NBA Draft Day is here, and over the past week each of the Fansided’s NBA main editors acted as GMs for our mock draft. The Clippers don’t have a first round draft pick so it was a pretty easy process for me, but I have a couple thoughts below and it was fun to watch the picks trickle in. The editors were also allowed to make trades, which added to the intrigue as well.
Here’s all of the picks from the draft as to how they have been updated to me:
1. New Orleans Hornets – PF Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Anthony Davis is the top prospect and consensus #1 overall pick in this years draft. No other
prospect in this draft class has been said to have the potential to be a franchise player. It does not
take too much decision making to select Davis #1 overall.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Some people say Robinson is the safest pick in the draft. I say he’s the smartest pick in the draft. He’s shown an impressive propensity for growth, he’s got an NBA-ready body, and his skill set is one that should transfer to the professional level. The Bobcats need help everywhere, and Robinson is the only guy in this draft who can give them help everywhere.
3. Washington Wizards – SG Bradley Beal, Florida
With the acquisitions of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, the Wizards’ lone glaring need is at the shooting guard spot. Jordan Crawford is best suited coming off the bench and the Wizards need someone who can shoot from the perimeter – Bradley Beal can be that guy.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
With Anthony Parker’s departure from the Cavaliers, Cleveland’s need for a wing player and his experience with Kyrie Irving are all attractive reasons as to why Kidd-Gilchrist should go to the Cavaliers at pick No. 4. Although he only attempted 8.2 field goals per game, the Kentucky freshmen will give Irving another option to go to, further expanding on Cleveland’s idea of an eight-player team.
5. Sacramento Kings – SF Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
With Thomas Robinson off the board early and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going to Cleveland with the fourth pick, Sacramento was left to pick the final piece of the ‘five man draft’. While players like Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond were still on the board, a need for outside shooting and an improvement to the Kings small forward position was too good to pass up. Barnes also proves to be the more NBA ready talent of other players considered, giving the Kings a better opportunity to win now then three to four years down the road. While Barnes was not the preferred pick (we were hoping Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist would fall), he was the safest and most logical remaining prospect.
6. Portland Trail blazers – C Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Portland has two huge holes to fill in the off-season, and the point guard position is the one I don’t think they should try to address through the draft. Drafting a point guard can be dangerous. Even if there’s a chance that Portland’s draft choice turns into Derrick Rose, the chances that he ends up like Sebastian Telfair or worse is much much higher. For that reason, I think the Blazers should use their first pick on a center. Drummond is raw and young. We all know what happened the last time Portland picked a raw young center, and if the Blazers do end up taking Drummond with the sixth pick expect to hear plenty of Greg Oden references. That being said, I don’t think the Blazers’ brass should let GO’s history stop them from going after a legit big guy. There are very few in the league right now. Taking Drummond, and building him into an elite level player could mean victories for Portland for a long time. Looking for an aging center in free agency, or making a two or three to one deal to get Dwight Howard probably won’t.
7. Golden State Warriors – PF John Henson, North Carolina
He’ll certainly help the Warriors, who are looking for another big man to help. While David Lee has been impressive, his surrounding casts of big men are unproven or coming back from injury. The Warriors got a big man in Andrew Bogut last year after a blockbuster trade, but the man is injury prone and hasn’t looked his all-star from in a couple of years. Bring in a young guy who has the height and the skill set to help this team and give the Warriors a look they haven’t had in years.
8. Toronto Raptors – SG Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
The Raptors are looking to take a shooting guard here. It was between Lamb, Dion Waiters and Austin Rivers. Lamb feels like he has the most upside so we went with him.
9. Detroit Pistons – C Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
The Pistons need a big man and with John Henson off the board who we expected to have fall to us, we graded Moultrie as the next best big. He and Greg Monroe will make a good team together.
10. Boston Celtics (from NOH) – C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
We traded our 21st and 22nd picks to New Orleans for this pick and a second rounder. The Celtics need a center for the future and Zeller can be that guy.
11. Portland Trail blazers – SG Austin Rivers, Duke
Rivers’ confidence is through the roof. He truly believes that he can score from anywhere on the court, and his propensity to spread that confidence amongst his teammates is something the Blazers desperately need.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – PF Perry Jones III, Baylor
The Bucks need talent. On skills alone, Jones is way ahead of most of the other players available in the late lottery. He does best off cuts and in transition, according to Draft Express. If that’s the case, he will fit right in with the motion offense Scott Skiles had in place last season. He is nearly 7 feet tall in shoes, with a ridiculous 38.5-inch vertical leap.
13. Phoenix Suns – PG Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
This one is pretty obvious. The Suns need a replacement for Steve Nash and Marshall is the best pure point in the draft so we went with him.
14. Houston Rockets – PG Damian Lillard, Weber State
I made the decision to select this player for two reasons. He was projected to go #6 to the Portland Trail Blazers but fail all the way to #14 for the Rockets which is a major steal. Lets face it, Kyle Lowry is going to be traded soon, and after that their will be a glaring hole behind new starter Goran Dragic.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – SG Terrence Ross, Washington
Rod Thorn: “Essentially, You Draft for Talent and You Trade for Need” In accordance to that quote, Ross seemed to be the best talent at the time. The thought here is that you can trade Andre Iguodala for a needed big man, plus picks and other pieces for salary matching.
16. Houston Rockets – SG Dion Waiters, Syracuse
I also made the decision to draft this kid for two reasons. Most importantly he was a steal. Waiters was projected to go 7th overall to the Golden State Warriors but fail to 16th for the Rockets, so i didn’t hesitate to select Dion. My other reason to draft Waiters is for his aggressive defense. Kevin Martin will be gone just as soon as Kyle Lowry will, and one thing Martin obviously lacked was defense. Waiters changes that.
17. Dallas Mavericks – PF Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Jones is a talented forward who can do a lot of things. That’s exactly the kind of player we need in Dallas for next year.
18. Houston Rockets – C Meyers Leonard, Illinois
I selected Leonard for one reason, he brings exactly what the Rockets need, youth and interior defense. He was also projected to go to the Rockets at the 14th pick but after a couple of steals i got another steal with Meyers still being on the board. Marcus Camby is a free agent who will most likely come back, but is 38 years old. Samuel Dalembert looks like he is on his way out which would make room for another center.
19. Orlando Magic – SF Moe Harkless, St. John’s
The future or the Magic roster is uncertain with the Dwight Howard situation. Harkless is a good talent to fall to this number and we couldn’t pass on him.
20. Denver Nuggets – PF Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
There is no secret that Sullinger has some health issues that will make him slide in the draft, but being a 6-foot-9, 268-pound big man that can score and rebound makes him worth the gamble with the 20th pick. Not to mention he is only 20 years old.
21. New Orleans Hornets (from BOS) – PF Royce White, Iowa State
After trading the 10th overall pick to the Boston Celtics for the 21st and 22nd overall picks it would be best to pick the best available players that fill some need. Royce White is by far the best player left on the board at this point and is so versatile he could play many roles on this team. He is a big body who can take a lot of low post pressure off Anthony Davis, and he could do this while playing small forward. At the same time White could also drop 5-10 assist per game, depending on how many times the ball is in his hands. Royce White and Anthony Davis would be a force together; teams would have problems matching up with them. White is so big that it would take a Power Forward to guard him in the post, but quick enough to easily get by most on the perimeter.
22. New Orleans Hornets (from BOS) – PG Tony Wroten, Jr., Washington
Wroten, Jr. has a lot of talent and we need a good point guard. He has instincts you don’t find every day as a passer and should make a good team with Anthony Davis.
23. Atlanta Hawks – SF Quincy Miller, Baylor
Miller is sort of a reach here but we believe he has the talent to be a star in this league down the road. This pick is based on talent alone and Miller has a ton.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – PF Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
Antawn Jamison’s two-and-a-half years of being the Cleveland Cavaliers starting power forward is over. Now someone else is going to have to step in. Nicholson said it himself, that he is one of the best shooting big men in the draft. Jamison was the leading scorer for the Cavaliers last year, so Cleveland is going to have to be able to draft a player who will put points on the board. He scored 30 or more points three times in the last nine games, proving to scouts that he has the ability to take over a game. In those three games he shot 80.0 percent, 71.4 percent and 60.0 percent respectively, taking a total of 49 shots. This is the perfect player to replace Jamison.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – PG Marquis Teague, Kentucky
Point guard is a need for the Grizzlies and Teague is a talented one. He was one of the top players in his high school class but got lost in the shuffle a little but playing at Kentucky. He has a lot of potential to be a quality point in this league.
26. Indiana Pacers – C Fab Melo, Syracuse
I liked the idea of a backup center to Roy Hibbert as long as the Pacers resign Hibbert. This is a guy who’s young, but definitely has the talent to play. I love the idea that he’s a shot blocker, and hope that can carry over to the NBA game.
27. Miami Heat – SG Evan Fournier, France
No secret what we are doing here. At this point in the draft there’s not a lot that would help the Heat immediately. This pick is to store a player overseas for a few seasons and maybe he develops into something nice.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – SF Draymond Green, Michigan State
There are a few players at this point in the draft that we can’t pass on. Green is one of them. He is a player we didn’t have last year and could really help the team immediately.
29. Chicago Bulls – SG Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Lamb is a confident, very good shooter that will work well with Rose. He can defend and has a lot of talent too. This wasn’t a hard decision.
30. Golden State Warriors – PF Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State
This is the sleeper pick with the last selection of the first round. O’Quinn was part of a great season with Norfolk State last year and will fit in well with our future.
1. Anthony Davis (NOH)
2. Thomas Robinson (CHA)
3. Brad Beal (WAS)
4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CLE)
5. Harrison Barnes (SAC)
6. Andre Drummond (POR)
7. John Henson (GSW)
8. Jeremy Lamb (TOR)
9. Arnett Moultrie (DET)
10. Tyler Zeller (BOS from NOH)
11. Austin Rivers (POR)
12. Perry Jones (MIL)
13. Kendall Marshall (PHX)
14. Damian Lillard (HOU)
15. Terrence Ross (PHI)
16. Dion Waiters (HOU)
17. Terrence Jones (DAL)
18. Meyers Leonard (HOU)
19. Moe Harkless (ORL)
20. Jared Sullinger (DEN)
21. Royce White (NOH from BOS)
22. Tony Wroten, Jr. (NOH from BOS)
23. Quincy Miller (ATL)
24. Andrew Nicholson (CLE)
25. Marquis Teague (MEM)
26. Fab Melo (IND)
27. Evan Fournier (MIA)
28. Draymond Green (OKC)
29. Doron Lamb (CHI)
The mock draft was only for the first round, and my favorite picks in this round were definitely Harrison Barnes to Sacramento and Jared Sullinger to Denver. I know the doctors are worried about Sullinger, but the guy is a two time All American and he can ball.
It should be an exciting night full of trades and roster shakeups. I’m definitely hoping the Cavaliers don’t trade up and steal Bradley Beal before the Wizards can. It will be a boring first round for the Clippers, but they will be making more moves through trade and free agency this off-season.