Or, should I say, the "taking my sweet *** time" edition. Laziness? Perhaps, but also the hope that waiting as long as possible and getting the most information from workouts would allow for better "analysis" on my part (has anyone else noticed that you can't spell analysis without nearly combining the words anal and Aykis?). Let's start after the jump.
1. John Wall
Not much more to say here. Best player in the draft. Best PG prospect in years. Love child of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Some have said Turner is just as good--I disagree, but even if he was, I think Wall would be a much better fit with Tyreke Evans than Turner. But more on that later.
2. DeMarcus Cousins
This would have been a bolder call had I posted it a couple weeks ago. But I didn't. Oh well. We all now know that Cousins killed it in his workout with the Kings, but even before that, he was the guy I wanted in Sacramento. He had a terrific season by any statistical measure, and I think what he brings will translate well to the NBA. As R-Man astutely divined from Jerry's comments earlier this month, and from Grant's apparent change of heart on the radio recently, it seems like the Kings aren't so worried about Cousins' red flags after all. He hasn't lifted up his shirt for me yet, but I'm not worried either. The body fat continues to improve, and I'd expect the rigors of an 82 game schedule to get him in shape. Can't wait to hear Bill Walton's first "Throw it DOWNN, big man" on Comcast Sports Net.
3. Derrick Favors
Have I just ranked Emeka Okafor over Dwight Howard on my draft board? Time will tell. I think there's a lot of fear of repeating history's mistakes (or near-mistakes, luckily enough for Orlando) but I'm not sure Favors is Howard. The potential is clearly there, and you want to explain away his somewhat lackluster season by the poor guard play, presence of Lawal, etc., but at the end of the day I think Cousins is a safer bet. Sure Favors had to compete with Lawal, but Cousins played next to the even more productive Patterson, as Ziller noted, and still came out ahead.
4. Evan Turner
I'm not really a fan of Turner, but I'd take him here because of his perceived value around the league. Why don't I like him? Sure, he was the best player in college basketball last year, but I'm not convinced his game will translate well. I also think there's some overcompensation going on after so many missed Brandon Roy, so now we hear that everyone is the next Brandon Roy. But James Harden was not Brandon Roy, and Evan Turner is not Brandon Roy (you may have heard something from nbrans about this). He'll have to improve his shooting, likely won't be able to rebound as well as he could in college, and I never really saw his vaunted passing and ball handling. Finally, I don't think he'd fit well (also ball dominant, poor shooter) with Tyreke.
5. Wesley Johnson
Been back and forth on this guy. Sure, everyone can see the highlight reel and get a little giddy, but what can he be great at? He'd be a good shooter and finisher for us, but the defense is a big question mark (although as Aykis pointed out, his steal and block numbers were fine). Also agree with The Greek that Johnson's weaknesses (ball handling and shot creation) would be somewhat mitigated by playing next to Tyreke. But a star? I'm not sure.
6. Greg Monroe
Somewhat begrudgingly, Monroe is next. Probably the most polarizing prospect in my mind. I don't think he's as soft as most are saying--having lived in DC from last fall to this spring, I watched a number of Georgetown games and it was pretty clear that it was the Hoya offense that kept Monroe out on the perimeter, not the big man's supposed fear of mixing it up inside. The defense is indeed suspect, and the concerns about his athleticism are valid, but he did step up his rebounding quite a bit from his freshman year. And, of course, there is the passing ability that would make Coachie smile. A better rebounding Spencer Hawes would help this team (especially playing next to Carl Landry, who can't really rebound) but not as much as a Cousins or Favors.
Epke Ekpe Udoh
Another big very similar to what we have--if Monroe is a better rebounding Hawes, I'd call Udoh perhaps a better shotblocking Jason Thompson. Skilled offense, sneaky passing, someone when we were looking to be drafting in the 7-10 range I thought would be a great pick. Not so much at 5, but there's always the possibility of trading down.
8. Ed Davis
Too bad he didn't work out with all the other big men that came to town last week. I was down on Davis all year, but he measured well at the combine, might even be tall enough to play center the in the league. Exhibit G summed it up well: Very high potential, and his limited, disappointing production this season still exceeded that of Favors (with the same issues of poor guard play).
9. Al-Farouq Aminu
10. Hassan Whiteside
At 10, why not swing for the fences? I like what I heard from Aykis at his workout with the Kings: shotblocker who can still hit a jump shot. Despite character concerns, sounds like his attitude aint so bad either.
11. Cole Aldrich
Ho, hum. Sure, he'll only be a role player, but a defensive big man is the most valuable, and rare, role player around. Don't like drafting him at 5, but anywhere after the top 10 or so would be fine were the Kings to trade down.
12. Patrick Patterson
Also solid, but unspectacular. Didn't measure as undersized as some perhaps feared, and likely ready to contribute right away.
13. Xavier Henry
Will he be better than a shooting role player at the next level? He can pass and defend some, too, which makes me think he'd be a great backcourt mate for Tyreke. Maybe a better defending JJ Reddick?
14. Avery Bradley
Jeff Teague! Just kidding. Another good fit with Tyreke in the backcourt.
15. Luke Babbitt
Not sure we would really have much of a use for him over our other SF prospects, but I think he'll turn out to be a pretty solid player. Great shooter, but needs to overcome athleticism concerns and question of what poisition he can hang with next year.