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.
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
10. New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Jared Sullinger
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers Leonard
13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters
14. Houston Rockets: Jeremy Lamb
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Zeller
I doubt this pick stays here, but we're just mocking, yes?
With Tyler Zeller off the board, the Rockets have lost a chance to acquire a slightly above-average center who can do many things well but doesn't have much long-term starter potential in him. Gee, that's just terrifying.
Let's face a few facts here: This is not a center's draft. You want centers? Come back next year, or perhaps the year after, because for whatever reason, 2012 produced a handful of high school stud centers who will be making instant impacts in college next season. Guys like Isaiah Austin, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Kaleb Tarczewski, Cameron Ridley, and others... they're all legitimate centers, and they could be worth high draft picks. If you ask me, the only reason Meyers Leonard or Zeller could go in the lottery is because this is just an awful year for centers. I'd rather not be one of the teams trying to reach for a guy who may look good only in comparison to his draft class.
Put it this way: Leonard and Zeller could be worthwhile additions, but they aren't good enough to draft for need. And let's get something else straight: a one-two punch of Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby is certainly enough to get through next season. By themselves? Meh. But together, why not?
Are the Rockets really about to use a lottery pick on a guy like Zeller who is ready to play now and doesn't have much upside... only to use him as the third center and squash whatever use he'd have in the first place? I doubt it. And please, don't bring up Fab Melo this early, and don't try to convince me that Arnett Moultrie can play center. He's essentially an Americanized, far less polished version of Donatas Motiejunas.
This needs to be a perimeter-oriented draft for the Rockets, especially with all of the questions surrounding the guard play. They can find bigs elsewhere to plug and play if they really find it necessary. Hopefully Greg Smith grows another three inches.
Houston took Jeremy Lamb with the fourteenth pick. Jump to see who they'll pair with him in the backcourt.With the sixteenth pick in The Dream Shake 2012 Mock Draft, the Houston Rockets select Kendall Marshall, point guard from North Carolina. It's another non-freshman pick for Morey and an insurance blanket in case one of his point guards winds up playing for a different team next year.
I'm not as in love with Marshall's game as others, but I can certainly respect his passing ability. It's disgustingly potent. What he'll need to learn is how to convince any defender that he's ready and willing to NOT pass — that he can instead take them off the dribble or hit a spot-up shot and force someone to rotate to him when they otherwise might not have. Marshall's super-human passing ability won't be available for use unless he gives defenders a reason to guard him. His shooting form looks like something from the sixth grade, but I think with some practice he can become effective in the spot-up game.
To be honest, the goosebumps from this pick generate from a vision, one of Kevin McHale running teams into the ground with two transition fiends in Marshall and Goran Dragic. You might see Houston settle in the half court eight times per game.
Roll the dice on Marshall and see what he does. Again, I doubt this pick will stay with Houston, but if it does, the more playmakers, the better.
The Dallas Mavericks are now on the clock.
(Also, wish Patrick Harrel a happy birthday in the comments, or just tweet him.)