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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Orlando Summer League Mock Draft

Imagine this completely ridiculous, made up, and unrealistic scenario for a minute. All of the teams playing in the Orlando Summer league, which isnt the NBA's "official summer league", are penalized by losing all of their participating players. They are thrown back into a NBA supplemental draft to be picked by the 30 teams in the league. The original teams still have a shot at them, but so does the rest of the league. Each team will treat this just like the NBA draft. looking at potential and current skill level.

How would such a stupid draft look?

Well, I thought you'd never ask! I know you like Mock Drafts so lets get New Orleans on the clock...

(Note: The Orlando Summer League is 3 games old right now. Only players who have played 40 minutes or more are eligible. This will exclude better players who were on the roster just for a one game tune up and guys who didnt ever get off the bench. Also, as this is mainly a rankings exercise, team needs will be more of an afterthought)

1. New Orleans Hornets - F/C Andrew Nicholson

Nicholson has been the most impressive player in the summer league. One scout acknowledged his nearly unstoppable offensive game at this level and said he can be a borderline all-star in the NBA. After watching him with the ball in his hands, I have to agree. His jumper is very smooth, he has good footwork in the post, hes incredibly smart, and he has the lower body strength to maintain his position.

2. Charlotte Bobcats - C Andre Drummond

Don't look at this pick and assume Drummond has cemented his position as a future star in this league just yet. Drummond didnt shine in the summer league, but his potential here is a no-brainer. He has shown flashes so far. He is by far the best athlete on the court and has been making plays defensively. He is averaging 2 steal and 2 blocks per game. Offensively, he keeps blowing dunks and free throws, but the more open NBA lane has allowed him to showcase his explosiveness and the ability to put the ball on the floor for a bounce or two.

3. Washington Wizards - SG Alec Burks

Burks has been the most deadly scorer so far, being virtually impossible to keep out of the lane. He gets to the line at an incredible rate and it helps that he can hit his free throws. Burks came on strong for the Jazz last year and should get much more consistent playing time this season. Hes a breakout candidate.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - PG Brandon Knight

Knight is still very much learning the point guard position, but he has a full year of starting under his belt and should be a decent point guard for a long time. He proved he could shoot NBA 3s just fine last year, which has made his pick and roll game become somewhat of his bread and butter.

5. Sacramento Kings -  C Enes Kanter

Last year's mystery man and lottery pick is still a bit of a mystery. We know he can rebound, but how is his offensive game going to evolve. Regardless, Kanter broke into Utah as a 19 year old who hadnt played organized hoops in a year and ended up being a rotational big on a playoff team. Big men are always valuable.

6. Portland Trailblazers - PF Jared Sullinger

Sullinger's back hasnt given out yet! The Celtics might want to hope his ability to shoot past 15 feet ends soon though, as Sullinger has hoisted too many low percentage shots from outside the paint. When he has stayed in the paint, Sullinger has been pretty good, especially the first game where he dropped 20 off the bench. He has also proven to be one of the better rebounders at the event.

7. Golden State Warriors - PF Perry Jones

Perry Jones has gained some ground on Sullinger in my eyes, although in NBA circles they could still both be viewed as injury risks that they want to stay away from. Im no doctor, but I have been pleased to see the way Jones is playing so far. Like Drummond, he has just flashed signs, but the motor is coming. And he is one of the few players that I was actually pleased to see forcing a few shots. Jones has also looked good grabbing rebounds and pushing the ball upcourt. He looks poised.

8. Toronto Raptors - F/C Kyle O'Quinn

I think we might have found the annual hustle big man who goes 20 spots too low in the second round. O'Quinn went nearly unnoticed at Norfolk State, but he is both strong and athletic. He combines that with a great motor and explosiveness around the rim to be a very efficient offensive player and a plus defender and rebounder on defense. He should contribute to the Magic immediately.

9. Detroit Pistons - PG Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson is the kind of player who shines in summer league. He has all the physical attributes, gets to have the ball in his hand, and has no trouble driving and getting to the line. And refs and players both share a love for fouls in Orlando. Despite how good he looks, he still has a a lot of learning to do as a point guard. In summer league, he cant be stopped going to the rim. But once the real games start, he needs to play smarter, make his teammates better, and hit some 3s. I havent seen him do much of any of the three. There is time with him, though.

10. New Orleans Hornets - SF Kyle Singler

This may be a bit high, but Im a sucker for guys who play the game the right way. A lot of the players left I have a hard time seeing them fit onto good teams, but Singler could definitely provide some toughness for any team at the forward spot. He has always been smart and tough, but he has put on some more muscle and the trip overseas has him playing with an even higher IQ.

11. Portland Trailblazers - C Cole Aldrich

Yes, Ive been highly disappointed in Aldrich's career and performance at the summer league. He has me a little optimistic after his last performance, plus this is a draft where centers receive premium value. Aldrich can board, defend, and play tough when he wants to. Whats surprising is he needs to play stronger in the post and definitely needs to gain some of his old confidence back.

12. Houston Rockets - SG Marshon Brooks

Im not a big fan of Brooks, but the dude can light of the box score. He has already shown that in his first NBA season.

13. Phoenix Suns - PF Justin Harper

Harper has been playing out of position so far, getting most of his minutes at the SF, whereas he'd be more of a matchup problem as a stretch PF. The guy can flat out shoot and has been expanding the rest of his game. No longer can you just play him for the shot, he has the confidence to drive by you and the body control to finish.

14. Milwaukee Bucks - PG Tyshawn Taylor

Taylor has had his moments in summer league where he has attempted to take over. He is another summer league point guard who can get to the rim and draw fouls,. which really benefits him in these games. Taylor has confidence and likes big moments, but he needs to start making plays for others.

15. Philadelphia 76ers - SF Maurice Harkless

Harkless hasnt shown much so far, and has also dealt with an injury. His stock cant take much of a hit this quickly and its fitting to mock him back to the 76ers. There is some reinforcement for you Mo!

16. Houston Rockets - C Fab Melo

Melo just missed on the 40 minute requirement, but I had to put him on here since he is one of the bigger names of the draft. I still see him as a solid potential guy. In 39 minutes he hasnt been able to show much and the lack of PT is probably because he isnt even ready for summer league, but the defensive potential is undeniable.

17. Dallas Mavericks - SG E'Twaun Moore

Moore has had a very successful summer league, being the model for consistency with between 15-16 points scored his first 3 games. That defines Moore - he is just always solid. And most of the times, he quietly fills up the box score. He has been that way since college and his style can allow him to play in the NBA for a long time. He is a solid guard who can back up both positions while playing smart and efficient basketball.

18. Houston Rockets - C Miles Plumlee

Plumlee received a lot of laughs on draft night, especially from me, but it doesnt mean he cant be a solid rotational player. Plumlee can rebound, run the floor, and finish strong at the rim. Plus he plays smart. He tested very well athletically, and he looked more athletic then I imagined him as being when he was at Duke. Maybe hes transformed himself, maybe I just missed it, but he is explosive at the rim. Hes a nice role guy.

19. Orlando Magic - SF Kris Joseph

There is a part of me that can see Joseph become a good starter in the NBA. Its likely that he becomes another run of the mill SF, which we have seen plenty of this year in Orlando, but I cant put him any lower than 19. I might actually have him too low. He has the athleticism, ability to drive, mid-range game, and range from 3. Defensively, he has been able to average 2 steals a game and been in position to grab at least 4 boards each contest. His defense is something I plan on focusing more on for the remainder of summer league, as that was something that was hard to evaluate at Cuse.

20. Denver Nuggets - SF Austin Daye

Daye has had plenty of chances and has teased us all plenty of times. We know about his offensive skills, but at this point, the allure of his scoring potential has gotten old. He is what he is.

21. Boston Celtics - SG Garrett Temple

Temple is an older guy who has some NBA experience. Smart player with NBA size and range. He's a good passer for a 2 guard and has proven he can be a good 10th man or so in the league.

22. Boston Celtics - PF JaJuan Johnson

Johnson was drafted by the Cs last year in the first round, but didnt get much playing time. He still has a long ways to go in the strength department. The best part about his game is the ability to face up. He can hit the jumper out to 18 feet or put the ball on the floor. He does have some potential as a stretch PF.

23. Atlanta Hawks - G Lance Stephenson

This isn't based on his summer league, as Stephenson did the exact same thing two years ago in his first summer league appearance. In summer league, Stephenson is simply too hard to contain as a PG. In the NBA, he is simply not smart enough as a PG. Thats where the difference is between summer league and NBA. Still, Lance managed to contribute a little to a up and coming Pacer team. Hes shown enough that Indiana has been willing to deal with his character issues.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers - SF Justin Holiday

Holiday has been one of the best surprises of the summer league playing for his younger brother's team. Holiday has always been a great defender, but now he has added an offensive game and has not been shy about showing it off. His shot still isnt what you want out of a role player, but he does everything else well. Holiday could be on a roster coming out of training camp.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers - SF Lazar Hayward

Hayward has changed his game since Marquette, but unfortunately, it hasnt made him a better player. Hes now very perimeter oriented and looking to score, but he's very inefficient at it. Hayward just isnt good anything in particular at this level. He lost his edge when he was forced to play as a full time wing.

26. Indiana Pacers - SG Kim English

English has the sleaky look of an NBA SG and the jumper to go with it. At this point in the draft, there isn't much left.

27. Miami Heat - PG Maalik Wayns

Wayns actually brings some potential to the late first round. Hes a Philly point guard that knows how to run a team, has good athleticism and strength, attacks the rim, and makes things happen on the break. Hes been one of summer leagues better passers as well. And since he came out earlier, he has some time to develop.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder - C Henry Sims

Some more "potential" for the end of the first round. Sims plays smart, passes well, and has good size for a center. Again, what else do you want this late?

29. Chicago Bulls - C Jeff Foote

I expected Foote to play better than he has the first few games, which could have earned him a ranking in the top 25. He has been quiet though, blending in too much. The D-League all-star can obviously play a bit though, and of course, he is 7 feet tall.

30. Golden State Warriors - SF DeMarre Carroll

Im ready for bed and I refuse to put Al Thornton on here. Goodnight

The Others:

Carleton Scott
Al Thornton
Orlando Johnson
Jeff Pendergraph
Tornike Shengelia
DeAndre Liggins
Adam Morrison
Jacob Pullen
Dionte Christmas
Kevin Murphy
Solomon Jones
Sean Williams
Bryant Dunston
Morris Almond
Xavier Silas
Yancy Gates
Robert Vaden
Tony Gaffney

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Nicholson!!!vote for this guy!~