With the 2012 NBA Draft less than a month away, it is time to look at how the draft could and should potentially unfold. After trying to account for team needs and best available player, here is a 2012 NBA Draft Mock Lottery for what I thought would be the best fit for all the lottery selections.
Hornets – Anthony Davis. PF, Kentucky
The clear-cut choice for the No. 1 pick, Davis will come in and have an immediate impact for the Hornets with his relentless energy and ability to affect the game without scoring. Davis is still fairly raw on the offensive end, but has shown flashes of a jump shot and a face-up game. The combination of Davis, Eric Gordon, and the No. 10 overall pick should make for a nice, young nucleus for the Hornets to build around.
Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
After having the worst season in NBA history, the Bobcats need someone like Kidd-Gilchrist. He would fill this team’s biggest need, which is a player who has leadership abilities and winning intangibles. While he struggles to create his own offense and make jumpers, he makes up for it with his defense tenacity, hustle, and his ability to finish in transition.
Wizards – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
The Wizards will likely address their need for a wing player with this pick, with Beal being the best fit. Beal’s well-rounded game with the ability to space the floor and his unselfish attitude are two things that the Wizards sorely need. Pairing him with John Wall would make for a dynamic back-court for a long time.
Cavaliers –Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
With the Cavs already having a franchise player in Kyrie Irving, they can take a chance on a player that’s a project like Drummond. He has elite physical tools, but there are questions about his effort level. With Irving already on board, the Cavs have someone to help create offense for Drummond and take the pressure off of him while he develops.
Kings – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
Robinson would be a great fit for the Kings, giving them a high-character guy that would be able to contribute from day 1. He is a great rebounder and he plays hard all the time, which is something the Kings do not do regularly. Combine that with his impressive explosiveness and quickness, and he could develop into a terrific player.
Trail Blazers – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
The Trailblazers desperately need a point guard, and Marshall would be an excellent selection for them. His ability to control the game and create for others would give them an immediate upgrade at the position. The thought of combining Marshall with LaMarcus Aldridge would look to be very appealing for the Blazers.
Warriors – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes would be a great fit with the Warriors, who could use his shooting and defense on the perimeter. Barnes has difficulty creating his own shot off the dribble, but should benefit from the attention that Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut will draw. If the Warriors can add Barnes, they should be an up-and-coming team in the Western Conference next season.
Raptors – Perry Jones, SF, Baylor
The Raptors would find it difficult to pass on the potential of Jones if the draft were to unfold like this. Jones is a uniquely gifted prospect, with the size of center and the speed and quickness of a guard. What people question about Jones though are his motor and his desire to be great. The Raptors would be able to let Jones be a secondary option with Andrea Bargnani, while having an incredibly long frontcourt, with Bargnani, Jones, and Jonas Valanciunas.
Pistons – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
Henson would be a solid pick up for the Pistons. It would give them a give them a defensive and rebounding presence next to Greg Monroe, while also giving them someone with potential on the offensive end. Henson certainly needs to put on some weight to be more effective, but his length and athleticism make pairing him with Monroe a very intriguing idea.
Hornets – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
The Hornets are looking for a point guard, and Lillard would be the best available at this point. He has a nice combination of scoring and playmaking ability that the Hornets desperately need to improve their struggling offense. Coming away with Davis and Lillard in the draft would have to be considered a great success for the Hornets.
Trail Blazers – Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi State
The Blazers are probably interested in finding a big man to play next to LaMarcus Aldridge, and Moultrie fits that bill. Moultrie’s rebounding and ability to play without the ball on offense would make him a good fit, allowing Aldridge to play the 4 and focus on carrying the Blazers scoring load.
Bucks – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
The Bucks would be fortunate to be able to select Sullinger at this point in the lottery. Sullinger would give the Bucks a versatile offensive threat that can control the boards as well. Also, playing alongside of Ekpe Udoh should help limit some of Sullinger’s weaknesses on the defensive end.
Suns– Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
With the Suns being in a transition stage right now, Lamb could be a player that helps them build toward the future. He has great physical tools with an advanced offensive skill set that could help the Suns immediately. There are concerns about that he may be too laid back and lack some intangibles, but his physical gifts outweigh those concerns at this point in the draft.
Rockets – Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
Zeller would be a solid pick for the Rockets that fills a need for them. Zeller can come in and give the Rockets some rebounding and scoring from the center position. He doesn’t have the potential to be an all-star level player, but he should be a solid contributor on a successful team.
David Jinks is a Correspondent and Scout for NetScouts Basketball. The opinions presented in this article are his, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NetScouts Basketball.