2 years ago
There may be 168 days until the NBA draft lottery but, given how poorly a handful of teams are playing this season, we already have a pretty good idea of who will be hoarding the pingpong balls this year.
The New Jersey Nets are a historically pitiful 0-17. The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't far behind at a pathetic 2-15. And the New York Knicks aren't faring much better at a paltry 3-14. While there are plenty of other teams struggling, it seems like these three teams in particular are in for a long season.
That means that fans of all three teams are already focusing on this summer and the 2010 draft. Whom would each team draft if they were to win the lottery?
The Jazz already have a young, All-Star-caliber point guard in Deron Williams. Williams may not be as explosive athletically as John Wall, but I don't think they are giving up on him any time soon. They could try to play Wall and Williams together -- they are different players -- but I'm not sure how well that would work. They'd have a very small backcourt.
Derrick Favors seems like the logical choice if Utah gets the No. 1 pick. Carlos Boozer is on his way out via free agency and Mehmet Okur has only a few years of productivity left. Yes, the Jazz just signed Paul Millsap to a huge contract, but Favors would be a nice complement to him.
I think the Jazz are the one team of the three that seems likely to pick Favors over Wall.
EDGE: Derrick Favors
Favors isn't having quite as strong of a season as Wall, but he's got two things going for him. Size and athleticism come at a premium in the NBA, and Favors has both. He has the chance to be a dominant inside presence -- a cross between Amare Stoudemire and Dwight Howard. However, Favors isn't there yet. His early numbers at Georgia Tech (13.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks in 24 minutes per game) are very good for a freshman but not quite dominant. If he really gets it going in the second half of the season, he'll be a legit No. 1 pick.