Hi, welcome to the rest of the first round. If you haven’t seen my lottery picks yet, hop on over here.
Let’s pick up at No. 15.
15. Philadelphia 76ers select Perry Jones III
The 76ers have a really solid roster in the works. Point guard, Jrue Holiday, check. Shooting guard, Evan Turner and Lou Williams, check. Small forward, Andre Iguodala, check. Stretch forward, Thaddeus Young, check. Center, Spencer Hawes, check.
Power forward. Elton Brand. Check-ish.
Elton Brand has been great for this team, but he’s got a 1979 birthday. In two, three years max, there will be nothing older than 1980 floating around in starting lineups.
Time to bring in the young, freakishly athletic big man Perry Jones III.
16. Houston Rockets select Arnett Moultrie
17. Dallas Mavericks select Jared Sullinger
Let’s say the Mavericks win either the Deron Williams or Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Hell, let’s say they win both and suddenly have a terrifying Big Triple D of Deron, Dirk, and Dwight.
If this happens, the rest of the pieces on the roster have to be cheap and effective. Sullinger at No. 17 would be cheap compared to anyone in free agency and the potential is there for him to do well in the NBA. This is the same guy who once sat on top of many mock drafts circa 2010-11.
My problem with Sullinger is not just the back issues that have recently come up, but the way he struggles against longer opponents. Rewatch game film in the NCAA Tournament against Kansas. Jeff Withey was a nightmare matchup for Sullinger.
In the NBA, he will always be going up against taller, longer opponents. This is why I think he will fall out of the lottery, but if he can be paired with a true attention grabbing (well, on and off the court) center like Dwight Howard, Sullinger could fill in quite nicely.
18. Houston Rockets select Fab Melo
Houston has been doing a lot of shenanigans in the last couple of days. All their picks seem to be trade bait or parts of potential packages. I say they take Fab Melo for a rebounding presence they likely will never use.
19. Orlando Magic select Royce White
Weird predicament to be in. Are the Orlando Magic in “lure Dwight Howard into an extension” mode or “begin to plan for life after?” Either way, I think Royce White is the best pick.
A lot of people know Royce White as “that NBA prospect who’s afraid of flying.” The Magic can work around this.
- 41 games are played at home in Orlando
- 2 games are played in Miami
- Train ride makes places like Charlotte, Washington, New Orleans
Marcus Denmon is a great shooter, streaky, but when he’s on it’s lethal. Send him in from time to time to catch passes from LeBron, you know the ones that aren’t going to All-Stars Wade or Bosh or strong outside shooting Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones, ah damn you Pat Riley, you hair-gelled genius!
28. Oklahoma City Thunder selects Moe Harless
29. Chicago Bulls select Tu Holloway
This is my Number 1 sleeper pick of the entire draft. In reality, he’ll probably be taken in the 40s, but I have no idea why.
Holloway can create his own shot and has great offensive moves. A lot of times he had the pressure of being the only source of offense for Xavier.
Next year the Bulls still need a solution at shooting guard, they’ll need a lot of scoring help with Rose out, and then when Rose finally does come back, they need a guy like Holloway who can create on his own to relieve the pressure on Rose.
30. Golden State selects Marquis Teague
Backup point guard to Steph Curry or starting point guard and move Curry over to the more natural shooting guard role. I’ll leave that decision to Mark Jackson.
And that concludes my NBA Mock Draft. Sorry there’s no Round 2, but I feel like I brought a little bit of Round 2 flavor into this one with Hummel, Holloway, and Taylor. Enjoy the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday night and I hope your favorite team gets the next great NBA star.
Or at least the next Steve Novak…