2012 NBA Mock Draft

The NBA draft is on Thursday and all of us Suns fans are waiting for that day because, in all honesty, non of us really have a clue what our favorite team is going to do. One day it's Marshall, the next it's Ross, today it's Moultrie. It makes us think that maybe the Suns Front Office is clueless too.

However, in this mock I focus on every team picking in the first round (with a few surprises - they happen people every year). Will this all happen? Probably not. Do I think I am the Messiah of mock drafts? Absolutely not. I just felt that a fresh take on the draft will be good for all of us to take a refreshing break from the same Lottery we have all seen.

Anyways, enjoy and feel free to comment what you agree with and what you find wrong (we all make mistakes).

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis PF Kentucky

This is the obvious pick for New Orleans anything else would be a shock to the basketball world. Davis has the ability to hit shots, pass, rebound, and play extremely athletic on the defensive end. Of course it isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility that the Hornets make a shocking selection like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of Davis (however unlikely).

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SG/SF Kentucky

The Bobcats hold the key to this draft, what they do defines what the Cavaliers and other teams end up doing. In my opinion, the Bobcats will end up passing on Thomas Robinson, they already have a relatively undersized frontcourt with Tyrus Thomas and Bismack Biyombo. With that in mind the Bobcats desperately need a potential superstar to pair with Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson is a capable SG so they should upgrade their SF slot with MKG. He should become a fan favorite and a highlight reel for the NBA (personally any year without a player like Davis and MKG would be number one).

3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal SG Florida

Thomas Robinson is still available but by acquiring Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza the Wizards have negated immediate draft need at those positions. Beal is a sharp shooter that would give John Wall tons of assists and give the Wizards' fans something to cheer about and would be an immediate upgrade over current starting SG; Jordan Crawford. The Wizards opening lineup would look like this; Wall, Beal, Ariza, Okafor, and Nene a capable lineup for a struggling (young) team.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Thomas Robinson SF/PF Kansas

A great prospect in Robinson falls into the Cavaliers laps. Yes they took Tristan Thompson last year, yes he is also a hybrid SF/PF but Robinson is a superior prospect and I don't think that Thompson is going to pan out like they hoped. Robinson is a monster and will help Cleveland get out of the cellar of the East coast. Cleveland jumps for joy and Kyrie Irving gets a much needed partner in crime.

5. Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina

I don't think the Kings really like the idea of Barnes being in Sacramento but they don't really have an option here without reaching. Barnes also apparently isn't too high on the Kings either considering he cancelled his work out for the organization. I almost more expect the Kings to trade down from the 5th spot and get an established NBA player. Also as a side-note, I don't think that Barnes is all that great of a prospect, he seems bored when on the court and didn't really live up to the hype this past season for the Tar Heels. If Barnes isn't taken here, I would expect him to fall to the Warriors because of how much they love pure shooters and need another SF that can play SG on the roster.

6. Portland Trail Blazers: Dion Waiters SG Syracuse

Waiters has shot up the draft boards recently and I think it's going to get him a spot in Portland. The Blazers need a replacement for Brandon Roy and a scoring threat to help alleviate pressure from LaMarcus Aldridge. Waiters is a scorer that can have an immediate impact for most NBA teams and become a superstar scorer like Dwayne Wade in a few seasons. Of course the Blazers could always elect to go for a PG in Damian Lillard or get a C to partner with Aldridge (Andre Drummond).

7. Golden State Warriors: Terrence Jones PF Kentucky

Jones has fallen out of the Lottery in a lot of mocks but I feel like Jones could very well end up getting snatched by Golden State. The Warriors need help in the front court and someone to partner up with Andrew Bogut in the paint. Plus, Jones is a lengthy 6-10 and can probably guard most SF's in the NBA. I guess it's a possibility that Drummond goes here but they have Bogut and Biedrins at Center.

8. Toronto Raptors: Austin Rivers SG Duke

Austin Rivers is a scoring guard that could potentially be a nice pairing with DeMar DeRozen if Rivers is willing to convert to a PG, similarly to Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Although I think the Raptors are more holding out for Waiters they will have to settle for Rivers and hope he can develop into a good player that puts forth effort on every possession will still providing a high basketball IQ. A lot to ask for such a young player.

9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson PF North Carolina

The Pistons add a good shot blocker in Henson with the 9th selection and create an intriguing pairing with Greg Monroe in the frontcourt. With Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe and John Henson the Pistons could take a big step forward with their organization. I have also heard Tyler Zeller's name floated around here but he doesn't really play Detroit's style of basketball.

10. New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard PG Weber State

The top PG prospect (to some people) falls to New Orleans at 10, after they already landed the top prospect in this year's draft. Lillard didn't have tough competition in college like other top prospects, plus he is a scoring PG and not a traditional PG. I am curious to see if he will be successful in the NBA or if Jarrett Jack will get to keep his job after this season.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Kendall Marshall PG North Carolina

Not only does Portland land a scoring guard in Waiters, then they land the best passer in college to dish the ball to Waiters and Aldridge. This would allow Marshall to work on his jump shot at the right pace because he won't be a first scoring option with Waiters and Aldridge on the court which should make coaching him much easier (especially without Nate McMillan.

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Andre Drummonds C Connecticut

Drummonds fell far in this mock, and it is mostly because of circumstance (or maybe his work ethic?). The Bucks need a replacement for Bogut, and preferably one that isn't polished on offense because Jennings and Ellis will be jacking up most of the shots, Drummonds will be there to pick up the bricks and play post-up defense.

13. Phoenix Suns: Terrence Ross SG Washington

The Suns have made it apparent (or at least strongly hinted at) that they are going to draft a scoring SG in this draft. Ross is an offensive monster that plays in the Suns style of offense; 3-pointers and quick shots. I don't see Lamb going here because Ross is more physical and athletic by a huge amount. Ross might be enough to entice to Nash to stay in Phoenix also which could be a massive step in keeping Phoenix out of the rebuilding process.

14. Houston Rockets: Tyler Zeller C North Carolina

The Rockets need a big man badly because Samuel Dalembert is a temporary starter at best. Zeller has a solid game that doesn't overwhelm you but is very consistent. In fact, most scouts are heralding Zeller's game as the most NBA ready (I don't know how much of that I believe but it is a good piece for the Rockets to select).

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State

The Sullinger slide stops in Philadelphia. Sullinger slid because he is undersized, has little explosion, and has been red-flagged by doctors because of his back. However, the 76ers take a chance on him because he is considered to have high potential, and wouldn't be an immediate starter on their roster. For the first season or two they would use him as the 7th or 8th man and give him enough playing time to get him ready for the NBA and let the team Physicians work on his conditioning and durability.

16. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III PF Baylor

After getting the most NBA ready player at 14, the Rockets take a work in progress when they select Perry Jones III. Some scouts say that Jones wasn't always playing hard in every game, with that in mind the Rockets could work on his laziness and work ethic while he rides the bench behind Luis Scola for the next season or two.

17. Dallas Mavericks: Jeremy Lamb SG Connecticut

Some say that Lamb is a Lottery pick, some say he shouldn't, in my mock; Lamb falls out of the Lottery because of his skinny frame. The Mav's pull the trigger because Jason Terry and Vince Carter are on the wrong side of 30 and soon (very soon) they will need a replacement for them and because Lamb is considered an absolute steal at the 17th spot. Lamb could easily become a solid starter in the NBA.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Quincy Miller SF Baylor

Beasley isn't the answer in Minnesota (much like how Miami felt about him), which means that the Wolves will need a replacement. Miller's ability (long, can shoot, runs the floor well) will allow Ricky Rubio's game to reach the highest level. Also, the Wolves can afford to gamble on this pick and take a very talented player Miller, Royce White is also an option here if the Wolves so choose.

19. Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard C Illinois

Leonard fell hard, most believe that he is now considered a Lottery pick but I believe most teams are using him as a smoke screen which will cause him to fall later in the draft. The Magic also need to plan for a future that might not include Dwight Howard, Leonard could be an easy short term solution after backing up and learning from Howard for a full season.

20. Denver Nuggets: Royce White SF/PF Iowa State

Versatile player who can play big or small, and remember Denver loves their combo players these days. White does pose some problems mentally because of his fear of flying but Denver has been dealing with JaVale McGee so putting up with White won't be nearly as tough.

21. Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie PF Mississippi State

Moultrie, another casualty of the Bobcats pick, falls down to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are in need of bigs with Garnett getting older and having a top Center in Jermaine O'Neil. Moultrie is a solid big man who can provide depth for the next season and potentially make a move on the starting PF spot in a few seasons.

22. Boston Celtics: Fab Melo C Syracuse

Again, the Celtics are in need of bigs. Melo can step in and be an immediate impact for the Celtics on the defensive end (plus he rebounds like a monster). Of course the Celtics go always opt for depth at the SF spot by taking Jeffery Taylor instead.

23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten PG Washington

Wroten is a big PG at 6-5 and could make the Hawks backcourt one of the largest in the league when Joe Johnson is on the court. He is considered to be more of a pure PG when compared to Jeff Teague (currently on roster), plus the Hawks need depth at the PG position if they want to compete.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeffery Taylor SF Vanderbilt

The Cavs have need at both the SG and SF positions, Taylor provides a nice option at the 24th spot. He is versatile on defense and is able to space the floor effectively. He should provide a nice option for Irving on the perimeter when defenses are busy focusing on Robinson down low (provided they land Robinson early in the draft). If the Cavs don't land Robinson early, I would expect the Cavs to take Andrew Nicholson at the 24th spot.

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Tyshawn Taylor PG Kansas

Grizzlies need some depth at the PG spot, Tyshawn Taylor is a leader and GM Chris Wallace loves to take players from his alma mater which makes this potential pick seem logical. Realistically the Grizzlies should be picking BPA, their team is solid and has a shot at the Western Conference (as long as they don't run into the Thunder steam train).

26. Indiana Pacers: Moe Harkless SF St. John's

The Pacers are relatively deep (as long as Roy Hibbert stays) which means the Pacers can also pretty much go BPA. Indiana does need help at the SF spot though and somebody who can play when both Granger and George are on the bench.

27. Miami Heat: Andrew Nicholson PF St. Bonaventure

The Heat are probably hoping that Melo falls this far so they can have a legit big man on the floor. However, there is a silver-lining in the fact that Nicholson falls to 27 allowing them to use Bosh and Nicholson in some situations to give their team a bigger lineup.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Evan Fournier SG France

The Thunder are deep, really deep in reference to their roster. It is very likely that James Harden will be the odd man out in OKC next year when the organization is going to have to choose between him and Ibaka. Fournier is probably going to be like other international players and not play in the NBA during his first year which allows him to progress and not threaten Harden's playing time.

29. Chicago Bulls: Marquis Teague PG Kentucky

Derrick Rose is going to miss at least 90% of next season which means that the Bulls need some help at PG for this next season. Teague could provide a solid one-two punch with C.J. Watson, plus if Teague works out and has a great rookie season the Bulls will be able to trade him when Rose is healthy and get dependable players to strengthen their bench.

30. Golden State Warriors: Will Barton SG Memphis

The Warriors need to prepare in case Klay Thompson doesn't work out (likely). Barton provides depth at a position that was stretched thin when Monta Ellis was traded away. I think a hybrid player like Draymond Green is also a possible choice, he could easily be a Poor Man's Charles Barkley.

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