2012 NBA Mock Lottery

Boy was that lottery painful if you were a Bobcats fan. Seven wins in sixty-six games, and the team can’t find any luck in the lottery.

No the lottery isn’t fixed–in fact, this was a pretty normal one. The teams with the fourth, first, and second worst records getting the first the picks is far more likely than the ninth-worst record owning Bulls leaping up to land Derrick Rose.

But that won’t give Bobcats fans any solace. And it’s really too bad. Because they’ll be back praying for the number one pick, again, exactly one year from now.

Here’s a preview for my full mock draft, which should come out about a week before the NBA draft on June 28.

1

Anthony Davis

PF 6’10” 220 lbs Kentucky 19 Years Old

What more is there to say? Davis is far and away the best player in the draft, and he’ll make the Hornets an immediate threat to make the playoffs. Well, assuming Eric Gordon doesn’t bolt for greener pastures.

2

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

SF 6’7” 210 lbs Kentucky 18 Years Old

What a let down. At least MKG fits a need for the Bobcats: talent. Kidd-Gilchrist is a high motor, high IQ, rugged defender with a relatively high offensive upside. To stay in a Bobcats-y mood, a great comp for him is Gerald Wallace with a better offensive game.

3

Bradley Beal

SG 6’5” 195 lbs Florida 18 Years Old

Beal is one of my favorite players in the draft–a high-octane scorer with range and surprisingly strong defense. Yes, he actually averaged nearly one block per game at just 6’5″ (and he’s probably not even that tall). Beal and John Wall would form a lethal backcourt combination…. if only Andray Blatche or Rashard Lewis could do something to help the frontcourt.

4

Harrison Barnes

SF 6’8” 210 lbs North Carolina 19 Years Old

Well here the Cavs are sitting at the #4 pick again. Only this time they don’t have the #1 pick, too. Harrison Barnes’ stock took a shot this year, but the Cavs liked him so much last year to the point that they would have taken him first overall last year. Barnes will be overrated if you think he’s going to be Kobe Bryant–as he was touted in high school–but if you think of him more like Danny Granger, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

5

Andre Drummond

C 6’11” 275 lbs UConn 18 Years Old

The Kings don’t really need more raw, young players, but they need size, and they need defense. Enter, Andre Drummond. One of the bigger enigmas of the draft, Drummond has all the talent in the world but a questionable work ethic. If he can put it all together, he’s Andrew Bynum. If he’s not fully committed, he’s Kwame Brown. But if Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins both play to their full potential….. look out NBA.

6

Dion Waiters

G 6’4” 215 lbs Syracuse 20 Years Old

If you’re thinking Waiters is a reach at six, you’re right. The Blazers need help at guard and center, but in this scenario, Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond are off the board. Thomas Robinson is the best player available, but power forward is the one position at which Portland is plenty of depth. Without Brandon Roy, Portland needs a dynamic guard who can score, and that’s exactly what Waiters is.

7

Thomas Robinson

PF 6’9” 237 lbs Kansas 21 Years Old

Golden State would be shocked Robinson fall this far, and although he doesn’t fit a particular need, he’s too good of value to pass up on at this point. There are some question as to if Robinson’s offensive game will translate to bigger, stronger NBA players, but Robinson won’t have as much pressure of the bench behind Andrew Bogut and David Lee.

8

Perry Jones III

F 6’11” 235 lbs Baylor 20 Years Old

For the longest time, Perry Jones III was projected to be the first pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but he made the shocking decision to return to Baylor for his sophomore year. Oh, and he’s got some crazy red flags. Lack of effort. Questionable defense. No sure position. But boy is he talented. Jones was miscast as a big man at Baylor, and he should be able to thrive as more of a perimeter player, if the team that drafts him is willing to play him at the 3. Toronto needs offense and a small forward, so here’s a good fit.

9

Jared Sullinger

PF 6’9” 280 lbs Ohio State 20 Years Old

Detroit is hurting for another blue-collar big-man, and Sullinger fits that bill. Although he’s only 6’9″, Sullinger is very strong, and won’t be matched up against centers any more, as he was at Ohio State. Alongside Greg Monroe, this could be a pretty fearsome front line.

10

Damian Lillard

PG 6’2” 185 lbs Weber State 21 Years Old

Ever since that Chris Paul guy left, New Orleans has been looking for a replacement. That’s not Damian Lillard. But what Damian Lillard is is a high-scoring point guard with a great shooting touch. He’s not a pure point guard like, say, Kendall Marshall, but he’s a much better athlete and scorer.

11

Tyler Zeller

C 7″ 235 lbs North Carolina 22 Years Old

With their hole at guard already addressed, the Blazers need help at center. I’m not a huge fan of Zeller because of his defense and limited upside, but he can stretch the floor offensively with nice range and above-average court vision. He’s a relatively safe pick.

12

Terrence Jones

F 6’8” 244 lbs Kentucky 20 Years Old

With the departure of Andrew Bogut, the Bucks are seriously hurting for size. Terrence is another weird character–he’s the size of a small forward, but he’s not quick enough to guard the position. He’s got a world of talent, but often will disappear for halves at a time. I see him as a stretch four in the pros–like he played at Kentucky–but he could go much lower than this in the draft.

13

Austin Rivers

G 6’4” 199 lbs Duke 19 Years Old

Talk about start power, Austin Rivers just screams star power. Ask Carolina fans. He may not be the best teammate, but Austin Rivers can rack up points. The Suns really need another guard and lots of scoring, and that’s Rivers. And who knows, maybe Steve Nash can rub off a little of his passing skills on Rivers, who is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body.

14

Meyers Leonard

C 7″ 240 lbs Illinois 20 Years Old

Stuck at the 14th pick again, the Rockets still need a big man. Last year, there were rumors about the Rockets’ interest in Nikola Vucevic, and Meyers Leonard is similarly raw and big. The man’s very athletic and has got some serious defensive potential, but I’m not so sure about his offense.

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