Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NBA Draft Lottery Coming on Wednesday Night

The NBA Draft 2012 is just a month away and we still don't know who will be drafting #1, #2, etc. We know, of course, who will be drafting #18 and that is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the Utah Jazz' pick as a result of the Jazz having snuck into the 2011 WNBA playoffs.

There's been vastly less excitement and interest in the Wolves draft pick to date, as compared to the past several years when the Wolves were truly horrible and therefore had several  top 5 picks that turned into Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, and others. At #18, the Wolves are not going to get a blue-chipper or anything like that. Maybe a guy who can play a few minutes, but hey, they already got that at #2 last year. So maybe not even that.

But, whatever, you pick the best guy you can get and at #18 that looks like.... Just teasing. You've gotta go through a mock draft to know who they fan get at #18. And I'm not gonna go through a complete mock draft just yet.

But I will say this:

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, C-PF. No matter who has the 1st pick is gonna pick Davis, who is head and shoulders ahead of everybody else in what may be a weak draft (after him). I mean, how many guys can go 1-for-10 from the field and still be far and away the best player on the court, as Davis did in the NCAA final? 6 points, 16 boards, 5 assists, 6 blocks, 3 steals.

The rest of the top 5 is entirely dependent on who's doing the drafting, however. If the lottery goes according to the standings you'd have Charlotte at #1, followed by Washington, Cleveland, New Orleans and Sacramento, but that's not going to happen. One almost hopes for Mr. Davis' sake that Charlotte, the most dysfunctional NBA franchise in history, drops out of #1, but then you'd be wishing Charlotte on somebody else and who could do such a thing?

In any event, the top 6 candidates regardless of order are as follows. It will be a surprise if these are not the top 6 picks.

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, SF. Started his college career as the #1 guy in his class, has slipped to #5 or #6. "Barnes' tourney performance didn't do him any favors, as his inability to create shots for himself (without Marshall) was exposed, but ... his high basketball IQ and strong character make him a GM's wet dream, and a potential cornerstone at the small forward position for all of his suitors." Comp is Glen Rice.

Bradley Beal, Florida State, 6-4, SG. "More than just a spot-up threat, Beal can change directions, pull back and shoot off the dribble. As a ballhandler, he sees the open space whether it's splitting a double team or spinning away from his defender. He's also an excellent passer for a 2-guard." Comp is Eric Gordon. 

Davis. "Davis has an almost unfair comb inaction of length, reflexes and intensity. He should become a defensive enforcer at the NBA level and if he can bulk up and develop a post game, the sky is the limit." This Web site goes on to compare him to Kevin Garnett. 'Nuff sed.

Andre Drummond, Connecticut, 6-10, PF. "Drummond had an up-and-down season and is considered by some as a possible bust. He stands a great chance to get a GM fired whether it be for selecting him too high, or not taking him. An absolute physical specimen with incredible mobility and athleticism for a player his size. Unfortunately his motor runs hot and cold, and his body language is not great...." The chomp is Amare Stoudamire.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, 6-7, SF. "A strong 6-foot-7 forward with substantial length (7-foot wingspan) and athleticism, Gilchrist projects as a shutdown defender at the 3 position. He may not be your most adept shot-creator, but ...MKG proved all year that he never takes a play off." Gerald Wallace is the comp.

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-9, PF. "Showing the ability to consistently knock down mid-range jumpshots, as well as get to the rim off the dribble, elevated his stock to possibly being the second overall pick." Then comes the caution, however. The Web site that said this then said he compares to Derrick 
Williams. So he'll need some time to become a contributor at the NBA level. 

If the lottery went in order (Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland, New Orleans, Sacramento) the picks would probably be Davis to Charlotte, Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist to Washington, Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal to Cleveland, Robinson or Drummond to New Orleans, Barnes to Sacramento. (Kidd-Gilchrist is gone at #3 if not #2, Robinson is gone at #4 if not #2, which means that #6 (Portland) would be Beal or Drummond, whichever remains, but Portland would vastly prefer Beal to be available.)

Full mock draft to come. 

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