Who will fill up the big board in 2012?
The 2012 NBA Draft has so much depth that it's challenging to predict any of the picks beyond Anthony Davis at No. 1.
Even though there's general consensus that Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes and Damien Lillard will all safely land in the top 10, even their order is completely up in the air.
The next 20 picks and the second round will be a complete free-for-all.
Rather than simply grasping at everyone else's straws, this mock draft will take some risks, get inside each GM's head and stay grounded within a range of rumored reality. I'm going to shake up the draft board where appropriate but also explain why I'd make that choice if calling the shots.
Share your picks, suggestions and reaction in the comments section below.
By trading away Emeka Okafor and likely letting both Carl Landry and Chris Kaman walk, the New Orleans Hornets have cleared their frontline for Anthony Davis.
As the building block upon which this franchise will be built, Davis will play alongside Jason Smith and Gustavo Ayon, while having to anchor the defense and provide great energy.
Fortunately, that's right up his alley.
If Jarrett Jack isn't traded and Eric Gordon can be re-signed, the Hornets will have a decent nucleus along with a lot of youth on the roster.
Plus, there's still that No. 10 pick to play with.
The Charlotte Bobcats need help all over the roster, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's versatility could be intriguing. The Bobcats have had too many draft flops, and Thomas Robinson is a high-motor, high-confidence sure thing on whom they can depend.
Pairing him with Bismack Biyombo and B.J. Mullens will give the 'Cats some scoring, rebounding and toughness up front while protecting Robinson's very slight size disadvantage.
If he becomes a star, that's great. However, the Bobcats' bigger need is to get reliable starters in place for the next decade.
Besides Anthony Davis' landing with the Hornets, Bradley Beal to the Washington Wizards seems the next surest selection.
The Wizards already have their frontline built around Nene, Emeka Okafor and presumably Trevor Ariza.
So, all that's left is to get a backcourt running mate for John Wall.
Beal's ability to stretch the floor is a no-brainer for a team devoid of any real shooting specialists. Talented swingmen like Harrison Barnes and Kidd-Gilchrist are still on the board at this point, but it would be highly surprising if Washington looks anywhere other than this true shooting guard.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the more talented prospect, but Harrison Barnes had the better draft combine, was already on the Cleveland Cavaliers' radar last year and is the better scorer.
Barnes isn't the jack-of-all-trades defender and rebounder that Kidd-Gilchrist is, but Cleveland needs offense more than they do another scrapper.
Kyrie Irving needs options who can stretch and run the floor while pulling double-teams away from him. Barnes' smooth stroke, finishing skill and ability to execute sets are too perfect a fit here.
Much like that of Thomas Robinson, Barnes' upside is a little limited, but he's a plug-and-play prospect with high reliability.
It's awfully difficult to pass up clear talents like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Damien Lillard when they're still on the board. However, the Sacramento Kings already have their point-guard prospect in Isaiah Thomas and a glut of swingmen in the roster's cupboard.
Andre Drummond is an awfully big question mark, but pairing this legit 7-footer with a low-block fiend like DeMarcus Cousins could turn into all caps and exclamation points.
Drummond's perceived low motor is a problem, especially since Cousins and Tyreke Evans are both questionable character guys. However, his ability to protect the paint and create a massive frontline is just too good to pass up.
Worst-case scenario, this blows up within two years.
Best case? This becomes one of the decade's best post tandems.
If Nic Batum is leaving in free agency, then Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the no-brainer pick to replace him.
However, since the popular Frenchmen is staying in this scenario (and in reality too), the Portland Trail Blazers fill an area of need with one of the draft's true gems.
Lillard's unselfishness, reasonable NBA range and ability to get into the paint while creating his own shot are badly needed on a team that couldn't score apart from LaMarcus Aldridge.
The only knock against Lillard is how few people have seen him play. For those who have witnessed, this is one of the draft's few "must-have" players.
The Blazers are due.
There's a gaping hole at the small forward spot, whereas the rest of the roster is fairly set.
Playing frenetic defense, running the floor and grabbing rebounds are Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's strengths. Plus, the Warriors already have plenty of long-range shooters who can't do anything else.
The free-fall couldn't have stopped in a better place for the Golden State Warriors or MKG.
The Warriors badly need a glue guy and rallying cry, and the Kentucky slasher needs a squad that can hide his offensive shortcomings.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could be what finally brings this team together.
The Dwyane Wade comparisons go beyond their build, number and initials. Dion Waiters' toughness, inner drive and ability to overpower defenders have this combo guard drawing rave reviews.
The Toronto Raptors are wholly lacking any of Waiters' best traits, and their backcourt needs a headliner to outshine supporting-cast players like DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon. They'd even settle for the very poor man's version of D-Wade at this point.
Marcus Camby, Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady all once ignited the Canadian franchise and put them on the league map.
If DeRozan can slide to the small forward spot, Dion Waiters could be the next in this esteemed line of dinosaur debuts.
For seemingly the last decade, the Detroit Pistons have been drafting lanky tweeners whose "high motors" were supposed to overcome their lack of definable skills.
How are John Henson or Arnett Moultrie any different?
Because they're not, the Pistons should take Meyers Leonard. While his physicality and polish are in question, at least there's no uncertainty about what role he'd play on this roster.
Leonard's height, length and ability to knock down high-post jumpers pair perfectly with Greg Monroe's work on the low block. Both of these guys are mobile dudes and could be a nice tandem for years to come.
Meyers Leonard is nowhere near a sure thing, but at least he's a good fit on a roster with way too many redundant parts.
This pick may be even more important than the first.
Anthony Davis has to succeed, but the No. 10 selection needs to help ensure that happens. Grabbing yet another big man is not a good way to do that when the frontline already has young contributors who need to play.
Since Eric Gordon is staying in this scenario, the New Orleans Hornets need an unselfish player who will buy in to making everyone else around him better.
Kendall Marshall's basketball savvy, court vision and gamesmanship could combine to be one of the final pieces that brings this building project together.
The real wild card is whether Jarrett Jack would once again accept a sixth-man role.
Supporting big men can be found via free agency, and the Hornets have plenty of cash. However, finding their point guard and team leader of the future should start with this pick.
Having already selected Damian Lillard as their point guard and secondary star of the future, the Portland Trail Blazers need to find their next Marcus Camby.
LaMarcus Aldridge doesn't rebound or protect the paint well for a guy his size, but he does have the ball in his hands an awful lot.
John Henson is offensively raw, but his length and high motor are perfect fits alongside Aldridge's scoring prowess.
Thus, this is a fantastic situation for Henson: He can come in and concentrate on what he's best at while developing his body and game over time.
Having Damian Lillard set him up for easy baskets is kinda nice, too.
A Blazers frontline of Henson, Aldridge and Nic Batum would be long, athletic and flat-out scary.
UPDATE: This pick was traded by the Milwaukee Bucks to the Houston Rockets.
While this pick is clearly intended to package towards a Dwight Howard deal, the Rockets may end up having to select a player here anyways. With Sam Dalembert gone, the Rockets can nab a true center to provide depth alongside Marcus Camby..
Tyler Zeller is the least sexy pick so far, but he may be the smartest one the Rockets can make with what's left on the board. While Andre Drummond or Meyers Leonard would have been far more exciting, had they still been available, they're also far bigger question marks.
At least in Zeller's case, Houston can trust him to immediately earn his roster spot, rebound, run the floor and bang inside.
Whether he ever does more than that remains to be seen, but there's a "known commodity" factor here that makes this the right choice.
With the Phoenix Suns about to lose their Steve Nash identity, the franchise needs a new face.
Austin Rivers' brash aggressiveness means he'll never replace the dime-dealing Canadian, but he could be this team's new version of Kevin Johnson.
Without Nash, the Suns will desperately need someone to take charge, create shots for himself and the rest of the roster, and basically just keep this team watchable. Rivers definitely needs a structured situation to hold him in check, so it's imperative that Phoenix re-signs elder statesman and fellow Duke Blue Devil Grant Hill.
Even if Steve Nash were to stay somehow, Rivers would be the perfect upgrade over Shannon Brown.
His ability to play either guard spot could make him a nice sixth-man option for a little while, too.
Austin Rivers might be a potential headcase, but his irrational confidence could be a godsend for a team that's losing its own.
UPDATE: This pick was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Milwaukee Bucks.
He could have been a top-10 pick, but Perry Jones' potential has been overshadowed by his nebulous personality and skill set.
Because the Milwaukee Bucks need athleticism and scoring help, Jones' versatility and preference for hanging outside may actually be strengths here.
The Bucks won't be able to pass up Jones at this point. They know there will be wing options when they pick again at No. 16, but they won't chance losing an athletic, lanky shooter like Perry Jones to the Philadelphia 76ers.
They need stars, and this is absolutely worth the risk.
Arnett Moultrie's ability to play both the power forward and center spots make him a logical choice for the Philadelphia 76ers.
While Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes (if he returns) are stereotypical 4s and 5s, respectively, neither protects the rim at all. Moultrie could play alongside either of them for stretches, while also pairing nicely in small-ball rotations with Thaddeus Young.
If Hawes does go, Moultrie's ability to knock down jumpers from a reasonable range would be another adequate skill. The Sixers have needed a combo big man like this ever since they traded away Marreese Speights to the Memphis Grizzlies last year.
Arnett Moultrie could end up being the better version, anyway.
The Rockets could have used some new blood at center, but with all the reliable big men already off the board, they'll have to hope free agency or trades can land a bigger prize.
Instead, they'll make another savvy, if unconventional, move here.
He's only 19, is a relatively unknown commodity and might not be quite ready yet; however, Evan Fournier is another high-upside pick right up Daryl Morey's alley.
The Houston Rockets GM could stash Fournier for another year or two, especially if Kevin Martin is still in the mix.
If K-Mart's on the go, then the lanky Frenchman is the perfect replacement.
He needs to improve his NBA range, but Evan Fournier has all the tools to be a quantity scorer for a long time.
With Kendall Marshall already off the board, the Dallas Mavericks will select the next best point guard available.
In fact, Wroten's size, penetrating abilities and phenomenal passing skills mean he's probably got a higher upside than Marshall, anyway. That's perfect for the Mavericks, who could be looking at starting point guard scenarios ranging from Deron Williams (best), Steve Nash (decent) or a returning Jason Kidd (not good).
The roster does need help at a lot of positions, but Dallas will use its considerable cap space to acquire veteran starters.
Wroten can learn slowly if Williams is aboard, or he could get a one-to-two-year crash course with Nash/Kidd.
Either way, this could be either the franchise's point guard of the future or just a nice trade asset down the road.
If the Rockets end up using it themselves, though, they might as well get another guy like Terrence Ross who can really shoot. Kevin Martin could be on the way out, and their No. 16 pick (Evan Fournier) was more of a developmental prospect, anyway.
Ross' ability to score from all ranges will be a nice fit with Goran Dragic and/or Kyle Lowry.
He may not be the world's best defender, but he's one of the last true bucket-fillers available.
He could be a useful Rockets part or a trade chip, depending on just how crazy Houston is about to get.
Despite all the character, motor and basketball IQ questions haunting Fab Melo, he's actually a no-brainer pick if the Orlando Magic can still get him. Were Dwight Howard actually to stay, the Magic haven't had an adequate backup for him since Marcin Gortat left for the Phoenix Suns.
If Howard is exiting via trade or free agency, then Orlando will be in full rebuilding mode, anyway. Having a high-potential pivot like Melo around would be an obvious necessity as the team begins developing its next generation of stars.
Fab Melo is immature and could be out of the league within five years.
Or, he could be the next great big man for the Orlando Magic.
With their entire future up in the air anyway, there's no reason the Magic should avoid taking a high-reward chance like this.
With so much depth across their roster, it's easy to believe the Denver Nuggets don't really have any glaring needs.
That's not true.
Both Kenneth Fareid and Al Harrington are highly-valuable contributors, but they're both hugely undersized power forwards.
Terrence Jones is a prototypical 4 whose versatility would be a fantastic addition to this fleet-footed frontline.
Having Jones would allow the Nuggets to play him big with Danillo Gallinari and JaVale McGee or Timofey Mozgov up front. Terrence could also spot time at the 5 alongside Fareid and/or Harrington when Denver wants to get out and run.
He'd certainly have to earn his minutes in this deep frontcourt, but Jones' above-average ball handling, rebounding, passing and range would make him yet another dangerous weapon on one of the league's most exciting teams.
Andrew Nicholson has been linked to the Boston Celtics for weeks. In this scenario, there's little reason to deviate from reality.
Nicholson's mobility, maturity, high motor and shooting ability combine to pair perfectly with a team that struggled to put up points, even with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen still aboard.
That he plays strong defense is even more reason to like Nicholson.
Whether Garnett returns or not, Andrew Nicholson will play a major role on this team. He could be a backup to KG, start alongside him or become the first to audition as Garnett's replacement.
Rajon Rondo could turn this strong finisher into a star.
If I'm the Boston Celtics, picking Royce White makes sense only once Andrew Nicholson is already aboard.
Since that's the case in this scenario, White is an intriguing selection.
His lack of size, range and superlative athleticism should be major flags. However, he's an unconventional player for a roster that's more than likewise.
Whether he's coming off the bench or playing alongside Paul Pierce, White's ability to handle the ball and do the dirty work inside would allow Nicholson to stretch the floor a little. He could be a nice fast-break option with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, as well.
White could fail in the wrong situation, but he'd be a huge complement to this new-look Celtics roster.
Pairing point guard Marquis Teague with his brother, Jeff, was an intriguing thought for about 10 minutes, but neither of those guys would accept backing up the other for long.
Drafting Moe Harkless, yet another lanky small forward, could make me the next running joke for the Atlanta Hawks.
However, this explosive player is one of the best still available and is simply too good to pass up this late in the first round.
What's more, both Josh Smith and Marvin Williams aren't going to be in uniform much longer. Whether it's via free agency or trade, those main cogs are going to need a volume-scoring replacement.
Harkless makes either Smith or Williams expendable; Atlanta can exchange them for other needs like a true center or a backup point guard.
Either of those positions could have been addressed here, but there's no sense leaving this talent on the board.
Major question marks about his ankle, ceiling and NBA-versatility caused Jeremy Lamb to slide much further than expected.
The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't be happier.
With their point-guard and big-men situations already under control, the Cavs needed major scoring help at the wings from this 2012 NBA draft.
Adding an explosive leaper like Jeremy Lamb to a new stable which includes Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes could make Cleveland one of the most exciting teams to watch this year.
Drafting the home-town kid signals that the Memphis Grizzlies will not match offers for restricted free agent O.J. Mayo.
Will Barton's ability to score with the ball in his hands or as a shooter will help add some explosiveness to a second unit that otherwise struggles to score enough points.
While he's unlikely to unseat Rudy Gay or Tony Allen in the starting lineup, Barton should quickly become this team's sixth man and fan favorite.
Nabbing a backup point guard here could have been nice, but there weren't enough sure things to justify risking the pick. A reasonable veteran free agent can handle that problem.
George Hill is a restricted free agent, and the jury is still out as to whether Darren Collison is a full-time NBA starting point guard. Adding Marquis Teague to the mix is a nice insurance policy, either way.
For now, he can take over Leandro Barbosa's spot while backing up Collison and providing bench scoring. This would also let Hill slide back to his more natural shooting-guard spot, should he be re-signed.
This does leave the Indiana Pacers with a few too many under-sized scoring guards.
However, if Teague can learn to distribute the ball a little more efficiently (and a little more frequently), he could become the long-term starter here awfully quick.
With both Mike Miller and James Jones potentially considering retirement, the world-champion Miami Heat could use a little more scoring punch from their bench. Even if one or both of those guys do return, there needs to be an insurance policy in place for such high injury risks.
Quincy Miller is the kind of athletic phenom who would be yet another terrorizing finisher on the Heat's fast break. Clogging the lane against LeBron James or Dwyane Wade could just open up a Miller rim attack from the opposite side.
If he can quickly improve his outside shooting, Quincy Miller could become a key contributor in Miami's title defense.
I know adding another center is a priority, but that will have to wait until free agency at this point.
There were enough conditioning questions and Sean May comparisons surrounding Jared Sullinger before his recent injury problems. Few would have predicted a slide this far, but there were simply safer power forward bets up to this point.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have no reason not to take a flier on Sully. Their one major weakness has been a lack of back-to-the-basket scoring, and at least they know this pick could address that.
The Thunder are set at nearly every other position. Should Sullinger pan out, he'd have Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison to protect his defensive deficiencies.
This could be the final frontcourt piece for the defending Western Conference champs.
If Jared Sullinger can't make it in the NBA, the Thunder won't regret having taken the risk with such a low pick.
The Chicago Bulls have a lot of shooting-guard options with this pick. Doron Lamb, John Jenkins or even Kim English could have been defensible.
However, the Bulls also have to hold the fort down until Derrick Rose returns from his knee injury. Tyshawn Taylor is the only player left on the board who's capable of being a legitimate NBA combo-guard.
His decision-making means that he'll never be a full-time point, yet his big-game experience also ensures that he could help back up C.J. Watson while the Bulls await Rose.
Once Chicago is back to full strength, there's potential for Taylor to become a poor man's Jamal Crawford, spotting useful minutes at either guard spot.
Having already nabbed their starting small forward in this draft, the Golden State Warriors must address their bench weaknesses.
Andrew Bogut is an injury risk, and Andris Biedrins is an afterthought. Thus, a big man who can block a few shots, run the floor better than most and occasionally spot-start makes a ton of sense here.
Festus Ezeli is not only huge and mobile, but he could also thrive as the defensive anchor on this offensively minded team.
He doesn't rebound well, but fortunately Bogut and David Lee are exceptional at that.
Even if Ezeli turns out to be a stiff, there's no way he's worse than Biedrins was this year.
With Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson in the backcourt, plus Thomas Robinson and B.J. Mullens up front, the Charlotte Bobcats are putting together at least a passable starting five.
With Corey Maggette now out of the way, drafting Jeff Taylor to begin the second round makes a lot of sense.
Like Robinson, Taylor is a mature guy who can contribute across numerous facets. He doesn't create his own shot, but he can put up points in a structured system.
He could become the defensive wing-stopper of this group.
Shelvin Mack and Jordan Crawford have taken their turns spelling John Wall at point guard, but not a single one of those three is a pure distributor.
Since the Washington Wizards suddenly have reasonable depth at every single position except the point, this is a no-brainer. There aren't many good point guards left on the board, and while Scott Machado isn't particularly athletic, he should be able to execute NBA sets.
If he can distinguish himself as both a passer and defender, he should be able to hang on to a roster spot for a long time.
Having already gotten wing scoring with Harrison Barnes and Jeremy Lamb, the Cleveland Cavaliers might as well give their frontcourt some attention.
Miles Plumlee or Kyle O'Quinn would warrant consideration here, but with Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels already on board, the Cavs just don't need another scrapper.
They'll go with one of the most polished bigs left.
Mike Scott is borderline as an NBA athlete, but he is an accomplished scorer at all ranges.
Somebody's going to have to pick up where Antawn Jamison left off.
Body-wise, Jeremy Lamb and John Jenkins are somewhat similar, but their games are diverse enough to make this work.
Since Omri Casspi flamed out from downtown last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still searching for a proven three-point specialist. While Lamb and Barnes are both capable shooters, John Jenkins could be the perfect situational floor-stretcher this team is otherwise missing.
There's a little bit of duplicity here, but Anthony Parker is gone and Daniel Gibson is an afterthought.
Jenkins provides depth at the position and another look for a team that's loading up on young scoring threats.
Still searching for a true distributing point guard of their own, the Golden State Warriors will instead be drawn in by Miles Plumlee's raw athleticism, grit and eye-popping combine workouts.
The team hedged their bets with Mickell Gladness and Chris Wright backing up David Lee last year.
Now it's time to make sure that the energy level doesn't wane when Lee's off the floor.
Because he's also 7 feet tall, Plumlee gives the Warriors yet another big body to clog the middle and protect the paint—something that's important to defensive-minded head coach Mark Jackson.
The Sacramento Kings are developing a young logjam at nearly every position. With every single player from 2012 still signed to the roster for next year, there aren't many open spots to develop.
Last year, the Kings played both DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes out of position at center. Having just drafted a true 5 in Andre Drummond, Sacramento can snag his backup by taking Kyle O'Quinn.
Quinn is a decently rounded big man who can do a little bit of everything.
Really, his job will boil down to being big, pushing the opponent's center around and offering six fouls.
With Doron Lamb, Jared Cunningham and Kim English still available, there are a lot of good shooters yet on the board.
However, the Toronto Raptors just got a shooting guard in the previous round in Dion Waiters. They need a high-motor rebounder who can add the same toughness to the frontcourt that Waiters will bring to the guards.
Furkan Aldemir is slightly undersized, but he could be another energy-injector for the second unit.
Raptors fans should think Jorge Garbosa 2.0 on this one.
Arron Afflalo is the real deal, but Rudy Fernandez is injury prone and Corey Brewer is not a shooting guard. The Denver Nuggets have plenty of depth across the roster, but they could definitely use another long-ball specialist.
Kim English is mature, runs well off screens and isn't afraid to chuck up a bunch of shots—all prerequisites for operating in George Karl's offense.
He needs to get stronger and improve his handle, but he's the perfect addition to Denver's "attack in waves" system.
He's undersized, has a high motor and is generally without an NBA position.
Sounds like the usual pick for Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons!
Actually, with Jason Maxiell potentially on the move, there's an opening for Draymond Green to have more value here than just being a Michigan (State) man.
He's the kind of "try hard" guy that coach Lawrence Frank is so desperately in search of.
Because he has range and is a quantity rebounder, he could also pair well with Greg Monroe and Meyers Leonard.
This is about way more than just keeping one of Oregon's collegiate guys in-state. Having already acquired Damian Lillard for the backcourt and John Henson for the front, the Portland Trail Blazers need some help at shooting guard.
Jamal Crawford is as good as gone, and Wesley Matthews was exposed as a starter last year.
Jared Cunningham is one of the draft's more able scorers, and his quickness could be particularly explosive when combined with Lillard's.
Like Lillard, he's a bit small. Yet, with Henson, Nic Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge up front, Portland's bigs have arms that just don't end.
The Portland Trail Blazers have already picked three times. In each case, they've selected speed and grit to surround LaMarcus Aldridge.
Quincy Acy isn't all that polished, but he'll work his tail off and provide energy off the bench.
Suddenly, the Blazers are trotting out a core group of Aldridge, Damian Lillard, John Henson, Nic Batum, Jared Cunningham, Wesley Matthews and Acy.
They'll need time to become a successful half-court unit, but this team will zone and run the daylights out of the opposition.
The Milwaukee Bucks took a gamble with their new pick, nabbing Perry Jones III..
They'll need more of that for a roster badly in need of talent and spark. Hollis Thompson could be a bust, or he could turn out to be the diet-version of Harrison Barnes. He's fast, can finish with authority and is a legit outside threat.
With Carlos Delfino potentially leaving a hole at small forward, Thompson might get some burn in a quicker Milwaukee lineup already featuring Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Jones and Drew Gooden.
Unlike most recent Bucks squads, there's at least some excitement with that vision.
Though still searching for a viable backup point-guard candidate, the Atlanta Hawks will look around here and realize two things:
First, there aren't any reasonable point-guard selections left. Second, Doron Lamb, one of the draft's best sharp-shooters, is still on the board.
Once again, the Hawks will be facing that glut-of-swingmen problem, but they definitely have options.
If Josh Smith and/or Marvin Williams are heading out, Moe Harkless and Lamb will pick up some of the slack.
Lamb is a prime candidate to be traded before he ever even suits up in Atlanta. He's one of the few picks with a definable skill, and that's a valuable commodity.
Moving him for a backup point guard or big man is a real possibility.
The Detroit Pistons' second round has been about adding character guys who will push the veterans, providing leadership by example and experience.
Darius Miller could be looking up from the bottom of the depth chart early on, but he's obviously proven that he can handle that. He stays ready to contribute whenever called upon and would immediately become one of the more consistent shooters on this roster.
The Pistons just have to hope that Miller and Draymond Green can be patient and work hard enough to hang on until questionable contracts/characters like Charlie Villanueva are removed.
The Philadelphia 76ers needed outside shooting in a bad way before they faced losing Lou Williams in free agency.
Having already bolstered the frontline with Arnett Moultrie, they now pack some scoring punch at the wings. Kevin Murphy has all the shooting tools and athletic limitations to be nothing more than a fine deep-ball specialist in the NBA.
With Andre Iguodala also potentially departing, the Sixers will need someone to stretch the floor behind Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young at the small-forward spot.
Murphy can definitely be that guy.
Barring a center upgrade via free agency, Gustavo Ayon and Jason Smith will probably alternate in the middle for the New Orleans Hornets next year.
Still, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get another big body alongside Anthony Davis up front.
Justin Hamilton does have potential to be a stiff, but his workouts have been fantastic and he's NBA-sized, at least.
As long as the Hornets don't have to lean too heavily on him right away, he could bulk up and fill a much-needed enforcer role for this young frontline.
Every stereotype in the world says this pick should be Purdue's Robbie Hummel.
However, the last thing the Utah Jazz need is another "hard-working" non-athlete. Instead, the league's worst backcourt must add some speed and some spark.
Orlando Johnson is a gunner, maybe even to a fault. However, his ability to score is badly needed by a team that has desperately played small forward Gordon Hayward out of position for two seasons.
Even if Johnson is only a bench player for a year or two, he should allow the Jazz more options than simply dumping it into the post on every play.
Like most teams at this point in the draft, the New York Knicks are searching for a backup point guard and/or big man.
Unfortunately, there just isn't a lot to choose from at this stage.
There are plenty of decent wings left, and the Knicks will potentially have to re-sign Steve Novak, J.R. Smith, Jared Jeffries and Landry Fields at that position.
So, bringing Khris Middleton into the fold is a wise move here.
Besides an injury history, Middleton has all the tools to be a solid small forward: he's capable of putting up some points and long enough to stay in front of his opponent.
This is another guy who could have been a fringe first-round player, and he's a nice value prospect for New York.
Whether the Orlando Magic are in rebuilding mode sans Dwight Howard or restocking around him, they have to get this pick right.
William Buford is a solid selection: a senior who was ridiculously consistent and productive throughout his four years.
What is his upside? Probably the same as that of Tyler Zeller: He's going to produce in the NBA and is a solid basketball player in every facet.
He may hold onto an NBA job only until displaced by the next star with a higher ceiling.
Yet, at least the Magic know there's every reason he should make the end of their roster and the fringe of their rotation.
He's 21, knows how to execute offensively and has a great motor. Think of him as a potential Andres Nocioni.
Back when he was good.
The problem is that Kostas Papanikolaou may still not be ready for the NBA. He's not a creator, and might never be, but he could be a nice contributor with a little more seasoning.
The Denver Nuggets have so many players at so many spots that stashing Papanikolaou for another year or two makes a ton of sense.
They can continue to evaluate him, let some roster space open up (when Al Harrington's deal is done) and then bring him over once everyone is ready.
Nearly the entire roster is up for free agency this year, and the Boston Celtics have a whole bunch of spots to fill.
After having stocked up on forwards with Andrew Nicholson and Royce White, the Celtics will add a big body to the rebuilding project.
He's athletic, plays good defense and will finish around the basket. Bernard James is already 27, but if he can provide another dash of what Greg Stiesma brought to the roster, Beantown will be happy enough.
Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Nick Young all spotted turns at the shooting-guard spot for the Los Angeles Clippers this year.
Every single one of them is up for free agency right now.
The Clippers need some stability, and they need some bodies at the position. Whether they re-sign any of those other guys or not, Chris Johnson is a lanky shooter who can play both ways and rebound.
The sooner he can turn into a young Mickael Pietrus, the better.
Having brought in bodies at small forward, center and power forward, the Warriors can take a chance at finding Steph Curry's backup.
There aren't any pure distributors left, and that's what the Warriors really need for a change of pace.
However, Tu Holloway is blazingly fast and will push the tempo—something that Golden State will continue to do with this roster.
He's not a good shooter, but Holloway does know how to run the point and will be a pesky defender.
He might not pan out in the NBA, but he'll be an interesting option to gauge this summer.
He's undersized, could play a little of either guard spot, is super smart and can shoot the ball.
Sounds a lot like Lou Williams, Jrue Holliday and Jodie Meeks, right?
Marcus Denmon isn't the most heralded player out of college, but he'll attack the basket and is a nice outside sniper.
With Meeks a restricted free agent and William unrestricted, the Philadelphia 76ers can draft their kind of guard yet again.
Denmon could turn out to be a productive replacement over time.
Robbie Hummel is slow, injury prone and may not be big enough as an NBA power forward.
He's also smart, extremely physical, sets good screens and can really stretch the floor from downtown.
Did I mention that Brian Cardinal is an unrestricted free agent this year?
There's room for a guy like this at the end of nearly any bench. The Dallas Mavericks are hunting big fish with all that free-agency money, so they're going to fill the rest of the roster on the cheap.
Can we just start referring to Hummel as "The Custodian Jr." already?
Another Euro prospect who might have to develop for a year or two, Tomas Satoransky is your prototypical "end of draft" gamble.
He's 6'8" but handles the ball like a point guard and is an absolute gamer at both ends of the floor. Think of him as a 20-year-old, poor man's cross between Manu Ginobili and Danillo Gallinari.
Unfortunately, he hasn't played against NBA-level competition yet, and the Toronto Raptors would be wise to let him season a bit longer.
When he's ready, and Linas Kleiza is off the roster, Satoransky could end up pushing for major playing time behind DeMar DeRozan.
Like the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets are about to let more than half their team walk this offseason.
Unlike the Celts, the Nets aren't guaranteed to retain their major pieces (Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace) or attract any others.
They could become the team that everybody's talking about, or they could make a serious run at the Charlotte Bobcats' win record.
Either way, they simply have to take the best player available here.
Like Kris Humphries, Drew Gordon is a rebounding machine with some serious hops. He also has very few moves with the basketball and can't be relied on for more than putbacks.
He's an energy and hustle guy all the way, yet it remains to be seen just how far that can take him.
Gordon could become a nice backup to Humphries or be pressed into starting duty way too soon.
Having already traded away their No. 18 pick for Chase Budinger, the Minnesota Timberwolves have made it abundantly clear that they're no longer in the youth business this year.
There aren't a lot of open spots on the roster, even if there still are sizable needs at shooting guard and backup center. Apparently, those will be filled through free agency, so the Wolves will simply stash a pick for later.
Tornike Shengelia is a 20-year-old Georgian whose ball-handling, length and activity on the glass could be comparable to those of a young Hedo Turkoglu.
His shot will have to improve, but he's a long shot even to make it to the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs don't succeed by cashing in on the last American $20 bills left in the second round.
Instead, they take a few ounces of foreign coal, let it refine under Euro-league pressure and then bring over diamonds half a decade later.
Paul Lacombe has all the tools to be a very good NBA player: He's 6'6", a distributor and a strong driver.
He's also 22 and has yet to show any signs of being a star—we might never hear his name mentioned again.
Or, five years from now, he could become the next Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, etc.
How can the Los Angeles Lakers get better with the final pick in the draft? Taking some risks while adding the energy and toughness they occasionally lack.
Jae Crowder is a relentless worker. He's got tangible skill as a rebounder and defender, and his outside shot isn't terrible.
He's only 6'7" and is nowhere near skilled enough to handle the ball as a guard.
Still, Matt Barnes and Devin Ebanks are free agents, and Metta World Peace has only one year left.
Crowder has the same underdog pit-bull traits that have made Ron Artest and Kenneth Fareid valuable NBA commodities.
The Lakers could use a guy like this if he pans out.