Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 NBA Mock Draft, 2.0

I'm not sure why I keep calling these "Mock" Drafts. The Mambino way is never to actually predict what these pro teams will do. As I've said word for word in past posts, doing so is an exercise in stupidity. The NBA roundtable knows more basketball than your average fan, but we don't pretend to have access to team war rooms, private prospect workouts, and my favorite, "sources."

So what we do here is put on our GM caps and pretend like we run the basketball operations of a franchise. Below, we will compare our picks to expert mock drafts, which provide the best glimpse of what the teams will actually do tomorrow night in Newark. And by "we," I mean our three regulars, KOBEsh, The CDP, and myself, and contributors El Miz and 6 on Hibbert.

Version 1 of this Draft took a format of alternating picks. For this second and final post on the 2012 NBA Draft, the 5 of us made consensus picks via majority rule. Check it.

We'll start at the #2 selection, currently (but maybe not ultimately) owned by the Charlotte Bobcats. Anthony Davis to the New Orleans Hornets at #1 has been a lock even before Davis declared. Now he spends his time meeting kids in the Bayou and having playdates with head coach Monty Williams, a la Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich in 1997. "Joining" us will be Chad Ford of ESPN and the heads at

TeamMAMBINOChad Ford,
CHAThomas RobinsonThomas RobinsonThomas Robinson
WASMichael Kidd-GilchristBradley BealBradley Beal
CLEBradley BealMichael Kidd-GilchristHarrison Barnes
SACAndre DrummondHarrison BarnesMichael Kidd-Gilchrist
PORDion WaitersDamian LillardDamian Lillard

After Davis, the draft is wide open, for two reasons. First, the Bobcats have needs at every single position, although I guess you could say point guard is locked up by the disappointing Kemba Walker. Second, because they have so many needs (even after trading for fellow UConn disappointment Ben Gordon), rumors are constantly floating regarding Charlotte trading down in the first round. And why not? Players 2-5 can make the argument that they should go right after Davis, and two of them, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal, may one day be the best player in this class. But for now, Mambino's gonna go with Thomas Robinson, in agreement with Ford and

The most eye-opening difference concerns Portland's pick at #6, where the Mambino consensus has selected Syracuse combo guard Dion Waiters instead of traditional point guard Damian Lillard from Weber State. Portland does need a true quarterback, with Raymond Felton's jelly rolls on his way out of town. However, they also need scoring in the backcourt: Wesley Matthews didn't really improve off of a promising season 2 years ago, and Jamal Crawford will definitely be ripping nets elsewhere. Ford himself describes Waiters as a "scoring machine," and at 6'4", Waiters would reach his NBA potential by playing the point. Of course, he could just blitzkrieg the league as a scoring 1 like Russell Westbrook, which would be totally fine as well.
GSHarrison BarnesAndre DrummondAndre Drummond
TORJeremy LambDion WaitersDion Waiters
DETJohn HensonJohn HensonJohn Henson
NODamian LillardAustin RiversAustin Rivers
PORMeyers LeonardTyler ZellerMeyers Leonard

Mambino thoroughly enjoys trashing Harrison "The Brand" Barnes, he of the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied his choice to attend North Carolina. While his athleticism pushes the experts to place him in the top 5 without question, they don't value a player's true character like we do. Why waste a high pick on a guy who is obsessed with his individual brand? Didn't work for Cleveland, so it doesn't work for us. Ultimately, Barnes was a unanimous Mambino selection for the Golden State Warriors, which we think is the best landing spot for him. Mark Jackson is a no-nonsense coach, regardless of his knowledge of Xs and Os. He has a great shot of taming Barnes' me-first attitude, or at least, a much better shot than any of the coaches in the top 6 picks.
MILTerrence JonesTerrence RossTyler Zeller
PHOKendall MarshallJeremy LambTerrence Ross
HOUPerry JonesMeyers LeonardJeremy Lamb
PHITyler ZellerPerry JonesArnett Moultrie
HOUTerrence RossMoe HarklessMoe Harkless

Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were the superstars that headlined Kentucky's championship team this past season, but they wouldn't have made it that far without Terrence Jones. Jones, an elder statesman to the Diaper Dandy-flushed Wildcats as a sophomore, was the glue guy who didn't fill the stat sheet. He grabbed rebounds in traffic, filled out passing lanes on the break, and was a menace on the defensive end. The experts don't think too much of this, apparently, likely because his numbers experienced a drop from his freshman year and because Jones himself admitted that guarding NBA forwards will be a challenge in his rookie year. But have they seen how great he treats his mother!?
DALAustin RiversTerrence JonesPerry Jones
HOUQuincy MillerArnett MoultrieMarquis Teague
ORLMarquis TeagueJared SullingerAndrew Nicholson
DENJared SullingerKendall MarshallKendall Marshall
BOSFab MeloRoyce WhiteTerrence Jones

Stay in school or go to the pros? Mambino goes back and forth with the question that plagues lottery picks year after year. On one hand, Austin Rivers possesses more potential on the basketball court than most people possess doing anything, his basketball IQ is advanced for his age, and he has the balls of a true cocksman. But other than that incredible buzzer-beating shot to take down rival Carolina, Rivers had a pretty average year, for his standards. He's not strong enough to play 30 minutes at either guard position, and one more year under Coach K could have made him a top 5 pick in 2013.

On the other hand, Jared Sullinger was a surefire top 10 selection last year, but he decided to return to Ohio State, due to several factors, those of which included the possibility of a locked out season. This year, even though Sullinger led the Buckeyes to a Final Four appearance, Sullinger failed to score an invite to the green room, which displays an unwillingness of a team in the top 15 to draft him. NBA doctors have red-flagged his achy back, and that represents the fall of his once-blue chip stock, but I have been lukewarm on Sullinger from day one. He is undersized to play power forward, and too slow to play small forward. People disagree with me wholeheartedly, but I proclaim him as the next Craig Smith. He may have no place in the L in 5 years, as the game has become incredibly fast-paced compared to college.

BOSRoyce WhiteAndrew Nicholson
ATLMoe HarklessTony Wroten
CLEWill BartonFab Melo
MEMJohn JenkinsMarquis Teague
INDArnett MoultrieDraymond Green gets penalized for slotting Kentucky's Marquis Teague in front of UNC's Kendall Marshall in the previous section. Unreal. We will not be using their services for the rest of the post. Or maybe I'm just lazy, you decide.

Anyways, I wanted to go big-big with Boston's two consecutive picks, but was overruled by the roundtable, who selected small forward Royce White. Yes, those Twitter rumors about Kevin Garnett's retirement are fake...but only for the moment. If the Big Ticket hangs em up, coupled with the fact that Brandon Bass isn't a lock to return as a free agent, Boston's gotta select two frontline players.

MIAAndrew NicholsonJeff Taylor
OCDraymond GreenEvan Fournier
CHIDoron LambWill Barton
GSEvan FournierQuincy Miller

Yup, I'm lazy. Hope you enjoyed these picks. KOBEsh, El Miz, and I will be in attendance tomorrow night. YOUR New York Knickerbockers and YOUR Los Angeles Lakers need miracles to help their rosters. Thoughts will be live-tweeted @TheGreatMambino.

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