2012 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st & 2nd Round

Kelly ScalettaFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2012

2012 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st & 2nd Round

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    The Miami Heat officially ended the NBA season on Thursday when they emerged triumphant over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now the rest of the basketball world seeks to topple the Heat, and the King of the Mountain, LeBron James

    They'll be seeking to do that by finding the best picks in the draft. Some will fail and some will succeed. Time will tell who has the best draft, but this is one of the more exciting times of the year as fans of every team will be looking for the next fresh face to play for them. 

    Here are who those faces will be for every team. 

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis

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    New Orleans will take Anthony Davis with this pick, no questions asked. In fact, if the lottery ball had bounced differently, whoever got the first-round pick would use it on Davis, no questions asked, because Davis is the top player coming into the NBA, no questions asked.

    Davis will pair up with Eric Gordon to produce a tandem that has huge potential written all over it. It deserves to be asked: Does this team become attractive to Deron Williams now?

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson

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    Before you say "No way in heck" or something similar I have for words for you. Kwame. Jordan. Michael. Brown. Of course, they aren't quite in that order. 

    My point here is that it's not exactly impossible to envision Charlotte reaching here. 

    I'd also point out that Sean Deveny of Sporting News also has Thomas Robinson going second, so I'm not the only person in the world who has this thought. He also worked out for the Bobcats last week and word is they liked what they saw.  

    Robinson will be a reach, but Jordan has been known to reach in the past. The thing is, though, this gamble could very well pay off. Robinson is tremendously talented, albeit a bit undersized for a power forward, which is where the risk comes in. 

3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should go third. He's been projected by most to go second or third.  He would compliment the Wizards well. He makes sense over UConn's Andre Drummond, as the Wizards already have a starting center in Nene. 

    Kidd-Gilchrist and John Wall would be able to run a fast break or two, don't you think?

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes

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    Right now, the Cavs are set at point guard with Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving leading the way. They are reasonable at power forward with last year's other high lottery pick, Tristan Thompson, coming on late in the season. 

    That leaves them in need at the wings, which makes this pick between Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal. I believe the Cavs are going to take Barnes because it's the right choice. 

    There has been a recent infatuation with Beal that has him climbing up into a top-five or even, according to some, top-three quality of player. 

    He is a player with a high basketball IQ and would be a great addition to any team, but there are some red flags with him, chiefly his .445 field goal percentage and .339 from three. 

    I know he's reported to have deep range, even NBA range. I just see .339 and question that, and if I'm Cleveland, I question it hard. 

    I think that in the end, Barnes is less of a gamble and the Cavs take him. 

5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond

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    As much as Bradley Beal has seen his stock rise, Andre Drummond is taking a beating for whatever reason. In terms of pure physical talent, though, Drummond has the tools to be an absolute beast in the NBA. 

    He needs to work on his skills and develop his game, but he has the ability to be an increasingly rare commodity in the NBA, a low-post player who can finish at the rim at will. 

    Combined with DeMarcus Cousins, he could (and probably will) form an electric duo in the paint. With the Kings already set with a number of quality backcourt players, they could finally make the postseason next year. 

6. Portland Trail Blazers: Bradley Beal

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    Bradley Beal will fall to sixth, and the Trail Blazers will be stuck in that "need vs. talent" conundrum. 

    They have a greater need at point guard. They would arguably be better off with Damian Lilliard, and they may very well take him. But there will be that big juicy Beal hanging from the tree just waiting to be plucked off. 

    In the end, when you're rebuilding like the Trail Blazers are, it's better off to take the best player left on the board, and so that's what they'll do. With that, Beal-zeal will fill the Rose Garden. 

7. Golden State Warriors: Perry Jones

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    Perry Jones is a player that has the potential to be truly magnificent. He also has the potential of being the most disappointing player of this year's draft. 

    At his best, Jones is an extraordinary player who can dominate a game on both ends of the court. He is a great finisher at the rim, and when engaged, he's an outstanding defender as well. He can shoot, he can drive and he can post up. 

    On the other hand, at his worst, Jones just barely "is." You'd almost think he's not even on the court at times.

    The Warriors' biggest need right now is at small forward. They are set at the other four positions, so they'll be looking for the best small forward available, and that will be Perry Jones. If he pans out, the Warriors will be a team to contend with next year.

    While Jones might be a bit of a risk, he's hardly a reach. He does qualify as risky, though. 

8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb

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    The Toronto Raptors will essentially be adding two players this year as last year's top pick, Jonas Valanciunas, should be joining them this year. 

    That will leave their biggest need at small forward. They can do one of two things with this pick, then. They can either draft a small forward, or they can draft a shooting guard and move DeMar DeRozan to small forward. 

    Considering that DeRozan's skill set is actually better suited to playing small forward, it makes more sense for them to do the latter. It also makes sense because the next best shooting guard (Jeremy Lamb) on the board is better than the next best small forward (Terrence Jones) on the board. 

9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson

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    John Henson would fit in nicely with the Detroit Pistons. There is some question as to whether he's a small forward or a power forward, though. He's not quite big enough to be a true power forward, and he doesn't have the shooting rage to be a small forward. 

    What he does have is off-the-charts athleticism and length. He's an absolutely ridiculous shot-blocker as well, batting away 3.6 shots per 36 minutes. 

    There is a distinction between "project" and "reach." Particularly in today's NBA, you aren't going to get a lot of finished projects coming out of the draft. Henson has to be developed, but he has the attitude and athleticism to do just that. 

    Greg Monroe and Henson will make an intimidating frontcourt in Detroit for years to come. 

10. New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard

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    With the Hornets landing the top overall pick, some have forgotten that the Hornets actually have two picks in the top 10. The second could have nearly as much impact as the first. 

    Damian Lillard has tremendous potential. He was the second leading scorer in all of basketball and an efficient scorer at that. Chad Ford has him ranked as the seventh best player in the country.

    The Hornets just happen to have be the first team that needs a point guard, so they will be utterly giddy when he falls to them. 

    He has a tendency to look for his own shot first, which could cause problems with Gordon being their top option on offense, and that's why this pick could fall into the reach category. However, Lillard has a good basketball IQ and should learn as he grows. 

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Kendall Marshall

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    Kendall Marshall will be the second point guard taken, but he will be the first choice for the Trail Blazers anyway. They are a team better equipped to utilize his talents. 

    Marshall would be a great point guard for Portland, who is more in need of a distributor than a scorer. With LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Mathews, Nicolas Batum and the projected Bradley Beal to pass the ball to, he would have plenty of weapons to utilize. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller

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    The Milwaukee Bucks traded away their starting center, Andrew Bogut, for Monta Ellis and don't really have another true center on their roster. 

    Tyler Zeller might not be the best or most complete center in the draft, but he's arguably the fastest and the best runner. The Bucks have broken out a new kind of offense with their Brandon Jennings and Ellis backcourt. 

    They are a high-octane, high-flying offense, and Zeller would fit in well with his athleticism, which is fairly high for a seven-footer. 

    He's not as strong as you want a seven-footer to be, but for the Bucks, who are going to be looking to run the ball, he would be a nice fit. 

13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers

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    With the possible departure of Steve Nash, the Suns will be in full-blown rebuilding mode, and first they're going to need a star. Position really isn't so much a factor as star power.

    The biggest star available to them at this point is Austin Rivers, who has gained fame because his father is Doc Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics. He also displayed some clutch shooting for the Duke Blue Devils in his one year on the team.

    Rivers has the ability and game to be a star entirely in his own right. His offensive game is about as offensively polished as you could hope for from a player his age. 

    If there's a strike against him, it's that he can be too selfish. On Phoenix next year, that might not be an issue, as there just aren't that many players on the team that are star material. 

    This definitely falls into the "reach" category as Rivers would probably not be this highly thought of if it weren't for his pedigree. 

14. Houston Rockets: Jared Sullinger

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    Jared Sulliger was once considered a player who could be the top overall pick in the draft. Now due to a host of reasons, including a questionable back, he's fallen down on the draft boards. 

    When the Houston Rockets see him still on the board, Leslie Alexander will moonwalk across the room, Daryl Morey will go into a full scale "So You Think You Can Dance" routine and Kevin McHale will do a soft shoe. 

    Yes, they will be happy that Sullinger is on the board, and they will snatch him up in a heartbeat. 

    Sullinger is one of those guys that you have to ignore the other stuff with and just recognize one thing: He can ball. He's strong as an ox, knows how to battle for position and understands the game. He'll be an excellent fit on the Houston Rockets. 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Meyers Leonard

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    The Philadelphia 76ers are a tough team to get a fix on because they are a deep team, and they don't really have any needs or weaknesses that are easily addressable in the draft. Because of that, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sixers make a draft-day trade. 

    Barring that, they may be looking to replace the potential loss of Spencer Hawes. Meyers Leonard would fill that role. His improvement form his freshman to sophomore year is encouraging. 

    In the hands of the right coach—and Doug Collins fits that description—Leonard could develop into a quality starting NBA center. 

16. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie

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    Arnett Moultrie might be the player that is moving up the boards the quickest right now. He can shoot the ball to space the floor, is developing his low-post game after transitioning from small forward to power forward and plays solid defense on both positions. In fact, he can also play the center. 

    He needs developing, though.

    The Rockets will double-down on their bigs and suddenly be very solid there. 

17. Dallas Mavericks: Terrence Ross

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    The Dallas Mavericks are a tough team to predict because they're expected to address needs through free agency and/or trades as well. They'll be looking to the draft to develop what they don't land in the other areas. 

    One thing is for certain: They're set at power forward. Assuming they land Deron Williams in free agency, they'd be set there too. I also expect that Shawn Marion will still continue to play small forward for them. 

    That leaves two positions they need to fill: center and shooting guard. While a lot of projections have them picking a center, I expect they'll take a shooting guard for the simple reason that they aren't as hard to develop, and Dallas will want to compete now. 

    Because of that, I think they'll pursue a center who has already established an NBA-level game through free agency. 

    That leaves shooting guard, and the best shooting guard on the board at that point would be Terrence Ross, who would be a nice replacement for Jason Terry. 

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dion Waiters

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves really only have one need in the starting lineup, and that's shooting guard.

    They don't need a center because of the surprising Nikola Pekovic (or, as I like to call him, Pecs-ovic—dude is wide) breaking out over the second half of the season. 

    There are a number of projections I've seen with them taking a forward, which makes no sense to me since they have Derrick Williams and Kevin Love already. A respectable shooting guard would round out their starting five, and Dion Waiters would give them that. 

    He actually has an aggressive style that would compliment Ricky Rubio's run-and-gun play as well, on both ends of the court. Waiters is adept at shooting lanes and getting steals.

19. Orlando Magic: Moe Harkless

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    Once again, because we have no idea what's going to happen with other moves for the Orlando Magic this summer, it's hard to predict who they are going to take. That being said, the thing they need the most if they don't make any moves is a wing who can put the ball on the floor and drive to the lane. 

    Firing Stan Van Gundy might have solved the problem philosophically, but it didn't magically imbue anyone on Orlando with the ability to drive to the rim. 

    I think it's safe to say they don't need another shooter. They have plenty of those. 

    Their offense is so "either/or" and that's why they struggle. They either shoot the three or go inside to Dwight Howard. Moe Harkless may have weaknesses, but that's his strength. He would be a valuable addition to the Magic, giving them a tool they don't presently have. 

20. Denver Nuggets: Marquis Teague

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    The Denver Nuggets will probably be losing their backup point guard, Andre Miller, to free agency and will be looking to the draft to fill the role. 

    Marquis Teague and Denver would be a perfect fit. It works for Teague because he's better off if he can be put in a position where he's the backup and has plenty of tools around him to take the pressure off of him. Having George Karl as a coach to start his career off sure doesn't hurt either. 

    Teague won't move up much because his decision-making isn't sound enough to warrant being a starter just yet, but he could flourish and be the steal of the draft if he ends up in the right situation. 

21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb

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    Doron Lamb will go to the Boston Celtics, where, if Ray Allen sticks around for another year, he will have the perfect mentor. 

    It's a nice fit for Lamb, who is a shooting type of shooting guard more than a wing. He is not the type of guard that drives the lane like Dwyane Wade, but he's more of a true shooter. He uses his dribble to create space for himself and sink his jumper. 

    Having a year behind Allen where he could learn the ropes would be a perfect scenario for him. Having Rondo to pass the ball to him doesn't hurt, either. 

22. Boston Celtics: Terrence Jones

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    Much as Doron Lamb could be groomed as an eventual replacement for Ray Allen, Terrence Jones is a potential replacement for Paul Pierce. 

    There is a lot of upside with Jones, and he could be a long-term starter in the NBA, but he won't be an immediate one. He needs to go to a team that is established at the position and who can develop him over a year or two. 

    Doc Rivers has done a great job developing players over the years, making players taken in the bottom third of the first round into legitimate starters or even bona-fide stars, such as is the case with Rajon Rondo. 

    Jones and Lamb might not be great right out of the gate, but in two or three years, they could be quality players.

23. Atlanta Hawks: Fab Melo

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    The Atlanta Hawks have been struggling to find a solution at center for years. They've been playing both Al Horford and Josh Smith out of position as a result. When they take Fab Melo, they'll get exactly what they need.

    Melo is a true seven-footer who plays well under the basket and would be excellent at gobbling up all those Josh Smith misses and putting them back. Finally, he's an outstanding defender and, combined with Smith and Horford, would give the Hawks an intimidating frontcourt defensively. 

    Melo dropped a little bit because of his suspension, but as scouts see him play and that gets further in the past, GMs are going to worry less about that and pay more attention to what he does well. 

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Royce White

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    With a potential starting five rounded out, the next thing the Cavs would need is a sixth man. Royce White would fill that role exceptionally well. He's well-regarded as being an athletic player who knows how to put the ball on the floor and is strong. 

    He's a 6'8" player, extremely athletic at 270 pounds and has the ability to run an offense and be a kind of point-forward. He's versatile, able to score, pass and rebound. Sound familiar?

    He's had some off-court issues which have hurt his draft stock, but along with Thompson, Irving and Drummond, the Cavs could be putting together a lethally talented team. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Wroten

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    After this draft, there may be something Wroten in the state of Tennessee. That's a good thing. The Grizzlies are possibly going to lose O.J. Mayo to free agency. While he's a restricted free agency, it remains to be seen whether they'll want to match any and all offers.

    Mayo is a very long way from being a popular player with head coach Lionel Hollins, and while he did make some inroads this season, it's doubtful that Memphis is going to keep him if someone overpays. 

    Enter Tony Wroten, who is another guard who can play either point or shooting guard and whose strength is attacking the basket. Wroten would fit nicely in the sixth-man role for the Grizzlies, who are set with their starting five. 

26. Indiana Pacers: Evan Fournier

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    The Indiana Pacers, as the Miami Heat found out, are a better team than people are giving them credit for being. They have a lot of depth and versatility, but the one thing they need is a closer. Danny Granger fills the role to a degree, but they need someone else who can take the pressure off him when he's struggling. 

    Evan Fournier seems to be that type of player. He's built a reputation for coming up big in big-time situations in Europe.  

27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli

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    How about a Festus Ezeli for the rest of us, really? That's what the Heat want to know. 

    But the Heat need a legitimate center like George Costanza needs a Festivus. They won an NBA title without one, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't do better if they had one. They had one benefit in their route to the title—none of the teams they had to beat were great inside teams.

    They might not get so lucky next year.  

    Last year, the Heat had the same need, and they squandered their pick on a backup point guard. They got a redundant small forward in free agency rather than pursue a center. 

    This year, they're finding out that it helps to have a legitimate big man who can play. Whether Ezeli will be that guy remains to be seen, but he's a real big man and he has NBA potential. It's hard to go down from Dexter Pitman. 

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tyshawn Taylor

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    Tyshawn Taylor led his Kansas team to the finals with his explosiveness to the basket. He averaged about 17 points and five assists per game for the Jayhawks this year. He has the same kind of combination of size and speed that Russell Westbrook has. 

    There's something to be said about being able to bring in the same type of player off the bench. You don't have to change your offense when the starter sits. Taylor is something of a "Westbrook-lite" and would be an intriguing fill-in for Westborok. 

    The downside is that he's not always the best decision maker and has a tendency to turn over the ball too much. That hasn't exactly been a concern for the Thunder in the past, though. 

29. Chicago Bulls: John Jenkins

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    The Chicago Bulls can kill two birds with one stone if they pick John Jenkins, who can play both point guard and shooting guard. He is more of a "both" than a "tweener." 

    He is capable of both getting penetration and pulling up for the step-back jumper. He's a pure shooter who can hit shots from mid-range and from out deep, so he would be a bit of a difference from Rose. But when you're drafting 29th, you don't have as much to choose from. 

    Jenkins could spell time backing up the point guard spot and also at the shooting guard spot. If he prospers, the Bulls can let C.J. Watson go next year and leave him as the full-time backup.

    For the time being, he can create shots off the dribble and give the Bulls an efficient scorer who can produce points off the bench. 

30. Golden State Warriors: Jeffery Taylor

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    At this point in the draft, it's often the best thing to simply take the best athlete left on the board, and that's likely what Golden State will do here. That distinction goes to Jeffery Taylor. 

    Taylor is a tremendous athlete, but his decision-making leaves something to be desired form time to time. Taylor shows ability to dominate, and he also shows an ability to completely disappear, especially in big moments.

    He might not be the best player to carry a team, but he is the type of player who would serve well as a scorer off the bench, where he could focus his energy and use his top-notch athleticism to score points.

31. Charlotte Bobcats: Will Barton

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    Will Barton might not be the strongest player in the draft. He might not be the smartest player either. 

    He is however, a very good scorer and there's always room for one of those on an NBA roster, especially if you are the worst team in the history of the NBA. 

    Adding Thomas Robinson and Barton will be a step forward for the Bobcats. Of course, that's about the only direction they can travel at this point. 

    There has been some speculation that Barton will be taken by the Bulls, and if that happens look for the Bobcats to grab John Jenkins. 

32. Washington Wizards: Andrew Nicholson

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    The Washington Wizards are going to be delighted to see Andrew Nicholson fall this far. 

    He's a tough player to peg because his shooting ability demands that he be taken higher but the teams that need a big man, and wouldn't have taken one already, need a big man with strength and rebounding, which are not what Robinson provides. 

    In fact those are are cons. He's a tremendous shooter who can stretch the court, but he's not going to body up, grab rebounds, or defend the post. As a result I think he'll fall into the second round where the Wizards will say he has too much talent to pass on. 

33. Cleveland Cavaliers: Draymond Green

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    Draymond Green makes a lot of sense for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's an outstanding "glue guy" that does all the little things that make a team work. On a team stocked with high draft picks, that can be pretty important. 

    Not only is he a smart player, he's a senior. On a young team he'll be able to step in instantly and offer leadership. He's not big enough for a power forward and he's too big for a small forward, but they'll figure out a way to keep him involved. He just just too many things well to not make a spot in the NBA. 

34. Cleveland Cavaliers: Miles Plumlee

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    Miles Plumlee is 7' with an 8'9" standing reach and a  41 inch vertical. That's one inch more than Derrick Rose. That means from a standing position he can come just eight inches from touching the top of the backboard, 13 feet off the ground.

    That puts him in a class with guys like JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. 

    Where he's not in their class is in skill. He put up pretty poor numbers in college when you consider his ability. Of course some of that is due to playing on a perimeter team. 

    Still, he's a fantastic rebounder, especially on the offensive end. The Cavs will snatch him up, perhaps a bit early. 

35. Golden State Warriors: Quincy Miller

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    Does Quincy Miller have the talent to go much, much higher? Certainly! 

    The reason I have him so low is that there are whispers (whatever that means) that the medical reports in Chicago didn't do him any favors. Miller could go earlier, but I think that the injury fears are going to keep teams away from taking him in the first round. 

    That could be a fact that has the Golden State Warriors doing a jig if they see him here as he could be their answer to their long, long, looooooooong search for a small forward.  

36. Sacramento Kings: Kostas Papanikolaou

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    I have to admit, if I got a letter for every time I saw Kostas Papanikolaou play, I wouldn't get to the first "K" so I'm going strictly by the draft reports I've read here. Sorry, I just don't watch a lot of Greek basketball, nor do I even know how to go about doing it. 

    The word is that he's not tremendously athletic but he is both a very smart player and also a very smooth catch-and-shoot player.

    The former works well for a Kings team that has plenty of youth and immaturity. The latter works well for a team that has players who can drive to the rim like Marcus Thornton, or players like DeMarcus Cousins who can finish at the rim. 

    Having a guy like Papanikolaou who is both smart and a champion could help the Kings to grow. 

37. Toronto Raptors: Jared Cunningham

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    Toronto will probably daft another guard with their second round pick. He handles the ball well for a shooting guard, and he isn't a selfish player either. He can play both guard positions, though he is more of a shooting guard than a point guard. 

    On the other hand he is a bit small for shooting guard. 

    On the other other hand he has tremendous speed, and uses that well to get a lot of steals and finish in transition. 

    On the other other other hand after the early 20s there aren't a lot of teams left that need guards, other than the Bulls, who are considering him. 

38 Denver Nuggets: Kyle O'Quinn

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    With a team that has the kind of depth Denver does they don't need to be worried about the position for their second round pick. In fact, it's going to be tough for their second round pick to make the team. 

    That's why you can just expect them to take whoever the highest player on their board will be at that point and that player based on this mock would be Kyle O'Quinn.

    O'Quinn is an athletic big with strength who rebounds well. A player like that has a chance to earn their way onto any team. 

39. Detroit Pistons: Orlando Johnson

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    I wish there were a way for me to put Orlando Johnson in Orlando but it's just not going to happen. 

    With the Detroit Pistons not having exercised their amnesty clause yet (Rip Hamilton was bought out in the conventional sense) Ben Gordon could have played his last game in Detroit. 

    That would leave an opening as the back up shooting guard and Johnson would fill that role well. He's an overall good athlete who is good at everything and great at nothing. He's a highly talented scorer though, and there's a lot about him to suggest he would make an excellent sixth man, something the Pistons could use if Gordon is gone. 

40. Portland Trail Blazers: Drew Gordon

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    The Portland Trail Blazers will use their third pick to take Drew Gordon, the senior out of New Mexico. 

    With their history of injury issues, Portland can't have too many big men.

    Gordon is a strong, 6' 9" power forward who has a reasonable shot and is one of the better rebounders in this year's draft class. 

    He won't be starting for the Trail Blazers, but he won't be bad to come off the bench in relief of LaMarcus Aldridge. 

41. Portland Trail Blazers: Kevin Murphy

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers combine to take eight of the top 41 players in the draft. That's nearly 20 percent! 

    With their first three picks the Trail Blazers would have taken a point guard, a shooting guard and a power forward. They'll use the last pick to take a small forward, namely Kris Joseph. If they make a trade they could get one more rookie and put an all-rookie team on the floor. 

    Joseph was the leading scorer on one of the best teams in the country. He's not an NBA starter but he is an NBA player who can contribute off the bench. 

42. Milwaukee Bucks: Bernard James

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    Bernard James is the one on the bottom but I had to put in this picture because it cracked me up. It does give an indication of what kind of player James is though—tough minded. 

    James is 27 and spent time in the Air Force before going to college. That gives him a maturity you wouldn't normally see from a college student. So, while his age might be seen as a detriment to some, it could also be a plus to a team looking to crack the postseason. 

43. Atlanta Hawks: Scott Machado

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    Scott Machado led the NCAA in assists last year with 9.9 per game. He is an impressive passer, but he's not without a scoring ability either as he shot .495 from the field and better than .400 from the three-point line while scoring over 13 points per game. 

    The Hawks could use a new backup point guard as they'll be losing Kirk Heinrich to free agency, and Machado's tremendous speed would make him a great fill in for Marcus Teague. 

44. Detroit Pistons: Khris Middleton

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    Why would the Detroit Pistons want a long-armed thin small forward with a solid all around game who is reluctant to shoot. I mean, why would they want another one. 

    Because they have one. 

    Middleton seems to fit with the type of player that the Pistons like to pick. That's not to say he's bad. He's known for his mid-range game and has been compared to guess who—Richard Hamilton. 

45. Philadelphia 76ers: Tomas Satoransky

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    Tomas Satoransky is an intelligent, reasonably athletic swingman from the Czech Republic. 

    He is likely to be taken as a player who won't be utilized right away as he could still use a couple of years of seasoning in Europe, but the 76ers aren't in need of the kind of help a middle-second round pick is going to give them right away. 

    It makes more sense for them to take a player who has the potential to develop into something better but that they don't have to spend money to develop. 

46. Charlotte Bobcats, Henry Sims

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    Henry Sims is a senior and a late bloomer. He's a solid rebounder, and a capable scorer when he's in the paint. He brings enough effort and energy to the game that combined with his seven foot size and 241 pounds, he'll have a chance to latch on to an NBA roster. 

47. Utah Jazz: Tu Holloway

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    Yes, there is a player in the draft whose name rhymes with Jrue Holiday. Figure the odds. I almost sent him to the Sixers just for the fun of it. 

    But I digress. The Jazz have plenty of bigs. Gordon Hawyard looked like he was really starting to break out last year. With the Timeberwolves owning their first round pick this will be their only pick of the draft and they will likely grab the best point guard available, and that happens to be Holloway. 

48. New York Knicks: Mike Scott

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    The Knicks, I mean the players union, won their bid to have Bird rights for Jeremy Lin so they won't need to worry about getting a backup point guard or a three-point shooter with their one and only draft pick. 

    That means they should concentrate on what they need most, and excellent rebounder. They'll get that in Mike Scott, who averaged 8.3 rebounds in just 31.2 minutes a game last year. 

49. Orlando Magic: Hollis Thompson

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    After resisting the temptation to draft yet another player who has tremendous three-point shooting but zero ability to put the ball on the floor in the first round, the Magic will succumb to temptation in the second. 

    Thompson was one of the best shooters in college basketball and next year he'll be one of the best shooters in the NBA, but he still won't be able to drive. 

50. Denver Nuggets: Jae Crowder

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    Why would the Denver Nuggets want Jae Crowder?

    Because what Kenneth Faried is to power forwards, Crowder is to small forwards. He's a tough, hard working player who will probably outplay his pick. 

    Plus, he's got the hair. 

51. Boston Celtics: Furkan Aldemir

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    Furkan Aldemir is a power forward/center, the type of player the Celtics can't get enough of. 

    He doesn't do a lot of things well, but the one thing he does really well is rebounding, which is the thing the Celtics need the most. 

52. Golden State Warriors: Quincy Acy

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    Quincy Acy has been climbing the boards during the last few weeks because scouts are falling in love with his effort. 

    The one thing he does well is try. He apparently is about as raw as mooing hamburger, but he's got so much motor that it's hard not to love him. 

    You can teach skills, which Acy lacks, but you can't teach effort and Acy has that in spades. 

53. Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Griffin

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    First, with a name like "Eric Griffin" it's almost like he's destined to be a Los Angeles Clipper. He's like the convergence of Eric Bledsoe and Blake Griffin. 

    But what's in a name? What's fun is the notion of adding this to lob city. If the Clippers add a crazy athletic small forward to that mix, it would be insane. Two flying Griffin beasts? What more could you ask?

54. Philadelphia 76ers: Kris Joseph

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    This is the type of player that is right up the 76ers alley. He's a long, athletic wing who has plenty of room to grow. 

    His basketball IQ, not his ability, is why he's a second round pick. A coach like Doug Collins is a good cure for a player as he's one of the great teachers in the game right now. 

55. Dallas Mavericks: Kim English

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    Kim English improved his field goal percentage from .366 in his junior year to .521 in his senior year. That's just a lot. 

    From deep he improved form .366 to .459. That's just a lot too. 

    He is a shooter, and that's about all he is. He doesn't have much ability to put the ball on the floor, but he can knock down the three and he can defend. 

56. Toronto Raptors: Bernard James

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    The Toronto Raptors will still be in need of a little more help defensively inside. Bernard James is a great leaper and he's strong inside and will be able to provide that. He averaged 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game last year. 

    The reason he's not higher is that his age is 27. Not too many teams are interested in spending a high draft pick on someone that's closer to 30 than 20. 

57. Brooklyn Nets: Williams Buford

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    Williams Buford is the flip-side of a lot of the second round players that are being taken. By that I mean while most of the second rounders are players who have a lot more talent than has been realized, Buford is pretty polished for a college player. 

    The problem is whether he has the athleticism to be a standout NBA player. He might have reached his peak. 

58. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Jones

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    Kevin Jones is going to be the best player left for the Timberwolves with the 57th pick in the draft. He has some ability to play either forward spot, a 7' 2" wing span and plays well in the paint. 

    On the other hand he's got limited athletic ability and may not even make the squad. Honestly though, the Timberwolves might not want three rookies on the team anyway. I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade away this pick. 

59. San Antonio Spurs: Marcus Denmon

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    Demnon is the type of player that the Spurs love to take and turn into something better than what you thought you could be. 

    He's got the "flaw" that is the reason he "can't make it" in that he's "too small." He's also a very efficient scorer, averaging 1.42 points per field goal attempt last year and 1.44 the year before that. 

    He shoots for a good percentage both from the field overall (.460) and from deep (.407). He makes almost 90 percent of his free throws. He plays hard and he plays smart, and that's all the makings of the Spurs next steal. 

60. Los Angeles Lakers: J'Covan Brown

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    J'Covan Brown is the type of player the Lakers are looking for. He's a good ball handler who can penetrate and create shots for himself or for others.

    Now granted, he's not an exceptional athlete, and he's a bit small at 6' 2" with shoes, but he is a player who can run a team, and we are talking about the last pick in the draft.

    Brown exceeded expectations with Texas last year, and the players who have been coming out of there lately have bee doing fairly well so that could be the kicker for the Lakers to take him.