NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23: The 2011 Draft class including Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas, Brandon Knight, Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker pose for a group photo with NBA Commissioner David Stern (C) during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The draft is tonight. Here is what we think happens.
Up to this minute this is how the 2012 NBA Draft will play out, but the problem is in the next minute Adrian Wojnarowski will break another trade (likely involving Houston) that will crack the foundation of this Mock.
There are only two certainties in this draft.
One is that Anthony Davis is going No. 1 Overall and will change the Hornets franchise going forward. Two, there will be 30 first round picks. The uncertainty is who and in what order will picks 2-30 go tonight?
Here we go:
1. New Orleans - Anthony Davis
The business side of things are taken care of as Anthony Davis is branding his now world famous brow. His next business move is shaking David Sterns hand as his 29th No. 1 Overall pick as Commissioner.
Other Options: None
There have already been two trades involving first round picks (three total trades) with many more to come. This is going to be an active NBA Draft, and once Davis is off the board all bets are off.
2. Charlotte - Thomas Robinson
Going out on a limb here and assuming this pick is destined for someone else. Whether it is the Wizards or Cavaliers that move up to secure Bradley Beal, someone else will own this pick on draft night. In the off chance the Bobcats keep the pick they would take Robinson who is the second best big man in the draft.
Charlotte is more than likely moving this pick as they have "five different offers" according to reports.
3. Washington - Bradley Beal
Under the assumption the Bobcats keep their pick the Wizards are the winners of the draft getting their guy in Beal. The sharpshooting guard out of Florida could be the missing link to turning this into a playoff team.
Other Options: Jeremy Lamb, Harrison Barnes
4. Cleveland - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
It seems this is a three horse race between Beal, Harrison Barnes, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. With Beal already taken it is a tough decision. MKG is a perfect complimentary piece for Kyrie Irving on the wing and should thrive in the Cavaliers up-tempo style.
Other Options: Dion Waiters, Harrison Barnes
5. Sacramento - Harrison Barnes
Nobody wants to go to Sacramento that much is clear, but the Kings need to make a pick or move it. A trade is likely, but if not they go best available with Barnes. He is the perfect "glue guy" to compliment Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins as the third scorer.
This pick could be moved if Thomas Robinson is off the board. A major Wildcard here is Damian Lillard, another point guard, but bigger and better than what the Kings presently have.
Other Options: Andre Drummond, Damian Lillard
6. Portland - Damian Lillard
Over the past week the Blazers have become enamored with Damian Lillard as the teams point guard of the future. He proved to be a scorer in college, but is a great pick-and-roll point guard to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Other Options: Andre Drummond, Dion Waiters
The 7th and 8th picks are interchangeable at this point. Either Waiters, Lamb, or Rivers could go with either pick taking three players off the Suns Big Board, four if you include Lillard.
7. Golden State - Dion Waiters
Other Options: Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb
8. Toronto - Jeremy Lamb
In recent years the Raptors have added numerous paint players and need some help on the perimeter. Jeremy Lamb the player rumored to fall into the teens, but has too much upside as a scorer and defender to fall past the improving Raptors.
Other Options: Austin Rivers,
9. Detroit - Andre Drummond
If (if) Andre Drummond this is a frontline that will dominate the NBA for years to come. With the emergence of Greg Monroe as a potential All-Star at either the four or the five all Drummond has to do is come in and defend the paint, something he did as good as well as anyone in college last year.
10. New Orleans - Austin Rivers
After trading Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to acquire Rashard Lewis (will to be bought out) and the No. 46 pick the Hornets are likely keeping this pick now. Adding some talent to the perimeter is the focus here. Austin Rivers is a combo guard that can really score the ball.
Other Options: Kendall Marshall,
11. Portland - John Henson
What happens at No. 6 dictates this pick and going perimeter early means adding a defensive counterpart to Aldridge. While John Henson needs to bulk up to defend NBA big men, he has the tools to be an elite defender.
Other Options: Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller
12. Houston - Meyers Leonard
Quick disclaimer on all the Rockets picks: They will be moved. Now if they cannot package the picks and move up adding more quality, value pieces is the route Daryl Morey will go. Meyers Leonard makes sense here if the Rockets keep the pick as a center with a very high ceiling.
Did the Rockets leapfrog the Suns to take Arnett Moultrie or Kendall Marshall, two players the Suns covet.
Other Options: Kendall Marshall, Arnett Moultrie
13. Phoenix - Arnett Moultrie
Duplicating a position is not out of the question and the team may revamp the roster entirely if Steve Nash leaves this summer. With Moultrie the Suns get a versatile big that can play the four and the five.
Other Options: Kendall Marshall, Terrence Ross
14. Milwaukee - Tyler Zeller
The Bucks move back and acquired a center, but that doesn't mean they do not still need a center like Tyler Zeller. For now Samuel Dalembert is the incumbent, but is working on an expiring deal whereas Zeller is the perfect center for Scott Skiles to groom.
Other Options: Terrence Ross, Terrence Jones
15. Philadelphia - Terrence Ross
The 76ers are trying to move up to get Terrence Ross because they fear he will be gone by 15. Overall the team needs shooters to spread the floor and Ross is an elite shooter from the two or the three.
16. Houston - Kendall Marshall
It looks more and more like Kyle Lowry is on his way out the door in Houston and even with Goran Dragic the team needs more depth at the point. In Kendall Marshall they get a very smart and savvy true point guard.
Other Options: Marquis Teague, Perry Jones III
17. Dallas - Terrence Jones
The Mavericks are in a transition phase that may or may not include Deron Williams. Adding a player like Terrence Jones gives them versatility and athleticism on an aging, slow roster.
Other Options: Marquis Teague, Moe Harkless
18. Houston - Perry Jones III
The Rockets luck out with Perry Jones III who was regarded as the No. 2 Overall prospect in 2011, oh what a year can do. PJ3 is a forward with perimeter skills and has the tools to be a very productive NBA player.
Recent reports have PJIII with a medical "red flag" that may cause a tumble in his draft stock.
Other Options: Fab Melo, Royce White
19. Orlando - Moe Harkless
With or without Dwight Howard the Magic need to begin adding future stars to the roster. The "proven veteran" strategy didn't work out and youth needs to be the focus. Albeit Moe Harkless will be raw for a few years, he has the potential to be a high end three in the NBA.
Other Options: Marquis Teague, Royce White
20. Denver - Jared Sullinger
The Nuggets are basically two-deep at every position on the court and could use a back-to-the-basket scorer like Jared Sullinger. Red Flags aside he is the best post scorer in the draft.
Other Options: Marquis Teague, Andrew Nicholson
21. Boston - Andrew Nicholson
Somehow the Celtics were a game away from the NBA Finals with five NBA players and a patchwork roster of basically who was available. As they gear towards the future led by Rajon Rondo adding quality pieces is important. Andrew Nicholson is the most versatile scorer at the four in this year's draft.
Other Options: Royce White, Fab Melo
22. Boston - Fab Melo
Another part of the rebuilding process will be filling the paint in Boston. Fab Melo is a big, wide defensive presence in the paint that can block and alter shots. They could also package these picks and move up in the draft.
Other Options: Royce White, Festus Ezeli
The Celtics are looking to move into the late lottery and the Suns (12) are one of very few teams that maybe the trade partner.
23. Atlanta - Royce White
With a new General Manager (Danny Ferry) on board the Hawks could blow up this experiment as soon as the draft. Royce White is an interesting player to build upon with his point forward skills and ball-handling ability as a four.
Other Options: Anthony Wroten, Evan Fournier
24. Cleveland - Evan Fournier
The Cavs could move this pick and do not want four rookies on the roster next year while drafting No. 4, 24, 33, 34. As with all International prospects Evan Fournier can either stay overseas for a year or join Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
Other Options: Kostas Papanikolaou, Jeffery Taylor
25. Memphis - Doron Lamb
A potential replacement for O.J. Mayo may be needed this season and Doron Lamb can do a lot of what Mayo does, plus add a three-point sniper.
Other Options: Anthony Wroten, John Jenkins
26. Indiana - Marquis Teague
27. Miami - Kostas Papanikolaou
Adding salary is always a concern for a team this far over the cap. Kostas Papanikolaou is a very talented forward prospect that could come over in a year or two to bring youth to the Heat.
Other Options: Festus Ezeli, Kyle O'Quinn
28. Oklahoma City - Jeffery Taylor
Other Options: John Jenkins, Draymond Green
29. Chicago - Will Barton
The Bulls need someone on offense to create shots outside of Derrick Rose. In Will Barton they get a talented, efficient scorer from the two.
Other Options: John Jenkins, Jared Cunningham
30. Golden State - Kyle O'Quinn
Remember Patrick O'Bryant? The Warriors are big fans of Kyle O'Quinn thinking he could develop into a very good NBA center with his length and motor.
Other Options: Jared Cunningham, Anthony Wroten
Next Five: Anthony Wroten, Quincy Miller, John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli, and Jared Cunningham