AKA some college students attempt to be a smartass.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ben McLemore
Cavaliers did a good job on not picking a big man with their first pick. We are no longer in the 90s. We have learned through the Kwames, Olowokandis, Odens, hell even Boguts that using your top pick on a big man in hopes of changing your franchse is NOT a good decision. I’m not sold on Nerlens Noel at all, and while I think Alex Len may end up being a better player than Noel, I think who the Cavaliers really want long term is Ben McLemore.
There is a really simple reason for this. In today’s NBA, a lights out 3-point shooter is becoming much more valuable than a low post threat. Effective field goal percentage is only one aspect of it, but a good 3-point shooter can easily replace the production of a high 50s/60 FG% low post threat.
McLemore might not be able to create his shot at the NBA level, but he has a great court awareness of moving off ball and getting open, very similar to guys like Ray Allen and Richard Hamilton.
By drafting McLemore, not only do the Cavaliers get a 3-point marksman, but they get their sixth man of the future in Dion Waiters. Waiters is a combo guard by nature and it seems like combo guards succeed the most coming off the bench, leading the second unit.
2. Orlando Magic – Trey Burke
If you are serious about contention, no one on this Magic roster is really worth keeping other than Vucevic, who is essentially equivalent to the NBA center position what a game manager is to the NFL quarterback. Tobias Harris is also worth keeping but also worth trading. We all love Arron Afflalo, but I doubt Afflalo loves playing for the Magic. Other than that, there’s not much to desire in this Orlando roster, which puts them in a great position to take the best player available.
Maybe I’m high as shit but I still think Burke is one of the top players in the draft. This is coming from someone who was convinced from the get go that Kemba Walker would not be a good pro. He’s doing alright in his second year but he’s just not that good.
Burke’s stock has shot down a lot leading up to the draft, but I think that was more to do with scouts just trying to keep themselves busy and find out new things about prospects than it has to do with Burke being less of a prospect. Can you imagine a scout having a big board at the end of the NCAA tournament, then turning it into their boss and never making any revision to it?
Trey Burke is a floor leader, won national player of the year awards, can rise up during big moments, can really be a pass-first guy, but can take over when he has to. The point guard talent pool is incredibly deep in the NBA, but Trey Burke to me is one of the best players of this draft.
3. Washington Wizards – Anthony Bennett
I do not see any appeal in Otto Porter. If you are someone that would take Wes Johnson with the 4th pick of the NBA draft, then go ahead and pick Porter with the 3rd pick. One thing that does work out for Porter is that the last three major Georgetown prospects (Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, and Jeff Green) have all turned out decent. But other than that…
Assuming the Wizards still want to build around John Wall (they do), they have to pair him up with more dynamic scorers, and no one is a more dynamic scorer in this draft than Anthony Bennett. Bennett is the pick here. Come back to this mock draft in three years, when Otto Porter has already been traded twice and Anthony Bennett made his first All-Star team, and be like “wow this Jordan guy should really be an NBA scout.”
Except the Cavaliers took Bennett number one.
In this situation, the Wizards draft Bennett, trade one of Nene/Okafor (I say trade Nene), and have Bennett split his minutes at the 3 and 4.
4. Charlotte Bobcats – Alex Len
The Charlotte Bobcats should honestly forfeit their pick, fold their franchise and forget they were ever in the NBA. Much like the Magic, the Bobcats have no one on their roster worth keeping. They might as well make the long-term prospect pick, which in the case of this draft, I think is Alex Len. Len is 7’1, 255, and has the build of someone who could actually succeed in the league.
If you couldn’t tell, I wrote half of his article as a mock draft but became too lazy to finish it, so this is a mishmash of a mock draft and a draft reaction.
Anyway I guess I was kind of correct with this pick, except the Bobcats took Cody Zeller. Jesus Christ. Of course, people are only knocking on Zeller’s game because he’s white. Therefore I am calling Cody Zeller rookie of the year so I look like a genius when it happens.
5. Phoenix Suns – Nerlens Noel
Gortat has by far the most trade value on this Suns roster. At this point of my redraft , Suns should get Noel, hope for the best, trade Gortat to a contender for some draft picks and nice young players, and hope you win the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes. Or something like that. It’s really no wonder why this Suns team is in the lottery. The Suns have an absolutely terrible squad.
6. New Orleans Pelicans – Otto Porter
I don’t think Porter is that good but I’m not delirious. Someone like Porter – a capable defender who can shoot at good efficiency is NBA material. Porter would be a good fit here for New Orleans because Aminu is trash, and the length of New Orleans would be pretty bothersome with a guy like Porter paired with Davis.
7. Sacramento Kings – Lucas Nogueira
I know this whole mock draft has essentially been me flipping off every mock draft on the internet, mock drafts based on guys with serious connections to the NBA, guys who have actually gone to combines and seen players work out, while my opinion of every player is based off of YouTube videos. Like many others, I have honestly never seen Nogueira play a minute of basketball. I wouldn’t even try lying about this one. But Nogueira has a high motor, is very active, and just does things that you want an NBA big man to do. Sure he may be ‘raw,’ but when all you are expect to do is to alter shots, grab rebounds, and finish layups and dunks where the ball is essentially fed to you, being ‘raw’ is all you really need. Tyson Chandler isn’t exactly considered a ‘refined’ basketball player, but he gets stuff done.
Nogueira has attitude problems, but who really cares with this Kings team. Tyreke Evans is cock-blocking himself from a good basketball career, Isaiah Thomas doesn’t care, DeMarcus Cousins is a mess. Adding a good character guys like Chuck Hayes and Jimmer Fredette have done very little for this Kings team. Locker room chemistry is overrated when your team is in shambles.
8. Detroit Pistons – Michael Carter-Williams
Ever since the 2011 Mavericks run, I’ve been a huge advocate of the dual point guard backcourt. We saw Golden State use it to some degree of success with the Jack/Curry backcourt, and the Heat were essentially running at least two point guards because of the ball handling abilities of Wade and LeBron. The Knicks’s blazing hot start to the season and the efficiency of Carmelo are also things I’d attribute to the dual point guard setup.
Both for two point guards to work, the tandem needs to be able to defend NBA shooting guards. This in my opinion is what makes Michael Carter-Williams valuable at the next level.
In the Detroit situation, I know Carter-Williams can’t hit a jumpshot well at the NBA level, but having a nice high post player in Greg Monroe can really help that out.
9. Utah Jazz – Victor Oladipo
As I do more YouTube scouting I realize I actually really like Oladipo. The problem with Oladipo, someone who is not a scorer, is that he might not perform well on struggling teams. As a scorer you can put up empty stats, average over 20 points a game and stay in the league, but if you’re a No Stats All-Star it might be a little harder. Still, I’ve really grown to like Oladipo in the past couple of days, and it’s certainly refreshing to see a top draft prospect whose greatest selling point is perimeter defense.
10. Portland Trail-Blazers – Andre Roberson
Want to know how hard I’m trying to be different? Look no further than me pulling Andre Roberson up to the top ten. People love to say that rebounding translate well to the NBA, but it’s not as simple as that. Jon Brockman was a brilliant rebounder in college, rebounded well for his size in the NBA, but was never anything special. Kenneth Faried was picked 22nd in the draft but is definitely top 5 of his class so far.
What’s cool with Andre Roberson? He rebounds the ball well for his size, overall athletic, has a high motor, and I see Kawhi Leonard type potential in him. He just has the foundations to succeed.