(19 years old, 6’10, 220 lbs, Freshman)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks
Was there any real doubt here? SLAM Magazine is already planning to feature Davis on the cover of the August issue dawning a Hornets jersey. The lean, mean unibrow machine will be making his way to New Orleans! He isn’t Chris Paul, but he will certainly ease the pain of Hornets fans who are still devastated over the loss of CP3. As far as rebuilding a basketball team goes, having a player like Davis come aboard should give hope to the fan base that winning days are on the horizon.
(21 years old, 6’9, 240 lbs, Junior)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals
I still can’t believe the team with the worst record in the history of the league couldn’t secure the number one pick. Thankfully for Charlotte, the draft is deep enough that they can still land a franchise-changing player with the second pick. Thomas Robinson is probably a tad more NBA-ready than Davis. He’s a bit undersized at the 4 spot, but he should pair up nicely with Bismack Biyombo in the frontcourt. A lot of players could go at pick #2 to Charlotte, but Robinson is probably the best fit.
(18 years old, 6’7, 228 lbs, Freshman)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists
John Wall and M.K.G should form a nice 1-2 scoring punch for the Washington Wizards. Gilchrist isn’t a developed enough scorer to be the #1 option for a team, but playing second fiddle to Wall should work out for him in Washington. His highly praised work ethic will be a nice change for a team known for its constant mental lapses and lack of motivation on the court and in practices. He played a lot of 3/4 in Kentucky, but he will need to have a position change and play more 2/3 in the NBA because of his size and stature.
(18 years old, 6’4, 201 lbs, Freshman)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists
As I mentioned in my Cleveland Cavaliers offseason preview, Bradley Beal is exactly what the Doctor ordered for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only can he step in right away and be the starting shooting guard, but he can also be an effective 6th man off the bench and carry the majority of scoring for the second unit. His shooting numbers need some work, but he is just too enticing a prospect to pass up.
(18 years old, 6’10, 251 lbs, Freshman)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks
The mouths of Sacramento Kings fans should be watering over the idea of having Andre Drummond join DeMarcus Cousins in the Kings frontcourt. Drummond is definitely a project and may take 2-3 years before he lives up to this 5th selection, but his potential is through the roof. He has the chance to be the best player coming out of this draft when we look back 5-6 years from now. Hopefully the Kings coaching staff can find a way to get the most out of his ability.
(20 years old, 6-9, 280 lbs, Sophomore)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks
The Greg Oden/LaMarcus Aldridge experiment clearly didn’t get any legs under it, so Portland is hoping that Sullinger will be that missing piece down low alongside their all-star. Jared would have been a top-5 pick in the 2011 draft, but elected to stay another year with the Buckeyes. He’s dropped a considerable amount of weight, slimmed down and improved his fundamentals in the paint area. In other online mock drafts, I’ve seen Sullinger go as high as #5 and as low as #16.
(19 years old, 6’8, 223 lbs, Sophomore)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists
I believe a guy like Perry Jones III would be a better pick at this selection, but the recent trade for Andrew Bogut basically negates the Warriors need for another big man. Barnes isn’t the most explosive player in the draft, but he has a good frame and long wingspan that should help him adapt to the NBA game right away. He didn’t make the big leap in improvement from his first to second year at North Carolina that many expected, so that is what will probably hold him back from being a higher pick in this summers draft. Regardless of that, Barnes should complement Klay Thompson and Dorell Wright nicely on the wings.
(19 years old, 6’5, 185 lbs, Sophomore)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals
The Raptors will more than likely trade down in the draft in hopes of securing assets and possibly picking a point guard later on. If they do however stay with the #8 pick, Jeremy Lamb would be the safest choice. Lamb is one of the more talented scorers in the draft and should help the Raptors greatly on the offensive end, especially with DeMar DeRozen struggling to find consistency with his shot. He was a major part of the Huskies 2011 championship run and was also the leading scorer for the USA U-19 World Championship squad.
(21 years old, 6’11, 220 lbs, Junior)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks
Henson will need to put on quite a bit of weight to compete with the bigs of the NBA, but his knack for rebounding the basketball and blocking shots will make him an attractive pick for a franchise that once prided themselves on their defense. If he can one day develop a 15 foot jump shot and drastically improve his free throw percentage (50%), he could be a huge steal at pick #9. The Pistons could also take a look at his Tar Heel teammate Tyler Zeller with this pick, but Henson is certainly the better prospect as far as I’m concerned.
(20 years old, 6’4, 180 lbs, Sophomore)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 8.1 points, 9.8 assists, 1.2 steals
You can pretty much flip a coin between Marshall and Damian Lillard out of Weber State as for who the best point guard is in this draft. Lillard is the better scorer, but Marshall is the better point guard as far as passing the ball is concerned. On a team with Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza, Kendall wouldn’t be called upon to score the ball as often and could concentrate more on using his pinpoint passing ability to get the ball to his teammates and help the team in that respect.
(21 years old, 6’2, 185 lbs, Junior)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 24.5 points, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals
Raymond Felton isn’t the long-term answer at point guard for the Blazers. Portland needs to look towards the future and that future is Damian Lilard. The second-leading scorer in the NCAA at 24.5 points a game will be a tremendous value pick at #11 for the Blazers. I don’t know if Lillard would have gone this high if the crop of point guards was so sparce, but he certainly has enough game to warrant this selection. He’s a weaker passer than Kendall Marshall, but he is a far more effective and established scoring threat.
(20 years old, 6’11, 220 lbs, Sophomore)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 13.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
After trading away Andrew Bogut and possibly losing Ersan Ilyasova to free-agency, the Bucks will need to get bigger to compensate for those losses. Jones numbers dropped across the board in his 2-year stint at Baylor leaving many questioning whether or not he had the internal drive to push himself to become a better basketball player. This pick is more upside than anything else. He has the tools and physique to be an effective player for the Bucks, but he needs to show the heart and mental stability it takes to be a pro in this league.
(19 years old, 6’4, 203 lbs, Freshman)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists
The Suns will more than likely lose Steve Nash to free-agency this summer and will need someone to step in and be the new long-term face of this franchise. Cue Austin Rivers. He has the leadership intangibles, scoring ability and presence on the court to be a future star in this league. His habit of taking and forcing ill-advised shots will give his coach headaches though.
(22 years old, 7’0, 250 lbs, Senior)
2011-12 NCAA statistics: 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks
The Rockets have a lot of depth at every position besides center. Losing Yao Ming to retirement and having Paul Gasol ripped away from them in the Chris Paul fiasco has left the Rockets without a quality center on the roster for quite some time. Zeller has an above-average post game, can step back and hit the jumper and can also rebound the ball at a high enough rate. He will never be a star, but he does figure to have a long, promising career in the NBA.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports
Topics: Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Jared Sullinger, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, NBA Draft, NBA Mock Draft, New Orleans Hornets, Perry Jones III, Portland Trail Blazers, Thomas Robinson, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards