SLAMonline Mock Draft: Wesley Johnson, No. 6
First Steph, now Wes falls into G-State’s lap?
by Branden Peters / @kuhvet
The Golden State Warriors appeared to be on the way to being a regular Playoff contender in the Western Conference after back-to-back 40+ win seasons in ‘06-07 and ‘07-08. But those hopes have yet to come to fruition.
The last two seasons have been mired by player injuries and a pointless trek for Don Nelson’s holy grail of an all-time wins coaching record. Last season the Warriors won just enough games for Nellie to overtake Lenny Wilkins and subsequently get the team less balls in the lottery. Hence the W’s choosing sixth instead of a projected fourth in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Calling the Warriors recent draft history checkered would be an understatement. There are a plethora of players who the team has bypassed in order to pick the likes of Patrick O’Bryant, Mike Dunleavy and Ike Diogu.
Last year was an exception to the rule for Warrior’s draft busts. With the 7th overall pick the team selected Stephen Curry. The second generation baller started 77 games last year and brought the pure point guard play the Ws had been lacking since Baron Davis left for the Clippers.
With so many team needs, new pending ownership and a coach who may or may not be back next season there are a lot of questions within the organization so now is not the time to pick up another project. The Warriors need a quality player who can step in and make an immediate impact. With that being said…
With the sixth pick in the 2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft the Golden State Warriors select…
Wesley Johnson from Syracuse University.
With Minnesota taking DeMarcus Cousins (who I was never big on anyway) and Sacramento taking Georgetown C/F Greg Monroe (way too early) it made no sense to fish for a good big man with a low post game because quite frankly there are none in this draft.
It came down to Wesley Johnson or Wake Forrest’s Al-Farouq Aminu aka immediate impact vs. upside. At the end of the day Aminu is taller and bigger but the last thing the Warriors need is an undersized four (though Aminu says he wants to play the three) who may or may not pan out.
At 6-7 with a 7-foot wingspan Johnson can step in right away and play quality minutes behind Maggette or Azubuike. His game is perfect for the Warriors offense. At Syracuse he consistently hit the midrange jumper and the three. Johnson is also a monster in transition and we all know the W’s love to run. Not to mention he’s an All-American and Big East Player of the Year.
It is very ironic that the main knock on Johnson is he has possibly reached his peak. At 22 years old he is one of the oldest guys in the draft but he didn’t start playing ball seriously until high school so one would think that he still has a lot to learn and room to improve his game.
Barring another injury plagued season, the ‘10-11 starters should not look like the D-League all-stars. Stephen Curry has a headlock on the PG spot and unless he gets shipped off, Monta Ellis will start at shooting guard, Beidrins who had a big drop off in play last year will be the center and if Don Nelson comes to his senses future star Anthony Randolph will start at power forward.
That leaves the small forward spot. There is no guarantee Kelenna Azubuike will bounce back from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee that kept him out for nearly all of last season. His injury left Corey Maggette to move from his 6th man duties to the starting lineup. Maggette averaged nearly 20 ppg in the role while playing through a variety of nagging injuries but he is clearly past his prime. I believe Johnson is the answer to a big question mark at the three spot. He can contribute now and solidify the position in the near future.
Oracle head honcho Larry Ellison’s bid is in and current owner Chris Cohan’s tax problems are not going away. It is time to sell the team, hire a coach who cares about more than a personal record and start a winning tradition.
|2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|3||New Jersey||Derrick Favors||18||Miami|
|5||Sacramento||Greg Monroe||20||San Antonio|
|6||Golden State||Wesley Johnson||21||OKC|