Monday, June 25, 2012
2012 NBA MOCK DRAFT
This Thursday evening the future of the NBA will again be in the hands of General Managers throughout the league trying to find that cornerstone to their franchises success or the missing piece to the puzzle that would put them over the top.
Or they could be the Charlotte Bobcats and just be throwing darts at a board and see what sticks!
Whatever their strategy is picking any player and trying to project their future is a crap shoot at best. Throughout the "Lottery Era" there have been plenty of can't miss prospects. Some have hit. Like Tim Duncun, Shaq, or D-Rose. Some unfortunately have not. Like Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi, or Greg Oden.
The one thing each and every player I mentioned has that the other one also has is a chance. They have a chance to be something, anything. They could be great. They could be awful. Time will tell where these players end up. Either in the Hall-of-Fame or Hall-of-Shame.
This draft is no different. This year's can't miss prospect since the day he stepped on Kentucky's campus is superior talent Anthony Davis. I stated in a previous blog he can change the game on both ends of the floor. His ability to change shots without even touching the ball is remarkable. He intimidates opposing teams and gets in their heads. He makes a teams shooting percentage go down just by the mear thought he might be lurking around.
So this years NBA Draft will start with Anthony Davis and then it gets very interesting. The Charlotte Bobcats are sitting and waiting with the second overall pick and a not so confident draft history. In a year when they were the worst team percentage wise in NBA history, they still couldn't land the first pick. You go from a no-doubter to questions galore.
But I am here to tell you there are plenty of good players in this draft and some of which might even eclipse Mr. Davis when it is all said and done. Does anyone remember who was selected after Greg Oden in 2007? One Kevin Durant. Getting the number one selection is fantastic but it is not the end of the world for the rest of the teams selecting. You need good scouting, excellent evaluation, and your fingers crossed.
So this is my evaluation for the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft and where I feel each team will go with their selection. As ABBA says, "Take a Chance on Me"!
Round 1 -
1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, Fr., PF, Kentucky
The only way he isn't the number one overall selection in this draft is if Marty McFly and Doc Brown come back in a DeLorean and change the space time continuum.
Only a fictional time traveler could change this pick!
2. Charlotte Bobcats - Harrison Barnes, So., SF, North Carolina
The ex-Tar Heel in the owners booth won't pass up on another Tar Heel with this much potential. Future could be bright for this Iowan if he plays like he was billed out of high school. Could be better pro than collegian.
3. Washington Wizards - Thomas Robinson, Jr, PF, Kansas
Big and powerful in the paint with good touch. Had a struggle in NCAA Championship game but so did everyone else who faced Mr. Davis throughout the year.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Bradley Beal, Fr., SG, Florida
Probably a bit smaller than listed but is a pure shooter and super athletic deuce. He has the potential to be another Dwayne Wade. Hopefully won't pull a LeBron after a few years and go south.
5. Sacramento Kings - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Fr., SF, Kentucky
I am not a fan of hyphenated names. They don't look right on the back of a jersey. I mean pick a name and stick with it. But his game is what we are evaluating. He is a winner through and through. He has won on all levels and is a team first guy. The Kings could use a solid team player and person.
6. Portland Trailblazers - Andre Drummand, Fr., C, Connecticut
One of the leagues most plagued franchises in history needs to hit it big and will take the seven footer from UConn. He is long on talent and big on potential. The string of bad luck from Sam Bowie, to Brandon Roy's knees, to Greg Oden's everything, they need help. Go big or stay home I always say.
7. Golden State Warriors - Austin Rivers, Fr., SG, Duke
Doc's kid has uber confidence. He has been around the NBA game for years and should excel in the pro game. It won't hurt being coached by Marc Jackson either who loves a little chip on the shoulders of his players.
8. Toronto Rapters - Jeremy Lamb, So., SG, Connecticut
He is a pure scorer and was a key contributor to their NCAA Championship as a freshman. He needs time to bulk up and get stronger and what better place than in Toronto. He can get bigger and better without anyone their witnessing his transformation.
9. Detroit Pistons - Tyler Zeller, Sr., C, North Carolina
Joe Dumars is a smart guy and will take the ready now ACC Player of the year over a potential player like Myers Leonard. Zeller is steady as they come and should be a solid pro for years to come. Another Bill Laimbeer with better post moves.
10. New Orleans Hornets - Myers Leonard, So., C, Illinois
The super athletic prospect and pride of Robinson, IL would make a super addition to the front court with Anthony Davis. They would own the paint and swat anything close to the bucket and they both run the floor like gazelles. Intriguing to say the least.
The Rising Illini - Center Myers Leonard.
11. Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard, Jr., PG, Weber State
The small school player is definitely not small on talent. He can score the ball and is quick. Teams 1-10 might want to perform an exorcism because they passed up this talented point guard.
12. Milwaukee Bucks - John Henson, Jr., PF, North Carolina
He is long and thin like the spaghetti we had for dinner tonight but he is as good a shot blocker that is left in this draft. Andrew Bogut is gone and they will need someone to patrol the paint.
13. Phoenix Suns - Dion Waiters, So., SG, Syracuse
The explosive guard with instant offense is reminiscent of Vinny "The Microwave" Johnson in the Detroit heyday. He can play both guard spots which is supreme to have in the league and is used to coming off the bench and providing offense as this was his role in college.
14. Houston Rockets - Kendall Marshall, So., PG, North Carolina
The best pure passing guard in the draft. He finds his players in stride to score and is almost immune to making turnovers. He was an NCAA best in assist to turnover ratio and when it comes to winning time he showed late in the season he had the guts to take shots and make free throws.
15. Philadelphia 76ers - Jared Sullinger, So., PF, Ohio State
The Buckeye big man slides due to the medical questions and the "red-flag" thrown out. His ride ends here as Coach Doug Collins selects the next Elton Brand and my guess is Sullinger has a long and successful career.
16. Houston Rockets - Terrence Ross, So., SG, Washington
The Rockets team Ross with previous pick Marshall to form their back court of the future. He has long range shooting ability and can fill it up.
17. Dallas Mavericks - Marquis Teague, Fr., PG, Kentucky
Wishing on a wishing well are the Mavs for all league PG, and Illini Alum, Deron Williams to sign with his hometown team. That won't be decided for a while so they have to have a Plan B and this dynamic point guard prospect fits the bill.
18. Minnestoa Timberwolves - Terrence Jones, So., PF, Kentucky
The combo forward has potential for playing both forward spots and is a solid rebounder. He defends well and would benefit from playing next to Kevin Love.
19. Orlando Magic - Perry Jones III, So., PF, Baylor
The immensely talented big man was instrumental in helping bring Baylor basketball from the depths of the Big 12. He has great upside but does he bring it every single night?
20. Denver Nuggets - Royce White, So., SF, Iowa State
The multi-talented point forward type is a great fit for the Denver Nuggets. He has the ability to play team ball and in the Post Carmelo Anthony Nuggets they play great as a team. He also has a well documented anxiety disorder he must overcome that Coach Karl will totally understand as he has battled and overcome Cancer the past few seasons.
White needs a good fit to help cope with anxiety disorder.
21. Boston Celtics - Will Barton, So., SG, Memphis
What aren't the Celtics going to need next year and the years after that. The prospects of Ray Allen being here are sketchy as he may flirt with joining the Miami Heat. The Celtics will need an athletic do-it-all baller who can shoot the rock. Could be a steal a few years from now the way Rajon Rondo was at #21 in 2006.
22. Boston Celtics - Andrew Nicholson, Sr., PF, St. Bonaventure
The big man with great touch would be a fine addition to the C's front court. He can rebound and defend and adding an experienced young player to the team should help the transition to a potentially new era.
23. Atlanta Hawks - Moe Harkless, Fr., SF, St. John's
The Big East Rookie of the year is super young and athletic. He runs the floor well but did struggle to shoot the outside shot and especially from three. He would fit right in with the very undisciplined core of the Hawks.
24. Cleveland Caveliers - Jeffery Taylor, Sr., SF, Vanderbilt
The Cavs generating a great young group of players in the last two drafts would put Taylor with Beal, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Taylor can defend extremely well and has good range from the three point arc.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Arnett Moultrie, Jr., PF, Mississippi State
Would add an additional support for Zach Randolph when he and Rudy Gay can't get along, he can step in and provide some scoring and rebounding (averaged 10.5). Rebounding translates year in and year out.
26. Indiana Pacers - Draymond Green, Sr., PF, Michigan State
The Pacers are notorious for selecting experienced and talented players. Larry Bird likes players who can do multiple jobs on the court and no one better than "Magic Lite" Draymond Green. He handles the ball, is a leader on the court, and one of the great winners and people in college basketball.
Izzo knows Draymond will be successful where he lands both in basketball and in life.
27. Miami Heat - Fab Melo, So., C, Syracuse
The newly crowned NBA champions can definitely use an inside presence to go with their Big Three. That is exactly what Melo is. A defensive clogger. He defends the post and would welcome the chance to join the reigning NBA champs.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jared Cunningham, Jr., SG, Oregon State
The Thunder need someone who can add additional speed and quickness as well as potential to put the ball in the basket. Cunningham has been virtually unknown and stranded in Corvallis but can be a huge late round addition to an already potent Thunder line up.
29. Chicago Bulls - Quincy Miller, Fr., SF, Baylor
The hometown boy Miller joins another hometown boy (D-Rose) to try and help lead the Bulls back to their rightful place atop the NBA. With potential trade rumors of Luol Deng the Bulls use this to get his replacement in the SF spot.
30. Golden State Warriors - Mike Scott, Sr., PF, Virginia
The runner up to ACC Player of the year he averaged 18 and 8 for the rejuvenated Cavs. He would be a fine addition to their young group and earlier selection of Austin Rivers.
Round 2 -
Are you kidding me?
Past Round 1 there are only a hand full of players in history who have made it big. So I won't waste my time throwing another 30 names out there.
But if you are one of the names called in Round 2 and are fuming at the teams that passed on you then just remember those famous words that Jimmy V. said, "Don't give up, don't ever give up."
Because remember the draft is not an exact science.
Heck most GM's are blinded by it.
Posted by WGCY Newsroom at 11:10 PM