SLAMonline Mock Draft: DeMarcus Cousins, No. 4
Any good point guards In this Draft?
by Cub Buenning
With seemingly an endless armada of first round draft picks at our disposal year after year, we at the Minnesota Timberwolves feel fortunate to have leap-frogged directly from last year’s “Point-Guardapolooza (where we drafted three floor generals) to the overall uniqueness and pure depth of this year’s crop of incoming players. We have plenty of holes to fill in as we prepare for next season, but our motto is always “best (point guard) player available.”
No, just kidding, we aren’t drafting anymore point guards…. Really, we already have Ricky. Although, we really like Sherron Collins, Eric Bledsoe, Greivis Vasquez and we hear there’s some kid from Bosnia-Herzegovina who is “next level.”
In all honesty, we are excited about our frontcourt duo of Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, but we’d love another piece here, maybe a more prototypical center. We feel good about our backcourt grouping of Jonnie Flynn, Wayne Ellington and Ramon Sessions (and Ricky) and know that, probably more than anything, we need an upgrade on the wing. Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer are capable players but fit more in to the back-up mold, rather than as a starter for a team, like us, that is looking to become a threat to make the Playoffs.
Remember, we want the best and most unique player available, not necessarily what we “need.” We won 15 games last year; we need upgrades (both internal maturation and external talent influx), everywhere.
We have also been watching the Playoffs and would love to be able to put forth a frontline like that of the current NBA title holders and resident big dog in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers. When they roll out Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, quality teams like the Utah Jazz get relegated to JV status, on size, alone. We want that advantage up front, too. We have two more picks later in this first round, so we can consider thinking about “need,” then.
With that in mind…
With the fourth pick in the 2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select, DeMarcus Cousins from the University of Kentucky.
Many thought we would go with Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson, as he was deemed the perfect fit for our biggest glaring need on the wing. But it is our feeling that athletic 6-7 swingmen come around a lot more often than dominating 6-11 studs. To be truthful, this pick was actually a no-brainer, as we had the big fella as the top (and most unique) talent in this draft, even over his former Wildcat teammate, John Wall.
At 6-11 270-pounds, Cousins is a physical anomaly; massive, a space eater on the defensive end and a straight controller of the defensive glass. (We would usually ignore most collegiate stats and how they might equate to NBA potential, but a 10 rpg average in just 23 mpg stands out.) We are almost giddy thinking about this kid fighting with his own “rebound ravenous” teammates, players who are established double-digit rebound guys. It is gonna be “one-shot-and-out” for all of our opponents from now on.
DeMarcus has long arms and good timing on the defensive end. On the other hand, the 19-year-old is nimble, aggressive and crafty around the hoop. He can score with his back to the basket with a combination of skill, quickness and size. But the Mobile, AL-native also proved to be more than competent in hitting down the 15-foot spot-up jumper. While the triumvirate of Love, Jefferson and Cousins will probably rarely, if ever, see the court at the same time, depth is always important. Ryan Hollins and Darko have recently proved serviceable as back-ups, but we need to think long-term. Big Al is still only 25 (but already has six years of pro ball under his belt) and Kevin just became able to hit up the local liquor store for some postgame Hamm’s (“the bear refreshing”), but having depth late in the season, as well as bargaining chips during trade talks is just too enticing.
We have heard all the talk about conditioning, attitude and a possible lack of commitment to defensive end, but we are not worried. When his only responsibility is being here at the gym, he will be in shape. We haven’t heard anything truly negative from his former coaches and teammates (who all adore him both on and off the court) and much of this perception seems formulated from his general aloofness. He’s a little different. Some were turned off his ramblings during the NBA Rookie Draft Camp, but he comes across a bit different from the formulaic responses most first-year players are choreographed in to spewing.
We already have our calm, cool and collective guys in Love and Big Al, but we need more. We want a complimentary attacking offensive presence, a rebounding factory and someone who flat-out scares the other team.
We think we found that guy.
Maybe we will ask DeMarcus’ advice on whether this Bledsoe character is any good.
|2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|3||New Jersey||Derrick Favors||18||Miami|