The NBA Draft Lottery is behind us and conspiracy theories aside, we learned that karma does exist — the basketball gods hate Michael Jordan as a non-player. That said, let’s do our best in guessing which players will be drafted by which team on June 30th.

1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
This is pretty much an “Anthony Davis and everyone else” kind of draft. He’s Marcus Camby thin, but Davis has the body structure that will allow him to get bigger. Like Camby, Davis should make a difference on the defensive end immediately.

2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Kidd-Gilchrist has been compared favorably to former Bobcat, Gerald Wallace, as well as Shawn Marion. Considering both are/were All-Star caliber players that still produce in their twilight years, not bad.

3. Washington Wizards – Andre Drummond, PF/C, Connecticut
John Wall, meet your new running big man. Drummond is a big body that can get up and down the floor and has a lot of potential, but the question will be if can he maximize it. I personally don’t think he can and see this as a semi-Kwame Brown bust. But upside is always naturally attractive to teams, so here we are.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
The Cavs won’t be doing so bad considering the whole LeBron James leaving thing. Adding Beal to the team will give the Cavs the best young backcourt in the league. Theoretically of course, since Beal will actually need to play on an NBA court first. However, we do know that Kyrie Irving is pretty good and if Beal fulfills his hype … damn.

5. Sacramento Kings – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The Kings will be lucky to have Robinson drop here. He’ll form a potentially scary frontcourt duo with the oft-maligned, but very effective, DeMarcus Cousins. While Robinson could end up being better than Drummond and Beal, the fall in draft position has more to do with the Wiz and Cavs already having fours.

6. Portland Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Lillard is an excellent scoring point guard that can get to the paint almost at will. He showed the ability to run a team and is too big of talent at the lead guard position to skip over at this spot for the Blazers. He’ll bring some excitement to PDX with his ability to hit from anywhere on the court while still being able to find a streaking Nicolas Batum or LaMarcus Aldridge in the post.

7. Golden State Warriors – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Heading into college, Barnes had a lot of expectations, even being named a preseason first team All-American as freshman. He could fit in nicely with the Warriors and hit a lot of open shots should Andrew Bogut ever become consistently healthy. Barnes could go higher, but the Warriors may be the best opportunity for him.

8. Toronto Raptors – John Henson, PF/C, North Carolina
In Henson, the Raptors will get a player that goes hard inside, rebounding and blocking shots. He’s still very thin by NBA standards, but if Kevin Garnett can get by with his frame, Henson should as well. Like Garnett, Henson should be an excellent help defender with his quickness and length. I’m sure Raps fans would love it if he also had the KG nastiness.

9. Detroit Pistons – Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
Lamb is a talented shooter blessed with a long wingspan that helps him get off his shot fairly easily. He has potential to be a very good defender, but lacks the necessary strength at this point of his career. Lamb should find himself on the end of many Brandon Knight passes for years to come, whether it’s for a spot up J or on the break. They wouldn’t be a bad combo to build on, along with Greg Monroe.

10. New Orleans Hornets – Perry Jones, SF/PF, Baylor
Jones is the enigma of the draft. He has excellent size (6-foot-11) for the three and four position, a long wingspan, and a great skill set. However, he’s still considered raw with humongous upside and will either be boom or bust. The Hornets won’t be contending anytime soon and pairing Jones with Davis could prove to be the league’s best set of forwards in a few years.

11. Portland Trail Blazers – Tyler Zeller, PF/C, North Carolina
Zeller is talented offensively with his ability to post-up and his athleticism to run the floor and finish strong on the break. He’ll need to build his strength, but he’s an otherwise very capable player offensively with potential on defense. He’ll be a solid complementary player for the Blazers that will do a lot of the little things.

12. Milwaukee Bucks – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Sullinger is a physical specimen in regards to being able to eat space in the post and use his power game to bully defenders. Despite his bulk, Sullinger has excellent footwork, as well as a high basketball IQ. However, his lack of athleticism will see him drop to a borderline lottery pick.

13. Phoenix Suns – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
If Steve Nash leaves, Rivers will be the next exciting guard for Phoenix as he has a great knack for scoring from anywhere on the floor, but is particularly adept at getting to and finishing at the rim. He’s a bit undersized for the two, so may have to play the one at times, where his ability to set up teammates is questionable, so don’t expect Rivers to replace a potentially departed Nash. If the latter stays, Rivers game could really flourish.

14. Houston Rockets – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Kevin McHale will want to draft a big man to help mold and Leonard is likely that player. Leonard is a very athletic big man that has good offensive potential in the post, which McHale, one of the greatest post player ever, will likely enhance. Leonard is very solid defending the post and helping on defense. If he consistently hustles and puts the work in, Leonard has excellent potential.

15. Philadelphia 76ers – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
Ross will be an excellent rotation player for the Sixers at both the two and three spots and may allow Jodie Meeks to move on in the free agent market. Ross is a very good defender with motor, equally adept on the ball and playing passing lanes. Offensively, he’s able to find his teammates as well as finish on the break and hit jumpers.

16. Houston Rockets – Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
If Jones had come out after his freshman season last year, he would have probably been a lottery pick, but he now comes into the draft as an NCAA champion without losing too much value. The talent will be too good to pass up for the Rockets, who will be able to play Jones at either forward spot.

17. Dallas Mavericks – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
As much as most people think it’s a done deal that Deron Williams will be heading to Dallas, Marshall falling this far may be too perfect for the team to let pass. Jason Kidd is a free agent and Rodrigue Beaubois isn’t the long-term answer at point guard, so Marshall would be an excellent and cheap backup plan should D-Will stay with the Brooklyn Nets or sign somewhere else.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves –  Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Miller probably should have gone back for his sophomore season, but his offensive ability and physical traits — size, wingspan, footwork — will have him going in the first round. He’s excellent at shooting off the dribble and getting his defender off balance. Ricky Rubio should make his job easier.

19. Orlando Magic – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Harkless has the ability to move up the draft board thanks to his physical attributes and athleticism. He has a solid jumper, but still has room for improvement as the mechanics are there and it’ll just be a matter of putting the work in. He’s a very good defender because of his speed and long arms, but will need to work on his strength.

20. Denver Nuggets – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Waiters will be an excellent backup for both guard positions, spelling Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo, and should contribute relatively significant minutes, especially if Andre Miller walks. Waiters can play both the one and two with equal productivity as he’s a solid scorer with an excellent jumper and can create for others.

21. Boston Celtics – Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi State
Moultrie has one of the best motors in the game and has the ability to score inside and out, as well as rebound on both ends of the floor. He has the ability to play the three with his ability to hit the J, but can also play the five with his size and explosiveness. He can defend multiple positions and should be a solid Kevin Garnett replacement with lots of potential to learn a whole ton from KG as a reserve. Could be a really great pick considering draft position.

22. Boston Celtics – Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
Taylor could be one of those players you just plug into the rotation and let him do his thing, particularly on defense. He’s an excellent perimeter defender that can defend one through four because of his athleticism, quickness and strength. Offensively, he’s still working on getting better, but there has been improvement year-to-year while in school, so it should continue at the next level.

23. Atlanta Hawks – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
The Hawks would ideally want Al Horford to slide over to his more natural PF position, but need a center to make that happen. Melo could be that guy, as he has big potential as a defender in the NBA. He can block shots and defend post players to a very good degree, but his problems mainly come from his lack of conditioning.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Evan Fournier, SG/SF, France
Fournier is multi-talented on offense, able to score in a number of ways or set up his teammates. He’s not very explosive, but maximizes his skill set and plays smart basketball. Playing with Irving and earlier pick, Beal, Fournier could really do damage with the Cavs as the third scoring option.

25. Memphis Grizzlies – John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
Jenkins can make it rain from all over the court, and with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the post, there should be a great symbiotic relationship where there will be a lot of space for all to maximize their offensive ability. Jenkins can also finish on the break and has shown a good work ethic. This pick may allow the Grizz to say goodbye to O.J. Mayo.

26. Indiana Pacers – Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson has very good offensive skills, both from the outside and inside and could inherit David West’s position when West’s contract is over after next season. Nicholson is a very smart and efficient player and has some nice upside despite coming out as a college senior.

27. Miami Heat – Royce White, PF, Iowa State
White has a big body, but is fleet of foot, athletic and has major handle and court vision for a big man. However, he’s very raw when it comes to his ability to score, has had off-the-court issues and conditioning could be an issue. He’s a high-risk/high-reward prospect and learning the NBA game from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh could be the best setting for him as they’ve taken a young player under their wings before; Mario Chalmers, for example.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Thunder sold this pick as they are in win-now mode and will need to pay James Harden and Serge Ibaka after next season. However, if the team keeps it, Ezeli is basically a hybrid of Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins and could be an important rotation player down the line, particularly if Ibaka leaves for more money.

29. Chicago Bulls – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Derrick Rose could miss the whole next season, and at this point, Teague is the best lead guard prospect left in the draft. To a lesser degree, has the same skill set that Rose had coming into the league: great dribble, can get anywhere on the floor, finishes at the rim in traffic and possesses a raw jumper. Of course, Teague will never be Rose, but he could end up being a great backup.

30. Golden State Warriors – Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
Green is basically a jack-of-all-trades type of player as he can do a lot of things with the ball. He possesses a high basketball IQ, which makes up for his lack of athleticism and explosiveness. Green should make for a solid contributor off the bench in Golden State.

Agree? Disagree? Where would you make your selection changes? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter by hitting me up @dv140.

Comments (37)

  1. I have a similar mock draft to yours up until 7th but I have Drummond and Beal switched though. Also like the Zeller and Rivers picks, I have those in mine as well.

    Raptors drafting John Henson just gives them another Ed Davis. I think they’d pass on Henson since they’re very similar players.

    Also Marshall dropping to 17th? I think he’s the perfect fit for New Orleans at 10th.

    • I think the Hornets will take a shot with even more great potential with Jones instead of playing it “safe” with Marshall, especially when you consider they have a very capable pair in Jarrett Jack and Grievis Vasquez running the point.

      • Other than center, point guard is the next biggest need for them. Jack has an expiring contract this year, and I don’t see Vasquez as the long-term solution at point for the Hornets.

        Marshall may even have more potential than Jones. Marshall already has the passing ability, he could even be one of the league’s top PG’s if he develops a jump shot.

        Getting a pass-first point guard like Marshall is exactly what a team of Gordon, Ariza, Davis, Aminu needs.

        • I still think the potential of Jones will trump the decision of need. Before he chose to go back to school, Jones was projected to be the top pick in the draft last year. Also, he may not be the long-term solution, but Vasquez put up some good numbers in 26 games as a starter last season – 12.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, 44.9 FG%, 85.7 FT%, 1.1 SPG – and is only 25 with a relatively cheap contract.

    • I really hope my Cavs do pick up Bradley Beal. I think he’ll add some great talent to our roster.

  2. On the Pistons selection, I assume this was made thinking that they are going to amnesty the hell out of Ben Gordon. If not, they are way too clogged at guard for the foreseeable future to waste a lottery pick on another one. Knight, Stuckey, Gordon, Bynum, and Walker if they bring him back. There is no room on the team with the current Dumars contract bunglings unless Gordon is gone and they potentially try and move another one of the guys. I would much rather see them take a chance on Sullinger to get a four on the team to play with Monroe, although technically I think he is also a true 4. Henson, Zeller, Sully, or Jones would be much more preferable in my book and would actually fit on the roster.

    • Also, could just be because I have seen him play for the last four years at MSU, but I would be incredibly thrilled if the Pistons moved up in the second round and took Draymond if he is still there. That guy is just a fantastic player.

    • I do think the Pistons will amnesty Gordon who has two years and $25.6 million left, most importantly a player option for that second year. We all know he’s going to take that dough. So, they amnesty him, creating more cap space and going hard for the 2013 free agency class.

  3. Would be psyched to watch that Cavs backcourt, really hoping it plays out that way.

  4. why the hell would the raptors draft another big, they got that settled, they mostly need a small forward or even a point guard

  5. Getting a lot of heat for my pick of Henson to the Raptors both on here and on Twitter. Fair enough. Now, my reason fully explained for the Henson pick… As noted here – http://blogs.thescore.com/tbj/2012/05/22/2012-nba-draft-eastern-conference-needs/ – I believe the Raptors are going to go for the best player available and at this point, I think Henson is it. Especially when you consider how soft the Raptors are inside:

    Ed Davis: 6.6 RPG (led team); 1.0 BPG
    Amir Johnson: 6.4 RPG; 1.1 BPG
    Andrea Bargnani: 5.6 RPG; 0.5 BPG
    - James Johnson, a small forward, led the team with 1.4 BPG

    My gut feeling is that Henson hasn’t tapped his true potential just yet, but has phenomenal physical attributes and still has the frame to add more muscle. From his freshman year to this junior year, he added 30 pounds and retained his excellent balance and quickness. He should be an excellent pick-and-roll performer and off the ball player. His jumper will still need some consistency, but he has the ability to hit from 10 feet and can take his man off the dribble, as well as shoot a slick looking hook shot. And he still has room to grow!

    On defense, he’ll be a very good pick-and-roll defender as he’s able to defend guards on the switch, as well as recover defensively quickly. The guy has ridiculous length (legs and arms) and can cover a lot of ground very quickly. There isn’t anyone on the Raptors that can do the things that he has the potential to do, particularly grabbing boards and blocking shots.

    My personal feeling is that when Jonas Valanciunas, a true center, comes along next season, the Raptors will move Andrea Bargnani to the small forward position and allow Henson’s help defense to cover Bargs shortcomings on defense. At first Henson would rotate with Davis, Johnson, and Valanciunas at the four and five, but eventually take the starting four spot. Again, it’s all a gut feeling and I appreciate the reads and calls for debate.

    • Bargnani doesn’t have the ability to guard 3s he can’t b moved down less than to the 4.

    • Sorry man, Why would the raptors draft Henson? he has showed little promise in his freshman year. Perry Jones is WAY better suited for the raptors needs, Big small forward (6″10) with handles, can score, is a guy you can build around. Ppl are Sleeping on this kid.

    • Henson is NOT who the Raps should be looking to draft. He’s not even close to being the BPA. If you pick him, you’re still drafting for need. Not positional need, but a skill need (rebounding, toughness). You rebounding doesn’t only come from your bigs. An above-average rebounding wing can go a long way in helping the team on the boards. If we draft Perry Jones at 8th, he’d be the best player available, the one with the most potential, fills a positional need (wing), and 3 skill needs: scoring, ballhandling, and rebounding. Big, bruising centres are easier to find than players like Perry.

  6. the Raptors don’t have the luxury of drafting by need, they have to take the best player available. Henson has the talent to be special.

  7. I’m confused by the Drummond pick for the Wizards. Didn’t they basically have a few failed years of Drummond in Javale McGee?

    • I think the difference is that Drummond is ridiculously hyped and has off-the-charts potential. Unfortunately, Kidd-Gilchrist, whom I think would have been the best pick for them other than Davis will be gone. Drafting isn’t a precise science and I think in the end, people salivate at upside.

      • But the Wizards already have Nene. Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to draft Robinson if they wanted to get another big man?

  8. Did u forget the raps r getting a center from the last draft in addition to bargnani Amir and Davis. Picking Henson addresses none of the raps probs. Jeremy lamb on the other hand can help by letting derozan move to a 3 which fits his skill set better. Lamb helps spread the floor so derozan can slash. Letting derozan finally do what he’s good at instead of the jumpers he’s been taking. Under Casey lamb’s defensive potential can be realized and the raps could improve even more defensively than they did this year.

    • Nope… didn’t forget Valanciunas. See above comment for my reasoning for Henson.

    • He didn’t, if you refer to his comment above defending the pick of Henson.
      Henson is the best player remaining on the board at 8, so, the Raptors take Henson.
      The Raptors shouldn’t pass on Henson because of guys like Amir Johnson and Ed Davis

    • People, people, people … don’t you remember the last time the raptors decided that drafting for position was more important than outright talent? Rafael Araujo! Talent is the name of the game here .. this isn’t the NFL where positional functionality trumps all else.

      That being said .. I kind of hope we can land Barnes or Lillard.

  9. You guys have the Pistons taking a shooting guard? don’t they have a whole roster full of 2′s? Or 1′s who actually play like 2′s? I know you generally don’t draft needs over talent, but i can’t imagine a scenario where they would take a shooting guard, even if they amnesty Ben Gordon.

  10. It still shocks me that the Warriors basically paid 11 million dollars for the 30th pick in the draft, the pick that has the rare status of being significantly worse than the pick after it.

  11. The Wiz better take Beal

  12. do not want sullinger.
    one of dillard p jones lamb waiters masrhall is the way to go

  13. Royce White has so much talent. So versatile. So big. Strongest player in Iowa State basketball history.

  14. The Wiz will take MKG or Beal. If they take a big, it will be T-Rob (from DC). 0 chance they take Drummond,

  15. And also, the Bobcats will still improve their record next season even with the #2 pivk. Im predicting 10 wins.,,

  16. Good choice with Teauge for Bulls. Watson isn’t an good option for bulls, this year gives him a chance to develop with Rose out. Soild pick. I just feel bad him having Boozer as him #1 option. Thats all that matters, yo.

  17. The Raps need to draft a defensive big, trade Bargnani for a can of beans (1st rd pick), draft a defensive point, trade Calderon for another can of beans, draft another wing, hopefully one who plays D, and maybe switch Demarr to the 3, depending on the drafted wing. Then if they play D…they might not suck so much, and actually develop an identity. If they can get someone like Lowry though, well, I’d like them a lot more. Ultimately, the only certainty around this team is: they get better if they move Bargnani for that can of beans. Or a pair of undies.

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