Jun 08

It's amazing what a difference a year makes.

As the NBA and it's teams were preparing for the draft last year, the threat of a lockout loomed. As we all know, there may not have been a season at all, if you recall. It's difficult to imagine what it would be like to have two draft classes entering the league this upcoming season -- with both as rookies.

Fortunately, that is not the case. This year will have it's own class of rookies, and it's said to be a strong one at that. Aside from trades -- which is a difficult thing to set aside knowing this league -- New Orleans and Portland could possibly end up as the big winners in this year's draft. Each has two lottery picks and could use them to add major pieces to their puzzles.

The 2012 NBA Draft will take place June 28, at 4 p.m. (pacific time), at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. It will be broadcast on ESPN.

So with all said and done, which teams will select which player? Time to break it down:

1. New Orleans Hornets -- Anthony Davis (6-10, Kentucky). I could try throwing in a cute quip here, but it's no secret the Unibrow is headed for the Big Easy. This is even more certain than the Colts taking Andrew Luck in the NFL draft a couple months ago.

2. Charlotte Bobcats -- Thomas Robinson (6-9, Kansas). My feeling is the 'Cats will toy with the idea of Andre Drummond here, but even a couple inches shorter, Robinson is less of a risk. They also may consider Bradley Beal, but decide on Robinson instead.

3. Washington Wizards -- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6-7. Kentucky). The Wizards also will strongly consider Beal, but MKG is just too good to pass up with this pick. 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Bradley Beal (6-5, Florida). Cleveland will be thrilled when he is still available. They'll salivate at the prospect of Beal joining last year's number one pick and rookie of the year, Kyrie Irving in their backcourt.

5. Sacramento Kings -- Harrison Barnes (6-8, North Carolina). The Kings also will take a look at Drummond, but inevitably won't pass on Barnes, who better fits their style of play.

Andre Drummond

6. Portland Trailblazers -- Andre Drummond (6-11, Connecticutt). Concerns regarding work ethic won't scare off the Blazers, who feel Drummond will have no choice but to work in an energetic manner under then-named permanent head coach Kaleb Canales. If the Blazers don't take Drummond here, look for them to nab Meyers Leonard or Tyler Zeller at #11.

7. Golden State Warriors -- Perry Jones (6-11, Baylor). It always seems as if the Warriors need help on their front line. Jared Sulinger is in their conversation, but they go with Jones instead.

8. Toronto Raptors -- Dion Waiters (6-4, Syracuse). The Raptors could go many directions here, but eventually choose Waiters to pair in the backcourt with Jose Calderon. 

9. Detroit Pistons -- Jared Sulinger (6-9, Ohio State). He's a little undersized for a center, but they love his toughness inside and figure his 280-pound frame can make up for his lack of height.

10. New Orleans Hornets -- Kendall Marshall (6-4, North Carolina). This pick will be between Marshall and Damian Lillard. In the end, the Hornets feel the former's pass-first mentality is a better compliment to Davis.

11. Portland Trailblazers -- Terrence Ross (6-6, Washington). The Blazers decide Ross is worth the pick. The last UW SG they acquired on draft day was pretty darn good and they hope the pick pays both short- and long-term dividends.

Terrence Ross

12. Milwaukee Bucks -- Tyler Zeller (7-0, North Carolina). Though the Bucks have their eyes on Leonard, they tab Zeller as the departed Andrew Bogut's replacement.

13. Phoenix Suns -- Damian Lillard (6-2, Weber State). It doesn't take the Suns long to write Lillard's name on their draft card. They plan on turning him into Steve Nash's replacement (whether Nash leaves this season or retires in three years).

14. Houston Rockets -- Austin Rivers (6-4, Duke). This might seem a little high for Rivers, but the Rockets disagree. They've got a pick two spots later, so they take the Celtics coach's son here.

15. Philadelphia 76ers -- Arnett Moultrie (6-10, Mississippi State). Moultrie will be expected to one day step in for the aging Elton Brand.

16. Houston Rockets -- John Henson (6-11, North Carolina). The Rockets add Henson in the front line. He's not quite Yao Ming's replacement, but they're hoping he's solid there for years to come.

17. Dallas Mavericks -- Meyers Leonard (7-1, Illinois). The Mavericks are looking to fill the middle or find Jason Kidd's replacement. They elect the former with this pick.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves --Jeremy Lamb (6-5, Connecticutt). The T-Wolves get a true SG to go team with Rubio in their backcourt. They also consider Fab Melo here, but select Lamb instead.

19. Orlando Magic -- Fab Melo (7-0, Syracuse). With the future of Dwight Howard looking bleak, Orlando thinks Melo could anchor their middle if Howard should bolt, or back him up should he stay.

20. Denver Nuggets -- Moe Harkless (6-8, St. John's). The Nuggets can go in any of several directions here, but decide Harkless can compliment Kenneth Faried in their front line.

2011 NBA First Round Draft Board

21. Boston Celtics -- Terrence Jones (6-9, Kentucky). Boston's youth movement begins with Jones, who is capable of playing both forward positions.

22. Boston Celtics -- Tony Wroten (6-5, Washington). The youth movement continues by selecting the combo guard with their second straight pick.

23. Atlanta Hawks -- Marquis Teague (6-2, Kentucky). The Hawks are a bit surprised Teague is still on the board at this spot, so they grab him pretty quickly.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Quincy Miller (6-9, Baylor). The Cavs build on their draft success from last year by selecting the lanky Miller here. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies -- Evan Fournier (6-6, International). The Grizzlies are shopping Rudy Gay and whether they trade him for a pick or a player, they take Fournier as the best prospect and possible replacement.

26. Indiana Pacers -- Royce White (6-8, Iowa State). Indiana goes with White over Andrew Nicholson and Jeff Taylor.

27. Miami Heat -- Tyshawn Taylor (6-3, Kansas). The Heat, who will have lost in the finals for the second time in two years, put aside Taylor's off-court indiscretions.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Jeff Taylor (6-7, Vanderbilt). The Thunder feel they've struck gold with Taylor, who averaged 20.2 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field, 42 percent from three and 80 percent from the line last season.

29. Chicago Bulls -- Andrew Nicholson (6-9, St. Bonaventure). The Bulls are looking for help to get over the hump. They consider depth at pg, but decided on the SF Nicholson instead.

30. Golden State Warriors -- Orlando Johnson (6-5, UC Santa Barbara). The first round ends with the Warriors selection of the solid-shooting Johnson, who averaged nearly 20 points per game last year as a senior.

So there it is. Obviously, it's going to be up to debate and the rest of you are going to have your favorites. The question is: Who do you see the Blazers taking (if they keep the picks)?

To view my official mock draft on this site, please click Kassandra's Mock Draft.


Note: The criteria used in this mock draft included, but was not limited to: Draft position, team need, best player available, and five separate draft rankings. Also, There likely will be a number of international players selected which may not be reflected here.

In Kassandra's Words features blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass


  1. I'm curious why we'd draft a 2 when he'd have Wes, Elliott, and possibly Nic in front of him. I could just be missing somethin.
    If the Trailblazers really do take a chance on Drummond, who needs a lot of work, and realize they're more likely to find a viable 3 through the draft than free agency, I'd vote they draft Nic's backup (or God forbid replacement) and pickup the point guard via free agency or trade.
    I will say that although I'm not as an individual convinced we'd take a 2, this blog is still evidence you're one of the smartest bloggers on here. Major props.

    by RipCityVice on 6/8/2012 1:24 PM
  2. I don't know if you are the smartest or not, but it would take an idiot like me to challange U.
    U may have ESP though, I had to work for about 3 hrs and was thinking I had better write U and ask when you were going to get your picks out.

    So as I put my picks in yesterday, my prediction at 11 is Lillard or Marshall. that is if we get Drummand at 6. The rest is hard for me to figure.

    by Hg on 6/8/2012 3:19 PM
  3. I would love to see the blazers package the 2 picks and move up to get MKG, insurance for if Batum gets a ridiculous contract that we won't match. Then select Kyle O'quinn and Scott Machado in the second round. Address the starting PG and C positions in free agency without feeling like they have to rush to to sign FAs before matching Batum.

    by Kopperss on 6/8/2012 5:32 PM
  4. Hey Miss Kassandra, there is more and more interest in Dion Waiters and of course the rumor of us promising to draft him. What do you think of him as our 6th pick if Drummand is not available? It is also been said that Drummand is somewhat like Thabeet. so what do you think?

    by Hg on 6/9/2012 7:40 AM
  5. @Vice: i actually think we might look to trade Wesley, Elliott or Ross. something just told me when i was doing this mock that we would pick Ross at #11. relax, i will be presenting my mock 2.0 on tuesday. things may be different by then.

    @Hg: it's not a matter of challenging me. i just did some due dilligence in research, comparing draft rankings, other mocks, and comments from the "experts." right now, i think Drummond will be available at #6 so i don't have another option. i will tell you that Waiters is slowly becoming the flavor of the week so everyone keeps asking about him. frankly, i really don't see him going any higher at #8 -- if that. also, given the rumors that the raptors may amnesty Jose Calderon, i could see them taking Lillard and going through with the amnesty plan.

    @Kopperss: i would not package our two lottery picks and move up to #2. i feel MKG is going to do very well in the nba, but he's not worth what we would get if we used both picks or traded just one. my feeling is we will match the offer made to Nicolas, unless it's over $10 to $11 million, which seems to be the maximum many say he may garner. i don't think Nicolas is going anywhere. second round ... well, i'm just not going to touch that!

    additionally, as i remarked earlier, i will be publishing my second mock draft, via a blog here. there likely will be some changes so stay tuned.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/19/2012 7:57 PM
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