Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012 First Round NBA Mock Draft

Much like I said last year, undoubtedly there will be a ton of trades deeming this "mock" draft essentially useless but I want to get on record what I think each general manager should do with each pick:

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis (PF, 6'11", 222 lbs, 9'0" reach, 7'6" wingspan, Kentucky, 19 years old) - The biggest lock to go #1 overall since the 2003 NBA Draft when LeBron James was the first pick.

2. Charlotte Bobcats - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF, 6'8", 233 lbs, 8'9" reach, 7'0" wingspan, Kentucky, 18 years old) - Will start for the Bobcats on opening night next season at small forward, especially after the Bobcats shipped Corey Maggette to Detroit for Ben Gordon and a protected first round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  Great trade for the Bobcats, not something that occurs very often but now that techno-genius general manager Rich Cho is running the front office, look for the Bobcats to improve despite losing the Davis Sweepstakes even though they had the best odds of winning the lottery. 

3. Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal (SG, 6'5", 202 lbs, 8'3" reach, 6'8" wingspan, Florida, 18 years old) - Despite my man crush for Jordan Crawford, Beal gives the Wizards the perfect shooting guard to compliment point guard John Wall. 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Harrison Barnes (SF, 6'8", 228 lbs, 8'6" reach, 6'10" wingspan, UNC, 20 years old) - The Cavs would love to get Beal but Barnes makes just as much sense. 

5. Sacramento Kings - Thomas Robinson (PF, 6'9", 244 lbs, 8'10" reach, 7'4" wingspan, Kansas, 21 years old) - Could go as high as 2nd overall on talent but Robinson doesn't feel like the right fit for anyone until the Kings so they should be ecstatic to add get Robinson without having to trade up in the draft. 

6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn Nets) -  Andre Drummond (C, 7'0", 279 lbs, 9'2" reach, 7'6" wingspan, UConn, 18 years old) - Forget the curse of Sam Bowie and Greg Oden ... Drummond has the highest upside of any player in the draft unfortunately he has one of the lowest floors as well.

7. Golden State Warriors - Damian Lillard (SG, 6'3", 189 lbs, 8'0" reach, 6'8" wingspan, Weber State, 21 years old) - Hard to say whether Lillard is a good stats against bad competition guy or a stud that will step up his game at the next level.

8. Toronto Raptors - Dion Waiters (SG, 6'4", 221 lbs, 8'2" reach, 6'7" wingspan, Syracuse, 20 years old) - Has Top 5 potential so this is a nice value at 8. 

9. Detroit Pistons - John Henson (PF, 6'10", 216 lbs, 9'2" reach, 7'5" wingspan, UNC, 21 years old) - Needs to add 20 pounds of muscle if he wants to play a real power forward/center but if Henson can add the aforementioned muscle mass he could be the second best player in the draft. 

10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota Timberwolves) - Perry Jones (PF, 6'11", 234 lbs, 8'11" reach, 7'2" wingspan, Baylor, 20 years old) - Would have gone in the Top 5 in the 2011 NBA Draft so getting him with the 10th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft shows that good things come to those who wait. 

11. Portland Trail Blazers - Austin Rivers (SG, 6'5", 203 lbs, 8'1" reach, 6'7" wingspan, Duke, 19 years old) - After adding a center with the 5th pick, getting a shooter makes a ton of sense. 

12. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee Bucks) - Meyers Leonard (C, 7'1", 250 lbs, 9'1" reach, 7'3" wingspan, Illinois, 20 years old) - This seems like a boom-or-bust pick that I totally support because Leonard feels like a potential All-Star if he can focus. 

13. Phoenix Suns - Jeremy Lamb (SG, 6'5", 179 lbs, 8'5" reach, 6'11" wingspan, UConn, 20 years old) - I wonder whether the fact that Rivers comes from NBA bloodlines (father currently coaches the Boston Celtics) is making me undervalue Lamb because it feels like Lamb should go somewhere in the Top 10 on talent alone but I just couldn't find a spot for him. 

14. Milwaukee Bucks (via Houston Rockets) - Tyler Zeller (C, 7'0", 247 lbs, 8'8" reach, 7'0" wingspan, UNC, 22 years old) - After trading down as a part of the Dalembert trade, I still think it makes sense to draft a center. Zeller feels a little bit like Tyler Hansbrough 2.0 in terms of motor plus three inches of height.  Zeller doesn't have as much potential upside as Leonard but has a much higher floor than Leonard. 

15. Philadelphia 76ers - Terrence Jones (PF, 6'10", 252 lbs, 8'10" reach, 7'2" wingspan, Kentucky, 20 years old) - Seeing a guy like Jones drop out of the lottery speaks to the depth of this draft.  The first five players seem like locks but from 6 to 20 it seems like they all have an equal chance of success. 

16. Houston Rockets (via New York Knicks) - Terrence Ross (SG, 6'7", 197 lbs, 8'5" reach, 6'7" wingspan, Washington, 21 years old) - A lanky scorer is exactly what the Rockets need, which is exactly what they will get in Ross. 

17. Dallas Mavericks - Moe Harkless (SF, 6'9", 207 lbs, 8'8" reach, 7'0" wingspan, St. John's, 21 years old) - I hate to besmirch a guy with the first name Moe but he has Marcus Haslip written all over him so I probably should have put him lower.

18. Houston Rockets (via Minnesota Timberwolves via Utah Jazz) - Arnett Moultrie (PF, 6'11", 233 lbs, 8'11" reach, 7'2" wingspan, Mississippi St., 21 years old) - Hard to pass on a quality body that can play anywhere from 3 to 5 with the 18th pick.

19. Orlando Magic - Kendall Marshall (PG, 6'4", 198 lbs, 7'11" reach, 6'6" wingspan, UNC, 20 years old) - Jameer Nelson has always been a ho-hum point guard, Marshall looks to have a slightly bigger upside but adding a guy like Marshall feels uninspired if they are trying to entice Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando. 

20. Denver Nuggets - Marquis Teague (PG, 6'2", 180 lbs, 8'3" reach, 6'7" wingspan, Kentucky, 19 years old) - I can't necessarily blame Teague for entering the draft but another season in college most likely would have cemented him as a Top 10 and possibly a Top 5 pick. 

21. Boston Celtics - Royce White (SF, 6'8", 261 lbs, 8'9" reach, 7'0" wingspan, Iowa State, 21 years old) - Might be the lock of the draft if all the reports are true.  With how hot White's stock has been over the last week though, I could actually see him going higher in the draft so the Celtics might have to trade up if they are that enamored with White. 

22. Boston Celtics (via L.A. Clippers) - Fab Melo (C, 7'0", 255 lbs, 9'2" reach, 7'2" wingspan, Syracuse, 22 years old) - I would be shocked if the Celtics didn't resign KG, which will make him a great task master to keep Melo in line and help him fulfill his potential. 

23. Atlanta Hawks - Andrew Nicholson (PF, 6'10", 234 lbs, 8'11" reach, 7'4" wingspan, St. Bonaventure, 22 years old) - Always hard to project how small school guys will do in the pros but with Nicholson's wingspan he is well worth the risk. 

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via L.A. Lakers) - Quincy Miller (SF, 6'10", 219 lbs, 9'1" reach, 7'1" wingspan, Baylor, 19 years old) - I so wanted to give the Cavs an up and coming point guard to make the Ramon Session trade even more preposterous than it already is but with Kyrie Irving in the fold, it doesn't make sense for the Cavs to draft a center.  As a result, I gave them what might be the steal of the draft at 24 since I see Miller as borderline lottery pick talent. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Wroten Jr. (PG, 6'6", 203 lbs, 8'5" reach, 6'9" wingspan, Washington, 19 years old) - More of a passer than a shooter but seems to have the passing gene, which as Ricky Rubio showed, is an innate quality that can very rarely be taught. 

26. Indiana Pacers - Jared Sullinger (PF, 6'9", 268 lbs, 8'11" reach, 7'1" wingspan, Ohio State, 20 years old) - Taking Sullinger in the Top 15 seemed ridiculous to me even before the revelations about his creaky back.  For Sullinger's sake I hope I am wrong but he feels like the second coming of Tractor Traylor. 

27. Miami Heat - Draymond Green (SF, 6'8", 236 lbs, 8'10" reach, 7'1" wingspan, Michigan State, 22 years old) - No one thing stands out about Green's game, he's just an all around solid player.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Evan Fournier (SG, 6'7", 206 lbs, 8'7" reach, 6'8" wingspan, France, 19 years old) - Hitting home runs is a lot harder in the late twenties than in the Top 5.  Fournier has the talent to be draft a much higher pick but it's not clear whether he will play in the NBA next year or will stay in Europe for a few more years so his stock took a slight hit. 

29. Chicago Bulls - Will Barton (SG, 6'6", 174 lbs, 8'7" reach, 6'10" wingspan, Memphis, 21 years old) - Didn't project to go in the first round when the draft process started but Barton is the perfect example of how the draft process helps certain guys by giving them exposure to teams to help push them up draft boards. 

30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio Spurs) - Jeff Taylor (SF, 6'7", 212 lbs, 8'9" reach, 6'11" wingspan, Vanderbilt, 23 years old) - A great pick because Taylor plays great defense, which is a rare commodity for the Warriors since historically they play absolutely no defense.

Related Posts:
- Wednesday What (Might) Happen - 2012 NBA Draft First Round Preview for the Bucks
- Quick Thoughts - Bucks/Rockets 2012 NBA Draft Day Eve Trade
- Wednesday What (Might) Happen - 2012 NBA Draft Second Round Preview for the Bucks
- Wednesday What (Should) Happen - Advice for John Hammond

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