Apr 30

Ford Picks Barnes, Zeller In Fourth Mock Draft

By caseyholdahl Posted in: 2012draft, draft2012

A few days ago,'s David Thorpe picked Kendall Marshall (who has already showing interest in a local sports team) as the player in this year's draft who is the "perfect fit" for the Trail Blazers. He noted that the sixth pick -- the pick the odds say Portland is most likely to have via the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets -- might be too high to select Marshall, but that no one would care about that when he became Portland's long-term answer at the point.

Today, Thorpe's colleague at, Chad Ford, put out the fourth iteration of his 2012 mock draft, and from the looks of it, he's a proponent of the "best player available" strategy.

With the sixth pick, Ford has the Trail Blazers taking North Carolina wing Harrison Barnes.
The Blazers need help at both backcourt positions and at center. Not sure that Barnes really qualifies as a 2-guard and, in some ways, he duplicates what the team has in Nic Batum. But Portland needs shooters and players who can score the basketball and Barnes is terrific at that.
Barnes has been somewhat of a disappointment at UNC, but much of that is due to expectations being sky-high. If he ever reaches the potential people saddled him with out of high school, he's a no-brainer at that pick.

The Trail Blazers are also slated to have the 11th pick, and it's here that Ford is steadfast in his believe that Portland should select another North Carolinian, four-year center Tyler Zeller.
The Blazers don't have much of anything in the middle. Although Zeller doesn't project to be a star, he is big, runs the floor well and has a soft touch around the basket.
It's interesting that Ford goes with "best player available" with the Barnes pick, but seems to switch to the "drafting for need" strategy with the Zeller pick. The four picks following Zeller in Ford's mock are Jared Sullinger, Austin Rivers, Terrance Jones and Terrance Ross, all players with substantial upside. Correct me if I'm wrong, as I don't follow college hoops very closely, but it seems to me the consensus is that all four of those players are "better" than Zeller.

By the way, Ford has Kendall Marshall going 10th to the Hornets, right before Portland picks the second time.


  1. I think we should package our picks for young veteran talent

    by riverman on 4/30/2012 10:44 AM
  2. I think you've got to keep both picks. I'd like us to rebuild this offseason, very similar to how we did in 2006 when we had two lottery picks. Draft smart, use our summer money wisely and in a couple of years our core will be the talk of the league.

    As for Ford's mock, I'd be pretty disappointed in with the UNC haul. Not so much in Barnes, although I do think he's a complimentary piece, not an All-Star, but more so in Zeller. I think Kendall Marshall made Zeller look better then he really is going to be. compares him to PJ Brown and that's about the type of player I think Zeller will turn out to be. If we're going to go big with one of our picks, find a way to get Andre Drummond, otherwise find one in free agency.

    by DHawes22 on 4/30/2012 11:54 AM
  3. I want Beal with our first pick, then Rivers and/or Marshall if we can't get Dragic. In free agency look to sign Hickson, Illasova, Dragic, Hibbert and play 3 guards and 2 bigs as much as possible.

    by mbmurr1 on 4/30/2012 1:57 PM
  4. I usually post in Mike B.'s blog, but since this one is more recent and involves something I'm very anxious to watch play out over the next couple months, here's my thoughts.

    Kendall Mashall is absolutely the best pick for Portland in the draft, and argueably the best pg in the draft. He is exactly what we need at that position.

    Harrison Barnes is not a good pick for Portland. He's a question mark in a position that doesn't need help for Portland. at 6-8, he is a 3, not a 2, and has been a disappointment to UNC. He's basically another perimiter shooter, which we already have plenty of (Babbit, Batum, Flynn, N. Smith, Matthews). If the Blazers do draft him, they should package him out in exchange for a youg 5.

    Tyler Zeller has good height, but not good overall build...yet. Portland is not in a situation where they can draft a center and wait for him to bulk up. They need a guy who's ready to go, at least physically.

    Andre Drummond is a 6-11, 270 lb rebounding and shot blocking machine. This is exactly what we need to back up Pryzbilla. He's a long-shot (most mock-drafts having him going in the top 5), but if he's still available, I'd say Portland needs to grab him.

    If not, grab Kendall Marshall early (before anyone else has a chance) then I'd go after Perry Jones, from Baylor as the later pick. He's listed as a PF, but at 6-11, 235 lbs, he could still hold his own at the 5. He's extremely athletic as well. His downsides are his demeanor, and he wasn't well liked by his teammates at Baylor. But, assuming we keep coach K, and knowing how good Caleb is at motivating guys and developing guys, I think it's a chance worth taking. If he doesn't work out, you can always bench him and send him to the d-league, and at least we'd know before we got saddled with a huge contract. Zeller would be my consolation pick at number 11, if none of my other picks are available.

    by soulseeker on 4/30/2012 3:10 PM
  5. I am not wise to college draft either, but I think soulseeker is pretty much on the money as to what I have been studying.

    If Ford has Houston taking Marshall at ten then that would mean they plan of trading Lowry of Dragic. The last I read on the Houston blog, the Houston Fans wants to dump Lowry and keep Dragic.

    by Hg on 4/30/2012 3:49 PM
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