It has been reported that Perry Jones III has a “knee” issue that could affect his draft stock significantly. Also, a lot of players have been moving up or sliding down my draft board. This might be the official and last mock draft I do for the 2012 draft. Take a look at what I think the draft will look like! And who do you think the Bobcats should select with the no. 2 pick?
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis: Davis will be the best player on this team, especially if Eric Gordon isn’t back.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson: Either the Bobcats trade the no. 2 pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden and no. 28 pick or they pick Robinson from Kansas. They don’t need any more guards and Robinson brings production to a team that doesn’t know what the word means.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal: If Beal is worth all the hype he received coming out of high school and is a better shooter than he showed in college, the Wizards have to take him. If they do, their back-court is set.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: To be honest, Kidd-Gilchrist might be the second riskiest pick in the draft (Andre Drummond is riskiest). He works hard, but working smart is more meaningful than working hard. I think he will have a good career, but stop with the comparisons to Scottie Pippen, please.
5. Sacramento Kings – Harrison Barnes: He tested tremendously well at the NBA Combine and I believe he will fit-in well in Sacramento. With the Kings looking to move Tyreke Evans, that will open-up more shots for Barnes.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (from Bklyn) – Damian Lillard: Lillard could be one of the best players in this draft or he could be one of the biggest busts in this draft. He is quick, athletic, somewhat explosive, and, of course, talented. I think he will fit-in nicely in Portland.
7. Golden State Warriors – Terrence Jones: According to reports, the Warriors are looking to move their pick. I think they should keep their pick and draft Terrence Jones from Kentucky. I could see him starting from day one and he brings a tough mind-set to a team that is relatively weak in that area.
8. Toronto Raptors – Austin Rivers: I think Rivers moves up due to Perry Jones III knee issue. Rivers has the best one-on-one game in this draft. Also, I think he can develop the necessary guard skills to run the point. I think of him as a less-athletic but better offensive player than Russell Westbrook when Westbrook entered the 2008 draft.
9. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond: If Drummond taps into any of his potential, the Pistons will become a playoff contender in two years, and I think he can be that good. But I don’t know if he will slide that far.
10. New Orleans Hornets (from LAC via MIN) – Jeremy Lamb: They took Anthony Davis with their first pick and now I have them selecting Connecticut’s Lamb. I like a lot of things about Lamb, but I wish he would have had a better sophomore season and shown that he could be a leader.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Meyers Leonard: The Trail Blazers lack size up front. With the possibility that Leonard could be good, I think it’s a nice value pick for the Blazers.
12. Houston Rockets (trade with MIL) – Dion Waiters: With the possibility of the Rockets wanting to move Kevin Martin’s contract, I think Waiters will be a good fit. He could start right away, too!
13. Phoenix Suns – Terrence Ross: Ross can play the 1 and 2. I think he is more of a 2/3 at the next level. The Suns need a point guard but they need to focus on acquiring young talent. Also, Aaron Brooks is still a free agent after spending one year in China.
14. Milwaukee Bucks (trade with HOU) – Tyler Zeller: The Bucks need size up front and Zeller has that. I think he might even start for the Bucks, even though they acquired Samuel Dalembert in a trade with the Houston Rockets.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – John Henson: Henson’s durability is my biggest question. I like his length, athleticism and defensive ability. But his slight frame would make any GM quiver every time he hits the deck. Nonetheless, Henson would fit well in Doug Collins defensive system.
16. Houston Rockets (from NYN) – Arnett Moultrie: If the Rockets are looking to acquire Dwight Howard, the will be moving draft picks, Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry, and probably Luis Scola. They have Patrick Patterson backing up Scola right now so they will need another power forward. I think Moultrie is the ideal pick here.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Kendall Marshall: I have caught-on to this idea. With Jason Kidd at the end of his career, the Mavericks will be looking for a point guard. Their goal is to sign Deron Williams, but if that doesn’t happen at least they will be able to fall-back on Marshall.
18. Houston Rockets (from MIN via UTA) – Perry Jones: If you didn’t know, Jones III has a “knee issue” that is causing his stock to drop. I don’t think it will hurt him much because he still has a lot of potential to be good. But I don’t like the word “potential” because it doesn’t guarantee anything.
19. Orlando Magic – Royce White: The Magic is in a bad place right now. They are being offered draft picks for Dwight Howard, but I don’t think they will pull the trigger. Nonetheless, White is a supreme talent who brings a lot of versatility to the table.
20. Denver Nuggets – Moe Harkless: The Nuggets love high-energy players (JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried). Harkless has more skill than both of those players and the Nuggets roster will get even deeper. And they might move-up in the draft by trading with Golden State for GS’s no. 7 in exchange for Wilson Chandler.
21. Boston Celtics – Jared Sullinger: The red flags are killing Sullinger’s draft stock. It’s gotten to the point where he wasn’t even invited to the NBA Draft in New York. Despite his back issues, I think the Celtics can’t pass-up on Sullinger at no. 21.
22. Boston Celtics (from LAC) – Fab Melo: With the possibility of Kevin Garnett not returning, the Celtics will need another defensive player in the middle. I think the Celtics are still in “win-now” mode but they might need to take a year or two off and make a run at the title in two years.
23. Atlanta Hawks – John Jenkins: Joe Johnson has four years left on his outrageous contract; a contract I don’t think will be easy to trade away. John Jenkins is a very good shooter and will add depth to a team that is struggling to get over-the-hump in the playoffs.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (from LAL) – Andrew Nicholson: I don’t think the Cavaliers are 100% sold on Tristan Thompson. That being said, I think Nicholson would be a nice fit and another piece to a rebuilding team.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Marquis Teague: In my opinion, Teague is the third best point guard in the draft, maybe the fourth. His game isn’t as polished as it should be. But I think he could be a solid backup player for the Grizzlies.
26. Indiana Pacers – Quincy Miller: Miller continues to climb-up my board. I think he could be the “steal of the draft”. He was a very highly rated prospect coming out of high school, but didn’t make a tremendous impact at Baylor. I think he can be good, though.
27. Miami Heat – Draymond Green: This would be a tremendous pick for the Heat. Green was the leader of the Spartans the past few years, leading them in almost every single statistical category this season. He is the definition of a “team” player.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeffery Taylor: The Thunder needs a solid backup small forward so they can give Kevin Durant a rest every now-and-then. Taylor is an explosive athlete who is still developing his overall game.
29. Chicago Bulls – Tony Wroten: I would be surprised to see Wroten on the board this late in the first round. Remember this: Rondo was drafted with the 21st pick. I think this one might play out the same way.
30. Golden State Warriors (from SAS) – Doron Lamb: I see Lamb as the next Daequan Cook, but with a better offensive game. I think he will give the Warriors some scoring off the bench, provided he can make the rotation.