Coach Monty "I'mma Coach A Hell of A Lot of Talent" Williams.
So, the draft order has been established. Your devoted writers here at the Dream Shake have set up a mock draft, pick by pick, to be delivered to you daily. We will be going through the first round of the draft with our selections and our reasons why we think we will correctly predict the whole damn thing.
We're closing out the top 10, or what I consider the meaningful part of the lottery. The 10th pick belongs to the New Orleans Hornets via Minnesota. The draft order, I think, has been pretty standard with only a minor shuffling of certain players. Jeremy Lamb continues his fall down the draft charts. To refresh your memory (And save you from scrolling down slightly, see how much we care!), here are the picks as they stand right now:
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3. Washington Wizards: Andre Drummond
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes
5. Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Bradley Beal
7. Golden State Warriors: Terrence Jones
8. Toronto Raptors: Perry Jones III
9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson (Not the puppet dude!)
The Hornets have to pair someone along with Anthony Davis and can use an upgrade at the PG position, insurance at the SG, and depth at the center (They want to get out from under Okafor's contract and they're willing to ship the #10 to do it). I'm looking at three guys with this pick closely.
With the tenth overall pick, the New Orleans Hornets select Damian Lillard, PG Weber State. The Hornets need some form of scoring punch insurance if Gordon leaves the team. They could also do for an upgrade at the point over Jarret Jack. Jack gets the job done but you don't want to surround a guy who has a chance to be the best in the NBA (Anthony Davis) with band-aids. You can run Lillard with Jack if Gordon departs or you can really hope that Lillard can develop the assist portion of his game as a starting PG along side Eric Gordon. Even if you want to slate Lillard to start and Gordon leaves, Lillard should give you point production and Anthony Davis should be a hard target to miss/pass up.
My other considerations were Jeremy Lamb, his fall from grace made him appealing. A 6'5" SG would definitely not be a horrible consolation prize if Gordon walks but he's not a lock to leave OR stay. As far as I'm concerned if I can upgrade one spot and replace Gordon's production (Theoretically) I'm taking it. Lillard gives me that. The next also-ran was actually Kendall Marshall. I'm a huge fan of Marshall, he's a point guard, true as can be. He can't score that well but if Anthony Davis is my franchise player, get him the ball. You need a good passer to do that. Marshall is a good passer. The case gets even stronger if Eric Gordon is retained. You need someone to facilitate the distribution of the rock to superior scorers. Lillard isn't that guy, Marshall is. Ultimately I felt more comfortable putting Lillard in the driver's seat on the hopes that he would develop his passing game and, if he leaves, the sting of losing Eric Gordon wouldn't hurt so bad.