1. Washington Wizards: John Wall (Kentucky) [PG, 6-4, 196 lbs, 19 yrs] - There's no doubt about this pick, as Wall has been the consensus #1 pick for some time now. It will be interesting to see what the Wizards do with Gilbert Arenas. In theory, his scoring ability should make him a good fit on offense next to Wall, while Wall's size and athleticism should allow him to defend shooting guards, so on paper this sounds good on offense and defense. But would it actually work? Arenas is accustomed to having the ball in his hands and his numbers would likely suffer a bit playing off the ball. Of course the more pertinent question is whether the Wizards want Wall to be around Arenas. Much in the way that the Blazers were eager to get rid of Zach Randolph when they had Greg Oden coming in, we could see the Wizards attempt to deal Arenas, lest he corrupt their point guard of the future.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech) [PF, 6-10, 245 lbs, 18 yrs] - This is a very difficult pick to project and no one would blame the Sixers for trading down a few picks to land DeMarcus Cousins, but in the end of the day, Favors' potential is probably too much to pass up. He's listed as a power forward, but his official measurements (6-10, 7-2 wingspan, 9-2 standing reach) suggest that he could play center if needed. Evan Turner wouldn't be a bad pick here, but his game seems too similar to Andre Iguodala's. DeMarcus Cousins would be a solid pick as well, as he has as much potential as anyone in the draft, but Favors seems to have the edge among NBA GMs right now. It's also very possible the Sixers will draft Turner just to trade him.
3. New Jersey Nets: Evan Turner (Ohio State) [SG, 6-7, 214 lbs, 21 yrs] - No doubt the Nets would be thrilled if Favors were to fall to them here, as he and Brook Lopez would make quite a front-court tandem, but Turner is a nice consolation prize. He can play either shooting guard or small forward. Power forward is a bigger need for the Nets, but they can likely address that position in free agency, with Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, and Carlos Boozer all likely available. As rough as the draft lottery was on the Nets, they could easily have a starting five next year that consists of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Turner, Brook Lopez, and Bosh/Stoudemire/Boozer. Not too shabby.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson (Syracuse) [SF, 6-8, 206 lbs, 22 yrs] - I'm not a big fan of taking Johnson this high, but it's hard to figure who else the T'wolves could take here. Johnson is a great athlete with a sweet shooting stroke, but he hasn't shown a strong ability to create his own shot and it's hard to rate his defense after a year playing the Syracuse zone. Still, if nothing else he projects as a good role player and should be a good fit with a team that already has playmakers in Johnny Flynn (and maybe Ricky Rubio, down the road) and low-post players in Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. Of course, it's also possible Minnesota could trade either Love or Jefferson to facilitate drafting Cousins here, but for now it seems Johnson is the likely pick.
5. Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) [C, 6-11, 292 lbs, 19 yrs] - The Kings already have two impressive young big men in Jason Thompson and Carl Landry so they could opt for a perimeter player here, but it's hard to imagine them passing up on Cousins' talent to take a more questionable prospect like Al-Farouq Aminu. If nothing else, they would be wise to pick Cousins just to trade him. That said, there's no reason to think that Cousins couldn't slide into their current rotation, starting alongside Thompson with Landry in the sixth man role he played in Houston. Were it not for some questions about his character and work ethic, Cousins would be battling Wall for the top overall pick, so this could potentially be a tremendous value pick.
6. Golden State Warriors: Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest) [SF, 6-9, 215 lbs, 19 yrs] - Aminu doesn't fill a clear-cut need for the Warriors, but as a super-athletic combo forward, he should fit very well into their up-tempo style of play. An interesting pick here would be Ed Davis, who is also a good athlete, but is more of a prototypical power forward and could provide the Warriors with some much-needed defense and rebounding. On the flip side, it would create a bit of a logjam at the power forward position, as the Warriors also need to find minutes for Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright. For now Aminu's versatility gives him the edge.
7. Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe (Georgetown) [PF, 6-11, 247 lbs, 20 yrs] - The Pistons already have young players at point guard (Rodney Stuckey), shooting guard (Ben Gordon), and power forward (Charlie Villanueva) and they drafted two small forwards last year (Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko), so it would make sense for them to take a big man who can play center. Monroe is the best center prospect left on the board and with his size, low-post ability, and passing, he should excel alongside perimeter-oriented scorers such as Villanueva and Gordon. Ed Davis is also a strong possibility here, as he could help shore up the Pistons defense, but Monroe's size advantage makes him the better pick for Detroit.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Avery Bradley (Texas) [SG, 6-3, 180 lbs, 19 yrs] - The Clippers' biggest need is the small forward position so Gordon Hayward is a possibility here, but they will likely try to address small forward through free agency. While landing LeBron isn't likely, they could make a serious run at Rudy Gay or Joe Johnson to fill that hole. Bradley wouldn't start right away, but he could contribute off the bench on defense and might eventually be able to take Baron Davis' place as the starting point guard.
9. Utah Jazz: Ed Davis (North Carolina) [PF, 6-10, 227 lbs, 20 yrs] - The Jazz will very likely have to replace Carlos Boozer this off-season so getting a solid big man is a must. While Paul Millsap could take up some of Boozer's minutes, his lack of size makes him a suspect defender (and it's not as if Mehmet Okur is going to lock down opposing bigs). Davis has the size and athleticism to make up for the loss of Boozer's rebounding and could provide some much-needed post defense and shot-blocking.
10. Indiana Pacers: Cole Aldrich (Kansas) [C, 6-10, 236 lbs, 21 yrs] - This would continue the Pacers' trend of drafting accomplished college players with little-to-no upside. Think about it -- Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, Brandon Rush, A.J. Price. Aldrich should fit right in. He should be a solid big man for a while, but his lack of athleticism limits his potential. If nothing else, he should contribute on the boards and with blocked shots. An interesting pick here would be Xavier Henry (and not just because of the inherent awkwardness of picking a Kansas guard to replace Brandon Rush, another Kansas guard). Henry is not the most explosive athlete, but he has an NBA-ready body and is a deadly three-point shooter who could help space the floor for Danny Granger. But the presence of Rush and Mike Dunleavy makes Aldrich the more likely pick.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Ekpe Udoh (Baylor) [PF, 6-10, 237 lbs, 23 yrs] - While the Hornets have two solid starting big men in Emeka Okafor and David West, they could really use some depth up front. Udoh's age makes him a bit of a question mark this high, but he's coming off a great season at Baylor and could really develop as an offensive player once he refines his game a bit. If nothing else he'll rebound, block shots, and run the floor with Chris Paul. Another option would be Daniel Orton, but he may be more of a project than the Hornets want to take on.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Gordon Hayward (Butler) [SF, 6-8, 211 lbs, 20 yrs] - While Memphis claims they intend to retain Rudy Gay, it would be foolish on their part not to draft an insurance policy. If some team offers Gay a max contract, is Memphis really going to match it? Even if they keep Gay, Hayward could be a solid sixth man for the Grizzlies.
Just for the record, I think Hayward will be a pretty big bust. His scoring numbers are solid, but nothing to write home about, especially considering the better part of his games came against Horizon League competition. He's hyped as a three-point shooter, but he only shot 29.4% last season. Granted, he was the focal point of the offense and faced more defensive pressure than, say, Xavier Henry, but that still doesn't inspire confidence that he'll be able to get off shots against NBA defenses. To me, the play that summed up Hayward as a prospect was his missed shot against Brian Zoubek in the waning seconds of the National Championship game (not the half-court heave, the fadeaway before that).
Because of Zoubek's size and Hayward's so-so athleticism, he was forced into an extremely difficult high-arching fadeaway. The shot wasn't far off the mark, but it missed nonetheless. Obviously he won't be guarded by seven-footers all that often in the NBA, but considering how long and athletic most NBA small forwards are (and how unathletic Zoubek is), it's actually a reasonable comparison to what he'll have to look forward to in the league. Not to mention, a similar foray into the paint against an athletic NBA big man would result in that shot being swatted into the seats. Suffice it to say, I would not take Hayward anywhere near this high, but this is a mock draft, not my prospect rankings, so somebody is going to make that mistake -- and what better team than the Grizzlies?
13. Toronto Raptors: Daniel Orton (Kentucky) [C, 6-10, 269 lbs, 19 yrs] - Orton is a bit of a project considering he didn't even log much playing time in his one year in college (sitting behind DeMarcus Cousins on the depth chart didn't help), but let's face it, if Chris Bosh leaves Toronto, they're in rebuilding mode and they can take their time bringing along a player with Orton's inexperience and tremendous upside. He should be able to provide some solid rebounding and shot-blocking numbers right off the bat and he projects as a good inside scorer who should complement the outside shooting of Andrea Bargnani. In the unlikely scenario that Bosh stays put, he'd give them a nice reserve PF/C and some of the toughness and defense they've lacked in recent years.
14. Houston Rockets: Larry Sanders (VCU) [PF, 6-11, 222 lbs, 21 yrs] - With last season's Carl Landry trade and Luis Scola's expiring contract, the Rockets are lacking at power forward. They might be tempted to go with the potential of Hassan Whiteside, but I have them going for a more experienced player. Sanders is still raw on the offensive end, but he's proven himself on the defensive side. Driving into the paint against Sanders (2.6 BPG last year) and Yao would be pretty intimidating. Another possibility here would be Patrick Patterson. Sanders or Patterson would give Houston an experienced forward, as opposed to Whiteside, who is more of a project player. Then again, if the Rockets are convinced that Yao could be leaving the team after his contract expires at the end of the upcoming season, they might gamble and go after Whiteside.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Xavier Henry (Kansas) [SG, 6-7, 210 lbs, 19 yrs] - The Bucks will have Michael Redd back next season, but who knows how healthy or effective he'll be. Considering the team had to resort to starting Carlos Delfino in the playoffs, there is a clear need at shooting guard/small forward. Henry's game was a bit one-dimensional in his one year at Kansas, but if nothing else his elite shooting ability should turn him into a poor man's Michael Redd, though likely a better defender. Getting Henry this late would be a steal.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves: Hassan Whiteside (Marshall) [C, 7-0, 227 lbs, 20 yrs] - The Al Jefferson/Kevin Love experiment seems to have been a failure and it's quite possible that one of the two (more likely Love) will be dealt on or approaching draft day. If there is a trade, then Minnesota has a clear need at center, but even if no moves are made, Whiteside's skill set should complement both big men quite well. His size and athleticism make him the best shot-blocker in the draft. He averaged 5.4 BPG last year as a freshman at Marshall and recorded multiple triple-doubles in points, rebounds, and blocks. He was also active on the glass, though he'll have a harder time duplicating that in the pros until he bulks up. His offensive game is still raw but he's a good jump shooter for a big man and if he continues to work on that, he'll fit in very well with Jefferson's low-post game. This is a bit of a gamble, as Whiteside is something of a project, but with such a young team and three first round picks, Minnesota would do well to take a chance here.
17. Chicago Bulls: James Anderson (Oklahoma State) [SG, 6-6, 210 lbs, 21 yrs] - It's hard to project the Bulls' needs without knowing who they'll land in free agency, but Anderson should be a solid pick no matter who they get. He's not an elite athlete, but he's a good shooter with a knack for getting to the free throw line. He should give the Bulls a perimeter player other than Derrick Rose who can create his own shot and should be able to replace some of the perimeter offense they lost when Ben Gordon left last summer.
18. Miami Heat: Paul George (Fresno State) [SF, 6-9, 214 lbs, 20 yrs] - Like the Bulls, the Heat's draft strategy has to hinge on their plans for free agency. Obviously the priority is to retain Dwyane Wade and, once that is accomplished, sign a big-name power forward to play alongside him. Not only that, but the team also has to decide whether or not to stick with former #2 overall pick Michael Beasley. It seems like the team has given up on Beasley and he could be on the way out, sooner rather than later. The Heat have a couple different directions they could go with this pick. They could draft for size, as Jermaine O'Neal and Udonis Haslem have expiring contracts, but they will likely go after a big man in the free agent market. They could add a point guard, such as Eric Bledsoe, but, talented as Bledsoe is, he is a bit of an unknown at the point guard position, having played in John Wall's shadow at Kentucky. Instead, I have them shoring up a need at small forward and adding Paul George. George is a great athlete and a dead-eye three-point shooter. He'd look good running the floor with Wade and should benefit from the open looks that Wade generates.
19. Boston Celtics: Luke Babbitt (Nevada) [SF, 6-9, 214 lbs, 21 yrs] - The Celtics could very well lose Ray Allen in the off-season via free agency and they'll need someone to help replace his scoring punch. Babbitt is a good all-around scorer and an excellent shooter who could step in and fill Allen's shoes to a degree. The biggest knock on him is his defense which is a legitimate concern, but Allen was never known as a great defender either and with defensive stalwarts like Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, and Rajon Rondo, the Celtics should be able to mask Babbitt's deficiencies.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Craig Brackins (Iowa State) [PF, 6-10, 229 lbs, 22 yrs] - The Spurs are supposedly shopping Tony Parker, hoping to land a big man to pair with Tim Duncan. If they pull off such a trade, look for them to go after a guard such as Eric Bledsoe. If not, Brackins makes a lot of sense for them here. He is a proven low-post scorer and has a solid perimeter game as well. He's also posted strong rebounding numbers over the past few years. The Spurs might go another direction here, with DeJuan Blair and Antonio McDyess still under contract, but McDyess is on his last legs and Blair is not the kind of versatile scorer that Brackins is. Brackins' skill set should complement any of the Spurs' big men on the offensive end.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Solomon Alabi (Florida State) [C, 7-1, 237 lbs, 22 yrs] - As impressive as the Thunder's turnaround was last year, their first-round defeat at the hands of the Lakers (while certainly nothing to be ashamed of) highlighted their need for size and low-post scoring. At 7-1, Alabi certainly has the size part covered. His numbers weren't overly impressive at Florida State, but then again the same can be said of B.J. Mullens, who the Thunder drafted last year. If nothing else, he has legit center size and should be able to block some shots, with the potential for much more.
22. Portland Trail Blazers: Damion James (Texas) [SF, 6-8, 227 lbs, 22 yrs] - Portland will no doubt be tempted to draft a big man after a rash of injuries left their frontcourt depleted last year. However the trade for Marcus Camby and the resulting decreased playing time for Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden should alleviate some of those concerns. A young team, the Blazers have depth at virtually every position. While they could opt to take a point guard to serve as heir apparent to Andre Miller, I see them going for the best remaining player in Damion James. It's unclear what position James will play in the pros, as he's undersized for a power forward, but that fits his skill set better than small forward. However, the undersized power forward is all the rage in the NBA these days and James should be able to make up for his lack of height with his athleticism and motor. He's a good fit for Portland in that he can play power forward if needed but can also log valuable minutes at small forward.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves: Robin Benzing (Germany) [SF, 6-10, 210 lbs, 21 yrs] - Minnesota has three first round picks, making it likely that they'll take at least one player they can stash overseas (you know, intentionally, not like last year when they drafted Rubio). One option here would be Kevin Seraphin, but the Timberwolves are pretty well stocked at PF/C, especially if they take Whiteside with the 16th pick. Instead, they go for Benzing, who, with his size and nationality, will inevitably draw Dirk Nowitzki comparisons. However, comparing him to Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu would probably be more apt.
24. Atlanta Hawks: Jordan Crawford (Xavier) [SG, 6-4, 198 lbs, 21 yrs] - Atlanta will most likely lose Joe Johnson this off-season so they'll need someone to replace some of his scoring punch. Crawford should be a good fit in that regard as he was an excellent scorer for Xavier last year. In particular he made waves in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 29 PPG, highlighted by his 32 points against Kansas State. Crawford is a bit undersized, but with his athleticism he should be able to make up for his lack of height. Of course, should Atlanta decide that he's too similar to their residing sixth man, Jamal Crawford, they could go another direction.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) [PG, 6-2, 192 lbs, 20 yrs] - The jury is still out on whether or not Mike Conley is the point guard of the future for the Grizzlies. He has not made the expected strides since they drafted him 4th overall in 2007. He'll likely retain the starting job for now, but the Grizzlies would be wise to draft someone to give him a little competition. Despite being overshadowed by John Wall, Bledsoe is a fine point guard prospect and, if nothing else, his shooting ability should give the Grizzlies a bit of a different look when he subs in for Conley.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrico White (Mississippi) [SG, 6-5, 203 lbs, 20 yrs] - White's career has been plagued by inconsistency, but he is one of the best athletes in the draft and when he is on he can really light up the scoreboard. His ability to log some minutes at point guard also works in his favor. If nothing else, he would look good running the fastbreak with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. This late in the first round, he's a good gamble for Oklahoma City.
27. New Jersey Nets: Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) [PF, 6-9, 240 lbs, 21 yrs] - This, of course, presumes that the Nets draft Evan Turner and not Derrick Favors with their first pick. The team's biggest hole last year was undoubtedly power forward, where Yi Jianling proved to be soft and extremely erratic as the starter last year. Patterson doesn't have overwhelming upside, but he has a solid all-around game and should be able to contribute immediately.
28. Memphis Grizzlies: Kevin Seraphin (France) [PF, 6-10, 258 lbs, 20 yrs] - There's a good chance Seraphin will withdraw from the draft after suffering a knee injury that will keep him out for the next few weeks. However, if he stays in the draft, he'd be a solid pick for Memphis, who can let him develop abroad for a few years, as they have three first round picks in this year's draft and already have some depth at power forward and center. Seraphin is very raw but he has the potential to develop into a defensive force.
29. Orlando Magic: Willie Warren (Oklahoma) [PG, 6-4, 208 lbs, 20 yrs] - Warren's stock has taken a major hit since last year's draft, but his physical tools and shooting ability should get him picked in the first round. Orlando would be a good landing spot for him. His size and athleticism would make him a nice complement to Jameer Nelson and he should be able to take advantage of double teams on Dwight Howard, much in the way he benefited from Blake Griffin's presence in his first year at Oklahoma.
30. Washington Wizards: Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State) [PF, 6-10, 210 lbs, 22 yrs] - The Wizards were an atrocious defensive team last year and could use some help on the interior. Varndao should have that covered, as the NCAA's all-time leading shot-blocker. And while his offensive ability is nothing special, he's not exactly Ben Wallace either. He should be able to make an instant impact for Washington on the defensive side of the ball.
31. New Jersey Nets: Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati) [SG, 6-6, 227 lbs, 19 yrs] - Stephenson underwhelmed in his lone season at Cincinnati though he seems to have alleviated some of the concerns about his character. He started out strong, but struggled late in the year. That said, he has lottery talent and is worth a shot with the first pick in the second round. And what better way to tap into that Brooklyn fan base early than to draft the Lincoln High School phenom?
32. Oklahoma City: Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech) [PF, 6-9, 233 lbs, 20 yrs] - After taking chances on projects such as Solomon Alabi and Terrico White, I have the Thunder going for a safer pick here in Lawal. His numbers dropped off a bit in 2009-10 from the previous season, but that was because Derrick Favors plays the same position as him and their games do not mesh together particularly well. His offense could still use work, but he should be able to come in and be a force on defense and on the boards right away.
33. Sacramento Kings: Quincy Pondexter (Washington) [SF, 6-7, 220 lbs, 22 yrs] - Pondexter lacks a polished perimeter game, but is one of the better athletes in the draft and was a great slasher at Washington. He's a high-energy player who will crash the boards and work hard on defense. He should be a good running mate for Tyreke Evans.
34. Golden State Warriors: Sylven Landesberg (Virginia) [SG, 6-6, 210 lbs, 20 yrs] - Landesberg isn't the lights-out shooter than Don Nelson might have wanted but he's a good slashing guard who's shown a strong ability to get to the free throw line. He's also an adept ball-handler and should be able to slide in next to either Monta Ellis or Stephon Curry with relative ease, perhaps even running the point now and again, allowing Ellis or Curry to play off the ball.
35. Washington Wizards: Armon Johnson (Nevada) [PG, 6-4, 195 lbs, 21 yrs] - Johnson would give Washington another combo guard who could line up next to either John Wall or Gilbert Arenas in the backcourt. At 6-4 with good athleticism, he should be able to hold his own defending shooting guards, if need be. If nothing else, he'd provide a little depth at the point guard position.
36. Detroit Pistons: Stanley Robinson (Connecticut) [SF, 6-8, 213 lbs, 21 yrs] - After taking Greg Monroe in the first round, a player with so-so athleticism but superb skills, the Pistons go the opposite route in Round 2, opting for the hyper-athletic but raw Stanley Robinson. If he can refine his skills, Robinson has the potential to be a very good player and could ultimately replace Tayshaun Prince. If not, he should still be able to provide some defense and energy off the bench.
37. Milwaukee Bucks: Jerome Jordan (Tulsa) [C, 7-1, 244 lbs, 23 yrs] - Jordan isn't a polished low-post scorer, but he has great size and has been a strong defensive presence at Tulsa. While he won't blow anyone away, he should be able to be a solid backup for Andrew Bogut.
38. New York Knicks: Elliot Williams (Memphis) [SG, 6-4, 180 lbs, 20 yrs] - The Knicks obviously aren't expecting to land any starters at this point in the draft, but their mindset has to be to draft players whose skills complement the players they're looking to add in free agency. Williams could be a good fit for that purpose. He's a bit of an undersized shooting guard, but he would play well with either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade since either superstar can do the bulk of the ball-handling if need be.
39. New York Knicks: Keith Gallon (Oklahoma) [PF, 6-10, 302 lbs, 19 yrs] - Gallon is a bit of a risk as he's struggled with weight issues and has become perhaps a little too fond of his outside shot. That said, if he can get his weight under control, he is an excellent fit next to James or Wade, as his shooting ability would help space the floor and at the same time he could contribute on the offensive glass. The Knicks drafting Gallon or Elliot Williams isn't about to lure LeBron or Wade to New York, but should the Knicks land one of them, these second rounders could potentially serve as valuable role players.
40. Indiana Pacers: Sherron Collins (Kansas) [PG, 6-0, 217 lbs, 23 yrs] - After taking Cole Aldrich with the 10th pick, the Pacers grab another experienced Jayhawk in Sherron Collins. He's undersized, but Aaron Brooks and Darren Collison have both excelled despite their diminutive statures so maybe Collins can be just as effective. If nothing else he'd feel at home with, joining Aldrich and former teammate Brandon Rush.
41. Miami Heat: Dexter Pittman (Texas) [C, 6-11, 303 lbs, 22 yrs] - Miami could use some size and they would certainly get that in Pittman. He never put up big numbers at Texas because of a combination of foul trouble and poor conditioning, but with his size and strength, one has to think he can give Miami a few quality minutes off the bench, with the potential for more down the road.
42. Miami Heat: Mikhail Torrance (Alabama) [PG, 6-5, 209 lbs, 21 yrs] - The Heat clearly soured a bit on Mario Chalmers last season and they could use another point guard to challenge him. Torrance has good size and decent shooting ability so he should be able to play off Dwyane Wade reasonably well, while possessing the ability to create some offense for himself, given the chance.
43. Los Angeles Lakers: Trevor Booker (Clemson) [PF, 6-8, 236 lbs, 22 yrs] - Booker is a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with long arms and athleticism. He should be able to make an instant impact on defense. Offensively, he still has work to do, but he's put up solid scoring numbers at Clemson, averaging 15 PPG for the past two years, and he is a good passer for a big man, averaging 2.5 APG last season, so he should be a good fit in the triangle offense.
44. Portland Trail Blazers: Darington Hobson (New Mexico) [SF, 6-7, 204 lbs, 22 yrs] - Hobson is one of the most versatile players in the draft, with the ability to play three positions. His numbers were similar to Evan Turner's, though he lacks Turner's upside. His versatility should intrigue the Blazers, who already have a versatile star in Brandon Roy. Should Hobson work his way into the Blazers' rotation, he should give them a lot of different lineup options.
45. Minnesota Timberwovles: Dominique Jones (South Florida) [SG, 6-5, 216 lbs, 21 yrs] - Jones isn't a prototypical shooting guard, getting a lot of his points on drives to the basket, but there's no questioning his effectiveness. He averaged 21.4 PPG last year and showed the ability to play a little point guard as well. He could develop into a solid scorer off the bench for the T'wolves.
46. Phoenix Suns: Manny Harris (Michigan) [SG, 6-5, 185 lbs, 20 yrs] - One thing that stood out in the Suns' playoff defeat at the hands of the Lakers is that, with Raja Bell gone, they had no one to check Kobe Bryant. While I wouldn't deem Harris a Kobe-stopper, he is a good athlete and an aggressive defender who ought to be better suited for that defensive stopper role than Grant Hill or Jared Dudley. Harris also has good potential as a scorer, even if he was erratic in that role at Michigan. If Alvin Gentry can rein him in and keep him from taking so many bad shots, he could become a good bench scorer.
47. Milwaukee Bucks: Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) [SG, 6-6, 211 lbs, 23 yrs] - Vasquez put up very impressive numbers at Maryland but it's hard to know whether they will translate to the pros. He isn't much of an athlete and lacks great range on his jumpshot, so he'll have quite an adjustment to make. His saving grace may be his size combined with his ability to play point guard. Those aspects and his motor might be enough to make him a serviceable backup. The Bucks are shallow at point guard, with Luke Ridnour's contract up, so Vasquez might be a solid gamble for them.
48. Miami Heat: Devin Ebanks (West Virginia) [SF, 6-8, 208 lbs, 20 yrs] - The Heat could look to an international prospect here, with their fourth draft pick, but with so many impending free agents, they might just want to fill out the roster. Getting Ebanks here is a potential steal. He never quite put it together in college, but he's got good upside as a pro and should be a solid energy player off the bench, if nothing else.
49. San Antonio Spurs: Jon Scheyer (Duke) [SG, 6-6, 180 lbs, 22 yrs] - Scheyer is a mediocre athlete and doesn't project to be nearly as good in the NBA as he was at Duke, but he has an outstanding basketball IQ and is a great shooter. Those aspects should make him a great fit for the Spurs. In San Antonio, he should see his share of wide open looks and should be able to make good on them and there's no doubt Gregg Popovich will appreciate his basketball IQ and passing ability.
50. Dallas Mavericks: Charles Garcia (Seattle) [PF, 6-10, 232 lbs, 21 yrs] - Garcia has the physical tools to make an instant impact, but he played against a low level of competition at Seattle University and will have to make some adjustments to succeed in the NBA. That said, based on his talent, he would have likely been a first round pick if not for questions about his character.
51. Oklahoma City Thunder: Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia) [SF, 6-7, 225 lbs, 22 yrs] - Butler would have almost certainly been drafted earlier if not for his torn ACL, but he still has a chance to become a solid NBA player. Oklahoma City is loaded with young talent and can afford to wait and see if he can recover and turn back into the player who some viewed as a potential first round pick before his injury.
52. Boston Celtics: Derrick Caracter (Louisville) [PF, 6-10, 280 lbs, 22 yrs] - Caracter's main flaw in the eyes of most GMs is his history of off-the-court problems. However, the Celtics have had no trouble keeping troubled players in line in recent years. They took on the likes of Stephon Marbury, Rasheed Wallace, and Nate Robinson, so there's reason to believe that they can handle Caracter.
53. Atlanta Hawks: Luke Harangody (Notre Dame) [PF, 6-7, 240 lbs, 22 yrs] - Despite a superb college career, Harangody's pro prospects are very questionable. He's undersized and unathletic. That said, he's one of the most polished low-post scorers in the draft and has a solid mid-range game. With all the high-fliers on the Hawks, Harangody might be able to fit in nicely.
54. Los Angeles Clippers: Latavious Williams (NBDL) [SF, 6-8, 205 lbs, 21 yrs] - Williams went straight from high school to the NBDL last year, making him eligible for this year's draft. He's a project player but he has great physical tools and could develop into a solid forward. This late in the draft, the Clippers can afford to take a chance on him.
55. Utah Jazz: Lazar Hayward (Marquette) [SF, 6-6, 226 lbs, 23 yrs] - The Jazz had good luck with former Golden Eagle Wes Matthews last season so why not reunite him with his former teammate. Hayward is a very physical player, which will no doubt be appreciated by Jerry Sloan, and he's got a solid perimeter game, which could help make up for the loss of Kyle Korver.
56. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tibor Pleiss (Germany) [C, 7-0, 220 lbs, 20 yrs] - Pleiss still needs some time to physically develop but after a few more years abroad, he could be a solid NBA role player. Minnesota only has so many spots on their roster, so they would do well to take another international player here.
57. Dallas Mavericks: Miroslav Raduljica (Serbia) [C, 7-1, 250 lbs, 22 yrs] - Dallas likely only makes this pick if they can get some sort of assurance that Raduljica will leave Europe. If so, he could be a good pick here. He already has an NBA body and has the size to be a solid role player down the road.
58. Los Angeles Lakers: Jerome Randle (California) [PG, 5-10, 160 lbs, 23 yrs] - Randle is more of a scoring guard than a point guard, but the triangle offense doesn't necessarily require a pure point guard. Randle is a superb three-point shooter and would greatly benefit from all the open looks generated by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. He's also one of the quicker guards in the draft, which could be an asset for the Lakers considering how much trouble they've had in recent years with guards such as Aaron Brooks, Russell Westbrook, and Rajon Rondo.
59. Orlando Magic: Andy Rautins (Syracuse) [SG, 6-6, 192 lbs, 23 yrs] - With J.J. Redick heading to free agency, the Magic could look for another three-point specialist. Rautins would be a solid choice for them to fill that role.
60. Phoenix Suns: Brian Zoubek (Duke) [C, 7-1, 260 lbs, 22 yrs] - Zoubek hasn't been a dominant player at any point in his college career, but his size and rebounding ability make him a pretty sure thing to be an adequate backup center in the league. The Suns are lacking in size up front and could use a big body.