Brian Wheeler

Jun 15

Wheels' Mock Draft

By Brian Wheeler

Trail Blazers radio play-by-play man Brian Wheeler gives his 2012 NBA draft predictions. You can view his full mock draft here and complete your own to enter the Mock Draft Contest for a chance to win a night with the broadcasters during the televised Draft Night Special.

Well, my esteemed broadcast colleagues have thrown out some ideas about how they think the 1st round of the upcoming NBA draft will play out.  Figured I might as well provide you with my mock draft out to be smarter, than the rest!

So here we go with my mock draft for the 1st round.  This is of course not taking into account any trades that could be made, and I have a feeling there are going to be a few.   But for our purposes, we will assume every team is going to stay where they are right now.
So with the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, I predict…

1.)    New Orleans – Anthony Davis  PF (Kentucky) 6-11, 222 lbs.   Worst kept secret that this will be the #1 overall selection.  In a draft that could feature some wildly different opinions as to the value of certain players, everyone seems to be in agreement that Davis is the consensus best player.  He figures to be an immediate force at the defensive end of the floor.   His offensive game is much more raw, but all scouts love his potential to become a superstar.  Just what an ailing Hornets’ franchise needs to get folks down South excited again!

2.)    Charlotte – I think it’s very possible the Bobcats trade out of this spot, but as I said earlier for our purposes here, we’ll assume they’re keeping the pick.  And if they do, I could see them taking…. Thomas Robinson  PF (Kansas) 6-9, 244 lbs.  The Bobcats have many needs, and Robinson will help solidify the power forward spot for years to come.  Strong and athletic, some scouts say when all is said and done, he could be the best player in this draft.

3.)    Washington – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  SG (Kentucky) 6-8 233 lbs.  Despite being only 18, many felt Kidd-Gilchrist was the true leader of that multi-talented Kentucky National Championship squad.  And the Wizards could definitely use someone to show them the way.  This is a guy that loves to play defense.  He’s a fearless driver to the rim on offense, but his perimeter game will need some work.  Still, he’s a solid pick at this spot.

4.)    Cleveland – Harrison Barnes SF (North Carolina) 6-8, 228 lbs.  Barnes was one of the guys who really helped himself at the Chicago pre-draft combine.  His maximum vertical leap was measured at 39 ½ inches, and he had the fastest three-quarter court sprint of anyone there.  Beyond that, he has a high basketball I.Q., and some scouts think he’s the surest thing in this draft after Davis.  Not to mention, he’s good friends with Cavs’ star and reigning NBA Rookie-of-the-Year, Kyrie Irving.

5.)    Sacramento – Bradley Beal SG (Florida) 6-5, 202 lbs.  It’s not as if the Kings are lacking in perimeter players, already featuring Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, John Salmon, and Jimmer Fredette, but I still think Beal could be the choice here.  He really came on towards the end of his 1 season in college.  Some have compared him to Eric Gordon on the pro level.  Some mock drafts have him going even higher than this, but for ours, we’ll put him right here.

6.)    Portland – Damian Lillard PG (Weber State) 6-3, 189 lbs.  This might turn out to be a case of “best player available” meets “addressing a team need” as the Blazers clearly want to upgrade the point guard position, and there are many who think Lillard is the best prospect out there at that spot.  He’s clearly a better scorer right now than he is a distributor, but has an outstanding work ethic. He also impressed everyone by participating in every one of the drills at the Chicago combine, while many other top prospects sat on the sidelines on the advice of their agents.  Lillard’s stock is definitely on the rise.  If the Blazers do indeed take him, you can bet they feel he’ll be their point guard for a long time to come!

7.)    Golden State – Terrence Jones PF (Kentucky) 6-10, 252 lbs.  Many believe the Warriors will be strongly looking to move this pick for an established player more ready to help right away.  But if they keep it, Jones could get the nod here.  He’d be a nice fit alongside Andrew Bogut.  Jones is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, and most scouts believe he has a tremendous upside.

8.)    Toronto – Andre Drummond C (Connecticut) 7-0, 279 lbs.  I’m probably in the minority thinking Drummond can drop this far, and I could be dead wrong.  I think some teams will shy away from him based on the rep he already has of a questionable work ethic.  Others think his up and down 1 season at UCONN had more to do with the instability of the coaching he received from Jim Calhoun, who missed portions of time recovering from illness.  What can’t be denied is Drummond’s physical prowess…he’ll look good walking through airports that’s for sure.  Those who love his potential say he can be another Dwight Howard.  Those who aren’t sure he’ll put in the time necessary to make it on the pro level think he’ll be lucky to be another Kwame Brown…OUCH!

9.)    Detroit – Tyler Zeller C (North Carolina) 7-1, 247 lbs.  The Pistons have a front court keeper for many years to come in Greg Monroe.  Everyone now feels he needs a running mate.  Lots of ways they could go to accomplish that, but Zeller seems to be the safest pick, and perhaps the most ready to help from day 1.  He was the ACC Player-of-the-Year last season, and the ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year the last two seasons.  

10.)     New Orleans – Jared Sullinger PF (Ohio State) 6-9, 228 lbs.  Another guy who somewhat epitomizes this draft.  Some teams love him, others won’t touch him, especially in the Lottery.  But the Hornets reportedly do like his potential, and a frontcourt of Davis and Sullinger could be together a long time.  Sullinger averaged a double-double in each of his 2 seasons at Ohio St.  Some are concerned, however, that he didn’t grade out well in many of the drills he went through at the Chicago pre-draft combine.  Monty Williams does seem like the kind of coach that can get the most out of any young player, and that’s another reason why Sullinger could be taken here.

11.)     Portland – Dion Waiters  SG (Syracuse) 6-4, 221 lbs.  With Lillard already in the fold, the Blazers could add another potent backcourt scorer in Waiters.  He was instant offense in college, and depending on other additions, could either be an ideal 6th man for the Blazers with Jamal Crawford opting out of his contract, or he could even compete for a starting spot.  Whatever the case, he’d figure to be a meaningful part of the guard rotation from day 1 of training camp.  He’s a confident player who can score in a variety of ways, including creating shots off the dribble, a quality the Blazers don’t have with most of the guys on their roster right now.

For the rest of the 1st round, I’ll go in capsule form now that the Blazers have used their two picks.

12.)    Milwaukee - Meyers Leonard C  (Illinois) 7-1 250.
13.)    Phoenix – Austin Rivers G (Duke) 6-5 203.
14.)    Houston  – Arnett Moultrie PF (Mississippi State) 6-11 230.
15.)    Philadelphia – Jeremy Lamb SG (Connecticut) 6-5 179.
16.)    Houston – Moe Harkless SF (St. John’s) 6-9 207.
17.)    Dallas – Kendall Marshall PG (No. Carolina) 6-4 198.
18.)    Minnesota – John Henson PF (No. Carolina) 6-10 216.
19.)    Orlando – Marquis Teague PG (Kentucky) 6-2 180.
20.)    Denver – Terrence Ross SG (Washington) 6-7 197.
21.)    Boston – Perry Jones III PF (Baylor) 6-11 234.
22.)    Boston – Royce White SF (Iowa State) 6-8 261.
23.)    Atlanta – Andrew Nicholson PF (St. Bonaventure) 6-9 234.
24.)    Cleveland – Fab Melo C (Syracuse) 7-0 255.
25.)    Memphis – Tony Wroten, Jr. PG (Washington) 6-6 203.
26.)    Indiana – Will Barton SG (Memphis) 6-6 174.
27.)    Miami – Draymond Green PF (Michigan St.) 6-8 236.
28.)    Oklahoma City – Jeff Taylor SF (Vanderbilt) 6-7 225.
29.)    Chicago – John Jenkins SG (Vanderbilt) 6-4 212.
30.)    Golden State – Evan Fournier SG (France) 6-8 206.

So there you have it.   Should be a fun night on the 28th…hopefully, I’ll get a few of these right!


  1. Why such a large drop for PJIII?

    by cmeese47 on 6/15/2012 3:01 PM
  2. You don't believe we will take a big in the draft. I tell you that boggles my mind.

    by Hg on 6/15/2012 4:16 PM
  3. I agree with HG. You gotta take Leonard over Waiters, unless you assume we will trade Matthews or Williams. Even then, take the best big left on the board with the second. Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Leonard. I like the sound of that.

    by Jaycation Thaddeus Toad on 6/15/2012 4:25 PM
  4. They already mentioned that they were drafting by best available over position... I mean they could end up pulling off a trade like every year or even addressing the big man issue in free agency.. Not like wes matthews has been amazing for us at the 2 anyways...

    by markgwynnr on 6/15/2012 6:31 PM
  5. Hey Wheels, If the Blazers pick Waiters at 11, I would have to say that the rumors on the Blazers promising him a draft pick is true.
    Of course we could do worst. Taking care of the back court in the draft and getting a Center along with possible Joe Freeland in the FA and Trade would be OK, I guess; although I would hate losing out on Drummand or Leonard altogether.

    by Hg on 6/15/2012 6:42 PM
  6. Grabbing the most talented wing players would be great. Thabeet may develop and he is serviceable, (along with Joel) which may be all the Blazers can find at 11 anyway. Maybe the Blazers pickup some good 2nd round talent like O'Quinn or Quincy Acy. I have been harping about them and I think they are very good back up big's that will play hard.

    by basketmatt on 6/16/2012 4:31 PM
  7. to cmeese: the drop off for PJII is that he's not assertive enough, inconsistent, and lazy... not qualities you want in a professional.

    markgwynnr - lol. it's always funny when someone says "best available". Is best available based on projections of who should be drafted where and who falls on portland's lap? or is best available the best available fit for portland? Cuz if we're going best available fit, drummond is probably it. honestly, the best "fits" and best available could be the sleepers we'll get in the 2nd round.

    Hg, I haven't heard no rumors about Waiters going to the blazers, anymore than I've heard every team wanting to get their hands on him and his stock is on the rise. Loved him at Syracuse, spark plug and people say he'll be good coming in off the bench b/c that's what he did, but he only did that b/c they had scoop and joseph and it was a necessity, but others lost minutes to him and eventually he'll play his way into the starting lineup... also... just cuz wheels doesn't have a big at 6 or 11 doesn't mean portland won't get one. zeller or leonard are strong possibilities at 11. Henson maybe. Drummond at 6 could happen, and Portland could trade down a bit for Melo. Don't forget about the 2nd rounders. O'Quinn is still high on my radar and he'd be good to complement Aldridge. The possibilities really are endless. I'm more excited about our 2nd rounders than I am about who we get at 6.

    More so, I want to know what's going to happen with our current free agents. And until the team tells us their plans with Batum and Hickson, well, that matters. If they plan on re-signing batum at any cost, then why would they consider harrison barnes? I doubt they would. And if Hickson is to be retained, then I think that diminishes the demand for a forward like terrence jones.

    Regardless of all that, and regarless of what we see in mock drafts, the most pressing need is the void left with Oden's knees and the memory of slammin sam bowie.... portland doesn't want to make another mistake, but they NEED a big man and you have to believe drummond, leonard, zeller, melo, or the like are on the radar. To me zeller is least likely b/c he's not as big and strong as drummond, won't push guys around like drummond, and he can't block shots, and he's not quite 7 feet, so not a prototypical center. Leonard is a hard worker and developed great this past year with the Illini, I have no doubt he'll do well in the NBA, and he may be worthy of the 11th pick, but I also wonder if it may not be worth it for get something for the 11th, slide down a bit and get Melo... another legit 7 footer with potential... improved a lot last year, but he has more work ahead of him...

    i'm just all too excited at the possibilities this year. I don't think there are a lot of real polished players though... many of them need work, in more areas than one. and that's fine because Portland's not going to be winning a championship any time soon... I just want to see the players develop like Aldridge did....

    by boomtown on 6/18/2012 11:32 AM
  8. To add to that, I didn't want to sell Zeller short because one thing I will say, if portland wants to get someone who's most ready, well, I think zeller will produce numbers right away. I don't think the ceiling is high with him though because to me there isn't much room for improvement over what you see. But he's a skilled guy who plays hard. The ceiling is much higher for drummond, but this guy has more issues. Still, he's going to get drafted ahead of zeller b/c he's probably 20-30 pounds heavier and can block better. I dunno, zeller reminds me a bit more of Aldridge, which is to say I don't think Zeller will complement L.A. as much as people like Drummond, Leonard, Melo, or O'Quinn.... we need a banger in the paint... well... we need to keep hickson, but I want a shot blocker to go with L.A. and hickson, so for that reason I'd want Drummond/Melo/O'Quinn.

    when talking about best available, a strategy along those lines could be take the backcourt wheels suggests... get lillard and waiters, then next year hope that erik copes from george mason declares and grab him. He's a raw guy who doesn't have great shooting percentages, but highly recruited and great shotblocker. I think he had like 7 or 8 blocks in one of his first games with the patriots. I really hope he develops this year b/c I think he could very well be a lottery pick next year.

    by boomtown on 6/18/2012 11:41 AM
  9. @boomtown:
    First the story on Waiters is when he got to the combines, he shortly thereafter cancelled all his work outs and the media up and ran with it saying it was either Toronto, Phoenix or Portland. Just this week end Olshey denied it was Portland, that article is on OR-Live.
    As far as who we pick, I am not that familiar with college players, so I appreciative your info.
    With my little knowledge, I thought if Drummand was on the list, you would have to take him, for no other reason then as you said we need a big in a big way lol. And I understand the fans thoughts on Bowie, and Jordan and Greg and KD. but the past shouldn't determine the future, Regardless of who is on the radar. I am sure they have four or five at each position, trades and what have you.
    Here is my Plan
    If Drummand is on the board pick him at 6 and take Marshall at 11 because Lillard won't be there at 11. If Drummand is taken earlier then 6 we take Lillard at 6 and one of the other bigs at 11, my choice is Leonard, but that is because of what I have read. It has been said that Zeller would be a safe bet and a good role player, but not likely ever being a All-Star.
    I have many mixed emotions about Lillard, if he is a top pick PG than I would want him also, Maybe Portland can trade Jamal for a draft pick or to move up and get Drummand and Lillard. Wow that would really excite me. Of course I am excited any way. I haven't even considered who we will get with our cap space. I am thinking if we got Lillard or Marshall we could hang on to Jonny Flynn until the rookies, which includes Nolan get their feet wet. but I wouldn't be against Dragic or Lowry either.
    I thank you again for the info that you gave out. Most fans just pump up the player they want not who they actually think will help the most or will have the most upside or how long they will take to move up, your information seemed in earnest.

    by Hg on 6/18/2012 12:24 PM
  10. Waiters scares me, being from Cuse and all, but I'd gladly take him over Leonard and Zeller, both of whom I don' think will live up to their draft hype.

    by DHawes22 on 6/18/2012 12:38 PM
  11. I am not very famailiar of college players, but I like the idea of taking Lillard at 6, just because Drummond is a bit of an experiment and a bit too risky. If we can take a guy like Waiters at 11, I would be pleased, but I still prefer the idea of getting a big man like Leonard, Zeller, or even Drummond if he is still on the board.

    by basketball1367 on 6/18/2012 4:01 PM
  12. DHawes22, yes, Waiters ceiling is high. If he's started at Syracuse, well, people would be a lot surer of him.

    Only problem with Waiters is team need. I like Matthews, but Waiters is a good pick, I say if he's there at 11, take him, but I kinda don't think he will be.

    basketball1367, nobody really knows if Drummond will be there at 6 and many are saying take Lillard. He's obviously a scoring PG, so if ya'll want a scorer (i've said it before, but he's in the mold of damon stoudamire), then you'll be happy with him. you know he averaged about 25 ppg last year. He can score for sure. distribution is not his strong suit, but maybe with talent around him he'll show his skills and fans will be happy. Certainly he's better than what Felton showed last year, I don't know if he's more capable of running the point than Nolan Smith and Flynn's a free agent, so we can't depend on him returning, but I liked Flynn at Syracuse... he has potential himself. There's no reason to believe Lillard can't be a star, but the level of competition he faced is going to make the transition to the NBA greater than most. And for that reason, I think a 2nd round pick of Machado is less of a risk.

    Hg, I agree with pretty much everything you say. Big dilemma I have in figuring out who Portland will draft is what they're going to do with all the free agents.

    Thabeet was a defensive giant at UConn. If he wasn't blocking 5 shots, he was altering 10 more. I really thought his team was going to win the championship with him, then he got drafted 2nd and he's been in the D league twice. Defensively he can cause problems for opponents, but he doesn't have great footwork and offensively he needs help. Will Portland be patient with him and see him develop? Do they think Drummond is more ready? Or Zeller, Meyers, Melo, Henson, or even O'Quinn for that matter? Hard to say.

    I may not get a lot of support here, but if you're willing to give up about 40 pounds on Drummond, draft Henson at 11. the guy can block shots better than his teammate Zeller and his efforts earned him ACC Defensive Player of the Year (for the 2nd year in a row). He worked out with Portland already and it sounds like it went well. I didn't view the link on twitter, but sounds like Portland was pleased... he showed Portland why he was DPOY.

    Here's a link on him you can read up on. He has a long wingspan, he's athletic, and if he puts on weight, well, compare him to maybe Favors of G.Tech or Camby when he came out of UMass. Is Henson as big as they were, i don't think so. But most guys add body weight.

    Talking about Zeller, I say he's more of a what you see is what you get, as you say, ceiling is not high, but he's just polished. Meyers works hard, Melo had problems in school, but he also developed. They're both 7 footers who will improve and can contribute, but neither are as polished as Zeller.

    Henson and Drummond have the highest ceiling, but they both are going to make Shonely cringe with their poor free throw shooting.

    Don't forget Ezili of Vanderbilt. He's a guy not getting a lot of attention, probably because he missed some games early on with a suspension i believe and he's been hurt, so durability may be a concern (but I wouldn't call him Greg Oden). But he's a big body in the mold of most the developing centers. He has size that I believe is pretty comparable to Drummond, and he can block a couple shots per game. Problem with him is I tend to believe he'll be a late 1st or early 2nd rounder and Portland needs him to fall on their lap at 40/1 ... which is where I think Portland may grab O'Quinn. I'm going to do a different post with my draft strategy.

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 5:53 PM
  13. i have to say, Wheels, i don't see us NOT taking a big in the lottery (provided we keep both picks). i get the feeling we very well could be taking Drummond at #6, and then i think #11 is up in the air. even if we were to take Lillard at #6, i doubt we pass up on Leonard or Zeller at #11.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/19/2012 6:15 PM
  14. Unless Portland trades the 6th pick, I see them drafting Barnes or Drummond.

    If the take Barnes, I think we can all say buh bye to Batum.

    Portland has gotten bogged down signing guys into large, long-term deals in the past and Allen's not going to do that. Batum is going to command one of the richest free agent contracts this off-season, and I think as much as Portland wants to retain him, they're going to be very reluctant to matching whatever he's offered (which shouldn't be less than 5 years at what, 7-10 mill per? I'm not a contract guy, so I don't know fair market value, but inflate it for Batum b/c I view him as an elite free agent in an otherwise weak year for free agents).

    If Drummond is taken, then forget all the talk about henson, zeller, meyers, etc.

    If Lillard is taken at 6, that opens the door for leonard, zeller, or henson and I hope it's henson... per my previous post... 2 time ACC defensive player of the year is EXACTLY what Aldridge needs by his side.

    My problem with Lillard is that he played in a small conference, and he's a pass-first PG in the mold of a damon stoudamire, but taller. I think lillard's about 6-3. Portland could use him; he's a dynamic player, and maybe he'll pass more when he has better talent around him. But he's not a part of my draft strategy.

    I guess we need to assume the free agents won't be back... that means Hickson, Batum, Thabeet, Flynn, Felton, Crawford. Of them I hope Hickson's back. If none of them return, then possibilities at 11...

    Terrence Jones - local guy who plays a strong PF role
    Dion Waiters - SG with big time upside
    Henson, Zeller, Leonard, and the list goes on...

    If Drummond is taken at 6, I hope Waiters slides. If not, maybe go with Jones and assume we're saying buy bye to Hickson.

    If Lillard is taken at 6, i hope henson is 11
    if barnes is taken at 6, then again go with henson, or waiters if he slides.

    I hope fans start taking a liking to henson b/c he does have a lot of potential and has proven in a strong conference that he can play defense.

    in the 2nd round, I am just really hung up on machado and I hope he slides to 40 because I honestly believe he could be a starting PG for the blazers. And I also think O'Quinn (if thabeet is not retained) would provide depth for henson and aldridge. ezeli if he's there. etc.

    Now all that's kinda my preference, i'm not predicting what portland will do for the most part. I mean, I think if portland's looking to fill team needs with 6 and 11, they're going drummond and marshall, and i'm feeling pretty confident about that. They're guys who have room for improvement offensively, but drummond can block and fill the paint, and marshall can pass. but if we want some exciting picks, like waiters or henson, then we can fill those "team needs" in the 2nd round with machado and o'quinn. so that's about the size of my rationale and insight i suppose. I just can't wait for draft day. I may go to MC.

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 6:30 PM
  15. sorry, Schonely, not Shonely ... no disrespect, just a bad type-o

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 6:34 PM
  16. another mistaken, lillard I said is pass-first pg. lol. i should proof b4 i post huh

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 6:37 PM
  17. @Boomtown: you are way deeper then my mind can keep up with. Nevertheless, I do understand your logic, unless they are completely drafting BPA. then I haven't the foggiest, because I don't know what other clubs are thinking. True we should have four or five players at each position and have the 6 and the 11 somewhat matched for need.

    I am sticking with Drummand and Marshall or Lillard and Leonard.

    by Hg on 6/19/2012 8:07 PM
  18. Drummond and Marshall are the logical choices that fans shouldn't be disappointed about.

    I haven't talked much about Marshall because to me I really do think he's going to be taken at 11 by Portland, and I guess I assume everyone has seen and heard enough of this guy. But you know his coach Roy Williams compares him to Lenny Wilkins and I've heard others say he's like an Andre Miller, which is not the type of guy fans in Portland were too excited about. Then again, who's the last PG fans in Portland were excited about, Rod Strickland? Terry Porter? Its been a long time. If people want someone who can shoot better than Felton, then they won't want Marshall because he scores less than he passes. But as a floor general, Marshall has great instincts, he's definitely a pass-first point guard, and that's what he does... he runs the floor. He's smart, he doesn't force the issue, he won't make careless passes, and won't turn the ball over much ... he's a great ball handler and pretty crafty. He could and probably would start in Portland from day 1 and I think that's what fans want out of a lottery pick.

    Comparing him to Lillard or Machado, well, Machado was a 4 year starter at Iona and Marshall's coming out after his sophomore season. Machado's more sound offensively and shoots with better percentages. Lillard was a junior last year and he's shoot first. Machado has solid percentages across the board and he's an awesome floor general as well. I think marshall is the only true pass-first PG who's going to be taken in the 1st round. Machado maybe late 1st, but I doubt it.

    I wouldn't be disappointed with Marshall, but I wouldn't be opposed to a veteran FA PG until a better PG came along in a future draft, but these days it seems virtually everyone in the draft is a project, and since Marshall has such good vision, instincts, and intelligence, well, I'd like to see him grow with our nucleus in Portland.

    Drummond is just a beast who can block and he'll help Portland's transition offense... the same way Henson will. Drummond has low risk of being a bust just because he's so big and he does have a motor on him; he's not some big slug in the paint like benoit benjamin. No, Drummond is strong and will push guys around, and block shots. But just like marshall, his offensive game, shooting in particular needs work, and this is the worst thing: If you put a basketball hoop on the side of a barn, he would hit the barn more than he'd make a free throw. I'm serious, he's like 30% from the line. Fans are really just going to hate that and some of you will write it off as no big deal, but imagine Shaq attack at crunchtime. The guy better work on his game or he's going to be a liability and he'll be riding the pines in the waning moments of close games.

    but as I've said, so many guys in this draft are projects. That's why I'm more excited about guys who played longer in college and appear to be more polished like O'Quinn and Machado... guys who get less exposure and will more than likely be there at 40-41.

    Most believe Thabeet's not ready to run the center spot, but I hope he stays if Drummond's here because those two guys could share minutes and both can help L.A. If Marshall's drafted, I still wouldn't be opposed to a FA PG and even Machado taken in the 2nd round. Felton and Flynn are more than likely departing, so that only leaves Nolan and Portland will carry 3 PGs, they have to. Last year was so bad that even Crawford had to play the point and that was excruciating to watch at times. So a trio of Nolan, Marshall, Machado or a Vet would be a nice trio. And I think with the uncertainty surrounding free agents like Nash (the fact that we probably have a snowballs chance in hell of landing him), makes Marshall all the more logical choice for Portland at 11. Would be interesting if Portland got both Barnes and Marshall... teammates at UNC who already have chemistry? that would be a big plus in the development of those two guys.

    And we've talked about leonard. He'll sweat night in and night out. Honestly, he's in the draft because of his improvement from the '11-'12 seasons.

    by boomtown on 6/20/2012 10:37 AM
  19. I didn't say much about Leonard and wanted to, but clicked Post. Leonard was on TV a lot and the one thing that can be said about Leonard is he really is a student of the game. He didn't look like much as a Freshman; tall drink of water who rarely got regular minutes. Coming into his Sophomore season, expectations were not high, even Meyers himself was not confident in his own abilities, but he hit the gym hard, got stronger, and as the season progressed, you could see his game improve.

    I think he's the tallest player in the draft.
    Agile, good percentages, can block shots.
    Always learning from watching others.
    He's working on foot work.

    To me his flaws are minimal; it's just that he's still young, raw, learning, and improving, but there is a lot to like about Leonard. Great character guy that fans will love. I'm not sure he's a guy who will get boo'd much, which maybe makes him a more appealing choice at 11 than Drummond at 6, but Drummond being the bigger, stronger guy is what makes him a bit more appealing than Meyers.

    I'd say Meyers has a bit more experience than Drummond b/c Drummond's a 1-and-done, but Meyers may as well be himself. Him and Fab Melo both didn't do much as Freshmen at all. But both their stocks are on the rise big time b/c they're both legit 7 footers. I have a feeling Leonard could be a lottery pick, and after he's taken, Melo will probably get scarfed up too... I doubt Melo slides past Boston... but may go higher. he's a guy fans could talk about too because he's a comer who can block too.

    by boomtown on 6/20/2012 10:55 AM
  20. @boomtown: Drummand was shooting around 50% free throws in high school, somethings that hasn't been brought out completely happened in college. It may have been no more than needing time to grow emotionally. Anyway I watched him shoot and anything that is wrong with his is fixable. I think lot of it is confidence and there was something that his college coach did that turned his development bad. Maybe if he was treated like a big bump oaf he started acting like a big bum Oaf.

    by Hg on 6/20/2012 2:03 PM
  21. Wheels, I love ya, but I have to disagree with #11. I don't think (under the condition the pick is kept) Portland drafts another 2, despite the fact that Dion may be best player available.
    From the moment I heard Dion had a promise and cancelled his other workouts, I never thought it was Portland. The underappreciated Wesley Matthews, the still promising Elliot Williams, and Nolan and Nic can play it as well. Dion would be sent to the stampede unless Wes or E-Will got significantly injured, and I doubt that's something a worthwhile lottery pick would like or deserve.
    As for Drummond falling to 8, that may be the highest he goes.

    by RipCityVice on 6/23/2012 1:18 PM
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