While I'm still upset that someone decided to ruin the fun of our normal draft board, I love this solution. I really enjoyed this exercise. Remember that this is not a mock draft, it is my own personal draft board.
1. John Wall, PG, Kentucky
In the voting for the original Community Draft Board, I voted for Turner. But as I said, I go back and forth on that vote on a regular basis. Wall is viewed as a singular talent, a guy with incredible potential. He's still raw, but we love potential. Right here, right now, is he the best player available? Probably not. But in a season or two, he easily could be. He's praised by writers and analysts that I loathe. And yet he's praised by writers and analyst that I respect the hell out of. To me, Wall is a complete enigma. Come back in 5 minutes and I'll have Turner in this spot.
More after the jump...
2. Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
Here's the thing I don't get about Turner, there has never been a question about his talent. There were questions about maturity and attitude, and he did the right thing about those issues. He stayed in school, matured, and developed his game. His draft stock improved based on this. He's still talented, but now he's ready to contribute right away. I'm not sure how that's a bad thing. Sure, he has a lower ceiling, he's more of a known quantity, but that known quantity is pretty dang good.
He's often compared to Brandon Roy, and I think it's a good comparison of situations. Roy will never be a LeBron. But a lot of teams would be very happy to have a Brandon Roy. I'd be very happy. He's pretty much a lock to be gone when the Kings pick, but he's my number 2, or more accurately he's my 1b to Wall's 1a.
3. Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
Favors is a gifted athlete, and has a lot of potential. He's a bit unpolished, but also didn't have a great supporting cast around him. I don't have a lot to add to Favors that hasn't already been said, so I'll move on rather than wasting any more of your time.
4. DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
I am not a fan of Cousins. I think he has enough red flags that he could conduct a reenactment of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies. So why, you may wonder, is he still number four on my draft board? Because I believe in taking the best player available. Sometimes it will end up hurting you, but many teams have been equally hurt by passing on talented players due to supposed character concerns. Remember when everyone was passing on Rajon Rondo because of perceived attitude/motivation concerns? Obviously Rondo owes some portion of his success on ending up in an ideal situation, but he obviously has the talent as well.
Cousins is as talented as he is polarizing. People love him or hate him. He would dominate these message boards for years if he ends up on the Kings. But you draft talent and figure out everything else later. I've yet to hear about an NBA team struggling because they had too many talented players.
Leavings Cousins at 4 also holds to another of my draft rules. At the end of the college season, everyone has a basic idea of where everyone will be drafted. Then, without the players playing any games, these opinions change dramatically. I've always felt like this is a flawed approach. Stick to what you saw when they played basketball, because that's what they'll be doing for you.
5. Greg Monroe, F/C, Georgetown
This is where my draft board takes a dramatic departure from conventional wisdom. Last year, Monroe was considered a late lottery pick. He went back to school, improved his rebounding, demonstrated that he was a consistent player....and now he's considered a late lottery pick? I don't get it.
I think Monroe is fundamentally sound and brings a lot of talent to the table. He may never be a Hall of Fame player, but I think he'll be a really good NBA center for a long time. I don't anticipate the Kings drafting him, but I'd be happy if they did.
6. Ed Davis, F, North Carolina
I know a lot of people aren't sold on Davis, and a lot of you will stop reading right now. Everyone was high on Davis coming into the season, but he didn't produce up to expectations. But he did produce, and he still has potential. And as for his production, he outproduced Favors this season, in fewer minutes per game. Similar to Favors lack of a supporting cast, Davis was hampered by a complete lack of quality guards at North Carolina. It was a disastrous season for that team, and he was taken down with it. He's raw, but so are guys like Favors and Aminu. I know Davis is a sophomore, but I still think he has that potential. I can see Davis becoming a steal of this draft, particularly since he'll probably be drafted much lower than 6th.
7. Wesley Johnson, G/F, Syracuse
I've already gone on record stating that I believe Johnson will disappoint. I think, in general, players from Syracuse end up being overrated in the draft (with the exception of Carmelo Anthony). That being said, I think Johnson can still contribute. I don't think he'll live up to expectations (I honestly think Casspi will be a much, much better player. And they have a similar skill set), but he can contribute.
I do, of course, tend to be wrong about just about everything. So he'll probably be extraordinarily successful.
8. Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Wake Forest
He's raw, has almost no offensive game, and is a complete project pick. But he also has upside out the backside and the Kings are a young team. A young project pick wouldn't be the worst thing in the world as long as eventually contributed. He's a ridiculous athlete, but there's a question of motivation. I have no clue what his future will hold, but I'm ok with him at 8 on my board.
9. Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
He's not flashy. He's not a "sexy" pick (Sorry, Ailene). But you know what you're getting. He's kind of like Bizarro-Aminu. He's a safe pick, a solid contributor. In the world of draft unknowns, there's something to be said for a known product. I considered actually putting Aldrich at 8 and Aminu at 9. Just depends on if you feel like taking a risk or not. I put Aminu ahead of Aldrich for the same reasons I argued Rubio ahead of Blake Griffin last season.
10. Patrick Patterson, F, Kentucky
Patterson interviewed very well, and I worry that this might be inflating his stock. However, he has a lot of good aspects his game beyond just his in-game skills. I like that he went back to Kentucky even though he knew he would no longer be the go-to guy on the team. This tells me he will probably handle the transition to the NBA pretty well. It sounds like he will be a solid locker room presence, and will be a willing role player on any team. Not necessarily a superstar, but a solid addition with a well-rounded game.
11. Ekpe Udoh, F/C, Baylor
I just haven't been impressed with Udoh. It's easy to make the comparisons to Jason Thompson due to his age, but I see a completely different player. He has his strengths, but I think he's way too high on most draft boards. I don't think his skill set or his playing career support the idea of him being in the top 10. I think he's a classic example of height being overvalued in the draft.
12. Xavier Henry, G, Kansas
Getting this far down, I rely a lot more on impressions from the season. I usually only really research guys within range for the Kings. I like Henry, I think he'll be in the league for a long time, and I think he'll be a solid pick for whoever drafts him.
13. Avery Bradley, G, Texas
A riskier pick than a guy like Xavier, but I believe he has greater potential. Not really sure what his ceiling is, but could end up being a great value pick. He's projected in the late teens or early twenties, so he should end up on a team where he doesn't have to step in immediately as an impact player. This will be a much better situation for him since he's not particularly ready right now.
14. Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada
Seems like a nice, well-rounded player. I think he'd be a nice complimentary player, but probably not much more. I didn't have any desire to put him higher, but you can always use a good shooter.
15. Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall
Whiteside reminds me a lot of Thabeet, but younger. As much as I railed against Thabeet before last year's draft, it was mostly because I didn't think he should be top 5. Top 15, sure. I can live with a tall, defensive-minded project player at this point on my board.
Donatas Montiejunas, F/C, Lithuania
Seems like a really risky pick. Very raw. He could easily be the latest additional to the long list of tall, foreign busts. Everyone wants to draft the next Sabonis, Divac, or Nowitzki. But the fact of the matter is that very few of these guys translate over. So why do you take him? Because of how great a pick like this can be if it works.
Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky
I honestly cannot understand why he's being considered as a first rounder. Maybe he has the skills and was just in the shadows of Wall, Cousins, Patterson, Bledsoe, etc., but I never even noticed him while watching Kentucky.
Gordon Hayward, G/F, Butler
Probably would have been my #16. I can see him being a scrapper who stays in the league for many years.
So that's it. In conclusion, I would be happiest if the Kings took Cousins, Monroe, or Ed Davis (with the assumption that Wall, Turner and Favors will be off the board). However, my goal this year is to simply accept whoever Petrie chooses. In Geoff I trust, because I'm an idiot and have been proven wrong on a regular basis.