Milwaukee Bucks

2010-11 NBA Preview: Central Division

Chicago Bulls (41-41 last season)

Most liked in Chicago since Michael Jordan?

Projected Starting Five:

Point Guard: Derrick Rose

Shooting Guard: Ronnie Brewer

Small Forward: Luol Deng

Power Forward: Carlos Boozer

Center: Joakim Noah

Key Reserves:

Guard-Forward: Kyle Korver

Guard-Forward: Keith Bogans

Forward: Taj Gibson

Derrick Rose is the man!  1st season: Rookie of the Year.  2nd season: All-Star.  3rd season?  It’s anyone’s guess to how good Rose can be.  Speculation is that a three point shot is in the works for him as well.  I’m excited to see the leadership he will bring to this Bulls’ offense.  Taj Gibson is also going to have to play well for the first couple of months as Carlos Boozer recovers from his broken hand.  The last interesting point I have for this team is who will end up taking the shooting guard position.  Ronnie Brewer is good all-around and Kyle Korver has the shooting stroke, but can either make the spot his own?  Regardless, Bulls win their division.

Milwaukee Bucks (46-36 last season)

A new lefty has risen in Milwaukee, sorry Michael Redd.

Projected Starting Five:

Point Guard: Brandon Jennings

Shooting Guard: John Salmons

Small Forward: Corey Maggette

Power Forward: Drew Gooden

Center: Andrew Bogut

Key Reserves:

Guard: Keyon Dooling

Guard-Forward: Chris Douglas-Roberts

Forward: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

The toughest part for this team will be buying into a rotation that will gel on the court.  The Bucks are really deep and this is among one of the better problems one could talk about.  The key for this squad to excel is Andrew Bogut.  If he can come back strong from the injury he endured last season, I believe the Bucks have a legitimate shot at the second round.  Also, the continued development of Brandon Jennings will sure be fun to watch.  This kid is still very raw and still has a broken shot, but he is only going to improve and become a top point guard in the league.

Indiana Pacers (32-50 last season)

Thanks to the CP3 injury, Collison has a starting job.

Projected Starting Five:

Point Guard: Darren Collison

Shooting Guard: Mike Dunleavy

Small Forward: Danny Granger

Power Forward: Tyler Hansbrough

Center: Roy Hibbert

Key Reserves:

Guard: T.J. Ford

Forward: Paul George

Center: Jeff Foster

This team is my sleeper for the year.  Everyone has them finishing 4th or 5th in the division, but I feel that if they can stay healthy and Danny Granger plays like he did in last season, except for 82 games, and Darren Collison also plays like last season, they have a shot at the 8th seed.  Call me insane, but this is my crazy pick for the year.  Also be on the alert for Roy Hibbert to have a breakout year.  He could possibly be a good candidate for the Most Improved Player award.

Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21 last season)

From LeBron James to Jamario Moon. Good luck Cleveland.

Projected Starting Five:

Point Guard: Mo Williams

Shooting Guard: Daniel Gibson

Small Forward: Jamario Moon

Power Forward: Antawn Jamison

Center: Anderson Varejao

Key Reserves:

Guard: Anthony Parker

Forward: J.J. Hickson

Forward: Leon Powe

A natural disaster struck Cleveland and it was the loss of LeBron James.  A miracle needs to happen for this team to make the playoffs.  Yeah, they have Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao, but without LeBron they are nothing.  Almost 30 points per game is lost and there isn’t anyone good enough to fill that spot.  I’m sorry Cleveland, but get ready for a rough year.

Detroit Pistons (27-55 last season)

Please prove me wrong, because I loved you, T-Mac!

Projected Starting Five:

Point Guard: Rodney Stuckey

Shooting Guard: Richard Hamilton

Small Forward: Tayshaun Prince

Power Forward: Charlie Villanueva

Center: Ben Wallace

Key Reserves:

Guard: Will Bynum

Guard: Ben Gordon

Forward: Austin Daye

I have no faith in this team.  Something about them just doesn’t rub me the right way.  Charlie Villanueva had an abysmal debut year in Detroit and injuries plagued them all year long and into this preseason.  Ben Wallace is nowhere near to where he used to be as a player back in the glory days of the Pistons, and Rodney Stuckey does not have the playmaking ability to lead this team.  Maybe they won’t finish last in the division, but they sure aren’t making the playoffs for a while with the transactions they are making. Cough, Tracy McGrady, Cough. Washed up!

 

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2010-11 NBA Preview-Overview

The NBA season is less than a week away and many are getting excited for what should be a fantastic thrill ride.  I will be posting division previews sporadicly during the course of this week and into the weekend.  Stay tuned for analysis on your favorite team, but for now, here is a division breakdown with projected records and the four important awards handed out at the end of the year.

Eastern Conference

Can New York make the playoffs thanks to Amar'e?

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics (51-31)

New York Knicks (36-46)

New Jersey Nets (32-50)

Philadelphia 76ers (29-53)

Toronto Raptors (25-57)

Central Division

How will the Cavs fare without LeBron?

Chicago Bulls (50-32)

Milwaukee Bucks (47-35)

Indiana Pacers (32-50)

Cleveland Cavaliers (30-52)

Detroit Pistons (29-53)

Southeast Division

Wall and Arenas will be a fun duo to watch!

Miami Heat (61-21)

Orlando Magic (54-28)

Atlanta Hawks (46-36)

Washington Wizards (37-45)

Charlotte Bobcats (36-46)

Western Conference

Northwest Division

Oklahoma City Thunder (52-30)

Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)

MVP! MVP! MVP!

Utah Jazz (47-35)

Denver Nuggets (41-41)

Minnesota Timberwolves (22-60)

Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers (59-23)

Phoenix Suns (46-36)

Los Angeles Clippers (36-46)

Sacramento Kings (30-52)

Golden State Warriors (28-54)

 

Southwest Division

How many games will Yao play in?

Dallas Mavericks (51-31)

Houston Rockets (47-35)

San Antonio Spurs (45-37)

Memphis Grizzlies (41-41)

New Orleans Hornets (37-45)

 

My pick for the NBA Finals is Lakers over Heat in a seven game series.  Here are the awards for the end of the season.

MVP: Kevin Durant

Most Improved Player: Hedo Turkoglu

6th Man: Jamal Crawford

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard

Rookie of the Year: Blake Griffin

Sometimes the Smallest Pieces, Play the Biggest Roles

By: Ross Geiger

Boykins signed a 1 year, $1.3 million dollar contract with the Bucks

The free agent signing of Earl Boykins joining the Milwaukee Bucks will undoubtedly go unnoticed. Furthermore, Boykins will go unnoticed the majority of the time being the third string point guard on the Bucks. But there’s something left to be said about Bucks General Manager John Hammond’s decision to bring in the 12-year veteran.

If you haven’t noticed by now, Hammond never makes a move without a significant purpose. Not once will you find him stumped in why he decided to make a roster decision. This is no different, even if it’s the littlest move involving the league’s smallest player.

Boykins offers the Bucks qualities haven’t had during Hammond’s tenure and will ultimately have more effect on the actual outcome of each game then many will even realize. Most of what Boykins will offer the Bucks this upcoming year won’t be observed on the court, but behind the scenes.

While he stands at the bare minimum height of 5’5, Boykins has about seen it all throughout his NBA career. He’s had some glamour years, he’s had some disappointing seasons as a player, but now he’s being given an opportunity unlike any other.

Boykins himself said it best yesterday in his Bucks press conference, “My role is to be ready when I’m needed.”

Well Mr. Boykins, you’re need from start to finish on and off the floor, in more ways than just one. It starts on the practice floor come time for training camp. Boykins will be a guided presence in the development of Bucks star point guard Brandon Jennings. With Boykins on board with the Bucks for the upcoming 2010-2011 season, there will be no days off for Jennings.

Each day they step on the court, a challenge awaits, a challenge that will initially be mind-boggling to the young guard: “How in the world is this guy so good and effective, even at the age of 34?”

Other than his height, there are three big things in particular that separate Boykins from his competition: his ball handling ability, his defense, and his ability to use quickness under control on the offensive side of the court. Each of these three big things are areas in which Jennings must improve in order to reach the all-star status he desires to reach as early as this year.

An on-ball is the only way to stop Boykins's on-ball pressure

Boykins will be a prime leader by example on the practice floor and by doing so he will continue to earn the respect he’s earned every year he’s graced the NBA hardwood. He’s a hound dog on every defensive possession picking his man up full court from start to finish. Each and every single time, Jennings can expect to be hit with on the ball pressure, thus forcing him to improve his ball handling skills. That defensive intensity bought by Boykins is the reason why he’s known for having an exceptional steal per turnover ratio. That type of effort brought every practice will rub off on Jennings. Not only will he become more comfortable handling the ball with lots of ball pressure, but he’ll also see the rewards that result from playing such hard defense every possession.

On the offensive side of things Boykins is blessed with the similar speed, quickness, and agility that helps Jennings be the lethal offensive threat that he is. But like most young, quick NBA point guards, one thing Jennings hasn’t quite mastered is using that speed under control. Professor Boykins will make this a hands-on learn-by-example lesson. Take a few minutes and watch some old highlight reels of Boykins, rest assured you’ll see a glimpses of the moves reflected in Jennings’ offensive repertoire.

Both guards are skinny and considered lightweights at the point guard position, but expect to see the two playing next to one another every now and then. The tandem might even be called upon when the games on the line. Much like Jennings, Boykins is known for rising to the occasion, coming up big when it counts the most. Having the ability to put two ball handlers out on the court that do just that is so valuable during the heat of the moment.

Boykins's game deciding pump fake on Jennings last season

In two of the four Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards meetings last season, Boykins got the best of Jennings. In the first of these two specific meeting Boykins drove right past Jennings absorbing the contact in the lane, finishing the bucket, and the capitalized from the foul line. In the other, Boykins sold Jennings on a strong shot fake when seconds remaining and once again made the Bucks pay at the foul stripe. Both plays were crucial in the game’s final outcome as the Wizards went onto win those games.

“At this point, winning is the only thing that’s important,” Boykins also noted at his press conference.

And it’s clear to both Boykins and the Bucks that’s the primary focus come time to tip off next season. Boykins will look to make his fourth NBA playoff appearance in which he’s always excelled. He holds a 12.9 points per game, 3.9 assists per game, 1.6 rebounds per game career average in the playoffs.

With winning being the only thing that’s important to Boykins, he know he plays a huge role in helping the Bucks young leader in Jennings lead his ball club into a playoff position. Boykins will immediately become a Squad 6 fan favorite and excited to help execute the task at hand. He knows what it’ll take and he’ll make sure he fulfills his role on this Bucks team next season.

Jennings can expect to see this EVERY practice

So watch NBA world, sometimes the smallest pieces can play the biggest role. Boykins will continue to be a true testament to that!

Follow Ross Geiger on Twitter: @RossGeiger

Young Bucks Take the Diamond

By: Ross Geiger

They’re known as Milwaukee’s “Yung Bucks” and for a change it’s nice to be able to be proud of the Bucks first round draftees of the past two years. It’s almost even safe to say these two, unique talents may be (for the Bucks sake of success) the last “Yung Bucks” worth noting. Next year, Bucks fans around the globe should hope that their future first round picks aren’t selected in the first half of upcoming NBA Drafts.

With the praise, comes expectations, of course when it comes to Larry Sanders the expectation level isn’t as comparable to a Brandon Jennings but then again, did we really expect Jennings to blossom this quick? Absolutely not, though I was one who was very high on Jennings future and his contributions as an NBA rookie, I never would’ve expected some of the outbursts he had his rookie season. While I far from expect Sanders to be as jaw-dropping good as Jennings was in his rookie campaign, the two share some similarities.

One being that they both entered the league with a ton of question marks and for the other, well let’s just say they’re equally good at throwing out first pitches!

This past Tuesday, July 27th, the Bucks 15th pick was honored in Richmond, Virginia by the city’s minor league baseball team. The Richmond Flying Squirrels was honored with a ball game noted as “Larry Sanders Night” and as part of the festivities Sanders threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Much like Jennings’ latest ceremonial first pitch at a Brewers game on June 28th against the Houston Astros, inside Miller Park, Sanders’s first pitch was quite the sight to see.

Both not only received loud ovations upon being announced and taking the mound, but they also both provided unnatural deliveries that humored their respected home crowds. Take a Look:

While the duos future on the court will remain uncertain until the coming years, one things for sure: When it comes to baseball and ceremonial first pitches they know how to get the crowd laughing. It’s clear that they were both born basketball players by their tosses out on the baseball diamond, which is a good sign (cough…Joe Alexander….cough) and they definitely know how to get Bucks fans excited for the upcoming season. With that being said, it’s time to “Play Ball!!!” inside the Bradley Center next year. Fear the Deer should very well continues for many years to come.

Sean Williams Deserves a Second Look, a Second Chance

By: Ross Geiger

Area 51

He surely has tons of work cut out for him with hopes in making a finalized NBA roster next season, but Sean Williams definitely deserves some serious consideration from teams. Many NBA fans may label the 17th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft a bust, but they do so for all the wrong reasons. Can you argue he’s a bust? Sure…But Williams is far from the typical “bust” because it’s not his production on-the-court that’s held him back, it’s his off-the-court struggles.

As an NBA player, Williams has done a fairly good job proving he’s worthy of the 17th pick regardless to what year you’d would like to turn the clocks back too. At 6’10, 235 pounds, Williams is a lean, mean defensive stopper who can offer much more than blocked shots in the years to come.

Finishing up his 2010 NBA Summer League campaign in Las Vegas this past week, Williams showed many signs and bright spots that all NBA teams looking for an athletic big man need to consider. Finding a guy whose as long, lean, and athletic as Williams isn’t something you typically find unsigned heading into the upcoming season.

He’s a post presence that runs the floor extremely well and is a well above average shot blocker. Williams’ value skyrockets when considering his timing and quick hands. As I mentioned in my Bucks Summer League Game 1 write-up, Williams has a great sense of when and when not to attempt to block a shot, he stays grounded at the right time and tends to pick the correct situations to challenge a shot attempt. Having that attribute is something even some of the league’s top shot blockers don’t possess. Throughout summer league, Williams also showed his willingness to sacrifice his body by stepping over in a help side position, squaring up, and taking the hit to the chest drawing an offensive foul on opponents.

Williams seems to have improved from the charity stripe

Offensively, Williams isn’t as bad as many may project, he has a variety of different weapons that helps state his case for being an offensive player that can do more than just clean up around the basket. His array of moves include a nice jump hook, a turnaround jumper on the block, and he even can step out to hit the occasional 15-footer. He also brings offensive value by improving and becoming a very respectable shooter from the foul line. While he’s only a career 60.3% shooter from the line, he seems to have improved to his free throw shooting as he went 10-14 (71.4%) from the line in Vegas this year.

Williams finished Las Vegas Summer League with averages of 7.2 point per game on 54% shooting, 4.4 rebounds per game averaging 2.4 offensive rebounds, and did so averaging 15.2 minutes per outing. Those numbers won’t blow any NBA GM or Scout away but there were a handful of in-game situations where Williams proved he still has much to offer in the league.

I’m not suggesting or predicting that Sean Williams will ever again earn a starting role in the NBA but he’s definitely got enough tools and talent to be on an NBA roster. Much like his note righty as a shot blocker, Williams must use the same instincts he holds as a shot blocker as a professional off the hardwood. He must prove he can stay grounded and show to an NBA organization that he’s no longer a public relations worst nightmare. But he can only prove this with a second chance in the NBA. From his play in the CBA last year to his summer league performances, Williams has made a strong case at earning a second chance. Don’t be surprised to see “Area 51” get that second chance in the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

Sean Williams Top 10 Plays in the 2008-2009 NBA Season:

From LeBron to…..Ramon?

By: Ross Geiger

It was reported at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and now it’s confirmed, the Cleveland Cavaliers have interest in two Minnesota Timberwolves players that are being shopped this offseason. While big man Kosta Koufos is one of the Cavs targets, the most notable is point guard Ramon Sessions.

You know... if you add 1 to LeBron's current number, took off 5 inches and about 80 pounds... Screw it, I can't even sugarcoat it for Cleveland. Ramon is not LeBron.

The former 56th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft turned heads his rookie season after being called up later on into the 2007-2008 NBA season. Against the Chicago Bulls on April 14, 2008 Sessions made franchise history with the Bucks scoring 20 points, dropping 24 dimes, and even snatched 8 rebounds.  His incredible night not only became the first “20-20” with points and assists in Bucks history but Sessions also set (and still holds) the rookie assists record for one game with 24.

In his second NBA season, Sessions looked to build upon his successful rookie season and took over the reigns as the starting point guard in Milwaukee after Mo Williams was traded to Cleveland. The highlight of Sessions’ second year came on February 7, 2009 as he put up 44 points against Allen Iverson and the Detroit Pistons in an overtime loss at home. Another notable game was against the Los Angeles Lakers in which Sessions recorded his first career triple-double with 16 points, 16 assists, and 10 rebounds.

Becoming a restricted free agent after the 2008-2009 NBA season, Sessions signed an offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves on 4 year, $16 million dollar deal. The Milwaukee Bucks declined to match the offer and Sessions officially became a member of the Timberwolves. Little did Sessions know, the Timberwolves would draft three point guards in last year’s upcoming draft in Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, and Ty Lawson. Though Timberwolves General Manager David Kahn did trade away Ty Lawson, he held onto Jonny Flynn and the draft rights to Ricky Rubio.

Instantly it was clear that it would be hard for Ramon Sessions to be a piece of the Timberwolves’ future going forward. Fortunately for both Ramon

"I Heart PGs." -- David Kahn

Sessions and the Minnesota Timberwolves it looks as though his time in Minnesota is coming to end shortly. Not only did the Timberwolves sign free agent (and Sessions’ former backcourt partner in Milwaukee) Luke Ridnour but it looks as though the Wolves might have found a trading partner in the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As far potential trades go, I have no clue what could be included in a package deal between the two teams. One would have to assume if the Cavaliers acquire Ramon Sessions that could mean Mo Williams could also be moved soon as well. One deal that works and makes sense in my opinion is Minnesota sending Ramon Sessions and Corey Brewer to Cleveland in exchange for Anderson Varejao.

For the Cavs, adding Sessions gives them a young point guard to run with that also allows them to begin their trading options with Mo Williams and what they possibly could receive in return for his services. As far as Corey Brewer goes, he’s an expiring contract who would be given a opportunity to play that small forward position with the Cavs next season.

He was from Ohio, so I guess that is a valid reason to want him? Just kidding.

For the Timberwolves, they add Anderson Varejao, a high energy power forward who can help fill the hole with Al Jefferson leaving via trade with Utah. Being able to start Kevin Love and having the luxury to turn to Varejao off the bench gives Timberwolves Head Coach Kurt Rambis options next season.

Be sure to continue to check in with the OuttaTownClowns (@outtatownclowns) and follow NBA Guru Ross Geiger on Twitter: @RossGeiger for all your latest NBA trade rumors/updates!

Milwaukee Bucks Summer League Game 1 Points of Emphasis

By: Ross Geiger

Game 1: Dallas Mavericks: 73 Milwaukee Bucks: 72 OT

After watching the Milwaukee Bucks lose a tough one in a very exciting battle with the Dallas Mavericks in their Summer League opener, I came away with five players that are worthy of some points of emphasis.

Jackson could earn a jersey with the Bucks this season, but he won't be wearing #00, that belongs to Drew Gooden

1. Darnell Jackson: Leading all scorers with 17 points in the contest, Jackson’s NBA experience really paid dividends. Going 8-15 from the field while collecting 7 boards all came under composure. Many of the young players came into the game with debut butterflies but it was evident that Jackson’s adapted to the summer league experiences. He led by example in 25 minutes of play and played under control the entire time, only committing 2 fouls as well. It’s still very early in a long process but his Game 1 play definitely helps his case in grabbing one of the last few spots on the Bucks roster this season.

2.  Larry Sanders: Despite what many take from Sanders’ pro debut, I actually feel I saw more positives than negatives today. Yes he struggled offensively but we knew that was his biggest weakness coming in. Having only connected on 4 of his 15 shot attempts Sanders must improve upon finishing at the basket while absorbing contact, along with better shot selection. As far as the shot selection goes, that can easily improve as the games move on, he was trying to impress as any brand new top pick would in their debut. But as I mentioned there were tons of positives from this year’s 15th overall selection. Sanders is very active on both ends of the floor, alert at all times, and always attacking the glass. Those intangibles are things that will most definitely find him earning some floor time under Bucks Head Coach Scott Skiles this year. Though it’s only one game and my first look at the Bucks rookie if I were to give you an outlook on Sanders’s first year with the Bucks here’s my evaluation: He’ll play spot minutes, be a spark plug used at the end of quarters giving guys quick breathers, instant energy. A very realistic first year comparison in terms of production and play I’d say he’ll be a lot like Suns forward Lou Amundson. With that being said, he obviously carries way more potential and talent moving forward with a bright future in this league. Just be patient and give him some time to transition and adjust to the NBA level of play.

An NBA Type Talent With Off-the-Court Question Marks

3. Sean Williams: Being a guy always high on the potential of Area 51, I definitely won’t count him out on making an NBA roster this season. If he can prove (and keep) his head on straight (which is a big if) there’s no question he’s an NBA type talent. He’s long, runs the floor like gazelle, can clean up around the rim, and of course he lives up to his nickname “Area 51” protecting the paint by swatting away shots. What I liked in his first game with the Bucks was his patience, his control, and his willingness to move the ball. On top of that he impressed me with his 15 foot look that he drilled and also threw his body around a bit and took two charges. Williams has a great sense of when and when not to attempt to block a shot, he stays grounded at the right time and tends to pick the correct times to challenge a shot attempt. That feature of knowing when to block a shot could really benefit Bucks draftee Larry Sanders who doesn’t have the slightest clue when there’s a time and a place to leave his feet. Bucks fans, it’s a long shot, but don’t count out Williams on maybe earning that last roster spot. I wouldn’t bet on it, but his talent is intriguing and if there’s any organization that can help Williams change his off court habits it’s in Milwaukee. There’s no doubt the Bucks are great situation for Sean Williams future, the question is whether or not Williams is worth risking the team’s locker room atmosphere. If Xavier Henry or Paul George would have fallen to the Bucks at 15, I think Sean Williams maybe makes the team. But with Sanders on board, along with Tiny Gallon whose close with Brandon Jennings, I see Williams unfortunately not getting his second chance with the Bucks.

4. Deron Washington: A second round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in last year’s draft, Washington’s got an idea of what summer league’s all about this year. That showed in today’s game as Washington went 4-8 from the field, hitting 1 of 2 attempts from downtown, and 2-2 from the charity stripe. His contributions helped keep the Bucks in the ballgame and he hit some big shots. Washington finished with a solid 11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, to go along with 2 steals. With continued play like this, Washington should find himself a nice look overseas next season.

The Former Marquette Standout

5.  Dominic James: The former standout point guard from Marquette is entering his redemption year after suffering a summer league ending injury just a day or two before he was set to participate in summer league last year with the Bucks. James didn’t have a pretty game by any means but his hard nosed, full court pressure defense and his efforts in getting good looks for those around him gives him my nod for my 5th and final spot. His highlighted plays include a buzzer beating high fade away jumper to end the first quarter of play, a nice no look dish hitting Darnell Jackson after drawing too, and his hustle play in which he sprinted all the way down on the defensive end, ultimately sacrificing his body leaping over the media table on the baseline. James isn’t quite a NBA level talent, but this type of play will definitely help his chances overseas, giving him more better opportunites in the future. I’m sure we’ll see Mr. James on an NBA Summer League roster next year as well. In the end, it’s great to see the Milwaukee Bucks giving exposure to Wisconsin area players: Dominic James, Jerry Smith, and Franklin.

The Bucks look to bounce back from their overtime loss against the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow against the Memphis Grizzlies. Game time is set from 8 ET and will be televised on NBATV.

Follow Ross Geiger on Twitter: (@RossGeiger)

Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 3.0

1. Washington Wizards- John Wall, Kentucky

Oh how a year changes things.

2. Philadelphia 76ers- Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. New Jersey Nets- Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

5. Sacramento Kings- DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

6. Golden State Warriors- Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

7. Detroit Pistons- Ed Davis, North Carolina

8. Los Angeles Clippers- Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

9. Utah Jazz- Luke Babbit, Nevada

10. Indiana Pacers- Greg Monroe, Georgetown

11. New Orleans Hornets- Gordon Hayward, Butler

12. Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George, Fresno State

13. Toronto Raptors- Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

15. Milwaukee Bucks- Xavier Henry, Kansas

16. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati

17. Chicago Bulls- Avery Bradley, Texas

18. Oklahoma City Thunder- Damian James, Texas

19. Boston Celtics- James Anderson, Oklahoma State

20. San Antonio Spurs- Craig Brackens, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kevin Seraphin, France

22. Portland Trail Blazers- Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Larry Sanders, VCU

24. Atlanta Hawks- Solomon Alabi, Florida State

Kentucky is well represented in the 1st round.

25. Memphis Grizzlies- Daniel Orton, Kentucky

26. Oklahoma City Thunder- Elliot Williams, Memphis

27. New Jersey Nets- Jordan Crawford, Xavier

28. Memphis Grizzlies- Dominique Jones, South Florida

29. Orlando Magic- Devin Ebanks, West Virginia

30. Washington Wizards- Quincy Pondexter, Washington

31. New Jersey Nets- Keith “Tiny” Gallon, Oklahoma

32. Miami Heat- Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

33. Sacramento Kings- Ryan Richards, England

34. Portland Trail Blazers- Stanley Robinson, UConn

35. Washington Wizards- Willie Warren, Oklahoma

36. Detroit Pistons- Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky

37. Milwaukee Bucks- Jarvis Varnado, Mississppi State

38. New York Knicks- Terrico White, Mississppi

39. New York Knicks- Trevor Booker, Clemson

40. Indiana Pacers- Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia

Butler was the heart of WVU, and he now goes to the city where Butler University plays ball. Coincidence??? Yes.

41. Miami Heat- Armon Johnson, Nevada

42. Miami Heat- Dexter Pittman, Texas

43. Los Angeles Lakers- Greivis Vasquez, Maryland

44. Milwaukee Bucks- Samardo Samuels, Louisville

45. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nemanja Bjelica, Serbia

46. Phoenix Suns- Thomas Heurtel- France

47. Milwaukee Bucks- Dwyane Collins, Miami

48. Miami Heat- Tibor Pleiss, Germany

Radford is also represented...

49. San Antonio Spurs- Art Parakhouski, Radford

50. Dallas Mavericks- Latavious Williams, USA (D-League)

51. Oklahoma City Thunder- Derrick Caracter, UTEP

52. Boston Celtics- Manny Harris, Michigan

53. Atlanta Hawks- Sylven Landesberg, Virginia

54. Los Angeles Clippers- Sherron Collins, Kansas

55. Utah Jazz- Jon Scheyer, Duke

56. Minnesota Timberwolves- Artem Zabelin, Russia

Looks like Kahn is going to steal Zabelin from Prokorhov

57. Indiana Pacers- Ben Uzoh, Tulsa

58. Los Angeles Lakers- Alexey Shved, Russia

59. Orlando Magic- Mikhail Torrance, Alabama

60. Phoenix Suns- Lazar Hayward, Marquette

Hey, Phoenix! DRAFT ME!!!!!!!!

Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 2.0

With the 2010 NBA Draft  just 2 weeks away, I give you my updated NBA Mock Draft 2.0. A lot has changed since my first mock draft: NBA Draft Combine was held, team scheduled workouts are underway, and player evaluations have improved. For the past two weeks, I’ve been staying up on my research of the top prospects: from their completed workouts, interested teams, to all the rumors. From everything I’ve compiled through the web, daily newspapers, magazines, and of course my own sources here’s how I feel this year’s NBA Draft will shakedown if the draft were to be held tomorrow. Enjoy!

1. Wizards- This pick is going nowhere, John Wall will be a Washington Wizard next season, I can assure you that.

Selection: John Wall, Kentucky

2. 76ers- As I mentioned in my mock draft, the 76ers aren’t 100% certain they’ll hold onto this pick. There’s definitely a possibility that the #2 pick could be sent away if I the trading partner is willing to take on Elton Brand and his long-term contract. Unless Brand is included in a deal, I see Philly keeping the pick, don’t see them involving Iguodala unless they’ll receive a high 1st round pick in return.

Selection: Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. Nets- There has been some outside interest from around the league regarding their 3rd pick in this year’s draft but as of now don’t expect any deals involving the pick to happen.

Selection:  Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

That's Right DeMarcus, you're draft stock is rising

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Minnesota is all but satisfied with this pick and are exploring their options on moving up as well as out of the draft with their fourth pick. With two other first round picks in this year’s draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get rid of the 4th pick if the right deal was on the table. The fourth pick is definitely available to all teams, if the price is right. If they don’t move the pick, I now see the Timberwolves selecting DeMarcus Cousins here at #3. Many would scratch their head to where exactly he fits in, but let’s not forget the Wolves kept surprising us last year, stocking up with point guards in each of their three first-round picks. They shipped off one of them in Ty Lawson and I see the selection of Cousins allowing them to ship off either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson (the more likely to be moved).

Selection: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

5. Sacramento Kings- Each year it seems like nobody has a clue what the Kings organization has up their sleeve on draft night and once again the NBA world is kept pondering their options here. What I can tell you is that the Sacramento Kings have no interest in trading this pick. The question that remains unknown is whether or not they’d select Greg Monroe over DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins is regarded as the player with most potential, Monroe is the safe pick who reminds Sac-Town of a young Chris Webber. I see Sacramento not rolling any dice and taking the safe pick with Monroe.

Selection: Greg Monroe, Georgetown

A sign & trade deal could point Wesley Johnson in a different direction come July

6. Golden State Warriors- If Wesley Johnson falls to the Warriors here at #6, there’s no chance they’ll pass him up. But I’m going to throw you a Oakland-like Zito curve ball to ponder, could the Phoenix Suns do a sign-and-trade Amare Stoudemire to Golden State in exchange for Wesley Johnson. No truth behind this happening, but I like the proposition. Amare gets his max contract with a good fit in Golden State, while the Suns get a nice piece to move towards the future with, just saying.

Selection: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

7. Detroit Pistons- While the Pistons have been reportedly aggressively trying to move up into the 4-5 range, I just don’t see it happening unless they strike a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what the Pistons would be willing to offer and what the Timberwolves would be willing to accept but I’d say Rodney Stuckey and/or Tayshaun Prince would be included in any deal. If Detroit doesn’t deal, expect them to take Al-Farouq Aminu. He’s a young, up and coming small forward that allows them to continue to shop Tayshaun Prince who they’re more than willing to get off their hands.

Selection: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

8. Los Angeles Clippers-Lots of hype around the Web say the Clippers are hot on Gordon Haywood and that isn’t a surprise to me. He’s versatile, he’s a winner, and could pan out to be a great pick, even here as high as eight. I find their interest in Hayward comical because I see a lot of Mike Dunleavy in Gordon Hayward as an NBA prospect. Hayward will definitely be mentioned inside the Clippers draft room when on the clock but in the end I see them passing on him and going with Xavier Henry instead.

Selection: Xavier Henry, Kansas

9. Utah Jazz- ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote that the Utah Jazz have been high on Luke Babbit longer than most and they’ve continue to remain high on his potential. But do I really see them using their 9th pick on Babbit? Absolutely not, maybe this is just my own bias here, being that I’m not high on Babbitt as a top ten pick, but I see the Jazz going power forward. They know they’re losing Carlos Boozer this summer so why not go with a power forward with high potential to back-up the new starting power forward in Utah, Paul Millsap? I see Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz taking none other than Ed Davis as big with a high potential and basketball intellect.

Selection: Ed Davis, North Carolina

10. Indiana Pacers- Maybe the scenario is too perfect but if Gordon Hayward is still on the board, we all know the talk will be how in the world could Indiana pass up on him? I see them buying into the idea of selecting him for a variety of reasons. Not only will he help sell seats and be a great fit building toward the future, but it gives the Pacers the ability to unload Danny Granger. I remain high on the idea that the Timberwolves will strike out in snagging restricted free agent Rudy Gay and will elect to trade for Danny Granger. Pacers then get either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson in return which replaces departing free agent Troy Murphy (after next year) and they’re future finally gets on the right track.

Selection: Gordon Hayward, Butler

N.O. could be a perfect fit especially as Whiteside draws the Tyson Chandler comparisons

11. New Orleans Hornets- The Hornets could go any direction outside of drafting a point guard at the eleventh position. But of all their immediate needs, I see them selecting a center with this pick. With Okafor everything but impressive in his first season with the Hornets, it’d be wise that they take the opportunity to draft a big man to develop. If there was a time to do it, the time is now. This year’s draft at pick #11 offers a variety of attractive centers that could potentially blossom into stars. The three top candidates for this pick if they decide to look inside would be Cole Aldrich, Hassan Whiteside, and Daniel Orton. Though it’s pretty clear that Aldrich is the most NBA-ready center to step right in to contribute I see the Hornets drafting on overall potential and athleticism. With that being said, I see New Orleans taking Hassan Whiteside, a prospect often compared to Tyson Chandler type player around the basket. Last time I checked, Chris Paul played pretty well with the real Tyson Chandler, maybe Whiteside can tandem to do much of the same down the road. But there is some definite concern, it has been reported that Hassan Whiteside and Daniel Orton both got schooled recently by Rockets center (& former Hornet draftee) Hilton Armstrong, take it for what it’s worth. I know that hearing that kind of concerns me, but I’m still a buyer on Whiteside’s potential.

Selection: Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

12. Memphis Grizzlies- I don’t hear much drift out of the Memphis Grizzlies camp but credible sources around the league have said that the Grizzlies are set on selecting Luke Babbitt if he happens to fall into their hands at twelve. Personally, I don’t like the pick nor Babbitt as an NBA prospect, but this is the same team that drafted Hasheem Thabeet 2nd overall last year.

Selection: Luke Babbitt, Nevada

How is he not a perfect fit in Toronto if he falls to them at #13? Can he play for the Maple Leafs too?

13. Toronto Raptors- With Chris Bosh departing, drafting a power forward is a must for the Toronto Raptors this year.  Or do they? Last year Toronto signed their former first pick Andrea Bargnani to a 5 year, $50 million dollar extension. If Cole Aldrich is still on the board, I see them picking him in a heartbeat; they’d not only select the most NBA-ready talent, but add toughness at the center position. This selection is also key in allowing Bargnani to move over to the starting power forward position. Obviously losing Bosh will be a huge loss, but having the ability to take Aldrich with the 13th pick should help Raptor fans restore some sort of optimism looking towards the future.

Selection: Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Even after acquiring Jordan Hill near the deadline last season, the Rockets need to invest in drafting another power forward to turn too next year. I see their man being Ekpe Udoh at #14. Udoh bring the long, defensive minded power forward they’d love to have down low. Never underestimate Rockets GM Darryl Morey and his “numbers” system, Udoh might solve his math problem with what to do at the 14th pick.

Selection: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

15. Milwaukee Bucks- If all goes as planned in this mock draft, the Bucks are left scratching their heads on what to do here with this pick. All of their favorite prospects have been taken, not one of them has slid down to them at the midway point of the draft. Even I, as someone who covers the Milwaukee Bucks am left confused on what to do here with Ed Davis, Hassan Whiteside, and Xavier Henry off the board. So I see them taking the best available player which at this point is easily Paul George. While George is labeled a small forward, I think the Bucks would experiment with placing George at the shooting guard position since it’s such a slight change as far as the Milwaukee Bucks offense is concerned. George could very well end up being a blessing in disguise for the Brew City, could it be two straight years of successful draft picks for the Milwaukee Bucks?! We’ll have to wait and see….

Selection: Paul George, Fresno State