It's the most wonderful time of the year folks. The NBA Draft is this Thursday. For the past couple weeks I've been watching YouTube clips and reading mock drafts. I've changed my opinion on each guy at least twice. And I'll dreadfully afraid of what the Bobcats will do. So, things are normal.
Despite what all the experts say, I don't think this draft is dreadful. Is there a franchise changing star in this draft? No. But there are several players who will start in the league for a while and maybe even a couple all stars. Teams can add depth and some legit playmakers this year. And hey, as bad as some of these teams are they can't be that choosey.
Last week Brandon and did an extensive draft preview (check it out here). But I thought I'd go on record with my lottery mock draft certainly to be proven useless in the next couple days.
1. Cleveland Caveraliers - Nerlens Noel (C - Kentucky) Sure he has a torn ACL. Sure he got dominated by every top front court prospect he faced this year. Sure the Cavs are desperately trying to trade out of this pick. He's still the #1 pick. He's got the most upside and if he progresses the way people project he may, he could at worst become a defensive anchor for years to come. Worth the gamble for a team that already has their franchise player on board.
2. Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo (SG - Indiana) In my opinion the most NBA ready player in the draft. Elite wing defender with the skill set to be a great scorer. The Magic need talent and this guy is possibly the best talent in the draft.
3. Washington Wizards - Otto Porter (SF - Georgetown) Of the top 10 picks this is the first no brainer. Washington needs a SF to pair with with young core backcourt they have assembled with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Not only does Otto Porter fit the roster perfectly, he's the best player on the board. Win-Win.
4. Charlotte Bobcats - Anthony Bennett (PF - UNLV) My Beloved Bobcats. They could take anyone here and it'd be a great pick. Anthony Bennett, while undersized, will add much needed scoring to front court that doesn't have any. Wouldn't surprise me to see them take McElmore here. But they need to get a big man in this draft.
5. Phoenix Suns - Ben McElmore (SG - Kansas) Like the Bobcats and Magic, they need talent and McElmore has that. Elite scoring shooting guard with a fantastic jumpshot. If he falls to them at 5, it will be fantastic value.
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Alex Len (C - Maryland) It's possible that Trey Burke is the pick here as New Orleans will look to use Eric Gordon as trade bait. But taking Len allows them to move Anthony Davis to what I think is his natural position of PF.
7. Sacramento Kings - Trey Burke (PG - Michigan) Trey Burke could turn out to be the best player in the draft. This team needs some sort of stability and leadership. Burke can give them that. This move also allows them to shop Isaiah Thomas.
8. Detroit Pistons - CJ McCollum (PG - Lehigh) Why would Detroit take CJ MuCullum you ask? 2 reasons. 1.) Rodney Stuckey and 2.) Brandon Knight. Enough said.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kentavius Caldwell-Pope (SG - Georgia) The Brandon Roy experiment didn't pan out. And sure Alexy Shved is a decent prospect. But the T-Wolves need a SG. And he might be as good a perimeter scorer there is in this draft.
10. Portland Trailblazers - Cody Zeller (C - Indiana) If Zeller is still on the board at 10, Portland can't pass him. Legit 7 footer. Good hands. Very agile. Nice touch. Would fit nicely next to Aldridge. I would like to see him get a little more nasty though. Gregg knows what I mean.
11. Philadelphia 76ers - Shabazz Muhammad (SG - UCLA) Prediction: We'll look back at this draft and wonder how in the hell Shabazz Muhammad fell to 11th. He's one of the 5 best players in the draft. And despite the fact that he lied about his age, all the character flags we've seen about him are worth the risk at this stage of the draft.
12. Oklahoma City - Mason Plumlee (C - Duke) OKC got this pick in the James Harden deal. Didn't turn out to be as good as they would have hoped. But Plumlee I think will be a very solid energy role player for them off the bench. This team is in win now mode. They need players ready to come in and contribute now.
13. Dallas Mavericks - Michael Carter Williams (PG - Syracuse) True PG. Good court vision. Excellent passer. Could be a cheap steady option at the point for Dallas as they look to load up with stars to make another run at a title.
14. Utah Jazz - Sergey Karasev (SF - Russia) One of my favorite players in the draft. Can absolutely shoot the basketball. Pair him with Gordon Hayward and Utah will have one the best shooting wing tandems in the league.
Other Notable Picks
Gorgui Dieng (C - Louisville) - It baffles me how Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are ranks higher than him. Dieng is a legit center and a potential defensive anchor. Which of course means San Antonio is gonna draft him.
Grant Jarrett (C - Arizona) Not a great athlete. Needs to lose a little weight. But he can really shoot for a big guy. Think Byron Mullens but with the ability to know when not to shoot the 3.
Tony Snell (SF - New Mexico) One of my favorite players in the draft. This kid can flat out play. Someone is gonna take him in the late first and get an absolute steal.