With the NBA Lottery set to take place tomorrow night on ESPN at 8 PM EST, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the lottery teams in the equation if everything works out the way it is supposed to. Now obviously the lottery makes it impossible to predict where each team will land where in the draft, but based on records and trades this is the current order without the lottery-taking place yet. I will tell you who I think will go where and an NBA comparison to go along with the pick.
1. Charlotte Bobcats – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
Davis is clearly the best prospect coming into this season's draft. He would make the Bobcats better just by being on the floor. His 6'10" frame gives him the perfect body to be a power forward in the NBA and with his shot blocking ability alone, he can become an instant defensive presence in the association. If he can develop his offensive game, he could be one of the best draft picks in a while. I can’t see the Bobcats picking anyone else here.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Garnett
2. Washington Wizards – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
The Wizards desperately need another guy that can score and Gilchrist can be that guy. He adds a big presence with the ability to score from pretty much anywhere on the floor. The Wizards could also go in several different directions with this pick; guys like Thomas Robinson (if they wanted a big man) and Bradley Beal (if they wanted more of a pure shooter) would make sense. However, I feel that Kidd-Gilchrist would be a nice second weapon for John Wall to pass the ball to.
NBA Comparison: Tyreke Evans/Gerald Wallace
3. Cleveland Cavaliers – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
Thomas Robinson would be the perfect pick for the Cavaliers at the third overall selection. They desperately need a big man and the Big 12 Player of the Year would fit that bill perfectly. Robinson averaged 17 PPG and 11 RPG in his junior season and decided it was time to go pro. He brings an inside presence very similar to Anthony Davis, but with a better ability to score. He is extremely explosive at the rim and has a nice jump shot as well.
NBA Comparison: Blake Griffin (with a jump shot)
4. New Orleans Hornets – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
Beal is one of the more unknown talents of this draft and is coming out of college after only one season at Florida. Beal has a unique ability to shoot the ball from three-point range, although at times he is inconsistent. Beal and Eric Gordon would be a very explosive combination in the backcourt next season in New Orleans. Beal would have to improve defensively to be a true NBA shooting guard, but if he worked on his handling ability a little more he could also become a good point guard.
NBA Comparison: Stephen Curry/Ray Allen
5. Sacramento Kings – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes will be a project player who will take a few years to develop at the NBA level, but could turn into a serious weapon for the Kings. Barnes has a very good ability to create his own shot. He also has a nice jump shot and can score from all over the court. He has to get a little bigger but in time could be a great scorer on the NBA stage.
NBA Comparison: Luol Deng
6. Portland Trail Blazers – Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
Drummond would be another project player that would have to develop for a few seasons before he could make an impact night in and night out in the NBA. Drummond has the prototypical NBA center body, but at the moment he really lacks the offensive game to be an effective center at the next level. If he can develop his inside game he could be a huge addition to a Trail Blazers frontcourt that could use another big man. Drummond and LaMarcus Aldridge could be a deadly duo upfront.
NBA Comparison: Andrew Bynum
7. Golden State Warriors – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
Jones could be one of the hidden gems in this draft with his size and athletic ability combining to make a great NBA prospect. His offensive game is very raw but he has the talent to be able to make plays anywhere on the floor. It is not normal to see a guy his size hit from downtown, and so he may even be a small forward. Jones might have the most potential in this whole draft. Jones and a healthy Andrew Bogut down low would be great.
NBA Comparison: Dirk Nowitzki
8. Toronto Raptors – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
This Toronto team desperately needs another guy that can score and Rivers can be that man. His size is the only main concern about his transition to the next level, but the kid is a pure shooter and might have been the best scorer in college basketball this season. He will no doubt make the Raptors a better team.
NBA Comparison: Brandon Roy
9. Detroit Pistons – Tyler Zeller, PF, North Carolina
The Pistons desperately need another big guy down low to compliment Greg Monroe. Zeller adds a good inside game and might be the most fundamentally sound big man in this draft. He’s athletic for a guy that is seven feet tall and can score a bit too, averaging almost 17 PPG his senior season at UNC. Zeller adds a little more size that the Pistons need, though his college teammate, John Henson, would also make sense at this pick.
NBA Comparison: Jeff Foster
10. New Orleans Hornets –Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Sullinger would be a nice second pick in the first ten selections for the Hornets. If they did add a guy like Beal with the fourth pick, they could add another guard like Jeremy Lamb or they could go with a big like Sullinger or John Henson. Sullinger is a talented scorer and already has an NBA ready-type physique. The Hornets will have a nice chance to add to both their front and backcourt in this draft.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
The Trail Blazers really need a guard out of this draft as well as a big man. Lamb would fit their need perfectly as a guard who is a good shooter. However, Lamb can occasionally be inconsistent, and when he's not shooting well he sometimes disappears on the floor. Still, the guard could be a good player in this league strictly because of his shooting ability.
NBA Comparison: Monta Ellis/Kevin Martin
12. Milwaukee Bucks – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
The Bucks really need a big man after the Bogut trade. Henson is a tremendous rebounder and probably the second-best shot blocker in this draft behind Davis. He averaged over 10 RPG and almost 3 BPG in his junior year and can make an instant impact on a Milwaukee team in need of a player like him.
NBA Comparison: Marcus Camby
13. Phoenix Suns – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
With Steve Nash almost certainly departing from Phoenix this summer the Suns will have a serious lack of a point guard. Marshall is the most fundamentally sound point guard in a draft that doesn’t feature a bunch of them. He has the potential to develop into a great point guard in this league; he sees the floor so well. With the point guard position proving to be more and more important in the league, the Suns should aim at one with this pick.
NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd
14. Houston Rockets – Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
Jones would have been a top ten pick had he come out of college after his freshman season, but after a disappointing sophomore campaign his stock has dropped a little. With a stacked frontcourt, Jones couldn’t get the minutes he had his freshman season and his numbers dropped. Still, he is an athletic freak who can score and would be able to play right away for Houston.
NBA Comparison: Josh Smith/Corey Maggette