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, 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 earlier this week, here is the final Dime mock draft leading up to tonight. 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 – 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. With those two, the No. 10 pick to add a perimeter talent and a ton of cap space thanks to their recent deal with Washington, things are suddenly looking brighter in N.O.
2. Charlotte- Bradley Beal
6-5, 195 lbs. SG
A few things to keep in mind here. First, the Bobcats have received five different offers for this pick. We already know one of them is from Cleveland where the two teams would swap picks and Charlotte would receive compensation later in the draft. But Washington apparently is now fielding a lot of offers for Thomas Robinson. Put two and two together and it seems like this selection will be going to Cleveland and Robinson will be falling to No. 3.
3. Washington – Harrison Barnes
6-8, 210 lbs. SF/SG
North Carolina, Soph.
Washington won’t go lightly without a fight, and will probably try to match any offer Cleveland makes Charlotte. If it doesn’t work out, we think the Wizards select Harrison Barnes. John Wall may be great friends with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but Barnes is a much better fit on this roster.
4. Cleveland – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
6-7, 210 lbs. SF
If everything goes according to plan, we could see this pick going to Charlotte. Would MKG be the best fit in Charlotte? Hell no. He’s not a No. 1 scorer and will probably struggle if a team asks him to be a go-to offensive scorer. But he competes, he might be the second-best prospect in the draft and Charlotte needs a little of everything. Of course, Chad Ford also reports if the deal goes down, the Bobcats will likely take Thomas Robinson here so who knows what tricks MJ has up his sleeve.
5. Sacramento – Thomas Robinson
6-9, 240 lbs. PF
Marc Spears is reporting Sacramento LOVES Thomas Robinson, and we think they’ll eventually end up with him. They’re fielding offers from everywhere for this pick, but don’t plan on doing anything until they see who is available. But they should keep the pick and plug Robinson next to DeMarcus Cousins so the two of them can wreck havoc on backboards together for the next decade.
6. Portland (via Brooklyn) – Damian Lillard
6-2, 185 lbs. PG/SG
Weber St., Jr.
Here’s the thing with Andre Drummond: we have absolutely no idea where he’s going. No one is really enamored with him at the top of the lottery. The one team who really wants him is Houston, and they’re trying to trade up to pick him (probably at No. 5 or No.8). The Blazers have a hole at the center spot, but they also lack a playmaker at the point. This will probably come down to Waiters or Lillard. We think they’ll take Lillard.
7. Golden State – 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? Golden State? All bets are off as Waiters’ stock has risen so high no one really knows where he’s going.
8. Toronto – Austin Rivers
6-4, 200 lbs. SG/PG
Rivers and his dad absolutely love Toronto, and it’s one of the few places the talented wing has agreed to workout. He would bring a lot of what the Raptors need as a playmaker and shot creator, and would fit in well with a team that could use a little jolt, and a little ego. We’ve seen Damian Lillard here as well (if he drops), but Rivers is the type of kid that rises on draft boards. He may never be great, but he believes he will be and that matters to GMs looking for players who LOVE to play basketball.
9. Detroit – Andre Drummond
6-11, 260 lbs. C
This would be a perfect scenario for Detroit, and they could hopefully pair Drummond with Greg Monroe down the line.
10. New Orleans (via Minnesota) – Jeremy Lamb
6-5, 185 lbs. SG
The Hornets desperately needs a few offensive creators on the perimeter, and with Gordon around, Lamb would be asked to do many of the same things he did while playing in Kemba Walker‘s shadow. Lamb has top-10 talent and as much offensive skill as anyone in the draft. If he doesn’t go here, Lamb won’t slide past the Suns.