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Friday, June 22, 2012

6/22/2012 Mock Draft

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, F/C, Kentucky

The obvious pick. No chance of anything else happening here. Davis is on a whole other tier than the rest of the prospects. Hornets cant make it official until draft night due to NBA unwritten rules.

2. Charlotte Bobcats - Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

I think there are two options the Bobcats are now considering. Robinson or Barnes. Jordan has given approval of Barnes, but despite popular belief, the Cats havent selected a UNC player since Jordan has owned the team. Jordan took over after the May/Felton picks. Robinson is the better prospect and gives the Bobcats something to potentially call a strength sooner rather than later - their interior defense and rebounding. Hes a nice fit with Biyombo and would be my selection.

I have a feeling Barnes could be the pick here, though. Even if he does, it doesnt screw up much of my top 5. Barnes and Robinson would just swap places with T-Rob going to the Kings.

3. Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

This pick Im pretty sure on. Beal fills in their weakest position and is the best player on the board. His shooting will compliment Wall. They desperately need a skilled wing player and Beal brings that. The Wizards owner is focusing on high character players so thats another plus. With the Ariza deal, the Wizards have too many defensive SFs on their roster already to take MKG. Remember, they took Singleton and Vesely last year.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

Lots think Barnes, citing his friendship with Irving. Well, Irving and MKG went to high school together in New Jersey and would be a nice pair themselves. The Cavs two big draft indicators are analytics and character and MKG grades out better than Barnes in both of those situations. In fact, they dont make Barnes look very good at all. MKG was impressive in his workout for the Cavs and I honestly think Waiters or Drummond could be bigger competition than Barnes here.

5. Sacramento Kings - Harrison Barnes, G/F, North Carolina

While the Kings could pray for MKG, Barnes is the guy who slips to them. Hes pretty much their only choice here as Drummond has been ruled out (too much of a project on a team with plenty) and Lillard and Waiters are too much of what they already have. This would be a decent situation for Barnes (well as good as playing for the Kings could be) as he can fill a role as a shooter. The only problem is he probably wont like playing in Sactown. He had already canceled his workout with them.

6. Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard, G, Weber State

Trailblazers have the #11 pick too so that plays a bit of a factor here. Its looking like Lillard wont be around there so if they want him, hes got to be had here. Word is, Portland really likes him and could look big with their second first rounder. The Blazers brought in a sports psychologist to interview prospects this year so I think that could have eliminated Drummond. Dion Waiters has an outside shot here.

7. Golden State Warriors - Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

Size and defense for the Warriors. Theyve been stressing that, and they get it here with the draft's first player to slip. The took a project in Jeremy Tyler last year, so I dont think theyll be worried about Drummond much here. They were rumored to be interested in Tyler Zeller here and Drummond slipping makes this a much easier pick. Hes on a whole other tier. Waiters and Ross are options should they choose to go with backcourt help.

8. Toronto Raptors - Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse

I think the Raptors really like where they are sitting. Waiters, Lamb, Rivers, and Lillard have all been rumored to have Colangelo's eye. With Lillard gone and Lamb falling off, I think this is Waiters spot. I actually think this could be Waiters' floor to be honest. He has a lot of interest up top, starting with #4. Rivers could go here if Waiters is not on the board.

9. Detroit Pistons - John Henson, F, North Carolina

Pistons are building around Greg Monroe, so they need to get an athletic defender to play beside him inside. Henson has been the favorite all along and guys like Moultrie havent gained enough momentum to become serious threats. Henson is the pick here.

10. New Orleans Hornets - Austin Rivers, G, Duke

This is rumored to be where the promise to Rivers came from. Promises can be broken, though, and New Orleans has some other choices to consider here. Kendall Marshall, Moe Harkless, and Tyler Zeller are all said to be targets for this team. Personally, Id love to see Sullinger paired with Davis, but that looks unrealistic right now.

11. Portland Trailblazers - Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

The Trailblazers most likely will look for a big here after taking Lillard at number 6. Ive heard they like Leonard over Zeller so thats the pick here. Lillard and Leonard would be the Blazers idea of playing it safe to make sure they get two targets they like. I doubt Sullinger is a possibility after the Blazers have witnessed first hand TWICE of what pre-draft medical red flags can cause.

12. Milwaukee Bucks - Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

Bucks really like Henson and it sounds like they think he can turn into a center. Theyve been interested in trading up and I think either him or Drummond would be their target. If they stay here, I still except them to go big. Zeller fits the Bucks mold and can provide depth. Perry Jones would have been an option had he not played his way out of a spot. He still has one final workout for the Bucks against Terrence Jones tomorrow to redeem himself. Right now though, Terrence Jones is the runner up here.

13. Phoenix Suns - Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

Suns are going to go with the best shooting guard on the board here. The want a defensive guy who can create his own shot and Ross fits the bill. Its a coinflip between him and Jeremy Lamb here.

14. Houston Rockets - Royce White, F, Iowa State

Tough call here. I decided between Terrence Jones, Kendall Marshall, Jared Sullinger, and Quincy Miller. Not many experienced players here that fit what Houston likes, but they really do need to take a risk on potential. White has the stats and is smarter and older than what his classification of a sophomore suggests. Hes got the numbers and character that Houston likes, but also provides the upside.

15. Philadelphia 76ers - Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State

Its hard to pinpoint what exactly the 76ers will target, but with Doug Collins running the team, I think they need to draft smart and coachable players that can deal with this critical style. Sullinger and Marshall would be good fits, while Perry Jones could crumble under the criticism. If Sullinger needs surgery, 76ers still have Brand signed for another year. The following year, Sullinger will be ready to take over for Brand.

16. Houston Rockets - Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

I dont see the Rockets keeping both picks and I wouldnt be surprised if they traded both. Marshall is BPA and can help a lot of teams, including Houston if they keep the pick. This is mainly a BPA pick for whomever is drafting here next week.

17. Dallas Mavericks - Evan Fournier, G/F, International

The Mavs will be operating under the assumption that they will have D-Will and Dirk to build their next championship team around. Donnie Nelson is certainly not afraid of foreign players, so I could see him reaching a bit for Fournier. A center like Melo or Nicholson is possible, but just as much of a reach.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jeremy Lamb, G/F, Connecticut

This would be a beautiful situation for the Wolves and a no-brainer pick. They are hoping at least one of the top SGs is available here. Terrence Ross is the other guy I could see being available at this spot. The rest all have lottery floors.

19. Orlando Magic - Moe Harkless, F, St. Johns

The Magic are a mess. They could swing for the fences with Wroten or Teague, or they could just get someone in there that can make them more watchable next year. Harkless is a bit of the best of both worlds, he'll be ready to help a team win before either of the young PGs.

20. Denver Nuggets - Quincy Miller, F, Baylor

In this case, Id actually listen to your PGs opinion (Lawson) and draft who he says. Miller would be great value here and the Nuggets have been stealing players late the past few years. Doron Lamb is someone else I think could help the Nuggets, by taking some pressure off of Andre Miller. He simply had too much on his plate in the playoffs.

21. Boston Celtics - Perry Jones, F, Baylor

Jones has slipped far enough that hes a very nice risk here. If Boston takes him, Id really hope they bring back Garnett back. As a basketball fan, itd be nice to see Jones' potential maxed out and Garnett could definitely show him how to play the game by example. Royce White might be their target here, but in this draft, they will have to move up to get him. Personally, I think they should keep both of their picks unless they fall in love with one player. There isnt a lot of separation in this draft.

22. Boston Celtics - Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

Ainge likes talent and the talent is there in Teague. The Celtics have been without a backup point guard for awhile, trying to solve the problem with names like Marbury and Nate Robinson. They can get a solution to the problem in this draft and perhaps even a starter.

23. Atlanta Hawks - Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

Hawks are another team hoping Royce White falls, but thats a pipe dream at this point. Theyve got Boston in front of them. Rick Sund has an obsession with centers and they just happen to be in the market for one. Melo has some intriguing potential that will definitely catch their eye. I could also see them taking a versatile forward. Draymond Green, Moultrie, Crowder, and Nicholson are some other names.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky

Kentucky could end up with another UK player if they take Lamb here. Id love this pick and it fits their style. Hes got good character and graded out well in John Hollinger's number cruncher. With Irving as the playmaker, MKG as the slasher and hustle guy, Lamb could be the shooter and secondary defender. Thats an exciting backcourt trio.

25. Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Wroten, G, Washington

Ive heard about their interest in some of the local talent - Jenkins, Taylor, Barton, and Lamb. They are definitely looking backcourt. I think Wroten offers plenty of intrigue since he can start down the road and the Grizzlies need to eventually trade one of their current starters to save money. Conley could be the weakest link. A Wroten/Selby backcourt is very risky, but they could potentially do a solid job of complimenting each other. Selby can play the 2 since Wroten has the height to switch and defend SGs while playing PG on offense. Selby is the shooter while Wroten is the playmaker.

26. Indiana Pacers - Jeff Taylor, G/F, Vanderbilt

Pacers look for another solid role player here and another college senior. Taylor is an excellent defender and can defend both wing spots. Tyshawn Taylor is another option here.

27. Miami Heat - Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

Chalmers proved he can step up in the Finals so the Heats biggest need is at center. Ezeli isnt great, but hes a big body who can play smart and hit his FTs. Riley likes guys with prototypical size and skills with a knack for defending.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Andrew Nicholson, F/C, St Bonaventure

Thunder might sell this pick, but either way, Nicholson should be off the board at this spot. Draymond Green is another option if the Thunder choose to keep the selection.

29. Chicago Bulls - Tyshawn Taylor, G, Kansas

The Bulls are going to desperately need a ball handler. Taylor is experienced and can step in for Rosoe and make some plays scoring and passing. When Rose comes back, they can use his defense and energy off the bench. Bulls always have a soft spot for winners and the last defensive Kansas guard who played in the Final Four had plenty of solid years for them.

30. Golden State Warriors - Will Barton, SF, Memphis

Barton is an interesting prospect. Hes got the size, numbers, and skills to be a player. Hes young and has that Baltimore toughness to his game. Hes still learning how to win, but hes a decent investment in the late first early second. The Warriors still need a SF after taking Drummond at #7. Darius Miller and Jae Crowder are other potential targets if the draft plays out this way.

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