NBA Mock Draft 1.0
The NBA Draft order has been set, and we can finally predict which players will go to what teams. The big winners are the New Orleans Hornets, as they won the lottery and also have the number 10 overall pick. The big losers are the Charlotte Bobcats, who had the best chance to win the lottery, and the Brooklyn Nets, who needed to land in the top three or else their first round pick goes to Portland as part of the Gerald Wallace trade. The Bobcats were all ready to get the #1 pick and get Anthony Davis from Kentucky, but get shocked and fall to #2 and will have to settle with either Kansas power forward, Thomas Robinson, Kentucky small forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or Florida shooting guard, Bradley Beal. None of those players are slouches by any means, but none are as hyped up as Anthony Davis was in his only year at Kentucky.
It’s a big win for the Hornets. The Hornets can now get a big time power forward with lights out defense, and with the number 10 pick, can grab a new young point guard to replace Chris Paul. If they can re-sign shooting guard Eric Gordon as well, they have a very good-looking future. I think if Davis pans out, Gordon stays healthy, and they select a point guard at number 10, the Hornets could be a playoff team very, very soon. The same goes for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the number four overall pick, and the number 24 pick. They have four picks in all, in the top 35. They already have the reigning rookie of the year at point guard, Kyrie Irving. They also have Tristan Thompson, who they took out of Texas as a power forward last year at number four overall, and veteran center Anderson Varajeo. So if they can add a guy like Beal, Robinson, or UNC small forward Harrison Barnes at number four and a developmental center at 24, like Fab Melo from Syracuse, then they have a great future.
Teams with two picks in the first round include, New Orleans at 1 and 10, Cleveland at 4 and 24, Portland at 6 and 11, Golden State at 7 and 30, Houston at 14 and 16, and Boston at 21 and 22.
Anyway, here is my first NBA Mock Draft 1.0.
1.New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky – This is the no brainer pick. I’m skeptical about Davis, but there’s no way he doesn’t go number one.
2.Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky – MKG is a vocal leader and is the most NBA ready player, and would be a really good get for the Bobcats.
3.Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida – The Wizards need a legit scorer, and Beal is the best scorer in this draft, and would form a nasty young back court in Washington with John Wall.
4.Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina – The Cavs miss out on MKG and Beal, but get another solid scorer in Barnes, who they contemplated taking with the number four pick last year before he went back to school.
5.Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas – The Kings could use another big man, and pairing DeMarcus Cousins with Robinson would form a solid young front court. I also think Robinson will wind up better than Anthony Davis.
6.Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut – I feel the Blazers will be hesitant to take Drummond, as he could wind up being Greg Oden 2.0. I tried to mock another player here, but no one else is worth taking, or someone could be a reach. Center is a need for Portland anyway.
7.Golden State Warriors: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse – The Warriors need a shooting guard after trading away Monta Ellis to Milwaukee. Waiters had a great year at ‘Cuse and rose up draft boards after an impressive season.
8.Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut – The Raptors need a scorer and to help out DeMar DeRozan, and get one from a Big East school.
9.Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State – Getting Sullinger to pair with rising star center, Greg Monroe, would create a promising and scary front court duo for Detroit. This draft is deep with PF’s, the Pistons will have their fair share of big men to choose from.
10.New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State – The Hornets get the best player available at number one in Davis, and now get a young lethal point guard to replace Chris Paul. The future looks good in NOLA if they get Lillard, Davis, and re-sign Eric Gordon.
11.Portland Trail Blazers: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina – The Blazers get a big time center at number six, and now get a point guard to replace Raymond Felton. Marshall is the best pure passer in the draft, and having Drummond, and All-Star PF LaMarcus Aldridge in the paint would be a scary site for opposing defenses.
12.Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor: The Bucks look they’ll lose Ersan Ilyasova in free agency, and after trading away Andrew Bogut, they need a big man. Jones has a lot of potential if Milwaukee can keep his motor running.
13.Phoenix Suns: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington – The Suns miss out on Lillard, Marshall, Lamb, and Waiters, but get Ross, who is no slouch and is one of the more under the radar players in this draft. Ross can score pretty well, and that’s something the Suns could use.
14.Houston Rockets: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina – The Rockets need a center after getting screwed by NBA commissioner David Stern in the Lakers-Rockets-Hornets three team trade that would’ve sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, and Paul Gasol to the Rockets, back in early December. Instead of teaming up Gasol with PF Luis Scola, they’ll take a nice scoring center in Zeller to pair with Scola.
15.Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, PF, North Carolina – The 76ers need size, and Henson fits their philosophy of great defense. Henson defends multiple positions and can rebound and block shots as good as anyone not named Anthony Davis.
16.Houston Rockets: Terrance Jones, PF, Kentucky – The Rockets add another big man, a physical defensive minded power forward from Kentucky in Jones. If they can keep their back court in tact, they may be a playoff team in 2013.
17.Dallas Maverics: Tony Wroten Jr, PG, Washington – Jason Kidd is 39 and a free agent, and the Mavs need a PG in the worst way. They could take a SF or C here, if they feel like they’ll be able to sign All-Star Deron Williams in free agency.
18.Minnesota Timberwolves: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke – The Wolves biggest need is at SG, as Wesley Johnson showed nothing this season. Rivers can score, and will benefit from playing with an all world PG in Ricky Rubio, and big men Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.
19.Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois – The Magic are going to lose Dwight Howard soon and are going to need to find his replacement, and Leonard is that guy, a 7’0 raw big man, who can play defense.
20.Denver Nuggets: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky – The Nuggets don’t necessarily have a need, and can just take the best player available (BPA). At this point, some depth at point guard could be added and Teague is arguably the best player left on the board.
21.Boston Celtics: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor – The Celtics need size, and replacement players for when Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett retire. Miller was a top 10 pick before the season began. He has a lot of potential, and is a nice pick here in the early 20’s. St.Johns SF Moe Harkless can be taken here if the Celtics want the more sure thing.
22.Boston Celtics: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse – Melo is a developmental project and will take a couple of years to reach his capability, but he has a lot of reward if you wait. The Celtics need size, and I think Garnett may come back for at least another year and can tutor Melo.
23.Atlanta Hawks: Scott Machado, PG, Iona – The Hawks need a PG bad, and Machado arguably may be the most NBA ready and pure point guard. He can pass, as he averaged 9.9 assists per game this past season, and scored 13 points per game.
24.Cleveland Cavaliers: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt – The Cavs need three-point shooting help, and that’s what Jenkins provides. The Cavs missed out on Beal with the #4 pick to play SG, but Jenkins can score, has deep range, and has a quick release. He’ll be good with Kyrie Irving as his point guard and Harrison Barnes attracting a lot of attention.
25.Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier, SG, France – According to multiple reports, the Grizzlies would like to stash a player in Europe for a year. Fournier is the best European player, and does fit a need.
26.Indiana Pacers: Moe Harkless, SF, St.Johns – Harkless can do a lot, and is a solid all around player. He’s also one of the more underrated players in the draft. He’d be a big welcome to the Pacers.
27.Miami Heat: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State – The Heat need to add size, and Moultrie is 6’11 and tough. He can rebound and can score. Many people view Moultrie as a big sleeper in this draft.
28.Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State – The Thunder can draft the BPA. Green falls in that topic of conversation at 28, and he would be a solid backup to Durant. He can score, rebound, and pass. He’s pretty much a point-forward and shows good leadership.
29.Chicago Bulls: Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt – The Bulls need scorers after the gruesome injury to Derrick Rose. Taylor can shoot from three and has great range. Taylor plays good defense as well, and that’s what the Bulls do very well as a team.
30.Golden State Warriors: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St.Bonaventure – The Warriors could add some size and depth at PF. Nicholson is another one of those underrated players because he doesn’t come from a really big named school. Nicholson and Waiters would be welcome additions to the Warriors, and add some much-needed depth at their positions.