Welcome to the first shot of the NBA DRAFT. The Ping Pong balls are done for another year, and Mock the Draft not the Process.
David: In a stunning Move, the Charlotte team did NOT improve, I know I know, I was as stunned as you. I hope moving back to the Hornets name does not mean inheriting the helium filled ping pong balls they used. For the second time post LeBron, the Cavs have won. Plus with a 0.48% chance, the Wiz get to move up- I have to think that was a move to keep John Wall.I don’t get it though, isn’t the big white dude from Maryland destined to be their pick?
EJ: Yeah, those funny ping-pong balls struck again and once again the Cleveland Cavaliers have the #1 pick. Too bad it came in a year with no superstar to take. Comments welcomed, even if it’s comments telling us we’re fools.
EJ: The Cavs kick us off and with that #1 pick I see them taking University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. Now, Nerlens is coming off ACL surgery on his knee but if any team can be patient with him it’s the Cavs due to the presence of Tyler Zeller and Anderson Varejao. Noel is high energy. 6 foot 10, can run the floor, and is further along on defense than he is on offense. Noel doesn’t come without concerns. The obvious one is his knee, but Noel is also an alarmingly thin 206 pounds. He’s going to need time in the weight room, and a franchise that can wait for him to put it all together.
David: I have to see a trade here. I don’t like the player, and I hate the game. I have a REAL problem drafting a center whom I have no doubt I could shove off the block. (Ed note: I’m 6’2 310) I do love the idea of packing the #1 and Verejao for a real star (PP? LaM? Boogie and a pick?) I will say Noel will be the pick if it gets traded, but if the Cavs have to keep it, I’m going Otto Porter. I fill my SF hole with a guy that does everything, and plays D like a madman. I love Porter.
EJ: University of Michigan point guard Trey Burke comes off the board here. I’m tempted to give Ben McLemore to the Magic but they have Aaron Afflalo locked up for 3 more years. I really like McLemore but the Magic need help at point guard with Jameer Nelson fading. Burke might be small at 6 foot 1 but he’s a tough guy and a capable leader. He likely won’t be a star but he’ll be a good piece in the Orlando rebuilding job.
David: Noel goes here. The Magic are in Mega-build mode, and if Noel waits a year and the Magic win 20 games, they are ok with that. If he busts, then they are still still at the bottom of the barrel, if he hits . . .
EJ: A player I really love will be a Washington Wizard. Georgetown University small forward Otto Porter. Otto is far from flashy but he does everything well. He’s a swiss army knife and he will be a perfect compliment to point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. I’ve heard Otto described as “Scottie Pippen like”. If he’s even half of what Scottie Pippen was, then the Wiz will be a playoff team in the near future.
David: Victor Oladipo This would give John Wall a running mate. Even though I would love to stick them with Len, whom they might take anyway, but Oladipo is the better way to go right now. They don’t have to sell tickets, they have to sell Wall on the situation.
EJ: Kansas University shooting guard Ben McLemore would be a perfect Charlotte Bobcat, until he becomes a perfect Charlotte Hornet. Michael Jordan would be doing backflips if McLemore falls to the #4 spot. Kemba Walker, and Michael Kidd Gilchrist need the scoring help of McLemore who’s been compared favorably to Ray Allen. Well, he’s been called Ray Allen with better athleticism but the Bobcats desperately need scoring and McLemore fits that bill.
David: I understand the McLenmore pick, but they have Gerald there, plus Ben Gordan’s overpriced arse, the Hornets HAVE to replace Josh McRoberts putrid output. I like Trey Burke better, but they have Walker as well, so I’ll take Anthony Bennett here. The last UNLV power forward they took ended up being a good idea.
EJ: Anthony Bennett! C’mon down!! You’re the #5 pick in EJ’s NBA mock draft!!! The University of Nevada Las Vegas power forward will likely end up at small forward because he’s barely 6 foot 7 but the 240 pound Canadian can score with the best of them. He’s coming off a rotator cuff surgery and he’s a liability on defense but the Suns need someone, anyone, that can put the ball into the hoop. Bennett can be the guy that the new general manager and coach of the franchise can build on.
David: I’m looking at you Ben McLemore, When you can’t get more than 8PPG from a shooting guard, its time to replace him. Ben could be impressive, and could end up being the star of this class. But I will bet you he doubles what Wesley did.
EJ: I like Syracuse University point guard Michael Carter-Williams to go to New Orleans with the 6th pick. The Pelicans franchise needs a point guard since it should be clear that Austin Rivers, the son of Doc, is not a point guard. Carter-Williams’ offensive game is horrible but he’s a legit 6 foot 5, handles the rock well, and is a glove on defense. He might not start right away with Vasquez around but he’ll give that back court some options.
David: Trey Burke, your slide ends here. Vasquez could be moved for the right price, and to be honest I almost went Zeller here.
EJ: I’m going to slot University of California Los Angeles shooting guard/small forward Shabazz Muhammad here but I do that with some hesitation. Muhammad might have not fulfilled expectations on the college level, but everything about his game and his personality screams NBA. My only concern is will he mesh with Cousins, and Tyreke Evans (assuming the Kings want Evans back). However, Muhammad is a prolific scorer and his persona is something the Kings can build off of.
David: I honestly have no idea here where to go. Len is still out there, but you have Boogie, CJ is there, as is Carter-Williams, but you have Isaiah there, Muhammad is the pick, even with Tyreke Evans there, just because he might, MIGHT be able to play Small Forward.
EJ: Joe Dumars will thank the basketball gods for who I’m about to give him: Indiana University’s own Victor Oladipo. The Pistons have their front court set in Drummond and Monroe and they have their point guard in Knight. The Pistons need help on the wings, and that’s where the shooting guard Oladipo will help. Kid’s a leader, the kid is accountable and he is also a freak athlete that loves playing defense. His head coach at Indiana has called him a poor man’s Dwayne Wade, and considering Tom Crean also coached Dwayne Wade when they were at Marquette, anyone who ends up with Oladipo should be screaming for joy on draft night.
David: I love Len here, He’s a TRUE center, and yes I know we have Drummond, but you can swap off a 8/8 guy for some needed scoring punch. He’s 7’1 and only 19, but you know what? Screw it- I’m going Michael Carter-Williams here. I’m tired of Jose Calderon.
EJ: Another shooting guard comes off the board at #9. University of Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a Minnesota Timberwolf in this mock draft. Pope is 6 foot 6 and does one thing: score! The Wolves have a huge hole at SG and Pope is much needed.
David: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the right move here. Pope has to work on his defense, but lets be honest, the Wolves have to score more, or hire Mike Fratello.
EJ: The Trail Blazers seem like they pick a big man every year with the hope that one of them will be good. Last year it was Meyers Leonard and this year I think it’s going to be University of Pittsburgh’s center Steven Adams. Adams is raw. Very raw but the New Zealander is athletic as all heck. He’s a potential pick that you can sit on the bench and hope that in a season or two he blossoms into a star.
David: Alex Len goes here. LaM needs a running buddy, and even though he’s not the fastest guy in the draft, he eats up space and won’t get lost in the Rose Garden.
EJ: Indiana University’s Cody Zeller should be the pick here. Zeller played center at Indiana but he should make the transition to power forward in the NBA. The Sixers do have big men in Hawes, Allen, and last year’s rookie Moultrie but none of them have the versatility that Zeller brings. If Andrew Bynum is relatively healthy, and re-signed by the Sixers he and Zeller should make a potent front court.
David: CJ McCollum goes here. The Sixers are not going to do much with Jrue going forward, and they HAVE to figure out what to do with Bynum, adding a center in round 1 is going to hurt his wittlebaby feelings.
EJ: Gonzaga University’s Kelly Olynyk should be the pick here. Olynyk is a 7 foot tall center out of Gonzaga with a complete offensive game. The Thunder need scoring and they are going to need someone who can play from Day 1. The Thunder have few needs but since Perkins and Ibaka are not known for their scoring it wouldn’t be a bad idea bringing in the versatile big man.
David: Perkins has been a disaster, and Serge is overrated, So they go big with Cody Zeller who can fit alongside Kevin Durant andstill be athletic enough to not get in the way. I am tempted to go with Mason Plumlee, just because I think he’s a good matchup against Gasol, but taking the smaller but quicker Cody is the right move.
EJ: I don’t expect the Mavs to make this pick but if they do stay at #13 I think they will go Euro with the hope of stashing the kid overseas for a year in order to clear up cap space for a run at Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul. For the purpose of the mock draft I’ll give the Mavs Croatian small forward Dario Saric. Saric is 6 foot 10, and is described as a ball handler with a great basketball IQ. If the Mavs take Saric, and keep him, then he should have a great mentor in Dirk Nowitzki in a few seasons.
David: Going with Shabazz here. The Mavs have quite a few questions to answer this offseason, but talented scorers are always a safe bet. They could be picking for someone else, as we all know.
EJ: To close out the Lottery I’ll go with Lehigh University’s C.J. McCollum. The Jazz need a point guard, and although the 6 foot 3 McCollum will likely be a shooting guard at the NBA level, he is a dead eye shooter that can fill up the score sheet. The Jazz have a pick later in the 1st round and hopefully they can find their point guard there but McCollum would be a solid selection.
David: Size is the one thing that the Jazz have. Problem is, almost all the lotto talent left are gone, so I’m taking the best that is left and going with Jamaal Franklin, from San Deigo State, best fit for SG, he could slide over at the point, and maybe even SF for some matchups, bottom line, he’s going to see the floor.
So that’s our Mock Draft, soon to be blown out of the water by the 37 trades that will happen in the first round.
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