Before I start, I would like to congratulate David Stern for the New Orleans Hornets winning the NBA Draft Lottery, and Anthony Davis for officially never having to play for the Charlotte Bobcats ever. Most sports websites have been publishing new, updated mock draft’s following Wednesday night’s draft lottery. Instead of doing what everyone else does because it’s cool, I have decided to go in a different route. This is not who I believe there going to take, this is who I think they should take.
1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Is this even a question? The Hornets have a bright future ahead of them now, and with a core of Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, and their selection at the 10th pick, they could rebuild themselves into a potential contender in the near future, similar to what OKC did.
2. Charlotte Bobcats- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Charlotte simply needs to draft the best player available, which would be Kidd-Gilchrist. The Bobcats need help at every position, and Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t have much bust potential so going the safe route is the right move, unlike their selections in last year’s draft.
3. Washington Wizards- Bradley Beal, Florida
Beal and Wall would make a very deadly backcourt pairing, and would give the Wizards another reliable scoring. By selecting Bradley Beal, the Wizards would nearly have a complete lineup, and their future would have to depend on the development of not only their backcourt, but also last year’s 1st rounder’s Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers- Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Barnes comes to Cleveland filling the void at small forward that has yet to be successfully filled since Lebron’s decision. With an established point guard in Kyrie Irving, Barnes should be able to produce right away. This selection could also take pressure off Kyrie to score and give him more opportunities to contribute.
5. Sacramento Kings- Thomas Robinson, Kansas
No brainer here. Thomas Robinson is clearly the best player available, and would come in to form in a dominant frontcourt with Demarcus Cousins. This could be one of the last pieces towards the Kings’ rebuilding process, as they would have a great young “big three” with Tyreke, Cousins, and Robinson.
6. Portland Trailblazers- Andre Drummond, UConn
I was going to take Damian Lillard for them to give them a PG for the future after the disappointing Raymond Felton experiment, but they desperately need depth in their frontcourt. Drummond is a risky pick, but the potential could ease the pain of Greg Oden, especially since he doesn’t have the same injury concerns.
7. Golden State Warriors- Perry Jones, Baylor
Perry Jones is one of the beset athletes in this draft, and has great size at both forward positions. While this pick may be a risk, it’s certainly one the Warriors are in position to take. Jones could either step in right away at the 3, or give them depth in the frontcourt given Andre Bogut’s injury problems. He also gives Golden State additional size that they have been looking for.
8. Toronto Raptors- Damian Lillard, Weber St.
Lillard would give the Raptors a consistent scorer from day one, as he was one of college basketball’s most lethal offensive players last season. He would also compliment Demar Derozan well in the backcourt with his shooting ability, given Derozan’s struggles from behind the arc. He is certainly an upgrade long-term over Jose Calderon, and this would make Jerryd Bayless expendable as a restricted free agent.
9. Detroit Pistons- John Henson, North Carolina
Adding Henson would give Detroit the shot blocker they need to pair with Greg Monroe, becoming their new Ben Wallace, and giving them a formidable frontcourt for the future.
10. New Orleans Hornets- Dion Waiters, Syracuse
This is simply best player available here, as I believe Waiters is one of the most talented players in this draft (not to be a Syracuse homer). While they would love to take a point guard with this pick, it’s too early to reach on the best point guard remaining in Kendell Marshall. Drafting Waiters could give them a scorer off the bench, and possibly make Eric Gordon expendable for a young wing player like Paul George? Given Gordon’s injury concerns, Waiters would give Charlotte needed depth in the backcourt.
11. Portland Trailblazers- Jeremy Lamb, UConn
Another selection based on best player available, which is the most effective route in the NBA draft. Lamb would have to compete with Wesley Matthews for playing time, but is definitely worth of a selection at this point in the draft.
12. Milwaukee Bucks- Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
While I remain skeptical of how Sullinger can match up with the athletic bigs in the NBA, there isn’t too much risk at this point for Milwaukee. Sullinger gives the Bucks much needed size and rebounding after trading away Andrew Bogut, and provides them the additional offense they have been looking for, even after acquiring Monta Ellis.
13. Phoenix Suns- Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
With Steve Nash most likely not returning next season, and even if he does, Nash will be 38 years old. And even if he continues to play for a couple more seasons, the Suns need to find an eventual replacement, and none exists on their roster right now. Like Nash, Kendell Marshall is a pass first point guard, and would be a good fit in Phoenix.
14. Houston Rockets- Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
The Rockets have been desperately searching for a center of legitimate size since Yao Ming’s career came to an end. Neither Marcus Camby or Samuel Dalembert are long-term answers, and while Zeller doesn’t have a high ceiling, he at least gives them a 7 footer with scoring ability.