Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 NBA Mock Draft (Version 2)

After reading the recent reports and rumors, here is my second attempt at predicting Thursday's NBA Draft.

Click here to see my first attempt.

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
The Hornets will build their franchise around the top prospect in this draft.  Davis is a defensive terror who showed flashes of offensive talent while leading Kentucky to a national championship as a freshman.

2. Charlotte Bobcats - Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The rumor is that Charlotte wants to move this pick - Cleveland supposedly has interest to take Bradley Beal - but if they hold on, Robinson would be a nice consolation prize after not getting the first pick and the opportunity to draft Anthony Davis.

3. Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
The Wizards trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza solidifies their front court so adding the top prospect at shooting guard is a good move.  Beal reminds me of Eric Gordon, the Hornets promising shooting guard.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
As I wrote above, the Cavs are rumored to be interested in trading up with Charlotte to nab Bradley Beal but if they stay at the fourth pick, Kidd-Gilchrist would be an excellent addition.  He is not a finished product offensively but he has an unselfish game that would fit in with any NBA team.

5. Sacramento Kings - Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
The Kings would be wise to move this pick for some veterans - would Philadelphia be willing to deal Andre Iguodala to move up to the fifth pick? - but Barnes would probably be the pick if they don't make a trade.

6. Portland Trailblazers (via the Nets) - Andre Drummond, C, UConn
Drummond did not have the monster freshman year for the Huskies that many predicted but his talent and size will be hard for Portland to pass over at six.

7. Golden State Warriors - Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
The Warriors have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Richard Jefferson running the wings so adding a distributor like Lillard to get them the ball makes a lot of sense.

8. Toronto Raptors - Dion Waters, SG, Syracuse
The Raptors need scoring and Waters - along with Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers - could be what they're looking for.  I have Waiters going here due to the rumors that the Raptors promised to draft him.

9. Detroit Pistons - Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
The Pistons have played Greg Monroe out of position at center so adding a player like Zeller would allow them to move Monroe to his natural power forward position.

10. New Orleans Hornets (via the Timberwolves) - Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
After taking Davis with the first pick, the Hornets can add a table setter in Marshall who thrived at UNC distributing to Harrison Barnes, Jon Henson, and Tyler Zeller.

11. Portland Trailblazers - Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
The Blazers need a replacement for Brandon Roy and Ross' size and shooting would help solve that problem.

12. Milwaukee Bucks - Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
The Bucks traded Andrew Bogut at the end of last season so drafting a physical big man like Leonard helps fill a serious hole in the middle of their lineup.

13. Phoenix Suns - Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Rivers has the ability to be an excellent scoring guard in the NBA but an up-and-down freshman year at Duke has dropped him out of the top of the lottery.  As Phoenix begins to prepare for life after Steve Nash, Rivers could be a nice building block.

14. Houston Rockets - John Henson, PF, North Carolina
The Rockets, who also own the sixteenth pick, are another team rumored to be looking to trade.  The Rockets need size and I would think they would be happy if Henson is there for them at 14.

15. Philadelphia 76ers - Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor
The 76ers made a nice run in the Eastern Conference playoffs and were just a few possessions away from winning a Game 7 in Boston that would have catapulted them into the Eastern Finals.  One area of need for Philly is size and Jones, who has dropped because of questions about his toughness, could be a nice complimentary piece for the Sixers.

16. Houston Rockets (via the Knicks) - Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
Lamb, who helped lead UConn to a national title two years ago as a freshman, has been hurt by an ankle injury during the workout process that will probably drop him to the middle of the first round.  He would be a steal for the Rockets at 16.

17. Dallas Mavericks - Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
As a Celtics fan, I would love to see Jones slide down a few more picks but his all around game is also a perfect fit for the Mavs.

On a side note, it kills me how proven college stars, like Jones, seem to drop during the draft process while players who did less in college, like Leonard Meyers or John Henson, seem to rise.  Jones stands 6-10, weighs over 250 pounds, and did nothing but domiante his competition at Kentucky which culminated in winning a national title this past spring.  Alas, a team like the Mavericks (or hopefully the Celtics) will reap the benefits of this process.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via the Jazz) - Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
The Wolves are in the process of building a good team around Kevin Love.  They have point guards Ricky Rubio, Jose Barea, and Luke Ridnour and forwards Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley.  One area of need is in the middle and the 7-0, 260-pound Melo could be a solution to that problem.

19. Orlando Magic - Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
The Magic need as many talented players as they can get in order to make one last attempt to convince Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando.  Sullinger has dropped this far because of concerns about his back but the Magic could use his ability to score in the low post.

20. Denver Nuggets - Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Teague won't have to come in and start right away with Andre Miller on the roster but with Miller heading to free agency after 2013, Teague could serve his apprentice year and then be ready to slide into a starting role in his second season.

21. Boston Celtics - Royce White, PF, Iowa State
White has Top-10 potential but concerns about his anxiety disorder will likely drop him into the 20's.  White's all around game will endear him to whatever team rolls the dice with him and a Celtics team that desperately needs talent for their bench would be happy to add him.

22. Boston Celtics (via the Clippers) - Kim English, SG, Missouri
The Celtics need depth at forward and at guard so I doubt they will spend both first round picks on big men.  English has the shot and the size (6-6) to be a successful shooting guard in the NBA and with Ray Allen likely moving on, English could be a piece of the puzzle in the Celtics back court next season.

23. Atlanta Hawks - Scott Machado, PG, Iona
I'm sure if this is the pick that a lot of fans will be scratching their heads as to who Machado is but he is a pass first point guard (he averaged 7.6 and 9.9 assists his junior and senior seasons) and the Hawks need a backup to Jeff Teague.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via the Lakers) - Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson's ability to score in the low post would be a welcome addition to a Cavs team that needs help in just about every area on the floor.

25. Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Wroten, Jr., PG, Washington
The Grizzlies are another team that needs depth at point guard and with O.J. Mayo likely leaving as a free agent, Wroten's size (6-6, 205) could be valuable as a defender against opposing shooting guards.

26. Indiana Pacers - Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State
Their playoff loss to the Heat proved that the Pacers need more perimeter defense and coming from Tom Izzo's program, Green will be able to add defense and toughness to whatever team calls his name on Thursday.

27. Miami Heat - Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
The Heat need perimeter defense and shooters and Taylor can help in both areas.  The Heat also need size so a name like Arnett Moultrie could also be heard here if available.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
The Thunder were exposed against the Heat in pick-and-roll defense because they lacked athletic big men that could slow down penetration and also recover to the rim.  Moultrie is not ready to be an elite defender in the NBA but his size and athleticism could help in the Thunder's team defensive scheme.

29. Chicago Bulls - Will Barton, SG, Memphis
The Bulls need serious help at shooting guard and while they should be pursuing the likes of Ray Allen and O.J. Mayo in free agency, they will also probably draft a shooting guard.

30. Golden State Warriors (via the Spurs) - Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's
A lot of mock drafts have Harkless climbing into the low 20's but in my mock he's available at 30 and the Warriors are in no position to turn down players known for their defense on the perimeter.

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