1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF/C, Kentucky
No real explanation needed for this pick. He was the best player in college basketball and has the jewelry to show for it. He'll instantly improve the interior defense with weak side help and change the culture to what looks like a bright future in New Orleans. Not to mention what he'll do for the attendance and marketing, Fear The……….Unibrow?
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF/SG, Kentucky
There are so many ways Jordan can attack (or destroy) this draft, I'm thinking the safest bet here is MKG. Definitely doesn't have the prettiest game, his jumpshot needs a lot of work, but that motor is always on 1000. He gets to the basket with his good first step, finishes against contact, and has the explosion to get the offensive board and put back when he misses. The Bobcats could do a lot better in the potential department with Thomas Robinson or Bradley Beal here, but MKG will bring that sorely needed winning attitude to Time Warner Arena.
3. Washington Wizards: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
John Wall to Thomas Robinson = Lob City pt2? Not quite, but it'd be a welcomed sight for wizards fans who've had to endure the Gilbert Arenas contract saga (post injury), the Rashard Lewis contract, Swaggie P (nick young), and this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgSYA3Gb7oI . The potential for Robinson is through the roof, he's got elite athleticism with great strength, and an improving pick and pop game. The problem is he's one of those typical boom or bust undersized power forwards that rely too much on their athleticism instead of having an actual post game. A healthy Nene could make making this pick a lot easier as T-Rob would have some rim protection.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
Bradley Beal was very highly touted going into Florida for his first and only year of college and to most (including me) underachieved. Despite that he remains one of the hottest targets for this draft, he's undersized for his position as far as height but his 6'8 wing and 8'3 reach will put a halt on that talk for a while. Something I do love about Beal is he was a big time rebounder last year in Florida averaging 6.7 per game, however I don't like how he was dubbed "Ray Allen meets Eric Gordon" yet shot 34% from 3.
5. Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes, SF/SG, North Carolina
Harrison Barnes is a very lucky man(not so high on him in the first place) in my opinion. He completely stunk up the joint in the NCAA tournament, proving what I thought of him from the very beginning, that he couldn't create a shot for himself. However, going to Chicago and competing, then testing better than MKG in all the athletic tests besides the 3/4 court sprint? ….That was a complete win for him. The ugly of that tournament is starting to fade a little more each time now that it's time to work out for teams because somebody with his shooting stroke and high IQ was made for the 1 on 1 team workouts. The Kings could possibly getting a centerpiece for their franchise on and off the court to go with a young star in Demarcus Cousins or they could be getting Marvin Williams with a better jumpshot.
6. Portland Trailblazers (acquired from the Nets): Andre Drummond, C/PF, Connecticut
Let’s all take a second to point and laugh at Billy King the GM for the Nets, for trading away a pick he knew would be in the lottery for a 2 1/2 month rental of Gerald Wallace on a bad team. Now onto the Blazers, this is could easily be the steal of the NBA Draft. Drummond's got an NBA ready body right now, great athleticism for his size, and is an elite shot blocker. However with his athleticism he didn't necessarily set the world on fire with a 7.7 rebound per game average, doesn't show that aggressiveness needed on a nightly basis to play in the post, and usually gets himself in trouble with bad fouls. I think this is the pick you have to make though, you can't leave a young guy with his size and talent on the board for the next team to snatch and develop as the next great player.
7. Golden State Warriors: Terrence Jones: SF/PF, Kentucky
One of the most versatile players in the draft, almost a Lamar Odom clone on the court, fully equipped with the come and go style motor. Terrence Jones has great talent and when he's locked in, he's as good as anybody in this class but there's to much of that with him…"when he's locked in." That is the main reason he isn't ranked even higher on this board and could possibly slip much further. At this point, it's panic time for the Warriors who would be wanting to trade out of this pick knowing there's really no guarantee Jones has the lateral quickness to play the 3 in the NBA. He may be better suited as a face up PF on a team that can protect him at the rim, but if worse came to worse this would be the pick.
8. Toronto Raptors: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Aggressive scoring guard that plays like he's the best player on the floor. He needs work on his jumper but when Syracuse needed a basket, Waiters is who they were going too. He's relentless on his attacks to the rim and showed some point guard ability late in the season. Unfortunately his height could be what holds him back as he's measured just under 6'4 but has a 7'7 wingspan which should help him defensively. The Raptors could be looking at a bunch of different guys at this spot to help their scoring woes, but an unexpected non appearance of Waiters to Chicago's combine brought many rumors of a possible promise from Toronto, (which Bryan Colangelo expectedly shot down).
9. Detroit Pistons: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Leonard has been shooting up the draft boards as expected due to him measuring a legit 7ft at the NBA combine and we all know how much the NBA loves 7footers. But the guy definitely has some game as well. Leonard has a nice touch at the rim, can run the floor, and blocks shots at the rim. He's still working on his back to the basket game, is still raw in that area, and definitely needs to add some muscle but the potential is definitely there. Pairing him and Greg Monroe could be one of the great tandems down low a few years down the road.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Jared Sullinger, C/PF, Ohio State
This is all completely ignoring the fact that today Sullinger was red flagged for his back and hoping it's no big deal. Sullinger would definitely be undersized at the C position, but he's an elite rebounder who uses his wide body and good position to get the job done. In a league where centers are scarce, Sullinger and his top notch post game should thrive any time he's not playing somebody named Howard, Bynum, Gasol (Marc), or Chandler. Pairing him with pick and pop artist Anthony Davis who would be able to be Sullinger's rim protection would be an all around great day for the Hornets organization.
11. Portland Trailblazers: Damian Lillard, PG/SG, Weber State
Scoring PG with range out to the parking lot. Played for small school Weber St which obviously doesn't provide him the same competition his draft peer Kendall Marshall was up against, but by most accounts Lillard is the best PG prospect in this draft. Great athleticism, good size for his position, and a high basketball IQ, along with his scoring ability will be what gets Lillard in the starting lineup for the Blazers instantly.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller, C/PF, North Carolina
Listed at 7ft, with great touch at the rim, the ability to run the floor, and experience in big games…what is there not to like about Zeller? He's not great on defense, but he'll give you the effort and it shows in the fact that his blocks per game steadily rose each of his 4 years in college (1.5 per game last year). He's a good rebounder, but he'll need to get in that weight room ASAP if he wants to be more than a first big off the bench for the most part of his career.
13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, SG/PG, Duke
I think it's time the Suns finally realize it's time to rebuild, and it will start right here with the biggest name in this draft not named Anthony Davis. Austin Rivers is a scoring machine, he's fierce attacking the rim, and has ice in his veins late in games. Like most 2 guards in this class though, he's also undersized (measured in at 6'3 without shoes, 6'5 with 'em..however that works) and occasionally gets that tunnel vision where he forgets he has teammates on the floor. Austin Rivers grew up around the game, and I believe he truly wants to be great, he'll get his chance to be the undoubted #1 on this team.
14. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi State
Bigtime athlete for his size, great rebounder (led the SEC), and a really good all around scorer with some ability to score inside and a great faceup game. He'll be a tough matchup for most with his speed and high motor, but to become the all star caliber player he has the potential to be he'll have to become less dependent on that outside shot and get a post game going.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Perry Jones III, PF/SF, Baylor
How fast things have changed for PJ III, he would've easily been a top 5 pick in last years draft. Unfortunately for him, coming back exposed his inconsistency and his inability to effect the game in the post. He's got PF size with the athleticism of a guard, length and ability to dominate the boards but doesn't do it as much as he should. The biggest problem is he wants to be more Kevin Durant than Kevin Garnett, however at this point in the draft for the 76ers who are stuck with Elton Brand's corpse as their PF, they'd be jumping through hoops that a guy with Jones' talent is available.
16. Houston Rockets: Jeremy Lamb, SG/SF, Connecticut
With Kyle Lowry wanting out, Goran Dragic's impending free agency, and the disappearance of Kevin Martin, adding a player with the talent and potential of Jeremy Lamb to the backcourt is right on time. 2 years ago Jeremy Lamb helped lead Uconn to a National Championship (along with Kemba Walker.) and proved he's got that important "IT" factor. Lamb's fall from the top of the mountain was very swift as his team this year didn't even make the NCAA tournament, due to his inconsistent play, along with other factors out of his control (shabazz napier's stupidity, missed games by coach Jim Calhoun, etc). However this 6'5 smooth shooting guard who's drawn comparisons to Ray Allen and Rip Hamilton will surely be an upgrade over that 2 guard position for many years to come.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
The best pure PG in this draft falls into perfect position for him to thrive in the NBA. Worst case scenario next season, he's playing 15-20min a game learning from one of the greatest of all time in Jason Kidd. Best case scenario, Kidd moves onto another team with hopes of one more ring, and Kendall Marshall gets to step right in with veteran talent and show he belongs due to his elite court vision. Marshall has the ability to take full control and run an offense but will need major work on his jumpshot if he wants to be a longterm replacement in Dallas. He showed real improvement with that jumper late in the year, but coming off wrist surgery we still can't be too sure.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
The Minnesota Timberwolves FINALLY get a legit SG! Terrence Ross has bigtime scoring ability and the prototype size at 6'6 for the position. He has all the ability in the world and would be great value down here at pick 18. Coming off a year where his team vastly underachieved mainly due to his consistency, he didn't really start the draft process on a good note. A few good showings in some workouts however, and Ross could be shooting way up this draft board especially with all the undersized guards slated to go ahead of him.
19. Orlando Magic: Moe Harkless, SF/SG, St Johns
Potential lottery pick next season had he stayed one more season in St Johns. Harkless has an NBA size clocking in at a legit 6'8 in shoes, fully equipped with a nice midrange game, an attacking style to the basket and great rebounding ability for his position. As a New Yorker I truly wish he would've stayed the course in St. Johns to help the process, but the Magic get a potential long term starter the fans will appreciate. He'll need to continue to improve all around, especially his 3 point shooting and learning to play more without the ball if he wants to be more than just a solid NBA starter.
20. Denver Nuggets: John Henson, PF/C, North Carolina
Long, lanky defensive PF falls all the way down to 20. Henson showed great improvement last season in his mid range jumpshot and has a nice touch around the rim. He can really turn into a great defensive player with his length and great timing, but he is the typical way to skinny bigamy that doesn't make it in the NBA. However with the Nuggets needing to add some extra defensive presence down low, especially after Javale Mcgee's good playoff showing and some teams inevitable desire to throw ridiculous money at him, Henson would be a very nice game at this point in the draft.
21. Boston Celtics: John Jenkins, SG/PG, Vanderbilt
This should be a relatively easy pick, probably the best pure 3 point shooter in the entire draft, and the Celtics are almost certain to lose Ray Allen this offseason. Jenkins will immediately contribute with his 3 point shooting, but has shown great scoring ability over the course of his college career which hints that he may be more than just a specialist in the league.
22. Boston Celtics: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Great defensive player and a legit 7footer. Kevin Garnett isn't getting any younger and even though he's played his best this season at the center position, there's no question he will need some help protecting the rim next season and beyond. Since trading Kendrick Perkins the Celtics have tried everybody at center to improve the interior defense and rebounding, although very raw offensively this is the guy for the job.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Qunicy Miller, SF, Baylor
Amazingly talented swingman, who's shown an ability to score late in games but was very inconsistent in his only year at Baylor. He is another player who would've been better served by coming back to school for another season to gain more experience, strength and ability to play without the ball. The Hawks have had a major hole at the SF position for many years and if they develop Miller right he may put an end to that.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
After already taking offensive minded Bradley Beal, the Cavs focus on the other side of the ball here with Taylor. He's a great on-ball perimeter defender and great 3point shooter (42% last season) and is a very rare senior 1st rounder with big game experience. He will definitely need to improve his rebounding and strength if he wants to be a long term starter in the NBA though.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Undersized but extremely skilled senior big man who will be great for the Grizzlies as a future replacement for Zach Randolph, or coming off the bench to keep the post scoring going. He's got a nice back to basket game to go with a nice mid range jumpshot, but couldn't jump over a roll of tissue. He also didn't play against the best of competition but had a very nice showing against Illinois and Meyers Leonard last season. He'll need to become a much better rebounder and improve his post defense if he'll want to be more than just a rotation player.
26. Indiana Pacers: Evan Fournier, SG/SF, Poitiers
I won't act like I know much about this guy, but by all accounts he is the best international swingman prospect in this draft. Evan is only 19 though and is a prime candidate to "draft and stash" (draft him and let him go back overseas to keep improving) and the Pacers are the perfect team to do it being that they're currently loaded on the wing.
27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Great size at 6'11, 264 and a major upgrade over any current center on the Heat roster. Ezili will immediately contribute on the defensive end, but not much else. He'll finish at the rim when you get him an easy one, but you definitely don't want him trying to create for himself. He'll also need to vastly improve his rebounding if he wants to crack the starting lineup on what will be an NBA championship contending team for years to come.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, PF/SF, Michigan State
Yet another undersized PF but a guy you wouldn't want to bet against. I've never been a huge fan of Green's game but he always seems to get it done and overachieve on teams I believe aren't really that talented. He'll immediately improve the Thunder's bench production in the post and high post, along with being effective on the offensive glass. This is a perfect fit for both parties in my opinion as the Thunder need a big man that can score, regardless of whether its down low or in the high post, and Draymond gets to continue winning in his basketball career.
29. Chicago Bulls: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
Another perfect fit in my opinion with this pick. Doron Lamb is the prototypical 6th man with his size at 6'5 and ability to guard the point or shooting guard position. He is a volume scorer who isn't afraid to take and make the big shot as he has a ton of big game experience. The Bulls have a desperate need for a secondary perimeter scorer and while Lamb won't be the piece that pushes them to a championship (especially with Rose missing a chunk of next season from his torn ACL) but he's definitely a step in the right direction.
30. Golden State Warriors: Kevin Jones, PF/SF, West Virginia
Probably a stretch to go in the 1st round, as Jones doesn't really have a position. He has the size of a SF at 6'7 but the game and rebounding ability on both ends of a bigger man. He's shown drastic improvement on his long range jumpshot which will help him in his quest to be a long term player but his great work ethic will help him along the way. I think this would be a great gamble for this Warriors team with head coach Mark Jackson that stresses playing intense, playing hard, and playing defense. All of which are strengths for Kevin Jones.
That’s a wrap on the 1st edition of theGMreport's mock draft. Sleepers coming soon!