Ford Picks Barnes, Zeller In Fourth Mock Draft
By caseyholdahl Posted in: 2012draft, draft2012
A few days ago, ESPN.com'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 ESPN.com, 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.