Cleveland Cavaliers 2012 Mock Draft: A Second Look at the Experts' Opinions

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterMay 4, 2012

Cleveland Cavaliers 2012 Mock Draft: A Second Look at the Experts' Opinions

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    A lot has changed since the first Cavaliers mock draft was released back in early April.

    First, a month of losing has propelled the Cavaliers from what was last projected as the eighth overall pick to what is now the likely third overall selection in the 2012 draft.

    We also now know that the Cavs will be picking at No. 24 in the first round, and 33rd and 34th in the second round.

    How have these changes affected what NBA mock drafts around the web have projected about who the Cavaliers will draft? 

    Let's take a look at Cavaliers mock draft 2.0.

Cavs Mock No. 1: NBA Draft.net

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    1st Round Pick: Andre Drummond, C, UConn, Freshman

    A true center with great skills who largely underperformed his freshman year but could be worth the investment of an early first-round pick. 

    1st Round (Lakers) Pick: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse, Sophomore

    True center who is already a good rebounder and shot blocker.  Still raw offensively and faced academic problems while at Syracuse which should raise some flags to his level of commitment to the team. 

    2nd Round (Hornets) Pick: Draymond Green, SF/PF, Michigan State, Senior

    One of the best college players in 2011-12, Green projects as an above-average role player in the NBA by contributing on many levels but dominating in none.

    2nd Round Pick: Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse, Senior 

    Athletic swingman who's always active, needs to develop a better outside shot.

    Grade: C

    The Cavs would certainly address the center position in this draft, but passing on both Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal in favor of Drummond would be a mistake.

    Green and Joseph would be awesome second-round picks.  Melo cannot be trusted at this point, despite his amazing potential.


Cavs Mock No. 2: Draft Express.com

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    1st Round Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SG/SF, Kentucky, Freshman

    The second-best defender in the entire draft can play either wing position and has a motor that won't quit.  With an improved jump shot, Kidd-Gilchrist would have little to no weaknesses in his game. 

    1st Round (Lakers) Pick: Evan Fournier, SG, France

    At age 19 leads his French team in scoring. He's an athletic and crafty finisher around the rim.

    2nd Round (Hornets) Pick: Doran Lamb, SG, Kentucky, Sophomore

    Undersized for an NBA shooting guard but has good scoring ability and a new NCAA championship ring. 

    2nd Round Pick: Darius Miller, SF, Kentucky, Senior

    The glue of Kentucky's championship team, good defender who can guard multiple positions and hit shots from a lot of different spots on the court. 

    Grade: B 

    Apparently the Cavs brass attended quite a few Kentucky Wildcat games this winter.  All of these players would look great in wine and gold, especially Kidd-Gilchrist, but the lack of a center and an overload of wings prevents this from reaching the "A" range.

Cavs Mock No. 3: NBA-Draft.com

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    1st Round Pick: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida, Freshman

    Great shooter with high basketball IQ, solid defender but sometimes struggles to create for himself.

    1st Round (Lakers) Pick: Royce White, SF/PF, Iowa State, Sophomore

    Versatile forward whose position at the NBA level is tough to predict.  Highly skilled, but has some off-court issues that led to his removal from Minnesota before transferring. 

    2nd Round (Hornets) Pick:  Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt, Senior

    Power dunker and shot-blocker who could contribute immediately but doesn't feature a very high ceiling.

    2nd Round Pick: Tomas Satoransky, SG, Czech Republic

    Active wing with great court vision and passing skills, needs to add weight to his 6'7" frame.

    Grade: B+

    Love the Beal and Ezeli picks, but White is a risky player due to his lack of position and character issues.  This is the first time I've seen Satoransky mocked to any NBA team, and it's likely if the Cavs draft him that he would stay overseas for a season or two.

    Overall not a bad haul, but with Moe Harkless and Draymond Green still on the board, I'd take either of them over White.

Cavs Mock No. 4: My NBA Draft.com

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    1st Round Pick: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida, Freshman

    Great shooter with high basketball IQ, solid defender but sometimes struggles to create for himself.

    1st Round (Lakers) Pick: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse, Sophomore

    True center who is already a good rebounder and shot blocker.  Still raw offensively and faced academic problems while at Syracuse which should raise some flags to his level of commitment to the team. 

    2nd Round (Hornets) Pick: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt, Junior

    Averaged nearly 20 points per game while shooting 44 percent on threes.

    2nd Round Pick: Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia, Senior

    Hard-working hustler who can rebound but relied heavily on overpowering smaller forwards in college, which could lead to problems in NBA.

    Grade: A-

    Cavs would certainly solve their shooting guard woes with Beal and Jenkins.  They add their center in Melo which, if nothing else, ensures that the Heat won't be able to draft him.

    Melo's character issues are the only thing preventing this draft from being a solid "A" or "A+".


Cavs Mock No. 5: Walter Football.com

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    1st Round Pick: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida, Freshman

    Great shooter with high basketball IQ, solid defender but sometimes struggles to create for himself.

    1st Round (Lakers) Pick: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse, Sophomore

    True center who is already a good rebounder and shot blocker.  Still raw offensively and faced academic problems while at Syracuse which should raise some flags to his level of commitment to the team. 

    2nd Round (Hornets) Pick: Draymond Green, SF/PF, Michigan State, Senior

    One of the best college players in 2011-12, Green projects as an above-average role player in the NBA by contributing on many levels but dominating in none.

    2nd Round Pick: Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas, Senior

    Great college player who could turn into a solid backup point guard to Kyrie Irving. 

    Grade: A-

    The best Cavs mock to date in terms of team need and overall talent, the good people at Walter Football have the Cavs filling their need at shooting guard, center, backup point guard and possibly small forward if Green works at transforming his body.

    I think Green's work ethic and character will garner him a late first-round pick, and Melo might not make it past the Denver Nuggets in the draft. But if the Cavs could get one or both at those picks, it would represent a great value.



Chad Ford's NBA Lottery

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    If you haven't visited the Chad Ford interactive lottery mock draft on ESPN, it's a nice way to spend time while at work, continually clicking "Play Lottery" until your favorite team finally gets the prospect you want.

    As an added bonus, we'll take the most commonly mocked prospect out of five attempts to predict who the Cavaliers will take.  Drum-roll, please.

    Attempt 1: Pick 2, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    Attempt 2: Pick 5, Andre Drummond

    Attempt 3: Pick 5, Andre Drummond

    Attempt 4: Pick 4, Andre Drummond

    Attempt 5: Pick 2, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist

    Unfortunately, no Anthony Davis, but the magic lottery board does seem to think the Cavaliers will favor a big man.

Recap

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    Compared to version 1.0 from April, these drafts were vastly improved in terms of quality players for Cleveland.

    Bradley Beal was once again the most likely player for the Cavs to take in the lottery.  Last month he tied with Harrison Barnes at two selections apiece.  This time with the Cavs moving up in the lottery, they passed on Barnes every time.

    Fab Melo seems to be a popular pick with the Lakers first-round pick, making the list three out of five times.  They definitely need a center, but Melo's offensive skills are very limited, so pairing him with Tristan Thompson might not be the best combination.

    Festus Elezi was my favorite second-round pick.  The Vanderbilt center is a brute and would fit in nicely.  April's version had the Cavs passing on him every time.

    Draymond Green was picked to go to the Cavs a couple of times.  He would be a great guy to have in the locker room and could play either forward position off the bench.  Tom Izzo loved him, and Dan Gilbert tried to hire Tom Izzo. So expect Gilbert to encourage Chris Grant to draft Green.

    It's exciting to see NBA mock drafts finally beginning to stabilize with the draft about a month and a half away.  Expect version 3.0 to appear after the May 30th NBA draft lottery

    Can the Cavs pull off back-to-back first overall picks?

    With Nick Gilbert there, I wouldn't rule it out.