Yesterday we posted Adam Zagoria’s Top 5 picks at each position. In the next 10 days, we will be posting Tommy Dee’s sleeper picks and his list of the 10 Worst Draft picks of the past 10 years.
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So without further ado, here is Mock Draft 3.0. (For more on the draft, click over to ProBasketballDraft.com after you’ve read this piece.)
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
Etch this pick in stone. No one else is under consideration and New Orleans will not trade the pick, either. Davis is a tremendous weakside shot blocker and very good rebounder. Davis will make his impact felt immediately on the boards and defensively.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The Bobcats have made it known they are open to moving the pick for the right price. Robinson has been moving up boards with great workouts and interviews. Many around the league view him as among the most NBA-ready prospects and he could give the Bobcats a boost in their frontcourt. While the Bobcats like Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes are both possibilities here as well.
3. Washington Wizards – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Washington is looking to put talent around John Wall, and Kidd-Gilchrist compliments him very well. The Wizards would be ferocious in the fast break and Washington would add a versatile defender and excellent rebounder as well. While Kidd-Gilchrist must improve his jump shot at the next level, he is the youngest player in the draft and has arguably the best motor and work ethic, so odds are he will improve. According to sources, Washington prefers Kidd-Gilchrist to Beal.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
While Cleveland does like Barnes and could envision him playing alongside Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal has too much potential to pass on at 4. The Cavs must find talented players to surround Irving with, and Beal is among the best shooters in this draft, and combined with his size and frame has the potential to be a very good defender as well. Beal and Irving would certainly be exciting to watch. Early indications in Cleveland are that they are more comfortable with the perimeter players in the lottery but are considering Andre Drummond a viable option and will work him out before the draft.
5. Sacramento Kings – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
The Kings are looking for a particular type of player at No. 5. Sacramento wants to add someone who is mature, polished and a winner. Barnes is a very reliable scorer, and while he may not have as big of an upside as some of the other prospects, he is less likely to bust out. One Eastern Conference GM described Barnes as being a great 3rd option in the NBA, especially if he is paired with a point guard who can facilitate and a big that can score in the post. In Sacramento, playing with DeMarcus Cousins could allow Barnes to flourish.
6. Portland Trail Blazers – Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
The Blazers are looking to pair LaMarcus Aldridge with a big man to help take the pressure off of him on both ends. If Drummond is there at No. 6, Portland would get a player with the more upside than any other prospect besides Anthony Davis. Drummond is the prototype of what you want a center to look like physically and has freakish athleticism and agility for a player his size. His post game is a work in progress, but if the Blazers are patient with him it could be a home run. Drummond has as much upside as any center prospect since Dwight Howard, but does come with risk too.
7. Golden State Warriors – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
The Warriors are somewhat flexible as they can wait to see who falls to them or they can target someone to bolster their frontcourt. Sullinger is a name that keeps being mentioned in connection to the Warriors. Sullinger silenced a lot of skeptics by measuring in at a legit 6’9” and toning up at the Chicago combine. Combined with his polished post game and on court IQ, Sullinger should be able to provide valuable minutes as a rookie backing up David Lee and Andrew Bogut. Sullinger’s physical limitations could cause him to fall on draft day, and the Warriors are considering Terrence Jones, Moe Harkless, and Perry Jones as well.
8. Toronto Raptors – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
One of hottest names right now is Rivers, who is one of the better scorers in this draft. According to a league source, Rivers has already received a promise from a team in the top-10. Rivers is very creative and smooth. Rivers had one of the most productive combines as he performed well and excelled in the interview portion as well. Rivers worked out for the Raptors earlier this week and while Jeremy Lamb pulled out due to injury Rivers looked impressive. Toronto will have 2011 Lottery Pick Jonas Valanciunas join the team this season so it seems they prefer to add help on the perimeter. Toronto could consider Dion Waiters here as well as Damian Lillard as well since Jose Calderon’s name is being included in trade talks.
9. Detroit Pistons – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
Henson provides length, rebounding and shot-blocking, all things the Pistons are looking to pair alongside Greg Monroe. While Henson is not as athletic as some presumed, he would instantly compliment Monroe. According to a source, Detroit seems more inclined to go big at this point.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Damian Lillard is the best point guard in this draft, a tremendous athlete and can score from all over the court. Lillard will help create space for Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis. Lillard’s name is being mentioned as a possibility for Portland and Toronto, so the Hornets would be ecstatic to see him available.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
According to sources, the Blazers prefer Lillard over Kendall Marshall, and should Lillard not fall to Portland the Blazers will look at wings. Waiters is an intriguing name, having been reportedly been given a promise while in Chicago, who will provide the Blazers with a slashing guard that can create for himself as well as set up teammates. Some experts believe Waiters can play some point or initiate the offense. It’s fair to say that Portland, with two lottery picks, will be willing to gamble on a prospect if they believe he has high upside.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Leonard really improved his stock at the combine by showing off elite athleticism and interviewing better than many expected. There is no question that Milwaukee wants a player that can help now, but since the Bogut trade the Bucks have no long-term center. Leonard is still raw but has a lot of potential and could be a great fit with Brandon Jennings.
13. Phoenix Suns – Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
Lamb is a long, athletic, scoring guard that can fill it up on offense. The Suns who might be starting the post-Nash era next season would be wise to find help on the perimeter. Lamb would also provide the Suns with an aggressive wing defender. Unfortunately for Lamb he sprained his ankle in a Raptors workout this week and caused him to have to cancel a workout with Portland. Phoenix should be Lamb’s floor.
14. Houston Rockets – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
Jones is perhaps the biggest enigma in the draft because he has great size and special talent but never played up to his potential in college. Jones needs to go to a team that will properly utilize his talents in order to reach his potential. Jones would give the Houston a dimension that they currently lack on offense, as he is very skilled and comfortable facing the basket. Having been stuck at the end of the lottery the past few seasons, Daryl Morey needs to shake it up on draft night and hitting on Jones could vault the Rockets into the playoffs.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
Jones falling to the Sixers at this point would be a welcome surprise. Jones can create mismatches in the NBA with his ability to face the basket and as well as pass. Jones is physically able to mix it up down low defensively and would give Philadelphia a versatile forward who could help right away. Jones is an intriguing prospect as some feel he could be one of the top forwards in the draft.