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    Default Mock Draft Version 7.0: Picks 1-30

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft...ckDraft-100624

    Mock Draft 7.0

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Washington


    John Wall
    Position: PG
    Height: 6-foot-4
    Weight: 196 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: Kentucky

    (Wall's previous position: No. 1 to Washington)

    Analysis: John Wall is just hours away from being the No. 1 pick. He appears to be the only "sure thing" in the draft right now. Blessed with amazing athleticism and the ability to make clutch plays, Wall has the tools to be a superstar.

    The task for the Wizards now turns to filling in the spaces around him -- getting a healthy and focused Gilbert Arenas, looking for bargains or perhaps Rudy Gay in free agency, and figuring out how to turn the Wizards into a powerhouse franchise. Adding Wall is a big, big step in the right direction, but only one of many the Wizards are going to have to take.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Philadelphia


    Evan Turner
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-7
    Weight: 214
    Age: 21
    School: Ohio State

    (Turner's previous position: No. 2 to Philadelphia)

    Analysis: All the talk that the Sixers were considering going big is now fading. After they worked out Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins on June 18, coach Doug Collins, who was very high on Favors before the workout, fell out of love. Collins was concerned about Favors' raw skills and wasn't impressed during the interviews.

    So at this point, I think you can use a Sharpie on Turner at No. 2. Unless another team makes a last-minute offer that includes taking Elton Brand's contract off the books in Philly, Turner will be a Sixer.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    New Jersey


    Derrick Favors
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 245
    Age: 18
    School: Georgia Tech

    (Favors' previous position: No. 4 to Minnesota)

    Analysis: After Favors' so-so workout on Monday, the Nets began to move toward Syracuse forward Wes Johnson. But a league source told me on Wednesday night that after 24 hours of debate, it looks like Favors has re-emerged as the favorite to go No. 3.

    The news squashes the prevailing theory around the league that drafting Johnson would be a precursor to the Nets' signing free-agent forward Carlos Boozer this summer. Both Johnson and Boozer are represented by the same agent, Rob Pelinka.

    The source stressed that the decision wasn't a final one and that the Nets were also exploring potential trade options with the No. 3 pick. But if the draft had been held on Wednesday night, Favors would have been the pick.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Minnesota


    Wesley Johnson
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-8
    Weight: 206
    Age: 22
    School: Syracuse

    (Johnson's previous position: No. 3 to New Jersey)

    Analysis: So we're back to Wes Johnson at No. 4, and I'm not sure if Minnesota will greet the news with joy or relief. It focused on Johnson early but got comfortable with the idea of taking Favors at No. 4 in the past 24 hours.

    The Wolves continue to look for an Al Jefferson deal (despite GM David Kahn's denials) after being rebuffed by Detroit over the weekend (the Wolves offered Jefferson for Tayshaun Prince and the No. 7 pick) and by the Grizzlies (for Zach Randolph) on Wednesday.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Sacramento


    DeMarcus Cousins
    Position: C
    Height: 6-11
    Weight: 292
    Age: 19
    School: Kentucky

    (Cousins' previous position: No. 5 to Sacramento)

    Analysis: The Kings, as we've been reporting all week, are still leaning toward taking DeMarcus Cousins at No. 5 if both Favors and Wes Johnson are off the board.

    A team source disputes a report that the Kings have made up their mind, but as we told you Wednesday night, the consensus remains with Cousins. He is the most NBA-ready big man in the draft, and like Tyreke Evans, should be able to come in and make an immediate impact in Sacramento.

    You either love or hate Cousins, but there's no denying that he's an incredibly gifted scorer and rebounder. Still, he clearly rubs a lot of guys the wrong way. If he matures and lives up to his potential, he's a huge steal at No. 5. And even if he causes a commotion, his talent may still be worth the trouble.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Golden State


    Ekpe Udoh
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 237
    Age: 22
    School: Baylor

    (Udoh's previous position: No. 10 to Indiana)

    Analysis: The Warriors are talking to a number of teams about potential trades and it looks like the No. 6 pick is up for grabs. The cost, however, is high. The Warriors want whoever takes the pick to also take the contract of Monta Ellis as part of the deal.

    If the Warriors keep the pick, they're deciding between Greg Monroe and Ekpe Udoh. My source continues to support what I first reported Tuesday night, that Udoh has the edge. How he fits alongside two other athletic, shot-blocking big men -- Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright -- is a bit of a mystery. But then again, we're talking about the Warriors.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Detroit


    Greg Monroe
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-11
    Weight: 247
    Age: 19
    School: Georgetown

    (Monroe's previous position: No. 6 to Golden State)

    Analysis: The Pistons have been exploring a number of deals, but at this point they seem content to stay at No. 7. Of course, they would love to land DeMarcus Cousins, but the price has been ridiculously high to move up two or three spots.

    While the team is high on Greg Monroe, Ed Davis and Ekpe Udoh, Detroit is still leaning toward Monroe here if he's on the board. He is the only true center of the group, and while he lacks elite athleticism, he is a skilled passer and has a high basketball IQ. He should be able to step in and contribute right away.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    L.A. Clippers


    Al-Farouq Aminu
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-9
    Weight: 215
    Age: 19
    School: Wake Forest

    (Aminu's previous position: No. 8 to L.A. Clippers)

    Analysis: The Clippers, according to our own Chris Broussard, have been talking to the Bulls about swapping the No. 8 pick for No. 17 and Luol Deng. That's probably an admission that they're not so high on the rest of the guys left on the board.

    Of the upside guys left on the board, I think they're highest on Aminu. He's a long, athletic forward who can play both the 3 and the 4.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Utah (via New York, via Phoenix)


    Ed Davis
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 227
    Age: 20
    School: North Carolina

    (Davis' previous position: No. 7 to Detroit)

    Analysis: I continue to get mixed signals out of Utah. On one hand, with Carlos Boozer likely leaving, they need a big man, and Davis is the best big guy left on the board. He's the type of long, athletic forward the Jazz have needed for a while. The problem is that Davis is pretty raw and probably not ready to contribute right away. GM Kevin O'Connor tends to not care about that -- he likes to take the best talent available, so it's probably not a big deal.

    On the other hand, the team also has a need on the wing, and the Jazz like Luke Babbitt, Gordon Hayward and Xavier Henry. Of the three, I believe Babbitt has the lead.

    It sounds like Davis has the slight edge here, but if one of those three wings went No. 9, I wouldn't be shocked, either.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Indiana



    Gordon Hayward
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-8
    Weight: 211
    Age: 20
    School: Butler

    (Hayward's previous position: No. 11 to New Orleans)

    Analysis: This is where the draft really begins to break apart. The Pacers have been high on Greg Monroe, Ekpe Udoh and Ed Davis, but none of them are on the board here. That leaves them with a bunch of swingmen -- a position Indiana doesn't really need to fill.

    Indy has been burning up the phone lines trying to find a point guard, but if the Pacers can't make a deal, they'll likely be choosing between Hayward, Paul George and Xavier Henry.

    George has the most upside, but he's also the likeliest bust among those three. Henry is probably the safest pick of the three, but he also is the most one-dimensional and probably duplicates Brandon Rush. That leaves Hayward, the hometown boy. He's a mix of Henry and George. He doesn't have the upside of George, but he does have a higher ceiling than Henry.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    New Orleans


    Patrick Patterson
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-8
    Weight: 245
    Age: 21
    School: Kentucky

    (Patterson's previous position: No. 13 to Toronto)

    Analysis: The Hornets appear to be locked in on a couple of prospects here. They like Patterson, Xavier Henry, Cole Aldrich and Hayward.

    With the exception of Hayward, all three are pretty safe picks. Henry would give them shooting. Aldrich would fill a hole in the middle. Patterson would give them some much-needed depth at the 4 and would be able to contribute right away.



    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Memphis


    Paul George
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-9
    Weight: 214
    Age: 20
    School: Fresno State

    (George's previous position: No. 12 to Memphis)

    Analysis: It's tough to know which way the Grizzlies are leaning. During the past few weeks, the three names that have generated the most buzz have been George, Babbitt and Patterson.

    After the Grizzlies made a huge reach for Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2 last year, you'd think they would go conservative and take either Babbitt or Patterson. Although neither player has enormous upside, both are NBA-ready and can provide instant offense.

    However, as the process moves on, it appears that George remains ahead of Patterson, Babbitt and a late dark horse, Damion James. Although George is clearly the biggest risk of the group, he's also the player with the most upside. If he develops his many talents, he could be a superstar.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Toronto


    Eric Bledsoe
    Position: PG
    Height: 6-2
    Weight: 192
    Age: 20
    School: Kentucky

    (Bledsoe's previous position: No. 18 to Miami)

    Analysis: The Raptors are talking to a number of teams about trading the pick. As of late Wednesday, a potential deal of Rudy Fernandez and No. 22 for the 13th pick wasn't making much progress. The team is also talking to Oklahoma City, which now has three first-round picks and is looking to move up.

    The Raptors have been high on Patrick Patterson and Avery Bradley, but the word out of Toronto late Tuesday had them looking at Eric Bledsoe and Cole Aldrich. Between the two, I'm hearing Bledsoe may be the choice.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Houston


    Cole Aldrich
    Position: C
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 236
    Age: 21
    School: Kansas

    (Aldrich's previous position: No. 14 to Houston)

    Analysis: The Rockets are another team that has tried to move up a few spots in the draft. At No. 14, it looks as though virtually every player they covet will be off the board. If they can't move up, that should put them in the mode of taking the best player available.

    That would be Aldrich, a big man with the ability to block shots and rebound. He also has a decent face-the-basket game. With Yao Ming's long-term status really up in the air, Aldrich would give the Rockets a backup big who should be able to step in and play right away.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Milwaukee
    (via Chicago)


    Xavier Henry
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-7
    Weight: 210
    Age: 19
    School: Kansas

    (Henry's previous position: No. 15 to Milwaukee)

    Analysis: The Bucks addressed some of their needs at the wing position this week by trading for Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts. But sources in Milwaukee say the addition of both players won't affect their draft strategy. Of the players left on the board, Henry looks to be the best value by far. He can play either the 2 or 3 and can shoot the lights out.

    Another player to watch here is VCU's Larry Sanders. If the Bucks go big, I'm hearing he's the guy.



    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Minnesota (via Denver, via Charlotte)


    Luke Babbitt
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-9
    Weight: 214
    Age: 20
    School: Nevada

    (Babbitt's previous position: No. 9 to Utah)

    Analysis: The Wolves have been actively trying to package Nos. 16 and 23 to move up a few spots in the draft to get their hands on George. But if George is gone, there aren't a lot of prospects they're in love with here.

    I think the Wolves would be more aggressive in trying to trade at this point. If they keep the pick, they might go ahead and take Babbitt. He doesn't have the upside of some of the other wing guys like George or Hayward but was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season. He would give the Wolves more shooting on the perimeter from the 3 position, though he does play the same position as Wes Johnson (see No. 4, above).


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Chicago (via Milwaukee)


    Damion James
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-8
    Weight: 227
    Age: 22
    School: Texas

    (James' previous position: No. 19 to Boston)

    Analysis: I've been hearing a lot of different names attached to the Bulls. James Anderson, Avery Bradley and Dominique Jones are the most prominent. But the latest intel Wednesday night had the Bulls leaning toward James. With the team actively shopping Luol Deng, they'll want a tough forward who can recreate the role Andres Nocioni played for them a few years ago.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Oklahoma City (via Miami)


    Solomon Alabi
    Position: C
    Height: 7-1
    Weight: 237
    Age: 22
    School: Florida State

    (Alabi's previous position: No. 21 to Oklahoma City)

    Analysis: The Thunder acquired this pick from the Heat in a deal that also netted Daequan Cook but cost them the No. 32 pick in the draft. They are working hard to move up in the draft, trying to package 18, 21 and 26. Their target, I'm told, is Gordon Hayward.

    If they stay at No. 18, the Thunder are hoping Eric Bledsoe slips here. But if he doesn't, they will have a tough call to make here between Alabi, Larry Sanders, Daniel Orton and Kevin Seraphin. The Thunder have been high on Orton all year, but a so-so workout in OKC along with concerns about his knees have given them and everyone else in the league pause.

    The Thunder, meanwhile, have been high on Alabi for a while. He may seem like a bit of a reach to some, but he appears to be one of the hotter names in the draft at the moment. The Raptors, Celtics, Spurs, Thunder, Heat and Blazers are all showing interest. Those are all teams with historically good draft track records, so watch carefully.

    Alabi measured as one of the tallest and longest players in the draft, and he showed a nice skill game and a terrific motor in drills. Some scouts are comparing him to Dikembe Mutombo. I don't think Alabi has the same sort of rebounding and shot-blocking ability, but he does have a similar demeanor and presence on the court.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Boston


    Avery Bradley
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-3
    Weight: 180
    Age: 19
    School: Texas

    (Bradley's previous position: No. 17 to Chicago)

    Analysis: Danny Ainge has been shopping this pick, but if he stays here, Damion James, Eric Bledsoe, Solomon Alabi and Avery Bradley appear to be the front-runners. James, Bledsoe and Alabi are all off the board, leaving Bradley. The super-quick combo guard could spell Rajon Rondo at times, and would give them another dynamic scoring option in the backcourt. More importantly to Ainge, he's the best talent left on the board.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    San Antonio


    Craig Brackins
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 229
    Age: 22
    School: Iowa State

    (Brackins' previous position: No. 20 to San Antonio)

    Analysis: The Spurs need size, and this pick likely will come down to either Brackins or Alabi. Although Alabi has the size and upside, with Tiago Splitter possibly coming to San Antonio this fall, the Spurs may be set at the 5.

    Brackins' ability to spread the floor and play inside and outside is coveted in San Antonio. A number of GMs have told me he could end up being the sleeper of the draft. I'm also hearing tht Jordan Crawford and Devin Ebanks are getting serious consideration here.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Oklahoma City


    Kevin Seraphin
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 258
    Age: 20
    Country: France

    (Seraphin's previous position: No. 22 to Portland)

    Analysis: This is the second pick for the Thunder and the word is that they are high on Seraphin. He is a tough big man out of France who, in a couple of years, could be a Serge Ibaka-type player.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Portland


    Daniel Orton
    Position: C
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 269
    Age: 19
    School: Kentucky

    (Orton's previous position: No. 26 to Oklahoma City)

    Analysis: The Blazers have been very active trying to move up, but if they stay at 22, there will be a couple of guys here they like. At the top of that list are Orton and Elliot Williams. The Blazers have worked out both players and think that, at this point in the draft, they both could be steals.

    Although Orton is in the discussion starting at the 10th pick, concerns about his knees and his relative lack of playing time in the past two seasons are weighing on teams. He easily could end up going earlier to Oklahoma City, but if he's on the board here, I think the Blazers can't pass him up.

    If Orton is off the board, look for them to go with Williams. The Blazers know way more about Williams' situation than they are letting on.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Minnesota
    (via Philadelphia, via Utah)


    Larry Sanders
    Position: PF
    Height: 6-11
    Weight: 222
    Age: 21
    School: Va. Commonwealth

    (Sanders' previous position: No. 23 to Minnesota)

    Analysis: With the Wolves going with wings with their first two picks, look for them to take a swing at a player with huge upside at No. 23. Sanders has a freakishly long wingspan and can really run the floor. He also would give the Wolves something they've been in short supply of: Shot-blocking.

    Whiteside and Orton are both possibilities here as well. But it sounds as if the Wolves are a little turned off by the immaturity of both players and might not need a center anyway -- they will pursue Darko Milicic in free agency and sign former second-round pick Nikola Pekovic this summer.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Atlanta


    Hassan Whiteside
    Position: C
    Height: 7-0
    Weight: 227
    Age: 20
    School: Marshall

    (Whiteside's previous position: No. 24 to Atlanta)

    Analysis: The Hawks could go in a lot of directions here. They might end up having to replace free agent Joe Johnson. But at this point in the draft, Whiteside's upside might be too much to pass up.

    Whiteside is the best shot-blocker in the draft and, when he's playing well, reminds some of a young Marcus Camby. He's immature and needs a lot of work, but at No. 24, no player left on the board has more upside.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Memphis
    (via Denver)


    Jordan Crawford
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-4
    Weight: 198
    Age: 21
    School: Xavier

    (Crawford's previous position: No. 25 to Memphis)

    Analysis: Crawford's stock has been slowly rising, and now he's in the mix with the Bulls at 17, the Celtics at 19, the Spurs at 20, the Blazers at 22 and the Wolves at 23. But it looks as though he won't slide past the Grizzlies here. The additions of Crawford and George would give the Grizzlies a ton of punch in their backcourt.

    I'm not sure there are enough basketballs in Memphis for all these guys, but you have to like the talent the Griz are acquiring.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Oklahoma City
    (via Phoenix)


    Tibor Pleiss
    Position: C
    Height: 7-0
    Weight: 220
    Age: 20
    Country: Germany

    (Pleiss' previous position: No. 32 to Oklahoma City)

    Analysis: I highly doubt that the Thunder end up keeping all three first-round picks, but if they do, look for them to stash another European player overseas. Pleiss has great size and he's a physical defender, but he won't come over for a few more years.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    New Jersey
    (via Dallas)


    James Anderson
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-6
    Weight: 210
    Age: 21
    School: Oklahoma State

    (Anderson's previous position: No. 16 to Minnesota)

    Analysis: The Nets are high on both Jordan Crawford and Craig Brackins, but if they are off the board, Anderson could be the man. This is a pretty big slide for Anderson. An injury has held him out of a lot of workouts and his lack of elite athleticism seems to be hurting his stock a bit. But at No. 27, especially with Chris Douglas-Roberts now in Milwaukee, this is a great fit.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Memphis
    (via L.A. Lakers)


    Grevis Vasquez
    Position: SG
    Height: 6-6
    Weight: 211
    Age: 23
    School: Maryland

    (Vasquez previous position: No. 39 to New York)

    Analysis: The Grizzlies likely won't end up with three first-rounders, either. They, too, are talking to several teams about trading one or both of their picks in the 20s. However, if they stay here, I keep hearing that they love Vasquez. Not sure I really see it. He has great floor vision and plays with a passion, but Adam Morrison has better lateral quickness.


    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Orlando


    Darington Hobson
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-7
    Weight: 204
    Age: 22
    School: New Mexico

    (Hobson's previous position: No. 29 to Orlando)

    Analysis: The Magic haven't worked out many players. Each year they pick a small handful of prospects they like and then grab from there. Of the group they've had in, Crawford and Ebanks are off the board. Of the group left, Hobson and Quincy Pondexter make a lot of sense. Of the two, I think Hobson has a slight edge. His playmaking ability and versatility remind some scouts of Hedo Turkoglu. The Magic missed that this season.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS


    Washington
    (via Cleveland)


    Quincy Pondexter
    Position: SF
    Height: 6-7
    Weight: 220
    Age: 22
    School: Washington

    (Pondexter's previous position: No. 30 to Washington)

    Analysis: Pondexter is coming off a great senior season and is one of the best athletes in the draft. With the Wizards trying to rebuild with young players who can get up and down the floor, he seems like a good bet here.

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