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Who's next after Wall?

Feb 21, 2010, 9:50 AM EDT

Barring unforeseen developments, John Wall will be the number one overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. It’s not just his rare combination of speed, athleticism, handle, and skill at both ends of the floor, it’s that his game already translates so well the pro game (better than to the college game, actually). But who’s next? Who’ll end up as the number two selection? That question may end up as one of the most difficult decisions for whatever team ends up with it, even in such an abundant free agency year.

So who are the candidates?

  • DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky (6-11, 260 lbs.): Started off slow, but quickly becoming one of the more dominant big men in the country. 16.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, but it’s the nastiness with which he plays that makes him such a prospect. Great athleticism for a big man, but the questions remain about his mental game. Cousins has a knack for getting into fights with players and running his mouth. You have to wonder how he’ll react to pro coaching and the first time a veteran explains to him how things work in the NBA.
  • Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech (6-10, 246 lbs.): The undiscovered big man, until yesterday (21 points, 18 rebounds), for a lot of people, Favors has been high on most draft boards since the season began. The big reason to target favors is his ability to work in the transition offense. He’s got terrific athleticism (arguably moreso than Cousins, and if not, at least equal), and can handle the ball well with soft hands. Yesterday may have been the start of his push for the 2nd overall pick.
  • Evan Turner, Ohio State (6-7, 205 lbs.): Gasp! A junior! Someone that’s not a freshman! Egads! If John Wall’s flashes of potential have been the most impressive this year, Evan Turner’ actual performance is what has gotten him at the top of so many lists. Turner tops DraftExpress’ list as the number two overall. 19.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists for Turner, who has absolutely taken over most of Ohio State’s games. The only concern with him is injury. Evans’ snapped back four weeks ahead of schedule from breaking two vertebrae. I say again, he broke his back. Then came back and lit it up again, scoring 32 points in his third game back. But if DeJuan Blair’s injury history causes concerns, Turner’s might.
  1. eph521 - Feb 21, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    I hope the Pacers keep sucking and get the 1st or at least a top 5 pick. For some reason, they actually went out and won a road game last night. Stop it already.

  2. khnsm - Feb 21, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Don’t forget about Oklahoma State’s James Anderson. Leading scorer in the toughest league in the country — 22.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.35 spg. Can hit 3’s at will, or score off the dribble.

  3. aarin sheler - Feb 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Another guy who’s game translates better to the pro game than college is PG Avery Bradly of Texas. The top freshman at one time has the total package. He is 6’3″, fast, long, athletic, good shooter, and great defender. If he leaves a sure top 15 pick. Could move up in tournament if he playes well. Already playing better over the last 10 games.

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