NBA

NBA Mock Draft For 2012: Nine Days to the Draft

NBA Mock Draft: What I would do. That’s significantly different than “What I think will happen” which will be next week’s mock. The draft is nine days away. Here’s a Mock Draft from May 9th (pre-lottery) if you care to compare the two. If you’ve been following this site for awhile, you know the guys I like – Rivers and Royce White. I’m not in love with the Baylor busts Perry Jones and Quincy Miller.

1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky.

2. Charlotte Bobcats – Brad Beal, G, Florida
.

3. Washington Wizards – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
. Desperate for 3-point shooting, so perhaps they grab Harrison Barnes. MKG’s in play, too. Is the Nene/T-Rob combo what they need?

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G/F, Kentucky. Do they go with Harrison Barnes for offense, or MKG, an elite defender who is probably the hardest working player in the draft?

5 Sacramento Kings – Andre Drummond, C, UConn
. Sticking with prediction from last time. They’ve got enough shooters.

6 Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn) – Austin Rivers, G, Duke
. Yes, I really do see him and think Russell Westbrook – amazing ability to get to the rim, ballhog-ish, but a better shooter.

7 Golden State Warriors – Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC
. Few see him falling this far. He’s got a 38-inch vertical!

8 Toronto Raptors – Kendall Marshall, PG, UNC.
Keep waffling on which point guard the Raptors take here. Calderon’s in his final year.

9 Detroit Pistons – Meyers Leonard, F/C, Illinois
. For the time being, I’ve got him ahead of Tyler Zeller, though I’d love to see the two head-to-head in a workout.

10 New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota via L.A. Clippers) – Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut. One of two things happen here: 1) It serves notice to Eric Gordon – hey, take our offer or look elsewhere; we’ve found your backup. 2) Eric Gordon isn’t a true point guard, but can try playing it, and now we’ve got an explosive backcourt.

11 Portland Trail Blazers – Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky.
If you ask me, walking away from the draft with a new lead guard and a partner-in-crime for LaMarcus Aldridge = A+, despite occasional misgivings I have about Jones.

12 Milwaukee Bucks – Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
.

13 Phoenix Suns – Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse
. Did they give him a promise?

14 Houston Rockets – Royce White, F, Iowa State
.

15 Philadelphia 76ers – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
. It has to be a big. Do they want an interior scorer like Sullinger, or someone with more upside, like Henson?

16 Houston Rockets (from New York) –
Terrence Ross, SG, Washington. Kevin Martin’s in his last year and could be traded; still no word on if Courtney Lee will be back.

17 Dallas Mavericks – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
. Old team gets young, bouncy, scorer.

18 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah) – Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky. They need a shooter, and he’s probably the best one in the draft. Will they slide down a few spots and get him?

19 Orlando Magic – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
. Takes over the point guard spot for Jameer Nelson?

20 Denver Nuggets – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
. Previously had him going to Portland, but given the Greg Oden history, they’ll shy away due to the back issues. Nuggets lack inside scoring.

21 Boston Celtics – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse. Getting back the Kendrick Perkins-type center (but a better shot blocker) they traded away.

22 Boston Celtics (from L.A. Clippers via Oklahoma City) – Perry Jones III, F, Baylor
. Only teams I can see taking a chance on the athletic but passive forward are those with two 1st round picks.

23 Atlanta Hawks – Tony Wroten, PG, Washington.

24 Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Lakers) – Andrew Nicholson, F, St. Bonaventure. Could he be a very poor man’s Antawn Jamison?

25 Memphis Grizzlies – Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor. Not nearly as high on at either end of the floor. Staying in school could have gotten him into the lottery.

26 Indiana Pacers – Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State. With West on the books for one more year, and Hansbrough limited offensive, Moultrie could be their future power forward alongside Roy Hibbert.

27 Miami Heat – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky. Heat have one more year with Chalmers/Cole, and Teague might be better than both of them. Wouldn’t be shocked if, in four years, Teague was the 2nd best point guard in this draft (assuming Rivers is the 1st).

28 Oklahoma City Thunder – John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt. Insurance for James Harden? Obviously he doesn’t have the upside of Harden, but they need guys who can score and Harden could bolt after next season.

29 Chicago Bulls – Scott Machado, PG, Iona. Same pick as last time, with one change – Rose won’t be out two months; it could be 4-5.

30 Golden State Warriors – Draymond Green, F, Michigan St.. Best on board situation. Solid citizen, potential leader from the bench on a young, often clueless team.

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