Early Bird Mock Draft 1.0

With March Madness coming to an end this weekend I decided to take a first look at how the draft could shake out in my opinion.

It is almost certain that some relatively unknown foreign players will get in the picture before the draft and some talented underachievers like Andre Drummond are probably going to go back to school when they see their actual projected draft position. Patric Young and Andre Drummond are two of the most likely I think.

1. Charlotte Bobcats

Biggest Needs: SF/SG

Anthony Davis 6'10/6'11 PF Kentucky

NBA comparison: Camby-Marion-Duncan-Garnett hybrid - Really he needs no comparison

3 standout performances:

27 points 14 rebounds 7 blocks vs Arkansas

28 Points 11 rebounds 5 blocks 2 steals vs Vanderbilt

15 points 15 rebounds 8 blocks 2 steals vs St.John's


They can't pass up Davis although they have 2 similiar players in Tyrus Thomas and Bismack Biyombo. Biyombo might be a bit short for the center position but is long and plenty strong. With DAvis and Biyombo the Bobcats are set up to having the best shotblocking frontcourt in recent league history.

2. New Orleans Hornets

Biggest Needs: SF/PF/C/PG

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 6'7 SF Kentucky

NBA comparison: Scottie Pippen

3 standout performances:

24 points 19 rebounds 1 assist vs Louisville

24 points 10 rebounds 1 assist vs Indiana @ March Madness

18 points 10 rebounds 1 assist 2 blocks 2 steals vs Mississippi State


Kidd-Gilchrist needs to work on his perimeter game but which 18 year old wing player does not? He combines very good athletic ability and work ethic. He has very high ceiling if he improves his ball handling and jumpshot he can be a franchise player and his attitute makes him the perfect young player to start rebuilding with.

3. Washington Wizards

Biggest Needs: PF/C/SG/SF

Bradley Beal - 6'5 SG Florida

NBA comparison: Eric Gordon/Dwyane Wade

3 standout performances:

20 points 8 rebounds 5 assists 1 steal 1 block vs Kentucky

21 points 6 rebounds 4 assists 2 steals 2 blocks vs Marquette @ March Madness

22 points 10 rebounds 3 assists 3 blocks vs Stetson


They either need a big man to pair with Nene or a wing player to pair with Wall. Washington might listen to trade offers at this position. Maybe they would consider trading the #3 pick along with Andray Blatche for Marcin Gortat, just an idea. Or swap #3 and Blatche for #12 and either Frye or Dudley.

Bradley Beal reminds me of Eric Gordon but he seems to be slightly bigger and much better rebounder and also better passer. I project him to be a better version of Eric Gordon / Mitch Richmond which should be good enough to make a few allstar games.

4. Sacramento Kings

Biggest needs: PG/SF/PF

Thomas Robinson 6'9 PF Kansas

NBA comparison: Antonio McDyess

3 standout performances:

30 points 21 rebounds 4 assists 1 block 2 steals vs North Dakota

25 points 14 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal vs Texas

20 points 17 rebounds 4 assists 2 steals 2 blocks vs Oklahoma


Alternatively they could reach for Harrison Barnes here but I think the best pick for them might be Kendall Marshall but it would take guts to pass on Thomas Robinson who is the best player available. The question is if two gifted offensive players like Robinson and Cousins can co-exist. If they can look out and Thomas Robinson work ethic and character should be a welcome addition to a Kings team with questionable characters like Evans and Cousins.

5. Toronto Raptors

Biggest needs: PG/SF

Kendall Marshall 6'4 PG North Carolina

NBA comparison: Andre Miller

3 standout performances:

22 points 13 assists 2 rebounds 1 steal vs North Carolina State

20 points 10 assists 4 rebounds 1 steal vs Duke

18 points 11 assists 4 rebounds 1 block vs Creighton @ March Madness


If you are left choosing between Marshall and Barnes, I'd take Marshall and I think that is the best impact player they can get to pair with DeRozan, Bargnani and Valanciunas.

Marshall is probably the most undervalued player right now in the draft. In a weak PG class there is no way that a player like Marshall who is projected to be worst case something between Mark Jackson and Andre Miller and has put up historical assist numbers at North Carolina is going to fall out of the top 7. The tournament sealed Marshalls status as best PG in college right now and best true PG to come out of college since probably Jason Kidd. If he Marshall was scoring a little more and overall more athletic he would seriously challenge Anthony Davis.

6. Golden State

(if outside top 7 it goes to Utah) - Biggest needs: SF/C

Harrison Barnes 6'8 SF North Carolina

NBA comparison: poor man's Danny Granger/Jamal Mashburn/Glen Rice

3 standout performances:

26 points 10 rebounds 1 assists 1 block 2 steals vs Texas

24 points 7 rebounds 2 assists 2 steals vs Clemson

27 points 6 rebounds 3 steals 1 block vs Virginia Tech


Golden State could go several directions here. They just acquired Bogut but they could still go for Andre Drummond or Cody Zeller here. I think they will reach for Harrison Barnes. Barnes got exposed in college this year. It would not be shocking to see him drop out of the top 10 because more people realize that in reality he was maybe just the 4th or 5th best player on his own college team and the only skill he has that is above average is a pretty good shooting touch.

7. Portland (via New Jersey)

Biggest needs: PG/SG/C

Austin Rivers - 6'4 SG Duke

NBA comparison: Monta Ellis

3 standout performances:

29 points 5 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal vs North Carolina

18 points 5 rebounds 5 assists 1 steal vs Virginia Tech

23 points 4 rebounds 1 assist 17 FTA vs Virginia Tech


Portland is an interesting case. Assuming they see no need at their forward positions with Batum, Aldridge and Hickson they should be looking to improve their backcourt and center position. They would love to have Kendall Marshall drop to them but that won't happen. Austin Rivers will give them what they hoped to get out of Jamal Crawford.

8. Portland

Biggest needs PG/C

Cody Zeller - 7' F/C Indiana

NBA comparison: Pau Gasol

3 standout performances:

20 points 7 rebounds 2 assists vs Kentucky @ March Madness

16 points 13 rebounds 1 assist 1 block vs Virginia Commonwealth @ March Madness

19 points 10 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal 1 block vs Penn State


After adding youth to their backcourt, Porland is left with a decision on how to improve their center position. The options are the talented Andre Drummond who looks to maybe have the most potential but has given underwhelming production in college, the most ready to play center in Tyler Zeller or the more talented younger brother Cody Zeller. In the end Cody Zeller gives them the best mix of talent and production.

9. Cleveland

Biggest needs SG/SF/C

Tyler Zeller - 7' C North Carolina

NBA comparison: Chris Kaman

3 standout performances:

20 points 22 rebounds 4 blocks vs Ohio @ March Madness

21 points 17 rebounds 1 assist 2 steals 1 block vs North Carolina State

30 points 8 rebounds 3 blocks 2 steals 23 FTA vs Maryland


With Irving and Thompson in place Cleveland could use talent on the wing and center position. The options are between Drummond, Lamb and Tyler Zeller. I believe that Zeller would be the best fit next to Thompson in the frontcourt but they could also decide to pair Lamb with Irving in the backcourt.

10. New Orleans (via Minnesota)

Biggest needs: PF/C/PG

Jared Sullinger - 6'9 PF Ohio State

NBA comparison: Zach Randolph / Al Jefferson

3 standout performances :

22 points 18 rebounds 3 assists 2 blocks vs Northwestern

30 points 12 rebounds 2 assists 3 blocks vs Purdue

23 points 11 rebounds 3 assists 1 steal vs Cincinatti @ March Madness


After fixing the small forward position by drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the Hornets fill out their roster of Jack, Gordon, Gilchrist and Okafor with a talented scorer and post player athe power forward position in Jared Sullinger. Andre Drummond, Perry Jones III, John Henson or Terrence Jones could be options as well, all power forwards.

11. Detroit Pistons

Biggest needs: SG/SF/PF

Jeremy Lamb - 6'5 SG UConn

NBA comparison: Kevin Martin

3 standout performances:

32 points 5 rebounds 2 assists vs Villanova

25 points 5 rebounds 4 assists vs DePaul

25 points 8 rebounds 3 assists vs West Virginia


The Pistons have to make a tough choice between Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb. Drummond and Henson would not fit well next to Monroe in my opinion. Jones III might be a perfect match however with his perimeter skills and Monroe could make up for his lack of defense, toughness and rebounding. In the end however I think Detroit would make the safe pick and put Lamb in their backcourt with Knight. Lamb has extremely long arms and would fit in well with Detroit's history of drafting lanky players like Prince and Daye.

12. Phoenix Suns

Biggest needs: SG/SF/PF/PG

Andre Drummond - 6'10/6'11 F/C UConn

NBA comparison: DeAndre Jordan

3 standout performances:

20 points 11 rebounds 2 steals 3 blocks vs West Virginia

17 points 14 rebounds 3 blocks vs Syracuse

14 points 10 rebounds 3 blocks vs Syracuse


A year ago I was convinced Drummond would be a #1 pick in the draft but his production has been underwhelming and inconsistent. The Suns are in a tough spot here because their biggest need is getting a dynamic wing scorer but Beal, Rivers, Lamb, Gilchrist and Barnes are all gone and Terrence Jones is a tweener similiar to Markieff Morris.

So the Suns are stuck chosing between two enigmas Andre Drummond and Perry Jones III. The Suns lucked out on Amare Stoudemire before, a similiar project as Drummond.

13. Milwaukee Bucks

Biggest needs: C/SF

Meyers Leonard - 7' C Illinois

NBA comparison: Chris Kaman

3 standout performances:

22 points 14 rebounds 2 assists 2 blocks vs Iowa

22 points 12 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal 5 blocks vs Richmond

19 points 16 rebounds 2 assists 3 blocks vs Cornell


The Bucks just traded away Andrew Bogut and now have to add size in their fronctourt to cover their tiny backcourt. Alternatively they could take Terrence Jones if they believe he can play small forward in the NBA.

14. Utah Jazz

Biggest needs: PG/SG/SF

Damian Lillard - 6'2 PG Weber State

NBA comparison: Jason Terry

3 standout performances:

41 points 8 rebounds 5 assists 2 steals 1 block vs San Jose State

29 points 10 rebounds 7 assists 1 steal 1 block vs Montana

38 points 5 rebounds 5 assists 1 steal 1 block vs Portland State


Point Guard is the only position the Jazz do not have top young talent. They would love to get the pick from Golden State to draft Kendall Marshall but he will not drop out of the top 7. The alternatives are not really there for the Jazz.

15. Houston (via New York)

Biggest needs: PF/C/SF

John Henson - 6'10 PF North Carolina

NBA comparison: Keon Clark / Andris Biedrins

3 standout performances:

16 points 16 rebounds 6 blocks vs Virginia Tech

14 points 12 rebounds 1 assists 2 steals 4 blocks vs Wake Forest

12 points 17 rebounds 2 assists 1 block vs Duke


I have a hard time letting Terrence Jones drop further but there is no way Houston picks him up after drafting a similiar player in Marcus Morris last year.

Luis Scola is declining fast, they are set in the backcourt and no great small forward or center is available. They could take Perry Jones III here as well.

16. New Jersey (via Houston)

Biggest needs: PF

Terrence Jones 6'9 SF/PF Kentucky

NBA comparison: Paul Milsap / Derrick Williams / Rodney Rogers

3 standout performances:

26 points 9 rebounds 4 steals 4 blocks vs St.John's

27 points 9 rebounds 1 assist 2 steals 3 blocks vs LSU

12 points 9 rebounds 6 assists 2 steals 3 blocks vs Baylor @March Madness


Honestly I see New Jersey trading out at this point. There is no center on the board to move Brook Lopez to the 4. There is no PF on the board that would make sense next to Lopez over Humphries. I mean Jones III next to Brook Lopez screams for disaster. At the 2 they got Brooks and at the 3 Wallace. They showed they don't value their picks when they traded for Wallace. The Suns should inquire about this pick and target Terrence Jones, Perry Jones III, Quincy Miller or Tony Wroten.

17. Denver Nuggets

Biggest needs: BPA

Perry Jones III - 6'11 PF Baylor

NBA comparison: Anthony Randolph / Zarko Cabarkapa

3 standout performances:

31 points 11 rebounds 1 assist 2 blocks vs Kansas State

22 points 13 rebounds 3 assists vs Texas

28 points 8 rebounds 4 assists 3 steals vs BYU


On the one hand Denver can afford to gamble, on the other hand a situation like that on such a deep team might be bad for Jones III. Personally I have not given up on Jones III although it looks more and more likely that he is the next Anthony Randolph. Jones III is destined to potentially drop far in the draft considering like Drummond he was expected to be a top pick a year ago.

Look for Denver to trade this pick, they have so much depth and talent at the moment that they would have trouble fitting this pick in their roster at all. Another pick the Suns should target if they want to acquire some young talent.

18. Philadelphia 76ers

Biggest needs: PF

Arnett Moultrie - 6'11 PF Mississippi State

NBA comparison: Mareese Speights

3 standout performances :

28 points 12 rebounds 1 steal vs LSU

21 points 14 rebounds 4 steals 1 block vs Vanderbilt

28 points 13 rebounds 2 steals vs South Alabama


Replacing Elton Brand will be the biggest task for the 76ers in the near future.

19. Memphis Grizzlies

Biggest needs: SG

Doron Lamb - 6'4 SG Kentucky

NBA comparison : Tony Delk

3 standout performances:

21 points 3 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal vs Indiana @ March Madness

26 points 4 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal vs Penn State

26 points 6 rebounds 1 steal vs Samford


Tony Allen is getting old, OJ Mayo is a restricted free agent and overall the Grizzlies could use someone that can really shoot the ball. Drafting possibly the most dangerous 3 point shooter available seems to be obvious.

20. Atlanta Hawks

Biggest needs: C/SF/PG

Quincy Miller - 6'9 SF Baylor

NBA comparison : Donte Greene

3 standout performances:

20 points 7 rebounds 3 steals vs Missouri

17 points 11 rebounds 6 assists 1 steal vs Texas Arlington

21 points 4 rebounds 1 assist 1 steal vs Oklahoma State


A true center is not available so the Hawks might have to look at possibly improving their SF or PG position. They might go for Marquis Teague the younger brother of their starting PG Jeff Teague or Quincy Miller a true SF and good scorer that could learn a lot from Joe Johnson.

21. Dallas Mavericks

Biggest needs: PG/BPA

Marquis Teague - 6'2 PG Kentucky

NBA comparison - Jeff Teague

3 standout performances :

12 points 3 rebounds 10 assists 1 steal vs Florida

24 points 4 rebounds 7 assists 1 steal vs Iowa State @ March Madness

14 points 3 rebounds 7 assists 1 steal vs Indiana @ March Madness


Another pick that might be available. Dallas should go BPA if they keep the pick but they might decide that the additiona capspace they could have is more valueable to them.

22. Indiana Pacers

Biggest needs: PG

Tyshawn Taylor - 6'3 PG Kansas

NBA comparison : Mario Chalmers

3 standout performances:

22 points 6 rebounds 5 assists 5 steals vs North Carolina @ March Madness

16 points 1 rebound 10 assists 2 steals vs Iowa State

28 points 1 rebound 6 assists 4 steals vs Iowa State


The problem for Indiana is that they need a starting caliber point guard. Tyshawn Taylor is not that. He projects to be a rock solid backup point guard in the NBA. Indiana is another team that might sell their pick to gain additional cap space.

23. Boston Celtics

Biggest needs: C

Tony Wroten - 6'5 PG/SG Washington

NBA comparison: poor man's Russell Westbrook/John Wall without elite athleticism, still athletic

3 standout performances :

29 points 7 rebounds 3 assists 1 steal 2 blocks vs Oregon State

26 points 9 rebounds 4 assists 1 steal vs Oregon State

21 points 6 rebounds 5 assists 2 steals vs Washington State


Strikes me as a Danny Ainge type player, great defensive tools and upside and there is no center left on the board. On the other hand since the Celtics already have Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley they might not want another player with similiar traits. Tony Wroten is one of the youngest players in college and a project at whatever position he will play in the NBA. A player I would love to see the Suns draft and develop as a defensive minded, slashing pointg guard.

A poor mans Russell Westbrook, although Tony Wroten probably had a much better year in college but not the same elite athletic ability.

24. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers)

Biggest needs: C

Moe Harkless - 6'8 SF St. Johns


I have no idea what the Celtics will do in the offseason. Obviously they would love to draft a potential starting center and maybe they could go for Fab Melo here. For now I think Moe Harkless would be a good project for them with high upside relative to the draft position.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers)

Biggest needs: SG/SF

Dion Waiters - 6'4 SG Syracuse


After going big early it is time for the Cavs to get a backcourt partner for Kyrie Irving.

26. Orlando Magic

Biggest needs: PG/SG/SF

Terrence Ross - 6'6 SG Washington


27. Golden State (via Spurs)

Biggest needs: BPA

Patric Young - 6'9 F/C Florida

NBA comparison : Jahidi White


A steal this late in the draft. Patric Young is a workhorse, strong, athletic but raw and short for the center position. A little bit like Bismack Biyombo without the freakish wingspan.

28. Miami Heat

Biggest needs: C/PG

Fab Melo - 7' C Syracuse


The Heat need size in the worst way. I am surprised they did not go hard after someone like Robin Lopez though they probably had nothing to trade for him anyway.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder

Biggest needs: C

Evan Fournier - 6'7 SG/SF France

NBA comparison : Rudy Fernandez


30. Chicago Bulls

Biggest needs: SG/PF

John Jenkins - 6'4 SG Vanderbilt

NBA comparison : JJ Reddick


At the end of the first round you take what you can get and the Bulls can use a sharpshooter.

Some notable 2nd Round prospects:

Tony Mitchell, Freshman, 6'9 PF North Texas

Elias Harris, Senior, 6'9 SF/PF Gonzaga

Darius Miller , Senior, 6'7 SF Kentucky

Mason Plumlee, Junior, 6'10 PF Duke

Festus Ezeli, Senior, 6'11 C Vanderbilt

Royce White, Sophomore, 6'8 SF/PF Iowa St

Jeffrey Taylor, Senior, 6'7 SF Vanderbilt

Will Barton, Sophomore, 6'6 SG Memphis

CJ Leslie, Sophomore, 6'9 SF N.C. State

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