1. New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis: PF, 19, 6-10, 220, Kentucky, Fresh.
While conspiracy theories will abound, basketball purists will appreciate that a team that competed admirably all season long with limited resources was rewarded with some good karma in the form of the No. 1 pick. Hornets general manager Dell Demps wasn't particularly coy about who they might select following the lottery drawing, joking saying that the pick is "top secret." Certainly the team will go through a process including medical evaluations, interviews and potentially a light workout, but it's impossible to look at their roster and style of play and not say that Davis is precisely what the doctor ordered. New Orleans' rebuilding process just got a major boost.
2. Charlotte Bobcats
Thomas Robinson: PF, 21, 6-9, 240, Kansas, Junior
Although the Bobcats and their fans will certainly be disappointed not to end up with Anthony Davis after the miserable season they endured, they should get over that fairly quickly when they realize they are about to add an extremely important piece to their roster who is arguably more ready to compete from Day One than Davis.
Robinson will bring a blend of strength, athleticism and competitiveness that the team sorely lacked this season inside the paint. He will pair well with 2011 draft pick Bismack Biyombo to form one of the longest and most explosive interior frontcourts – certainly defensively – in the NBA.
3. Washington Wizards
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: SF: 18, 6-7, 228, Kentucky, Fresh.
The Wizards will also be disappointed initially not to end up with the top overall pick after finishing with the league's second-worst record. But that should be short-lived as well when they realize that a very exciting piece in their rebuilding process is on the way in Kidd-Gilchrist.
With the Wizards sporting the worst small forward rotation in the NBA this season, Kidd-Gilchrist could fill an immediate hole, bringing a degree of intensity and toughness that will immediately improve their perimeter defense. He's arguably the most competitive player in this draft. Still very much a work in progress offensively, he would form a lethal transition duo with speedster John Wall, as well as the hyper athletic Jan Vesely.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Bradley Beal: SG, 18, 6-4, 201, Florida, Fresh.
Sporting virtually nothing in their backcourt going into next season outside of Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, the Cavs need immediate help at the shooting guard position. Beal has the perfect skill set and demeanor to complement Irving, which should make him an extremely attractive pick. Andre Drummond will likely also get a long look here.
5. Sacramento Kings
Andre Drummond: C, 18, 6-10, 251, Connecticut, Fresh.
This could be shades of 2010, where arguably the second-most-talented player in the draft fell to the No. 5 pick, only to be swooped up by the Sacramento Kings. Drummond could slip for different reasons than DeMarcus Cousins did, but there's little doubt the two complement each other fairly well, possibly forming one of the biggest and most physically gifted frontcourts in the NBA. The question is whether Sacramento will find a way to get the most out of Drummond's immense talent, and whether they are prepared to take on another project player who may take a couple of years to pan out.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn)
Jared Sullinger: PF/C, 20, 6-9, 280, Ohio State, Soph.
The Trail Blazers have been looking for a strong interior option to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge for quite some time, and this draft will finally give them an opportunity to do so. Going into next season with only Kurt Thomas and Aldridge under contact, Jared Sullinger certainly appears to be an attractive option here, as his skill set complements what they already have.
7. Golden State Warriors
Harrison Barnes: SF, 19, 6-8, 223, North Carolina, Soph.
The Warriors took a major leap of faith in trading fan favorite Monta Ellis for injured center Andrew Bogut and handing the full-time ball-handling responsibilities to Stephen Curry, who lost most of the season to an ankle injury. If everyone stays healthy, they have a very intriguing roster on paper, but still could use some additional scoring punch on the wing. Harrison Barnes duplicates many of the things Klay Thompson and Dorell Wright do. He's also not a particularly gifted shot creator, but he has great size and scoring instincts and still has plenty of room to improve at age 19.
8. Toronto Raptors
Jeremy Lamb: SG, 19, 6-5, 185, Connecticut, Soph.
While the Raptors anxiously await the arrival of their 2011 lottery pick, Jonas Valanciunas, next season, they have a chance to plug another hole. Finding a successor to starting point guard Jose Calderon, who is entering the final year of his contract, is a priority, especially considering that Valanciunas will need to have offense created for him, at least initially. The Raptors' wing rotation also looks unsettled, with DeMar DeRozan still unable to find a consistent jump shot, and very little starting material around him. One solution might be to pick Jeremy Lamb, one of the most talented scorers in the draft, and move DeRozan to small forward.
9. Detroit Pistons
John Henson: PF, 21, 6-11, 220, North Carolina, Junior
The Pistons struggled on both ends of the floor last season, ranking 29 th in offensive efficiency and 24 th on defense, meaning this lone pick will surely not solve all their problems. Pairing Greg Monroe with a long and athletic shot-blocker/rebounder like Henson could be a good start, though. The two seem to complement each other fairly well. Finding a long-term solution at small forward will also be a priority, which could mean Harrison Barnes if he's available.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota)
Damian Lillard: PG, 21, 6-2, 185, Weber State, Junior
The Hornets competed admirably despite being forced to trade their franchise player, Chris Paul, and seeing his replacement, Eric Gordon, lose much of the season to injury. That doesn't mask the fact they lack talent at many key positions, particularly in the frontcourt where two of their most experienced players (Carl Landry and Chris Kaman) are free agents this summer. Jarrett Jack exceeded expectations, but may not be a long-term solution, meaning a potential upgrade at point guard could also be in order. Lillard would complement the likes of Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon extremely well, even if Kendall Marshall's court vision and passing savvy could also get a long look here.
11. Portland Trail Blazers
Kendall Marshall, PG, 20, 6-4, 180, North Carolina, Soph.
The Trail Blazers had a disappointing season, partially because of injuries and partially because of the lackluster performance of their backcourt. Offseason acquisitions Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford both struggled to live up to expectations, while Wesley Matthews regressed somewhat after a promising sophomore season. Both of the top point guard prospects, Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall, will get extended looks here, as will the likes of Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters and others. Drafting a center, such as Tyler Zeller, could also be an option.
12. Milwaukee Bucks
Perry Jones: PF, 20, 6-11, 220, Baylor, Soph.
After trading Andrew Bogut to Golden State, and with Ersan Ilyasova an unrestricted free agent, Milwaukee is woefully thin in the frontcourt. While the Bucks could certainly use some more mass in the paint, they might have a tough time passing up a prospect as talented as Jones, who was projected as a top-five pick just a year ago.
13. Phoenix Suns
Austin Rivers: SG, 19, 6-4, 203, Duke, Fresh.
The Suns are in a serious transition phase, with many key roster pieces entering free agency, making it difficult to pinpoint just one area of need. Regardless of whether Steve Nash and Aaron Brooks return, their backcourt and wing rotation could use a serious upgrade, which could make a prolific scoring shot-creating guard like Austin Rivers very attractive here.
14. Houston Rockets
Tyler Zeller: C, 22, 7-0, 250, North Carolina, Senior
After narrowly missing the playoffs for the third straight season, it's difficult to say the Rockets will be able to address all their problems with two mid-first-round picks. Assuming the Kyle Lowry/Goran Dragic situation works itself out, the Rockets are seemingly stacked at most every position besides center, which could make North Carolina's Zeller a solid option right here.
15. Philadelphia 76ers
Terrence Jones: PF, 20, 6-9, 249, Kentucky, Soph.
While almost certainly a top-10 talent, Jones (or one of his power forward counterparts) could pay the price for how deep this draft is at his position, as six power forwards have already come off the board at this point in this particular mock draft. The Sixers have other needs, but could have a very difficult time passing on a player like Jones, who can do a little bit of everything on the floor and looks ready to play from day one.
16. Houston Rockets (via New York)
Terrence Ross: SG/SF, 21, 6-7, 197, Washington, Soph.
This pick is widely assumed to be in play, as the Rockets don't have any real need for more rookies on their roster, as they already have solid depth at most every position. Ross is talented enough to be drafted much earlier than this, as his combination of prototypical size, athleticism and perimeter shooting makes him easy to plug in on most teams' rotations.
17. Dallas Mavericks
Dion Waiters: SG, 20, 6-4, 210, Syracuse, Soph.
The Mavericks are a team in transition, with a large amount of cap space coming up this summer and serious needs in the backcourt. Dion Waiters duplicates some of what sparsely used second-year combo guard Dominique Jones offers, but has good value at this point in the draft. Considering their flexibility, the Mavericks could go in many different directions here.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah)
Quincy Miller: SF, 19, 6-9, 200, Baylor, Fresh.
After eight straight years of missing the playoffs, and with general manager David Kahn entering the final year of his contract, Minnesota will need to make some moves this summer to improve its roster and finally break its postseason drought. The Timberwolves are especially weak at the wing positions, where they could desperately use some additional scoring punch to take the heat off Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Unless they end up reaching for an experienced perimeter shooting wing like Jeff Taylor, Darius Miller or Orlando Johnson, the T'wolves might be best off drafting the best talent available -- this case Quincy Miller -- and trying to pursue help on the wing in trades and/or free agency.
19. Orlando Magic
Moe Harkless: SF, 19, 6-8, 208, St. John's, Fresh.
Orlando has no coach and no general manager at the moment, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly which direction the team might head in at this early stage. The evolution of Dwight Howard's status with the team will surely play a major role in future plans. It's safe to say that small forward was the weakest position on the Magic last season, and Moe Harkless could very well be deemed the most talented prospect on the board here, even if he'll need time to contribute.
20. Denver Nuggets
Marquis Teague: PG, 19, 6-2, 179, Kentucky, Fresh.
The Nuggets have good depth at pretty much every position on their roster, which should allow them to draft the most talented player that falls to them. Marquis Teague has good size, athleticism, scoring instincts and upside, and could develop into an excellent backup for Ty Lawson, or even play alongside him in the two-guard lineups George Karl likes to use frequently.
21. Boston Celtics
Meyers Leonard: C, 20, 7-0, 240, Illinois, Soph.
The Celtics are ushering in a new era, with a big chunk of their roster entering free agency and a great deal of cap room opening up. The frontcourt is an especially large area of need, making a talented, athletic 7-footer like Meyers Leonard an easy proposition should he fall this far in the draft.
22. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers)
Evan Fournier: SG/SF, 19, 6-7, 206, Poitiers, International
The Celtics might not hold on to both of their first-round picks, as Danny Ainge is always very active in trade discussions. If they are drafting here, a player like Evan Fournier makes some sense. He would add some much-needed size and shot-creating ability to the rotation. He is one of the more experienced players in the draft despite being only 19. Considering their roster flexibility, the Celtics could go in many different directions here. Ainge has never been afraid to swing for the fences.
23. Atlanta Hawks
Arnett Moultrie: PF/C, 21, 6-11, 220, Mississippi St., Junior
The Hawks have a big hole on the wing, which could make the likes of Jeff Taylor, Darius Miller or Orlando Johnson attractive here. They also might want to address their frontcourt rotation, which was depleted for much of the season because of injuries. A big man like Moultrie can see minutes at both power forward and center, and would give them a nice boost on the glass, where they were fairly weak this season.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers)
Fab Melo: C, 21, 7-0, 250, Syracuse, Soph.
The Cavs seemingly need everything except a starting point guard at this stage, and adding some size and bulk to the frontcourt wouldn't be a bad idea. With the Cavs ranked as one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this season, Melo has the potential to help in that area down the road once he gets experience.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Tony Wroten: PG/SG, 19, 6-5, 180, Washington, Fresh.
With luxury tax problems looming for the Grizzlies, their backcourt has plenty of question marks entering next season. The team struggled to find a consistent backup for point guard Mike Conley, while former top-five pick O.J. Mayo is entering free agency and likely expecting a big raise. Tony Wroten isn't ready to step into a playoff rotation right now, but has a great deal of talent which can hopefully be harnessed down the road.
26. Indiana Pacers
Jeff Taylor: SF, 23, 6-7, 226, Vanderbilt, Senior
With a couple of key pieces in George Hill and Roy Hibbert entering free agency, Indiana has some big decisions to make this summer. The team has solid depth at every position right now, with the most pressing need likely being on the wing where the Pacers could possibly use another perimeter shooter to pair with Paul George and Danny Granger. Vanderbilt's Jeff Taylor made more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers this season and has the versatility to defend either wing position.
27. Miami Heat
Tyshawn Taylor: PG, 22, 6-3, 180, Kansas, Senior
While Mario Chalmers had a solid year and is locked in long-term, Miami still doesn't have great backcourt depth behind him and Dwayne Wade. Mike Miller perpetually struggles with injuries and rookie Norris Cole regressed later in the season. Tyshawn Taylor has the size to defend either guard position and should be able to space the floor with his 3-point range.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder
Royce White: PF, 21, 6-8, 270, Iowa State, Soph.
The Thunder have one of the most stacked rosters in the NBA right now, which should allow them to take a clear view of this draft and pick the best talent available. Royce White is easily one of the most talented players around, having fallen here because of the depth of this draft at his position and off-court concerns that could hamper his transition to the NBA. The Thunder can afford to roll the dice here, and he could even provide some of the mismatch potential they lost at the 4-spot with Jeff Green down the road.
29. Chicago Bulls
Orlando Johnson: SG, 23, 6-5, 205, UC Santa Barbara, Senior
The Bulls have been in a perpetual hunt for a floor spacing 3-point shooting wing, and Orlando Johnson could well fit the bill here. With Derrick Rose likely out for the season, another ball-handler could certainly be in order, but it might be tough to find one here that can also play the type of defense Tom Thibodeau expects.
30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio)
Andrew Nicholson: PF/C, 22, 6-9, 220, St. Bonaventure, Senior
Having addressed their biggest need (small forward) in the lottery, the Warriors can afford to take a flyer on a talented late-blooming big man like Nicholson who might be able to offer some frontcourt depth down the road. The Warriors don't have an established backup power forward yet, and with the uncertain health of Andrew Bogut, Nicholson's size and length could come in handy down the road.
See DraftExpress.com for in-depth scouting reports on all of the prospects and more.
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