2012 NBA Mock Draft

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

The 2012 NBA Draft is less than 12 hours away. Our 76ers sit right smack dab in the middle at pick 15. With both G Lou Williams and C Spencer Hawes restricted free agents, the Sixers could go in many different directions.

1. New Orleans Hornets  Anthony Davis, PF/C, Kentucky

– Any pick in this draft could be traded except for this one. The Hornets, who lucked into the #1 pick thanks to a the NBA’s controversial lottery system, will take this generational talent and pair him with Eric Gordon to create a talented duo in the Big Easy.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (Trade with Bobcats) – SG Bradley Beal, Florida

– The Cavaliers will trade their #4 and #24 picks in the first round to move up and select the much hyped combo guard from Florida. Beal has received man complimentary comparisons to Ray Allen. However, he shot just 34% from beyond the arc as a Gator last season, and he’s not as refined a defensive presence as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Still, Cleveland wants a scorer to pair with Kyrie Irving, and Beal is the most talented scoring guard in the draft.

3. Washington Wizards – SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

– The Wizards are rumored to be eyeing Beal. But, the likelihood that they will be able to top Cleveland’s offer to Charlotte is remote. Washington is still getting a heck of a player in Kidd-Gilchrist. An Evan Turner type of player, MKG doesn’t need the ball in his hands to make an impact. He’s the prototypical multi-talented swingman who takes pride in his defense just as much as his offense.

4. Charlotte Bobcats – PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas

– The Bobcats would be wise to trade back with Cleveland and still draft the player they wanted at #2. Robinson is a high-motor forward with elite athleticism. He reminds me a lot of Amare Stoudemire. An ideal pick-and-roll power forward who should excel at the next level (even in Charlotte, where careers go to die).

5. Sacramento Kings – SF Harrison Barnes, North Carolina

– The hype machine surrounding Barnes has finally shut off. After being denoted as the next Kobe Bryant coming out of high school, Barnes experienced adversity in his freshman year at UNC. Now, he enters the draft with his stock low. Sacramento has had a revolving door at the SF position in recent years. Still, his athleticism and upside should guarantee him a top 7 selection in the NBA Draft. Barnes will make the Sacramento faithful forget about such overpaid anomalies as John Salmons and Omri Casspi.

6. Portland Trail Blazers (From Nets) – PG Damian Lillard, Weber State

– There’s something here to be said for Billy King. The former 76ers GM is now in the same position in New Jersey and making the same mistakes he made when he was in Philadelphia. King traded this pick to the Trail Blazers for veteran (and free agent) Gerald Wallace. The Nets will probably end up with nothing from the deal. Meanwhile, the Blazers own two lottery picks and get the guy they have wanted all along at this pick. Lillard is lightening quick with an above-average jump shot at the point guard position.

7. Golden State Warriors – SG Dion Waiters, Syracuse

– The Warriors did just draft Klay Thompson last season, but they still need help on the wing. Waiters is a Philly kid with tremendous athleticism, strength, and driving ability. He should nicely compliment Thompson and Steph Curry in the backcourt for “Oakland.”

8. Toronto Raptors – SG Austin Rivers, Duke

– Everywhere I look has Toronto going with Austin Rivers with this pick, regardless of whether or not Andre Drummond is available. I feel like taking A.D. and pairing him with Andrea Bargnani in the front-court would be the better decision. But, this is based on my own speculation that Rivers is not going to be big enough or mature enough for the NBA. Still, Doc’s son is a talented, young player in his own right. What does this mean for DeMar DeRozan?

9. Detroit Pistons – SG Jeremy Lamb, UConn

Some mock drafts have Detroit taking Lamb’s college teammate, Andre Drummond. But, with Greg Monroe manning the middle for the foreseeable future, I think taking a two-guard makes more sense. The Pistons grabbed their point guard of the future, Brandon Knight, in last year’s draft. They then created a hole in the backcourt by trading SG Ben Gordon to Charlotte earlier this week. Lamb has a terrific jumper and potential to become a Reggie Miller’esque scorer. Detroit should be back to dominating the East in a few seasons.

10. New Orleans Hornets (From Timberwolves via Clippers) – PG Marquis Teague, Kentucky

One can always count on there being at least a couple of reaches in the top 10. New Orleans acquired this pick in the Chris Paul trade, and will likely try to find a backcourt player to pair with Eric Gordon after taking Anthony Davis first overall. Teague is unrefined. But, he’s quick, has tons of upside, and he’s a champion. New Orleans will grab two Wildcats whose chemistry should be evident from day one.

11. Houston Rockets (Trade with Trailblazers) – C Andre Drummond, UConn

The Rockets will spend much of draft night looking for a way to acquire Orlando C Dwight Howard. In all likelihood, they’ll strike out swinging in their aggressiveness. Still, Houston holds three first round picks, so in this scenario, they trade #16 and #18 to Portland for #11, #40, and #41. Houston gets their Center of the future. Drummond, 6’11, has unlimited potential. His athleticism and quickness is rivaled by few his size.

12. Houston Rockets (From Bucks) – SG/SF Terrence Ross, Washington

Houston uses their second first round pick to grab Washington swingman Terrence Ross. He dominated for stretches at Washington, but also had long droughts of prolonged ineffectiveness. Ross averaged 25 PPG during Washington’s NIT run last season. He fits perfectly into the Rocket’s lineup next to Kevin Martin.

13. Phoenix Suns – PF John Henson, North Carolina

It is difficult not to reach here and take a PG with Steve Nash entering unrestricted free agency. There is also a need at SF, with Grant Hill on the verge of retirement. But, a front court of Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat is not going to intimidate opponents in this generation’s NBA. Henson is an experienced front court player. His size and long wingspan make him the prototypical defensive big man. His strengths are blocking and rebounding, something the Suns desperately need.

14. Milwaukee Bucks (From Rockets) – C Meyers Leonard, Illinois

After trading Andrew Bogut to Golden State, the Bucks are in desperate need of some size. This pick came down to Leonard or UNC C Tyler Zeller. I believe that Leonard has more upside. Yes, he will need to bulk up to avoid being outmuscled down-low by NBA bigs, but his athleticism and potential makes him an intriguing target midway through round one.

15. Philadelphia 76ers – PG Kendall Marshall, North Carolina 

There is a lot of talk of the 76ers going big with their selection in round one. I don’t buy it. Philadelphia is likely to bring back both Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand. Add to this the expected improvement of 2011 first round pick Nik Vucevic and 2011 second round pick LaVoy Allen, and where exactly is the need down low? In all likelihood, Lou Williams is going to take his money and run. This leaves the Sixers with only Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner at the Guard positions. Marshall can’t shoot, but he is the classic floor general who understands the flow of the game. His passing ability is second to none in this draft and he rarely turns it over. Expect more assists than points from this 6’4 point guard. But, he will be a welcome addition to the team’s backcourt. Holiday can score, Turner can rebound, and Marshall can pass. If Doug Collins could put all three together in one player, they would have a superstar.

16. Portland Trail Blazers (From Rockets) – C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina

The run on UNC players continues. Zeller is a 7’0 Center with good size but poor bulk. He’s still developing his face-up game, and he won’t make Blazers fans forget about the Greg Oden over Kevin Durant disaster. But, he’s quick and lengthy and should be a good value pick at 16 for Portland.

17. Dallas Mavericks – PF Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State

The 2011 NBA champions fell on hard times last season. Their age started to show and the most important thing that owner Mark Cuban can do short of acquiring PG Deron Williams is landing a young replacement for PF Dirk Nowitzki. Moultrie has the size and athleticism to become a very capable NBA forward.

18. Portland Trail Blazers (From Rockets) – SF Moe Harkless, St. Johns

Portland has already grabbed their PG of the future and a young big man. Now, they land a future starting swingman. Harkless has smooth athleticism and a 7’2 wingspan. His best asset at this point is his interior game. Lillard, Zeller, and Harkless should combine with LaMarcus Aldridge to give Portland a very talented young core.

19. Orlando Magic – SF Terrence Jones, Kentucky

Many will argue that Orlando needs to select a big man here to offset the likely loss of Dwight Howard. But, the value is just not here at this pick. Jared Sullinger is a possibility. As is St. Bonaventure PF Andrew Nicholson. But, there’s only so long that Orlando can go with Hedo Turkoglu at the SF position. Jones was a matchup terror at Kentucky. At 6’9, 252 lbs, most threes cannot contain him. Jones needs to work on his jump shot if he hopes to be a major impact at the next level.

20. Denver Nuggets – PF Perry Jones III, Baylor

It is amazing how far a talented and hyped player can fall in just a few months. Entering his freshman year at Baylor, Jones was considered a top five pick. But, inconsistency, off-court issues, and perceived on-court apathy will have this former Bear sitting and waiting on draft day. The Nuggets have a spectacular group of guards and forwards. But, Jones, if he develops, can make an impact offensively that Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried just are not capable of. The move also allows Denver to pursue a trade of Chandler or Danilo Gallinari for a Center.

21. Boston Celtics – PF Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

It would behoove anyone to say that Boston doesn’t luck into talented players with regularity. Sullinger could be the next Tom Brady in this town if his back issues are overstated. Regardless, getting a player this talented at #21 is a coup for Doc Rivers. The Celtics had serious problems down low last season after Kevin Garnett. With KG an unrestricted free agent, Boston desperately needs to get younger and Sullinger is the best available option.

22. Boston Celtics (From Clippers via Thunder) – SG Doron Lamb, Kentucky

After grabbing a front court presence at #21, Boston can focus on replacing Ray Allen with this pick. Lamb is your classic one-way sharpshooter. His defensive game never matured at Kentucky, and his athleticism when compared to other prospects is mediocre at best. But, Boston desperately needs shooters if Allen is indeed finished with the team.

23. Atlanta Hawks – SF Royce White, Iowa State

The Hawks’ biggest weakness currently is SF Marvin Williams. The 2005 #2 overall pick has been a bust in every sense of the word. With a team as talented as Atlanta, they do not necessarily need a scoring presence at this spot. White is one of the best ball handling and passing swingmen in this draft. If he can develop as they would like, Atlanta would have one of the most talented starting fives in the NBA.

24. Charlotte Bobcats (From Lakers via Cavaliers) – SF Quincy Miller, Baylor

There are no North Carolina players left for Michael Jordan to reach for. So, the Bobcats take the overhyped swingman from Baylor. No, not Perry Jones III. Instead, they land Quincy Miller, a 6’10 forward with a ridiculous 7’3 wingspan. Miller can score more consistently at this stage than his former teammate, Jones. But, he’s defensively challenged and has very limited quickness and strength. Sounds right up the Bobcats alley.

25. Memphis Grizzlies – PF Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure

You will rarely see a Bonnie drafted in round one unless he possesses a rare trait that few other prospects share. Nicholson is built like most of the other 3/4 combos in the draft. At 6’10, 234 pounds, he could stand to eat a couple of racks of Tennessee style ribs once he arrives in Memphis. But, his amazing basketball IQ is what attracts GM’s to him at this stage. He was an efficient scorer and a reliable threat in the Atlantic 10. But, will those skills transition to the NBA?

26. Indiana Pacers – PF Furkan Aldemir, Turkey

I’m no fan of the Turks, but they sure can produce basketball players. Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova, Enes Kanter, Mehmet Okur, and Hedo Turkoglu are just a few of the Turkish stars who have become valuable NBA pieces. Aldemir is a 20 year old project who will likely need a few years of seasoning to fit into an NBA roster. His size and athleticism is what will attract a team like Indiana, with age (David West) and mediocrity (Tyler Hansbrough) at the power forward position.

27. Miami Heat – C Fab Melo, Syracuse

Casual fans will remember this kid as the guy who got suspended for the entirety of the NCAA Tournament for academic violations. Miami fans will likely consider him their savior in the low post. Melo has great size, but little else. Now, when you’re playing alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, maybe that’s all you need. But, the fact of the matter is that this remains a guy who could not simply pass a class when his collegiate career (and the championship hopes of his teammates) relied on it. How can he be expected to be a reliable NBA player when he cannot pass a simple class at Syracuse.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder – SG Evan Fournier, France

The defending Western Conference champions don’t have ton of needs. But, they could use this strong bodied kid from France who could eventually replace another European guard, Thabo Sefolosha, as the backup to James Harden. At 6’7, Fournier can also step in to give Kevin Durant breathers when the time comes.

29. Chicago Bulls – SF Draymond Green, Michigan State

The rumors continue to persist that suggest Luol Deng’s days in Chicago are numbered. Therefore, finding a replacement for the defensive specialist should be the first priority of GM Gar Forman. Green is experienced, having played all four years as a Spartan. He also has a substantial wingspan and can contribute all across the board. His best asset at this point is his ability to stretch the floor with his three-point game, something that should greatly aid Derrick Rose as he recovers from a torn ACL.

30. Golden State Warriors (From Spurs) – SF Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt

Taylor has some of the best physical tools of any prospect in this draft. He is physically mature and a high-level athlete whose best asset is his defensive play. A Thabo Sefolosha type player, Taylor will fit in with a team that has very little defensive minded talent.

Will SkoodSports nail the draft? Come back later in the week to find out if this mock draft is a boom or bust.

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