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Here are Dan Martin’s picks for who will go where in Thursday’s NBA Draft:

#1 Washington Wizards

John Wall, PG, Kentucky

Wall is the clear-cut pick to go #1 and is the prized gem of this draft. At 6’4″, he has size for a point guard and his quickness both off-the-dribble and on defense is unmatched. The most criticized part of his game is his turnover problem, something that would seem key as a floor general at the next level. But, that is something Washington should be able to coach him on and I expect him to be successful in the NBA.

#2 Philadelphia 76ers

Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech

Many analysts project Ohio State swingman Evan Turner to go to the Sixers, but, with Andre Iguodala already filling that role, I expect them to go in another direction with Favors. Elton Brand, who was signed a few years ago to be a solid Eastern Conference power forward, has been hampered by injury and ineffective for most of his time in Philadelphia. Favors fits well into the 4, bringing athleticism and scoring potential packing into a muscular 6’10”, 245 pound frame. If the Sixers move out of the #2 spot, look for them to trade down and gain picks or players, while still getting their man.

#3 New Jersey Nets

Evan Turner, SG/SF, Ohio State

With Favors off the board at #2, things work out well for New Jersey at #3. Finishing with just 12 wins last season, they were hoping to get the #1 overall pick or, at worst, the #2. Falling all the way to #3 is quite the stroke of bad luck, but if Turner can fall into their laps, they’ll be more than pleased. Standing 6’7″ tall, Turner has the ballhandling skills and quickness to play either guard position and small forward. He is an inherent matchup problem when he steps out onto the floor and plays solid defense. He has been criticized for his lack of touch on his jump shot and his susceptibility to turnovers. But, of any player in the draft, to me Turner has the best chance of turning into a player to build around and eventually lead a team to a championship. Inserted into a line-up that already features Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, along with a lot of cap space to work with in free agency, the Nets could significantly improve on those 12 wins from last season.

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves

Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse

The rebuilding period in Minnesota officially began with the deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007. Though they gave away the man who had been the face of their franchise for a decade, they got in return another big man who could fill the same role for the next 10 years: Al Jefferson. Since aquiring Jefferson, the T’Wolves have added around him fellow big Kevin Love and formidable Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn. This year, it seems like Minnesota will be fishing in the Syracuse pool again, hoping to catch talented swingman Wesley Johnson. With him in the mix, the Timberwolves would continue to build a strong core of young players that should translate into wins in the coming future. Rumors have been circulating that Minnesota is looking to aquire the 10th pick as well from Indiana, in exchange for Flynn, the 16th pick and the 23rd pick. Remember, 2009 first round pick Ricky Rubio is still playing overseas, so he could join the Timberwolves in the future to fill Flynn’s spot. Trade or not, Minnesota will be looking to make noise in this draft.

#5 Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky

At 6’11” and almost 300 pounds, DeMarcus Cousins is undoubtedly a big man. But, at the #5 pick, Sacramento is hoping he will make a big IMPACT as well. In his one season at Kentucky, Cousins showed his ability to be a true big man, rebounding the basketball and taking up space inside. Many analysts say taking Cousins is rolling the dice, and it is, as much is based on potential. He has been cited for lapses in work ethic, as well as being 20 pounds overweight. His back-to-the-basket game still needs work, but scouts like his upside. Much of where DeMarcus Cousins’ career heads is based on how much work he puts into it. At #5, though, he is a good fit for Sacramento, who is in dire need of a big man.

#6 Golden State Warriors

Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor

The Golden State Warriors have been historically known for having bad drafts, as is evidence by the fact that, of their last five first round picks, only one (Stephen Curry, 2009) has averaged more than 10 ppg in a season in their careers. The Warriors hope not to blunder again, most likely going with Baylor big man Ekpe Udoh. Largely unknown until Baylor’s run in the NCAA Tournament, Udoh is a prolific shot blocker, averaging almost 4 per game last season, to go along with a nice mid-range jumper on the offensive end. Golden State drafted intelligently last year, taking Stephen Curry, and hope to build around him this year by adding Udoh.

 #7 Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown

Much like the 76ers, the Pistons, a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference in recent years, has now entered the rebuilding stages. After dealing Chauncey Billups to Denver, the core of the championship team of 2004 was gone, along with the previous departure of Ben Wallace and an aging Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. In this draft, Detroit is looking to build around a star big man, as Houston did with Hakeem Olajuwon back in the day. Problem is, I can’t see Greg Monroe as having nearly the career of Olajuwon. There are many doubts as to whether Monroe’s game will translate to the NBA level. To his credit, he is a magnificent passer and shot-blocker, two things that are effective at any level. The real question is whether or not he will be able to work well in the paint against other players of his size and caliber. He has been criticized for lack of “killer instinct”, often called soft and disinterested. But, there does appear to be upside to Monroe’s game, especially if he is under the right tutelage, which Joe Dumars and a class Pistons franchise can offer.

#8 Los Angeles Clippers

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest

With Blake Griffin coming back from injury for the start of the 2010 season and skilled guard Eric Gordon leading the attack, the Los Angeles Clippers are molding their image to be a run-and-gun, up-and-down, athletic attack that will put points on the board in a hurry. That is why, at #8, they’ll look for another versatile swingman to fit into the mix, taking Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Though he lacks the ability to create his own space and hit the outside jumper, he will get major minutes and a prominent role if the Clippers want to run. Also remember, “The Other” LA has quite a bit of cap space to play with this free agent season.

#9 Utah Jazz

Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada

In another Isiah Thomas blunder from long ago that is coming back to bite the Knicks, the Utah Jazz get the #9 overall pick from New York. With this, they will most likely take lefty 3-point shooter and swingman Luke Babbitt from Nevada. Averaging 21.9 points per game in his sophomore year, many scouts compare him to Chris Mullin. He has the ability to hit all different kinds of shots from every range. The biggest question, though, will be where he fits into a lineup. To0 small to guard a power forward and not quick enough to guard the athletic swingman-type, Babbitt will have to find his niche. But, for Utah at #9, he makes sense.

#10 Indiana Pacers

Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky

Coming in as, in my opinion, the most underrated player in the draft, the freakishly athletic Patterson would be a perfect fit for the Pacers if they don’t deal their pick at 10. After Jermaine O’Neal’s departure, the Pacers have been devoid of a very talented player at the 4. Enter Patterson. With a polished and fundamental post game to go with an NBA-ready body, the Pacers would benefit from the combination of him and center Roy Hibbert down low. The one knock on his game is his inability to face up to the basket. But, with his footwork and ability to run-and-gun, as he did with John Wall at Kentucky, Patterson is the complete package. That will make him the third Kentucky player drafted in the top 10.


With many players being drafted primarily on potential, the true fruits of the 2010 Draft may not be known for a few years. One thing is for sure, though. As in any draft, there is talent out there. Some will win, some will lose, and each team is hoping to find the diamond in the rough.

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