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NBA Draft update: Questions surround UK's Cousins, Orton an 'overhyped' prospect


by Andrew Hardison

1st – Washington Wizards: John Wall

As the consensus No. 1 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, Wall has already set up plans to work out for the Washington Wizards on June 17 just days before the June 24 draft. It looks as if Wall will be selected first overall by the Wizards, giving the franchise its first superstar caliber player since Gilbert Arenas arrived on the scene.

It now looks like Wall and Gilbert will team up in the backcourt, giving Washington fans something to look forward to next season. Wall has all the tools necessary to become an All-Star point guard in the near future, but his jump-shot will have to evolve in his first couple of years. It will be interesting to see if teams can find anything else wrong with his game when NBA team’s decide to give Wall their personal workouts.

4th – Minnesota Timberwolves: DeMarcus Cousins (5, 4, 4, 3, 4, 6)
Cousins seems to be haunted by the fact that he’s had his fair share of off-the-court issues. Now, one of those include his eating habits and the potential for his weight to balloon to excesses of 300 lbs. The former Kentucky superstar freshman can’t seem to buy a break these days, with the proverbial ‘monkey on his back’ including the likes of NBA general managers and scouts.

Yes, motivation to stay in shape and live a healthy lifestyle is key for any prospect looking to have a successful NBA career. Many experts will bring up names like Eddy Curry and Oliver Miller as examples of how easy it is for any college athlete turned pro to fall off the edge. Curry and Miller were both notable prospects entering the NBA Draft, both with short-lived NBA careers. I’d bet my bottom dollar that Cousins isn’t one of those guys.

12th – Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Patterson (6, 10, 11, 11, 13, 22)

Patterson has risen up NBA Draft boards simply due to his maturity level and humble personality. What stands out most for NBA general managers is the fact that Patterson sticks to the book and does things the right way. From attending voluntary workouts to getting in better shape, Patterson is a likely candidate to succeed in the NBA due to factors that don’t include stepping onto an NBA court.

The former Kentucky Wildcats star has the potential to make it into the Top-10 and is projected as the 12th overall selection to the Memphis Grizzlies according to WBN’s mock draft. The Golden State Warriors have one of the hardest picks to gauge in this year’s draft and Patterson could be a likely target at No. 6 by June 24. Others like Detroit, the Clippers, Utah, and the Pacers also have a tough decision on whether Patterson fits the bill in any of the team’s future.

18th – Miami Heat: Daniel Orton (18, 18, 13, 17, 11, 30)
Orton has made news all over the place from leaving early for a chance at NBA stardom to not finishing out his classes at the University of Kentucky. The biggest headlines however, are the fact that many believe Orton to be one of the most ‘overhyped’ players in the 2010 NBA Draft. Hoopsworld selected five of the most overhyped players and you know who was one of the five selected. Hoopsworld isn’t the first site to give Orton that honorary distinction and probably won’t be the last.

It will be interesting how teams evaluate Orton during team workouts and whether his skills are enough to vault him into at Top-14 pick. Orton’s average draft position among the six sites used in WBB’s mock draft is 17.8, so it looks as if the Miami Heat may end up with his services when June 24 rolls around. Orton’s highest draft position is 11th, which ESPN’s Chad Ford projects while NBADraft.net brings Orton in with the 30th selection to the New Jersey Nets. If that’s the case, Orton could find himself playing with former teammate John Wall.

25th – Memphis Grizzlies: Eric Bledsoe (25, 25, 25, 19, 18, 37)
Bledsoe is the hardest to read of the five former Wildcats, with many NBA teams thinking he’ll drop late in the first round. There’s been some news regarding Bledsoe and the Grizzlies, but it comes with the fact that Memphis has the 12th overall pick and could potentially draft Bledsoe. Of the six sites used to comprise WBB’s 2010 Mock Draft, Bledsoe will look to team up with former teammate Patrick Patterson in Memphis. At an average draft position of 24.8, the Grizzlies will look to bolster the team’s backcourt with the addition of Bledsoe.

As the former running mate of John Wall, Bledsoe is juggling the NBA Draft news as well as potential investigation issues stemming from his playing days at Kentucky. In draft terms, it looks as if Bledsoe’s tremendous skills don’t intrigue enough teams to push him into the lottery. One of the most interesting prospects is whether the so called ‘investigation’ into Bledsoe’s high-school issues will bring any harm to Kentucky down the road.

WBN’s 2010 NBA Mock Draft contributors: NBADraft, DraftExpress, Hoopshype, Andrew Hardison’s, ESPN’s Chad Ford, Hoopsworld

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