Howard's Mock Draft
Rankings: Point Guard | Shooting Guard | Small Forward | Power Forward | Center
1)Orlando Magic- PF, Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, Fr.
About the Pick: This guy (a lot like Anthony Davis) can impact a game by just playing defense. His offensive game needs some work but he will get a lot of blocked shots and rebounds as soon as he gets in the league
Howard’s Take: The Magic have some solid young players on their roster, especially Nikola Vucevic. Vucevid paired with Noel could be a scary good 4/5 combo for years to come. Do not forget they have other solid young front court players like Andew Nicholson and Mo Harkless. I just do not like McLemore as a consistent enough scorer to be draft one overall. They can sign a free agent guard or draft one later.
2)Charlotte Bobcats – SG Ben McLemore, Kansas, Fr.
About the Pick: He is a great pure scorer with athleticism on one of the top teams in the country only as a freshman. Any team that picks him will most likely be able to insert him into their starting lineup immediately or be there 6th man off the bench. I definitely see him being able to score 20 points a game in a few years.
I did not like McLemore at all in his team’s first two games of the tournament but I was very impressed with him in his team’s loss to Michigan. I believe the reason why Kansas lost is because they stopped giving him the ball.
Howard’s Take: McLemore should be a solid addition at guard to compliment other young players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on this team.
3) Cleveland Cavilers- SF Otto Porter, Georgetown, So.
About the Pick: A good young small forward with a lot of versatility. Only a sophomore but I like his wing play. He is been climbing up draft boards as of late with his play. However, he played very poor until the end of game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when his team lost in the first round.
Howard’s Take: Porter has really come on late in the season and the Cavs should be thrilled to have him. The Cavs are stacked with young talent and this pick will even make them better, especially since Porter will not be pressured to come in and be the go to guy like he was in college.
4) Phoenix Suns – PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV, Fr.
About the Pick: One of the most impressive offensive front court players in the country. He is only 6’7” but has a 7’1” wingspan. He is very quick and difficult to guard.
Howard’s Take: Bennett should be another solid young piece to Suns team. They have some age in the frount court so Bennett adds youth. I do not expect all of Gortat, Scola, Dudley, or Fyre to be their next year.
5) New Orleans Hornets- PF Cody Zeller, Indiana, So.
About the Pick: I like Zeller and what he brings to a team a lot but I do not think he will be a great NBA player. He shows great leadership and hustle and can obviously rebound and get it done near the basket on offense.
Howard’s Take: Zeller may be a little of a reach here for the Hornets but he fits well. It will allow Ryan Anderson to move from the 4 to the 3 and get more open looks on the perimeter.
6) Sacramento Kings- PG Trey Burke, Michigan, So.
About the Pick: In my opinion, one of the most exciting players in college basketball. He is a true point guard and can do it all.
Howard’s Take: The Kings need some exciting talent on their roster and Burke does just that. Him and Tyreke Evans would make a solid 1-2 punch at guard and Cousins would enjoy playing with him.
7) Detroit Pistons- SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Jr.
About the Pick: Can play the shooting guard or small forward. He is a great defender and has proved he can score in the big game
Howard’s Take: Oladipo can play the 2 or 3 with this young team. Oladipo would be a very solid addition on the wing.
8) Washington Wizards- SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, Fr.
About the Pick: He is a very solid wing player with a lot of potential. Started slowly this year but he is really starting to come along. He is only a freshman so he has a lot of potential.
Howard’s Take: Muhammad would be a great piece to the Wizards who already have some young players. Muhammad would be a young piece that the Wizards need on the wing to compliment Wall and Beal at guard. The Wizards could also go 4/5 here.
9) Minnesota Timberwolves- Alex Len, Maryland, So.
About the Pick: Len is a big bodied center who put on a lot of weight and muscle this past offseason. He has shown a lot of improvements this year but I would like to see more consistency on the offensive end. Sometimes he relies too much on his jump shot when he should attack the basket.
Howard’s Take: If Pekovic resigns, then Len can have a chance to play under him and Kevin Love and develop. I can eventually see him as a starter on this team and thrive off the pick and roll with Rubio and get some isolation down low with Williams and Love on the wing at times because they are versatile forwards.
NOTE: Len just had surgery and will be out a little while with his injury.
10)Portland Trailblazers- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, Jr.
About the Pick: Olynyk is a very solid 7 footer who can score down low in many different ways.
Howard’s Take: The Trailblazers need to select a front court player here. Olynyk should immediately help put some more youth in the front court and should be able to run well with their younger guards.
11) Philadelphia 76ers- PF Mason Plumlee, Duke, Sr.
About the Pick: Plumlee is a great athlete who is having his best season. He is very unselfish and runs the court well. He can also impact a game without scoring much.
Howard’s Take: The Sixers need help in the front court and Plumlee can come in and immediately contribute.
12) Oklahoma City Thunder- PG Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, So.
About the Pick: He is a great pass first point guard who does not turn the ball over much as well. Can easily get 8 plus assists a game in his first few years in the league.
Howard’s Take: The Thunder may regret trading Eric Maynor now that they only have Evans now that Westbrook is out. Michael Carter-Williams will be a great point guard off the bench for this team and get all their perimeter guys great looks.
13)Dallas Mavericks- PG/SG CJ McCollum, Lehigh, Sr
About the Pick: Projects more as a shooting guard at the next level. He likes to have the ball in his hands and he can flat out score.
Howard’s Take: The Mavs need to get younger at guard and McCollum can come in and immediately help this team. The Mavs are expected to make a run at a big free agent guard and whoever that is and McCollum can be a solid combo. I expect the Mavs to let OJ Mayo leave.
14) Utah Jazz- PG Shane Larkin, Miami, So.
About the Pick: Shane Larkin is a floor general who really put himself on the map this season being able to play in the big game. He should be a solid guard in this league.
Howard’s Take: I like this pick a lot for the Jazz. They do not have much youth at the guard position and this will immediately help that need.
15) Milwaukee Bucks- SG Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, Fr.
About the Pick: Very solid versatile guard who can get it done on the perimeter and attacking the basket.
Howard’s Take: Goodwin may be a little bit of a reach here but he will be a solid guard that the Bucks can use off the bench or as a starter if Jennings or Ellis leaves. It is rumored Monta Ellis may opt out so this would be a good pick if this is the case. The Bucks should look into trading back if they need a guard and all the guys I have ahead of him are gone here and do not see any other guards going till the 20 range.