Thursday, June 17, 2010
Updated: June 21, 9:30 AM ET
Vitale: No sure things after Wall
By Dick Vitale
OK, OK ... everyone has John Wall penned in as the No. 1 pick of the NBA Draft.
But how will the rest of the top five shake out?
Well my friends, a lot of people have Ohio State's Evan Turner going No. 2 to the Philadelphia 76ers. Others think Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins could end up going to Philadelphia. It is certainly an interesting discussion for new 76ers coach Doug Collins and the team's management.
Turner should be the sure-fire choice, if only because he has more experience. There's no doubt Turner is ready to play and perform at a high level right away. At 6-foot-7, he's a good ball-handler. He's going to be tough for the Sixers to pass up.
Favors is a guy whose stock is high for one reason -- potential, potential, potential. At times last year, the Georgia Tech star was unstoppable. But there were other times when he disappeared for long stretches. This should raise red flags with NBA scouts. If Favors was more consistent, he would be lock city for No. 2.
Cousins has a chance to be a great player at the next level, but he has to get his emotions in check and show more maturity. He has to go to the right situation. Cousins needs a mentor; a veteran-laden team would be best. But make no mistake about it, the former Kentucky Wildcat has plenty of upside.
At the end of the day, I believe the Sixers will still go with Turner at No. 2.
Sitting in the No. 3 slot, the New Jersey Nets and new billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov have a tough decision. Will it be Favors or Cousins? Cousins has an edge in size. There are not many big-time post players in the NBA right now. I personally would pick Cousins if I was making the selection.
Then the draft gets intriguing. In my opinion, the next two picks should be a battle of the Big East between Syracuse's Wesley Johnson and Georgetown's Greg Monroe. Johnson is explosive and he has experience; he played at Iowa State before joining the Orange. He should fit in and be productive right away.
Monroe has size and a great attitude. He will provide versatility to the team which picks him. And perhaps most importantly, he is hungry to learn. Another positive: The coach who gets him will never have to worry about him off of the court. That coach will be able to sleep at night knowing he has added a quality person.
It should be an interesting first round.