NBA All-Star Weekend 2012: BBVA Rising Stars Game Mock Draft
Instead of the normal game where the top rookies face off against the top sophomores, there will be a draft to determine the two teams that mixes both groups of players.
I believe this was a genius move that will definitely make the game more exciting this year, especially since they've named Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley as the two coaches. The draft will be held next Thursday night, February 16, on NBA TV at 7 P.M.
Here are the two pools of players that the two coaches will draft from.
Sophomores: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers) Paul George (Indiana Pacers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).
Rookies: Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Marshon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves)
I assume they will use a snake format for the draft, which means the teams will alternate who selects first each round. Sir Charles has won the coin toss and will select first.
Sir Charles: Blake Griffin
Griffin is the best player in this draft and is the obvious choice as first overall pick for Barkley.
Shaq: John Wall
Wall is the next best player and will be looking to repeat his MVP performance from last year's Rookie Challenge for Team Shaq.
Shaq: DeMarcus Cousins
Shaq will draft the big man to compliment his first round pick of Wall. Cousins is going to dominate the paint and is my pick for MVP of this game.
Sir Charles: Kyrie Irving
Kyrie will be the first rookie selected, and rightfully so. He has to be the favorite right now for Rookie of the Year.
Sir Charles: Greg Monroe
Sir Charles forms a great front-court duo with Griffin and Monroe. This pairing will be hard for Shaq's team to compete with.
Shaq: Ricky Rubio
Shaq may not know where Rubio is from, referring to him as "The Italian Pete Maravich," but he does know he'll be able to shine in this type of game.
Shaq: Paul George
Paul George is the best SF available in this draft. Shaq is building a balanced lineup as opposed to just taking the flashy players.
Sir Charles: Kemba Walker
Walker will be looking to score often in this game since he doesn't need to play point guard and look to get his teammates involved when he has the ball.
Sir Charles: Landry Fields
Barkley fills his starting lineup with Knicks' swingman Landry Fields. He doesn't look like he would, but Fields actually has a nice array of dunks in his arsenal.
Shaq: Tiago Splitter
Now you know Shaq wants to win with this pick. Splitter might not be the best available player, but he does fill a need for Shaq's team since he needs more size to stop Griffin and Monroe.
Shaq: Brandon Knight
Shaq breaks up the first pair of teammates and drafts Brandon Knight. You know Knight will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in this one. He definitely didn't like being the fifth guard drafted and not one of the starters.
Sir Charles: Marshon Brooks
Marshon Brooks will be out to prove that if he hadn't gotten injured he would have been one of the top players picked in this draft. He is a sleeper for MVP.
Sir Charles: Derrick Williams
Sir Charles also breaks up a pair of teammates by taking Timberwolves' forward Derrick Williams. Williams hasn't lived up to the hype as the second overall pick so far and will be looking to have a great game to gain some momentum for the second half of the season.
Shaq: Evan Turner
Like Williams, Turner is another former second overall pick, but is only playing in this game for the first time since he was snubbed last season. Expect him to try and make a big impact in this game.
Shaq: Gordon Hayward
Hayward has really stepped up as starter for the Jazz this season. He will definitely see a lot of minutes for Shaq's team in this game since the other two bench players he drafted were both guards.
Sir Charles: Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi has played a much larger role than expected this season due to the Spurs injury woes. He has excelled, though, and is currently third in rebounds and fourth in steals for all rookies.
Sir Charles: Tristan Thompson
Finally, out of all four pairs of teammates in the competition, Irving and Thompson are the only pair to be selected on the same team. You know Thompson will be trying to put up stats to prove he shouldn't have been selected in the last round.
Shaq: Markieff Morris
Shaq gets Morris by default with the last pick in the draft. Maybe he'll get lucky and get a car like the last pick in the NHL All-Star Game draft got.
Teams & Prediction
Sir Charles' Team:
Final Score: Shaq's Team 131—Sir Charles' Team 124
MVP: DeMarcus Cousins