Following the 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, we can now begin to get an idea of how the first round of the draft will play out after the top spot. After we took a stab at the first round earlier this week, here is the final Dime mock draft leading up to tonight. 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 â€“ 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. With those two, the No. 10 pick to add a perimeter talent and a ton of cap space thanks to their recent deal with Washington, things are suddenly looking brighter in N.O.
2. Charlotte- Bradley Beal
6-5, 195 lbs. SG
A few things to keep in mind here. First, the Bobcats have received five different offers for this pick. We already know one of them is from Cleveland where the two teams would swap picks and Charlotte would receive compensation later in the draft. But Washington apparently is now fielding a lot of offers for Thomas Robinson. Put two and two together and it seems like this selection will be going to Cleveland and Robinson will be falling to No. 3.
3. Washington – Harrison Barnes
6-8, 210 lbs. SF/SG
North Carolina, Soph.
Washington won’t go lightly without a fight, and will probably try to match any offer Cleveland makes Charlotte. If it doesn’t work out, we think the Wizards select Harrison Barnes. John Wall may be great friends with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but Barnes is a much better fit on this roster.
4. Cleveland – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
6-7, 210 lbs. SF
If everything goes according to plan, we could see this pick going to Charlotte. Would MKG be the best fit in Charlotte? Hell no. He’s not a No. 1 scorer and will probably struggle if a team asks him to be a go-to offensive scorer. But he competes, he might be the second-best prospect in the draft and Charlotte needs a little of everything. Of course, Chad Ford also reports if the deal goes down, the Bobcats will likely take Thomas Robinson here so who knows what tricks MJ has up his sleeve.
5. Sacramento – Thomas Robinson
6-9, 240 lbs. PF
Marc Spears is reporting Sacramento LOVES Thomas Robinson, and we think they’ll eventually end up with him. They’re fielding offers from everywhere for this pick, but don’t plan on doing anything until they see who is available. But they should keep the pick and plug Robinson next to DeMarcus Cousins so the two of them can wreck havoc on backboards together for the next decade.
6. Portland (via Brooklyn) – Damian Lillard
6-2, 185 lbs. PG/SG
Weber St., Jr.
Here’s the thing with Andre Drummond: we have absolutely no idea where he’s going. No one is really enamored with him at the top of the lottery. The one team who really wants him is Houston, and they’re trying to trade up to pick him (probably at No. 5 or No.8). The Blazers have a hole at the center spot, but they also lack a playmaker at the point. This will probably come down to Waiters or Lillard. We think they’ll take Lillard.
7. Golden State – Dion Waiters
6-4, 215 lbs. SG/PG
As you can tell, we already love Waiters. So do a lot of GMs. Some even say he has the most potential to become a superstar of anyone in the draft outside of Davis. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted earlier that one team exec told him he believes the Raptors have promised Waiters. The response from Bryan Colangelo was a pretty weak poker face, but yet acknowledged that Waiters’ agent had told him another team made him a promise. Was it Phoenix? Golden State? All bets are off as Waiters’ stock has risen so high no one really knows where he’s going.
8. Toronto â€“ Austin Rivers
6-4, 200 lbs. SG/PG
Rivers and his dad absolutely love Toronto, and it’s one of the few places the talented wing has agreed to workout. He would bring a lot of what the Raptors need as a playmaker and shot creator, and would fit in well with a team that could use a little jolt, and a little ego. We’ve seen Damian Lillard here as well (if he drops), but Rivers is the type of kid that rises on draft boards. He may never be great, but he believes he will be and that matters to GMs looking for players who LOVE to play basketball.
9. Detroit – Andre Drummond
6-11, 260 lbs. C
This would be a perfect scenario for Detroit, and they could hopefully pair Drummond with Greg Monroe down the line.
10. New Orleans (via Minnesota) – Jeremy Lamb
6-5, 185 lbs. SG
The Hornets desperately needs a few offensive creators on the perimeter, and with Gordon around, Lamb would be asked to do many of the same things he did while playing in Kemba Walker‘s shadow. Lamb has top-10 talent and as much offensive skill as anyone in the draft. If he doesn’t go here, Lamb won’t slide past the Suns.
11. Portland – Meyers Leonard
7-0, 240 lbs. C
After going small at No. 6, it only makes sense for Portland to swing big here. Leonard has more potential than Tyler Zeller, and we’re guessing new general manager Neil Olshey, after passing once before on Drummond, will go for the home run here rather than the single.
12. Houston (via Milwaukee) – John Henson
6-10, 210 lbs. PF
North Carolina, Jr.
The Rockets probably won’t be keeping this pick. But no matter what they do with it, they should look to get the best value. At this point, Henson is a solid get. We’ve had him penciled in as a top-10 pick throughout this entire draft process. Houston should snatch him up.
13. Phoenix – Terrence Ross
6-6, 190 lbs. SF/SG
One name we keep hearing associated with “rising” and “the next Paul George” is Terrence Ross. We think it’ll come down to Jeremy Lamb (if he’s available) or Ross as they can both fill it up from the wings. Ross has been spectacular in workouts, and there are even a few sources out there who believe he’ll rise all the way to Golden State at No. 7.
14. Milwaukee (via Houston) â€“ 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 Bucks, and while he’s not the strongest player in the world, Milwaukee needs more size. Here’s where we insert the typical cliche description, “Zeller will never be an All-Star but most figure he’ll be a solid NBA big man.”
15. Philadelphia – Arnett Moultrie
6-11, 225 lbs. PF/C
Mississippi St., Jr.
The 76ers are in a weird position: middle of the first round, with no glaring holes on their roster, but in need of upgrades at virtually every spot. At this point, Moultrie is a pretty safe bet.
16. Houston (via New York) â€“ Kendall Marshall
6-4, 190 lbs. PG
North Carolina, Soph.
Reports are saying virtually every team with two draft picks in the first round are trying to swing a deal, and Houston is no different (except for having three first-rounders). They want to move these picks for a shot at the high lottery. If not, the Rockets went with a North Carolina player at No. 12, and we’re guessing they do it again. Despite having both Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry on their roster this past season, they might lose both over the summer (Dragic is a free agent… Lowry doesn’t like Kevin McHale). Their offense could desperately use a playmaker like Marshall.
17. Dallas â€“ Terrence Jones
6-8, 245 lbs. PF/SF
This could be considered a steep drop for Jones, but that’s what happens when there are questions about your attitude and what position you will play. When Jones is mentally involved, he’s a top-10 talent. Easily. The Mavs could throw him into Lamar Odom’s old spot, and hope he can give them some youth and athleticism on that frontline.
18. Houston (via Minnesota) – Perry Jones III
6-11, 235 lbs. PF/SF
Jones III has been red-flagged because of a meniscus issue that many believe will ultimately require surgery. But he’s BY FAR the most talented player still left in the draft, and if the Rockets are still trying to trade for a superstar, having the Baylor forward at their disposal to deal is incredibly valuable.
19. Orlando â€“ Fab Melo
7-0, 275 lbs., C
Nobody knows how the Dwight Howard saga will turn out. Melo’s not NBA-ready whatsoever, but he will at least be a project to take on if Howard is traded.
20. Denver â€“ Jared Sullinger
6-9, 280 lbs. C/PF
Ohio St., Soph.
The big man’s stock fell off the map once the outcome of his physical was passed around the league. Depending on who you talk to, that back is either in need of just a little therapy or it could be the beginning of the end for Sullinger as a big-time prospect. The Nuggets could use another rugged body inside, and at No. 20, it’s worth it to take a shot.
21. Boston â€“ Royce White
6-8, 240 lbs. SF/PF
Iowa St, Soph.
White is a big enigma. He is super talented but needs to land with a team that plays his style. But he’s helped himself throughout the process by not being afraid to talk about his anxiety disorder, and because of that, it sounds like Boston has promised him they will take him.
22. Boston (via L.A. Clippers) – Moe Harkless
6-8, 190 lbs. SF
St. John’s, Fr
Harkless could go anywhere from No. 10 all the way back into the mid-20s. He has potential â€“ all the size, athletic ability and range you could want in a young prospect â€“ but doesn’t seem to have that one thing to make him stick out. For the Celtics, they need any type of perimeter help, especially athletic help, and Rajon Rondo could help turn Harkless into a big-time finisher.
23. Atlanta â€“ Will Barton
6-6, 175 lbs., SG
The Hawks are hoping a wing player like Harkless falls to them, but if he doesn’t, we won’t be surprised to see them snatch up one of the fastest-rising players on the board: Will Barton from Memphis. In workouts, he’s been fantastic and despite being rail-thin, many GMs figure he has a real future in the NBA.
24. Cleveland (via L.A. Lakers) â€“ Jeff Taylor
6-7, 225 lbs. SF
There has been talking of Cleveland trading this pick, but if they keep it, expect them to add another solid role player instead of swinging big or stashing overseas. Taylor could be even more than that. He’s very athletic, strong and also has a legit jumper. He’s basically everything you need in a swingman to play off the ball and cover up weaknesses defensively.
25. Memphis â€“ Evan Fournier
6-7, 206 lbs. SG
Memphis has so much talent at the moment. A few reports say that Fournier wants to come to the NBA next year, but he would be a good player to stash overseas (especially for a team as strapped financially as the Grizz). Also, if O.J Mayo leaves town, he could conceivably come over right away and play the bench scorer role.
26. Indiana â€“ Marquis Teague
6-2, 180 lbs. PG
The Pacers LOVE Melo, and said in a recent workout with the former Syracuse center that he was “off the charts.” But we highly doubt the big man takes a tumble this deep into the first round. We also know Teague has talent that could’ve pushed him into next season’s lottery had he gone back to school. Indiana has some backcourt problems, and we’re not sure whether they want to keep Darren Collison around over the next year or so. Why not take Teague as insurance?
27. Miami â€“ Andrew Nicholson
6-10, 235 lbs. PF
St. Bonaventure, Sr.
Miami is looking to deal this pick, but if they keep it, expect them to go for one of two things: a skilled big man or a sharp-shooting guard who can play both off the ball and on. We’ve had Doron Lamb here over the past few weeks, but if Nicholson drops this far, we expect the Heat to grab him. He’s similar to Chris Bosh, and can step out and hit a jumper if need be.
28. Oklahoma City â€“ Draymond Green
6-7, 240 lbs. PF/SF
Michigan State, Sr.
Green represents the type of hard-working player the Thunder want on their team. Since they do not have many needs, they are simply adding depth to the forward position. He’s no Jeff Green, but he could get in the rotation and someone who could help fill that role they’ve been trying to bind since the Green/Perkins deal. If not, he’s definitely a good locker room guy for the Thunder to continue to build upon their culture. Still, rumors persist that the Thunder want to deal this pick.
29. Chicago – Tyshawn Taylor
6-3, 185 lbs. PG
Vin Parise of NBC Sports Network tweeted earlier that he’s hearing this is a done deal. With Derrick Rose out for much of next year as well, the Bulls could use another athletic guard. Taylor could develop into a very good player.
30. Golden State (via San Antonio) â€“ Quincy Miller
6-9, 210 lbs. SF
What do they have to lose? Miller is not all the way back from his ACL tear in high school, and could be a major surprise this low in the draft. Golden State believes they’ll make a playoff run this year, but we doubt they could find any legitimate â€“ and immediate â€“ contributors at this point in the draft. Kevin Jones‘ agent says his client has a promise somewhere in the first round, so who knows? At this point, it’s strictly a guessing game.
Besides Anthony Davis, who is most likely to win the Rookie of the Year award?
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