Welcome back for chapter two in our 2012 NBA Mock Draft/Podcast Journey! For the first part, click here or if you’re looking for a super-quick recap, look at the list below. We’ll round out the rest of the lottery picks after that. (click the play button above to hear commentary for picks 8-14)
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, Kentucky
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael-Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal, Florida
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes, UNC
5. Sacramento Kings – Andre Drummond, UConn
6. Portland Trailblazers – Damian Lillard, Weber State
7. Golden State Warriors – thomas robinson, kansas
2012 SpreeGoogs NBA Mock Draft picks 8-14
8. Toronto Raptors – Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
The Raptors need wings. They’re pretty set at the 1 (Calderon and Bayless) and the post (the rest of the roster) but basically have DeMar DeRozan playing the wing by himself with no backup. A 2 with Lamb’s outside shot is perfect for Toronto. If the Dinosaurs are looking for other options, Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters are on the board, but Lamb looks like the best fit for Toronto in this cluster. Rumor has it that Waiters was promised a pick by a lottery team and while some people believe that team was Toronto, I tend to think it’s Phoenix.
9. Detroit Pistons – Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
There are only a few 7-footers in this class and Zeller is the most polished of them. He has the right type of game to play the 5 at the pro level, he just needs to get stronger. A lot stronger. The good news is that Greg Monroe is turning into one of the best big men in the game and playing opposite him provides plenty of room to learn. Zeller, Like Drummond and Lillard will get over-drafted because of positional scarcity, but his floor seems higher than the other two.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Of all the players in this class, Rivers may be the best at creating his own shot. He has the confidence to shoot from the outside and the quickness, handles and body control to slash if the lane is open. Sound like Eric Gordon? Sure. But Eric Gordon is working out pretty well in the Association and there’s nothing wrong with playing two wings at the same time with that skill set.
11. Portland Trailblazers – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Spoiler alert, if the Suns promised to pick Waiters at 13, they’re out of luck. Having picked up the best scoring 1 in the draft (Lillard) with the sixth pick, the Blazers add more ammunition to the backcourt with Waiters, a super-slasher from Syracuse (say that with a lisp). There are good players left at almost any position, but if Portland is trying to beef up the offense, then Waiters is probably the most polished scorer left out there.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Kentucky
I love Terrence Jones. He’s got a very unique body and skill set and if the Bucks grab him at 12, it will be a steal. Jones could go anywhere in the 7-20 range, but in my opinion, he’s one of the five best players in this class. You could say he doesn’t have a real position or that he sometimes doesn’t have his head in the game, but he’s just the highest ceiling left and can fit in at a couple of positions, so he should have the minutes to improve. A 3/4 lineup of Jones and Ilyasova would be impossible to guard on the perimeter.
13. Phoenix Suns – Kendall Marshall, PG, UNC
There’s probably aren’t many players on the Suns draft board in front on Kendall Marshall this year. In fact, there might not even be any players on the draft board in front of Marshall. He’s the best pass-first point guard there is, and regardless of Steve Nash departing or re-singing, the Suns need a point guard for the future. This roster is loaded with bigs who can spread the floor and shoot, but without someone to find them, it doesn’t matter.
14. Houston Rockets – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Most of the other mock drafts that I’ve seen have Teague going a little later than this, but maybe this will be the surprise pick of the first round. Teague is the only other passing 1 with first-round talent left with Marshall off the board, the Rockets might just pull the trigger on him here. The Goran Dragic free agency period is one I’m excited about seeing, but I have a feeling he’ll get paid well enough to make the Rockets consider a step in another direction. Teague is the right guy for that new direction.