2012 Mock Draft Version 2.0

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!


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