NBA Mock Draft Version 1.0 [Picks 16-30]
16. Houston Rockets (via NY) – Terrence Ross, SG/SF, Washington. Almost every mock draft has this pick in place. It’s been widely talked about already, mostly because Houston has no need for a PG. He was great for Udub the two years he was there, one of the most exciting players to watch in the conference. He’ll be a threat on the wing with his athleticism, and more importantly, ability to shoot. Gives Houston another asset at that spot, in case they try to trade for a big at some point before the season. Ross is talented enough to be drafted earlier than this- he has the size and skills to easily join any rotation in the league. Good pick for Houston.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina. At first, I wanted to put Dion Waters at this spot and have Marshall go play for Coach Karl at the No. 20 pick. I don’t think Dallas can pass up on Marshall though, especially with the fear of not having Kidd much longer. Marshall averaged 8.1 points and 9.8 assists per game as a sophomore; He dished out 351 dimes, breaking both the UNC and the ACC season assist records. Marshall is easily the best “pure point” in this class, and he’ll be a great heir to Kidd. Marshall is a facilitator with great size. He needs to work on his jumper a bit, but Marshall’s best trait is his court vision and would be an asset to the current Dallas squad.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Jazz) – Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor. I’ve seen Miller’s stock drop to a mid-20 pick, mostly because of his high school ACL injury that seemed to bother him a bit in his freshman year. He could be a steal though, especially for a team like the Wolves who need more scoring on the wing. Coach Adelman loves tough, gritty guys, and if Miller can play within the system, he’s going to be a big plus for Minny (whether he’s used in the rotation of used as trade bait).
19. Orlando Magic – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse. There’s a chance that a team like Dallas takes him a few picks earlier, but if Waiters is still on the board at No. 19, Orlando needs to pull the trigger. Waiters is a 6-4, 210 lb. shooting guard, and in my opinion, he’s the best scorer in the draft and might see himself move up to top-14 status in the next couple weeks. From the get-go, he’ll be a solid spark off the bench. Waiters can get to the basket at will, and has the mentality needed to score in the NBA.
“Shitting on these haters, ball hard D. Waiters. Ever since I got money, everybody need favors.”
Rick Ross ft. Meek Mill “So Sophisticated”
20. Denver Nuggets – Royce White, PF, Iowa State. Things start getting tougher from No. 20 on. Penciled in Arnett Moultrie at first, but with Faried and McGee providing athleticism, I went with more muscle at this pick (6-feet-8 and 270 pounds). Royce White is easily one of the most talented players in the draft, and is being “under-hyped” due to the talent depth in this year’s draft. He’s had some off-court issues (White has anxiety order and fear of flying) but I think Coach Karl can help get rid of those distractions, and keep him focused on the court. With the ability to play the “point forward” role, he’s compared to former stud Anthony Mason, as well as current San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw. Look out for White, he has the potential to be a lottery pick and be a triple double threat in a few years.
21. Boston Celtics – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s. Harkless averaged a bit more than 15 points a game for the Red Strom last season, along with more than 8 rebounds per game. We’re slowly nearing Paul Pierce’s retirement, and the Celtics need a project to replace Pierce with. Harkless definitely looks the part of a NBA player from a physical standpoint. Standing approximately 6’8 with an excellent wingspan, he has ideal size for the small forward position. He needs to work on his outside shot, but what I like most about Moe’s game is his quick first step and long strides. It yields him to be a decent ball handler in transition, and get by big men in a half-court setting. After some workouts, Harkless will see his value go up, but if he’s still available at this pick, Boston has to take him. He’ll be a steal at this point.
22. Boston Celtics (via LAC) – Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi St.
Celtics need some help in the front-court, and Moultrie does just that. A big man like Moultrie (6’11, 220) can see minutes at both power forward and center, and would give the C’s a nice boost on the glass. He’s best moving off the ball, and that should fit extremely well with a point guard like Rondo. His back-to-the-basket game needs improving, but if he focuses on playing off the ball and moving around, he’s a very efficient player.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Evan Fournier, SG/SF, Poitiers (International). The Hawks need some help at the 3 spot (Marvin Williams hasn’t worked out one bit), and Fournier can provide some production at the spot. He adds some much-needed size, and more importantly, shot-creating ability to the rotation. Via DraftExpress- “Patient and mature with his drives, he reads the secondary line of defense extremely well, frequently making intelligent passes off the dribble to cutting teammates as help-side defenders rotate towards him.”
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers) – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse. The Cavs need some size, and Melo provides just that (7’0. 250). The Cavs were ranked as one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this past season, so Melo gives the coaching staff some size/length to work with to improve the team’s weakness. His offensive game is still developing, but he’s a great defender. Blocks shots and gets rebounds all day.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Tony Wroten, PG/SG, Washington. Trying to decide if the Grizz take Wroten or Marquis Teague here, but in all honesty, I’m not too impressed by Teague. Memphis NEEDS back-up guard behind Conley, and with OJ Mayo’s future with the team hazy, Wroten can provide some play at the 2 spot too. At 6’5, 180, Wroten’s offensive game revolves around his ability to attack the basket off the dribble, both in the half court and transition. He’s a very ball dominant player, but it’s something Memphis needs in their second unit.
26. Indiana Pacers – Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt. NBA size and ability, Ezeli is a solid defensive big man that will provide solid minutes behind Roy Hibbert. I’ve heard he struggles with athletic bigs, but that shouldn’t deter the Pacers from taking Ezeli at this point. Needs to work on his post game, as he gets most of his offensive production from pick & rolls, but his defensive impact is enough to take a chance on him. Especially if you’re Indiana.
27. Miami Heat – Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas. Miami still doesn’t have enough backcourt depth behind Chalmers and Wade. Norris Cole has shown glimpses, but not enough to have much faith in his future impact. Tyshawn Taylor has the size to defend both guard positions (6’3, 180) and will space the floor with his 3-point range.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt. The Thunder squad is stacked and they aren’t in “need” of anything right now. They can use this pick as a project, develop him in the next couple years. Vanderbilt’s Jeff Taylor made more than 40 percent (42.3%) of his 3-pointers this past season, and has the versatility to defend either wing position. Taylor is an intriguing prospect because of his ability to explode to the basket. Freak athlete. Solid pick for the Thunder to work with.
29. Chicago Bulls – Marquis Teage, PG, Kentucky. I’ve seen a lot of mock drafts that have UCSB’s Orlando Johnson at this pick, but please … who wants to draft a “gaucho”? Teague has a quick first step and is able to get to the basket and score when he wants. I know the Bulls have Derrick Rose, and CJ Watson is a nice backup, but I’d take Teague here in fear of Rose’s uncertain future. His ACL injury doesn’t look good, and it would be nice for the team to start developing Teague while they wait on Rose to come back. Teague is a gritty player, something Thibs will like, and he can provide plenty of offense, off the bench or starting. He can even play alongside Rose in two-guard lineups if Thibs decides to go small.
30. Golden State Warriors – Andrew Nicholson, PF/C, St. Bonaventure.If I were the Warriors, I’d use this pick to get some insurance for injury-prone Bogut. And if he stays healthy, use the player drafted as a solid backup. Nicholson is long and skilled down low. He has the ability to score with his back to the basket or facing up, and if he works on getting stronger, he could be a great shot blocker. Nice pick to add some front-court depth.
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