New Jersey is lovely in the winter. Or so Derrick Favors had better hope. Three mock drafts assembled in the wake of Tuesday’s NBA lottery all have the Georgia Tech one-and-done ticketed for the Garden State and the Nets, who just finished a 12-70 season and who have no coach, no general manager and a new Russian owner.
But wait. It could be worse. Favors could be Tech teammate Gani Lawal, who seems no lock to go in Round 1.
The three mocks in question — from NBAdraft.net, from Chad Ford of ESPN.com’s Insiders (link requires registration) and from Ian Thomsen of SI.com — are in concert on the first three picks. John Wall of Kentucky will go No. 1 to the Wizards, Evan Turner of Ohio State No. 2 to the Sixers, Favors No. 3 to the Nets. Then the three begin to differ.
Al-Farouq Aminu, of Wake Forest by way of Norcross High, will go fifth to the Kings (according to Thomsen) or sixth to the Warriors (according to NBAdraft.net) or seventh to the Pistons (according to Ford). Regarding Lawal, who was Aminu’s Norcross teammate, the consensus seems to be that he’s not a lottery pick and maybe not a first-rounder.
Thomsen has Lawal going 21st overall to Oklahoma City. NBAdraft.net has him going to Washington with the final selection in Round 1. Ford doesn’t have in the first round or in his list of the next five players apt to be taken.
And now you’re asking: What about the Hawks? Ford and NBAdraft.net, each presumably operating on the belief that Marvin Williams hasn’t rendered himself irreplaceable, has them taking a small forward with the 24th pick. Ford goes with Quincy Pondexter of Washington. NBAdraft.net opts for Damion James of Texas. Perhaps foreseeing the loss of a certain big-name shooting guard in free agency, Thomsen goes with James Anderson of Oklahoma State instead.
About Anderson, nicknamed Big Game James: Wherever he lands in the league, he’d better hope it’s far away from Tech’s Iman Shumpert. Because the tenacious Jacket absolutely inhaled Big Game James in Round 1 of the NCAA tournament.
Anderson’s line: Eleven points (half his average) on 3-of-12 shooting (zero-for-6 on treys) with three turnovers. It was among the greatest one-on-one defensive games I’ve ever seen a collegian have.