By: Howard Ticker
Important Trade: Sources are reported the Houston Rockets traded Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th pick in the draft. The Rockets are also aggressively trying to trade up (rumored to be the 5th pick).
Note: Added analysis in the lottery picks for the Wizards, Warriors, and Trail Blazers.
Pick 1) New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis 6’10” 220 PF/C Kentucky Freshman (Scouting Report)
14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.7 Blocks
No brainer pick at number one. Great defensive presence and should help this Hornets team pick up some more wins next year.
Pick 2) Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson 6’8” 240 PF Kansas Junior (Scouting Report)
17.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists
The Bobcats are getting a great player here in Thomas Robinson. Robinson has great athleticism and strength. Thomas Robinson’s great season and great tournament run really helped him move up draft boards. With Robinson, imagine Blake Griffin without the monster dunks. He is a solid rebounder with a decent midrange game and can absolutely dominate the boards when he wants to. Another possible pick here is Bradley Beal.
Pick 3) Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal 6’4” 207 SG Florida Freshman (Scouting Report)
14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists
Beal would be a solid fit for the Wizards in the back court with John Wall.. Beal is a flat out shooter who was compared to Ray Allen coming out of High School. Beal is deadly from 3 and has the size to shoot over smaller guards. He started to play really well late into Florida’s season. This would back Crawford come off the bench where I think he can have less pressure and be more effective. I don’t think the Wizards would draft a Power Forward or Center here because of them added Nene and Okafor. Another possible pick is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at small forward.
Pick 4) Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 6’7” 210 SF Kentucky Freshman
11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists
Gilchrist will love playing with Kyrie Irving. They could be a great tandem for many years to come. Even when MKG had a poor offensive night, his defense is what keeps him as a top 5 selection.
Pick 5) Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes 6’8” 215 SF UNC Sophomore (Scouting Report)
17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1 assist
Barnes can be a stud for the Kings. I love his offensive game but want to see him be more clutch in the big game. He is another guy with a whole lot of potential. Barnes’ game was exposed in the NCAA Tournament without PG Kendall Marshall. He can shoot the ball well from mid-range and deep, but did show the ability to get to the rim at times. Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, DeMarcus Cousins, and now Barnes? Uh Oh.
Pick 6) Portland Trail Blazers (from New Jersey): Damian Lillard 6’2” 190 PG Weber State Junior
24.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Lillard is great athletic point guard who can shoot. Kind of reminds me of a Russell Westbrook because this past season at Weber State he was the go to guy and a score first point guard. Remember, this is a weak point guard class and this allows Lillard to move up draft boards. He also reminds me of a Rodney Stuckey, but not as big.
*Damian Lillard recently had an impressive work out with the Trail Blazers.
Pick 7) Golden State Warriors : Andre Drummond 6’10” 270 PF UConn Freshman (Scouting Report)
10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks
I think a Drummond could eventually be dominant. Drummond could be the number 1 selection in the draft if it was based off potential. Drummond was the number 1 big man in last year’s recruiting class but the talent did not come to Connecticut this season. However, he has showed flashes of the talent he possesses and is an athletic big man who can run the floor and has the size to rebound with great consistency. He can be a dominant player for this team and could help the front court which already includes Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut (Lee and Bogut have injury troubles).
Pick 8) Toronto Raptors: Kendall Marshall 6’4” 197 PG UNC Freshman
7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 9.7 assists
Marshall is a great point guard and leader. UNC was not the same team without him. He would be a great replacement if solid PG Jose Calderon leaves. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with Marshall’s teammate John Henson here too. Marshall is such a great passer to the point where he doesn’t feel the need to score. He has outstanding court vision and can thread the needle on passes.
*ESPN has reported before that Toronto is trying to trade this pick for a veteran swing man.
Pick 9) Detroit Pistons: Perry Jones III 6’11” 235 SF Baylor Sophomore
14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Detroit has some nice young pieces so Jones would help. The big knock of PJ III is that he doesn’t bring the same intensity to each game. He seems to shy away in big moments, but he is very young. He possesses the potential skills to be a good NBA player and can shoot the mid-range shot. He also isn’t afraid to go in the post although he’ll need to add size. Lastly, he protected the rim for Baylor and can guard 3 to 5 positions on the floor.
Pick 10) New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota): Jared Sullinger 6’9” 265 PF Ohio State Sophomore
17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds
Sullinger would have been a clear top 5 pick last year and could drop further this year but I love his post game and think he would be a great player for the Hornets. He has developed a more NBA ready game this past season and his big body should translate well into the NBA. Think DeJuan Blair from Pittsburgh a few years ago but without all the hype.
When I was watching the NBA Draft Combine they said the Hornets would be interested in taking both Davis and Sullinger and I immediately fell in love with that idea. When they interviewed Sullinger, he loved it as well. A trio of Gordon, Davis, and Sullinger could be awesome.
Pick 11) Portland Trail Blazers (from New Jersey): Jeremy Lamb 6’5” 185 SG UConn Sophomore
17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Lamb is great at creating his own shot and will immediately come in as one of their leading scorers. Lamb’s mid-range game is phenomenal and he seemed like the only consistent piece at UCONN this past season. He can really be an explosive scorer in this league and go at it with anyone on the opposing team offensively.
In this draft alone the Trail Blazers add Lillard and Lamb which both could be two great picks for the future that help the Trail Blazers fans forget about Roy and Oden. If they both pan out this can be a terrific back court for many years to come.
Pick 12) Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson 6’10” 220 PF UNC Junior
13.8 points, 10.1 rebound, 2.9 blocks
Henson is a great defender but needs to put on some muscle. Could be a great player in this league in a few years and will play well off of Brandon Jennings.
Pick 13) Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters 6’4” 215 SG Syracuse Sophomore
12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists
Waiters will come in and help with some scoring. Waiters was the deadliest man in the country coming off the bench for the Orange this past season and he could get to the rim and finish with authority. Waiters can crack the starting rotation but if not he will be a spark plug off the bench. The Suns need to get younger and better on offense and Waiters fits both of those. Another possible pick here is Terrence Ross.
Pick 14) Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie 6’10” 230 PF Mississippi St. Junior
15.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists
I kept going back and forth between Moultrie and Tyler Zeller here. I like Moultrie a lot and will come in and really help their front court. Moulrie arguably was this year’s Most Improved Player. He has tremendous size and athleticism for a man of his size. He defends the rim really well and his offensive game is transferrable to the NBA. He kind of reminds me of LaMarcus Aldridge.
Pick 15) Philadelphia 76ers: Meyers Leonard 7’ 245 C Illinois Sophomore
13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks
The Sixer’s can use another big man but he will take a few years to get in his zone. If they go guard I see them going with Terrence Ross. Leonard is a big bodied center who needs some work on his game both offensively and defensively but I can see him transforming into Spencer Hawes for them