So I guess it's my turn...
The reason I delayed my "ohh-so-awesome" mock is because I wanted to get some more info on these prospects and look at some footage from their workouts. Pretty much wanted to cover more bases. Of course, it doesn't matter as I'm still going to be wrong, but hey, it's a fun exercise, right?
First, let me explain my though process a bit:
I don't know shit, nor do you, or the next guy. I'm just a fan trying to predict basketball careers after watching some crappy videos, some meaningless games, and after learning how tall someone is in shoes. Pretty much, just call me Chad Ford, without the agents trying to convince me why their client is better than the other guy.
Also, whatever I think has 0 bearing in what the Kings FO is going to do so it really doesn't matter what my mock looks like. At the end of the day, the right people are making the decisions that actually matter.
A lot of this "analysis" comes from my gut; it's really just a personal opinion. I watched a fair amount of college games, mostly tournament, countless youtube videos, and pretty much every media interview at the combine for the top prospects. I can honestly say I've seen most of these guys at least once or twice (some more of course). If I haven't seen someone though, they're probably not on my list (I'm talking to you Damion James and Luke Babbitt!)
And last but certainly not least, in Geoff Petrie I trust. I don't give a flying f&^@ who Petrie selects with the 5th pick, he will get the benefit of the doubt from me. If there's one thing I've learned the last 3 drafts is that Mr. Petrie picks who he wants and that he knows what the hell he's doing. I don't know shit, so draft day, I will shut the hell up and get excited regardless of who he goes for. You've been warned
So after the jump, my top15 with some crappy commentary
1. John Wall - I see his ceiling as a mix of Derrick Rose and Chris Paul. That's scary, especially when I can't find a single reason why he wouldn't be able to get there. Hope you enjoy the ride, Washington!
2. Derrick Favors - I've been a Favors fan for a while. It was probably Pookey that mentioned him first back at the beginning of the season and I've been paying attention since. The athleticism is off the charts, but what I like the most is his willingness to defend and rebound. That's he's calling card and he'll be the first to tell you. He has the physical tools AND the desire to get better so I think he has a bright future.
3. Evan Turner - I'm hot and cold about Turner. He carried his team in the tournament and was named player of the year. Yet he also lacks certain physical tools and 'greatness' in college doesn't necessarily translate to succes in the NBA. I think that my first two picks at their best would have a bigger impact on their teams than Turner will if he's at his best. I'm not convinced he can be great, but I think he will for sure be good.
4. DeMarcus Cousins - everyone's favorite prospect. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'd love to end with Cousins with the 5th pick. He's extremely talented and in the right situation could truly become one of the top 2 players in this draft. I'd love for Petrie to pick him knowing all the 'red flags' are a non-issue. That being said, I don't think I can ever get behind DMC 100%. I worry too much about his head, about his weight, about the attitude. I'm very risk averse by nature, and although I understand at 5 we 'have' to pick him, I don't know if in his first couple years I'm going to be able to trust him. That's a big thing to me. Give him Favors attitude and he's the number 1 pick.
5. Wes Johnson - I'm not sure he can play the 2. I think Tyreke needs a backcourt mate that can handle and be able to create for others, and I don't know if WJ does that. I think a lot of us think it's a possiblity because we realize he's the BPA and don't want to accept that he may replace Casspi or Donte (I wouldn't want to see that happen either; I'm cool with rolling with those two at the 3 spot) but I'm not convinced. He's a great prospect that could also end up being one of the best players in the draft but I'd be lying if I said I hope the Kings pick him. I'm hoping (if my top 4 are not available) that one of the next big guys move into this spot in Petrie's eyes.
By the way, here is where it gets interesting. A lot of these guys are really close in my eyes, and their positioning could change at any time.
6. Cole Aridch - Surprise!!! Yes, I know. I'm probably one of the few that's high on Alridch but like I said I'm fairly risk averse. I know what I'm getting from the guy: rebounding, shot blocking, and post defense. Fairly mobile and an ugly (Coachie can tweak it a bit) but ok jumpshot. I think he's a better Kendrick Perkins and I can live with that. He's not a sexy pick but he can get the job done defenseively and that's something we lack.
7. Ekpe Udoh - I bought a ticket for the Udoh train a long time ago and I'm still in it, unfortuantely the view is not that great. One word that comes to mind when I think about Udoh: fluid; he's a fluid big man and those are rare. I don't see Jason Thompson, I see him as a Lamar Odom type player. Maybe no as athletic but as versatile. As TZ showed, he's not a great rebounder and he's measurements bothered me a bit, but at this range I'm willing to take the chance. And if Udohn't like that, Udohn't like Kings basketball!!
8. Hassan Whiteside - He was not in this range until yesterday. After Aykis recap and watching a bit more footage, I got Whiteside fever and he went up on my board. Young, long, athletic, and with decent range, if he can put it together he can be really good. I'd take a young Camby any day of the week (twice on Sunday) and if Petrie wants to take the risk, I'm all for it. I gotta see more but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the 5-8 range if he continues to impress in his workouts.
9. Greg Monroe - I'm not a fan. Replicates some of what we already have and I can't see him as an upgrade. I'm still hoping Spencer puts it together and if he does, I think Monroe would be redundant (except for better rebounding). I just don't think, from what I've seen, he's what this team needs. A lot of my picks are keeping in mind that we already have 3 bigs with some potential and I'm considering what these rookies bring to the table that would help this team over what we already have. At the end of the day though, I couldn't put Monroe any lower as he does have some serious skills and because he was smart enough to come back to college and work on his game.
10. Al-Farouq Aminu - The top 10 prospect I've seen the least off. I'm going mostly by what I've read and heard. A lot of potential with great athleticism but the skills are not quite there yet. I'm also worried that being a 3/4 tweener in college is not going to help in his transition to the pros.
11. Patrick Patterson - I think he's going to be a solid pro and a class act. He could be the next Millsap-type undersized 4. I can't help but think he's head is his most important attribute. He changed his game in Kentucky to fit with all the incoming freshmen and still had a succesful year. He seems like the guy that's willing to do whatever he can to help the team. If there's one thing I can predict for Patterson, is that he's going to be the ultimate pro. Would love to have him on my team, but can't do it at 5.
12. Ed Davis - I was high on Davis at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch much UNC, then he got injured and I just couldn't built on the good frist impression I got from him. He stays at 12 because I was really impressed with the little I saw in clips and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
13. Paul George - A jack of all trades offensive type player. Seems to have great potential althought he's unproven on the defensive end. Watched his personal workout video on DX and came out impressed from both his game and his demeanor. I remember hearing about some red flags but at this range, I think he's worth it. Poor man's Wesley Johnson?
14. Xavier Henry - Another interesting guy. Maybe it was his interview at the combine, but something about him just makes you want to know more. Didn't see much of him at Kansas but he seems to be a good shooter with decent athletic ability. I can't see why he couldn't become a decent 2 guard next to a really good PG or maybe just a good G off the bench. I see a bit of Michael Redd in there, maybe even some Cisco. I like the name Xavier too, maybe that's what it is.
15. Kevin Seraphin - Athletic, young big. He just screams Serge Ibaka (or better). Long with hoops. Why not?
So yeah... that's about it. Don't foget I'm most likely wrong but we haven't had one of these in a while so it may get the conversation going. Almost two weeks away..... Can't wait!
To close the post on a high note, I'll leave you with a quote from a great philosopher here at StR, the one we call betweentheeyes. Read and learn kids:
The basic truth is that we don’t know and we can’t know. We can guess with prejudice and when we are right we are brilliant, otherwise we are as dumb as we are every year. As for projections: It doesn’t matter who is picked at #5 in relation to who this site or Chad Ford or David Thorpe or DX think is the best talent (I can guarantee that Chad Ford will give the Kings a “B-” grade on the draft at best, he does it every year). If GP believes that Patrick Patterson is the best player at #5 then I don’t want to hear how the Kings should have traded down – save that comment for the “Looking back at the 2010 Draft” column three years from now. Predicting the draft is as meaningful as predicting the NCAA brackets. It is a fun exercise that you can post on your bathroom mirror if you guess well or quickly dismiss with a shrug if you don’t..