ESPN’s Chad Ford has a breakdown of the
ESPN’s Chad Ford has a breakdown of the

NBA draft update: UK's Wall, Cousins top the draft boards, Bledsoe still in the mix


ESPN’s Chad Ford has a breakdown of the Top-100 prospects and five Kentucky Wildcats are in the Top-20. Freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins come in at No. 1 and No. 4 respectively, with junior Patrick Patterson coming in at No. 14. Freshmen Daniel Orton (No. 10) and Eric Bledsoe (No. 16) have surprised some by declaring, but Ford seems to have confidence in both to make it in the lottery or just outside of that point. Here’s a look at this week’s updated draft board:

1st – New Jersey Nets: John Wall, point guard (6’4”, 195 lbs.)
Wall appears to be the consensus No. 1 overall selection and if the New Jersey Nets have it their way, the down and out franchise will look to Wall to revitalize the team like he did with the Kentucky Wildcats. The freshman phenom took college basketball by storm with several early season performances that cemented the ‘Cats as a potential National Championship contender.

The Wildcats didn’t cut down the nets, but Wall could be looking at playing for the Nets come June. His skill set and hype would bring a lot of dollars and a lot of attention to the new-look Brooklyn Nets. Wall was considered a savior of Kentucky basketball and might just be the savior for another program.

4th – Golden State Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins, center (6’11”, 280 lbs.)

Cousins would be a force in Don Nelson’s ‘high-powered’ offense with the likes of Monte Ellis, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Morrow. The team may not win a ton of games, but they sure as hell would be exciting to watch. Cousins was the most dominated center in college basketball this past season and has the ability to make an impact in the NBA right away. His presence alone made life difficult for opponents as teams tried to push Cousins around in the post.

The Warriors are a ‘smaller’ team, but the services of Cousins could change that fact quickly. I’ve raved about Cousins all year long and if his freshman year is any indication of his talents, the NBA is going to have a new spokesman for the so called ‘one-and-dones.’ He’ll go anywhere from the Top 3-5, but if a team gets the second pick and has a need for Cousins, they may take him ‘early.’

12th – Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Patterson, power forward (6’8”, 235 lbs.)
Patterson announced last week that he would ‘officially’ head to the NBA and had his ‘official’ press conference to thank the fans and program. The Grizzlies could use a gritty guy like Patterson and his decision to stay for a third year paid of tremendously. His outside jump-shot will fit well with the game of current starting point guard Mike Conley, an excellent dribble-drive kind of player.

Patterson’ impact on the Wildcats program is unprecedented and he could go down as the one ‘player’ who got Kentucky to where it is at today, even more important than the hiring of John Calipari. If Patterson hadn’t come here, Kentucky wouldn’t be ‘cool’ to go to anymore and in all honesty was the force that kept the ‘Cats program together during rough patch the last couple of years.

13th – Toronto Raptors: Eric Bledsoe, point guard (6’1”, 195 lbs)
Bledsoe has a lot of question marks around his game. One night he’s on, the next he’s off, as he disappears in the midst of all the other talented players in this year’s Kentucky Wildcats team. He would clearly benefit from another year, maybe even two to round out his game. There’s no question that he’s as gifted as they come, but hasn’t been able to ‘run’ a team for a full season.

Those duties went to teammate John Wall and Bledsoe may have suffered.

That hasn’t stopped NBA teams from taking interest in the freshman back-up point guard and he comes in at No. 13 as the Toronto Raptors select Bledsoe as their future leader. If Bledsoe does live up to his position, free agent Chris Bosh may have second thoughts of leaving Toronto for the ‘greener-pastures’ of teams that could offer him max-contract deals. Much of Bledsoe’s position in the NBA Draft depends on how his pre-draft workouts play out before draft-day.

30th – Houston Rockets: Daniel Orton, center (6’10”, 255 lbs)
Orton drops in the draft, this week according to as they see Orton being selected at the bottom of the first-round. Many scratch their head at Orton’s decision because they think he isn’t prepared for the next level, while other’s like ESPN’s Ford believe he is a Top-10 prospect.

Orton’s best asset is on the defensive side of the game, as he didn’t really get to show his offensive side during the 2009-2010 seasons. It will be interesting to see how his time in California prepares him for the next step in his life. I see anywhere from selection 14-20, mainly because a team is going to pick him of his pure potential alone and the fact that he’s 6’10” and 260 lbs.

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