Value vs. need for top five picks

Updated: June 2, 2010, 1:57 AM ET
By David Thorpe

The lottery and Chicago combine are behind us, and Chad Ford has already produced two mock drafts. Chad's work deals with figuring out what teams are going to do, but I'm more interested in what they should do. With that in mind, let's look at the lottery from two perspectives -- need and value.

No. 1 Washington Wizards

Need: The Wiz need help everywhere. Their best player is Gilbert Arenas, but he'll be on the trading block every day for the rest of his contract, so there's no worry about his meshing with whomever Washington takes. And that person pretty simply has to be the best player from this class over the next five-plus years, not the best guy today. That kind of superstar should help create a new identity and sell tickets. In essence, with this pick, need equals value.

Value: The best prospect in this class, when character, maturity and talent are all mixed in, is clearly John Wall. If DeMarcus Cousins had Wall's head and polish, he'd be in the mix here. But Cousins showed up fat in Chicago, clinching the deal for Wall. The fact that Wall seems ready to take on the burdens of being a superstar, loves to pass and is a competitive jet -- meaning he'll be fun to play with -- is an added bonus.

No. 2 Philadelphia 76ers