ESPN The Magazine released their Mock Draft with selections exclusively from NBA Players (Insider) yesterday. First off before I proceed to mock the selections of these players, please note that A) I have not made a mock draft of my own B) and, in most cases, I have less knowledge of basketball than an actual NBA player. That being said, this was an … interesting mock draft to say the least.
I’m not going to spoil the entire article for ESPN but I will give you the top 10 picks. I’ll then briefly address the most interesting picks and make derisive jokes about Jason Kidd. Enjoy.
1. New Orleans — Anthony Davis
2. Charlotte — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3. Washington — Harrison Barnes
4. Cleveland — Andre Drummond
5. Sacramento — Thomas Robinson
6. Portland — Jared Sullinger
7. Golden State — Tyler Zeller
8. Toronto — Kendall Marshall
9. Detroit — Meyers Leonard
10. New Orleans — Austin Rivers
— I don’t have too many complains about the top five though Daniel Gibson taking the uber-talented Drummond over the high-motor, polished Robinson is a little sketchy to say the least. If the top four somehow shaped up the way they predict (highly unlikely because Charlotte isn’t interested in MKG), Sacramento would be blessed with Robinson at No. 5. Robinson and Cousins is a pretty potent frontcourt tandem.
— Jared Sullinger at No. 6? At least you can’t fault Nolan Smith for straying from Portland’s draft philosophy: draft the player with the most medical red flags and hope for the best.
— I like Zeller a lot. He can run the floor, score adequately enough and he’s an excellent rebounder. Zeller is someone that, in my opinion, is very unlikely to result in a draft day bust. On the same token, he’s not someone that fills an immediate need for the Warriors. He’ll be hard pressed to find minutes with Andrew Bogut, Andres Biedrins and David Lee on the roster. I understand Stephen Curry’s pick because I’d love to play with Zeller.
— Kendall Marshall assisted on 43.2% of his possessions on the floor in his two years with North Carolina. Even when you take into account the talent of his supporting cast, that number still withstands the test of time. I would prefer Daman Lillard who brings much more scoring potency but it’s close. Unsurprisingly, Ed Davis sided with his former AAU teammate and North Carolina alumni over the more efficient Lillard.
— Most people believe that if Drummond is off the board at No. 9, the Pistons will select John Henson. Henson seems like a natural fit with Greg Monroe. Former Piston Ben Gordon made a solid pick, regardless, that filled a need for Detroit.
— Nolan Smith rectified his mistake with a good value pick — Lillard at No. 11. He doesn’t have any injury concerns so I’m not sure he’s a fit with Portland (kidding).
— Now it gets weird at No. 14. Patrick Patterson takes Marquis Teague despite Houston’s attempts at acquiring frontcourt girth. Teague isn’t nearly polished to warrant a selection here. John Henson would be a decent fit for Houston though his size isn’t quite what they’re looking for. Even Bradley Beal would be a decent pick considered the value he has irrespective to the Rocket’s actual needs. Darryl Morey loves to hoard assets and Beal (if this scenario plays out) would be a huge asset.
— Wayne Ellington takes advantage of John Henson slipping to the No. 18 pick. (Keep in mind that Ellington selected this pick before the Chase Budinger deal was made.) Henson is ranked as the 11th best prospect per Draft Express and should be a good insurance policy for Michael Beasley if Minnesota decides to let him walk as a restricted free agent next season.
— Ahh, here we go! J.J. Reddick finally took Bradley Beal, who apparently is loathed in NBA circles for being an accomplice with Jerry Sandusky or … something. Regarded as a top five talent, the fact that Beal nearly slipped into the 20s is inexplicable. I understand that he may not have the statistics to back up his shooting (33.9% shooting from behind the arc isn’t elite) but the signs check out on Beal. A mechanically sound, potent jump shooter who has the potential of developing into a solid scoring weapon. Reddick offered the quote of the piece with his analysis.
“He’s the best player available, and he could be the shooting guard Magic fans have longed for, someone who can create his own shot. All this is moot if he dropped this far because he has a life-threatening injury or a habit of punching his coaches that I don’t know about.”
Well played, Reddick. Oh, and Jason Kidd sucks. (Well it’s not exactly funny but I got the derisive part down at least.)