SLAMonline Mock Draft: Devin Ebanks, No. 27
Jersey shores up its frontcourt.
by Adam Sweeney
With the 27th pick in the 2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the New Jersey Nets select…
Devin Ebanks from West Virginia University.
When the New Jersey Nets chose Derrick Favors with the third pick in the SLAMonline Mock Draft, I said this was the year that things change for the worst team in the NBA. We have a young and potentially scary frontcourt duo in Favors and Brook Lopez. Talent isn’t enough to turn a team around. Our franchise wants a change in philosophy. We want to be a grimy team and borrow a defensive page from classic teams like the 2008 Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons in their “Bad Boys” era. We will do that by adding Devin Ebanks.
Da’Sean Butler understandably was getting a large portion of the love in the ‘09-10 season for the West Virginia Mountaineers. That said, Ebanks has just as much potential as a pro as Butler, even before Butler went down with an unfortunate knee injury. Ebanks is savvy, makes great decisions with the ball and will play with passion.
Like Favors, who will split time with Yi Jianlian, Ebanks won’t be asked to be an All-Star immediately. All we ask is that he plays hard. Our team philosophy on defense will be “Nobody gets to the Net.” Ebanks understands that, thanks in part to Bob Huggins, Ebanks’ coach at West Virginia. Ebanks can guard multiple positions and has the size to give small forwards headaches with a 6-9 frame.
Most comparable to Andrei Kirilenko, he will slash to the basket and also clean up the boards that Favors and Lopez can’t grab. He’s a solid rebounder, especially standing out on the offensive end. Plus, he has great handles for a small forward and excellent vision as a passer. Favors and Lopez are smiling right now, I promise you.
His jumper is the biggest concern we have for him as a player but that is definitely something we can work on. Many scouts point out that he needs to put on muscle but you can say that about a majority of NBA prospects. Kevin Durant could barely lift the bar in the weight room. I’m exaggerating but the point is that all Ebanks needs is a personal trainer and a top chef. A few shakes and conditioning will have Ebanks ready to get dirty.
At the end of the first round this is a steal for New Jersey. If Ebanks develops a jumper we are looking at a player who is good enough to be picked in the lottery. Critics will say that’s not a guarantee but there are no guarantees once you get to the end of the first round. You can only expect a small portion of small forwards to bring a smooth jumper night in and night out. Defense and hunger for boards are things you can bring every night. That’s why we’re going with Devin Ebanks.
Nets coach Avery Johnson will instill confidence in him and encourage him to attack, attack, attack. Ebanks has a tendency to defer too often to his teammates, only averaging four free throws a game. We can and will break him of that habit.
We’ve already expressed our desire to throw a max-dollar contract at Carmelo Anthony. That’s why we’re passing on Terrico White and other shooting guards. We will survive next year with Courtney Lee and Chris-Douglas Roberts. Will we make the Playoffs next season? Hell no but we’re not playing for next year. If we somehow nab ‘Melo, you’re looking at a starting five that rolls like this:
C — Brook Lopez
F — Yi Jianlian/Derrick Favors
F — Terrence Williams/Devin Ebanks
G — Carmelo Anthony/Courtney Lee
G — Devin Harris
That’s a young and talented squad that will be competing for years to come. We want a loyal and long-sighted group of fans that understands we are committed to the future. Our opponents may walk away with a win against us next season but it sure as hell won’t come easy. Milwaukee and Oklahoma City have made drastic turnarounds in a short amount of time. Going back to Kevin Garnett, anything is possible. With Derrick Favors and Devin Ebanks as our top two picks in the first round, the time to sleep on the New Jersey Nets is over.
Memphis, wake Chris Wallace up and tell him you guys are on the clock. Maybe he is in a giving mood. We will trade Chris Douglas-Roberts and the spirit of Richard Jefferson for O.J. Mayo straight up. You know Wallace would take that deal.
|2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Washington||John Wall||16||Minnesota||Damion James|
|2||Philadelphia||Evan Turner||17||Chicago||James Anderson|
|3||New Jersey||Derrick Favors||18||Miami||Avery Bradley|
|4||Minnesota||DeMarcus Cousins||19||Boston||Jordan Crawford|
|5||Sacramento||Greg Monroe||20||San Antonio||Hassan Whiteside|
|6||Golden State||Wesley Johnson||21||OKC||Daniel Orton|
|7||Detroit||Ed Davis||22||Portland||Eric Bledsoe|
|8||L.A. Clippers||Al-Farouq Aminu||23||Minnesota||Quincy Pondexter|
|9||Utah||Cole Aldrich||24||Atlanta||Lance Stephenson|
|10||Indiana||Ekpe Udoh||25||Memphis||Elliot Williams|
|11||New Orleans||Gordon Hayward||26||OKC||Solomon Alabi|
|12||Memphis||Luke Babbitt||27||New Jersey||Devin Ebanks|