jc's Mock Draft (with trades!)

Everybody else is doing one, and I thought it would be fun. I'm not an expert on college players, but I follow NBA teams enough to have an idea what their needs and wants are.

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis PF Kentucky

No explanation needed.

TRADE: the Charlotte Bobcats trade the #2 pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the #4 pick, the #24 pick, and cash considerations.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal SG Florida

Cleveland would love to pair Beal with Kyrie Irving to create the unstoppable backcourt of the future, but they know that there's no way the Wizards will pass him at #3. So they engineer a way to trade up to get the guy they'd really like, sacrificing a low 1st rounder and some cash in the process.

3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SG/SF Kentucky

Washington gets screwed out of the player they had their sites set on by the trade. With a choice between Robinson and MKG as players in roughly the same tier, they go with need, and take MKG. Pairing MKG with Ariza on the wings, with that enormous frontcourt of Nene and Okafor, makes the Wizards look like a defensive powerhouse for years to come.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina

The Bobcats are reportedly enamored with Barnes, but not enough to take him #2 overall. And they NEED scoring like nobody needs scoring, which is Barnes game. And he's a Carolina native who can sell tickets. By trading down to #4, they get the player they really like anyway, sell more tickets, pick up an extra draft pick, and extra cash. Don't undersell the cash. This team needs money like crazy.

5. Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson SF/PF Kansas

The Kings front office does a happy dance as Robinson falls to them at #5. Cousins and Robinson make the Kings frontcourt potentially a load for any team to defend. They suck anyway next year due to mismanagement and general organizational dysfunctionality.

6. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard PG Weber State

The Blazers have a gaping hole at PG. Lillard is supposedly the best PG in the draft. And it's been juuuuust long enough since the Jail-Blazers days for the Blazers to forget that Rip City is a bad fit for low-character prospects, like Lillard.

7. Golden State Warriors: Andre Drummond C Connecticut

The Warriors have a pronounced tendency to pick big men, particularly athletic ones. And, how far can Drummond actually fall before his risk/reward makes a GM somewhere pick him? Needs be damned for the Warrior's, because Drummond is in a higher tier than anyone else left on the board. Gasol goes to Houston, and Scola to L.A. as part of the deal.

TRADE: the Toronto Raptors trade the #8 overall pick to the L.A. Lakers as part of a 3-team trade with the Rockets, acquiring Kevin Martin in the process.

8. L.A. Lakers: Austin Rivers SG Duke

The Lakers relish the opportunity to lure Doc Rivers in to coach by drafting his son. His status as a combo guard and bench scorer appeals to a Lakers team for which depth and bench production are problems.

9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson PF North Carolina

Word out of Detroit is that the P's front office is thoroughly in love with Henson. It could be a smokescreen, but I don't see who above them they think would pick him. Pencil in Henson for the Pistons.

10. New Orleans Hornets: Kendall Marshall PG North Carolina

New Orleans is embracing a youth movement, but their youth movement needs a PG to run it. Marshall fits the bill as a guy who can get the ball to Davis and Gordon in places they like to score from.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Meyers Leonard C Illinois

Portland addressed their PG need with the #6 pick, hoping that Drummond would fall this far to them at #11, but that didn't work out. Drafting Sullinger here would be such a Blazers thing to do, but the stench memory of Greg Oden is far too recent for them to stick their neck out on a medically red flagged prospect. Leonard looks like a solid C to put next to LMA, and the Blazers really have to go frontcourt with this pick.

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller C North Carolina

Having traded Bogut, and with Ilyasova perhaps leaving in free agency, the Bucks are as thin in the frontcourt as a team can be. Zeller is a solid roleplayer who can plug a hole for them.

13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters SG Syracuse

Did the Suns promise him or not? Lillard and Marshall going higher than expected helps the Suns preferred pick to fall to them, and they snatch him up.

As part of the previously mentioned trade, the Houston Rockets send the #14 pick to the L.A. Lakers:

14. L.A. Lakers: Perry Jones III PF Baylor

The Lakers like to pick young prospects with high upside, like Kobe Bryant, and Andrew Bynum. One can only hope that this lump of coal turns into a turd instead of a diamond. But really, the story of the day is the Lakers winding up with multiple 1st round picks.... Dwight Howard trade bait.

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State

Philly is already licking its chops in the media at the prospect of Sullinger falling this far. The Suns were also rumored interested, but got the player they really wanted, so Sullinger slides out of the lottery and winds up on the Sixers.

This is as much as I could see with my magic 8-ball. But it's a sure bet those other picks Houston has wind up somewhere other than Houston, whether it's in L.A. or Atlanta, or Orlando.

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