The Charlotte Bobcats may or may not keep the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, which is creating some intrigue and uncertainty about the rest of the first round. Here’s an updated look at who might go where in the first round of the NBA Draft, which takes place on June 28.
Mock Draft Version 2
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis PF Kentucky
Davis has been hanging out with Hornets coach Monty Williams and this pick seems iron clad. If Davis isn’t taken at No. 1, it might be the upset of the year in sports.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF Kentucky
Most mock drafts have Kansas PF Thomas Robinson going here, but I’m going to stick to my early guns for now. Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams are not the answer for Charlotte at small forward, and if they keep this pick and skip on Robinson, Kidd-Gilchrist should be the guy. And he could end up being the best player in this draft.
3. Washington Wizards – Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina
I am clearly in the minority here and it’s no secret that the Wizards love Brad Beal, but I still don’t see them taking a shooting guard as long as Jordan Crawford is on the team. As of right now, the best SF on the Wizards is Chris Singleton, so I’m going to stick to my original pick of Harrison Barnes going at No. 3. But this pick could easily change the closer we get to draft night.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Brad Beal SG Florida
Brad Beal is often tied to the Wizards, so he might not be available here. And while Thomas Robinson is going to be a great power forward, the need in Cleveland seems to be a little greater at shooting guard. Beal’s size is a concern, but he looks like a great shooter, which could help make up for it. We just have to wait and see if the Bobcats or Wizards take Beal, or if the Cavs decide to take Thomas Robinson instead.
5. Sacramento Kings – Thomas Robinson PF Kansas
My heart and the things I read tell me Robinson will be gone by the time the Kings pick at No. 5, but I still don’t see an ideal fit for him in the first four picks. I also don’t see Robinson falling any lower than No. 5, so if he’s still around when the Kings pick, they simply have to take him.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn Nets) – Damian Lillard PG Weber State (Version 1: Jeremy Lamb SG UConn)
Lillard considers himself the best point guard in the draft and shot it very well at the Combine. His name is most associated with the Trail Blazers, who will likely be in need of a point guard if and when Raymond Felton is sent packing. Lillard has also said all the right things in regards to going to Portland, and it appears we may have a love connection brewing here. For now, I’m saying the Blazers pull the trigger on him at No. 6.
7. Golden State Warriors – Perry Jones PF Baylor (Version 1: Andre Drummond C UConn)
The Warriors are theoretically set at PG (Stephen Curry), SG (Klay Thompson), SF (Dorell Wright) and PF (David Lee), and C (Andrew Bogut), but also seem hell bent on making a trade before the draft. The guys they’re targeting are rumored to include Andre Iguodala, Luol Deng, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gay, Josh Smith and Danny Granger, but landing one of them isn’t going to be easy. They could use some depth at PG and C given Stephen Curry’s and Andrew Bogut’s injury histories, but it appears they really want another option at forward besides Wright and Brandon Rush. Jones should be a solid NBA forward, and I’m bumping him up to be the Warriors’ pick if they can’t pull off a trade.
8. Toronto Raptors – Dion Waiters SG Syracuse
There have been rumors that both the Raptors and Suns have made a promise to Waiters, although the Raptors have denied it. Promise or not, the Raps want a swingman in the draft, unless they trade for an established veteran. Waiters makes sense for the Raptors, although SG Jeremy Lamb could also end up going here. But for now, even though I find it hard to believe Waiters has a lead-pipe lock of a guarantee from any team, Waiters is my choice for the Raptors.
9. Detroit Pistons – Jeremy Lamb SG UConn (Version 1: Perry Jones PF Baylor)
The Pistons have Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey to play SG, and could be targeting a power forward here. But if Perry Jones is gone, Lamb might be the best player left on the board at No. 9. And given the inconsistency of both Gordon and Stuckey, taking a flier on an athlete like Lamb is a real possibility for the Pistons.
10. New Orleans Hornets (from Timberwolves via Clippers) – Andre Drummond C UConn (Version 1: Damian Lillard PG Weber State)
Emeka Okafor and Chris Kaman are not locks to be back in New Orleans next year, so it makes sense that they would look at UConn center Andre Drummond with this pick. And on a side note, don’t be too surprised if the Hornets don’t make a serious run at PG Chris Paul after next season, as he still has numerous ties and reasons to return to New Orleans, if the price is right, and the Clippers don’t step up and improve their core. There was also late breaking news on Monday night that the Hornets may want Austin Rivers here, and if it happens, that would clear the way for the Blazers to get Drummond with the next pick.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Austin Rivers SG Duke (Version 1: Tyler Zeller C North Carolina)
If the Blazers get a PG Damian Lillard with the No. 6 pick, getting a center or shooting guard should happen at No. 11, if they don’t trade the pick. No. 11 seems a little too soon for UNC C Tyler Zeller, and Austin Rivers could see his stock climb as draft day approaches. If the Blazers come away with both Lillard and Rivers, my guess is they’ll be very happy with their draft. Zeller, Illinois’ C Meyers Leonard and Mississippi State’s C Arnett Moultrie are also going to get a look from Portland here.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Meyers Leonard C Illinois (Version 1: Terrence Jones PF Kentucky)
The Bucks are set at guard with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, and will therefore be looking for forwards or a center. Ekpe Udoh and Drew Gooden are the best big men in Milwaukee after they traded Andrew Bogut, and Leonard’s stock should continue to rise prior to the draft. If they don’t take Leonard, Tyler Zeller and Arnett Moultrie will also get a close look from the Bucks.
13. Phoenix Suns – Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State
Channing Frye left something to be desired this season and the Suns still have Markieff Morris ready to take a big step next season. Their true need is at small forward, and Sullinger might be able to play both forward positions in the NBA, although he’s clearly more suited for PF. Sullinger will likely be the best player available when the Suns pick, although they will also give strong consideration to Kentucky PF Terrence Jones, if he’s still on the board.
14. Houston Rockets – Tyler Zeller C North Carolina (Version 1: Meyers Leonard C Illinois)
Marcus Camby wants to come back to the Rockets, while Samuel Dalembert will also be back. The Rockets are still trying to replace Yao Ming, and Kevin McHale is not a big Dalembert fan. And with Camby’s constant injury concerns, Zeller might be the best center left on the board at No. 14. Meyers Leonard and Arnett Moultrie will also get a look here.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – John Henson PF North Carolina
Elton Brand is getting older and the Sixers could use a defensive banger to replace him. Henson should be just that. If they don’t go with Henson here, Terrence Jones would be another solid option.