Thursday, June 28, 2012

NBA Mock Draft v 3.0

I've spent quite some time on this mock draft, especially over the past few days in regards to all of the trades that have gone on. I've seen which teams are high on which players and who's rising and falling. While this mock will not completely represent the decisions I think each team should make, it will show what I expect to happen. And this is, of course, subject to change, because a million trades could happen between the time I click "publish" and the end of tonight's draft. Here we go.

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky: Davis is the undisputed top pick here. His defense and versatility is second to none, and "the brow" (now trademarked) will be a force in the NBA.

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas: While many think the Bobcats may trade this pick, Robinson would bring toughness, aggressiveness, and rebounding to an awful team.

3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida: Beal has recently shot up draft boards and I've even seen the Thunder trying to trade up to get him. He is a fantastic shooter and can rebound the ball as well.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky: MKG's motor, hard work, and leadership will certainly be welcomed by the Cavs. He gets to pair up with his high school teammate, Kyrie Irving.

5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut: Yes, he's a huge risk, but pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins looks tantalizing, and with his physical tools and defense, this gamble just may work out.

6. Portland Trailblazers: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St.: Lillard will certainly light it up as a pro, and as long as he improves his passing ability, he'll be a starting point guard in the NBA.

7. Golden St. Warriors: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina: This is a perfect fit for the Dubs as they get the small forward they need. Barnes is raw, but he can score.

8. Toronto Raptors: Dion Waiters, PG/SG, Syracuse: Waiters has been said to be the best one-on-one scorer in this draft. If he can develop his jump shot, he'll be a star, and may take Toronto to new heights.

9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson, PF, North Carolina: Pairing a defensive minded power forward with Greg Monroe is the best way for Detroit to go. Henson is the best shot blocker in this draft besides Davis.

10. New Orleans Hornets: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois: After ditching Emeka Okafor, the Hornets get the extremely explosive Leonard and have their frontcourt of the future set.

11. Portland Trailblazers: Tyler Zeller, PF/C, North Carolina: These are the centers on Portland's roster last season: Joel Przybilla, Kurt Thomas, Hasheem Thabeet, Greg Oden. Yikes. Where's Kwame?

12. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi St.: Although it's risky, the Rockets are set on acquiring Dwight Howard. Moultrie is an athletic big man to pair next to him.

13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke: The Suns get a guard who could play both positions and will provide much needed scoring for this depleted squad.

14. Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones, SF/PF, Baylor: Jones' versatility is nice, but it's his potential that everyone raves about. He could become one of the best players in this draft.

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut: The Sixers get some nice depth behind Evan Turner. Lamb has enough length and shooting ability to possibly one day overtake Turner.

16. Houston Rockets: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington: The days of Kevin Martin are over. Ross gives Houston an NBA ready scorer and another piece to attract Howard.

17. Dallas Mavericks: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina: The title window is growing smaller for Dirk, so why not pair him up with the best pure point guard in the draft? Marshall will try to do his best Jason Kidd impersonation.

18. Houston Rockets: Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's: The Rockets again? Harkless is a premier talent with an amazing scoring ability and nice size. Once again, he can contribute right away for Dwight Howard's future team (just jinxed it).

19. Orlando Magic: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky: With Jameer Nelson gone, and Howard soon to be gone, Teague is the point guard of the future with solid passing skills and the ability to get to the rim.

20. Denver Nuggets: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio St.: Poor Sully. No one seems to want him, but Denver should. He gives them a post scorer to put down low with the offensively challenged Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee.

21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky: Lamb is a big time scorer who can make big time shots-perfect for a team who is losing Ray Allen and gradually trying to rebuild while still make a run for another title.

22. Boston Celtics: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse: Melo's defense and shot blocking will be welcomed in Boston and KG can teach him to be tougher and actually score.

23. Atlanta Hawks: Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Kentucky: Because this draft is so deep, a talent like Jones could drop this low. His versatile scoring gives him the chance to replace the incumbent Marvin Williams.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure: Yes, the Cavs have Tristan Thompson at the four, but they are supremely lacking offense, especially after picking MKG. Nicholson can stretch the floor and hit long range shots-Thompson will never be able to do that.

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Royce White, SF, Iowa St.: I personally think that White is more reward than risk. If the team can trade Rudy Gay and White lives up to his potential, you've got one of the all time steals right here.

26. Indiana Pacers: Jeffrey Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt: The Pacers get another wing guy who is very skilled on both sides of the ball. He fits into the young and talented team's dimensions.

27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt: Another Commodore is taken, this one by the champs. Miami needs a center and Ezeli can provide physicality and defense down low.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, SF/PF, Michigan St.: Green has so many different skills and despite his lack of physical tools, has the heart of a champion. What's wrong with playing him 7-10 minutes a night and developing him behind the OKC talent?

29. Chicago Bulls: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor: I've heard a lot of talk about Deng being moved, so Miller may be his replacement. His length gives him lock down defensive talent, but he can score too.

30. Goldent St. Warriors: Tony Wroten, PG/SG, Washington: Wroten adds insurance for Stephen Curry. He is one of the best at getting to the basket, but needs to work on his point guard skills.

31. Charlotte Bobcats: Will Barton, SG/SF, Memphis: Barton can score in a variety of ways, while the Bobcats don't have too many players that can score in one way.

32. Washington Wizards: Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia: Washington gets a high energy guy who can stretch the floor and bang on the boards. Great compliment for Nene.

33. Cleveland Cavaliers: Khris Middleton, SG/SF, Texas A&M: The Cavs get more scoring, this time on the wing. Middleton has injury concerns, but he can shoot from deep and create his own shot.

34. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jared Cunningham, SG/SF, Oregon St.: Back to back wing players. Is this a mistake? Not when you consider how Cunningham's defense (ruled the Pac-12) can make a nice platoon with Middleton's offense.

35. Golden St. Warriors: Furkan Aldemir, PF, Turkey: The Turkish big man can step in and help if David Lee or Andrew Bogut get hurt, hopefully better than Andris Biedrins would.

36. Sacramento Kings: Darius Miller, SF, Kentucky: Miller didn't get too much time at Kentucky with all the big talents in front of him, but he's a sharpshooter who can certainly play in the NBA.

37. Toronto Raptors: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt: The Vanderbilt sharpshooter would slide in nicely next to DeMar DeRozan. Jenkins has the ability to be the next great three point shooter.

38. Denver Nuggets: Scott Machado, PG, Iona: After getting some help down low, the Nuggets look to get a backup point man to replace Andre Miller. Machado has great court vision and should also be able to coexist with Ty Lawson.

39. Detroit Pistons: Evan Fournier, SG, France: The Pistons will be happy to see Fournier drop this far. His ability to get to the basket will make up for the loss of Ben Gordon.

40. Portland Trailblazers: Kim English, SG, Missouri: An explosive player who can shoot the three, English will be a solid backup for Wesley Matthews.

41. Portland Trailblazers: Drew Gordon, PF, New Mexico: Adding some more size down low, Gordon can bang the boards and crash the glass. He's more of a bruiser than LaMarcus Aldridge, who relies on finesse.

42. Milwaukee Bucks: Henry Sims, C, Georgetown: There's no question that the Bucks wanted a center after losing Andrew Bogut, and they now have one with Sims.

43. Atlanta Hawks: Tyshawn Taylor, PG/SG, Kansas: The Hawks have expressed a desire for more guard depth. Jeff Teague is good, but having Taylor behind him will make them feel more comfortable.

44. Detroit Pistons: Orlando Johnson, SF, UCSB: Detroit is crowded at small forward, but compared to Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette, and Austin Daye, Johnson may wind up being better than all of them.

45. Philadelphia 76ers: Kyle O'Quin, PF, Norfolk St.: O'Quinn gobbles rebounds for breakfast, and he should help ease the pain of losing Elton Brand.

46. New Orleans Hornets: Kevin Murphy, SG, Tennessee Tech: New Orleans gets a dynamic scorer who will help the offense, especially if Eric Gordon is not resigned.

47. Utah Jazz: Tomas Satoransky, PG/SG, Czech Republic: With a young frontcourt already in the fold, the Jazz get a big point guard who can learn the ropes from Devin Harris.

48. New York Knicks: Mitchell Watt, PF, Buffalo: The Knicks get some depth to their frontline, but also a player who can score, both in the paint and the mid range game.

49. Orlando Magic: Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga: Knowing that Dwight Howard will eventually need to be traded, the Magic draft a seven footer who has solid back-to-the-basket skills.

50. Denver Nuggets: William Buford, SG, Ohio St.: Buford brings his smooth jumper to the two guard spot, where it will be matched with Aaron Afflalo's defense.

51. Boston Celtics: Kostas Papanikolaou, SF, Greece: Someone's going to have to replace Paul Pierce eventually. Papanikolaou may not be the solution, but he can come off the Boston bench and hit threes.

52. Golden St. Warriors: Jae Crowder, SF, Marquette: Crowder adds toughness, physicality, and rebounding. He may be a bit undersized for his game but can step out and shoot the long ball.

53. Los Angeles Clippers: JaMychal Green, PF, Alabama: Just another player to join Lob City. Green will be battling Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan for Chris Paul alley-oops.

54. Philadelphis 76ers: Tu Holloway, PG, Xavier: Holloway's draft stock dropped when the Musketeers season went into a downward spiral, but he's a wrecking ball point guard with leadership skills. A solid scorer to fill the void of Lou Williams.

55. Dallas Mavericks: Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse: Joseph is the best player available, and his wingspan and defense will help him out while his offense catches up.

56. Toronto Raptors: Mike Scott, PF, Virginia: He may be a bit undersized for the power forward position, but Scott is crafty down low and can hit the 15-footer.

57. Brooklyn Nets: Herb Pope, PF, Seton Hall: It looks like Deron Williams may stay, so the confident Nets take Pope, a skilled post scorer. The former Pirate will move from Jersey to Brooklyn along with the Nets.

58. Minnesota Timberwolves: Hollis Thompson, SG, Georgetown: The T-Wolves need a shooting guard, and Thompson is lights out from behind the arc. He may be no more than a bench player, but could be a stopgap for Minnesota.

59. San Antonio Spurs: Bernard James, PF, Florida St.: The Spurs have shown that they like the old guys. It doesn't matter than James is already 27, he'll be an enforcer down low.

60. Los Angeles Lakers: Casper Ware, PG, Long Beach St.: L. A. takes a gamble on the little guy from the West Coast. Who knows? He could become a starter in the league one day.

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