2012 Mock Draft Version 2.0

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Published: June 28, 2012

We take a look at how the top 10 picks might shake out tonight 

I feel incredibly lazy. Chad Ford has put out like 37 of these and this is only my second. The thing with mock drafts is it only takes one maverick team to shake the whole thing up and throw it off, so in some ways it is a pointless exercise- but when has that ever stopped me before? Without further adieu:

1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis, Kentucky

How good does it feel when literally every analyst, expert, scout, etc. comes on and says that this draft is “Anthony Davis and then everybody else?” Not to put too much pressure on the kid, but this is how dynasty’s start- with a prospect who is considered to be one of the best to come out in the last twenty years.

Davis will start off his career as an above average on the ball defender, an elite off the ball defensive presence, and a pick and roll guy in the same class as a Tyson Chandler. Davis can also pop out and hit the jumper or put the ball on the floor and get to the bucket against slow footed big men. He won’t have a Duncan or Shaq type of rookie year, but 13, 9, and 2.5 blocks is not out of the question. By season four, he will be in MVP discussions. Book it.

2. Charlotte Bobcats- Thomas Robinson, Kansas

Charlotte has been rumored in a lot of trades, but they can’t get cute with this pick. Identify the top player for your team and take him. By all accounts, that guy is Thomas Robinson, a slightly less skilled version of Blake Griffin with a nasty streak. Robinson and Biyombo gives the Bobcats a foundation up front, and still allows them to be bad enough again next year to grab a stud like Shabazz Mohammed or Cody Zeller in their effort to become respectable.

3. Washington Wizards- Bradley Beal

Couldn’t find a better compliment for John Wall. Beal is excellent coming off screans and he can also handle the ball well enough to let Wall play off the ball at times. Seriously, if Washington plays it right, they could be what Indiana was this year in 2-3 years. Nice nucleus.

4. Cleveland Cavs- Harrison Barnes, UNC

This pick comes down to Barnes and MKG, and while MKG is the more popular pick, the Cavs aren’t afraid to veer from the norm as evidenced by them shocking everyone and taking Tristen Thompson last year. Barnes is best friends with Kyrie Irving and the thought process is that they already have a guy with super intangibles in Varejao. They need more scorers.

5. (trade) Houston Rockets- Andre Drummond, UConn

Using some package of picks and players, I believe Houston will end up here and will select Drummond- either for themselves or to swing to Orlando. Either way, Drummond lands in the top five after weeks of speculation that he could go as high as two or fall to the end of the lottery.

6. Portland Trailblazers- Damian Lillard, Weber State

The Blazers will have a tough choice here between Lillard and MKG, but they are determined to keep Nic Batum and Lillard seems to be the likely choice here. Lillard had an excellent workout for Portland and would be a great compliment to the low post scoring they have in LaMarcus Aldridge.

7. Golden State Warriors- Michael Kidd- Gilchrist, Kentucky

Every year somebody falls and this year it looks like MKG could be that guy. The Warriors were heavily criticized for trading for an injured player and tanking the second half of their season, but if MKG falls into their laps, it might be the move that saved the franchise. And yes, I would give up anything to move up three spots and take him. Future first, Ayon, Aminu- anything they want outside of Davis and Gordon.

8. Toronto Raptors- Dion Waiters, Syracuse

Toronto is another team that could trade, but I think they like Waiters too much here to pass on him. I know that they latest rumors have them in love with Rivers, but I see that as a smokescreen. Drafting Waiters allows Derozen to slide over to small forward and Waiters finally provides some of the toughness that this team desperately needs.

9. Detroit Pistons- John Henson, UNC

Before the draft lottery, a lot of people were talking about how well Anthony Davis would compliment Greg Monroe if Detroit got the top pick. Obviously that didn’t happen, but John Henson is not a bad consolation prize. He is 80% Anthony Davis- in fact, that should be his nickname (or 4/5th’s SkyNet)- and he can do a lot of the same things, just not as well. Still, at 9, Detroit should be happy to have him.

10. New Orleans Hornets- Austin Rivers, Duke

Basically, it is down to Lillard, Waiters, or Rivers and I am not going to claim that I know how they rank on Dell’s board, but at least one of those guys should still be there when the Hornets pick at ten. In this case it is Rivers, and I have a feeling that a lot of people will be confused by the pick because the Hornets best player plays the “same position”. Don’t be. Monty has said several times that the Hornets need two guys who want the ball in their hands at the end of the game to either create for themselves or someone else.

Austin Rivers is fearless, and gives the Hornets that edge that is needed on a team whose best player (Gordon) is more reserved and whose new franchise player (Anthony Davis) is unselfish, sometimes to a fault. Theoretically, it would be perfect if you had a team full of unselfish choir boys who all had high rates of efficiency, but that isn’t going to happen. Rivers is the perfect ying to Davis’s yang, and as I have said all along, that is the reason he will be your number ten pick.

Don’t forget to join us tonight before the draft (5:30 CST) for a Live Video Chat where we will discuss all the latest rumors and field questions. Also, a live interactive chat on the site during the draft, and a podcast that will immediately follow the draft.

I gotta go and start working on my “Dump jump off the ledge, Austin Rivers is a great selection” piece. See you tonight!

48 comments
Ron
Ron

Only 1 of 9 choices correct? Not so good.

Scott
Scott

I wonder why in the newspaper they pretty much have us drafting Zeller at 10 as a given and nobody mentions him on here? I know he's not the most exciting player out there, but with him you know exactly what you're getting. And now you have your frontcourt set up for the next 10 years. Also I hope we can get Marcus Camby, or someone similar, on a 1 year deal to teach AD and Zeller the game.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

The TP? That's their opinion. I think I'd rather have Leonard than him, and I think a guard or a trade is more likely. That's why I haven't mentioned it. Cool?

RockyMountain
RockyMountain

Maybe Demps pulls a surprise and picks Wroten at 10. Hahaa.

Josh
Josh

On the NBA Draft Preview on ESPN,the reporter said that Dell said there would be no surprises.

Mickey Chatman
Mickey Chatman

Every time I look on here people are bashing Rivers. I'm sorry but if you factor in his age, experience, and level of competition then you can understand why he was immature at times. But for a kid to be the son of a great coach. His went to duke which has the USA coach!!!! I mean coach K.....think about it. And now Monty is saying good things about him. These are three intelligent coaches that are willing to or have taken chances on his growth and dont publicly criticize him....why would you. Take Rivers with the 10th pick

mazonmafia
mazonmafia

So b/c a guys dad talks highly of his son, we should draft him?? I think the guy has been getting a free pass b/c of the name rather than his game. I'm not saying he totally sucks but you cant say that he is above critical comments b/c of the people he is surrounded by. The fact that he has been surrounded by some of the best coaches of our generation and that he still passes the ball to the other team more than he does to his own teammates should be a HUGE reason to criticize him.

Josh
Josh

I'm not comparing him to Russell Westbrook, but Westbrook was a poor decision-maker, too; but he greatly improved in that category. Rivers obviously still has room to grow; but if that is the thing he needs to work on, he will. Remember that basketball is now his life.

Mr. West
Mr. West

I the Blazers passed on MKG I would just laugh. I mean theres drafting for need and then theres passing up on the possibly 2nd best prospect.

Josh
Josh

1. Hornets- Anthony Davis 2. Hawks- Thomas Robinson* 3.Wizards- Bradley Beal 4. Cavaliers- Dion Waiters 5. Kings- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 6. Raptors- Harrison Barnes* 7. Rockets- Andre Drummond* 8. Trail Blazers- Damian Lillard* 9. Pistons- John Henson 10. Hornets- Austin Rivers * denotes draft-day trade

Josh
Josh

Nooooo! Chad Ford just debunked the rumor about Dion Waiters going 4. I believe the top 3 stay the same as what I have, but here's 4-10. 4. Cavaliers- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 5. Rockets- Andre Drummond* 6. Raptors- Harrison Barnes* 7. Warriors- Jeremy Lamb 8. Trail Blazers- Damian Millard* 9. Pistons- John Henson 10. Hornets- Austin Rivers

nola hustle
nola hustle

1. big ez 2. beal (cleveland) 3. mkg 4. trob (charlotte) 5 drummond (houston) 6. lillard 7. barnes 8. waiters 9. henson 10 marshall or trade down

Josh
Josh

What do y'all think would be the best trade we could get for Eric Gordon? *We can't trade for draft picks this year because he is a free agent. *A lot of people tend to forget that you can do a 3 or 4 team deal.

mazonmafia
mazonmafia

A little premature I'd say. The rumors just started. Lets not sell the farm just yet... Granted I could be proven wrong in 6 hrs but...

Josh
Josh

It is a strong possibility that the Pacers go hard after him. I know that Larry Bird didn't want to go after him, but it is a completely different front office. I don't want him to go, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's played in his last New Orleans game.

Box 10,000,000
Box 10,000,000

I like the idea of trading him for Paul George and then drafting Kendall Marshall.

nola hustle
nola hustle

10 and xavier for 12 and 16? 12 and 18?

Ben
Ben

Chad fords latest mock draft included how the player fit with the team and trade scenarios. For the hornets #1 pick it said Anthony Davis and talked about hoes he would be the savior. For trades it said "Are you kidding?" love it

Ben
Ben

Typng from my phone so auto correct should be how* and it's chad ford talking

J
J

The Celtics are working to package a deal to get into the lottery round.The Hornets trade their 10th pick for 21 & 22 and if Avery Bradliey is in this deal theres no need to draft an SG 'maybe".The Hornets can draft Fab Mello and Royce White and a draft and stash at 46 or Scott Machado with the 46th pick.

nola hustle
nola hustle

while getting mkg and the big easy is the ultimate dream, it is a dream because mkg is to me and many others easily the second -best prospect in this draft. I don't see 5 teams taking someone besides him.

504ever
504ever

I would be disappointed if it is Rivers, and I have posted about him before. I hope we trade back with Houston (16 and 18) or do just about anything else besides pick Rivers. Here are Chad Ford’s comments about Rivers and our 10th pick on 6/27/12. They also discuss a PG like Marshall indirectly. “Scott (New Orleans) Please tell me that the Hornets won’t take Austin Rivers with #10! Don’t we have more pressing needs (like a center) or the ability to gamble (on say, PJ3). Chad Ford (2:22 PM) I think Rivers goes 8 or 10. Outside chance he could go 6, but I doubt it. Not sure I understand the Hornets’ reasoning here. Not only does he not fit a need (unless they aren’t going to re-sign Eric Gordon) but why would you draft someone like Davis and then a blackhole guard who averages more turnovers than assists. Seems like you’d want guards who were great at getting the big fella the ball.”

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

As I wrote in my "Hornets nab Rivers at 10" article (yes, it's already written) Chad Ford is in the minority with regard to this opinion, yet everybody keeps quoting him as if he is the only one whose opinion matters. Listen to the NBA Today podcast from 6/26, in which he brings on a guy who knows Rivers and all these guys far better than he does. That guy has a much different opinion, and even Ford admits that this guy's opinion is more valid. If YOU don't like Rivers, that's fine, just state why. The fact that Chad Ford likes or doesn't like a guy shouldn't be a part of any argument IMO.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Can't argue with any of the Rivers stats that people are throwing out, but I will ask two things 1.) What prospect at ten doesn't have serious holes coming out, and beyond that, which prospects had great freshman year numbers? 2.) Is Rivers a finished product? Are his flaws something Monty can work on or with? My belief is that 75% of who this guys will becomes is already set in stone, but that 25% of it is what situation they go to. From day one I said I wouldn't want Rivers unless the Hornets also got Davis, and I stick by that. He respects Monty and knows he is the third best talent on the team. But, let's say he goes to Toronto, I think he will be quite bad actually. Does anybody think Kawhi Leonard would have balled if he went to Washington instead of SA last year? Answer is no. It's all about the situation and Hornets are a perfect situation for Rivers and his current holes IMO

nola hustle
nola hustle

regardless of the messenger I think the message is clear, Rivers may be the type of nba player who forces too much trying to find his own shot. monty's offensive system is predicated on ball movement, so I do have concerns with guys like rivers and lilllard who have primarily looked for their own shot. does it mean they won't be able to adapt, and modify their game, like coach k said he HOPED rivers would be able to do? of course not, but deciding on a draft pick consists of measuring all the risks, and that is an additional one, a big one to me

504ever
504ever

Michael, I have been stating why I don't like Rivers for a while and here. It's the same reasons as everyone else: 0.9 assist/turnover ratio, inefficient volume scorer in spite of numerous shot near the rim, not athletic enough in college (especially on the defensive end), not a catch and shoot player, etc. I just like the way Chad Ford says it better, like in today's Grantland column on the draft: "FORD: ... here's my knock on Rivers. He thinks he's Kobe. He's not. He doesn't have the length, the height, nor the athletic ability. Take those things away from Kobe, and he's Ricky Davis — an irritating ball hog no one wants to play with and who isn't good enough to warrant the diva act. SIMMONS: Wow, you just waved two middle fingers at Doc Rivers — you compared his son to his least favorite player to have ever coached. Why didn't you just throw a Dominique Wilkins barb in there while you were at it? FORD: Lillard is a willing passer. Rivers isn't and will never be. Lillard made dramatic improvements from year to year. I thought Rivers was the exact player in college that he was in high school. Lillard is a team player. He was the second most efficient player in college basketball DESPITE being the only decent player on his entire roster; teams game planned to stop him and him alone every night. I just don't see Rivers ever being anywhere near as unselfish or efficient. I think Rivers will be shocked at the athleticism and length at his position. He'll try to do the same things at which he excelled in high school, spend a lot of time on the bench, get into it with his coach and teammates, get traded in a year or two to a desperate team, put up huge numbers for a cellar-dweller for a year or two, make some money, and eventually, teams will realize he can't be the alpha dog on a winning team. SIMMONS: Other than that, you're a huge Austin Rivers fan. FORD: I honestly think Rivers is the one guy I wouldn't touch in the lottery. Too toxic for team chemistry, doesn't have the same physical tools to make it worth it."

Chuck
Chuck

Chad Ford has been ripping Rivers so hard that Coach K called him up and was like "hey bro what's up with this?" All this talk of positions really confuses me. We've gone through the last year talking about LeBron defending all 5 positions, the Heat having no true center or point guard, Bosh guarding the other team's best big, Battier giving them another versatile defender, etc. Then we talk about Harden playing point, Westbrook being too much of a scorer, Perkins being too slow, etc. Both those teams were in the finals with guys who don't play the positions traditionally. Why exactly do we need a clear 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5? Rivers and Gordon together can work, they can both pass well and it's not like Davis is the kind of guy who needs 20 shots a game. The bulk of the shots will come from them anyway and if they can learn to play off of each other like, say, Parker and Ginobili or Harden and Westbrook, they will be a great backcourt tandem.

Mike
Mike

Just read on hoopsworld that Gordon is forcing his way to Indiana. The word is dell won't force him to stay and will be asking for Paul George in return.

edbballin504
edbballin504

I just read this too. My question is, if that were true then why is he not in IND working out instead of here in NOLA. I think these people on these rumor sites post a bunch of garbage. I don't think there's any truth to that.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Do you mean EJ has been made to ride in the sidecar at best and may be tossed away to Indiana if Dell can scrounge up value? See how spin affects a story? A guy says thia other guy might go there. Ahhhh... nice...

ImSorryMonty
ImSorryMonty

Dude don't come in here with bullcrap garbage and get people stirred up for no reason. At least provide a link you troll.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

Nothing surprises me anymore. Just when you thought everything is going well, we go ahead and find ourselves another bad rumor Good thing is, AD going to the Hornets is not a rumor but a fact. At least I can cling on to that reality

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Whoa, whoa, no need for that- this isn't one of those other Hornets sites, we treat others with class here. And there is a link: http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-trade-chatter-of-draft-day?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nba-am-trade-chatter-of-draft-day&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Please, everyone, I know other sites encourage nastiness towards other fans, but let's all show some class on this site. Difference of opinion is fine, encouraged even, but no need for name calling, personal attacks, etc.

Bigeauz
Bigeauz

It would be awfully hard to not trade up for MKG if he's there at 7. Look at you starting to get my hopes up a little, so when we pick rivers I'll be terribly disappointed. FWIW, I don't think he'll be the pick. If he's really BPA at 10, then I hope we trade down a few slots.

unobarry
unobarry

Agree with you guys. If MKG falls that low, we have to make a move. Gordon, MKG, Davis, plenty of cap room for a top flight free agent point next summer... Ok i need to step away from the keyboard now, getting too excited.

Brandon
Brandon

If michael kidd-gilchrist drops, WE HAVE TO TRADE UP FOR HIM. This kid is going to be amazing with his work ethic. I dont care what we have to trade to get him. Personally, I want austin rivers as the tenth pick, but if we have to give him up and jack or next years first, take MGK. He does need to develop a consistent jumper, but that will come. Just surround him and eric gordon with shooter. Also, chad ford says the MGK has only lost like 4 games in his entire life. The Kidd is a winner!

Marco Rosamano
Marco Rosamano

I agree 100%. If MKG is not picked at six, hit those phones immediately.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

if MKG drops that low, I'd be willing to trade 10+uprotected 2013+Aminu just to get him. Oh lord let my Gordon-MKG-Davis dream come true :D

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I'll take it, and I agree on the MKG trade.

Josh
Josh

1. Davis 2. Robinson 3. Beal 4. Kidd-Gilchrist 5. Barnes 6. Lillard 7. Waiters 8. Rivers 9. Henson 10. Drummond I'm not a Drummond fan, but that is how I see it going if there are no trades. I know that is unlikely, but I would not be surprised.

Steven
Steven

"Austin Rivers is fearless, and gives the Hornets that edge that is needed" I'm fearless... Does that mean that I can be the 10th pick too? SMH.

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