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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nishida's 2012 Mock Draft

1) New Orleans Hornets
Positions of Need: PF or C
Draft: PF/C Anthony Davis or SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
The New Orleans Hornets need a forward/center type player because they traded away Emeka Okafor. How fortunate for them that they get the No.1 pick and PF/C Anthony Davis is waiting for them. He doesn't have a dominant post game yet, but he will be an immediate difference maker on defense. Kidd-Gilchrist does not have an overwhelming ability to score and shoot, but his defense is excellent. I believe he is the best on-ball defender in the draft and has NBA-ready ability on defense. He's an active rebounder as well. Also, Kidd-Gilchrist probably doesn't get enough praise for his finishing ability at the rim.

2) Charlotte Bobcats
Position of Need: SG, PF or C
Draft: SG Bradley Beal or SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
The  Bobcats need the next big superstar. One would be Kentucky PF/C Anthony Davis, who the Charlotte Bobcats desperately need. Beal is the possible second superstar talent in the draft. I wasn't high on him at first, mainly because he's a freshmen guard (College shooting guard is a tough transition to NBA shooting guard, just ask Jimmer Fredette and he was a senior). I think over time he could become one of the NBA's great sharpshooters. With recent trade for Ben Gordon, I think Kidd-Gilchrist seems most likely.

3) Washington Wizards
Positions of need: SF, PF or C
Draft: SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or PF Thomas Robinson
The Wizards are interesting. They have a good set of players with Wall, Crawford, Nene, and Blatche. They don't really need another shot taker because they have plenty in my opinion. Kidd-Gilchrist is the best defensive player in this draft class. He doesn't have a scoring mentality but he doesn't need that with the Wizards.  He's a tremendous athlete and probably underrated ability to finish at the rim. With the addition of Okafor, PF Thomas Robinson doesn't seem likely, but the Jayhawks star is definitetly a low post threat. Not a well-defined low post scorer but the pieces and foundation are there. He is a tireless worker and he is mentally tough (Just look up his personal life in the past two years).

4) Cleveland Cavaliers
Positions of Need: SG, SF, PF or C
Draft: SF Harrison Barnes or SG Brandon Beal
Cleveland's interesting as well. They have the Rookie of the Year in Kyrie Irving and a quality player in PF/C Tristan Thompson. They can go in different direction. I don't believe Beal will be there but he would be a great pick up for them because he can score. Barnes is a shooter and a scorer. He needs a good point guard to find him and open spots as he struggle creating his own shots. Cavs have Irving to pass him the ball. . Overall, I think Cleveland will end up picking Beal first if there.

5) Sacramento Kings
Positions of Need: None. Draft best player available.
Draft: SF Harrison Barnes or C Andre Drummond
With a starting lineup of PG Isaiah Thomas, SG Tyreke Evans, SF Marcus Thornton, PF DeMarcus Cousins, and C Jason Thompson, do you need anything? Remember, they have Jimmer Fredette Chuck Hayes and Francisco Garcia off the bench. I don't know where the Kings would have the time to put Barnes into the lineup but I think he would be the best player available at No. 5, assuming no one above falls (Davis, Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist & Robinson). Drummond would be a good idea because he would give the Kings a defensive presence on a team that is offense-oriented.

6) Portland Trail Blazers (From New Jersey Nets)
Positions of Need: PG, SF or C
Draft: PG Damian Lillard  or C Andre Drummond.
The Trail Blazers have said that they aren't looking for quick fixes. Find the next big star. If Barnes isn't taken by the Kings, the Blazers should take him. I believe Barnes can be a hidden superstar talent in the future. If Barnes isn't there, I would take Damian Lillard. Lillard is listed as a point guard however he was much more of a scorer rather than a distributor (24.5 points per game last season). If they don't take Lillard, they will take Drummond and I don't know about him. I have one of those feeling where he could be a bust. He has no post offensive game. He has great defensive ability, but it's not Anthony Davis level.

7) Golden State Warriors
Positions of Need: SF or C
Draft: SF Harrison Barnes and C Andre Dummond
The Warriors have been stuck in this post-Don Nelson era. However, Marc Jackson has made incredible strides towards changing the culture. I don't know if Kidd-Gilchrist will be available but there is a good possibility he could fall to the Warriors. He's a great player on the defensive side of the ball and his offensive game needs developing. Barnes is a player that would help the Golden State's offensive game (which doesn't need much help to be honest). He would be the best talent available if Kidd-Gilchrist is not there. Drummond is a tough sell for the Warriors. I know Jackson's a smart man. If Jackson believes he can coach Drummond, then take him. If not, don't risk it.

8) Toronto Raptors
Positions of Need: SG or SF
Draft: SG Dion Waiters or SG Jeremy Lamb
No SF available at this point. Toss up with Waiters and Lamb. I think both have the star capablities, but each have question marks. Waiters was the 6th man at Syracuse and wasn't recognized individually. When you heard Syracuse, you most likely heard about the collective team. Plus, tough transition to NBA especially with a player like that. I would take Waiters before taking Lamb. I like Lamb because he has an underrated skillset that is comparable to Brandon Beal. However, he lacks an overall drive or passion.

9) Detroit Pistons
Positions of Need: PF
Draft: PF John Henson and PF/C Tyler Zeller.
The Detroit Pistons have quality in PG Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG Brandon Knight and C Greg Monroe. They could use another player at PF. Henson has physical attributes you can teach. You can't teach length and this 6'10'' power forward has arms of a 7'5'' man. Terrific defensive capabilities. He is limited at the moment in low post moves and shooting but there is room for plenty of improvement. Zeller is a solid, well-rounded low post player. Maybe more of a C than a PF but is a very good. Could develop into a dominate post player.

10) New Orleans Hornets (From Minnesota Timberwolves)
Positions of Need: PF and C
Draft: PF John Henson, or C Meyers Leonard
If they take Davis, keep building down low. If not, then definitely draft low post player here. I would have picked Sullinger but the red flag with a back injury which doctors say will cut his career short makes me say no. With Henson, they are a scare defensive team at the rim. Just image if the Hornets picked Davis first, then Henson. They're two tall figures with extensive are lengths blocking the pathway to the rim. Meyers Leonard has been gathering momentum up to the draft. He's 7'1'' wil a lot of ability. Many believe he's more talented than Tyler Zeller and Zeller was the ACC player of the year in the 2011-2012 season.
11) Portland Trail Blazers
Positions of Need: PG, SF or C
Draft:  C Meyer Leonard or PF/C Tyler Zeller
The Blazers will draft depending on their first pick. If they took a guard or small forward, they'll take a big man. If they took a big guy, they'll take a guard or forward. I'll assume they took Lillard 6th overall.= With Zeller or Leonard you can't go wrong. Zeller is a bit more experienced and well-rounded. But Leonard has been impressive in camps.

12) Houston Rockets (From Milwaukee Bucks)
Positions of Need: SF, PF or C
Draft: SG Austin Rivers or PF Terrence Jones
The Rockets need a big guy. Now there are rumors of trading these picks but I'll assume they're not true. They traded Samuel Dalenbert so a PF would be preferable and the best available players are Rivers or Jones. Rivers has a high ceiling when it comes to potential but Rivers needs to mature a bit more and needs to grow a bit more muscle. Jones would be a great player for Kevin McHale to have. He has good shooting touch and can play well with others. Needs fine tuning but if he develops a back-to-the-basket post game, he could be as difficult to guard at Dirk Nowitzki (Size, height and high release).

13) Phoenix Suns
Positions of Need: PG, SG or SF
Draft: PG Kendall Marshall, SG Jeremy Lamb or SG Austin Rivers.
Steve Nash seems to want out if the Suns don't become serious about winning now. The Suns should look to rebuild around PF/C Markieff Morris. I think they will need to find a new No. 1. So they'll be looking for a hidden star talent. The Suns would love Lillard to fall to them but most likely he won't. Marshall is similar to Nash in passing skills but not in shooting. Lamb has the capabilities of being a star but he has question marks that could derail his promising future. Austin Rivers is an interesting choice. I think he would bring in quite the amount of ticket sales. His abilities are okay. He could be an allstar caliber player. He needs to grow a bit more muscle and work on his shooting and defensive game overall.

14) Milwaukee Bucks  (From Houston Rockets)
Positions of Need: PF or C
Draft: PF Perry Jones III or PF/C Tyler Zeller
I think the Bucks will need a low post threat to go with their wonderful guards: Jennings and Ellis. They should draft Zeller because they need him. However, the Bucks will likely entertain the idea of putting raw talent onto their team in P. Jones III (PJ3). PJ3 is a very talent man however he lacks a motor which makes him prone to be a possible bust. Has the talent of a Top 5 player in the draft but a questionable motor hurts him.
15) Philadelphia 76ers
Positions of Need: PF or C
Draft: PF Perry Jones III, or PF Jared Sullinger
The 76ers lacked size down low and a guy who could make an open 15-18 foot jump shot. They could get both in one guy by drafting PF Terrence Jones if there. I think Perry Jones III (PJ3) has the same qualities as T. Jones. Collins will take PJ3 because of more potential. Also, I think Collins will be able to create motor for PJ3 so he'll play hard every game. Sullinger could continue to fall with his back situation. Sullinger was the best offessive post player. In my opinion, he's a Glenn "Big Baby" Davis type of player. He's talented but undersized at PF. I could see the 76ers taking a risk because drafting him at 15th is worth the risk.

16) Houston Rockets (From New York Knicks)
Positions of Need: SF or C
Draft: PF Jared Sullinger or SG Austin Rivers
The Rockets will look to add on some fire power. Austin Rivers should be able to provide it when McHale is ability to tutor and mentor him. Rivers needs a few years to grow and build up physically. Sullinger is another guy that McHale likes. I think they could take Sullinger because McHale believes he can make something out of him.
17) Dallas Mavericks
, Positions of Need: PG or SF
Draft:  PG Marquis Teague or SF Moe Harkless
Dallas is aging and they're looking to be a part of the Deron Williams Sweepstakes. They need younger PG and SF because Kidd's not getting any younger and neither is Marion. If they are serious about Williams, they'll take Harkless. If not, they'll go after Marshall or Teague. Harkless was the best player on a struggling St John's team. He's young (freshmen) but there is quite a bit of upside for him. He needs to develop a better 3-point shot. Teague needs to improve in all areas, not ready for NBA in my opinion. He can learn from an old veteran with a tremendous track history in Jason Kidd.

18) Houston Rockets (From Minnesota Timberwolves, From Utah Jazz)
Positions of Need: SF or C
Draft: SG Jeremy Lamb or SG Terrence Ross
The SGs that could grow into SFs would be the best available at this point and this is the third pick for the Rockets. They just need to find a guy that they believe will become the next star. Lamb and Ross each have a good possibility of becoming a star. Picking the right one is the only concern. Lamb lacks an overall drive or passion on the court and Ross needs to improve his shot and his defensive abilities.

19) Orlando Magic
Positions of Need: SF
Draft: SF Moe Harkless
The Magic have no head coach, no GM and a superstar with his foot out the door. Time to start over and find a new star. It will be tough picking 19th but they can take someone who young and has evidence of a huge upside. Enter Moe Harkless. Of all the players remaining at this point, Harkless is probably the one with the most upside. He can take over for Hedo Turkoglu who is a shadow of his former self.

20) Denver Nuggets
Positions of Need: SG or PF
Draft: PF Arnett Moultrie or SG Terrence Ross
The Nuggets don't need much. They could use a quality shooting guard. I could see them going after Terrence Ross because he's a scorer. He's nowhere near J.R. Smith but Ross has a similar mindset to him. He needs to develop in all shooting aspects and his defense is suspect. However, I could see the Nugget throwing a curveball and drafting Arnett Moultrie. Moultrie is a similar player to Kenneth Faried. He has high energy and great defensive skills. They don't need him but Karl might take him.

21) Boston Celtics
Positions of Need: SG, SF or PF
Draft: SG Terrence Ross or SG John Jenkins
The Celtics need to rebuild. Ray Allen is most likely gone, Garnett is considering retirement and Paul Pierce isn't getting any younger. They'll take the best available player. Jones III could fall all the way to the Celtics and I do believe they will take him if available. I think Doc Rivers will be able to tap into the full potential of PJ3. John Jenkins is a safe pick. He's a reliable player from Vanderbilt. He's a scorer and a good defender.

22) Boston Celtics (From Los Angeles Clippers)
Positions of Need: SG, SF or PF
Draft: PF Andrew Nicholson or SF/PF Royce White
Same things as before. Best available is the best strategy. Nicholson was the best player for St. Bonaventure who was a very good team last year. He can shot the ball in and out of the post like a young Kevin Garnett. Royce White willed his team to an NCAA Tourney berth and was flat out dominate. He's a good slasher for his size. He lacks outside shooting and isn't defined in the post though.

23) Atlanta Hawks
Positions of Need: SF or SG
Draft: SF/ PF Royce White, SG Terrence Ross
The Hawks need a new SF. I don't like SF/PF Marvin Williams and am ready to call him a bust. Time for a change. Drafting SF/PF Royce White would bring a fresh new face and a player with similar capabilities to Williams. However where they are now in their careers, White has more potential than Williams. Ross would be drafted only to be the future replacement to Joe Johnson.  

24) Cleveland Cavaliers (From Los Angeles Lakers)
Positions of Need: SF or C
Draft: PF Jared Sullinger or SF/PF Jae Crowder
Cavaliers would like to continue building around Irving and Thompson. I think they would love to get a SF or PF.  Crowder would be a great No. 2 or No. 3 scoring option as well. This is also the furthest I see Jared Sullinger falling. I think if he's here the Cavs will take him because it would be well worth the risk. He's also an Ohio guy and I think the fan base would respond well to him.

25) Memphis Grizzlies
Positions of Need: PF or SG
Draft: SG Evan Fournier or SF/PF Jae Crowder
The Grizzlies don't need immediate help. They need to find a SG though. Mayo is defensively susceptible and Allen is offensively challenged. They may tap into the international pool. SG Evan Fournier is 19 years old. He could be a very good player in the future. He's got promise but is probably going to need some time to get used to "big boy" basketball. Crowder would be a good player for the Grizzlies to have. He could definitely be a spark off the bench and could develop into a great scoring option.

26) Indiana Pacers
Positions of Need: PF
Draft: C Fab Melo, SG/SF Jeff Taylor or SG Jared Cunningham
There are No PFs at this point to replace David West. The Pacers need to re-sign Roy Hibbert to a long-term contract first. But if they don't want to, they will probably go for C Fab Melo. He's a great defensive player. It will take some time to develop his offensive game but a 7'0'' doesn't come around very often. Taylor is a safe pick. He might turn into a quality starter or a good spark off the bench. Cunningham has been called "The Sleeper" of the draft by many scouts and NBA officials. I will agree with them because he sparkled as a star for the OSU Beavers. He's got a tireless work-ethic and can shot the ball very well.

27) Miami Heat
Positions of Need: C
Draft: C Fab Melo or C Festus Ezeli
Miami would love nothing more than to have C Fab Melo fall to them. He probably will too. They don't need much offensive fire-power but could use a large, towering center in the middle. Fab Melo would be a tremendous defensive threat. Syracuse could have won played Kentucky in the NCAA championship game if Melo played in the Tourney. The Heat would love to have him. If the Pacers do take Melo or someone reaches for him earlier, Ezeli is the next option. A second round talent but the Heat need a big guy.

28) Oklahoma City Thunder
Positions of Need: PF or C
Draft: SF/PF Jae Crowder or SF/PF Draymond Green
The Thunder need players that can score down low. These players most likely will be coming off the bench. Jae Crowder was the Big East player of the Year. Not your typical PF because he's more athletic but he can score at the PF position and generate easy buckets. SF/PF Draymond Green might be a better choice. Not a typical SF considering how big he is. He was by Mike Izzo, a great college head coach. He can play down in the post and get good scoring chances.  

29) Chicago Bulls
Positions of Need: SG or PF
Draft: SG Jared Cunningham, SG Doron Lamb or SG/SF Will Barton
Plain and simple, the Bulls need a No. 2 scorer. Don't give me that crap that bringing in Rip Hamilton was going to work. It wasn't . Draft a SG. Cunningham would be my first choice. He could easily develop into a consistent scoring option because his work ethic is excellent. He's worked with NBA stars Gary Payton and A.C. "The Iron Man" Green. Lamb is the least talked about player of the Kentucky starting five. Will Barton is a very interesting player. Some raw talent and great potential however, he has some maturity concerns. Also, if a guy like Nicholson falls down to them I could see them trying to replace Carlos Boozer.

30) Golden State Warriors (From San Antonio Spurs)
Positions of Need: SF or C
Draft: SF/PF Jae Crowder, C Festus Ezeli or SF/PF Draymond Green
So the Warrior's pick here is completely dependent on their first pick. Ezeli would continue that low post presence that Marc Jackson wants to establish. Either Draymond Green or Jae Crowder would be a flexible player that Jackson would love to use to create matchup problems for opponents.

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