Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison being swapped in the 1998 NBA Draft.
Money Mitch is here, blogging, handing out my opinion for my hot topic of the day.
The NBA Draft is today and it’s going to be nuts. I expect tons of trades and tons of steals in this deep draft class that’s going to have GMs sweating buckets. Here’s my final mock draft followed by a few predictions.
1. Hornets- Anthony Davis
He will look funny rocking the Hornets cartoonish jerseys. Opposing big men won’t laugh, as this guy will compete with Serge and Dwight for top shot blocker in the NBA one day.
2. Bobcats- Thomas Robinson
I had Kidd-Gilchrist here in my first mock draft, but I see Jordan not being patient enough to take the raw SF fresh of a championship. Robinson brings that NBA ready game and body.
3. Wizards- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Everybody has the Wizards going with Beal, yet if MKG is available, I see Washington surprising everyone by taking this kid. They have an undersized SG to play along with Wall already in Jordan Crawford (who was a dynamic scorer last season) and could use a consistent hustler that will force fast breaks by picking off passes (something that Wall already does, which would make this teams back-court ridiculous defensively when these two are on).
4. Cavaliers- Harrison Barnes
Barnes has been rumored to be on top of the Cavs radar for weeks. Beal seems like he has higher value though, so don’t be surprised if they took Beal. Cleveland has crappy wing players so either would be an upgrade with what they already have. Bonus: he’s calm and cool with the media.
5. Kings- Bradley Beal
Kings don’t need Beal. Already having Evans, Fredette and Thorton running the backcourt, while Jimmer and Tyreke are tweeners just like Beal (PG size with SG skills). In a GM survey, Beal had 70% of votes for being the 2nd most talented player in the draft. That means if the Kings somehow got Beal at such a steal of a pick, they can call 70% of the league offering with high value (kind of being sarcastic but it’s true at the same time). Possible swap with Raptors if this happens?
6. Trail-Blazers- Damian Lillard
Team sources say that DL’s workout was the best for Portland since Kevin Durant worked out for them back 4 years ago. I’m thinking first, why the hell didn’t they take Durant if he had such a fantastic workout, then I thought, that’s exactly what will make them take Lillard.
7. Warriors- Jeremy Lamb
Jim Calhoun, Lambs UConn coach mentioned in the past that he expects Lamb to be an 18 point per game scorer in two seasons in the NBA. I don’t see Klay Thompson, Warriors starting two guard, being the reason that GM’ Bob Myers passes on such a gem.
8. Raptors- Andre Drummond
I expect the Raptors to trade down a few picks in the draft this year just because they aren’t in the most comfortable spot right now. GM Colangelo doesn’t like to show his cards clearly, as fans are going into this one with no clue at all. Drummond is who Houston wants, so prepare for Toronto to try to grab one of their picks in exchange for him (Rockets have #12, 16, and 18).
9. Pistons- John Henson
Henson isn’t only a good fit, but he is a safe pick. I think the Pistons have enjoyed their recent “safe picks” since taking their chance in 2003 on a center from Serbia named Darko.
10. Hornets- Dion Waiters- Syracuse- Sophomore
Dion is a combo-guard who has been playing great in draft workouts. He is only 6’4 and is a SG that is going to have questionable PG skills coming into a tough PG heavy league. He will play mainly shooting guard though as I see him replacing Belinelli as Marco’s a free agent this offseason. Also, I think it would be nice seeing Rivers pair with Davis to start his career but Rivers has questionable strength and size coming into the NBA while Waiters is NBA ready.
11. Trail-Blazers- Meyers Leonard
After the Blazers take a scoring PG with their sixth pick, it leaves only a few big men to choose from. Already having Mathews on the wing and Aldridge at the PF, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take the best shot-blocker (who’s also a center) left to complement these three guys (including Lillard). Leonard is not the best shot-blocker though, as Fab Melo would be my pick in that stat category. I’m predicting that the Blazers swap Leonard with whoever gets Melo.
12. Rockets (via trade with Bucks yesterday) – Tyler Zeller
Rockets just shipped Dalembert over to the Bucks for Shaun Livingston (PG), Jon Leuer (PF), and Jon Brockman (PF). Rockets coach, Kevin Mchale, can definitely show Zeller an extra thing or two when it comes to post moves, as Zeller has a ton of similarities to the 3-time champion.
13. Phoenix Suns- Austin Rivers
Suns fans (if they have any left) will like Rivers. I like the chances of Rivers going in the lottery, as I see this being a solid fit for him.
14. Bucks (via trade with Rockets) - Terrance Jones- Kentucky
Terrance has been called a poor man’s Lebron James, as this guy’s stock fell off just like Perry Jones’s did after they skipped the draft last year. I don’t see why this guy wouldn’t be a lottery selection, as he was instrumental to that Wildcats championship team. Attacks lane, 6’9 SF, and finishes ridiculously strong at the rim. An extra target for Jennings and Ellis can be used especially with Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee’s most improved player last season, possibly leaving via free agency this summer.
Anthony Davis won’t be the talk of the draft. Trades will be everywhere this time around as the Rockets, Raptors, and Blazers are who I expect to highlight this exciting draft.
Raptors will trade their pick unless they can steal either Barnes or Lillard. Nobody projected in the Raptors territory fit the team well so expect a swap of some sort. If the Raps come out of the 2012 NBA Draft with a 1st round pick, don’t expect it to be the 8th. (BC has kept his cards close to his chest so don’t completely believe me on that one)
Thanks for reading my blog! Add me on twitter @mitch_mcclure, I will be going nuts during the draft!
(Carter Photo Cred: http://cdn.bleacherreport.net , Davis Photo Cred: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net , Barnes Photo Cred: http://ht.cdn.turner.com/ , Henson Photo Cred: www.nba.com , Jones Photo Cred: http://www.nationofblue.com/ )