Following last night’s shocking NBA Draft Lottery in New York City where everyone and their momma is now saying David Stern and the NBA rigged it to make sure the top prize landed in New Orleans, now we can now begin to get an idea of how the first round of the draft will play out after the top spot. This is the first of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 28. As usual, it’s a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:
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1. New Orleans – Anthony Davis
6-10, 220 lbs. PF
No surprise here. The Hornets will draft Anthony Davis, not only a guy who has the potential to be a franchise player but also someone who could attract Eric Gordon back to town.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
6-7, 210 lbs SF
The Charlotte Bobcats are not used to winning and that is exactly why they should draft MKG, one of the most successful young players in the world. With Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker on the roster, Charlotte is slowly bringing in guys that know about winning. They won’t start right away of course, but they would be bringing the right culture to a losing franchise. This is a start.
3. Washington – Thomas Robinson
6-9, 240 lbs. PF
Washington is another team looking to change their team’s culture. They shipped out JaVale McGee and Nick Young, two guys who had a lot of growing up to do, for Nene. Thomas Robinson possesses many veteran qualities despite being a rookie. He is the type of young, athletic player with intangibles that will help the Wizards immediately.
4. Cleveland – Bradley Beal
6-5, 195 lbs. SG
A backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal would be devastating on offense. They will figure the defense part out later…
5. Sacramento – Jared Sullinger
6-9, 280 lbs. C/PF
Ohio St., Soph.
The Kings have enough guys on their team with upside. They need a player who can get the job done. There are some big question marks surrounding Sullinger but one thing is for sure: he’ll be able to get the ball in the basket for Sacramento. They score well already, but should build on their strength.
6. Portland (via Brooklyn) – Andre Drummond
6-10, 270 lbs. C
Andre Drummond is a risk but Portland desperately needs size in the paint. No one really knows what to make of him, but big men always develop late. Plus, there are those interesting comparisons to Amar’e Stoudemire (who also had major question marks coming into the draft). Drummond could come in handy because there’s no way Hasheem Thabeet is ready to step up to the task.
7. Golden State – Harrison Barnes
6-8, 210 lbs. SF/SG
North Carolina, Soph.
The Warriors are desperate for star power and at this point in the draft, Barnes is the closest thing. This is not a great position for the Warriors because they cannot afford to mess up again. They need to win over fans in San Francisco before the big move, so the pressure will be on Barnes to perform.
8. Toronto – Damian Lillard
6-2, 185 lbs. PG/SG
Weber St., Jr.
A center is definitely a need for the Raptors, but they have Jonas Valanciunas coming over as soon as next year. Jose Calderon‘s status is uncertain in Toronto, so Lillard would make great insurance. In fact, he would probably be able to bring more of a slashing mentality to a team that loves to shoot.
9. Detroit – Tyler Zeller
7-0, 235 lbs. C
North Carolina, Sr.
Tyler Zeller can step in right away and have productive minutes at the center position for the Pistons, and while he’s not the strongest player in the world, Detroit needs more size. Perhaps down the line, Zeller would allow Greg Monroe to play his natural power forward position.
10. New Orleans (via Minnesota) – Kendall Marshall
6-4, 190 lbs. PG
North Carolina, Soph.
Kendal Marshall throwing lobs to Anthony Davis? Enough said.