Thursday, June 28, 2012

9 comments 2012 NBA Mock Draft

Usually around NBA Draft time I take a shot at creating a mock draft. There's nothing I enjoy more than being wrong in a public fashion. I didn't do a mock draft last year, so figured I would take a shot at it this year. I did a 2010 NBA mock draft and got about seven of the picks correct. Not a great showing and I will try to do better this year. I'm the Jon Gruden of the NBA Draft. I didn't hate last year's draft and I love this year's draft. I think there are three guys who could be perennial All-Stars coming out of this year's NBA Draft. It's a really deep draft and there is talent from Pick #1 to Pick #32. Of course there is also Perry Jones III and Andre Drummond, both players whose sole purpose to exist is to get the General Manager that drafts them frustrated/fired and disappoint their team's fan base.

So here is my shot at who I think each NBA team will take in this year's draft, along with my opinion of the potential selection. This is a tough draft to mock up. I'm not even sure who Charlotte will take at #2. I also didn't include prospective trades in here if the trades weren't done by the time I posted this. I try not to predict trades.

1. New Orleans- Anthony Davis, C

This pick is fairly obvious. I don't know what kind of package would have to be offered to the Hornets in order to get this pick, but I'm guessing it would have to blow the Hornets away. It's an easy pick to make. Davis isn't as perfect as he is being made out to be, but he's a great defensive player with a ton of room to grow offensively. Though I do have an unnatural love for Brad Beal, and think he will end up being the best player in this draft, I see Anthony Davis as the best pick for the Hornets. They need a big man and if they get a scorer with the #10 pick and re-sign Eric Gordon they will have a very nice core of players.

2. Charlotte- Thomas Robinson, PF

I don't hate Thomas Robinson, but I don't like this pick. The Bobcats can find a better player at the #2 spot. Robinson won't ever be a star. He's strong, but I think he's bothered when guarded by players with length. Look at his games in the NCAA Tourney against UNC, NC State, and Kentucky. For me, he's a more powerful Jared Sullinger, and I'm not sure how I would like Sullinger as an early-lottery pick. Biyombo and Robinson seem like duplicates to me in the fact they are both natural power forwards and can't really play center for long periods of time. They are completely different players, but neither of them are a true center. I hope for the Bobcats' sake this isn't the pick in the #2 spot. Beal should be the pick. Robinson will be a 10 year starter, but nothing special. Beal is special.

3. Washington- Brad Beal, SG

I'm probably too high on Brad Beal. I think he is going to be a star in the NBA. This is a great choice to pair with John Wall and the Wizards need scoring. I'm not going to fawn all over him, but the biggest holes in his game are his inconsistent shooting and the fact he tended to defer to his teammates while at Florida. In his defense, he was the third guard in a backcourt with Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker, so he wasn't deferring to shitty teammates. His shooting can be worked on and he will be an All-Star. Great pick. If only the Bobcats weren't drafting Robinson.

4. Cleveland- Harrison Barnes, SF

I have a bumpy relationship with this choice by the Cavs. I see Barnes as pretty overrated in some ways and think he is a replica of Sean Elliott, which doesn't immediately scream Top 5 pick (though Elliott was also a lottery pick). On the other hand, Barnes and Kyrie Irving are BFF's and probably have bracelets to prove it. Barnes is also not going to bust and will be a really good NBA player. He was playing injured for a good portion of last year, which affected his explosiveness (as a UNC fan will breathlessly point out when you criticize Barnes' lack of explosiveness), and he needs a quality point guard to achieve his full potential. I think Cleveland is a great fit for him. The Cavs can't really go wrong with Kidd-Gilchrist or Barnes in this spot. They are different players and I think Kidd-Gilchrist has the higher ceiling, but Barnes is the better scorer. I do want Kyrie to play with Brad Beal, but my dreams don't seem to come true. Barnes may end up being the third best player on a playoff team, but he's a great building block for them.

5. Sacramento- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF

I want Sacramento to stay away, as far away as humanely possible, from Andre Drummond. It looks like they will get their wish. If they want a big guy whose motor (or head) is questionable and whose game needs refinement, they can sort of look at DeMarcus Cousins. He's on the roster already. Sacramento has so expertly filled their team with a bunch of scorers and guys who want to score, so they need a guy who will play defense and do all of the little things really well without an ego. That's Kidd-Gilchrist. Draft him.

6. Portland- Damian Lillard, PG

Maybe this is wishful thinking and just poor planning on my part. There are two guys in this draft who I think are coach-killers. Andre Drummond and Perry Jones III. Both guys are going to get coaches fired and also will cause teams to fall in love with their potential. I only slightly dislike Drummond, but hate Jones III. The Blazers need a point guard and they need a center. I think they take the point guard they like the most here and will try to use the #11 pick on a center that has a few less question marks, but a lower ceiling as well. Lillard seems to me like a player who could have a Jamal Crawford-type career, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

7. Golden State- Andre Drummond, C

As a rule, I tend to dislike the Warriors draft picks. I hated the Klay Thompson pick last year and I didn't like Anthony Randolph or Epke Udoh that much either when they were drafted. So I know I will hate this pick. The Warriors need a big man, even if they have Andrew Bogut on the roster, you can't have too much size. Mark Jackson wants to turn the Warriors into a defensive team and I think they try to start this progression by drafting Andre Drummond. He could be special or he could also be the reason Mark Jackson is back in the booth with Jeff Van Gundy in two years. Of course just as I was posting this, Jerry West basically said the Warriors aren't taking Drummond. What does he know? I'm sticking with the pick because that's what I do.

8. Toronto- Austin Rivers, SG/PG

I'm not convinced Rivers can be a point guard. Of course I am also not convinced Rivers isn't really a shooting guard. I think he can play shooting guard and defend the position well also. I don't see the issues experts have with Rivers at the shooting guard spot. He's as tall as Dwyane Wade, but 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter. I think he can play shooting guard is my point. Rivers has a massive ego and is cocky, so this is a bit of a risk for the Raptors. Teammates generally don't seem to love Rivers and from what I've heard he has the ability to grate at times, but he has the ability to get to the basket, draw fouls and he works hard at becoming a better player. He could become a five-time All-Star or he could just end up being a cocky asshole whose actual ability never matches his own perceived ability.

9. Detroit- John Henson, PF

This is such a good pick, I can see where it won't happen. If Drummond is available, I think the Pistons take him. If the Pistons draft Meyers Leonard they deserve what they get. Henson isn't much offensively yet, but he's incredibly long and will fit in well with Monroe and Knight. This has to happen. The Pistons need a shot blocker and I think Henson is second to Davis in this draft in terms of shot blocking and shot altering ability. Henson may never be a great offensive player, but he will fit in well with the Pistons forward rotation.

10. New Orleans- Dion Waiters, SG

Yes, the Hornets already have Eric Gordon but I don't think the skill set of these two players overlaps that much. The Hornets need a scorer and Waiters can score. I see him working really well with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. He gets to the rim creating passing lanes for Davis to get easy baskets and for Gordon to get open jump shots. I haven't seen Waiters mocked to the Hornets anywhere else, so maybe I'm far off, but I think it makes sense.

11. Portland- Tyler Zeller, C

This is another pick I think other mock drafts will disagree with (or they did disagree with. I started this mock Monday morning and by Thursday morning other mocks had Zeller in this spot), but Zeller isn't as bad physically as advertised. A team knows what it will get with a guy like Zeller. He can run the floor, he's a smart player, he's long and has some moves on the offensive end. Pairing him up with LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard makes sense to me. I think he is a more polished and NBA-ready player over Leonard, so that's why the Blazers take him...if he lasts this long. Of course, if the Blazers want potential they may go in a different direction.

12. Houston- Meyers Leonard, C

I don't anticipate the Rockets keeping any of their picks, so these are the guys I would draft if I'm the Rockets and I keep all three first round picks. I'm not on the Meyers Leonard bandwagon. Fortunately the Rockets are probably not keeping this pick. If they do keep this pick, Leonard is a great choice for them. They need a center and Leonard does have a ton of potential and he did improve a lot between his freshmen and sophomore years.

13. Phoenix- Kendall Marshall, PG

So this has to happen, right? Maybe I'm playing too much fantasy NBA Draft by having the Suns base on a shooting guard like Lamb or Ross. Marshall is perfect for this offense. Even if Nash re-signs with the Suns they will need another point guard sooner rather than later. There isn't a better point guard in this draft to run a high-octane offense like the Suns have. Marshall thrives in that atmosphere. Jeremy Lamb could also be a consideration if the Suns prefer scoring or Moe Harkless if the Suns want to choose a player no mock draft has them taking here (but I would take Harkless in the Top 10). None of those guys are bad choices, but Marshall is the perfect choice. Now if he can work on his lateral movement on defense, I'll feel even better about this pick.

14. Milwaukee- Terrence Ross, SG

The Bucks got this pick from the Rockets and while they do need a center, they could also use another scorer. Ross is that good scorer. I'm not a huge fan of Ross being an above average player, but he is a great shooter and will fit in well for the Rockets.

15. Philadelphia- Arnett Moultrie, PF/C

Talking to 76ers fans, some say the team needs height and others say the team needs scoring. I don't see the scoring need as much as I see a need for some height. I'm guessing the 76ers go with Arnett Moultrie over a guy like Sullinger because Moultrie can play center. Moultrie is an athletic guy and I prefer him over Meyers Leonard, though I honestly haven't seen Moultrie play enough to really be confident in that assessment.

16. Houston- Jared Sullinger, PF

I didn't like Sullinger being taken in the first 10 picks because of the injury issues I have with him, but if the Rockets want a guy who can rebound and score in the low post, he is the natural option at this point. He's not the most athletic guy and I'm not sure he hasn't gotten closer to his ceiling, but he's got great size and a huge ass. I say that because he uses his huge ass and body to get in rebounding and scoring position. At worst, you have a DeJuan Blair-type player who can rebound and score in limited minutes. You never want to think worst case with a first round pick, but I don't think it will be a worst-case scenario like that.

17. Dallas- Jeremy Lamb, SG

This is a no-brainer at this point. I can't believe I have Lamb falling this far since he seems highly valued. I know we hear the comparisons to Reggie Miller, but I don't know if I see those comparisons as much as others do. To me, he isn't as good of a shooter as Miller was out of college (of course Lamb is also 20 years old) and he isn't very strong. He's best coming off screens which I think makes his game somewhat limited. Lamb isn't a #1 scorer on a team, as we saw last year at UConn when he was miscast as the best player on the team. Still, this is a great spot for him and the Mavericks could use a scorer like him. I'm not sure he will ever do much else but come off screens and be a poor man's Rip Hamilton, but we'll see.

18. Houston- Perry Jones III, SF

I don't like Perry Jones III. He simply seems to leave a lot out on the floor in terms of production or energy. This isn't a case where too much is being expected of him. It's a case where Jones III never seems to provide a consistent effort on the court. I watched quite a few Baylor games this year and would forget he was on the floor. He's that guy who is extremely talented, but will never put it all together for some reason. He'll get a coach fired and all of his potential will be fool's gold. I hope I'm wrong and he has all the physical tools to be an All-Star. I don't blame the Rockets for drafting him here, but I would take Moe Harkless. He's going to be star.

19. Orlando- Terrence Jones, SF

I used to question Jones' drive and willingness to put forth effort, but it seems staying in school for his sophomore year really seemed to give him slightly more consistency. He's like a chubbier, less athletic Josh Smith for me. He loves to hang around the three-point line and I can see a situation where he is the left-handed version of Antoine Walker. Having said that, Antoine Walker wasn't a bad player for a while and the Magic need the rebounding and versatility that Jones can provide. He's a small forward in a power forward's body and can do quite a few things well.

20. Denver- Royce White, SF

Denver needs a backup point guard. Royce White can bring the ball up. Does that count? I'm concerned this seems like too obvious of a pick, but the Nuggets have a good group of players and the best part about Royce White is that he will fit in with what the Nuggets and they won't have to worry about pigeon-holing him in a certain position. So he won't upset what the Nuggets are trying to build by duplicating the skill set of a player on the Nuggets current roster. Basically, he is versatile enough to back up Ty Lawson if necessary, but also play some power forward as well. Just don't ask him to fly. Every man has his limits and that is White's limit.

21. Boston- Moe Harkless, SF

I'm not cheating, I promise. I didn't put one of my favorite players in this draft on my favorite NBA team because I just like to see it in writing. I think the draft falls this way and it is a need for the Celtics. Yes, they have Paul Pierce already, but the Celtics lack a guy who have some sort of explosive ability on offense and Harkless could provide this. He's an excellent rebounder for his position and will look great running with Rondo. I just hope I'm right and he falls here. Harkless would be on the "Redshirt first year in the NBA" track that Avery Bradley was on.

22. Boston- Fab Melo, C

I don't really like Fab Melo in this spot. I would rather the Celtics take a backup point guard or trade the pick, but if they keep this pick they are going to need big men. Garnett doesn't like playing center and even if he comes back the Celtics have to do better than the shit-platter of Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins. The only thing Melo can do really well is protect the rim and that's probably good enough for the Celtics to draft him here. He'll play 10 years in the NBA for five teams and then convince some team to sign him to a four year deal for $30 million along the way. He's one of those guys.

23. Atlanta- Tony Wroten, PG

I heard rumors back in early April the Hawks wanted Wroten to come out of the draft so they could take him. Of course now they have a new GM so this may be way off, but Wroten is a special talent in my opinion. He can't guard a fence post (which probably could end up being a major factor in the NBA), but he is a big-body combo guard who can get to the rim. I've seen mocks where he didn't go in the first round, which is ridiculous. He has a lot to work on, but I think he is worth the pick here.

24. Cleveland- Doron Lamb, SG

The Cavs may not play defense much this year, but they will be fun as hell to watch. Perhaps a draft of Barnes and Doron Lamb is too much offense, but it will certainly be a good way to build around Kyrie Irving. By passing on one of the average to mediocre big men here the Cavs are essentially saying they know they will get killed some on the inside, but Lamb would be dangerous spotting up when Irving/Barnes drive to the basket. Lamb may just end up being an Eddie House-type player, but there are worse things to be. I don't see why the Cavs would reach for a player who is taller just to take care of a need they have, but there's a lot of things I don't understand about the draft.

25. Memphis- Quincy Miller, SF

Yes, the Grizzlies need depth at point guard, but Quincy Miller is the type of pick that could really pay off two years down the road. Sure, Miller comes from the Baylor school of "a lot of hype and not a lot of production" that seems to be a Scott Drew special, but the Grizzlies have shown in the past they are willing to take a chance on an underachieving player (Josh Selby) and he will have time to learn behind Rudy Gay. Miller has injury issues and he didn't produce much, but the Grizzlies are in a position where they won't find any guys with higher ceilings at this point in the draft.

26. Indiana- Andrew Nicholson, PF

Nicholson is a great pick here. Granted, he isn't going to be an All-Star, but he can stretch the opposing power forward out and can also play in the middle. Nicholson will have a chance to play behind David West and learn from a guy who plays the game similar to how he plays. The Pacers still need some depth at the forward/guard position, but with the uncertainty around Hibbert and West being a free agent after this next season, I think this pick makes sense.

27. Miami- John Jenkins, SG

As well as playing with Bosh at the center spot worked for the Heat in the playoffs, it isn't a recipe for long-term success. The Heat need an actual center on the roster. Since Festus Ezili isn't going to be any good in the NBA (and I assume the Heat know this), I figure the Heat will try to shore up their perimeter shooting since they got a taste of how unstoppable they are when the three-point shooters are on. He's versatile and is a fantastic shooter. Sounds like a good fit for the Heat.

28. Oklahoma City- Draymond Green, PF

Maybe the fact I hate Festus Ezili as a prospect affects my mock too much. He's tall and doesn't fall over himself while walking, which means he will go in the first round. Draymond Green seems too good of a pick in this spot. He's athletic and he doesn't pay the eye test. He has those intangibles that coaches seem to love and he does everything well. He's smaller for a power forward, but he still rebounds well and would give the Thunder a different look at the "4" position. Playing he and Perkins together probably doesn't seem very smart since neither of them are real shot-blockers, but Draymond Green is a smart player who would fit in well with the Thunder. Not to go crazy with the cliches, but he's the kind of "glue guy" off the bench the Thunder were missing. I can see Marcus Teague being the guy here also under the idea of taking the best player available.

29. Chicago- Marcus Teague, PG

Two-fold reason for drafting Teague. The uncertainty around Derrick Rose's knee and the fact the Teague is the best player available in this spot. The Bulls have other needs, but Teague should never fall this far. I actually tried to fit him in earlier, but didn't feel strongly enough to move another player out of the position to put Teague in. This fits well for the Bulls. At worst they have a guy who has potential to be a great backup point guard. At best, he could be a quality starter in the NBA for a playoff team.

30. Golden State- Jeffrey Taylor, SF

The Warriors seem to be looking at a shooting guard with the #7 selection, so they would be happy to get Jeffrey Taylor who is a good shooter and can play the wing position in the NBA, at least athletically. Plus, he plays defense, which is always helpful.

Feel free to tell me how stupid my draft is and hopefully trades won't screw it all up too much.


rich said...

As a Sixers fan, I can tell you this: we don't need a SF/G combo.

So we'll probably draft another SF/G combo.

A C/PF would be nice - can get decent minutes backing up Hawes and Brand and eventually replace Brand.

Rich said...

What did I say, another SF.

Bye Iggy, it was nice having you around.

/only thing I can think of

Bengoodfella said...

I really like Harkless. I would be happy with this pick if I'm a Sixers fan. Harkless will need a few years, but I think he can be really good.

rich said...

Oh I'm sure he'll be good Ben, I'm just getting kind of pissed off at drafting a SF every year.

With the trade Moultrie, it means we'll either have a logjam at C/PF or at SF.

People keep talking about moving Harkless to PF, but if they do that it means we have:

Allen and Harkless as PF only guys in addition to Brand and Moultrie as PF/C.

So basically we either have 4 guys vying for time at one position or 5 guys vying for time at 2.

I don't know who they should have drafted, but it's just baffling to keep drafting the same guy over and over again.

If Harkless doesn't bulk up he's Thad Young, if he does bulk up he's Lavoy Allen.

I don't know, it just seems like we keep drafting players we already have.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I'm no scout but I don't think Harkless is a PF. I think the conclusion we can draw is the Sixers are probably going to be making a trade sometime soon. Harkless won't be ready this year, but I saw him play quite a bit this year and he really impressed me.

I like Moultrie too. Iggy gets traded probably for a scorer and that frees up some of the logjam. I like the Sixers moves.

Anonymous said...


Off topic, but did you see this article on the Onion?,28666/

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I did. It's funny because it is very true. I could not stop chuckling at that. I have so many favorite excerpts, but here are my three favorite.

1. In his 14-page introduction to Wit, Brilliance, Insight, Simmons, pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman poses the question of whether Simmons is brilliant because of his decision to embrace the entirety of television while writing for people who like to watch sports on television or, indeed, in spite of it.

2. "When I think of how my writing could have been the work of any number of people capable of comparing the '80s show Dynasty to the '90s Bulls dynasty, well, I feel like the luckiest smartest man alive."

3. Wit, Brilliance, Insight, Simmons contains 2,096 pages; 84 chapters; 344 charts, tables, and graphs; 186 photographs of Simmons standing next to former Celtics players, sitcom actors, or Barack Obama;

Number 3 is my favorite b/c it combines his love for celebrity and how he overdoes everything in his writing.

Ace said...

I was baffled when Cleveland took Dion Waiters at #4. We used the #4th overall pick to draft a college 6th man, and in some circles the BEST case scenario player that they compared him to was Rodney Stuckey!

I know this may seem like a kneejerk reaction, but I'm having trouble spinning this in a positive way. And then the Cavs trade the rest of their draft to Dallas for Tyler Zeller. I don't know how I should feel about that.

I read this:

But I'm still not sold. I really hope Kyrie Irving's best years aren't stuck next to a poor man's Rodney Stuckey and not much else.

Bengoodfella said...

Ace, I don't think it's knee jerk. I think Waiters has a ton of potential and can end up a D-Wade-like player. You sound like Bill Simmons! Waiters can get to the basket, which I think is going to be very advantageous considering Irving can do that as well. It wouldn't have been my pick, but he really impressed the Warriors too. I'm open to the idea of Waiters, but probably prefer Barnes for his shooting.

Stuckey could be a good comparison but he has a higher ceiling than Barnes and Robinson in my opinion. The fact he was a 6th man means Syracuse was deep more than anything. They had an excellent bench and Waiters was probably their 1st/2nd best player most of the year IMO.

I love Zeller and I think you will too. The Cavs gave up a lot for him, but he can run the floor with Kyrie and he is really smart. I wanted him to fall to the Celtics. I think Zeller should have been a Top 12 pick personally. He isn't pretty to watch but I can see him being the Cavs starter sooner rather than later. Other than shoot 3 pt shots, he does nothing poorly.