Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t we? Courtesy Sam Chadwick (just about at the buzzer, too), is BallinEurope’s mock for the 2012 NBA Draft. So let the mockery begin!
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis (6’10’’, PF, Kentucky, Freshman). The number 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft is of course a lock with the New Orleans Hornets taking none other than Anthony Davis, he fills the teams need perfectly especially following the trade of Okafor and Ariza to the Washington Wizards. The PF is by far the best player available and has already been stated as a better version of Blake Griffin.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson (6’9’’, PF, Kansas, Junior). This pick is rumoured to be in trade discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bobcats would like to pick Harrison Barnes but feel he is not worth a number 2 selection; the Cavs on the other hand would love the addition of Thomas Robinson to their solid young core. Either way if the Bobcats don’t trade the pick I still see them taking Robinson as he is the 2nd best player available.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal (6’5’’, PG/SG, Florida, Freshman). Washington seems to be locked on to Beal as a SG to play alongside John Wall. A young core of Wall, Crawford, Vesley, Seraphin and Booker alongside Nene, Ariza and Okafor seems to be a team who could challenge for an 8th seed in the playoff but don’t get your hopes up as this is the Wizards.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes (6’8’’, SF, UNC, Junior). This pick coincides with the Bobcats selecting Thomas Robinson 2nd overall as the Bobcats would like to receive Harrison Barnes, the best small forward available and the only position the Bobcats really need to fill. As for another young squad in the East a core of Walker, Henderson, Barnes, Biyombo and Mullens could be a fun team to watch.
5. Sacramento – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6’7’’, SF, Kentucky, Freshman). MKG is the 2nd best SF available after Harrison Barnes. The Kings have no requirement for any other position and therefore pick him up for the need, hopefully he can continue to improve as the Kings hunt for a solid SF has taken many routes over the past few seasons, including the likes of Greene, Caspi and Williams.
6. Portland Trailblazers – Andre Drummond (6’11”, C, UCONN, Freshman). It looks as though the desire for Oden to come back from injury may have been a waste as he is may be replaced in this year’s draft. If however he does come back then front court depth is always important in the Western Conference; a line-up including Drummond, Oden and Aldridge would could potentially challenge the Lakers, they also have a deadline for Freeland this summer to decide whether he will stick with Europe or finally fill a role in the NBA. Unfortunately the Blazers also require a PG following their year with Felton so their needs outstrip their current projections.
7. Golden State Warriors – Damian Lillard (6’3”, PG, Webber State, Junior). The Warriors may have one of the most promising rosters depending on players staying away from injury. The mid-season addition of Andrew Bogut gives them potential one of the league’s best centres, Stephen Curry will continue to be one of the best shooters and although David Lee has not lived up to his contract he is still one of the more serviceable PFs in the league. The addition of Damian Lillard gives them a homegrown point to play alongside Steph.
8. Toronto Raptors – Austin Rivers (6’5”, SG, Duke, Freshman). Austin was one of this year’s most intriguing prospects in the NCAA — sometimes he was dropping buckets on everybody and atother times his decision making and ability were questioned. The fact is that Toronto could use anybody who is young and can score. Demar DeRozan is a solid building block as is the inevitable addition of Jonas Valaciunas they still have Bargnani and Ed Davis so the foundations for a strong squad are there.
9. Detroit Pistons – Dion Waiters (6’4”, SG, Syracuse, Sophomore). Detroit just shipped Ben Gordon off to Charlotte and therefore is desperate need of a new SG. Dion is the kind of player Detroit look for; he is a good player and isn’t scared of anybody, thereby fitting the Detroit Bad Boy role well. Add Dion to the likes of Monroe, Stuckey and Brandon Knight and the future looks a bit more entertaining in the Motor City.
10. New Orleans – Marquis Teague (6’2”, PG, Kentucky, Freshman). When you need a young new point guard to go with your brand new number 1 pick, the two players need to develop a bond, they need to become brothers, they need to know exactly where each other is. Why waste six months when you can pick a solid young point guard who already has a year’s experience throwing lobs to your new starting PF? That’s why we have Marquis going to New Orleans, their time in Kentucky together could lead to an amazing array of highlights in an NBA arena. Depending on what happens in NO, the other possibility here is Myers Leonard. If Kaman is out, expect the Hornets to pick a solid 7-footer to replace him.
11. Portland Trailblazers – Moe Harkless (6’9”, SF, St Johns, Freshman). What Portland needs is a new point: They could take Lillard 6th overall but their other pressing need at C seems slightly more important to me, then after the 10th pick the number of solid PGs available isn’t great. Therefore in case they lose Batum this off-season, the Blazers pick Harkless to fill in the void at SF.
12. Houston Rockets – John Hesson (6’10”, PF, UNC, Junior). Houston already has a solid team who nearly contended for the 8th seed in this year’s playoffs, what they need is a big name player so look for them to trade their 3 picks (14th, 16th and 18th) for a household name. If they don’t manage to get that, then the PG position is filled by Goran Dragic, providing he returns as he is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry is likely heading out the door as well, while Donatas Motiejunas is likely to make his debut in the NBA any time soon.
13. Phoenix Suns – Jeremy Lamb (6’5”, SG, UConn, Sophomore). Phoenix are in for a hard summer, the loss of Steve Nash will be hard to handle and I haven’t seen any of the big name free agents express interest in travelling to Phoenix, what the Suns do have however if a solid Centre in Marcin Gortat, and a good young SF in Jared Dudley, Markieff and Frye currently occupy the PF position so a SG is their other significant need.
14. Milwaukee Bucks – Myers Leonard (7’1”, C, Illinois, Sophomore). Milwaukee gets lucky here if Myers drops to them at 14th overall, a few months after trading Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area. The Bucks may draft another centre with plenty of potential: Myers is still developing as a big man and may struggle at times but we have seen how quick he development in college was.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Tyler Zeller (7’0”, C, UNC, Senior). With a need for a deep front court in the ever improving Eastern Conference, the Sixers pick Tyler partly because he is a winner, he hates to lose and that’s what the people of Philadelphia like: the hustle that he can provide, the hard work, the determination. Tyler is another 7-footer who has potential to become one of the league’s top big men.
16. Houston Rockets – Terrence Ross (6’7”, SG/SF, Washington, Sophomore). With a front court almost full to the brim, the addition of a SG/SF seems like a reasonable pick for the Houston Rockets. Chandler Parsons will have the starting role locked up at SF, while Kevin Martins return from injury could fill in the SG need, if that’s the case then Terrence provides a solid back up at both positions.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Jared Sullinger (6’9”, PF, Ohio State, Sophomore). The medics have red flagged Jared, but don’t be fooled: Remember that DeJuan Blair was red flagged a few years ago and now is one of the key cogs to the San Antonio Spurs. Jared could fill the same part for the Mavs in taking up the minutes to let Dirk & Co. rest.
18. Houston Rockets – Kendall Marshall (6’4”, PG, UNC, Sophomore). I am getting tired of predicting picks for the Rockets, especially when the likelihood is that they will trade them away before the draft even takes place. However, just in case, and if they can’t keep Dragic/Lowry around, then they will need a back-up point guard and Kendall is definitely the best available.
19. Orlando Magic – Fab Melo (7’ 0”, C, Syracuse, Sophomore). Magic fans welcome an era of a new 7-footer filling the key — no longer Dwight but Fab Melo. With the chance of Howard staying in Orlando next season hitting pretty much rock bottom, look for the Magic to pick up a new big man in this year’s draft.
20. Denver Nuggets – Draymond Green (6’7”, SF/PF, Michigan State, Senior). Denver love players who hustle; just look at Faried, one of the hardest working players in the NBA, although what the Nuggets really need is a big name player. None are really available this summer so building through the draft is the only option, Green’s ability to play both SF and PF makes him very useful to a team stacked at almost every position.
21. Boston Celtics – Doron Lamb (6’4”, SG, Kentucky, Sophomore). The Celtics need to get younger and although Bradley can fill the potential hole left by Ray Allen, they will still need a back-up SG, especially someone who can create their own shot as well as hitting it from long range.
22. Boston Celtics – Perry Jones III (6’11”, PF, Baylor, Sophomore). It’s hard seeing Perry drop this far down, but the way that his attitude is affecting him and scouts shows that he needs to be looked at closely and with caution … That being said, the Celtics need to take risks. A core of young players like Rondo, Bradley, Lamb, Jones, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass makes them at least a decade younger.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Will Barton (6’4”, SG, Memphis, Sophomore). Atlanta need to do something, otherwise they will be stuck in that 3rd, 4th, 5th place playoff position for the next few years, that dreaded place where they can’t compete but they also can’t get a high draft pick what they need to do is make a trade. I wouldn’t be surprised if that trade included John Smith and this pick right here.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Festus Ezeli (6’11”, C, Vanderbilt, Senior). Cleveland are looking to add this 24th overall pick with the 4th to move up into Charlotte’s 2nd place pick. If not, then the Cavs need to add some size to their young and inexperienced roster. Festus is a very capable big man, a senior with experience in leading a team and could fill the role perfectly for the Cavs.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Evan Fournier (6’6”, SG, France). Fournier is one of Europe’s top players this year with a number of NBA teams showing interest, the Grizzlies could use that because they may potentially move O.J. Mayo this summer. If that’s the case, they will need another young SG to fill in that back-up role; if not then they will be able to leave Evan in Europe to continue his development.
26. Indiana Pacers – Quincy Miller (6’10’, SF/PF, Baylor, Freshman). Indiana is one of the league’s top rising young teams, but they need to build up their depth. Quincy’s ability to play both SF and PF allows him to fill whatever the team’s needs; the Pacers would also have greater ability to go small, which they have been known to do at points during the season.
27. Miami Heat – Terrance Jones (6’9”, SF/PF, Kentucky, Sophomore). If Miami get to pick up a solid two position player with the 27th pick in the draft, they should be very happy. Jones can take minutes from Lebron and Bosh, allowing them the rest they will need over a full, non-locked out NBA season. Terrence has shown immaturity at times, but put him in the right situation and I’m pretty sure he won’t step out of line with the Chosen One on his case.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tony Wroten (6’6”, PG, Washington, Freshman). Oklahoma needed Maynor this season and after his injury, their depth at PG was significantly depleted. Wroten adds an addition PG presence but also the ability to take some of the load off of Harden and Thabo.
29. Chicago Bulls – Royce White (6’8”, SF, Iowa, Sophomore). With the potential trade of Luol Deng still lingering, the Bulls will need someone else who can do it all, grab rebounds, score, drive and shoot. The Bulls have a lot of young talent who struggle to get minutes but Royce may be able to challenge the rotation.
30. Golden State Warriors – Arnett Moultire (6’11”, PF, Mississippi State, Junior) Arnett brings the Warriors depth at the PF position with this pick. After stocking up in the back court with their first pick, they go big this time by selecting Arnett as the best player left in the first round. He provides athleticism which this GSW team has lacked this season while his rebounding and inside presence will improve as he develops the strength to compete with the rest of the NBA.
Sam Chadwick is the co-head coach of the Solent Kestrels U14 basketball team, along with dividing the remainder of his time among an assistant quantity surveyor job, university studies and sportswriting. Chadwick is now a contributor at BBLfans.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @chadwick9.