There will not be any major changes in this NBA Mock Draft for now. If there is an NBA Lockout then there are rumors that teams like the Bulls, Lakers, and Heat would be eligible to receive the #1 overall pick. I will do a lottery type system with the 14 best NBA playoff teams from last year to determine who gets the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft if there is a lockout.
1. Brooklyn Nets Andre Drummond Power Forward Connecticut Freshman The New Jersey Nets will be the Brooklyn Nets in 2012. I am really starting to get suspicious that the NBA Lottery is fixed due to the controversial parody and irony that we see in the NBA Draft Sweepstakes year in and year out. It has gotten to the point I said the Wizards would get the lottery in 2010 because the league needed Arenas out of Washington. I picked the Cavs to win the lottery with the Clippers pick in 2011 because the Cavaliers needed a franchise player. I even thought the league would give the Cavs back to back picks in 2011. This year I believe the Nets will pick 1st in 2012 because they will be moving to Brooklyn.
The Seattle Supersonics got their savior in Kevin Durant before the team relocated to Oklahoma City. I believe that Brooklyn would get the top pick since their franchise does not have that franchise player who can be the cities role model.
Andre Drummond is draft eligible in 2012. He was the top recruit for the class of 2012, but he graduated a year early making him technically a part of the class of 2011. Drummond should be a one and done player going pro for the NBA after his freshman year.
I think the rule where basketball players go to college for a year is dumb. I think players should have the option of going from high school straight to the NBA, but there has to be a catch. For example, if a player jumped ship from high school to the NBA he would have to play on the teams NBA Developmental team in the NBA D-League until the player was one year removed from high school.
Pairing Andre Drummond or Anthony Davis up at power forward next to Brook Lopez would give the Nets 2 premium bigs which could boost the defensive presence of the Brooklyn Nets for the decade.
Drummond has the size of a 4 at power forward and the wingspan of a 5 at center. Brook Lopez has the size and wingspan of a 5 at center so Drummond would focus on an easier role at the 4 excelling in his role at power forward.
Drafting Drummond allows Travis Outlaw to move to his more natural position at the 3. Travis Outlaw played Power forward for the Nets in 2010 despite being only 6 foot 9 207 pounds. Outlaw is more suited to be a small forward due to his lack of weight.
2. Houston Rockets Harrison Barnes Small Forward North Carolina Sophomore Harrison Barnes was the #1 overall recruit coming out of high school in 2010. Barnes started off cold, but got hot and reclaimed his draft stock as the season ended.
Houston traded draft picks to get Donatas Motiejunas who was 7 foot 215 pounds. Now he is 7 foot 222 pounds and is guaranteed to be a bench guy at the 4 at power forward until he can bulk up and become a true 5.
The Rockets could take the best player available in Anthony Davis at #2 overall or they could draft by need getting Harrison Barnes at #2 overall.
Houston has their 2012 first round pick and the New York Knicks 2012 first round pick unless they pick in the top 5.
Houston may package a deal to get a lottery pick if neither of their 2 first round picks ends up being a lottery pick.
Houston has Luke Scola at center, Kevin Martin at shooting guard, Kyle Lowry at point guard, and Motiejunas should be the 4 at power forward. That leaves only one key need to address at small forward. The only reason I had the Rockets picking this high is because most of these players on Houston were players that I never heard of up until now. Now that I’ve done some research I found out that the Rockets have a pretty good depth chart only needing a 3 at small forward when you examine the points per game averages.
Andre Drummond is the 2012 #1 recruit who is draft eligible in 2012 due to a technicality, Anthony Davis the 2011 #1 overall recruit could also declare, and Harrison Barnes the 2010 #1 overall recruit returned for his sophomore year which makes this class really stand out because I’ve never seen an NBA draft that had #1 overall prospect from 3 consecutive graduation classes.
There is no doubt that the 2012 NBA Draft has more depth than the 2011 NBA Draft, but if Drummond, Davis, and Barnes all declare this NBA Draft will have so much talent at the top the 2012 NBA Draft that if you get a lottery pick your bound to get someone good. Only the 2003 and 1984 NBA Drafts look better when it comes to the depth at the top of the NBA Draft. 2003 was the draft with Lebron, Darko, Wade, Carmelo, and Bosh all going in the top 5. The 1984 NBA Draft had Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, and Charles Barkley all go in the top 5.
No NBA Draft Class in the history of mankind can be compared to the legendary NBA draft class of 1984 with Air Jordan, Hakeem, and Sir Charles. The 2012 NBA Draft may be the best draft I’ve seen in terms of potential NBA talent since the 2003 NBA Draft. Even then, the 2012 NBA Draft is not in the same league as the 2003 NBA Draft.
3. Detroit Pistons Anthony Davis Power Forward Kentucky Freshman The Pistons failed to find a big who could compliment Greg Monroe. Detroit will take Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis if there picking here at #3 with Anthony Davis available.
Right now Anthony Davis is being listed as the top prospect in the Recruiting Class of 2011. Anthony Davis was a 6 foot 2 comob guard entering his junior year and the next thing you know he’s 6 foot 10 and emerges as the #1 recruit in the country the following year. Davis managed to impress College coaches while applying the guard skills of his game to the power forward position.
Its really hard to tell if Anthony Davis has the size. Some people have him listed as a 6 foot 10 240 pound prospect while others have Davis listed as a at 6 foot 10 200 pound prospect. Size isn’t a con with Anthony Davis he grew from 6 foot 2 to 6 foot 10 which is really impressive. Its just more of question of how much Anthony Davis weighs.
The weight between 240 and 200 pounds is a major difference for Anthony Davis at this point. Its the one question that’s remained unanswered up until this point. The reason the weight is so crucial is because if he is 200 pounds he is a 3 at small forward. If Davis weighs 220 pounds he’s a combo forward who can play the 3 or the 4. If Davis weighs 240 like some reports indicate than he is a pure 4 at power forward.
Regardless of how much Anthony Davis weighs he is likely to be a top 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Pairing Anthony Davis up with Greg Monroe could give Detroit two bigs would establish a defensive presence with point guard Brandon Knight being a go to shooter.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers Austin Rivers Shooting Guard Duke Freshman Austin Rivers is a shooting guard who will play for Duke. Rivers is 6 foot 4 190 pounds which is why he will move to the 1 as a point guard unless he bulks up. I think Rivers will bulk up and be around the 210 to 215 pound range by the time he is done with Duke.
Not only does Austin Rivers have a high basketball IQ he knows how to talk game off the court also. In an interview with the Sporting News Austin Rivers stated he’s going to destroy Lebron James once he gets to the NBA.
When you say your going to destroy Lebron James in an NBA game that makes Cavs owner Dan Gilbert happy. When you back up your talk on the court and win Dan Gilbert has a bigger smile on his face than Chuckles the Clown.
I am going to continue to compare Dan Gilbert to Chuckles the Clown until the Cleveland Indians win a world series or until Gilbert builds a winning NBA team in Cleveland.
Every NBA fan except a Heat fan enjoyed watching James lose to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. I know Gilbert is mad that James bolted for Miami, but its time for Cleveland to rebuild a post Lebron team that can be a winner in Cleveland.
I’m not trying to sound rude, but Dan Gilbert needs to stop laughing at Lebron like Eric Cartman every time LeBron loses a big game. I can’t stand the Heat and laughing at LeBron like Cartman will only motivate James to win a Championship over time.
It would be really cool if Kyrie Irving the 2011 #1 overall pick and Austin Rivers a Duke player who is the son of Doc Rivers were teammates in Cleveland for the next 2 decades. I really believe Austin Rivers could end up having a better career than Kyrie Irving despite the fact that Irving went #1 overall.
Drafting Austin Rivers would allow the Cavaliers to become legit contenders after this year giving them a big 3 of their own with Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Austin Rivers. Irving will likely sit out this year if there is a season, but should be a starter next season in 2012-2013. Austin Rivers would also start for Cleveland as a rookie in 2012 if the Cavaliers selected him.
5. Toronto Raptors Michael Gilchrist Small Forward Kentucky Freshman Michael Gilchrist is the best player available. Toronto could use Gilchrist if they cannot obtain Harrison Barnes or Austin Rivers in 2012.
6. Indiana Pacers Jared Sullinger Power Forward Ohio State Sophomore Jared Sullinger is the best player available at this point. Some people argue that Sullinger should be a top 5 pick in 2012. The 2012 NBA Draft has too much top 5 talent at this point. If Drummond does not declare in 2012 by reclassifying. Sullinger is a borderline top 5 pick who could compete with Quincy Miller and Perry Jones for that #5 overall spot if Drummond does not declare in 2012.
7. Denver Nuggets Quincy Miller Small Forward Baylor Freshman Denver will realize that it will be difficult to replace Carmelo at small forward. If there picking this high and Quincy Miller is still available they have to take him.
8. Phoenix Suns Perry Jones Power Forward Baylor Sophomore Phoenix adds a power forward in Perry Jones by taking the best player available.
9. Sacramento Kings Terrence Jones Power Forward Kentucky Sophomore Terrence Jones is a combo forward who played small forward at the 3 and has the size of a power forward at the 4. Jones will not see much playing time unless Kentucky goes with the 3 forwards 2 guards system rather than the 2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center system that most NBA teams use.
1o. Milwaukee Bucks Bradley Beal Shooting Guard Florida Freshman Milwaukee gets a shooting guard to compliment Brandon Jenkins. Bradley Beal is worth taking with a late top 10 pick.
11. Washington Wizards Thomas Robinson Power Forward Kansas Junior Jan Vesely should move to power forward, but Washington could use some depth at power forward in case Vesely and Singleton both end up being small forwards.
12. Boston Celtics from Los Angeles Clippers via Oklahoma City Thunder Marquis Teague Point Guard Kentucky Freshman Kentucky point guards usually get into the NBA. Marquis Teague is the best player available and the Boston Celtics are getting amazing value with Teague at #12 by trading up with the Clippers and Thunder when giving up Kendrick Perkins.
13. Portland Trailblazers John Henson Small Forward North Carolina Junior Henson is 6 foot 10 210 pounds. He shoots like a 4 at power forward and has the size of a 3 at small forward. Henson plays the 4 at North Carolina despite having the size of a 3. That’s a major concern if you ask me. Henson could bulk up as the season progresses. Portland needs depth at small forward so John Henson would make a lot of sense with the 13th pick.
14. Utah Jazz from Golden State Warriors via Brooklyn Nets Myck Cabongo Point Guard Texas Freshman Utah discussed the option of taking Brandon Knight over Enes Kanter in the 2011 NBA Draft. Utah gets Myck Cabongo as their point guard with this pick since the Jazz took Kanter over Knight in 2011.
15. Atlanta Hawks Jeremy Lamb Shooting Guard Connecticut Sophomore Lamb should start out on the bench at the 2 and eventually work his way into a starting role. Lamb is a good depth player for the Hawks. With Kemba Walker gone Jeremy Lamb will have to step up for Connecticut.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves from Utah Jazz Will Barton Shooting Guard Memphis Sophomore Barton plays the 2 at shooting guard, but has the size of a 1 at point guard. Minnesota needs depth at shooting guard so Will Barton should be the pick here.
If the Jazz miss the 2012 NBA Playoffs this pick is lottery protected. If there is a lockout I’m not sure how the conditional picks would work. I’m guessing they would carry over to the next year.
17. Houston Rockets from New York Knicks Tyler Zeller Center North Carolina Senior Houston takes another center for depth with this draft pick that the Rockets got from the New York Knicks.
18. New Orleans Hornets Tony Mitchell Small Forward North Texas Sophomore Tony Mitchell is the best available player that the Hornets can get for depth.
19. Memphis Grizzlies Alex Oriakhi Power Forward Connecticut Junior The Grizzlies can take the best player available.
20. Chicago Bulls from Charlotte Bobcats CJ Leslie Small Forward North Carolina State Sophomore The Bulls get CJ Leslie as a small forward for depth. The Bulls get the Bobcats first round pick unless the Bobcats get a lottery pick.
21. Los Angeles Clippers from Minnesota Timberwolves Jeffery Taylor Small Forward Vanderbilt Senior The Clippers get a small forward to compliment Blake Griffin.
22. Orlando Magic John Jenkins Shooting Guard Vanderbilt Senior John Jenkins is a depth player who could fit in nicely with the Orlando Magic.
23. Boston Celtics Joshua Smith Center UCLA Sophomore Boston needs a center and then they will have the youth necessary to have a legit starting 5 once their current starters retire.
24. San Antonio Spurs Doron Lamb Shooting Guard Kentucky Sophomore The Spurs select the best available player here.
25. Philadelphia 76ers Kris Joseph Small Forward Syracuse Senior The 76ers get a small forward for depth. The 76ers current small forward is Thaddeus Young who is more suited as a power forward. Nikola Vucevic will likely take Thaddeus Young’s spot at power forward so getting a small forward to compete with Young is the next step that the 76ers have to take.
26. Dallas Mavericks Evan Fournier Shooting Guard France Mark Cuban does something so crazy that he shocks every Mavericks fan in the country. Mark Cuban drafts an international player from France.
27. Los Angeles Lakers William Buford Shooting Guard Ohio State Senior Kobe Bryant won’t be around forever. The Lakers may as well find his successor now. Darius Morris and William Buford could be the two guards who inspire the next generation of Lakers fans.
28. Chicago Bulls Christian Watford Power Forward Indiana Sophomore The Bulls have the luxury of taking the best player available for depth. Watford can play small forward or power forward.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder Renardo Sidney Power Forward Mississippi State Junior The Thunder get a quality power forward who could provide an impact over time on the Oklahoma City Thunder roster.
30. Miami Heat Arnett Moltire Small Forward Mississippi State Senior Arnett Moltire the Mississippi State small forward is the best player available. Miami takes the best player available for depth.
31. Golden State Warriors from Brooklyn Nets Festus Ezeli Center Vanderbilt Senior Golden State drafts the best available player for depth. Festus Ezeli is a player who could crack the Warriors starting lineup down the road if Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh both fail to crack the starting lineup.
32. Houston Rockets Rudy Gobert Power Forward France Gobert has the size of a 3 at small forward weighing 6 foot 9 225 and the wingspan of a 5 at center. He would play the 4 at power forward for Houston. The Rockets have strong depth so they can take an international player hoping to develop him.
33. Detroit Pistons Reggie Johnson Center Miami FL Junior Detroit could use a 2nd big behind Greg Monroe for depth at the center position.
34. Cleveland Cavaliers JaMychal Green Small Forward Alabama SeniorCleveland could use a small forward for the future. JaMychal Green may be that player.
35. Toronto Raptors Joffery Lauvergne Power Forward France The Raptors are not afraid of taking international players. They showed that when they took Jonas Valanciunas.
36. Indiana Pacers Tu Holloway Point Guard Xavier Senior The Pacers should add a point guard for depth.
37. Portland Trailblazers from Denver Nuggets Augusto Cesar Lima Power Forward Brazil The Trailblazers have the option to swap 2nd round picks with the Denver Nuggets.
38. Atlanta Hawks from Phoenix Suns Andrew Nicholson Power Forward St. Bonaventure Senior The Hawks have the luxury of taking the best player available in round 2.
39. Sacramento Kings Tyshawn Tomas Sotaransky Shooting Guard Czech Republic The Kings have their starting 5 for now so they can take the best player available with this pick.
40. Milwaukee Bucks Wesley Witherspoon Small Forward Memphis SeniorThe Bucks need a small forward to boost their offense. Milwaukee is one small forward and one shooting guard away from contending.
41. Washington Wizards Robert Sacre Center Gonzaga Senior The Wizards need a center. If they draft Sacre the team can contend in a year from now.
42. Los Angeles Clippers Eli Holman Center Detroit Senior The Clippers draft a center for depth with Eli Holman. Holman could eventually become a starter in LA.
43. Denver Nuggets from Portland Trailblazers Trevor Mbawke Power Forward Minnesota Senior The Nuggets take the best player available for depth.
44. Denver Nuggets from Golden State Warriors Dee Bost Point Guard Mississippi State Senior The Nuggets add a future point guard for depth purposes with this pick.
45. Atlanta Hawks Draymond Green Small Forward Michigan State SeniorThe Hawks take Draymond Green for depth at the small forward position with this selection. The Hawks have the luxury of going Best Player Available.
46. Utah Jazz Augustus Gilchrist Power Forward South Florida Senior The Jazz are a team with the luxury of taking the best player available. At this point that player is clearly Augustus Gilchrist.
47. New York Knicks Xavier Gibson Center Florida State Senior The Knicks need a big at center. Xavier Gibson could be that player allowing Amare to play his natural position at power forward. Amare can also play center, but I believe Stoudemire is more effective as a power forward playing the 4.
48. Cleveland Cavaliers from New Orleans Hornets via Miami Heat Drew Gordon Power Forward New Mexico Senior Gordon plays the 4 at power forward. My knock on Gordon is that he has the size of a 3 at the small forward spot. Gordon would still be an awesome bench player for this Cavalier squad.
49. Memphis Grizzlies Darius Miller Shooting Guard Kentucky SeniorDarius Miller goes to Memphis as a depth player. Miller would likely end up being the last Kentucky player drafted in 2012.
50. Charlotte Bobcats Terrence Henry Power Forward Ole Miss SeniorCharlotte gets a depth player at forward who can play forward with Terrence Henry. Henry is a 4 with the ability to play the 3.
51. Houston Rockets from Minnesota Timberwolves Damian Lillard Point Guard Weber State Senior The Rockets add a point guard for depth with this pick.
52. Orlando Magic Laurence Bowers Small Forward Missouri Senior The Magic never seem to pursue international players. Bowers is the best college player left at this point.
53. Boston Celtics Kevin Jones Small Forward West Virginia Senior The Celtics add another forward for depth with this selection.
54. San Antonio Spurs Leon Radosevic Power Forward Croatia The Spurs draft an international player to develop for a year or two before he arrives in the NBA.
55. Philadelphia 76ers Maalik Wayns Point Guard Villanova Junior The 76ers draft the best player available for depth.
56. Dallas Mavericks Ashton Gibbs Point Guard Pittsburgh Senior The Mavericks land the best player available with this pick.
57. Los Angeles Lakers Olu Ashaolu Power Forward Louisiana Tech SeniorOlu Ashaolu has the size of a 3 at small forward along with the defensive ability of a 4 at power forward. Lakers should get Ashaolu for forward depth.
58. Milwaukee Bucks from Chicago Bulls Brandon Wood Point Guard Michigan State Senior The Bucks add a point guard for depth that can provide some stability in case Brandon Jennings gets injured.
59. Oklahoma City Thunder Cammeron Tatum Shooting Guard Tennessee Senior The Thunder add a shooting guard for depth by going with the best player available.
60. Brooklyn Nets from Miami Heat Dejan Musli C Serbia The Nets add a center for depth in case Brook Lopez does not stay healthy. Musli would see limited action with Andre Drummond also on the Nets roster.