With the draft lottery in the books and the NBA Finals looming in the distance, there can only be one thing that's for sure: It's time for the NBA mock drafts to pile up.
This is mock draft season. It's likely that there will be a brand new mock draft pop up somewhere around the internet every day until the actual draft takes place on June 28.
But don't be fooled! This is the only mock draft you'll need to read. Actually, don't even bother watching the actual draft. These are the picks, and that's the way it's going to stay *.
With each slide (in the first round, at least), I've addressed specific team needs and their 2012 free agents. Like most drafts, "needs" aren't always addressed. Occasionally, a player will be drafted because he's the "best available," so don't be alarmed if you see this.
Feel free to agree or disagree with any of these picks, and let your presence be known in the comments.
* Actuality of this happening is not likely.
Height, Weight: 6'10", 220 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Eric Gordon (R), Darryl Watkins (R), Marco Belinelli, Chris Kaman, Carl Landry
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the New Orleans Hornets end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft. I say "somewhat" because the conspiracy of the draft lottery being rigged lives on!
So, fans of the Hornets, say hello to your prize—Kentucky freshman phenom Anthony Davis.
Davis would be the selection for any team that won the lottery, but the New Orleans Hornets need a guy like Davis, so this is a really, really good fit. If the Hornets can re-sign Chris Kaman, then Davis becomes an even better pick.
I say this because Davis, despite his length and shot-blocking ability, isn't quite ready to play center in the NBA. He is, however, going to be a very good power forward from the get go. He already has an established mid-range game, can finish at the rim and runs fast breaks better than most bigs already in the league.
Getting Davis may be enough of a reason for Eric Gordon to stick around, as well. Even though Gordon is a restricted free agent, there's no doubt he's going to get some offers. With Davis on the roster, the Hornets are now back on the rise.
Congrats, New Orleans.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 232 pounds
Team Needs: All
Free Agents: D.J. Augustin (R), Derrick Brown (R), Cory Higgins (R), D.J. White (R), Matt Carroll (ETO), DaSagana Diop (P), Eduardo Najera
Poor Michael Jordan. Charlotte had a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft; alas, he has to settle for No. 2.
Davis was the perfect fit for Charlotte, who is in desperate need of a dominant power forward. He could have paired with Bismack Biyombo for a dominant defensive front court. It would have been a franchise-changing selection.
Now who does he pick? The Bobcats are still going to wind up with a great player, he's just not going be as great as Davis. Regardless, he has some options: Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Thomas Robinson, etc...
However, I think Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the selection, even if he's not the best fit. He's the hardest worker on both ends of the court in the draft and is one of the most dominant transition players in the draft.
His jump shot is still a work in progress, but he's going to bring leadership and the right attitude to a Bobcats team that is still searching for an identity.
The Bobcats really need to find somebody in this draft who can shoot threes, and I don't think that needs to be addressed with this pick. They're going to get that player at No. 31.
If Kidd-Gilchrist isn't the selection, then Thomas Robinson is probably going to be their guy.
Height, Weight: 6'3", 207 pounds
Team Needs: SG, SF, PF
Free Agents: Brian Cook, Maurice Evans, Cartier Martin, Roger Mason, James Singleton
Here is the Wizards' current starting five (or at least their five best options): John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Kevin Seraphin, Nene.
After you throw in Jan Vesely (their top pick from last season), Trevor Booker (who actually starts) and Andray Blatche (who should be better than he plays), that at least sounds like a formidable eight-man rotation. The problem is that Vesely, Booker and Blatche are both forwards, and while Chris Singleton may be their weakest starter, adding another player that's similar to him isn't going to help things.
The Wizards need shooters. Their best shooter is arguably Jordan Crawford, who finished the season as a 29 percent three-point shooter.
Enter Bradley Beal—a solid combination of Ray Allen and Eric Gordon. Beal could be a starter from day one, giving the Wizards a really great backcourt.
This pushes Crawford back to his more comfortable (and suitable) sixth man role, where he can come in, ignite the offense and really make a name for himself.
In close games, doesn't a Wall-Beal-Crawford-Seraphin-Nene lineup sound better than what's currently there?
The answer is yes.
Height, Weight: 6'10", 270 pounds
Team Needs: SG, SF, C
Free Agents: Semih Erden (R), Alonzo Gee (R), Luke Harangody (R), Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker
The Cavaliers are likely pretty bummed they fell out of the top three and missed out on Bradley Beal. Beal was the perfect complement for Kyrie Irving and would have given the Cavaliers a young and talented backcourt for many years to come.
However, the Cavaliers also have a need for a big man, and Drummond, although he does have a lot of bust potential, has maybe the most upside in the entire draft class.
The Cavaliers have four picks in this draft (if they use them all), and I still think they can get a good shooting guard or small forward with their second first-round pick or possibly even trade up in order to get a guy they really covet.
If Drummond is able to live up to his potential, then this is a fantastic pick for the Cavaliers, who currently have Anderson Varejao playing out of position as their center. Tristan Thompson will be their power forward of the future, and putting Drummond next to him makes their frontcourt pretty scary defensively.
The more I talk about it, the more I like this pick for the Cavaliers, especially considering their other three picks in this draft. The Cavaliers are going to have a chance to have a very, very good draft.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 237 pounds
Team Needs: SF, PF, C
Free Agents: Donte Greene (R), Jason Thompson (R), Terrence Williams (R)
With Davis, Beal, Drummond and Kidd-Gilchrist now off the board, the Sacramento Kings officially have two choices remaining: Thomas Robinson or Harrison Barnes.
The Kings, in my opinion, have a need for both small forward and power forward—Tyreke Evans is listed as their starting small forward (what?). If the draft plays out this way, the Kings will likely just take the best available of the two, and I believe that to be Robinson.
Robinson will complement DeMarcus Cousins rather nicely in Sacramento. If the Kings can retain Jason Thompson, I'm not sure Robinson will become an instant starter. Thompson is a sneaky good forward who certainly has a few inches on Robinson, but Robinson is the long-term option.
If the Kings aren't able to retain Thompson, then things are going to get interesting. Robinson will undoubtedly slide into the starting power forward role, but that would only leave Chuck Hayes waiting to come off the bench (if Donte Greene fails to return as well).
Robinson will bring high energy and leadership to a lineup that desperately needs it. He's the type of player the Kings need.
Height, Weight: 6'3", 195 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SG, C
Free Agents: Nicolas Batum (R), J.J. Hickson (R), Jamal Crawford (P), Raymond Felton, Jonny Flynn, Joel Przybilla, Hasheem Thabeet, Shawne Williams (P)
This may be a shocking pick to some, but this is one of those picks that's based entirely on need with the lingering threat that their pick may not be around at No. 11 (their next pick).
After trading away Andre Miller for Raymond Felton, the Trail Blazers looked like they were going to be younger, better and primed to contend in the Western Conference. That never happened.
Felton has been rather miserable all year, and the chances of him staying through free agency are slim. The Trail Blazers are also possibly losing Jonny Flynn and Jamal Crawford, thinning out their backcourt to an extreme measure.
The Blazers have to address that need with either their first or second pick of the first round, and I don't think they will want to wait and see what happens. Damian Lillard, point guard out of Weber State, is going to be their pick.
Lillard is of the hybrid-point guard mold a la Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, but he's going to need some time to develop (a la Westbrook, as well). Lillard averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds and four assists as a senior last season.
In a league that's currently being taken over by hybrid point guards, give me Lillard over Kendall Marshall any day.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 215 pounds
Team Needs: SG, SF, PF
Free Agents: Mickell Gladness (R), Brandon Rush (R), Chris Wright (R), Dominic McGuire, Mikki Moore, Nate Robinson
Golden State is happy that it gets to keep its actual first-round pick instead of having to give it up to the Utah Jazz, and they're even happier that Harrison Barnes fell in its lap.
Barnes will bring a dynamic offensive skill set to an offense that loves to score a lot of points. It's a great fit for everybody!
After having a banner year in 2011, Dorell Wright came back down to earth last season. He may be better suited as a sixth man, leaving a spot open in the starting rotation for Barnes.
With Klay Thompson emerging as a promising shooting guard, and a hopefully healthy Stephen Curry running the point, the Warriors will have a very talented and young group to grow with.
The Warriors have three picks remaining, and they will need to address depth at the power forward and shooting guard—but getting Barnes at No. 7 is a home run.
Height, Weight: 6'11", 235 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Solomon Alabi (R), Alan Anderson (R), Ben Uzoh (R), Jerryd Bayless, Aaron Gray, Jamaal Magloire
At this point, the Raptors are kind of bummed they fell to the No. 8 pick and have watched all their best fits already get called, so they're just going to with the best available.
In this case, Perry Jones III is the player left on the board with the most upside who fits the best in their lineup.
Despite being a lengthy 6'11", Jones is a tweener/combo forward who could be a really tough guard at either position if he continues to develop. He can do anything on the court, a la LeBron James, albeit a very, very, poor man's LeBron James.
The knock on Jones was evident if you ever saw him play while at Baylor: He's too passive. His talent and body were in another class than most of the competition he saw, but we hardly ever saw him get aggressive and take over games.
There were times in the Big 12 Tournament last season that Jones looked like the most dominant player in all of college basketball, but he disappears too often to even be considered a top-five selection.
As a Raptor, Jones will have a chance at the small forward position right away, but he may come off the bench for awhile if they want him at power forward. The emergence of Jonas Valanciunas next season might push him down to small forward, anyway.
Height, Weight: 7'0", 250 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Vernon Macklin (R), Walker Russell (R), Jason Maxiell (P), Ben Wallace, Damien Wilkins
The Detroit Pistons have needed help ever since Chauncey Billups left after the 2008 season.
With Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell possibly headed out of town, the Pistons need to spend their first-round pick on a frontcourt player. A good fit is North Carolina's John Henson, who I have seen the Pistons taking in several mock drafts, but a better fit is Henson's teammate, Tyler Zeller.
Zeller is the most polished seven footer in the draft. He has the ability to score in the low post or face up and drive to the basket on offense, and defensively he is good enough to get by due to his size, but he's only going to get better.
Zeller will be able to start at center in Detroit, which will make things a lot easier on Greg Monroe. Monroe is a super-talented power forward, but he has been had to play as an undersized center a lot in Detroit. Zeller's presence will open up Monroe's offensive game to a whole new level.
If the Pistons were to select Henson, I wouldn't be shocked. Henson is the second-best shot blocker in the draft next to Anthony Davis, and his defensive prowess would be a nice asset next to Monroe as well.
Zeller is a better long-term fit, though, and he's going to be a hard worker from day one.
Height, Weight: 6'5", 185 pounds
Picks Already Made: Anthony Davis, PF/C (No. 1)
After the Hornets draft Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick, they really have a plethora of options with their second selection in the top 10.
Originally, I thought Jared Sullinger out of Ohio State would be a great fit here because he reminds me a lot of former Hornets star David West. However, with Davis now on the roster, drafting Sullinger feels unnecessary.
While I think Eric Gordon will be inclined to re-sign with the team with Davis around, that doesn't change the fact that Marco Belinelli is also a free agent (not restricted, either, mind you). There's a good chance he won't remain with the team, and if that's the case, the Hornets could use another shooting guard on their roster.
Jeremy Lamb is a really great scorer. He thrives off of moving without the ball, coming off of screens and hitting open jumpers. Lamb would initially provide depth and bench scoring (possible sixth man of the year candidate?), but his size and length make him able to guard small forwards as well.
That means the Hornets could essentially run a lineup of Jarrett Jack, Eric Gordon, Jeremy Lamb, Anthony Davis and (center to be named later) at any time. That's pretty solid.
Height, Weight: 6'11", 225 pounds
Picks Already Made: Damian Lillard, PG (No. 6)
Portland is in the driver's seat at this point. They can do whatever they want with this pick after getting their point guard of the future in Damian Lillard earlier in the round.
The problem is, every pick at this point that fits their needs is a bit of a reach. With J.J. Hickson, Joel Przybilla and Hasheem Thabeet all free agents, I expect the Trail Blazers to use this pick on a forward—somebody who can really help LaMarcus Aldridge.
Arnett Moultrie is a superior athlete with a lot of length, making him a quality power forward on both ends of the court. Moultrie has been impressing scouts in workouts, and he may even work his way into the top 10.
If he's still around at No. 11, the Trail Blazers should grab him quickly. It would have been nice to see Zeller still on the board, as he might be a better complement to Aldridge due to his size and ability to defend NBA-sized centers.
However, Moultrie is going to get stronger, and he's going to eventually be able to start alongside Aldridge to form a pretty dynamic combo.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see Terrence Jones taken here. Even though he's a combo forward, his game is a nice combination of Gerald Wallace and Josh Smith. With Wallace no longer on the roster, Jones could be the guy to jump in and fill that void.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 252 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SF, C
Free Agents: Kwame Brown, Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Beno Udrih (P)
Milwaukee has been sitting tight at No. 12, and while a late lottery pick in most other drafts wouldn't mean much, the Bucks get a potential starter in Terrence Jones.
Jones is a great fit in Milwaukee next to Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. When he wants to, Jones can completely take over games and become a dominant force on both ends of the court.
That tends to the problem, though—"when he wants to." Otherwise, Jones is possibly the most diverse player in the draft. He's Perry Jones III with less upside but more immediate impact.
Now that Andrew Bogut is out of the picture, the Bucks need to do everything they can to re-sign Ersan Ilyasova. An Ilyasova/Jones—Drew Gooden/Ekpe Udoh frontcourt rotation doesn't sound bad at all.
The Bucks might look at Illinois center Meyers Leonard with this pick due to his upside and size, but that would be a legitimate reach that might not pan out. Jones is a better bargain.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 195 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SG
Free Agents: Aaron Brooks (R), Robin Lopez (R), Shannon Brown, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Ronnie Price, Michael Redd
How did Kendall Marshall fall this far, you say? Honestly, I'm not sure, but the Phoenix Suns are loving it.
Marshall has a chance to go to Portland (picks No. 6 and No. 11), Toronto (pick No. 8) and New Orleans (pick No. 10), but I really do think all of those teams are going to look elsewhere with their picks. That means Marshall will fall right into Phoenix's lap.
With the Steve Nash era coming to an end (hopefully for him, anyway), it's time for the Suns to start rebuilding around a new point guard, and Marshall is a terrific candidate for the job. Marshall is the best pure point guard in the draft, and he's going to be an assist machine in Phoenix just like Nash was.
The popular pick is Austin Rivers, because Phoenix needs "star power" in order to sell tickets, fill seats, gain revenue, etc... However, Marshall is going to make the team a lot better than Rivers, and a better record means better fans, means more profit, etc...
Marshall to the Suns, book it.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 200 pounds
Team Needs: PG, PF, C
Free Agents: Courtney Lee (R), Earl Boykins, Marcus Camby, Goran Dragic
I've had the Houston Rockets taking a frontcourt player (in my head) with their first selection for the past few weeks, but if Austin Rivers is still on the board at No. 14, I think the Rockets are going to pull the string.
With Earl Boykins, Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee possibly out of town, the Rockets will be in need of some backcourt depth. Rivers is a combo guard who has the potential to develop into a starting point guard, but in all reality is more of a shooting guard.
He plays best with the ball in his hands, creating his own shot—he's a lot like Jamal Crawford in every facet of the game.
Rivers may come off the bench as a sixth man for awhile, and that will probably be a really nice role for him as long as he can get used to it. Rivers will be the heir-apparent to Kevin Martin at shooting guard and will provide a lot of offense for a Rockets team that's already rather efficient.
Should be a good fit for both sides.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 280 pounds
Team Needs: SG, PF, C
Free Agents: Lavoy Allen (R), Jodie Meeks (R), Sam Young (R), Tony Battie, Elton Brand (ETO), Spencer Hawes, Lou Williams (ETO)
The Philadelphia 76ers will have a lot to work with when it's their turn to make their pick. Luckily, in this year's draft, picking outside the lottery doesn't automatically mean selecting a guy with only backup potential.
The 76ers are in need of two things: more consistent scoring and more depth in their frontcourt. With Lavoy Allen, Tony Battie, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes all free agents, I'd say frontcourt depth may be the most important issue.
There are a few options the 76ers could go with, such as Illinois' center Meyers Leonard, Syracuse center Fab Melo or Iowa State PF Royce White, but I think Ohio State PF Jared Sullinger is the pick if he's still on the board.
Honestly, Sullinger could go anywhere between picks No. 5 and No. 15, but I think he's going to measure smaller than his listed 6'9", and because he struggled against bigger/longer players last season, teams may not want to take a chance on him.
However, Philadelphia will be ecstatic to see him fall. Sullinger is a dominant rebounder and efficient scorer. He has a little bit of David West and Elton Brand in his game, and he could very well be Brand's full-time replacement.
This is a good fit and good value for the No. 15 pick.
Height, Weight: 7'1", 245 pounds
Picks Already Made: Austin Rivers, PG/SG (No. 14)
The Rockets could have gotten a steal with Rivers at pick No. 14, and now, just two picks later, they get another solid project in Illinois' center Meyers Leonard.
At 7'1" with a 7'3" wingspan, Leonard has tremendous upside in the league as a defender, which is the area of his game that is the most polished already. As a sophomore at Illinois, Leonard averaged a near double-double, including 1.9 blocks per game.
He's still raw offensively, but he'll have time to develop. The Rockets won't be expecting him to be an offensive powerhouse his rookie season.
Marcus Camby is a free agent (and 38 years old), and Samuel Dalembert was only ever meant to be a solid rotation player—Leonard will be the center of the future in Houston.
These are Houston's only two selections in the draft, but with Rivers and Leonard, the Rockets have made the most of their limited time.
Height, Weight: 6'10", 210 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Brian Cardinal, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Jason Terry, Delonte West, Yi Jianlian
I'm not sold on John Henson's ability to become a starting power forward in the NBA. However, with Brian Cardinal, Ian Mahinmi and Yi Jianlian all free agents, the Mavericks really need to bolster their frontcourt with this pick.
Re-signing Mahinmi should be a necessity this summer, but he has played well enough to garner attention from other teams. If he's not retained, Henson should come in and provide solid depth and production behind Dirk.
Henson is likely the second-best shot blocker in the draft behind Anthony Davis. He will be able to bring in the defensive intensity that Tyson Chandler left behind after his departure to the New York Knicks.
All in all, this is a solid pick for the Mavericks, but it's not a "sexy" pick by any means. Other guys that the Mavericks might look at with this pick are Terrence Ross, Dion Waiters, Royce White and Fab Melo.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 195 pounds
Team Needs: SG, SF, C
Free Agents: Michael Beasley (R), Anthony Randolph (R), Anthony Tolliver
Post-lottery will be the time for shooting guards to shine. The Timberwolves still have a lot of choices on the board.
However, I think it's safe to assume the Timberwolves will be happy to see Terrence Ross still around. Shooting guard is the biggest need for the Timberwolves, and Ross brings scoring and a lot of potential to the table.
Ross has terrific size for a shooting guard at 6'6", but he could really use some time in the weight room to beef up his frame.
There's a really good possibility that Ross could be a day-one starter for the Timberwolves given their current situation at shooting guard. Wayne Ellington hasn't exactly panned out the way the Timberwolves would have liked.
While I think Ross is the pick that makes the most sense, I can almost guarantee he won't be selected. Timberwolves GM David Kahn usually keeps me guessing.
Height, Weight: 6'5", 205 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SF, C
Free Agents: Ryan Anderson (R), DeAndre Liggins (R), Earl Clark (P), Jameer Nelson (P), Daniel Orton
First Terrence Ross, now Tony Wroten. Yes, that's right—back-to-back Huskies.
Wroten has all the talent in the world; I'm just not sure he was able to showcase it very well at Washington. Honestly, had he stayed another year to develop his jump shot more, he could have been a top five or top 10 pick in 2013.
The time to reflect on what could have been is gone, though, and Wroten should still be a top 20 pick. He has the chance to go to Dallas at No. 17, here with Orlando at No. 19, or even to Denver at No. 20.
With Jameer Nelson hitting the free-agent market, drafting a point guard with huge upside seems like a safe bet for Orlando.
I think Wroten has the chance to be an All-Star if he can develop offensively. He already has great court vision and tremendous size for a point guard; he just needs to start hitting his jumpers consistently.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 210 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SG, C
Free Agents: Rudy Fernandez (R), JaVale McGee (R), Andre Miller
Dion Waiters is a prospect I can't really seem to figure out. He's technically a combo guard, but his more natural position is off the ball at shooting guard—even though he's a bit undersized.
He was a sixth man for Syracuse, but he still managed to average 12.6 points per game in 24 minutes per game, which was good enough for the second best points per game average on the team.
He lacks a consistent jump shot, but he is an excellent slasher and can likely finish at the rim better than any guard in the draft. I guess what I'm trying to say is, "What in the world is this guy's potential?"
I have him falling to No. 20, where he could definitely help out the Nuggets' backcourt depth, especially if Andre Miller bolts. However, ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford has Waiters pegged as the ninth best player on his big board.
Is he going to be Dwyane Wade? Is he going to be a serviceable rotation player? I'm honestly not too sure at this moment, but he's good enough to take a chance on at No. 20.
Denver already has a young and talented roster—Waiters would just strengthen its depth even more.
Height, Weight: 7'0", 250 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Greg Stiemsma (R), Ray Allen, Brandon Bass (P), Marquis Daniels, Keyon Dooling, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green, Ryan Hollins, Sasha Pavlovic, Mickael Pietrus
Look at all those free agents! I highly doubt that all of these guys re-sign with Boston, and that includes Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Regardless, the Celtics are going to look like a different team next season, and with three selections in this year's draft, they are on the right track to building a young and talented roster.
Some may say that Fab Melo at No. 21 is a bit of a reach, but I think he's a perfect fit for the Celtics. Since Kendrick Perkins was traded, the Celtics really haven't had a legitimate center to complement Garnett.
Melo is raw offensively, but there's no questioning his defense. He averaged 2.9 blocks per game last season as a sophomore, and he's only going to get better. He will bring back the defensive presence that Perkins left behind.
Not to mention, getting a legitimate seven-footer with loads of upside at No. 21 is outrageous.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 270 pounds
Picks Already Made: Fab Melo, C (No. 21)
With back-to-back selections, the Celtics can really take their time and pick who they believe are the best available prospects still on the board. After taking Melo the pick before, the Celtics will be looking to add more youth and depth to their front line.
Royce White, forward out of Iowa State, is the most talented player left on the board, but he's also the toughest to player left to figure out.
White's most natural position is "point forward" a la LeBron James. He has the strength to play inside and the athleticism to play outside. He's skilled with the ball and is a tremendous passer for his position.
So what's the knock on White? All this sounds great, yet he's a late first-round pick?
White has a few red flags that teams may not want to take a chance on, the biggest of which involves the fear of flying. Obviously, if you're playing the NBA, half of your season is going to be spent in an airplane.
Still, his talent alone make him a possible steal at No. 22, and he's a player the Celtics should take a risk on. Paul Pierce isn't getting any younger—White could be a starter within a year or two.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 200 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Ivan Johnson (R), Jason Collins, Erick Dampier, Willie Green, Kirk Hinrich, Tracy McGrady, Jannero Pargo, Vladimir Radmanovic, Jerry Stackhouse
The Atlanta Hawks are almost always the team that plays just well enough to get a No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the playoffs and then lose in the first round. I'm not sure how it keeps happening, but it's actually pretty interesting.
The Hawks have a good core group of guys in Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford, and when Jeff Teague is playing up to his potential, they look like a really tough team to stop.
Still, the Hawks are always missing a true small forward. Marvin Williams never really worked out, Joe Johnson is a more natural shooting guard and Josh Smith is a more natural power forward.
While adding a backcourt player with this pick is a possibility, I think this is a great year to draft their small forward of the future. At pick No. 23, they still have a few small forwards left on the board that could make a big impact.
Consequently, I have them selecting a small forward that may not be making such an immediate impact. Quincy Miller out of Baylor has the size and athleticism to be a star, but after a shaky freshman season at Baylor, his transition to the NBA is going to a work in progress.
Still, after developing and adding some strength, Miller has the upside to be a starter in the league for a long time. Had he stayed for his sophomore season, he'd likely be a top 10 selection. Getting Miller at No. 23 is a steal.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 208 pounds
Picks Already Made: Andre Drummond, C (No. 4)
With four selections in this year's draft, the Cavaliers could be ready to make some noise in the NBA as soon as next season. Their roster keeps getting younger and more talented—they're on the right track.
After selecting Drummond with their first pick, who arguably has the most upside as any player in this year's draft, the Cavaliers will use their second pick of the first round on another one-and-done college player.
Moe Harkless, small forward out of St. John's, was one of the most productive freshman in college basketball last season. Averaging over 15 points and eight rebounds per game, Harkless proved that he could dominate Big East competition as an 18-year old.
There's a chance Harkless could go higher than this, but given his inconsistent jump shot and his ability to disappear in games, I think he'll fall right into Cleveland's lap at No. 24.
The Cavaliers are in a big need of a small forward they can develop into a great starter, and Harkless is their guy. He may begin next season coming off the bench, but he's definitely a future starter.
His frame and style of play remind me a lot of Rudy Gay, and I think he has that kind of potential.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 170 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SG
Free Agents: Darrell Arthur (R), Lester Hudson (R), O.J. Mayo (R), Marreese Speights (R), Gilbert Arenas, Hamed Haddadi
We might disagree on this. Frankly, I think No. 25 is too high for Lamb. You might think it's too low. What we can most definitely agree on, though, is that Lamb can be a lights-out three-point shooter, which is exactly what the Grizzlies need.
With O.J. Mayo being a free agent (even though he's restricted), I'd say that the Grizzlies will most definitely be using this pick on a backcourt player. If Lamb isn't the choice, then it could be his teammate Marquis Teague or Vanderbilt's John Jenkins.
Still, I like Lamb's shooting ability and the upside he's going to bring to the Grizzlies. Lamb kind of flew under the radar at Kentucky, but he was still able to average nearly 14 points per game.
With Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Jones and Teague as your teammates, 14 points per game is a pretty nice accomplishment.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 226 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Roy Hibbert (R), George Hill (R), A.J. Price (R), Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Kyrylo Fesenko, Dahntay Jones
The Indiana Pacers gave the Miami Heat everything they had in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and they came up just short. Still, the intensity and competitiveness they showed bodes well for their future.
The Pacers already have a talented core group of guys, but they could use better depth at most positions. Drafting a shooter like John Jenkins could be a smart idea with this pick, especially with Leandro Barbosa and Dahntay Jones being free agents.
However, I think the Pacers will go with Jenkins' teammate Jeff Taylor instead. While Jenkins may be a better shooter, Taylor is more NBA-ready and is a polished defender.
The Pacers don't really have a backup option for Danny Granger, and Taylor would fit that role very nicely. He still needs some work on his jump shot, but he has already improved it greatly in the past year.
Taylor might not be a superstar at the next level, but he is most definitely going to be a better-than-average backup in Indiana with the potential to become a starter.
Height, Weight: 6'11", 255 pounds
Team Needs: PF, C
Free Agents: Terrel Harris (R), Eddy Curry, Juwan Howard, Ronny Turiaf (P)
The Miami Heat look poised to get back to the NBA Finals, and they still don't have a legitimate center. Joel Anthony can only do so much—even though I'll admit he's a solid defender.
With their only selection in this year's draft, the Heat have a chance to draft a guy in the late first round who could potentially be their starting center for the next decade.
Did I already say this draft was deep?
Miami is the perfect spot for Festus Ezeli to land. He may not be a solid candidate for every team's center for the next decade, but he does enough to complement Miami's superstars very well.
Ezeli is a great on-ball defender and an even better shot blocker. While his post game could use some work on offense, he does have the ability to score—he has averaged double-digit points his last two seasons at Vanderbilt.
For a near seven-footer, Ezeli is really athletic. For as much as the Heat like to run, Ezeli will be able to keep up.
I can't see a better fit for the Heat, especially since Eddy Curry, Juwan Howard and Ronny Turiaf are all potentially gone next season.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 220 pounds
Team Needs: SF, PF, C
Free Agents: Derek Fisher, Royal Ivey, Nazr Mohammed
The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the youngest and most talented rosters in the NBA. They've made it to the Western Conference Finals two seasons in a row, and they look like they're going to be the team to beat in the West for years to come.
So what more do they need? The Thunder run two deep at each position, but what they really lack is a forward who can score in the paint.
Andrew Nicholson might not have a refined post game yet, but he's getting there and he's the best fit for the Thunder at pick No. 28. Nicholson was a four-year star at St. Bonaventure, but playing at a small school made him fly under the radar.
If he's still on the board at No. 28, there's no doubt he'll be on Thunder GM Sam Presti's radar. Nicholson is a strong defender, which will fit in nicely next to Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Offensively, he'll be able to stretch defenses as he has a great mid-range game already.
Nicholson is also a smart pick for the Thunder, who may be looking into the future with this selection. Both James Harden and Serge Ibaka will be free agents after next season, and while the Thunder would like to keep both around, it may be hard due to the contracts they'll both expect.
Harden is the reigning sixth man of the year, and my guess is that the Thunder will be more inclined to keep him around and find a replacement for Ibaka. Nicholson could be that guy.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 215 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Omer Asik (R), Mike James, John Lucas III, Brian Scalabrine
Let's go ahead and put this out in the open: If the Bulls fail to retain Brian Scalabrine, then they have absolutely no chance at winning a title next year.
Okay, maybe that was a lie, but I know you all were thinking it when you read he was a free agent.
On a more serious note, the Bulls are in an excellent position to draft the best available player who will fit into their rotation. With Derrick Rose likely to miss a majority (if not all) of next season, drafting Marquis Teague could be an option.
However, then it gets awkward when C.J. Watson beats him out for a starting position and Rose comes back healthy. I think the Bulls will use this pick to strengthen their weakest position—shooting guard.
In an effort to bolster this position last season, the Bulls signed Rip Hamilton to a two-year deal through next season. However, due to Hamilton's consistently lingering injuries, adding another shooting guard is a good idea.
John Jenkins is a great fit for the Bulls, and he will provide another scoring threat to a team that can already score at will.
When Rose gets healthy, Jenkins will be able to complement Rose's ability to get to the rim by being a constant perimeter threat.
Height, Weight: 6'2", 179 pounds
Picks Already Made: Harrison Barnes, SF (No. 7)
Marquis Teague is finally off the board! Why is he going to fall to the last pick of the first round, you ask? I just don't think any team after maybe the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 25 are going to want to draft a point guard.
Even at No. 30, the Golden State Warriors don't need to draft him. In fact, their backcourt looks pretty nice with promising young talent like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins.
Still, Curry tends to be injured quite a bit, and even though Jenkins is capable of running the point, the Warriors would be better off with a true point guard taking over the starting duties if an injury were to occur.
Teague has the ability to be a starting point guard in the NBA, and eventually he will be. He was able to co-lead his Kentucky team to a national championship as a freshman, and he proved that he had all the tools and upside to be a first-round draft pick and future starter.
The problem is that he's likely not going to get drafted by a team that needs him to start immediately, and maybe that's a good thing in the long run.
In Golden State, Teague will be able to develop his already impressive talents while finding a consistent jump shot to rely on. He's too talented to slip out of the first round.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 175 pounds
Picks Already Made: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF (No. 2)
Well, it's the second round, so you know what that means: Analysis stops being a page long.
However, in a deep draft like this, I honestly believe that every single one of these second-round picks has the potential to be, at worst, a solid rotational player. There are even some guys that I think could develop into starters.
Let's start with Will Barton, who I have going to the Bobcats with the first pick in the second round. Barton has first-round talent, and he's a guy who I could see starting for the Bobcats almost immediately.
Barton had a great sophomore season at Memphis, averaging 18 points and eight rebounds per contest. He's a scoring threat at all times, as he's able to both get to the rim at will and shoot it from deep.
What Barton lacks, however, is an NBA-ready frame—saying that he's 175 pounds might be helping him out a little. With that being said, Kevin Durant has proven that skinny guys can still be big-time scorers in the NBA.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 206 pounds
Picks Already Made: Bradley Beal, SG (No. 3)
"At pick No. 32 in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select: Wait, what? I forgot international players were still in this draft!"
That's what I want to hear during June's draft, but unfortunately the odds of this happening go down now that it's the second round and David Stern is no longer going up to the podium. It's all on you, Adam Silver.
France's Evan Fournier is the only international player in this year's draft who really has a chance to go in the first round, which is a pretty odd thing to say. Fournier is a skilled shooting guard with excellent size and a knack for getting to the rim.
He still needs to work on his perimeter game, but he could be a solid pick-and-stash player for a year or two while he develops into a really talented player.
The Wizards don't exactly need him. They've already drafted their shooting guard of the future in Bradley Beal and have a competent backup option in Jordan Crawford, but Fournier, at only 19 years old, is too much to pass on if you're the Wizards.
If Fournier does happen to fall in the first round, I think Memphis at No. 25, Indiana at No. 26, Oklahoma City at No. 28 and Chicago at No. 29 are possible destinations.
Height, Weight: 6'5", 205 pounds
Picks Already Made: Andre Drummond, C (No. 4); Moe Harkless, SF (No. 24)
With their third pick in the draft, the Cavaliers keep making solid selections that could eventually be starters. After filling a need with a big man (Drummond) and a small forward (Harkless), it's time for the Cavaliers to address another need—shooting guard.
Remember when I said shooting guard is a deep position in this year's draft? According to my mock draft, Johnson would be the 10th shooting guard taken, and he still has the upside to be a starter. That's ridiculous.
Johnson has been a scoring phenom in college, and it's not just because he went to a small school in Santa Barbara; he has all the necessary tools to be a dominant scorer in the NBA as well.
He's got good size and athleticism, he can score in different ways, such as penetrating or hoisting up treys (43 percent last season) and he has a 39" vertical.
The Cavaliers are in a great position to fill all their needs with high-quality guys if they go big with Drummond on their first selection.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 235 pounds
Picks Already Made: Andre Drummond, C (No. 4); Moe Harkless, SF (No. 24); Orlando Johnson, SG (No. 33)
After drafting three potential starters in this year's draft, the Cavaliers will make their final selection at pick No. 34. Thanks to me, the Cavs have already filled all their needs with quality performers, so now they can really take the best player available.
That just so happens to be Draymond Green, double-double machine out of Michigan State. This is shaping up to be a seriously great draft for the Cavaliers, if I do say so myself.
Though Green dominated at power forward in college, his size does not exactly transition well into the NBA to be a solid power forward. He's now a tweener, and that's the only reason he's going to fall this far in the draft.
Luckily, Green has a great jump shot, solid passing ability and enough athleticism to be a "point forward" type of player. That will help his move into being a small forward in the NBA.
Green will also bring hustle, bringing a strong work ethic and leadership qualities to a Cavs team that will be searching for their identity and place amongst the elite in the East. This is a great fit.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 242 pounds
Picks Already Made: Harrison Barnes, SF (No. 7); Marquis Teague, PG (No. 30)
This could be a little high for Mike Scott, but I think he has the size and talent that the Warriors won't be able to pass up.
Scott had a super productive senior season at Virginia, averaging 18 points and eight rebounds per game. I think he has first-round talent, but his age might keep him from being drafted too high.
He's turning 24 in July, which is still young, don't get me wrong. However, when you compare a 24-year-old power forward to a 20-year-old power forward, the 20-year-old is usually going to get more looks.
The Warriors have already added their small forward of the future and a point guard with starting potential in the first round. With Scott, the Warriors would be adding solid depth and production at the power forward position that is currently all about David Lee. Lee needs help.
This has been a solid draft for the Warriors.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 230 pounds
Picks Already Made: Thomas Robinson, PF (No. 5)
The Kings are in desperate need of a small forward who can come in and play solid minutes as either a starter or a rotation guy, and Darius Miller is their best option.
Miller played a big part in the Kentucky Wildcats' run to a national championship last season. He is a great scorer with deep range, and his style of play should fit into the Kings' scheme quite nicely.
If the Kings want to play small ball with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans all starting, then Miller would be a terrific sixth man off the bench.
That might be the role that he's best suited for, anyway, as he has been a reserve throughout his collegiate career.
Height, Weight: 6'1", 180 pounds
Picks Already Made: Perry Jones III, SF/PF (No. 8)
Scott Machado may be the best "true" point guard in this year's draft class, but he's undersized and likely won't find his way into the first round.
He's still starting point guard material, though, and I don't think it's possible that he'll fall below Toronto at No. 37.
Jose Calderon is still under contract through next season, so this is another situation much like Golden State selecting Marquis Teague at No. 30. While Machado isn't likely to start right away, Calderon gets hurt enough that he's bound to see a lot of playing time while developing his game.
Ben Uzoh, the Raptors' current backup point guard, is a restricted free agent. Uzoh will be entering his third year in the league, and while he did show signs of improvement last season, Machado may be a better long-term fit.
If Machado isn't the selection, look for the Raptors to add a shooting guard who can light it up from the outside. No worries, though, they still have another selection later in this round.
Spoiler alert: Another quality shooting guard is going to be available when they make their next selection.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 185
Picks Already Made: Dion Waiters, PG/SG (No. 20)
Like I said earlier, the Nuggets are in a really good position to take a chance on some players who they think are good fits for their team and have the most upside. They already have a young and talented roster, so taking some risks might be worth it.
After drafting a combo guard in Dion Waiters in the first round, I have the Nuggets using their second pick of the draft on Tennessee Tech's Kevin Murphy.
Murphy is rising on draft boards after his solid showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, and his offensive prowess is enough to get him an early second-round selection.
Murphy has unlimited range on his jumper, and he proved to be one of the best scorers in college basketball last season, averaging over 20 points per game.
In Denver, Murphy would provide solid depth and bench scoring that would really take the place of what J.R. Smith left behind.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 250 pounds
Picks Already Made: Tyler Zeller, C (No. 9)
Detroit needs help all over. Drafting Zeller with their first pick is going to be a great step in the right direction, and if Kevin Jones is still on the board at No. 39, I would imagine the Pistons will bite.
Jones would provide instant depth and bench scoring and could even develop into a starter. Normally, being a tweener is a hindrance, but I think it actually helps him out in Detroit. He could develop nicely into the starting small forward once Tayshaun Prince is gone (if that ever happens).
Jones really caught fire last season at West Virginia, averaging nearly 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. He can stretch defenses out to the perimeter, but his size allows him to play with his back to the basket, as well.
If he wasn't a tweener, I think he'd be off the board sooner than now. However, I'm sure the Pistons will be fine to see him fall.
Height, Weight: 6'10", 240 pounds
Picks Already Made: Damian Lillard, PG (No. 6); Arnett Moultrie, PF (No. 11)
This could be a reach, but I really like it. After adding two potential starters in the first round, drafting Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn at pick No. 40 gives the Blazers a solid project to develop into a potential starting center.
As of now, I think O'Quinn would be a solid contributor off the bench for Portland, but depth would be the reason he's drafted.
O'Quinn came onto the scene during the NCAA tournament when Norfolk State knocked off Missouri in the first round. O'Quinn was the player of the game, coming up huge with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
He was also named the Mid-Eastern Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. O'Quinn averaged 2.6 blocks per game last season, and his defensive capabilities would complement LaMarcus Aldridge and previously-drafted Arnett Moultrie quite nicely.
O'Quinn is a sleeper pick who could turn out to be a really smart selection.
Height, Weight: 6'4", 194 pounds
Picks Already Made: Damian Lillard, PG (No. 6); Arnett Moultrie, PF (No. 11); Kyle O'Quinn, C (No. 40)
The Blazers are having a really nice draft so far. They've already gotten their point guard of the future in Lillard and have shored up their frontcourt woes in Moultrie and O'Quinn.
Now what? I think it's time for Portland to take the best player available that fits their system. With Jamal Crawford possibly gone due to free agency, Portland should use its last pick of the draft on a guy with Crawford-like potential.
Meet Jared Cunningham—former Oregon State shooting guard with boatloads of potential. He's not exactly the reincarnation of Crawford, but he'll be able to fill the void of bench scoring that Crawford may leave behind.
Cunningham has an underdeveloped jump shot, but he excels at getting to the rim. He could spend his first year developing offensively while still providing a defensive necessity to the Blazers. Last season, Cunningham averaged 2.5 steals per game—that's pretty good, I guess.
Other options for the Blazers final pick are European "everything" (PG/SG/SF) Tomas Satoransky or IUPUI SG/SF Alex Young.
Height, Weight: 6'3", 180 pounds
Picks Already Made: Terrence Jones, SF/PF (No. 12)
Milwaukee really would have liked to see Kyle O'Quinn fall to them at No. 42, but as it stands, taking any remaining center may be too much of a risk with this pick.
That's especially true when a player like Tyshawn Taylor is still on the board. The Kansas Jayhawks' point guard should have been off the board by now, but due to an overwhelming lack of point guard neediness, the Bucks get to cash in on Taylor's talents.
While it's true that the Bucks already have a proven starting point guard in Brandon Jennings, that's really not much of a reason to not draft Taylor, especially because Jennings can easily go cold on any given night.
Beno Udrih is the only other point guard under contract for the Bucks, and he's now a free agent. If the Bucks are unable to retain him, then drafting Taylor becomes a no-brainer. However, even if he does stick around, Taylor has the talent and upside to provide depth and minutes for the Bucks' backcourt.
Taylor is also a really good defender with excellent hands and quickness. This is something that the Bucks' backcourt desperately needs with Jennings and Monta Ellis hanging around.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 210 pounds
Picks Already Made: Quincy Miller, SF (No. 23)
Tomas Satoransky can do a little bit of everything. While Evan Fournier may be the most NBA-ready international prospect, Satoransky is likely the most athletic (see: picture).
Satoransky's athleticism makes him a great two-way player, but the Hawks will likely use him as a pick-and-stash player for a year or two while he continues to develop his jump shot. While this isn't immediate help for a Hawks team that could use some quality depth, it's a good pick for long-term satisfaction.
With so many question marks about who will return after free agency, the Hawks will likely look to sign a few more guys to come in and provide depth for at least this season while Satoransky develops.
Quincy Miller and Satoransky are two quality picks for the Hawks in this year's draft.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 215 pounds
Picks Already Made: Tyler Zeller, C (No. 9); Kevin Jones, PF (No. 39)
The Pistons have already had a nice draft. They've added the depth they needed in the frontcourt with Zeller and Jones, and now it's time to take the best available player who fits their needs.
Tayshaun Prince is getting older and has seen his production slip. Austin Daye, Prince's current backup, hasn't produced the way the Pistons have wanted him to.
It would be smart to take another small forward at this point if one is on the board who has a chance to produce at the next level. Texas A&M's Khris Middleton has a lot of length and a lot of upside.
He's already a nice defender and has a polished mid-range game on offense, but he really needs to work on his perimeter game after only shooting 26 percent from deep as a junior last season.
Middleton could be a gamble, but he's worth the risk for the Pistons.
Height, Weight: 6'5", 205 pounds
Picks Already Made: Jared Sullinger, PF (No. 15)
The 76ers had a chance to draft a shooting guard with their first pick, as Terrence Ross and Dion Waiters were still on the board. After electing to pass in order to shore up their frontcourt, it's time for Philadelphia to draft a shooter.
The best shooter remaining on the board might be Missouri's Kim English, but Ohio State's William Buford isn't far behind and is a much better all-around player.
Buford may have digressed a bit last season, as his three-point percentages dropped from 44 percent as a junior to 36 percent as a senior. However, he was still able to average nearly 15 points per game on only 12 shots per game.
Buford would join former Ohio State star Evan Turner and college teammate Jared Sullinger on the 76ers. Buford would provide immediate backup and three-point shooting help for a team that desperately needs it.
At this point, we might want to start calling them the Philadelphia Buckeyes.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 240 pounds
Picks Already Made: Bradley Beal, SG (No. 3); Evan Fournier, SG/SF (No. 32)
The Wizards should be a better team next season than what they showed this year. They actually have a roster that's loaded with talent, but they never seemed to know how to utilize it last season.
With the guys I have the Wizards taking earlier in the draft, they should be pretty solid at every position. This gives them the opportunity to gamble on a player and hopefully get a star.
Alabama power forward JaMychal Green is one of the most athletic players in the entire draft. He's got an NBA-ready frame and is already a top-notch defender due to his length.
However, even after four years in college, Green is still pretty raw offensively. He doesn't have much of a jump shot, and he still needs to add strength to play with his back to the basketball. He did manage to average at least 14 points per game in each of his last three seasons, though.
There is definite potential and upside with Green; I just don't know if he'll be able to capitalize on that in Washington. The Wizards, though, will be thinking otherwise.
Height, Weight: 6'0", 185 pounds
Team Needs: PG, SG, SF
Free Agents: Blake Ahearn (R), Morris Almond (R), Jeremy Evans (R), Josh Howard, C.J. Miles, Jamaal Tinsley
I really like the way the Jazz's roster is assembled. There's a reason they snuck up on people this year and made it into the Western Conference playoffs, even if it was as an eight seed.
Their frontcourt is solid with Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap, but when you throw in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, two guys who are in the process of developing into big-time players, they appear to be loaded with talent.
Gordon Hayward appears to be shaping up into a nice starting small forward, but with Jeremy Evans and Josh Howard possibly on the outs, I could see the Jazz using this pick on small forward depth.
However, what's more of a concern for the Jazz right now is point guard production. Devin Harris rarely looked like the old Devin Harris last season, Jamaal Tinsley is a free agent (and 34 years old), and Earl Watson is 32.
The Jazz need a talented and young point guard to work into the mix—one who can hopefully transition into being a starter. At pick No. 47, that guy is still on the board, and his name is Tu Holloway.
Holloway is a super athletic point guard who has the ability to both score and pass. The cons with Holloway are his size, as 6'0" might be a stretch.
Still, if this were any other year, Holloway would be gone before this pick even happened. The Jazz could luck out and get a great guard this late in the draft.
Height, Weight: 6'11", 245 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Landry Fields (R), Jeremy Lin (R), Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, Dan Gadzuric, Jared Jeffries, Steve Novak, J.R. Smith (P)
While the New York Knicks are most certainly in a position to take the best available player with the No. 48 pick (their only pick in this year's draft), I have to think they're only going to be zeroing in on two positions: point guard and power forward.
Now that Holloway is off the board, any other point guard in this draft is going to be a reach. Even with all three of their point guards being free agents (Lin, Bibby and Davis), I have to think the Knicks will find a way to retain at least one (Lin) and find a free agent who can back him up.
That leaves power forward—a position where the Knicks could really use depth. Amar'e Stoudemire played uninspired basketball for the majority of the season (when he was healthy, at least), and the Knicks never really had anybody they could rely on to back him up.
Georgetown forward/center Henry Sims is a guy who isn't getting as much love as he should be. Standing at almost seven feet tall, Sims is really quick, can handle the ball, makes good passes and can get to the rim. He plays in a style similar to former Georgetown forward Greg Monroe.
One thing that he needs to improve is his rebounding, as he only averaged six per game last season as a Hoya. This should be a solid pick for the Knicks.
Height, Weight: 7'4", 245 pounds
Picks Already Made: Tony Wroten, PG (No. 19)
After gambling on Wroten in Round 1, the Magic will use their second pick of the draft to bolster their front line.
The Magic already have two solid power forwards in Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis, so what they really need is more depth at center and possibly an insurance policy for Dwight Howard.
The problem with that plan, though, is the lack of remaining center prospects who could make an immediate impact. What the Magic need to do is find immediate depth through free agency and take a chance on an international prospect that they can stash for a year or two.
Serbian center Dusan Cantekin has a chance to be the biggest player in the NBA since Yao Ming. Standing at 7'4" tall, Cantekin is actually rather mobile.
Why would a team not want to take a chance on a guy that big and athletic? It's pretty mind-boggling that more hasn't been mentioned about Cantekin.
For the Magic, getting a guy with that kind of size and upside this late in the draft is a home run.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 220 pounds
Picks Already Made: Dion Waiters, PG/SG (No. 20); Kevin Murphy, SG (No. 38)
It's pick-and-stash time for the Denver Nuggets, as they really don't have the room to add another player to their roster.
After drafting a combo guard with huge upside (Waiters) and a shooting guard who provides instant offense (Murphy), the Nuggets will add a small forward who could develop into a starter—Georgia's Tornike Shengelia.
Shengelia is a lanky forward who is already a great defender and penetrator, but he could ultimately use some time to develop a more consistent jump shot. He's only 20 years old, so after a year or two spent overseas, he could transition into Denver's lineup much more easily.
Drafting a promising small forward makes sense for the Nuggets, who will possibly be losing some depth at small forward after next season. Both Corey Brewer and Jordan Hamilton will become free agents, and I doubt both of them remain with the team.
Height, Weight: 6'2", 215 pounds
Picks Already Made: Fab Melo, C (No. 21); Royce White, SF/PF (No. 22)
The overly productive shooting guard/small forward out of Marquette finally finds a home late in the draft, and the Boston Celtics will be a great place to showcase his abilities.
Johnson-Odom is a really hard worker on both ends of the court. He has deep range on his shot and is strong enough to get to the basket and finish above the rim. There's a reason he averaged over 18 points per game for a solid Marquette team last season.
Teams are greatly aware of his ability—that's not what has made his draft stock plummet. Instead, Johnson-Odom is vastly undersized for his most natural position. You simply cannot be a 6'2" small forward in the NBA.
It's hard even being a 6'2" shooting guard. For that reason, Johnson-Odom will only be drafted if a team thinks it can use his scoring ability off the bench. Boston needs depth at every position, and Johnson-Odom will work hard for his minutes.
After snagging Melo and White in Round 1, Boston finishes off its day with a really nice pick in Johnson-Odom. Good draft.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 235 pounds
Picks Already Made: Harrison Barnes, SF (No. 7); Marquis Teague, PG (No. 30); Mike Scott, PF (No. 35)
Earlier in the draft, I had back-to-back Washington Huskies at No. 18 (Terrence Ross) and No. 19 (Tony Wroten). Now it's time for two Marquette Golden Eagles to be taken back-to-back, only this time it's much, much later in the draft.
This is the perfect example of why production in college isn't a huge deal. Last season, Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder significantly outproduced both Ross and Wroten. However, Ross and Wroten are built for the NBA, where as Johnson-Odom and Crowder will have to be "tweeners."
Crowder is a guy who I'm super high on, though. If I were a GM, I'd take Crowder early in the second round solely based on the amount of effort he's going to bring to every game and every practice.
Crowder played dominantly last season as a combo forward, averaging over 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals per game. His effort on the court made the difference, but he's going to have to transition into being a full-time small forward in the NBA due to his size, and that could take some developing.
Golden State is a solid fit for Crowder early in his career. He won't be called upon to provide right away, but he should still see minutes off the bench for depth, allowing him to gain experience.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 190 pounds
Picks Already Made: Jared Sullinger, PF (No. 15); William Buford, SG (No. 45)
Eric Griffin is a guy who has been rising on draft boards due to his athleticism and upside. If you want proof for his athleticism, look no further than this YouTube video of a dunk he had against NC A&T.
Griffin averaged roughly 16 points and nine rebounds last season and also shot 37 percent from deep. He has a really great chance to be the first player ever drafted out of Campbell University.
Even though the 76ers already drafted a power forward in the first round in Jared Sullinger, drafting Griffin would be more for depth with the hopes that his upside pulls through and he becomes a tremendous talent at the next level.
His ceiling is high due to the fact that he has only been playing basketball for five years, but he needs to add a lot of strength. His 6'8", 190-pound frame is going to get him pushed around at the next level.
However, if he's just going to jump over everybody, he may be in the clear.
Height, Weight: 6'8", 212 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Chauncey Billups, Reggie Evans, Randy Foye, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons, Mo Williams (P), Nick Young
Thompson didn't put up huge numbers last season as a junior, as he averaged roughly 13 points and six rebounds per game. However, he has an NBA-ready physique and does have a lot of upside.
One thing that's going to translate to the NBA very well is his ability to shoot the three. He shot 43 percent from deep as a junior, 46 percent as a sophomore and 44 percent as a freshman. Given his length, he's going to be tough to guard in the NBA.
He needs to get stronger, he needs to work on his ability to penetrate and get to the rim and he needs to work on his passing ability (averaged just 1.5 assists last season, which was a career best).
Still, his shooting ability, length and upside give him great value this late in the draft. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see him taken before this.
He'll be a great asset to the Clippers because of Chris Paul's passing ability and Blake Griffin's ability to draw double-teams. He's going to get a lot of open shots.
Height, Weight: 6'6", 212 pounds
Picks Already Made: John Henson, PF (No. 17)
Alex Young is a really intriguing prospect to me. Like George Hill a few years ago, Young is another guy coming out of IUPUI who has flown under the radar. To be fair, though, Hill may have been more NBA-ready than Young at the time of his departure.
Still, Young possesses a lot of talent and upside that should interest a number of teams late in the second round.
After drafting a power forward who will provide solid depth and production in the first round, the Mavericks can take a chance on Young in the second round. With a year or two under his belt, he could be ready to develop into a starter.
He's got enough size and length to play both wing positions, and he's athletic enough to guard multiple positions.
Young was a volume scorer at IUPUI last season, averaging over 20 points per game. He excels at getting to the rim and being more athletic than the defense (see: picture), but he still needs to work on his perimeter game (only 34 percent from deep last season).
Young will provide good depth behind Shawn Marion next season and could eventually take over the starting role.
Height, Weight: 6'3", 185 pounds
Picks Already Made: Perry Jones III, SF/PF (No. 8); Scott Machado, PG (No. 37)
The Raptors still have plenty of choices this late in the draft, but taking a shooting guard who can knock down threes is a must at this point.
Demar Derozan is a promising shooting guard that the Raptors want to continue to develop, but his strengths are getting to the rim and being a super athlete—not so much shooting the basketball.
If they really want a shooter, than Missouri's Kim English is their man. However, fellow Missouri shooting guard Marcus Denmon can also shoot it pretty well (40 percent from deep last season) and is a better overall player than English.
Denmon was the heart and soul of the Tigers, bringing a tough work ethic and "never give up" type attitude to every game. Getting him this late in the draft is a steal, even if he is undersized for his position.
Height, Weight: 7'0", 260 pounds
Picks Already Made: Terrence Ross, SG (No. 18)
Minnesota can definitely play around with this pick. At No. 57, they still have a plethora of options. They could definitely go with a small forward for depth, such as Syracuse's Kris Joseph, but I think David Kahn goes big.
Justin Hamilton out of LSU is legitimate seven-foot, 260 pound prospect, and the Wolves are getting him with three picks to spare in the draft. Deepest draft class ever?
With that being said, there's no guarantee Hamilton will do anything in the NBA. He has developed into a solid offensive player, but he is still weak defensively. He has impressed scouts in both the Las Vegas and New Jersey workouts, so I'd almost say he's a lock for the second round at this point.
He's a good fit in Minnesota, where the Wolves may be losing Anthony Tolliver. He'll add instant depth and productive bench minutes.
Plus, I really just think Kahn likes drafting semi-awkward, white centers: Darko, Pekovic...
Height, Weight: 6'9", 245 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Sundiata Gaines (R), Armon Johnson (R), Brook Lopez (R), Jordan Farmar (P), Gerald Green, Kris Humphries, Damion James, DeShawn Stevenson, Gerald Wallace (P), Deron Williams (P)
The amount of free agents the Nets are going to have to deal with is ridiculous. Four starters are free agents, and there's a chance that all of them will be playing elsewhere next season.
That doesn't bode well.
However, if Deron Williams sticks around, I think it will be easier to re-sign Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez (though he is restricted, so that makes it easier). Still, there's a lot of other role players who have a chance to get picked up by other teams.
That means the Nets are going to need help and depth wherever they can get it—it's time to choose the best available player, and that's New Mexico's Drew Gordon.
Gordon is a solid power forward with good size and great rebounding ability. He has averaged a double-double for the past two seasons in college and has really progressed his jump shot in that time.
He's still raw in the post and will need to get better at guarding bigger competition, but he's still really good value with the No. 58 pick.
Height, Weight: 6'9", 220 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Daniel Green (R), Patrick Mills (R/P), Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan
If you couldn't tell, the Spurs are pretty solid at every position. They've won 20 straight games and look to be a lock for the NBA Finals this season.
Sure, their big three of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan aren't getting any younger, but they sure look like they're still in their 20s.
With a loaded roster and a deep bench, the Spurs have a good opportunity to draft an international player they can stash for a few years until they need him.
Furkan Aldemir, a power forward from Turkey, is the best remaining international player on the board. He is an elite rebounder despite being a tad undersized, but the rest of his game is still pretty raw.
Keeping him overseas for a few years to develop is a must, and the Spurs have the time and depth to let that happen.
Height, Weight: 6'7", 225 pounds
Team Needs: Best Available
Free Agents: Devin Ebanks (R), Darius Morris (R), Matt Barnes, Jordan Hill, Troy Murphy, Ramon Sessions (R)
The last pick of the draft belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are likely going to look a lot different before next season begins.
What's going to happen with Pau Gasol? Are the Lakers going to get a point guard who can come in and be a legitimate starter? What position should they draft based on their potential trades?
The only question I can answer is the latter, and I think small forward is the answer. Syracuse's Kris Joseph is a possibility, but I'm giving the nod to Baylor's Quincy Acy. Acy, who actually is a more natural power forward, will bring solid production, leadership and great character to the Lakers.
Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller may have been the most talented players on Baylor's roster last season, but there was no doubt that Acy was the heart and soul of the program. Many times during the NCAA tournament, Acy put the team on his back and carried them to victory.
The Lakers are weak at small forward, especially with the possibility of Matt Barnes and Devin Ebanks not returning. Acy is a nice fit and a smart decision.
J'Covan Brown: PG/SG, 6'1", 297 pounds (Texas)
Kim English: SG, 6'6", 200 pounds (Missouri)
Yancy Gates: PF, 6'9", 260 pounds (Cincinnati)
Robbie Hummel: SF, 6'8", 212 pounds (Purdue)
Kris Joseph: SF, 6'7", 215 pounds (Syracuse)
Tony Mitchell: SG/SF, 6'6", 215 pounds (Alabama)
Kostas Papanikolaou: SF, 6'8" 225 pounds (Greece)
Miles Plumlee: PF, 6'10", 245 pounds (Duke)
Jordan Taylor: PG, 6'1", 195 pounds (Wisconsin)
Casper Ware: PG, 5'10", 175 pounds (Long Beach State)
Mitchell Watt: PF, 6'9", 230 pounds (Buffalo)