#1: New Orleans Hornets:
Anthony Davis, Kentucky, Center, 6-10, Freshman
No big, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, shocker here. Anthony Davis becomes the “Big Dog” of the 66th NBA Draft. Davis led Kentucky to the promise land in his Freshman season as a wildcat, and will have to be the man if he plans to do what Chris Paul couldn’t, and pull a struggling Hornet’s franchise from the pits of obscurity.
#2: Charlotte Bobcats:
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, Small Forward, 6-7, Freshman
Kidd-Gilchrist, or as the kids have dubbed him, MKG, may be the player to watch here. A lot of predictions seat Thomas Robinson as the No. 2 overall pick, but I feel like Michael Jordan is going to see what every franchise wants in what could be their star player. The ability to score in bunches. Kidd-Gilchrist may be the most offensively gifted player in this draft, and certainly possess the highest ceiling, in my opinion. The Bobcats’ pick will be something for you to keep your eye on, as they may still deal it for multiple picks/players.
#3: Washington Wizards:
Thomas Robinson, Kansas, Power Forward, 6-10, Junior
The man-child, Robinson has been the face of his own campaign, that seeks to get him drafted No. 1 overall. Too bad for TomRob, that isn’t going to happen in this galaxy. Anthony Davis wore a shirt that read “Check My Stats”, which is exactly the argument Robinson wants the Hornets to consider when making their No. 1 selection on Thursday night. Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last season with the Jayhawks and could be just what John Wall and the Wizards need in our Nation’s Capital.
#4: Cleveland Cavaliers:
Bradley Beal, Florida, Shooting Guard, 6-3, Freshman
Beal is the only player in Florida history to be named first team All-SEC and also first team All-SEC freshman. He does lack size, measuring in at a generous 6-3. But advocates of Beal will tell you that what he lacks in size, he makes up for in basketball I.Q. and shooting ability. Beal shot 34% from beyond the arc last season, and looks to be a good option for second-year point guard, Kyrie Irving.
#5: Sacramento Kings:
Harrison Barnes, UNC, Small Forward, 6-7, Sophomore
You’ve heard the rumors that Tyreke Evans is fed up with playing small forward in Sacramento.. Harrison Barnes could be the answer for the Kings at No. 5. Barnes can score, averaging 17+ ppg as a sophomore at UNC, and he’s also a name that would attract fans to the Power Balance Pavilion to catch a game. This gives the young-but-talented Kings another nice piece to stack with Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.
#6: Portland Trail Blazers:
Dion Waters, Syracuse, Shooting Guard, 6-4, Sophomore
Waters is the type of player who could potentially replace Brandon Roy, down the line. He’s got a nice scoring game to his arsenal and would help take pressure off from LaMarcus Aldrigde. Portland really needs a point guard, but being as this draft isn’t exactly screaming with loads of talent at the one, I look for the Trail Blazers to go with a guard who cane create his own shot. Assuming Waters is available at No. 6., I say pull the trigger.
#7: Golden State Warriors:
Jeremy Lamb, UConn, Shooting Guard, 6-5, Sophomore
That Warriors starting five could start to look dangerous is you add a scoring option like Jeremy Lamb. Lamb averaged 17.7 pppg last season with the Huskies and has plenty of untapped potential to look forward to in the NBA.
#8: Toronto Raptors:
Damian Lillard, Weber State, Shooting Guard, 6-3, Junior
The Raptors have plenty of holes to fill on their busted up roster. Lillard like Bradley Beal, is a bit undersized, but can score like it’s nobody’s business. Lillard averaged almost 25 ppg last season at Weber State and shot over 40% from beyond the arc.
#9: Detroit Pistons:
Austin Rivers, Duke, Small Forward, 6-5, Freshman
The Pistons have seemingly found their franchise “big man” in Greg Monroe and desperately need to add some star power to their roster. Rivers seems like a good fit. He’ll bring in fans, score points and not add to the Pistons guard dilemma. Corey Maggette just landed in Detroit, via a Ben Gordon swap with the Charlotte Bobcats, but that was merely a deal made for Maggette’s expiring $10.9 Million contract.
#10: New Orleans Hornets:
Perry Jones III, Baylor, Power Forward, 6-11, Sophomore
Perry Jones III has some work to do in the pros. He does have a high ceiling though, and being paired with Anthony Davis can only help his development. Jones needs to work on his inconsistent jumper. A lot of people see a Josh Smith kind of player in development.
#11: Portland Trail Blazers:
Andre Drummond, Uconn, Center, 6-11, Freshman
Drummond certainly appears to be the best center in this year’s draft (2nd best big, behind Thomas Robinson), but I have a feeling that his talent is going to take a backseat to the flash and appeal of 2o12′s wing players. Call me crazy. That’s just my opinion. Guys like Waters, Rivers, Lamb and Barnes should probably all be drafted after Drummond, but I just don’t see it happening that way. Portland gets a real steal here. Note: Drummond’s length and overall offensive skill in the post is going to cause almost immediate trouble for NBA centers.
#12: Milwaukee Bucks:
John Henson, UNC, Power Forward, 6-10, Junior
A lot of analysts seem to doubt Henson’s ability as a pro, but I see length (wingspan of 7-6) and and raw, untapped potential. Much like Perry Jones III, Henson’s ceiling has something to offer. I call this “the Dwight Howard effect”. Not saying that Jones or Henson will ever be the player Howard is, but their unknown, raw ability leaves something to be desired by general managers. Emeka Okafor was the safe pick in 2004, Howard was the gamble with an unknown ceiling. Three defensive player of the year awards and and NBA Finals trip later, Howard was obviously the correct choice.
#13: Phoenix Suns:
Kendall Marshall, UNC, Point Guard, 6-4, Sophomore
The potential for good point guards is essentially gone after Marshall comes off the board, which I believe will force a few teams to think very hard about choosing him earlier than this, but ultimately I believe that Steve Nash is already gone and the Suns need their PG of the future.
#14: Houston Rockets:
Myers Leonard, Illinois, Center, 7-1, Sophomore
The first legit center to come off the board this year is Myers Leonard from Illinois. In terms of size, Leonard is going to be unmatched in this draft. Standing 7-1, with a 7-4 wingspan and a frame that will hold additional weight to become the prototypical NBA center. I can see Leonard falling past this 14th pick if he’s still available. General Managers love 7-footers.
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