My oh my, what a week does to change up the NBA Draft ..."/>

My oh my, what a week does to change up the NBA Draft ..."/>

NBA Draft: Wall still a Net, Orton & Bledsoe making noise as 1st-round picks


My oh my, what a week does to change up the NBA Draft lottery projections, quite possibly affecting the Kentucky Wildcats team more than you had ever thought. Let’s take a look at this week’s projections and where some of our beloved ‘Cats might be playing next year:

1st – New Jersey Nets: John Wall, point guard (6’4”, 195 lbs.)
Not a lot has changed with Wall. He’s been the consensus No. 1 overall pick for several years running, despite playing his first season of college basketball this year. The Nets have the best chance to land Wall at 25%, but there are certainly other teams out there with a good chance to win the right to the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft (Timberwolves, Pistons, Warriors, Wizards).

If the Nets do indeed get the first pick, expect Wall to be selected because of his dynamic abilities and the fact that he’s a point guard. Point guards like these don’t come around all that often—don’t tell that to John Calipari—with Wall’s impact most likely to be similar to Derrick Rose in his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls. Wall is definitely headed to the NBA after one year at Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation will get to see plenty of him at the next level.

4th – Washington Wizards: DeMarcus Cousins, center (6’11”, 280 lbs.)
Cousins was a question mark at the beginning of the season. That idea is no more because of his abilities and the way he emerged on the scene during his first year in college basketball. He was the most dominate big man in college basketball and there weren’t too many players that could stop him when game-days rolled around.

‘Temper’ is a word that comes up with a lot of people in regards to Cousins, but there is no denying the skills this young man has. Soft touch, great hands, incredible post foot-work, and an array of low-post moves that makes your jaw drop to the floor. By the end of the season, Cousins so called ‘temper’ was an afterthought and that should change when he gets to the next level. Like Wall, Cousins is definitely headed out after his first year in college basketball.

12th – Milwaukee Bucks: Patrick Patterson, power forward (6’8”, 235 lbs.)
Patterson has been the heart and soul of this Wildcats team for three years running. His best chance to achieve some of the things he wanted to when he first became a ‘Cat has finally come true. Patterson was able to live a dream by making it to the NCAA Tournament and while not winning the whole shebang, he’s accomplished more and meant more to the program than any player in recent memory.

The junior pre-season All-American redefined his game when Calipari came to town, adding an outside shot as well as a nice mid-range game to his repertoire. He’s most likely to be a lottery pick, probably because of what he can already do rather than the potential he might bring to a team. Patterson has a lot of character and will be a role model for other players around the league on various ‘how to’s’ while playing at the next level. He won’t be pulling any Roethlisberger’s come this fall.

17th – Miami Heat: Eric Bledsoe, point guard (6’1”, 195 lbs)
Bledsoe really wasn’t even projected as a first round pick until later this season, most notably during the NCAA Tournament. What is most interesting to point out however, is that Bledsoe, who was a lottery pick just a week ago, is now out of the lottery according to ESPN’s Chad Ford and his projections. I like’s comparison to Kyle Lowry; stocky point guard who likes to drive to the basket. Bledsoe could have more potential.

He could use another year of college and learn to become a true point guard, in handling the point guard duties full-time. This wasn’t possible because of playing alongside teammate John Wall, but you won’t hear Bledsoe complaining. The 2010 NBA Draft is low on point guards and Bledsoe wants to take care of his family. This may be his best opportunity to do so with a potential 2011 NBA lockout looming.

I personally doubt it will ever happen; a second lockout in nearly a decade? There is too much money involved in the sport and it would tarnish David Stern’s time as NBA commissioner. Two words: not happening.

25th – Oklahoma City Thunder: Daniel Orton, center (6’10”, 255 lbs)
For whatever reason, Orton is now potentially an NBA lottery pick. Most scouts out there will note his willingness to hang tough in the painted area. He can certainly block shots—needs better awareness—while mixing it up in the paint with just about anyone. If Orton wasn’t on this year’s team, DeMarcus Cousins isn’t nearly as good as he was this season certailny a positive moving forward.

Once again, like Bledsoe, Orton should stay another year to refine his game. As of right now, much of the Big Blue Nation has yet to see any real semblance of an offensive game from the young man. Lottery picks usually have a combination of both offense and defense, Orton focusing on the latter. If he does decide to head out after his first year, I don’t see him getting a lot of playing time in his rookie year. Much of this depends on what team would take him and what kind of rotation they have. has Orton at No. 24, going to the Boston Celtics. Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace? That’d be a good reason for Orton to head out.

Darnell Dodson
Ok, this is just so random and if true would be the oddest thing I’ve seen from this year. Dodson is nowhere near an NBA draft pick and would likely go undrafted if he did decide to head to the NBA. Dodson could be the ninth player that leaves the 2009-2010 Kentucky Wildcats team.

Much more will be known in the coming days and weeks, but a lot of turnover could take place and next year’s Wildcats will look completely different. Sad, but sometimes a ‘harsh’ reality of college basketball.

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