Following the shocking NBA Draft Lottery in New York City where everyone and their momma is now saying David Stern and the NBA rigged it to make sure the top prize landed in New Orleans, now we can now begin to get an idea of how the first round of the draft will play out after the top spot. After we took a stab at the first round just a few weeks ago, here is the third of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 28. As usual, it’s a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:
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1. New Orleans â€“ Anthony Davis
6-10, 220 lbs. PF
No surprise here. The Hornets will draft Anthony Davis, not only a guy who has the potential to be a franchise player but also someone who could attract Eric Gordon back to town.
2. Charlotte â€“ Thomas Robinson
6-9, 240 lbs. PF
This is really where the draft begins, and as of now, there’s no clear-cut report that the Bobcats are leaning one way or another. They could be looking to trade the pick for immediate help, but if they aren’t, we’re guessing they go for one of two players: Robinson or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. We’re sure they’d rather have a perimeter player who can create shots for others, but Robinson is looking like the next Al Horford.
3. Washington – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
6-7, 210 lbs. SF
It sounds like the team is leaning towards MKG rather than Bradley Beal for a couple of reasons: first, his competitive fire would be a welcome addition to Clown U. And second, the Wizards’ might have the worst group of small forwards in the NBA.
4. Cleveland â€“ Harrison Barnes
6-8, 210 lbs. SF/SG
North Carolina, Soph.
Barnes and Kyrie Irving are friends, share the same agent and Cleveland desperately needs a small forward. Plus, there’s this: the Cavs loved Barnes last year before he decided to come back to Carolina for another year.
5. Sacramento – Bradley Beal
6-5, 195 lbs. SG
Where are the Kings going with this pick? Their intentions have been cloudy so far during this process, but we’re betting they ditch the longterm prospect route and instead go with someone like Beal, who should be able to help out pretty soon.
6. Portland (via Brooklyn) â€“ Andre Drummond
6-11, 260 lbs. C
Andre Drummond is a risk but Portland desperately needs size in the paint. No one really knows what to make of him, but big men always develop late. Plus, there are those interesting comparisons to Amar’e Stoudemire (who also had major question marks coming into the draft). Drummond could come in handy because there’s no way Hasheem Thabeet is ready to step up to the task.
7. Golden State -Jared Sullinger
6-9, 280 lbs. C/PF
Ohio St., Soph.
Will the Warriors take another big man? Possibly, although we’re pretty sure they’d rather find an electric wing player. That’s probably why they’re shopping this pick as hard as anyone in the top 10. In our judgement, we say they end up moving this pick before the draft for a veteran; Terrence Jones and Perry Jones III were both disappointments in a recent Warrior workout.
8. Toronto â€“ Dion Waiters
6-4, 215 lbs. SG/PG
As you can tell, we already love Waiters. So do a lot of GMs. Some even say he has the most potential to become a superstar of anyone in the draft outside of Davis. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted earlier that one team exec told him he believes the Raptors have promised Waiters. The response from Bryan Colangelo was a pretty weak poker face, but yet acknowledged that Waiters’ agent had told him another team made him a promise. Was it Phoenix? Toronto may just pull a Golden State, and swing this pick for an athletic three man.
9. Detroit â€“ John Henson
6-10, 210 lbs. PF
North Carolina, Jr.
For a team full of mix-matched parts, and a bunch of guards who don’t really know what they are, the Detroit brass has to go for someone with a solid base from a winning environment. And while Henson’s base is literally quite weak, he’d be a solid addition to their frontcourt.
10. New Orleans (via Minnesota) â€“ Damian Lillard
6-2, 185 lbs. PG/SG
Weber St., Jr.
The Hornets have needs all over, and while Lillard isn’t a pure point guard, he’s a scoring machine. Coming out of this draft with two cornerstones – one inside and the other outside – is a great start to the summer for New Orleans.