Published on June 22nd, 2012 | by Bryant West, Columnist0
2012 NBA Draft Mock #7: One Week Left
This is the best time to be a basketball fan. We get the NBA Finals and the NBA Draft separated by only a week… how cool is that? That’s like getting two Christmas’ in a week.
A full first round mock will be available early next week. But for now, lets check out one more mock draft with six days to go before Draft Day 2012.
1. New Orleans Hornets (21-45): PF/C Anthony Davis, Kentucky
There is no question to this pick. The question about Davis now is he a transformative type player? A true superstar able to carry his team from the start? More on that tomorrow—stay tuned.
2. Charlotte Bobcats (7-59): PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas
If Robinson really is penciling himself into the Bobcats’ second pick (he’ll work out with Andre Drummond in Charlotte on Friday, and he already owned Drummond in Washington) then I applaud both him and Michael Jordan. Robinson may be third on my board after Kidd-Gilchrist, but at least the Bobcats wouldn’t be taking Drummond. They get a real face of the franchise here, a guy who will battle every second that he is on the basketball court. That is the type of player the Bobcats need.
3. Washington Wizards (20-46): SG Bradley Beal, Florida
Of course the Wizards would say that their trade with the Hornets wouldn’t affect their draft day decisions. Of course they wouldn’t. Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor are both good players, but they aren’t permanent fits.
Hit the jump for the rest of Bryant’s mock draft…
That said, it’s beginning to look like we can pencil in Beal at No. 3… if the Bobcats don’t take him at No. 2. If he goes No. 2 to the Bobcats, then I expect the Wizards will take Thomas Robinson as the hometown kid.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-45): SF Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
SI.com’s Sam Amick, one of the best reporters out there, says the Cavaliers absolutely love Barnes (Amick was the only expert who correctly called Cleveland taking Tristan Thompson at No. 4 last year—just saying). Even though it appears that Bradley Beal got the better of Barnes in their workout in Cleveland, I would be surprised to see Cleveland pass on Barnes, even if Kidd-Gilchrist is on the board at this point.
If Beal and Barnes are the picks available, then I can see the Cavs taking Beal over Barnes, but we know the Cavs love Barnes, and star Kyrie Irving and Barnes are just BFFs, man.
The Bobcats worked out Barnes on Thursday. Was it enough to wow Michael Jordan to the fellow North Carolina product?
5. Sacramento Kings (22-44): SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
If you’d told me two weeks ago that Kidd-Gilchrist could fall to No. 5, I’d tell you in no uncertain terms that you were crazy and to stop getting my (and every Kings fans) hopes up.
That said, not such a crazy scenario any more. Do the Cavs really like Barnes over Kidd-Gilchrist? We won’t know until draft day, but I’ll trust Sam Amick’s judgment on the Cavs love of Barnes. That leaves Kidd-Gilchrist the unfortunate one falling out of the top 5 and into the Kings lap, and he’s exactly what they need, minus a jumpshot. The Kings need a die-hard worker with good athleticism and excellent defense.
6. Portland Trailblazers (From New Jersey Nets) (22-44): PG Damian Lillard, Weber State
Portland goes with the high rising Lillard over the risky Drummond here. Lillard has been killing workouts, with reports that Sacramento is even considering him, despite the fact that they need another scoring point guard like they need a hole in the head.
Portland needs a franchise guard, and Lillard can be that guy. His shot is money and I complete;y expect him to become a real 6-8 assists per game point guard. He has all the makings of a top 10 NBA point guard.
7. Golden State Warriors (23-43): C Andre Drummond, UConn
Both ESPN’s Chad Ford and SI.com’s Sam Amick have the Warriors taking Syracuse’s Dion Waiters, but neither have Drummond still on the board at No. 7. If that happens, the Warriors would be drooling all over themselves for Drummond’s potential and excellent fit.
While I’ve expressed my doubts about Drummond’s future in the league. Golden State REALLY needs a defensive big man, and that is what Drummond gives them. Even if he becomes nothing more than an above-average defender with average offensive game (think DeAndre Jordan), he’s a great fit in Golden State.
8. Toronto Raptors (23-43): SG Dion Waiters, Syracuse
I don’t understand how Waiters is a lottery selection, but good for him if he goes this high. We know the Raptors like him, and SOME team gave him a lottery promise, so we might as well pencil him in here. If Golden State doesn’t get Drummond, would they really take him? I can’t see it.
I equate Waiters to Marvin Williams, who was a backup in College but went No. 2 in his draft based on potential. I can’t see Waiters as anything more than a smaller, lower ceiling Tyreke Evans.
9. Detroit Pistons (25-41): PF John Henson, North Carolina
The Pistons could go Meyers Leonard here, but I’m sticking to my guns and keeping John Henson where he belongs. Milwaukee apparently loves him, so much that director of scouting Billy McKinney said “Obviously, we like him, but he’s not going to be there at 12 when we select,” so the Bucks seem to be his floor. Still, the Pistons need some interior defense and he’d play a Ben Wallace type role for them.
10. New Orleans Hornets (From Minnesota Timberwolves) (26-40): SF Perry Jones, Baylor
I expect the Hornets will trade this pick by Draft Day. They could use some talented veteran help (perhaps Paul Pierce, anyone?) but if they keep the pick… Jones makes too much sense.
Jones will never lead a team, but here he wouldn’t have too. He’d be a third option (behind Davis and Eric Gordon), and he’d be able to play Small Forward. He’d also be next to a real hard worker, so maybe Davis’ work ethic and toughness will rub off on him.
11. Portland Trail Blazers (28-38): C Meyers Leonard, Illinois
Which pair would Portland rather have—Andre Drummond at No. 6 and Jeremy Lamb at No. 11… or Damian Lillard at No. 6 and Leonard at No. 11?
Hard to tell, but Leonard is rocking up the mocks after a fantastic combine. The Blazers need some size in the paint, and while I think they’d pass over the risky Drummond in favor of Lillard’s star power, they’d certain use the second pick to add size. Leonard isn’t without some risk as well, but he’s a good defender and a good rebounder.
12. Milwaukee Bucks (31-35): C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
The Bucks curse their luck for missing John Henson, but perhaps get the better fit. They already have power forward Epke Udoh, a great defender with limited offensive capabilities. Zeller is multitalented and would be much higher if he just had more vertical athleticism. A smart player, Zeller is a lot like Spencer Hawes.
13. Phoenix Suns (33-33): SG Austin Rivers. Duke
Yahoo Sports reported two weeks ago that Rivers had a draft day promise from a lottery team, and Phoenix is my bet. Rivers could go as high as No. 10 to the Hornets, who could use him as insurance should Eric Gordon not return, but Phoenix makes too much sense.
I think it’s too early for Rivers, but there isn’t denying he has star power and potential, two things the Suns are utterly without.
If Phoenix ISN’T the team that gave Rivers the promise, what about Toronto? We know they are high on Waiters, but if they snag Rivers on Draft Day, I wouldn’t be flabbergasted.
14. Houston Rockets (34-32): SG Jeremy Lamb, UConn
Seems like a rough fall for Lamb, who could go as high as number 8 to Toronto, but after the Raptors, the only other fit is Phoenix and I think they’ve given Austin Rivers his draft day promise. Detroit could use a wing, but it isn’t a priority. Neither is it for New Orleans, and I have Portland snagging a guard at No. 6 so I wouldn’t pencil in Lamb at No. 11.
That leaves him falling to Houston and perhaps being an eventual replacement for Kevin Martin.
Extra Thoughts –
- Doubt buy into Jared Sullinger’s back dropping him into the second round. That is madness. If Sullinger falls that far (and I don’t expect him to get past 20 at the VERY latest), it’ll be a steal of a pick based on talent alone, and I’m a Sullinger doubter to boot.
- Washington’s Terrence Ross and Kentucky’s Terrence Jones both have shots at being lottery picks, as does Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie.
- Four players ranked in the top five all think they’ll be top four picks. Robinson, Beal, Bearnes and Kidd-Gilchrist all refuse to work out with No. 5 Sacramento, although that may be just as much about the organization’s folly as it is about draft placement. One of those four WILL fall to Sacramento, so I’ll be interesting to see how the top four (after New Orleans, of course) falls out.