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Could Cousins be the number one NBA pick instead of Wall?


by Paul Jordan

Could DeMarcus Cousins be the number one draft pick in the NBA this summer?  Kentucky’s big man has been getting lots of conjecture lately that he and not John Wall could end up being the number one pick.  Not that there is anything wrong with Wall or that his stock has dropped, but a lot of teams that are positioned at the top of the NBA Draft have guards and may need a big man.  Let’s take a look at the top three contenders for that number one draft pick and see if we can gauge what direction they may be leaning:

#1  NEW JERSEY NETS (10-65)

Yes, the Nets are OMG bad … but is a PG really their most pressing need?  The Nets already have a top 5 NBA Draft PG in Devin Harris.  Harris’s scoring is down from last year in a big way (21.3 – 16.9) by he is still averaging 6.9 assists a game.  Perhaps the Nets biggest need is at PF where Yi Jianlian currently resides.  Yi is one of the most inconsistent players in the NBA, disappearing for games at a time and then exploding with a 31 point game like he did last week.  You could make an argument that DeMarcus Cousins could fill a bigger need here and you would have a nice PF/C combo, pairing him with C Brook Lopez who is having a nice second year campaign, averaging 19 points a game.  And even if LeBron James comes to the Nets, the Nets will have a nice starting lineup of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, James, Cousins, and Lopez.  Wall is undeniably the best player in college basketball … but does Cousins fill a bigger need? Or do the Nets grab Wall and have Harris to trade to get that PF?


The T-Wolves selected Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn at the number 6 pick last yard to be their PG so you would assume that Wall would not be their target if the ping pong balls bounced their way.  Flynn is only getting 29 minutes a game as it is and is splitting playing time with Ramon Sessions.  A lot of pundits are making the case for Evan Turner to go to Minnesota due to his versatility and you would think he could unseat either Corey Brewer at SG or Ryan Gomes at SF.  Minnesota may actually be a possible destination for DeMarcus Cousins, but it appears that a lot of changes would need to be made.  Al Jefferson is pretty solid at PF and Kevin Love appears to be in a battle for playing time with Darko Milicic.  Milicic wants to return to Minnesota but only if he is guaranteed 30-35 minutes.  I think that Cousins over Love and Milicic is a no-brainer.  You have to wonder that if Minnesota does get the #1 pick, would they take Turner or trade to a team desperate for a PG and Wall.


Both of these teams have to do a lot of losing to be the worst overall team record wise, bust since the number one pick is determined on ping pong balls, they enter the conversation.  Both of these teams would be a likely destination for DeMarcus Cousins or Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors if they declare for the draft.  Both teams appear unlikely for Wall if they get the number one spot as Stephen Curry is having a nice rookie season for the Warriors and Washington is planning on bringing back Gilbert Arenas.  You would have to think that either team could trade out at number #1 for a team needing a PG and still get a good draft position and player in addition.

You would think that Cousins would step in and start for the Warriors from Day One as Anthony Tolliver (10.9 pts, 6.6 boards) is keeping the seat warm at PF.  Chris Hunter is less impressive at center with Chris Hunter and his 4.5 points a game.  Washington is even more desperate at PF with James Singleton with his 4.5 points and 4.7 rebounds underwhelming and Andray Blatche at center.  Blatche has actually showed some potential but there is no doubt that Boogies name would be called first if Washington had the opportunity.

So what gives?  Despite being the sure fire best player in the NBA Draft, it appears that Wall would be more of a luxury and not a need for four of the worst teams right now.  I still think New Jersey would take Wall at number one and then trade Harris for a big possibly, but the 2-3-4 teams right now appear to have other needs.

But what do you think BBN?  Who do you think will be the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft? free polls
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