin. I don’t know if there is any big out there that can help them out there.

I do think the Clippers will consider trading the 8th pick if they can get a quality SF for doing so.

#9 Jazz
: Needs? Not a PG really. I think Deron Williams is okay. With the Carlos Boozer situation, and with Paul Millsap/Mehmet Okur around, I don’t know what the Jazz will for sure do. (This of course doesn’t even mention Andrei Kirilenko.)

I do think they are probably leaning big man at this point. But as to what they are specifically thinking? Shit if I know to be honest with you. DX in the current mock draft has Monroe going to the Jazz at 9, and I could see that happening. I could see Donatas Motiejunas going to the Jazz at 9 as well. It’s also possible that the Jazz could decide that Henry is the SG they need and take him there as well. (Or trade down and get something else in addition to the 9th pick.)

As you can see, I have no idea what the Jazz will do at this point. It will become clearer closer to draft day, and especially when the pick is announced.

#10 Pacers: Right now DX has the Pacers taking Ekpe Udoh, and I think if that’s the case they’d be lucky to get him at 10. Udoh can block shots, is a decent rebounder (although rebounding rates say otherwise), is a very good passer, and can score in a versatile fashion.

Right now, again, I see Udoh going anywhere from 6-10 depending on his workouts go. The Pacers would be lucky to get him at this point.

As far as whom else, I shrug and say possibly Donatas Motiejunas is a big possibility with Troy Murphy potentially traded or leaving in 2011.

#11 Hornets: DX has Patterson going at 11, and it’s hard to argue. I could see Motiejunas, Daniel Orton (although very unlikely) or Xavier Henry going here as well.

What I know is that one of the themes this summer for the Hornets is likely to be how they can improve and get under the luxury tax line (again).

#12 Grizzlies: Donatas Motiejunas is going here in DX’s mock draft, and it’s hard to argue with this again. Because of the unpredictability of the draft, at this point, without the lottery exactly determined, one could say the Grizzlies could go with whomever they see as the BPA. Because bigs are so useful, and if Motiejunas is around, I could see the Grizz going with Motiejunas because hs is very talented despite what is often said about Motiejunas as his downside (lack of strength/rebounding/defense). After Motiejunas, it’s anybody’s guess at this point until the Grizz start working out guys.

#13 Raptors: DX has Daniel Orton going to the Raptors, and frankly that seems like a pretty reasonable idea. The Raptors are likely losing Bosh, and are going to be in the lottery for some years. Getting a young player who could team with Bargnani up front (and is physical unlike Bargnani) makes some sense. Orton’s a project, but I don’t know if he is the type of project that hurts the Raptors long term future (especially if the Raptors manage to deal away Turkoglu in a potential Bosh S&T this summer) given they need help in the middle and there aren’t a lot of players out there to choose from.

Another possibility is Hassan Whiteside (although I agree with DX that Houston is a better fit for Whiteside), and perhaps another possibility (although it’s low) is a Larry Sanders type. Maybe Damion James impresses the Raptors enough, and they know that a Bosh S&T will take Turkoglu away so where James will play is not important.

I have to stress this again: This is just all idle chatter until the interviews/workouts/draft position is clear.

#14 Rockets: Hassan Whiteside is DX’s pick here, and that makes sense. If Houston needs anything, it needs more size in the middle to help Yao Ming and Luis Scola. Whiteside is a project like Orton, but like Orton does have upside he can realize. Whiteside’s grades are not very good, and that’s one reason’s he’s entering the NBA draft, but sort of like Hasheem Thabeet, Whiteside hasn’t played much basketball in his life up to this point.

As far as other players, Damion James, Larry Sanders (potential BPA I guess?), James Anderson, Stanley Robinson (one of my sleepers in this draft) all could be picks at #14 for Houston. Houston has some needs (more athleticism in the front court would be one area I suppose), and some depth up front really. I see Whiteside being a convenient answer for Houston with Jordan Hill around, and with

In short, I have no clue.

I probably could have saved you the 2000 words, but I figured what the hell? This is part 1. Part 2 is figuring out what scenarios could work out if the Kings do not end up in the top 3.


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