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NBA Draft 2010 - June 24, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY SI.comCNN.comNBA Draft from SI.comNBA Draft from SI.comNBA Draft from SI.comNBA Draft from SI.comNBA Draft from SI.com
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Posted: Thursday June 24, 2010 10:10AM ; Updated: Friday June 25, 2010 4:38PM

2010 NBA Draft Day Blog

Story Highlights

The Kings appear to have gotten great value at No. 5 with DeMarcus Cousins

Cole Aldrich was surprised to learn he was traded, then embraced an ex-Jayhawk

No. 1 pick John Wall isn't just a fan of basketball

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SI.com's NBA experts report from the 2010 NBA draft with all the behind-the scenes stories, rumors and news filtering through Madison Square Garden.

KINGS OF THE DRAFT: Did the Kings just win the draft for the second straight year? They grabbed ex-Memphis guard Tyreke Evans with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he went on to win Rookie of the Year. Thursday, they chose Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth overall pick -- and got the best center on the board, and the best player available in the entire draft from a statistical viewpoint. The red flags about his immaturity don't bother me: The guy is a monster on the offensive glass, a high-efficiency scorer with excellent athleticism in the post, and has a better personality than people give him credit for.

Cousins also claims he'll have solid chemistry with Evans in Year 1. "He's part of the Cal family," Cousins said, meaning John Calipari, who came to Lexington from Memphis. "We all know each other."
-- Luke Winn

PROVEN GUARDS LEFT OUT: I leave the Garden Theater feeling for Kansas' Sherron Collins, who went undrafted despite being perhaps the gutsiest senior guard in the nation. Teams opted for a series of project big-men down the stretch in the second round rather than proven backcourt players, including Collins and Duke's Jon Scheyer. While I understand that Collins had some conditioning issues -- multiple NBA teams told me they had serious concerns about his weight -- he was always one of my favorite clutch players in college hoops, and I think he has an eventual place on an NBA roster. I'm told he has an invite from the Charlotte Bobcats for their summer-league team; perhaps he'll stick there. At one point, during his freshman year in the Big 12, rival coaches considered him as hard to defend as Kevin Durant; hopefully, Collins can rediscover some of that magic and earn an NBA contract.
-- Luke Winn

REMEMBER THE NAMES: As the 2010 NBA Draft winds down, we'll leave you with a futures tip. Next year's draft is going to be a bonanza for foreign players, especially at the top. Fran Fraschilla predicts Enes Kanter, Jan Vesely, and Donatas Motiejunas will all go in the first 10 picks of the 2011 Draft. "Kanter will be at Kentucky next year and he's a beast, the Turkish Karl Malone," said Fraschilla. "Motiejunas is a 7-foot Lithuanian and just 19 and Vesley is a 7-footer who is really good. Those three names. Remember them."
-- Richard Deitsch

WHOLESOME HAYWARD:

Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward is headed to Utah as the No. 9 pick.
Luke Winn/SI

Things worked out well for Gordon Hayward -- and his mother, Jody.

In Kelli Anderson's pre-draft feature on Hayward, Jody said that when agents first started leaving messages at their house, she believed her son wasn't "spiritually strong enough to handle" the NBA. Hayward is from a strong, religious family, and while he was deliberating about the draft in April, one agent said that Jody had stated her preference that Gordon land in a small market, because she feared he'd be "corrupted" in places like New York, Los Angeles or Miami. Hayward confirmed that to me at the draft, saying of his mom, "That's kind of the way she is."

Well, she got her wish. Gordon was taken at No. 9 by the team in the NBA's most wholesome, religious, small market -- the Utah Jazz. And he seemed pleased about it, too, fondly recalling how well he played at the Jazz's EnergySolutions Arena during Butler's run through the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. "Hopefully," he said, "that can continue."
-- Luke Winn

ANCHORS AWEIGH: I wonder if there were any U.S. Naval bases celebrating Derrick Caracter being drafted at No. 58 to the Lakers. Remember that, in May, the character-deficient Caracter said that Plan B was the Navy:

"If Plan A [the NBA] doesn't work out, Plan B would be joining the Navy. I would do something like that. Seriously. I think it would be a great experience. You travel, you train, you can be chillin' in Japan. You get to see different things and different parts of the world. That's something I always wanted to do: travel around the world. See different things, new people, cultures and lifestyles."

Maybe the Lakers can schedule an exhibition for him in Japan?
-- Luke Winn

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: At what point in the first round are the players being picked less famous than the people interviewing them? When TNT's Craig Sager is doing the interviews -- he has his own booth away from ESPN's operation -- the cutoff might be after Evan Turner, who went second overall to the 76ers. By the time the 28th pick rolled around, Sager was being fawned upon: When Maryland's Greivis Vasquez was sent back to the TNT booth, he greeted Sager by saying, "Oh! How are you doing, sir! I'm a BIG FAN of yours. I've been watching you for many years."

Vasquez' history of hair-shave designs does rival Sager's sartorial history, so I guess the fandom makes sense.
-- Luke Winn

FASHION STATEMENT:

Al-Farouq Aminu
Don't worry Clippers fans: Al-Farouq Aminu doesn't need prescription lenses.
Jeyhoun Allebaugh/Getty Images

This is by far my most pointless post of the evening, but here's the deal on those strange, hipster-ish glasses worn by Clippers draftee Al-Farouq Aminu: He said they aren't prescription, just plain glass. They're made by SpitFire, and he's only been wearing them for three or four days. They also only cost about $30. I assume that after receiving $2.36 million in salary for 2010-11, he'll upgrade?
-- Luke Winn

NEW YORK, NEW YORK:

The Knicks finally joined the draft at No. 38 and No. 39, a reward for the 2,000 or so diehards who stuck around as the draft weaved into the second round. After chanting for Jeff Van Gundy, the former Knicks coach who is working for ESPN during this draft, New York selected Andy Rautins, a 6-5 shooter from Syracuse and the son of former pro Leo Rautins. That drew a mix of boos and wild cheers. Then came the Knicks' second pick -- Stanford forward Landry Fields. That selection produced a rain of boos. Welcome to New York, fellas.
-- Richard Deitsch

WIZARDS, T'WOLVES DEAL: Fresh off leading off the draft with John Wall, the Wizards got busy as the draft hit its midpoint. A league source tells SI's Ian Thomsen that the Wizards have traded the 30th (Marquette forward Lazar Hayward) and 35th (Serbian big man Nemanja Bjelica) picks in the draft to Minnesota for Clemson forward Trevor Booker, selected 23rd overall.
-- Paul Forrester

FORGETTING THE FOOTBALL TEAM: After he was selected at No. 17 overall, French prospect Kevin Seraphin was asked if he thinks basketball could become more popular than soccer in France, in light of his country's recent failure to advance out of its group. "Yeah, I expect that the basketball players from France are going to be more popular and basketball is going to have a better place in the media, hopefully," he said, chuckling at the latter part of his statement.
-- Brett LoGiurato

WEATHER KEEPS WILLIAMS AWAY: Raptors first round pick Ed Davis said North Carolina coach Roy Williams was supposed to join him at the draft but some bad weather on the East Coast prevented Williams from making it. "Coach was supposed to be here but he was flying from Carolina and he got stopped at Richmond, my hometown," said Davis. "Then he got back in the air and stopped in Baltimore because of the weather so he didn't make it. There were a lot of thunderstorms."
-- Richard Deitsch

RALLY CAP FOR ALDRICH:

Cole Aldrich
Cole Aldrich learns of his potential trade in the Green Room at MSG.
Luke Winn/SI

Funny holding-area scene: I was hanging with Kansas' Cole Aldrich the moment he found out he was potentially being traded from the Hornets to the Thunder in a package deal. He got the news when the "proposed trade" flashed on the big-screen TV behind him, and an NBA staffer told him to turn around and look. (The photo at right is of that exact moment.)

"I just got traded?" Aldrich said. His shock soon turned to excitement, when he considered the fact that Oklahoma City has former Big 12 foe Kevin Durant, and former Kansas star Nick Collison -- and has a much better chance of contending in the Western Conference than New Orleans does.

Because the deal was still in "proposed" state, Aldrich opted not to stop wearing his Hornets hat entirely. "We'll just go with it backwards for now," he said. "Rally-cap style."

Later, I caught Aldrich playing pop-a-shot, and then having a special moment with ex-teammate Xavier Henry, who was drafted immediately after Aldrich by the Grizzlies. Henry actually broke down crying in Aldrich's arms for a minute. Jayhawk fans, does this make you get emotion

-- Luke Winn

DRAFT NUGGETS: Some quick draft nuggets, courtesy of the NBA: John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are the sixth pair of teammates to be selected in the Top five of the NBA Draft since 2002. The others? UCLA's Russell Westbrook (No. 4) and Kevin Love (No. 5) in 2008; Ohio State's Greg Oden (No.1) and Mike Conley Jr. (No. 4) in 2007; North Carolina's Marvin Williams (No. 2) and Raymond Felton (No. 5) in 2005; UConn's Emeka Okafor (No. 2) and Ben Gordon (No. 3) in 2004, and Duke's Jay Williams (No. 2) and Mike Dunleavy in 2002. Also, at least one son if a former player has been drafted in the last eight drafts: Dunleavy (2002), Luke Walton (2003), Jackson Vroman (2004), Sean May (2005), Corey Brewer, Al Horford (2007), Patrick Ewing Jr. (2008), Stephen Curry, Gerald Henderson and Austin Daye (2009) and Ed Davis (2010).
-- Richard Deitsch

SI JINX: My colleague Ian Thomsen texted me as Paul George was being selected by the Pacers that he had hit the first eight picks of the draft. "But now its going south on me," Thomsen said. Indeed, the Mock Draft is a fickle mistress. Since correctly calling Al-Farouq Aminu to the Clippers at No. 8, Thomsen is 0-for-9. Here's hoping he can turn it around soon.
-- Richard Deitsch

BABBITT TO BLAZERS: With Wesley Johnson already in the fold, the Timberwolves have decided to trade Ryan Gomes and the 16th overall pick to Portland, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The T'wolves selected Nevada forward Luke Babbitt for the Blazers and their soon-to-be-departing GM Kevin Pritchard. The Blazers will send forward Martell Webster to Minnesota.
-- Paul Forrester

PATTERSON FEELS NBA-READY: Why should you draft Kentucky junior forward Patrick Patterson. Well, we'll let him tell you: "I should be drafted because no one is mature as me," Patterson said. "No one shows the professionalism as me. I'm a team player on and off the court. I work extremely hard and I think I'm well-deserving of being called NBA-ready. I can bring so much to a team on the court, scoring around the rim, rebounding, running up and down in transition and defending. Off the court, I'm someone you don't have to worry about it. I'm a team player who puts the team first and represents the organization right." The Rockets took Patterson at No. 14.
-- Richard Deitsch

DAVIS ON BOSH: North Carolina's Ed Davis went No. 13 to the Raptors, which is interesting given that the player he most wants to pattern himself after is Raptors (soon-to-be leaving?) forward Chris Bosh. "I really like Bosh's game," said Davis. "He's left-handed, 6-11, kind of wiry, long, and he can put it on the floor. That's the guy who I most want to pattern my game after."

Davis, the son of former NBA pro Terry Davis, worked out for Detroit, Golden State, Indiana, Utah and the Clippers and called himself "an athletic, rebounding, shot-blocking, face-up player who can run the floor and has a lot to offer."
-- Richard Deitsch

ALDRICH ON THE MOVE: Reports indicate that the Hornets will send their first-round pick Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson to the Thunder for the Nos. 21 and 26 picks in this year's draft. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported before the Hornets tabbed Aldrich that the Hornets were eyeing Xavier Henry or Patrick Patterson with the 11. The deal helps rid the Hornets of Peterson's $6.6 million salary next season and gets the team under the luxury tax.
-- Paul Forrester

 
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