NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies lays up a basket against the DePaul Blue Demons during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Lean with me, mock with me. The puns will never die.
Anyway, I finally got around to throwing together a mock draft, and after contacting absolutely zero team sources or player representatives, here's what I came up with.
1. Charlotte — Anthony Davis, PF Kentucky
Good luck making a shot inside ten feet against Bismack BiUnibrow.
2. Washington — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Kentucky
3. Cleveland — Brad Beal, SG Florida
4. New Orleans — Thomas Robinson, PF Kansas
Andre Drummond is intriguing here, but I'm not sure how long New Orleans will want to wait on him to develop. Robinson can make an impact right away and isn't much of a drop-off anyway.
5. Sacramento — Andre Drummond, C UConn
In two years, Andre Drummond/DeMarcus Cousins will either be the most dominant front court in the league, or they'll both go missing.
6. Portland — Harrison Barnes, SF North Carolina
I'm going to assume up front that the Blazers plan on offering big bucks to Goran Dragic. If they do manage to find their point guard in free agency, this frees them up to go big with both their picks. Barnes is a solid score-first small forward at worst, and a potential star at best. But he's got a lot of work to do to get there.
7. Golden State — John Henson, PF North Carolina
The most Golden State Warriors pick ever, right? Think Ekpe Udoh, Brandan Wright (via draft-day trade), Anthony Randolph and others. David Lee is solid, but I think they could give in to Henson's monster range and massive potential.
8. Toronto — Perry Jones III, F Baylor
The Raptors take the best player available, and he happens to fill a need at forward.
9. Detroit — Jared Sullinger, PF Ohio State
The Pistons could use some more athleticism, but at the end of the day, Sullinger gives them a solid presence next to Greg Monroe. I doubt they'll pass on him if he's here, assuming Henson or Jones III are already off the board.
10. New Orleans — Tyler Zeller, C North Carolina
Suddenly, in Robinson and Zeller, the Hornets have a respectable young frontcourt that can eat minutes right away.
11. Portland — Terrence Jones, F Kentucky
What happens when you trade Gerald Wallace for a lottery pick? You use your other lottery pick to draft his pseudo-replacement as an aggressive, versatile wing.
12. Milwaukee — Meyers Leonard, C Illinois
This could be a reach, but with Milwaukee's backcourt seemingly set and with Ekpe Udoh as the biggest body on the roster, I think the Bucks could give in and go with the best legitimate center prospect on the board.
13. Phoenix — Damian Lillard, PG Weber State
I almost took Kendall Marshall here, but something tells me Phoenix values the three-point shot too much to take a chance on the offensively-challenged Marshall. Lillard can certainly stroke it from deep.
14. Houston — Jeremy Lamb, SG UConn
Is this what I would do, or is this what Daryl Morey would do? I'm not sure, but in this case, I'm leaning toward both.
At the end of the day, no matter how good or bad Austin Rivers could turn out to be, Lamb could turn out to be better. He has much more upside on the defensive end, and while he's not an aggressive scorer like Rivers, he can still find his own shot, plus he's much more athletic. It's a tough call, but despite my stance that Houston needs to take a chance on a high risk/high reward player, I can't let them pass on Lamb. There's no reason why he can't turn out to be just as good as or better than Rivers.
15. Philadelphia — Arnett Moultrie, PF/C Mississippi State
I think the Sixers are hoping Leonard falls to 15, but if he's gone, Moultrie is just as intriguing a prospect. He needs to work on his inside game, but the potential is certainly there.
16. Houston — Kendall Marshall, PG North Carolina
I think the lure of a starting point guard job will lead Goran Dragic out of Houston, and if that's the case, Marshall is a great get at sixteen. He's the best passer to enter the draft in the last few years, and while he rarely scores, I think his combination of size and skill could certainly yield to a Rajon Rondo-like improvement over time. He's not Rondo and he won't ever be Rondo — especially on the defensive end — but as a pure point guard and floor general, it's not a bad comparison. He'll be the perfect transition point guard to play behind Kyle Lowry, and he should eventually give Houston trade flexibility with Lowry should the opportunity arise.
I also wouldn't be shocked to see Morey neglect to draft any freshmen, by the way.
17. Dallas — Austin Rivers, SG Duke
Looks like replacing Jason Terry won't be difficult.
18. Minnesota — Terrence Ross, SG Washington
Ross gives the T-Wolves the sweet-shooting two-guard they've been missing. Sorry, Wayne Ellington.
19. Orlando — Marquis Teague, PG Kentucky
The Magic may be losing Dwight Howard soon, but that doesn't change the fact that they need more playmakers elsewhere. Teague can get his own shot and score in bunches — the question is whether or not he can become a good enough passer to eventually take the starting point guard job. To no surprise, his brother Jeff faced the same questions.
20. Denver — Quincy Miller, SF Baylor
Denver doesn't have many holes, so taking a chance on Miller is certainly worth the gamble. Lest we forget, before he got injured, Draft Express once pegged Miller as the number one overall pick over Anthony Davis a year ago.
21. Boston — Moe Harkless, SF St. John's
Harkless won't replace Paul Pierce, but Boston needs more wing scoring and Harkless is the best of that sort on the board.
22. Boston — Royce White, F Iowa State
Hey, why not? You don't think he could thrive under Doc Rivers and a bunch of old guys to learn from early on? The Celtics are one of few teams who could afford to shuffle their offense to play to White's many, many strengths.
23. Atlanta — Tony Wroten Jr., PG Washington
Jeff Teague could use either a backup or some more competition to push him, and Wroten Jr. could excel in either role. He just needs to discover his jumper.
24. Cleveland — Fab Melo, C Syracuse
Great value for a young team who could use another big. Melo will need to sort all his other stuff out.
25. Memphis — Dion Waiters, SG Syracuse
They've tried to trade OJ Mayo like, fifty-seven times. I think they're in the market for a different shooting guard.
26. Indiana — Tyshawn Taylor, PG Kansas
If Tyshawn ever learns to take care of the ball, he could become a great playmaker in Indiana's almost too unselfish offense.
27. Miami — Doron Lamb, SG Kentucky
A "veteran" scorer with a solid foundation. Sounds like exactly the type of player a team in Miami's situation would take.
28. Oklahoma City — Draymond Green, F Michigan State
All the pieces are in place, so why not draft someone who can mesh with them in any number of ways, without necessarily getting in the way? Makes sense to me.
29. Chicago — John Jenkins, SG Vanderbilt
Maybe the sweet-shooting Jenkins can finally solve their shooting guard woes.
30. Golden State — Evan Fournier, SF France
Fournier is a good scoring prospect, and the Warriors need some help at small forward. Two questions about Fournier: Will he come over this year, and will he ever develop an outside shot?