Here’s my mock draft for the top 14 picks in Thursday’s draft. This mock is running on C1 of The Press Democrat sports section Thursday.
The Warriors hold the No. 6 overall pick in the first round of today’s NBA draft (4:30 p.m., ESPN). Rumors have the Warriors selecting Baylor power forward Ekpe Udoh or Georgetown center Greg Monroe if one of the top five players doesn’t slide to the sixth pick.
The following, a mock draft, is sure to be wrong more than once. I’m pretty confident about the top pick and maybe the second selection, but after that, all bets are off. This draft seems like it could be one with a lot of movement (see: trades), so today’s events might ruin a lot of mock drafts.
Here’s this author’s best guess at the top 14 selections in today’s draft:
John Wall, PG, Kentucky
This is a no-brainer. Wall is the best player in the draft, an elite athlete who can break down any defense.
Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
Turner is a strange fit in Philadelphia, since he and Andre Iguodala are so similar. But Turner is too good a prospect to pass up.
Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
The Nets are shopping this pick, but if they hold onto it, they’ll draft either Favors or Syracuse SF Wesley Johnson. Favors has the slight edge right now.
Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse
Versatile athlete and gifted scorer should be able to step in and start right away. One of the most NBA-ready players in the draft.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky
Cousins (above) would be the No. 1 pick in the draft if not for the character issues and baggage that accompany him. Kings like him and Monroe, but Cousins is too tempting to pass up.
Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor
Udoh is an athletic, defensive-minded, rebounding big man. Reports have the Warriors favoring Udoh over Monroe.
Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown
Pistons will be happy if Monroe gets past Kings and Warriors. Monroe impresses with his intelligence and scoring ability.
8. L.A. Clippers
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest
Clippers lack a legitimate small forward and Aminu, though raw, is one of the most athletic and talented players in the draft.
Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina
Davis needs to add strength, but he is an athletic, shot-blocking big man who will help lessen the sting of the loss of Carlos Boozer.
Paul George, SF, Fresno State
The Pacers have been shopping this pick aggressively. They liked Udoh but might settle for George, a high-risk player with some of the highest upside in the draft.
Xavier Henry, SG, Kansas
New Orleans needs a sharp-shooting guard.Henry can play shooting guard or small forward and is one of the best, if not the best, shooter in the draft.
Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada
Babbitt played himself into the lottery with good workouts. He’s NBA-ready and can shoot the lights out.
Gordon Hayward, SF, Butler
The Raptors are shopping this pick, so another team might be picking here. Either way, Hayward has top-10 talent, so this is a steal.
Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas
Aldrich lacks athleticism, but he’s a smart player, strong rebounder and defender. Kentucky PG Eric Bledsoe is another option here.
— Jared Cowley, The Press Democrat