Draft day has arrived and with it comes a flurry of trades and rumors. Four trades have been made so far and executives around the league believe that many more will follow. Houston is aggressively acquiring assets and appears to be all in for Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay and Tyreke Evans all have been mentioned in possible deals as well.
There is a growing sense around the NBA that Charlotte, Sacramento, Golden State and Houston all are willing to trade their lottery picks. According to sources, Portland will keep both of its lottery picks and appear to be focused on Damian Lillard with the sixth pick. Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters is steadily moving up the board, while Connecticut center Andre Drummond appears to be sliding.
Here is our final Mock Draft based on information from sources throughout the league. Enjoy the draft and check back with Sheridan Hoops throughout the night for trade analysis, features and other goodies.
And if that’s not enough, you can find more draft stuff at ProBasketballDraft.com.
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
It is just a matter of hours until Commissioner David Stern calls Davis’ name. Davis is the consensus top pick in the draft and his combination of length, athleticism and defense make him unique. Davis is a great weakside shot-blocker and rebounder who will instantly be among the most exciting big men in the NBA.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
This pick is hardly a given as Charlotte is desperately seeking to trade out of this spot. If the Bobcats were to make the pick, sources indicate that Robinson would be the choice. Robinson is a very good rebounder and finisher around the rim. He would provide Charlotte with frontcourt scoring and be able to play alongside last year’s first round pick Bismack Biyombo. If this pick is dealt, it likely means Bradley Beal is going second.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
With the recent acquisition of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, it seems that the Wizards are going all in to make the playoffs. With urgency towards winning, the Wizards are deep with bigs (Nene, Okafor, Andray Blatche, Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin) and have Chris Singleton and Ariza to play on the perimeter. Where is the shooting? John Wall needs spacing and it would seem that Beal is the no-brainer. Beal is great shooter with range and can also create and handle the ball. Pairing Beal with Wall would give the Wizards an exciting young backcourt.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Here is where the draft gets interesting. Cleveland is one of the hardest teams to get a read on as it has worked out all of the top prospects. According to sources, Cleveland has locked in on Kidd-Gilchrist and is prepared to draft him at 4. A trade up to 2 remains a possibility but the Bobcats and Cavs are haggling over the price. Now reports are surfacing that Dion Waiters might be seriously in the mix at 4.
5. Sacramento Kings – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
The Kings would love for Kidd-Gilchrist or Robinson to fall to them but if they don’t this pick becomes much more available. The Kings need to add maturity and someone that can help on the court right away. Barnes is a polished offensive player that can immediately start in Sacramento. Teams interested in trading up with Sacramento may have to pay a steep price.
6. Portland Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Word around the league is that GM Neil Olshey has focused his attention on Lillard at 6 and has no intention of moving his picks. Lillard would instantly upgrade Portland’s point guard situation and can provide a nice offensive punch as he is able to score all over the court. Lillard is among the safest lottery picks and still has upside.
7. Golden State Warriors – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
According to a source, the Warriors would be willing to trade up to select Kidd-Gilchrist but there are other reports that Golden State may deal down to a team looking to draft Andre Drummond. If Golden State stays with this pick, it sounds as though it is leaning towards Waiters, whom Jerry West has recommended. Some around the league believe that over time, Waiters may be one of the top offensive players in this draft.
8. Toronto Raptors – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Reports out of Toronto are that Rivers was more impressive than Jeremy Lamb and that the Raptors are looking for backcourt help. Rivers is one of the most creative scorers in the draft and oozes with confidence.
9. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
Detroit has been scrambling to check out Drummond’s background with his stock slipping a bit. If Drummond is on the board at this point, his upside is too much to pass on. Drummond has arguably the second-highest ceiling in the draft and should be able to help defensively and on the glass right away but needs to work on his post game. Questions about his motor could prevent Drummond from reaching his potential.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
If Austin Rivers is off the board, then the Hornets will have an interesting decision to make. Ross is one of the top shooters and athletes in the draft. With his length and athleticism, he eventually could be a good defender and is capable of playing either wing spot.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
After speaking to a source, the Blazers seem set on Leonard here unless Drummond were to fall to this spot. Leonard is still raw but has a lot of potential and could be a great fit with Damian Lillard. Leonard really helped himself at the Combine and has showcased elite athleticism for player of his size.
12. Houston Rockets – Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
The Rockets have struggled to find a replacement to Yao Ming and while Zeller does not project to be an All-Star, he should be a solid player for a long time. The 7-footer moves and rebounds very well and is very polished offensively.
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-Steve Nash era next season, would be wise to find help on the perimeter. Lamb would also provide the Suns with an aggressive wing defender.
14. Milwaukee Bucks – Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
While the Bucks appear to be set with their bigs after trading for Samuel Dalembert, they lack consistent offense and that is why Jones may be the most logical choice. Jones was a very good rebounder and defender in college and combined with an NBA body should be able to contribute right away. According to one GM, Jones’ will surprise with his ability to score as he can shoot and is skilled enough to get by most power forwards. Jones also is an underrated passer.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
From talking to sources, Philadelphia seems focused on adding depth to it’s front court and while Perry Jones and other options may be available Henson is the obvious choice. Henson provides length, rebounding shot-blocking, and the ability to defend multiple positions.