– Dan Delagrange
1) New Jersey Nets: John Wall, PG, Kentucky
The best and perhaps most complete NBA-ready talent available, Wall will undoubtedly be the first player selected next month.
Wall met and overcame the Himalayan hype surrounding him entering college and consistently torched the opposition using his incredible quickness, speed, basketball IQ, vision, and ability to get to the basket.
The hype will only continue at the next level as Wall has been described as one of the most talented prospects in the last 10 years. Learning the ropes under an accomplished point guard in Devin Harris and alongside rising big man Brook Lopez will certainly aid him in his ascent to what should be a very successful career in New Jersey.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves: Evan Turner, SG, Ohio State
Turner helped lead the Buckeyes all season despite suffering a scary vertebra injury in the middle of the year (from which he rebounded very quickly and saw virtually no dip in stats).
His ability to score, facilitate will add to a young, promising core of guards in Minnesota and his three years of experience at the college level may help ease the learning curve needed to develop into a capable backcourt player.
Turner’s rebounding ability—grew almost exponentially each season in Columbus (4.4 in ’07-’08, 7.1 in ’08-’09, 9.2 in ’09-’10)—even further distances him from other guards. He’s also a capable (36 percent this year) three-point shooter, so the T-Wolves would be incredibly hard-pressed to pass on the 2010 Player of the Year.
3) Sacramento Kings: Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
The Kings are desperate for some kind of backcourt depth, but after Wall and Turner, the guard field begins to get relatively thin. With not much help available in the frontcourt either, Favors gives Sacramento a significant boost in size, athleticism, and rebounding (even though the Kings did crack the top 10 in boards this season).
The Kings have been in neutral since coming just points away from making a Finals appearance in the early 2000s, but adding an athletic rarity such as Favors may finally get them on the path toward once again being competitive out west.