2010 NBA Consensus Mock Draft (6/23)

The mock drafts are coming fast and furious now, so I thought I’d update our consensus mock draft to reflect the latest and greatest predictions from pundits around the web.

As always, click on the table for a larger version.


A few random thoughts:

– There seems to be more stability now at #2, as the leaked image from the Sixers’ website would seem to indicate that Evan Turner is on his way to Philadelphia. There has been some movement at #3-#4, however, as it appears that Derrick Favors isn’t a shoe-in to go #3 to the Nets. Apparently, New Jersey is thinking that they can get a very good power forward in free agency (Bosh, Stoudemire, Boozer, Lee?) and Wes Johnson can help them immediately at small forward.

– Given his production and size, I’d be surprised if DeMarcus Cousins slips past the Kings at #5. If he can get his head on straight, he and Tyreke Evans would be a formidable inside/outside punch.

– Gordon Hayward is supposedly moving up draft boards, but he only appears in the first 14 picks in four of the six mock drafts that I selected. He could go as early as #8 to the Clippers, who need a small forward, and is also a threat to go #9 to the Jazz, #10 to the Pacers and #11 to the Hornets. Really, depending on Rudy Gay and Hedo Turkoglu, Hayward could go anywhere from #8 to #13.

– The Hornets pick #11 and could use a wing who can shoot. It appears that they might be choosing amongst Babbitt, Hayward, Henry and George. George can shoot it and scouts think he has the most upside of this group.


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2010 NBA Consensus Mock Draft (6/21)

With the draft just a few days away, it’s a good time to zip through another consensus mock draft. I’ve pulled in the first 14 picks from ESPN, DraftExpres, NBADraft.net, SI, Yahoo and FanHouse to see if we could come to some sort of consensus as to how the first half of the draft might go. If a player was taken by a certain team in three-plus mock drafts, he is listed in bold with the number of drafts in parenthesis. If there was no consensus, or if he was drafted by a team in two mocks, then he is listed in italics.

(I know the font is a little small, but you can click on the table for a larger version.)

A few random thoughts:

– The top four appear to be set, with Wall, Turner, Favors and Wesley Johnson going to the Wizards, Sixers, Nets and T-Wolves, respectively. These picks intuitively make a lot of sense, which probably means they won’t go this way on Thursday night.

– I listed Cousins at #6 because I don’t think there’s any chance that he falls further than that. But with his “character issues,” who knows. He had a great workout in Sacramento, so I’d bet that he goes #5 at the latest. Besides, Monroe seems like a great fit in Golden State with his basketball IQ and willingness to pass the ball.

– After the #6 pick, this draft seems like a free for all. There are a number of forwards — Aminu, Hayward, Babbitt, Davis and Patterson — all jockeying for position.

– Even though he wasn’t the consensus — there was no conensus — Babbitt seems destined to land in Utah. Aldrich is a possibility there as well.


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2010 NBA Consensus Mock Draft (6/14)

It’s been nearly a month since we published our first mock draft, so it’s a good time to take another look and see where certain players are going.

I’ve pulled in the latest mocks from ESPN, DraftExpress, NBADraft.net and FanHouse to come up with a consensus of the first 14 picks.

If a player is picked by two or more sites, they’re the consensus, unless there’s a tie. In that case, I’ll make the pick. The same goes for when there are four different players listed.

A few random thoughts…

– It seems like the top four are starting to settle — John Wall (WAS), Evan Turner (PHI), Derrick Favors (NJ) and Wes Johnson (MIN). I think those are all solid picks for those franchises. DeMarcus Cousins might have the most upside of anyone in the draft, but his proverbial “character issues” are weighing him down. He didn’t test very well athletically, though that doesn’t matter much in my mind, due to his rebounding prowess. A bigger concern is his body fat, which tested pretty high at the combine, but is reportedly coming down. Maybe I’m just a Bucks fan that is gun-shy about fatties that suddenly drop weight after the Robert “Tractor” Traylor debacle.

– Greg Monroe is just a so-so athlete, but he’s a good passer and a good feel for the game. He’d be a great guy to feed in the high post with the idea that he’d be able to hit guys cutting to the basket. It looks like it’s between Monroe and Cousins at #5 right now.

– The Clippers are an interesting pick. They have two good young players at power forward (Blake Griffin) and shooting guard (Eric Gordon), an aging point guard (Baron Davis) and a pretty good center (Chris Kaman) who is in his prime. (Kaman averaged 19-9 last year, believe it or not.) The big hole is at small forward, and the pipe dream has LeBron coming to L.A. As a backup plan (which they’ll no doubt need), the Clips could grab Xavier Henry here, who tested better than expected at the combine. Another small forward option would be Hayward, who is the more polished player at this point. Luke Babbitt is a shotmaker who would space the floor well for Griffin and Kaman down low.

– Speaking of Babbitt, he just seems like a Utah player. If he slips past #9, I’d be surprised, but it’s interesting to see that none of these mocks have him going #11 to New Orleans. The Hornets landed a good shooting guard in Marcus Thornton last year, and Chris Paul could really use another shooter to set up at small forward. Everyone (except Chad Ford) seems to think he’s headed to Memphis.

– I think Patrick Patterson is going to make some late lottery team in need of a good power forward very happy. He tested better than expected at the combine, and along with his tremendous strength and his record of improvement, he should blossom into a fine starter. His detractors point to his rebounding (7.4 rpg), but it’s tough to post eye-popping rebounding numbers when you play alongside a boardmonster like DemMarcus Cousins. He averaged 9.3 in his sophomore year, so he should be fine on the glass.


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Luke Babbitt on the rise

Chad Ford writes that this year’s Tyler Hansbrough is Nevada forward Luke Babbitt.

Babbitt measured around 6-9 in shoes with an 8-9 standing reach. That doesn’t blow you away. However, he had an impressive 6-11 wingspan and essentially measures up with Griffin (6-10 in shoes, an 8-9 standing reach and a 6-11 wingspan).

But Griffin is way more athletic, you say? Not according to the combine numbers.

Babbitt had a 37.5-inch max vertical, a 3.2-second sprint and an impressive 10.98 lane agility score. Griffin’s numbers were 35.5, 3.28 and 10.95, respectively.

Griffin clearly had the strength advantage, benching a 185-pound bar 22 times to Babbitt’s 15. But 15 reps is still an impressive number.

What about production on the court? Griffin clearly had Babbitt bested here. Griffin averaged 22.2 ppg and 14.1 rpg in 32 mpg his sophomore year. Babbitt averaged 21.9 ppg and 9 rpg in 37 mpg his sophomore year. However, Babbitt does bring two things to the table that Griffin doesn’t — 3-point shooting and ball-handling ability. Babbitt shot a blazing 43 percent from beyond the arc this past season and showed excellent ball-handling skills for a big man in the combine.

Of course, Babbitt isn’t as good of a prospect as Griffin was. That’s why we’ve had Babbitt No. 12 on our mock draft for two straight weeks. However, we might have him too low. Based on what I’m hearing, Babbitt could be in play as high as No. 9 to the Jazz.

There’s a difference between averaging 22-14 in 32 mpg against Big 12 competition and averaging 22-9 in 37 minutes in the WAC. Ford’s point is that athletically, Babbitt is right there with Griffin.

Here is what DraftExpress had to say about Babbitt back in February:

On the offensive end, Babbitt possesses an extremely high skill level to go along with an outstanding feel for the game, assets which allow him to score easily and efficiently from all over the floor. The smooth left-handed shooter is hitting with deadeye accuracy from the free-throw (89%) and three-point lines (41%), while also showing strong ability off the dribble, namely with his mid-range jumper.

Using a combination of ball fakes and jab steps along with rangy strides with the ball and excellent footwork, Babbitt does a very good job getting separation for his jumper in spite of his limited athletic ability. Getting open inside the arc, he shows very good ability to hit jumpers on the move, going left and right, with a hand in his face, and fading away from the basket.

Babbitt’s shot has consistent mechanics and a high release point, while he also has NBA three-point range. His ability to hit shots in a variety of situations if very impressive for a player his age, though there are concerns about how his off-the-dribble shots will translate to the next level against longer, more athletic defenders.

I put those two phrases in bold because it seems Babbitt’s athleticism has always been something of a concern. I wonder — is it because he’s white? Maybe scouts see a white player and automatically start to question his athleticism until proven otherwise.

But Babbitt showed at the combine that he’s every bit the athlete Blake Griffin is, at least according to the numbers. Given his ability to score and basketball IQ, this will make him an interesting name to watch in the first round.

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