1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
This pick is obvious so it really doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. However, I really think Davis needs to be a 4 in the NBA. He won’t be successful as an NBA 5 and he needs to transition to that. He also needs to put on some weight and add muscle to be effective against NBA 4′s as well.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The more and more I look at what Robinson did at Kansas the more I come away impressed. He may not register quite at 6’9, but he plays much bigger. He plays above the rim and is very athletic. He has the outside/mid range game to spread the floor as a 4 and he’s a proven winner. Putting him with Bismack on the inside could make the Bobcats significantly better defensively. He has an NBA body already, but he will need to work on more finesse because he isn’t going to over power PF’s in the NBA like he did while at Kansas. Note: If Charlotte goes another direction, MKG is the obvious choice if they don’t go Robinson.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
I went back and forth with this pick. MKG would give the Wizards toughness, but Beal is the type of back court teammate for John Wall that the Wizards desperately need. I’m still not sold on Beal, I think he’s shorter than listed (closer to 6’3, maybe 6’4 but definitely not 6’5 where they’ve listed him on several sites) and he’s not that great being the primary playmaker. He can however, make shots. With Wall being on the ball most of the time, Beal should give the Wizards a nice compliment on the outside.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC
The Cavaliers have been high on Barnes for two years now. He was Kyrie’s best friend and they planned on playing at Duke together. Now they’ll have their shot in the NBA. Barnes isn’t explosive and he’s one dimensional, but he does have a terrific shot (shot 43% from college 3). Where he will struggle the most is his ball handling skills. With Kyrie the new posterboy for the Cavs, I just have a feeling Barnes will end up in Cleveland.
5. Sacramento Kings – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Finally MKG gets drafted and he goes to a team that is a perfect fit for him. The Kings have scoring, but they lack toughness on the wing. MKG is the perfect guy for that. He’ll give them instant toughness and the willingness to win.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via New Jersey) – Andre Drummond, C, Uconn
Drummond has a lot of talent and a lot of upside. As a top 3 pick, I wouldn’t go with Drummond, but in the 2nd half of the top 10 his risk/reward is a lot easier to swallow. He’s athletic, NBA size, and blocks shots and rebounds very well. His downfall is that he’s not very assertive on the offensive end and instead of using his size down low he tends to fall in love with the perimeter game. If he’s going to be successful, he’ll need to stay inside the lane and dominate on the defensive end.
7. Golden State Warriors – Terrence Jones, PF, UK
The Warriors are looking to shop this pick, but if they keep it you could see Terrence Jones here. Now the Warriors have a lot of money invested into the 4 and the 5 over the next couple of years, but Jones has a lot of upside. If they can get him to play and stay motivated he could be very very talented.
8. Toronto Raptors – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
The Raptors are another team that are looking to shop their pick. If they do indeed keep it, I see them with a guy like Ross. Ross is a guy that can get to the hoop, he’s a very good leaper, and has excellent range. He’s also a pretty good defender because of his elite athleticism and is big enough to guard the 2 or 3.
9. Detroit Pistons – John Henson, PF, UNC
I’m not a big fan of Henson, but he is very long and athletic and provides a shot blocking presence down low. The Pistons are a very young team, but besides Center and PG, they could really go anywhere with this pick.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota) – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St.
The Hornets have been reported that they want to move this pick if they can get rid of Okafor and/or Ariza’s contract. I think they keep the pick and take their future PG. Lillard is not a great passer, but he’s a great scoring option at the point, very quick and a great penetrator.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Kendall Marshall, PG, UNC
Marshall is a very good passer and probably the best court vision and size combination at PG in the draft. He doesn’t have the speed and quickness that a guy like Lillard does, but he has improved his shooting. He will need to improve his 3pt shooting (35% from 3 last season) and could struggle defensively, but he would get rookie Drummond some easy looks while also being able to run the pick and roll with LMA.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
Jones has been criticized quite a bit since entering college at Baylor. He improved from his FR campaign, but there are still doubts whether he wants to be as good as he can. His size, talent and athleticism alone should make him a top 5 pick but he falls to #12 because of these doubts. The Bucks have taken chances before and they’ve seemed to pan out, this would be a very good pick for them if it does.
13. Phoenix Suns – Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
Lamb lacks enthusiasm and is very passive at times, but he’s a big time scorer and he can shoot the ball. He’s better off the ball, moving off of screens than creating space to get his shot. He’ll have to improve on that, but if he does he could be very good at the next level.
14. Houston Rockets – Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
Zeller isn’t someone who will be an all-star someday, but he’s very big he can run the floor well and he’s going to be a solid role player. The Rockets biggest need is inside and while he might not be a star, he can be a solid role player for the Rockets for years to come.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Sullinger is a guy that is a tough competitor, very strong and has both a back to the basket and a face up game offensively. He would have been a top 10 pick last season and could go anywhere from 10-15 in this years draft, but he falls because he’s not a very explosive athlete and has size concerns.
16. Houston Rockets (Via New York) – Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Quincy Miller has the talent to be a top 10 pick and probably would have benefited from another year at Baylor. The Rockets will continue to add to their talented and deep roster with Miller who’s very athletic and can play multiple positions. He needs to be more aggressive and stop falling in love with his jumper at times.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Waiters is projected as a lottery pick, but I’m in the company that doesn’t necessarily think he’ll crack it. He can play PG and SG, and he’s great getting to the basket but his jumper is inconsistent and he’s undersized at the 2. He can play similar to the Jet and could eventually be his replacement.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah) – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Rivers is a combo type guard and mostly projects as a 2 in the NBA. Although he doesn’t have great size as a 2, he can make shots and get to the rim with the best of them. Might have been beneficial for him to come back for another year, but if he falls to the Timberwolves, they may just find themselves a steal.
19. Orlando Magic – Royce White, SF, Iowa State
The Magic could go with 3 different picks with this draft pick. The first would be Royce White. White is a perfect player if the Magic can get him past the fear of flying and overcome his anxiety. He’s got top 10 talent and would be perfect for the Triangle (if Brian Shaw does indeed come to Orlando). He’s a good rebounder and great passer. The other two would be Moe Harkless, SF, St. Johns or Tony Wroten, PG, washington.
20. Denver Nuggets – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Teague may not be an all-star, but the Nuggets need depth with Andre Miller expiring this season. He’s very quick and athletic, but he might end up being on the same level as his brother which is a bench player, sometime starter.
21. Boston Celtics – Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
What better way for the Boston Celtics to start a rebuild if they can get a guy like Moultrie in the draft. He’s long, athletic, and can stretch the floor with his jumper. If Garnett comes back, the Celtics could have KG mentor him and he could be a very big sleeper in the draft.
22. Boston Celtics (via LAC) – Moe Harkless, SF, St. Johns
Harkless has been compared to Trevor Ariza regularly since declaring for the draft. He’s a big, athletic player who can be very good defensively. He still lacks a jumpshot, but that could come with seasoning.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Tony Wroten Jr, PG, Washington
Wroten is a guy that can get to the basket, he’s very big and he’s shown, at times, that he has very good court vision. The downfall is that he had more turnovers than assists in his FR season and his jumpshot is very poor.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LAL) – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Fab Melo has been labled immature and he came to Syracuse out of shape and didn’t play much. However, in his second year at Cuse, I think he matured a lot and was very solid for the Orange defensively. The Cavs need a Center and if Melo can continue to improve, he has the size and ability to play in the NBA.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Evan Fornier, SG, France
Fornier is an international prospect, that the Grizzlies can stash overseas for another year while trying to work out their cap situation. Fornier is the best prospect on the board, he’s got a great shot and has the size of an NBA 2.
26. Indiana Pacers – Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson compares to David West and is a big stretch 4. He can be the replacement for West and learn a few things in his rookie season behind the guy he projects to be.
27. Miami Heat – Myers Leonard, C, Illinois
If Leonard falls to the Heat at 27, they will get a huge steal. The Heat’s biggest concerns are at the 5 where they’ve started 8 or 9 different guys there this season. Leonard is raw, but he’s big and athletic and shows a lot of promise defensively. With the Heat, he could fit in because they don’t need a Center who scores, they need one who can defend the rim and Leonard does just that.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeff Taylor, SG, Vanderbilt
Taylor is a great defender with great size. He fits the mold of a OKC player and will help them defensively in the future. Could be a potential steal this late in the 1st round.
29. Chicago Bulls – John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
Jenkins is a shot maker and the Bulls would get arguably one of the best shooters in the draft. He can also finish at the basket. Doesn’t have great size, but could be interesting for the BUlls.
30. Golden State Warriors (Via San Antonio) – Festus Ezili, C, Vanderbilt
Even with the addition of Andrew Bogut, the Warriors still lack size in their front court. Ezeli is a big guy and can block shots.