Who’s Number Two?
We know who’s going number one, but who’s going number two?
If there is one certainty heading into every NBA draft of late, it is that the first overall pick will not be a surprise. 2010 looks to be the fourth year in a row that there is no debate over who the first name out of David Stern’s mouth will be at the night’s festivities. Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Greg Oden were all locks to go first overall in their respective draft years, and this year is no different. John Wall is more than a lock to go No. 1 this year – a NBA GM could catch him having an affair with his wife and he no doubt would still use the first pick on him.
So with the debate over first overall finished before it even got started, let’s move on to a real debate – who will go second overall? While there is no consensus over this quite yet, that might not be the case for long because one guy is starting to distance himself from the pack.
Evan Turner – Guard – Ohio State – Junior
The man pulling away from his draft peers would be Ohio State’s Evan Turner. Turner hasn’t missed a beat since coming back from a broken back earlier this season – he has posted two 32-point games in the past month. But the most impressive fact is the 6-7 swingman is playing point guard for the Buckeyes this season and doing so at a high level – he’s averaging 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists a game. Those Brandon Roy comparisons don’t seem as far-fetched as they once did.
Derrick Favors – Forward – Georgia Tech – Freshman
The favorite to go second overall heading into this season, Derrick Favors has seen himself get leapfrogged by a few players on mock draft lists. Physically he is everything you’d look for in a NBA player, both in terms of size, wingspan and athleticism. But, perhaps most importantly, he won’t turn 19 until after the Draft, so his “upside” and potential are through the roof.
Donatas Motiejunas – Forward – Benetton Treviso – 1990
Donatas Motiejunas is another guy who has been in the mix for the No. 2 slot for quite a while now. Despite being only 19, he is in his third pro season and has plenty of international experience playing for Lithuania. But are NBA GMs over their infatuation with skilled, athletic 7-foot Europeans after having been burned too many times in the past.
DeMarcus Cousins – Forward/Center – Kentucky – Freshman
DeMarcus Cousins is making a late push to make Kentucky freshmen the first two players taken in this year’s draft. He’s big, he’s skilled and he’s efficient, averaging a double-double despite only playing 22 minutes a game. And the scary thing for the rest of the NCAA is Cousins appears to be getting better as the season progresses.
Hassan Whiteside – Center – Marshall – Freshman
Hassan Whiteside could very easily find himself going second overall in June – if he decides to enter the draft, of course. GMs will forever be in love with big men, and Whiteside fits that bill measuring in at 7-0 with a 7-6 wingspan. While he is an impressive shot blocker, he also is athletic for his size and can knock down the face up jumper.
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.