So, without further ado, here are the picks to this year’s NBA Draft:
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, PG, Kentucky. At the early age of five, John Wall was palming a basketball with his right hand. His left hand was soon to follow at the age of six and that’s when his mother knew she had something special. His ability to palm two basketballs at once started paying dividends during middle school on the court; and off the court with the ladies.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State. Two thoughts come to mind with the Sixers pick at number two. Will Philadelphia trade this pick in a blockbuster deal with the Indiana Pacers and why does Andre Iguodala shoot so many three pointers? The latter thought is always in the back of my mind. Turner has nice size for a shooting guard and has drawn comparisons to Penny Hardaway. His Buckeye teammates thought he was 25 times better than Anfernee, so they nicknamed him Quarter Turner.
3. New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech. Derrick has the wingspan of a Wandering Albatross, runs the floor like a Goitered Gazelle, and has cat-like quickness in the post similar to that of an Asiatic Cheetah. Newly crowned Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been seen numerous times at African safaris taking notes. Comparing players to animals is a Russian draft technique that he has mastered. His love for animals doesn’t stop there. After his team relocates to New York, Prokhorov is considering changing his team’s name to the Brooklyn Zoo.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse. Johnson is about as smooth as an ice cold Coors Light on a day that consists of 90% humidity. He attacks the rim through the paint like the Silver Bullet Train, satisfying fans with his refreshing skills and cool attitude. A future DUI is not out of the question.
5. Sacramento Kings: Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest. Aminu was invited by no less than 20 teams for individual workouts, but he was stifled at the airport every single time. No one knows anything about Aminu and that might be his greatest asset.
6. Golden State Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins, PF, Kentucky. If DeMarcus Cousins was white, he’d be the black version of himself. His maturity and knowledge of the game need to catch up to his brute strentgh and massive size. His hands are powerful, yet soft. He can twist a tight lid off a pickle jar and a minute later wipe the tear off of a baby’s face. Babies shouldn’t be eating pickles, DeMarcus.
7. Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe, PF/C, Georgetown. Monroe is a left-handed point guard stuck in a big man’s body. He’s the perfect fit for an inside-outside type offense with his excellent passing and decision-making skills. These skills were seen at an early age. Greg would attend birthday parties and dominate the game of hot potato. He knew exactly when and where to pass the oven-hot vegetable and could even solve an algebraic equation in between turns.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Avery Bradley, SG, Texas. If Avery could cross country ski at a high level, he would be a biathlon shoe-in for the 2014 Winter Olympics because of his marksman-like shooting ability. “Everything is bigger in Texas” is a phrase that held true with Bradley. The hoop always seemed a bit bigger when he shot the ball. And numbers don’t lie. The nineteen-year-old freshman made a stellar 43.2% of his shots, including 37.5% from three-point land. The talent pool in this year’s draft is second to none.
9. Utah Jazz (via Phoenix via New York): Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas. Cole is a rich man’s Eric Montross and a poor man’s Rick Smits with a Bloomington, Minnesota accent. Aldrich has been decribed as having great length and good body control. He hardly ever dribbles before he shoots and excels at penetrating inside the box. If the 236-pound junior doesn’t make it in the NBA, he will definitely have a career in being a male escort.
10. Indiana Pacers: Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas. The Pacers would love to trade up and get Evan Turner, but if they aren’t successful, Xavier Henry is as close as it gets. At the age of six, his body was first-grade ready. The same holds true for every grade and into college; and you’ll hear this come draft night when they say his body is NBA-ready. His body readiness could be his best attribute, but a close second could be his NBA-ready tremendous strength or his NBA-ready smooth stroke.
11. New Orleans Hornets: Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada. Babbitt is like Chris Mullen on Red Bull, a high energy guy who can shoot and score. He could make a great sixth man if he’s asked not to play defense. Although, his tangibles are not considered to be top-notch, it’s his intangibles that could cause him to jump up in this draft. In professional sports drafts, intangibles outweigh tangibles. Remember that.
12. Memphis Grizzlies: Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor. Udoh doesn’t have great length, he has incredible length. Throughout his basketball career, the junior transfer from Michigan has worked endless nights on his length. Standing flat-footed, Udoh would reach up to touch the ceiling and wouldn’t quit until his fingertips completed the challenge. This dedication has made him a shot-blocking machine. The rest of his game is vastly improving and some scouts say he has the most upside in the draft. In professional sports drafts, upside outweighs present talent. Remember that.
13. Toronto Raptors: James Anderson, SG, Oklahoma State. Anderson could be one of the most pure shooters in the draft; however, the rest of his game is questionable. If Toronto can find a way to keep Anderson in a stationary position on the offensive side of the ball, so he can catch and shoot at will, this pick will pay dividends quickly. No need to ask him to dribble, enter the paint, or pass. Just catch and shoot. Anderson will most likely be selected with this pick or he won’t be drafted at all.
14. Houston Rockets: Paul George, SF, Fresno State. George has the unique ability to run the floor. It’s quite amazing. Most of the 2010 draft class only walk the floor, but Paul runs the floor with dynamic transition, which is very important in basketball. This may completely blow your mind, but George is also an athlete. So, to sum it up, this 20-year old sophomore is an athlete who can run the floor. How can you pass that up at number 14?
15. Milwaukee Bucks (via Chicago): Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina. Everything about this player says ‘upside’ and ‘potential.’ The bad news about using these words is that it means he isn’t good right now. The more upside or potential a player has translates to that player being so far away from performing at the level they should be at. For example, Lindsey Lohan has tremendous potential for not doing coke. That’s great, but she’s still getting high. Our economy has extreme upside. Isn’t that because our country is in shambles? So, don’t get all excited about your team drafting a player who has a lot of ‘upside’ or ‘potential,’ it usually doesn’t work out. That said, Davis is ready to come in and start immediately.
17. Chicago Bulls (via Milwaukee): Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall. Hassan is a legitimate 7-footer with two pairs of socks on. And there isn’t any player in this draft who has worn more socks than Hassan. In 11-grade, he only stood 4-feet tall. During the summer before his senior year of high school, he grew 33 inches. His parents ended up spending $23,300 in clothes, $17,560 in food, and $9,800 in beds, all on their son. Hassan went through 1,700 pairs of socks and 200 pairs of shoes. Luckily, his parents found ways to write everything off and they received a huge tax refund check, which they used to purchase a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado. Look for this story to be told after the 17th pick.
18. Miami Heat: Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky. Patrick could have easily been a 20-10 man for Kentucky this past season if it wasn’t for the addition of DeMarcus Cousins. If Evander Holyfield played college basketball for Kentucky, Patterson would be compared to him. He plays a physical game down low and has great control around the basket. Think 94-95 Tyrone Hill, but with a cuter smile, bigger biceps, and a sense of style you could only dream about.
19. Boston Celtics: Daniel Orton, PF/C, Kentucky. Daniel could have easily been a 20-10 man for Kentucky this past season if it wasn’t for the addition of DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson returning for a third season, or maybe not. Potentially speaking, Orton’s upside might have upside, but nobody even really knows. He wasn’t given the chance to showcase his talents on the basketball court because of the star-studded Wildcat roster. However, he was able to showcase his talents off the court with his halftime magic show he put on display for his teammates in the locker room. He once cut Patrick Patterson in half to try to get more playing time, but Coach Calipari wasn’t having any of that. Understandably so…you can’t have the locker room get out of control.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler. Hayward is a phenomenal talent who would be a top-five pick if it weren’t for one huge drawback: He has an obnoxious habit of yelling out his favorite NBA players when he attempts a shot. Numerous times, while driving the lane and putting up a shot, he’s been heard yelling “Oh! Sherman Douglas!” and “Glen Rice for the wiiiin!!” He does it in practice and in games and it irritates the hell out of coaches and teammates. It is compounded by the fact that during pre-game team handshakes at center court, he typically asks opponents, “who you bein’? I’m bein’ Willie Burton. Who you gonna be?” Throw on top of all that the fact that all the players he loves are from the 1991-92 Miami Heat and you get a ginormous slide down the draft board.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State. What Brackins lacks in basketball acumen he makes up for in always wearing a clean uniform and presenting himself with class. Brackins disappointed NBA teams during pre-draft interviews when he repeatedly answered “slam dunking” when asked what the most important part of basketball was. Luckily for Brackins, Oklahoma City puts no emphasis on basketball intelligence.
22. Portland Trailblazers: Larry Sanders, PF/C, VCU. Sanders reminds us of a cross between a 26-year old Theo Ratliff and Garry Shandling in his prime. He will block your shot, then joke about it with perfectly timed puns. He can sarcastically bring down a rebound and his performance on the court is explosive and award-winning. There’s definitely a career in television for Larry after the NBA, possibly a talk show named after himself. Portland will love their multi-talented selection.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Philadelphia via Utah): Ricky Rubio. God dammit, Minnesota will get this kid. He’s been incredibly tough to sign so the Timberwolves will take him in all different spots and drafts in an attempt to gain leverage in negotiations.
24. Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Seraphin, PF/C, France. Seraphin is 6’9″ tall, but that’s a very stationary 6’9″. Scouts are troubled by his inability to not only dunk, but even grab the rim (he used to claim that he could dunk a tennis ball but no one cared. He used to also claim that he could spike a volleyball….again, no one cared). Seraphin frustrated teammates when they would arrive for practice only to see that he lowered the rim to 8′ so that he could dunk. It wouldn’t be a huge problem except that the janitor only told him how to lower the basket and not how to raise it back to its normal level. You can imagine what a headache it was to locate the janitor and get everything fixed. Practices routinely started 15-30 minutes late. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem in Atlanta where only GM Rick Sund has control over the backboards. The backboard doesn’t budge unless he signs off on it.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (via Denver): Armon Johnson, PG/SG, Nevada. Perhaps the best situational player in the entire draft, Johnson’s stock only drops this far because those certain situations rarely – if ever – occur at the pro level.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Phoenix): Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis. All the NBA scouts and executives can agree on Williams. He needs to stop yelling “good” every time he shoots a jumpshot and/or “And 1!” every time he drives the lane. Some think he’s uncoachable because of this. The fact that he lists the Harlem Globetrotters as his favorite NBA team of all time and the team that he “followed growing up” is also mildly disturbing. He hasn’t gone so far as to pull the “fake water bucket that’s actually filled with confetti” bit yet, but OTR had three different GM’s tell us that it was only a matter of time.
27. New Jersey Nets (via Dallas): Keith “Tiny” Gallon, PF, Oklahoma. One of the most interesting names in the draft coming from one of the most interesting high schools, Oak Hill Academy. Known best as “Tiny,” Gallon gets irate if you call him Keith. He also despises being called “f**kface” and “dicknose.”
28. Memphis Grizzlies (via Los Angeles Lakers): Trevor Booker, PF, Clemson. Nicknamed “The Book,” Trevor Booker can spin a basketball on his index finger for four and a half seconds at a time, and he can’t wait to show you. The problem is when a teammate wants that ball at practice to actually, you know…practice. He’ll spend hours perfecting this craft even though A. He’s not good at it, and B. It has nothing to do with actually playing the game. He got the nickname “The Book” early in college because “the book” on him is that he can’t play basketball.
29. Orlando Magic: Dominique Jones, SG, South Florida. If Jumaine Jones and Rodney Buford spawned a child, it would have to be Dominique Jones. He has many attributes that we’ve seen on the pro level and that makes him easy to project to the NBA. Some of Jones’ qualities that we’ve seen are him making the “I have no idea how I’m doing this” motion any time he makes two baskets in a row, a la Michael Jordan against the Portland Trailblazers in the 1992 NBA Finals. Any time you can make NBA-type plays before you get to the NBA it makes scouts drool.
30. Washington Wizards (via Cleveland): Nemanja Bjelica, SF, Serbia. Bjelica’s favorite boyhood game in his war-torn country was SJeccitlia Djalia Dosh. That’s Serbian for “dirty yak milk.” In Southern regions of Serbia it’s actually translated to “tepid mule milk.” It is essentially the same thing as Horse, but it takes a lot longer to finish one game. One NBA assistant scout (Northwest region) pointed out to us that this game is sometimes played with a half a cantaloupe and handmade trash bags. We did not ask any follow up questions at that point.