Sunday, November 18, 2012

As always, my mock drafts DO take team needs into consideration. Otherwise, it would just be rankings, right all other draft sites with "mock drafts"?

Everyone keeps saying how down this draft is. While there isn't much, if any, star power in this draft, a lot of these guys will still be rotation players. The draft must go on!

The season has just begun, and good players get to inflate their stats against cupcakes before conference play. Enjoy!

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1. Washington Wizards
PF/C Cody Zeller, So, Indiana
7'0, 240 lbs
Hometown: Washington, IN 
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 17.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg, .750 FG%

Right now I think Cody Zeller, Shabazz Muhammed and James McAdoo are the favorites to go first overall. When there are a few players in play for the pick, size usually wins out. Zeller is a very talented offensive big man. He can score a variety of ways and could be a future 20 point per game scorer in the NBA.  He is more athletic then people give him credit for (white guys can be athletic too). He may not rebound or block shots like his position would demand, but offensively, he has a chance to be one of the best. The Wizards have a few decent big men on the roster, but nobody that they could actually build around.

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2. Detroit Pistons
SG/SF Shabazz Muhammad, Fr, UCLA
6'6, 225 lbs
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV



You have heard the name Shabazz Muhammad for years, and he will finally arrive on the college basketball scene in 2012, although a few games later then expected. Muhammad has an NBA ready body and game right now. He is 18 years old, but is built like a guy ten years older at 6'6, 225. He can handle the rock, play good defense, attack the rim, rebound. Simply put, he is an all around wing player who could very easily wind up being the first pick in the draft. He would be a perfect fit for the Pistons and would slide right into the small forward slot. Detroit now has a potential starting five of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Shabazz Muhammad, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight, all high first round picks by the team.
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3. Sacramento Kings
SF/PF James McAdoo, So, North Carolina
6'9, 230 lbs
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 21.0 ppg, 11.3 rpg, .481 FG%


Top recruit James McAdoo was simply a luxury for the 2011-2012 Tar Heels. Playing behind three first round picks on the front court, McAdoo barely saw any time during the regular season. He had a good tournament run, though, and is off to a red hot start as a sophomore. He has drawn comparisons to James Worthy with his old school, silky smooth game. He is a bit of a tweener though, and he might be better as a four in the pros due to his strong rebounding and lack of an outside shot. Of course, the Kings just drafted Thomas Robinson with the fifth pick to be their power forward of the future. Sacramento needs to change their culture, and adding a solid teammate like McAdoo would be a great start.

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4. Oklahoma City Thunder
(from Toronto Raptors)
PF/C Alex Len, So, Maryland
7'1, 225 lbs
Hometown: Antratsit, Ukraine
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 17.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.7 bpg, .556 FG%


Len's freshman season consisted of 20 minutes per game, where he was mostly relegated to rebounds and put backs on offense. It has only been a few games this season, but Len looks like a completely different player. He owned the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats, and was the focal point of the offense, dropping 23 points and adding 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. He has shown nice touch on his jump shot, great rebounding instincts, good passing and shot blocking. Simply put, he has the makings of a top five pick and if he adds some strength he could make a case for being chosen number one overall. The Thunder would groom him to be their starting center in a year or two and make their offense even that much more dangerous.

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 5. Cleveland Cavaliers

PF/C Nerlens Noel, Fr, Kentucky
6'10, 228 lbs
Hometown: Everett, MA
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 11.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 3.3 spg, .520 FG%
Nerlens Noel has drawn comparisons to Anthony Davis, but they aren't all that similar. Both are tall, lanky forwards who excel at swatting shots from anywhere. In fact, Noel may be even better then Davis in that aspect. Through a few games he hasn't been much of a factor offensively, but hasn't been a liability on that side either. He has played very good defense and is a dark horse candidate for the top overall pick, though I do not think he is the favorite like many publications. On the Cavaliers he would start his career off the bench as a shot blocking specialist, but should overtake the mediocre Tristan Thompson before too long.

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6. Phoenix Suns
SF/PF Tony Mitchell, So, North Texas
6'8, 235 lbs
Hometown: Dallas, TX
2012-2013 Stats: 4 G, 14.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.5 spg, .475 FG%

There may not be a more talented player in college basketball then Tony Mitchell. A former top recruit who was unable to play at Missouri, Mitchell found a home with North Texas and had a very good freshman season. He mostly relied on natural ability, and was simply too strong for the small school guys who tried to guard him. He got to the rim at will and racked up points and rebounds. Many were surprised he decided to come back for his sophomore season. There may not be much more he can do on the court to influence scouts, since he wll still be going up against players inferior to him on a nightly basis. Mitchell reminds me somewhat of Josh Smith in that he might be a quick, athletic power forward with shooting range at the next level. The Suns have a decent starting five but Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat are both plodding, nonathletic bigs. Phoenix needs more athleticism on their roster.

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7. New Orleans Hornets
SF Alex Poythress, Fr, Kentucky
6'7, 239 lbs
Hometown: Clarksville, TN
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, .700 FG %

If Nerlens Noel is John Calipari's new Anthony Davis, then Alex Poythress is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Poythress is very strong and tough and is a plus defender. So far this season he has been a very efficient scorer, dropping over 16 points per game and hitting 70% of his shots. Defense and rebounding is his calling card at the next level as a tough, strong small forward. He would be an excellent fit next to Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson on the Hornets front court.

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8. Orlando Magic
SG Archie Goodwin, Fr, Kentucky
6'5, 185 lbs
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 15.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, .464 FG%

The third Wildcat in my top ten, Goodwin is a good shooter and ball handler who could play point guard for stretches but will make a nice shooting guard at the next level. He has good range on his jump shot and showed against Maryland that he is tough and can get to the line. The Magic just need to add talent to the team regardless of position.

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9. Denver Nuggets
PF/C Isaiah Austin, Fr, Baylor
7'1, 220 lbs
Hometown: Arlington, TX
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 15.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .556 FG%


The Baylor Bears recruited the tall, lanky Isaiah Austin, who is described as "a guard in a forwards body". Sound familiar? For the third straight year, the Bears get a top recruit, and they hope he will turn out better then Perry Jones and Quincy Miller. Austin is 7'1 and might still be growing, but he is painfully thin. He has a good jump shot and can handle the ball, and of course, with that height and wingspan, he can block shots. He has been a good scorer early for Baylor, but with a terrible free throw percentage. He seems to be content to hang out on the three point line and jack up shots, though he hits them. His game would fit well with the Nuggets, who look to get out and run and score fast as often as they can.

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10. Indiana Pacers
SG Michael Carter-Williams, So, Syracuse
6'6, 185 lbs
Hometown: Hamilton, MA
2012-2013 Stats: 2 G, 11.5 ppg, 7.5 apg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 spg, 1.5 bpg

Carter-Williams was a high recruit who struggled to find any playing time on a deep veteran Syracuse squad. Gone are Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine, and Carter-Williams is set to shine as a sophomore. Carter-Williams is a very talented scorer who thrives with the ball in his hands. He is quick, lanky and good on the break. He will also learn how to play good defense playing for Jim Boeheim and the Orange. Syracuse has had guys come out of nowhere to become high first round picks (Wesley Johnson and Dion Waiters come to mind), and I fully expect Carter-Williams to be one of the top guards selected when he declares. He has shown his all around game these first two games of the season, scoring and distributing the ball very well. He filled up the stat sheet against Wagner with 6 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals. The Pacers have a pretty good starting five, but their bench is weak. Carter-Williams will start out backing up both guard spots and should get plenty of minutes for Indiana.

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11. Houston Rockets
C Steven Adams, Fr, Pittsburgh
7'0, 250 lbs
Hometown: Rotura, New Zealand
2012-2013 Stats: 4 G, 7.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 bpg, .667 FG %



Adams is very young and still very much a project, but he has lottery size and talent and should go there if he declares after his freshman season in Pittsburgh. Adams has looked pretty good defensively during the little time he has played. Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon likes to bring his freshman along slowly, so Adams wouldn't post the big numbers he would at another school. But I think he will be a lottery lock due to his size, strength and defensive abilities. If Meyers Leonard can go in the top 14, so can Adams. The Rockets wouldn't miss a beat defensively when Adams comes into the game for Omer Asik.

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12. Phoenix Suns
PF/C Mason Plumlee, Sr, Duke
6'10, 235 lbs
Hometown: Warsaw, IN
2012-2013 Stats: 18.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 3.0 bpg, .750 FG %

If Miles Plumlee can be a first round pick in a deep draft, his more talented brother should be considered a first round lock in a weaker one. Plumlee was thought of as a future lottery pick, but his offense has taken years to develop. It has only been two games, but Plumlee has taken on a much bigger role offensively his senior year for the Blue Devils. If he can show that he can get his points on more then just put backs, he could work his way back into the lottery. He is very athletic, and that is a theme for the Suns in this mock draft, who have three first round picks.

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13. Charlotte Bobcats
(from Portland Trail Blazers)
SG Ben McLemore, Fr, Kansas
6'5, 195 lbs
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
2012-2013 Stats: 16.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 bpg, 1.0 spg, .485 FG %

McLemore is a former top recruit who had to sit out last year due to eligibility issues. Head coach Bill Self has handed McLemore all the minutes he can handle and he has played better every game. Sometimes McLemore can be too unselfish, but has the ability to take over a game, like he did against Chattanooga with 23 points. In Charlotte he would provide scoring and even more toughness alongside Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. McLemore is a good rebounder and defender for his position.

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14. Atlanta Hawks
SF Adonis Thomas, So, Memphis
6'7, 242 lbs
Hometown: Memphis, TN
2012-2013 Stats: 2 G, 12.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, .500 FG%

Thomas is off to a slow start, even though it has only been two games. One good sign is that he played 39 minutes against Samford, a good sign as he rebounds from serious injury. Thomas needs to work on his jump shot and ball handling, as he plays more like a short 4 then a 3 right now. If he can improve his jump shot, he could be a high lottery pick. The Hawks are a very thin team with virtually no young prospects to develop, so they could just go best player available.

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15. Utah Jazz
PG Lorenzo Brown, Jr, North Carolina St.
6'5, 185 lbs
Hometown: Roswell, GA
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 11.0 ppg, 7.0 apg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, .360 FG%


Lorenzo Brown is the leader of a very good North Carolina State team. He is not that great of a scorer, but is tall, strong and a good ball handler and floor leader. If Kendall Marshall can be selected in the top 15, so can Brown. There are simply not that many great point guard prospects these couple of years, so guys will rise. Utah has young players at every position except point guard. Brown would be a nice player for them to slowly develop.

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16. Chicago Bulls
(from Charlotte Bobcats)
SF Le'Bryan Nash, So, Oklahoma St.
6'7, 230 lbs
Hometown: Dallas, TX
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 17.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, .444 FG%

Le'Bryan Nash is the ultimate wild card. He has lottery talent but the type of unpredictable personality that could have him out of the league in a couple years. There are several reasons he is compared to Metta World Peace. On the court, he is a bull with great strength for the small forward position. He causes all type of problems for the man he is guarding. Unfortunately for him, he has been labeled with attitude and maturity problems. If he is drafted by a stable organization with solid coaching like the Bulls, he could wind up as a very solid starter.


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17. Dallas Mavericks
SF Kyle Anderson, Fr, UCLA
6'8, 233 lbs
Hometown: Fairview, NJ
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 7.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, .304 FG%

Anderson has been described as Kendall Marshall in the body of a power forward, which is probably more of a diss then a compliment. Anderson has great ball handling and decision making abilities, but, as expected, has been all over the place his first three games for the Bruins. His shooting is an extreme work in progress, but he is a good rebounder and passer. Scouts will most likely be all over the board with him, but he is a unique talent and will be a first round pick when he declares.

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18. Miami Heat
(from Philadelphia 76ers)
PF/C Rudy Gobert, France
7'1, 231 lbs
Hometown: Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France


Gobert is mostly potential at this point. The scouting reports say he can block your shot, run the floor and slam it down on a fast break, but will struggle if he gets the ball in the post. Like most young, skinny, long big men, he will need a lot of coaching and patience. But if he puts it all together, watch out. I have him dropping in this draft because he is still very young, and the track record for big men from France is not very good. A lot of things said about Gobert were also said about Alexis Ajinca. Still, it is unfair to hold that against him. He can develop slowly for the World Champion heat, perhaps even overseas, and could pay huge dividends down the road.
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19. Phoenix Suns
(from Minnesota Timberwolves)
PG/SG BJ Young, So, Arkansas
6'3, 180 lbs
Hometown: St. Louis, MO


Young is a combo guard who is more of a scorer then a distributor. I think he will be best in the NBA as a guy who can come off the bench and get you points. He is a heck of a scorer who had very good percentages as a freshman. The Suns continue to use this draft to add athleticism and depth to their roster.

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20. Chicago Bulls
PF/C Gorgui Dieng, Jr, Louisville
6'11, 245 lbs
Hometown: Dakar, Senegal
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 9.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.5 bpg, 2.0 spg, .538 FG%

Dieng is 22 years old and still learning how to play the game, but his rebounding and shot blocking skills are NBA ready. He could be another Sear Sene or Bismack Biyombo. Both of those guys were younger then him when they were drafted, though. If Dieng can show any offensive ability at all, he should be a first round pick. The Bulls lost defensive backup Omer Asik this off season and could lose super sub Taj Gibson next, so they need to find some front court depth.

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21. Utah Jazz
(from Golden State Warriors)
SF Dario Saric, Croatia
6'10, 223 lbs
Hometown: Sibenik, Croatia


The Jazz will most likely have two more first round picks this year to add to their very impressive collection of young talent. Saric might not declare for a year or two because he will be barely 19 by the time the draft rolls around, but he is eligible. He is a tall, skilled wing man who can rebound and handle the ball. His jump shot is not quite there yet but he has definite first round talent. The Jazz could draft him and let him develop overseas like the Bulls are doing with Nikola Mirotic.

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22. Boston Celtics
PG Trey Burke, So, Michigan
6'0, 190 lbs
Hometown: Columbus, OH
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 18.3 ppg, 8.0 apg, 2.7 rpg, .524 FG %

Trey Burke considered entering the 2012 NBA Draft, but decided to return to Ann Arbor for his sophomore season, and so far it has been a great decision. Burke is undersized, but is lightning quick and can get to the rim and finish amongst much bigger players. He might struggle to handle 30 minutes per game as a starter due to his lack of size and strength, but people said the same thing about Ty Lawson. The Celtics only have one real point guard on the team, and Burke would make a nice backup to Rajon Rondo.

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23. Oklahoma City Thunder
SF/PF CJ Leslie, Jr, North Carolina St.
6'8, 206 lbs
Hometown: Holly Springs, NC
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 6.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, .625 FG%


Leslie is a very talented player who has had a good career so far for the Wolfpack. The problem is what position does he play? The track record for skinny, lanky power players like him in the NBA is not very good. He has the game of a power forward with the way he can slash to the rim and block shots, but he will probably have to play small forward in the NBA, and right now he does not have a good jump shot. The talent is there for him to be a solid starter, but he has to put in the work so he does not become another Hakim Warrick.

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24. Brooklyn Nets
C Jeff Withey, Sr, Kansas
7'0, 235 lbs
Hometown: San Diego, CA
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 12.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 4.3 bpg, .538 FG%

Jeff Withey was a little used backup his first two seasons in the league, but really came on last year. This year he has picked up where he left off as a great shot blocker and rebounder who gets a few points per games on put backs and hustle plays. There is virtually no chance he will be a starting center in this league, but could have a long career as a backup big man who does all the dirty work. The Nets could definitely use a shot blocker and rebounder on the roster.

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25. Cleveland Cavaliers
(from Miami Heat)
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, So, Georgia
6'5, 205
Hometown: Greenville, GA
2012-2013 Stats: 20.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 4.0 spg, .353 FG%

Caldwell-Pope was a very highly regarded recruit who had an up and down freshman season for the Bulldogs. Caldwell-Pope is touted as a great scorer and shooter, and he is just that, though his percentages suffered as a freshman. But he has the length and talent to be a 20 point per game scorer in the pros. So far this year he has shot the ball almost non stop, and has gathered enough bricks to build Georgia a second stadium. Reigning it in a bit could be a good thing for him. The Cavaliers need guys who aren't scared to shoot and score though, there is not nearly enough scorers on this roster to compete.

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26. Milwaukee Bucks
PG/SG CJ McCollum, Sr, Lehigh
6'3, 190 lbs
Hometown: Canton, OH
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 24.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, .500 FG%

CJ McCollum has had a tremendous career for the Mid Major Mountain Hawks. Like most great players who play at that level, he has the ball in his hands pretty much all the time. Like most Mid Major stars, McCollum is more of a scorer then a distributor at this point, but has the talent to make his mark as a scorer off the bench at the next level. McCollum solidified his first round status by leading Lehigh to an upset over number two seed Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament. He completely took over that game. McCollum will learn from two of the best ball hog guards in the league in Milwaukee.

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27. Los Angeles Clippers
SF Otto Porter, So, Georgetown
6'8, 205
Hometown: Sikeston, MO
2012-2013 Stats: 1 G, 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg

 Porter is a lanky, defensive minded young small forward who has drawn comparisons to Stacey Augmon. He is adept at using his long arms to deflect balls in passing lanes to set up the fast break. He is not much of a shooter yet, but his athleticism and ball handling has scouts intrigued. There is a chance he won't have the strength to match up against the bigger forwards or the speed to keep up with the quicker ones. Porter recently suffered a concussion but should be just fine. The Clippers are very deep right now but their wing players are pretty old. 


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28. San Antonio Spurs
SF Andre Roberson, Jr, Colorado
6'7, 210 lbs
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 6.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.7 spg, 1.7 bpg, .269 FG %

There are a lot of things that Andre Roberson is not. He is not a great ball handler, a good shooter, an amazing athlete. But what he does usually translates very well to the NBA level. He is a terror on the glass and a very good defender. Roberson averaged a double double with a block and two steals last year, showing his Andrei Kirilenko/Shawn Marion like overall game. Unfortunately he is even smaller then those two. At 6'7, 200 there is virtually no chance he can play power forward in the NBA, which will probably limit him to a bench role. But there is a place in the NBA for someone who hustles and rebounds like him, and he would be a great fit for his hometown Spurs.

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29. New York Knicks
SF Deshaun Thomas, Jr, Ohio St.
6'7, 215 lbs
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
2012-2013 Stats: 3 G, 22.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, .457 FG %

The Cavs have had three first round picks in this mock, and the common theme for them was to find guys who can put the rock in the hoop. Thomas can certainly do that, and might average over 20 points per game during his jumior season. The reason Thomas is picked this low is he will probably give up that much on the other end. Defense is an absolutely laughable concept to him. Still, he could come off the bench for New York and provide instant offense. He has the talent to be a big time scorer. Knicks fans are going to absolutely (sarcastic) LOVE watching Thomas and JR Smith on the court at the same time.
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30. Minnesota Timberwolves
(from Memphis Grizzlies)
PF/C Patric Young, Jr, Florida
6'9, 249 lbs
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
2012-2013 Stats: 2 G, 10.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg, .571 FG %

For those of you who have read my mocks over the years, you know I will have Patric Young in my first round until the end of time. Young certainly looks the part of an NBA power forward. He is a chiseled 6'9, 250 pounds and looks like a man amongst boys physically at the college level. But he is still extremely raw and might never be much of a scorer. Still, the NBA is always looking for shot blockers and rebounders and Young is getting better and better at those two parts of his game. 
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