2012 NBA Mock Draft 2013 NBA Mock Draft Posted: February 29, 2012.
It is an annual tradition here during the NBA All-Star break to re-do the NBA Draft lottery from the previous year. Walterfootball.com's NBA Draft Nerd, David Kay, and Peter Christian will alternate re-drafting the top-14 picks in the 2011 NBA Draft taking into account what we know about the rookies based on their performances so far this season. The new grades will factor in how each team's roster looked at the time of the draft while David and Peter give their reasons as to why the selection would be made.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke, 6-3, Fr. Actual Pick: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
(David Kay) Irving has lived up to his potential as a future franchise point guard and even exceeded expectations thus far, averaging about 18 points and 5 assists per game. He won't make Cavaliers fans forget about LeBron anytime soon, but Irving is certainly the cornerstone of their re-building project.
(Peter Christian) LeBron who? Ok, so KI (as I affectionately refer to him) isn't THAT good, but he's been very good at handling the point and the pressure of an entire franchise counting on him to succeed.
(PC) Williams hasn't been spectacular for the Timberwolves thus far, and as expected, he's struggled as a tweener on the floor. However, no other rookie in the 2011 draft has really settled in either. There's still a ton of potential in Williams and the Minnesota should definitely stick it out with him. Or, at least let David Kahn use him as an asset... (insert ominous music here).
(DK) There was no real great pick here for Minnesota. If the team would have drafted any of the foreign big men, he would have likely found limited minutes as well. Williams hasn't fit on this Timberwolves team yet and to be honest, he may never find his niche with Kevin Love logging most of the minutes at power forward. Still, Williams is a great talent and the right pick. Even if it means trading him down the line.
Utah Jazz: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn, 6-1, Jr. Actual Pick: Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky
(DK) It is still shocking to me that Walker fell to nine in this weak draft. Kanter is fourth on the Jazz frontcourt depth chart behind Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and Derrick Favors, so Utah would have been better addressing another area. Devin Harris is having his worst season as a pro since his rookie season, and the Jazz has relied on Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley as its backup point guards. Walker would be a nice upgrade at the one as a weapon off the bench and become the point guard of the future for Utah.
(PC) Kemba has shown promise thus far and would have been a decent pick here to couple with the Jazz's stacked front line, however I think the re-do pick has to be none other than the man they call Jimmer. Defensively, he's a liability, but James Taft Fredette, already a local hero in Utah, has shown some flashes of great shooting and offensive game when given the opportunity to play.
(PC) Tristan Thompson hasn't been awful but the Cavaliers need an upgrade at the two guard much more than they need a backup to Antawn Jamison. And while Thompson still has room to develop into a player worthy of the fourth overall pick in a crappy draft, MarShon Brooks has been, when healthy, a very dynamic scorer.
(DK) Wow... I did not see this one coming AT ALL. To be honest, I don't hate it. The Cavaliers' wing play is pretty terrible and the team could certainly use a backcourt mate to develop alongside Irving. Still, I think this is quite the reach at No. 4 and probably would have chosen Valanciunas since, let's be honest, Cleveland could afford to wait for him for a year.
Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania, 6-10, 1992. Actual Pick: Jonas Valaciunas, C, Lithuania
(DK) Even if the Raptors did draft a player who was coming to the NBA right away, he would not help them become a playoff caliber team. So why not stick with Valcaniunas, who by all indications can be a franchise center in the league. He would then give Toronto a physical presence down low to complement Andrea Bargnani's perimeter game and allow Bargnani to move over to his more natural power forward position.
(PC) I can't even say Valanciunas, so I won't attempt to debate the worthiness of this pick. The NBA lottery is difficult to predict and a chance at a top-five talent, even in a crappy draft, should not be taken lightly. From all accounts, Valanciunas is a top-five talent and should be worth the wait.
Washington Wizards: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas, 6-9, Fr. Actual Pick: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic
(PC) It's weird, the Wizards have some decent players and are relatively deep, but they are a terrible, terrible basketball team. Tristan Thompson, in my opinion, is a better fit with John Wall, Nick Young and JaVale McGee Crazy JaVale McGee than Jan Vesely. Also, don't trust a dude named Jan. Especially when he pronounces "Jan" with a soft "J."
(DK) Yeah, the Wizards would probably give up this pick in a heartbeat if they could draft "Chemistry" instead. I actually would reach here a bit and go with Kawhi Leonard. Remember, at the time, Washington doesn't have Chris Singleton yet so the team could have used a young small forward and Leonard is the type of "glue guy" who doesn't need to score to have a positive impact on the game.
Charlotte Bobcats: Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky, 6-11, Fr. Actual Pick: Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo
(DK) The Kings originally owned this pick but sent it to Charlotte in that three-team deal on draft day so we'll assume that trade still happens. The Bobcats are bad. Possibly historically bad. They are to the NBA what Nate and Priscilla were to MTV's The Challenge: Battle of the Exes. The Charlotte actually traded for Byron Mullens after the draft because they were had no depth inside. Ergo, taking a young big man like Kanter would give the team a potential franchise center.
(PC) Unless Kanter suddenly becomes a mix of Bill Russell, Wilt and Kareem, he wouldn't make an ounce of difference for the Bobcats. No amount of re-do-ing is going to help this Charlotte team. Let's move on.
Detroit Pistons: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr. Actual Pick: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
(PC) I love Brandon Knight on the Pistons. It doesn't make sense, but it works. He's done well in an unconventional role as a cog in a stable full of combo-ish guards. If Knight works on his consistency, he'll soon make a few of his teammates as worthless as most downtown Detroit city blocks.
(DK) Yeah, Knight has fit well on Detroit, and I actually don't hate him and Rodney Stuckey in the same backcourt. Knight certainly won't make the Pistons a relevant team all by himself, but nobody at this point of the draft would either.
Charlotte Bobcats: Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech, 6-5, Jr. Actual Pick: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
(DK) Shumpert has had a great rookie season playing in a Knicks system that allows him to use his athleticism in the open floor. He would ultimately take over the minutes that Kemba is playing this year and be an upgrade over craptastic wing players like Cory Higgins and Matt Carroll who actually see floor time for the Bobcats.
(PC) For some reason, I don't trust guards not named Steve Nash who have success with Mike D'Antoni's system. Shumpert is not named Steve Nash. I don't trust him outside of the Knicks.
Sacramento Kings: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State, 6-7, Soph. Actual Pick: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU
(PC) Jimmer can shoot the lights out, but he defends about as well as the French Army. Plus, Fredette doesn't exactly fit with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton in the backcourt. As David stated earlier, Leonard is the guy who can do dirty work to help keep the shot hoarders on the team (Evans, Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins) happy.
(DK) I couldn't agree more. That's why I love Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the Kings in the 2012 Draft for that very reason. Jimmer has actually been passed over on the depth chart by Isaiah Thomas who was the final pick of the draft, so Jimmermania hasn't exactly swept Sacramento like the Maloofs were hoping.
Golden State Warriors: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU, 6-2, Sr. Actual Pick: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
(DK) How about what Jeremy Lin has done for the Warriors this season? What an amazing story. What's that? The Warriors cut Lin? Whoops... At the time of the draft, Golden State had zero depth at guard behind Steph Curry and Monta Ellis, so the team still go in that direction. I give Jimmer the nod purely because it would be awesome to watch him and Curry have three-point shootouts at practice every day.
(PC) And I thought we were going to get through this without a single Jeremy Lin reference. Now that we've got that out of the way: JEREMY LIN, JEREMY LIN, JEREMY LIN! Wow, I feel better. Oh, yeah, Jimmer. Blah, blah, blah. Is Battle of the Exes on yet?
(PC) At this point in the lottery, pickings are slim like (insert skinny actress who tabloids label anorexic here)'s waistline. The Jazz stick with Burks here because he's young (only 20 years old), athletic and one of the few players left in this draft who are most comfortable driving to the rim. Utah has post presence and shooters, but the team needs a guy to slice the defense on occasion. Burks has the best chance to be that guy.
(DK) Sure... why not? The only other pick who would make sense is maybe Markieff Morris since Utah went with a guard at No. 3 and could use some more depth upfront to replace what it won't get from Kanter in our make-believe. Why not? We're huge nerds, pretending to be NBA GM's, and re-doing a draft that happened eight months ago.
Phoenix Suns: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic, 6-11, 1989. Actual Pick: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
(DK) I'd say Phoenix should have drafted a point guard to prepare for life post-Steve Nash, but the best two available are Isaiah Thomas and Norris Cole who don't exactly strike me as franchise caliber point guards one day. Vesely fits the mold of most foreign guys in this draft; upside, potential, might be really good one day, might be a huge bust. At least, he is athletic and versatile for a power forward which fits the Suns' style of play.
(PC) As I said previously, don't trust dudes named "Jan". Jan (with the soft J) Vesely sounds like he should be Hans Gruber's cousin and the next villain in the Die Hard franchise. They are making another Die Hard movie, right? Anyway, Vesely could fit in well with Phoenix. Or he could really suck. You know what, he's going to suck. The Suns should stick with Markieff Morris, who definitely doesn't suck. Or maybe Klay Thompson, because Phoenix needs to get less geriatric at the two. Definitely not Vesely. I think I hate him.
Houston Rockets: Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida, 6-9, Sr. Actual Pick: Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
(PC) Well, Houston drafted Marcus Morris in the first round and Chandler Parsons in the second round. Now, Parsons is starting for Houston and Morris is one of the last men off the bench. Parsons is pretty key, logging nearly five times the minutes of Morris and does a lot defensively for the Rockets. If they didn't have him, they'd be relying on the Ginger King Chase Budinger to not suck for 30 minutes per game.
(DK) I totally biffed on Parsons by the way. I didn't think he'd amount to diddly poo in the NBA, but, boy, has he shown me. Not really, but kinda. It is kind of interesting to look at the Rockets' roster and check out all the players they have collected who were lottery picks and don't play (Thabeet, Flynn, Terrence Williams), yet Parsons has become a starter for them... I'm feeling this re-do pick.
Just because we are huge NBA Draft nerds, we'll finish the rest of the first round without our witty commentary (you're disappointed about that, we know...):
San Antonio Spurs- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
Philadelphia 76ers- Nikola Vucevic, C, Montenegro
New York Knicks- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
Washington Wizards- Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
Milwaukee Bucks- Bismack Biyombo, F/C, Congo
Houston Rockets- Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
Portland Trailblazers- Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State
Denver Nuggets- Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
Chicago Bulls- Nikola Mirotic, F, Montenegro
Oklahoma City Thunder- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
New Jersey Nets- Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette
Dallas Mavericks- Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin
Boston Celtics- Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
Miami Heat- Cory Joseph, PG, Texas
San Antonio Spurs- Andrew Goudelock, G, College of Charleston