NBA All-Star Weekend 2012: BBVA Rising Stars Game Mock Draft

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIIFebruary 9, 2012

NBA All-Star Weekend 2012: BBVA Rising Stars Game Mock Draft

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    This year the NBA has switched up the format for the annual Rookie/Sophomore Challenge at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game

    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. 

Round 1

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    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.

Round 2

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    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.

Round 3

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    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.

Round 4

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    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. 

Round 5

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    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. 

Round 6

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    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. 

Round 7

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    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. 

Round 8

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    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. 

Round 9

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    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

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    Sir Charles' Team:

    PG—Kyrie Irving

    SG—Kemba Walker

    SF—Landry Fields

    PF—Blake Griffin

    C—Greg Monroe

    BN—Marshon Brooks

    BN—Derrick Williams

    BN—Kawhi Leonard

    BN—Tristan Thompson


    Shaq's Team:

    PG—John Wall

    SG—Ricky Rubio

    SF—Paul George

    PF—Tiago Splitter

    C—DeMarcus Cousins

    BN—Brandon Knight

    BN—Evan Turner

    BN—Gordon Hayward

    BN—Markieff Morris


    Final Score: Shaq's Team 131—Sir Charles' Team 124

    MVP: DeMarcus Cousins