Monday, June 18, 2012

SIIJ's 2012 NBA Mock Draft

About ten days ago, we realized we hadn’t been giving our site the tender love and care it deserves. Back in late February / early March, SIIJ was either getting a new article or an update to a running article on a daily basis – as one might expect, as our primary focus / passion is on college hoops. Since the tournament started, however, we’ve been pushing out an average of one article every other week, the majority of which have been Charlie’s doing. We could throw a bunch of excuses your way, but the fact of the matter is that’s simply unacceptable, and starting with this joint effort, we’re going to drink our prune juice to try and get a little more regular with our output.

After spending six straight weeks watching the NBA playoffs on a nightly basis (do you realize Derrick Rose tore his ACL on April 28? This post-season is almost as long as the regular season.), we decided we had to write something about the NBA. Still, we didn’t want to become the four millionth web site to post its opinion on LeBron or Durant, so we settled on a McShay/Kiper style NBA Draft article. If you turned on ESPN at all in March or April, you probably get the idea: we each mock-drafted the entire first round, mashed it together, and each wrote about 15 of the 30 picks. As such, there are a couple of guys that we wrote about twice (we apparently love Harrison Barnes) and a few that were barely mentioned at all (sorry, Terrence Ross), but what follows is our collective opinion on what each team should do with its first round draft pick(s).

And yes, we realize that this whole thing crumbles to nothing after 6 of the first 10 picks get traded around, but it’s a fun read nonetheless.  Any write-up that is followed by a "C.S." was written by Charlie, and any write-up that is followed by a "K.M." was written by Kerry.

#1. New Orleans Hornets
Needs: Front court 
Charlie’s Pick: Anthony Davis 
Kerry’s Pick: Anthony Davis

Far be it from us here at SIIJ to insinuate anything about any draft lottery shenanigans, but this could not have been a more perfect fit. There’s a good reason Chris Kaman, Carl Landry, and Jason Smith aren’t exactly household names. The Hornets’ front court is arguably the most dismal collection of big men in the country (and Toronto for that matter). It’s been over a decade since this franchise had a guy average better than 1.8 blocks per game, and that’s about to change in a big way. Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose might be the last guys before AD23 to actually exceed the unrealistic amount of hype leading into their mandatory collegiate season. How have things worked out for those guys thus far? – K.M.

#2. Charlotte Bobcats 
Needs: Everything 
Charlie’s Pick: Bradley Beal 
Kerry’s Pick: Thomas Robinson

If the Charlotte Bobcats current roster were a house, it would be leveled to the ground and re-built from scratch. Bismack Biyombo is only 19 and Kemba Walker was relatively solid during his rookie season but obviously, this team needs everything and Bradley Beal has all the tools to eventually become the number one scoring option for a team that posted just 87 points per game last season. Beal’s combine measurements answered any questions teams had about him, and you could make the case that he’s got the most upside of anyone in this draft not named Anthony Davis. In Beal the Bobcats are getting a player who should not only be able to contribute early on, but one who also has plenty of room to grow. Thomas Robinson is also an alternative here if Charlotte wants to add an athletic rebounding machine and start building from the inside out. –C.S.

#3. Washington Wizards
Needs: SF 
Charlie’s Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 
Kerry’s Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

All of the hype in the District is over the workouts the Wizards have conducted with Bradley Beal and Thomas Robinson, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Never mind the fact that I think Kidd-Gilchrist has more all-around talent than either Beal or Robinson; they just don’t make sense given the Wizards’ needs. This may not be an exhaustive list, but here are a few names of guys who played significant time at small forward for the Wizards this past season: Rashard Lewis, Chris Singleton, James Singleton, Cartier Martin, Mo Evans. Maybe Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker never make it to an all-star game, but they are at least competent athletes. What’s the point in upgrading from a B to an A- at shooting guard or power forward when you’ve been absolutely failing the small forward position since trading away Caron Butler three years ago? You could easily talk me into Harrison Barnes or even Perry Jones III in this spot, but if they take anything other than a small forward here, I might need to figure out a way to cancel my season ticket package for a second time. – K.M.

#4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Needs: SG/SF 
Charlie’s Pick: Thomas Robinson 
Kerry’s Pick: Bradley Beal

I know, the Cavaliers drafted Tristan Thompson last year and they also have Anderson Varejao, but Thomas Robinson is a much more polished scorer than either of the Cavs current post players. Robinson’s strong enough to bang under the basket in the NBA, and his length will also allow him to do some serious damage on the boards. Realistically, Cleveland has to keep Kyrie happy, and giving him a scoring post presence should do just that. After providing Irving with someone to throw alley-oops to, maybe if Cleveland asks nicely they could convince their star point guard to play a regular season game as “Uncle Drew” for promotional purposes. –C.S.

#5. Sacramento Kings
Needs: SF 
Charlie’s Pick: Andre Drummond 
Kerry’s Pick: Harrison Barnes

The Kings’ situation isn’t all that much different than that of the Wizards. They’ve got their point guard and a big man of the future (Evans and Cousins), as well as a second big man who is, at worst, a serviceable asset (Thompson). They’ve also got a shooting guard who’s better than most people realize (Thornton). What’s really missing is a small forward that you ever want to see on the floor. Harrison Barnes can fill that void. Take away the pre-season first team All-ACC expectations everyone had for him as a freshman and you start to view his NBA potential as a glass more than half-full. Barnes was 3rd in the ACC in scoring last year despite having to share the UNC box score with 3 other sure-fire first round draft picks. From his freshman to sophomore season, he developed into more of a penetrating scorer while still maintaining the threat to drain threes if you play off of him defensively. If he can improve his free throw shooting, he could turn into the next Paul Pierce. If not, I doubt the Kings will complain about getting Antawn Jamison 2.0. – K.M.

#6. Portland Trailblazers (From Nets)
Needs: C/SG 
Charlie’s Pick: Damian Lillard 
Kerry’s Pick: Andre Drummond

When the two best players on your team are power forwards and you had to amnesty your franchise player 8 years ahead of schedule, you pretty much can’t go wrong unless you draft another power forward or try to re-draft Greg Oden. Can the Trail Blazers ever use a lottery pick on a center again without the assumption that he’ll be a colossal failure? Only one way to find out. Maybe things will be different with this one, since popular opinion is that Drummond is overrated instead of a can’t miss all-star for the next decade. – K.M.

#7. Golden State Warriors
Needs: SF/healthy guards/bigs
Charlie’s Pick: Harrison Barnes
Kerry’s Pick: Damian Lillard

Harrison Barnes didn’t have the college career most predicted he would when he first set foot on North Carolina’s campus, but it’s impossible to deny that he’s got plenty of potential to be an impact player in the NBA. If Barnes ends up lasting this long the Warriors seem like the perfect fit. Golden State needs a small forward and Barnes would look great running the floor with Steph Curry, David Lee, and Klay Thompson. Barnes athleticism, frame, and solid all-around skillset make him an attractive addition to a Golden State team that finally gave up on the “our backcourt is going to score 55 points per game and we’ll worry about winning later” plan after they traded Monta Ellis. Of course, if they want to give it another go, the Warriors could always take Damian Lillard as Kerry suggested and watch him and Curry fire away. –C.S.

#8. Toronto Raptors
Needs: Just about everything 
Charlie’s Pick: Jeremy Lamb 
Kerry’s Pick: Jared Sullinger

Jose Calderon is a pretty good point guard. Andrea Bargnani is an underrated center. DeMar DeRozan occasionally hits some shots. Aside from that, this entire roster is expendable. That leaves a pretty glaring hole at both forward positions. Ed Davis and Amir Johnson simply aren’t cutting it in the post. They’re both still fairly young guys, so maybe you draft a different position and keep holding out hope that one of them will develop into something more assertive than 6 points and 6 rebounds per game, but I don’t see how the Raptors can pass on Sullinger in this spot. When healthy and not in foul trouble, Sully was borderline unstoppable. – K.M.

#9. Detroit Pistons 
Needs: PF/SF 
Charlie’s Pick: John Henson 
Kerry’s Pick: Terrence Jones

Two statistics that show how badly the Pistons need someone in the middle who can defend the basket:

1. At the age of 37, Ben Wallace led the Pistons in blocks with 0.82 per game

2. As a team, the Pistons averaged just 4.21 blocks per game last season. In comparison Serge Ibaka averaged 3.65 by himself

When it comes to Henson, the bulk isn’t there but the shot blocking certainly is. It’s clear that Greg Monroe is Detroit’s best player after his breakout sophomore season, and Henson would be a nice compliment around the basket. Due to his frame Henson will have some trouble creating space in the NBA, but his length and size should allow him to make a difference blocking shots and on the glass. Terrence Jones versatility is also an option for the Pistons with this pick. –C.S.

#10. New Orleans Hornets (From Timberwolves)
Needs: Front court 
Charlie’s Pick: Jared Sullinger 
Kerry’s Pick: Perry Jones III

In case you forgot over the course of the past 8 picks, the Hornets’ front court is a sad state of affairs. Though we disagree on the actual pick, we’re unanimous in the opinion that they need to go with the best big man left on the board. If I didn’t have Sullinger going to Toronto at #8, I’d definitely have him going here. As is, PJ3 may be one hell of a consolation prize. If you’ll recall, he was widely regarded as one of the top 8 prospects in last year’s draft class before electing to return for another year at Baylor. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly improve his draft stock while floating dispassionately through the 2011-12 season. There were times where he was arguably the 5th best player on his team. (How Baylor failed to do more with PJ3, Pierre Jackson, Brady Heslip, Quincy Acy, and Quincy Miller is a mystery.) But if we have faith in Barnes, we need to have faith in Jones. A nucleus of AD23, PJ3, Jarrett Jack, and Eric Gordon has serious playoff potential as early as the 2013-14 season. – K.M.

#11. Portland  Trailblazers
Needs: C/SG 
Charlie’s Pick: Meyers Leonard 
Kerry’s Pick: Dion Waiters

In case you weren’t keeping track at home, we each have Portland going with a guard who can score and a center in one order or the other with their two lottery picks. Given the guys left in my pool at this point, Dion Waiters seems like a no-brainer. He may have been the collegiate 6th man of the century at Syracuse, and he’s got the killer instinct to become a crucial cog in the Portland machine. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to expect him to embrace that 6th man role and develop into a James Harden / Jason Terry type of player. – K.M.

#12. Milwaukee Bucks
Needs: C/upgrade at SF
Charlie’s Pick: Perry Jones III
Kerry’s Pick: Meyers Leonard

Between Jennings and Ellis, the Bucks’ back court is set for years to come, so they’ll be looking to improve their bigs this off-season. Did you know Kwame Brown made $7 million last year? No seriously, he did. I somehow doubt Milwaukee will be looking to re-sign him this off-season, or actually expecting him to play an entire season if they do. And with Andrew Bogut being shipped to Golden State in the Monta Ellis trade, the only true center left on the roster is Larry Sanders (the one from VCU, not the one from the Larry Sanders Show). Suffice it to say, they’ll be looking to add a center to not only make a defensive impact but to stay on the court for 35+ minutes per game. Tyler Zeller had a few injury concerns during his 4 years at UNC, so though he’s arguably a better all-around player than Meyers Leonard, I think the Bucks will play it as safely as possible after enduring season-ending injuries to Andrew Bogut on what felt like an annual basis. – K.M.

#13. Phoenix Suns
Needs: Scorers in the form of youth
Charlie’s Pick: Dion Waiters
Kerry’s Pick: Austin Rivers

It’s nothing short of a miracle that the Suns nearly snuck into the playoffs. Realistically, they should have gutted this team 3-4 years ago and gotten whatever they could for Steve Nash. Now they’ve got a 40 year old small forward, a 39 year old point guard, a 7 footer not named Dirk Nowitzki who led the team in 3 point attempts last season in Channing Frye, and a bright spot in Marcin Gortat. What they need more than anything is some youth that isn’t afraid to create his own shot. Enter Austin Rivers, who averaged approximately 106 shots per game in his freshman campaign with Duke. Is he the most talented guy on the board at #13? Arguable at best. But the Suns need a guy with a scorer’s mentality, and Rivers definitely has it. – K.M.

#14. Houston Rockets
Needs: Frontcourt
Charlie’s Pick: Terrence Jones
Kerry’s Pick: Tyler Zeller

I’ve heard that Kyle Lowry is unhappy and I seemingly hear Luis Scola’s name in a proposed trade every other day, so it’s safe to say that the Rockets aren’t exactly in the most stable place right now. With that being said, Terrence Jones is a player who brings a lot to the table and one who could definitely could go higher in the first round. The Rockets could really use a center, but if Jones is available at their pick I can’t see them passing on the versatile and rugged former Wildcat. He’s got an NBA-ready frame and the fact that he can stretch the floor is another big plus. –C.S.

#15. Philadelphia 76ers
Needs: Best available 
Charlie’s Pick: Austin Rivers 
Kerry’s Pick: John Henson

The 2012 76ers were a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. You wouldn’t be inclined to vote anyone on the team into the all-star game, but they get production from enough places and play well enough as a team that I would have taken them in a seven game series against any Eastern Conference team outside of Miami and a healthy Chicago. Assuming they can re-sign Spencer Hawes this off-season, they don’t have any specific needs to fill, so they’ll really just be drafting to get younger and deeper at some position. I’m suggesting they do so at power forward. Elton Brand only has one year left on his outrageous contract, and at 34 years of age, you have to wonder whether Philadelphia would even be interested in re-investing in him. Unfortunately, you also have to wonder if John Henson is big enough for the NBA. This isn’t to say Elton Brand is the ideal figure of a power forward, but he’s got 40 pounds on Henson. I think Henson will be a great fit in Philadelphia in terms of team chemistry; I’m just not sure how many years he’ll be able to play in the post at the next level. – K.M.

#16. Houston Rockets (From Knicks)
Needs: Frontcourt 
Charlie’s Pick: Arnett Moultrie 
Kerry’s Pick: Arnett Moultrie

A scary thought for Rockets fans: When the draft starts Smauel Dalembert will be their only big man under contract.

For that reason, Arnett Moultrie looks like a nice fit for the Rockets at 16. Moultrie will have to put some more weight on his frame if he’s going to really make a difference under the basket, but he’s got the requisite size at 6’11’’ and he’s also a very good athlete who attacks the glass. Adding Moultrie along with Jones gives the Rockets plenty of insurance if they decide to trade Luis Scola in one of the 18 different scenarios that are currently floating around right now. –C.S.

#17. Dallas Mavericks

Needs: PG 
Charlie’s Pick: Pick: Kendall Marshall 
Kerry’s Pick: Kendall Marshall

For Kerry and I to agree on two picks in a row this one has to make a lot of sense, and it does. Jason Kidd is painfully old (not to mention that his contract is up) and Kendall Marshall is the best facilitator in the draft who shares Kidd’s expertise in setting others up with easy scoring opportunities. Though he’s got potential, I see Rodrigue Beaubois as more of a combo guard, and Marshall is the kind of player who focuses more on getting others involved. Deron Williams might end up in Dallas when all is said and done, but I could see Marshall flourishing in a backup role as a rookie and potentially being a very tradable piece down the road. -CS

#18. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Jazz)
Needs: SG/SF 
Charlie’s Pick: Terrence Ross 
Kerry’s Pick: Jeremy Lamb 

It really felt as if we were robbed of something when Rubio went down with a torn ACL midway through last season. Here’s hoping he can make a full recovery ASAP, because the Timberwolves have literally their entire roster re-signed for next season except for Anthony Tolliver, and they certainly didn’t look like the same team without the Spanish sensation. Here’s the guy that Charlie and I differed on by the most (10 picks): I’ve got Jeremy Lamb Brady Quinn-ing it all the way down to the 18th overall pick, and it wouldn’t shock me if he dropped even further. Maybe I watched too many Big East games last year and decided that he and Andre Drummond are equally un-ready for the NBA. Maybe I confused Doron Lamb and Jeremy Lamb too many times and can’t properly analyze either of them. Or maybe I’m right and teams will refuse to use a lottery pick on a shooting guard that doesn’t really shoot threes and made a habit of disappearing in the clutch last year. Either way, the T-Wolves need someone other than Kevin Love to shoot some threes next season. If it’s not Lamb, it’s either Ross or it’s trading down and hoping for Jenkins. – K.M.

#19. Orlando 
Needs: Happy Dwight Howard 
Charlie’s Pick: Tyler Zeller 
Kerry’s Pick: Fab Melo

If they could take out all the Dwight Howard drama but still get his points, rebounds, and blocks, the Magic might be the best team in the Eastern Conference. Aside from Dwight, they’ve got 5 guys who combine to hit 9.5 threes per game, and then Glen Davis, Quentin Richardson, and Chris Duhon coming off the bench. They’ve arguably got a more talented 9 man rotation than any other team in the league, and in an ideal world, maybe they grab more of a pure point guard to back up Nelson. But I think we all agree that Dwight won’t be in a Magic jersey 2 years from now. Even if he miraculously stays, the Magic don’t have a back-up center, unless you count Daniel Orton or Earl Clark for some insane reason. If Tyler Zeller is still on the board at this point, he’d seem to be a pretty good fit, but I’ve got the Magic being forced to settle for another 7 foot head case in Fab Melo. At least he won’t have to miss any NBA games due to academic probation. – K.M.

#20. Denver Nuggets 
Needs: Nothing 
Charlie’s Pick: Moe Harkless 
Kerry’s Pick: Terrence Ross

Denver has an exciting young team that’s set up to thrive for the foreseeable future, and with all the talent and depth they currently possess, the Nuggets can afford to let Harkless develop for a few seasons. The former St. John’s standout showed considerable promise during what was a lost season for the Red Storm overall, and scouts consistently raved about Harkless’ athleticism, length, and explosiveness. At just 19 (Harkless was born in 1993. Yeah, we all feel really old now) there’s little doubt that Harkless still needs some time to mature, but he could end up being one of the steals of this draft in a few years. –C.S.

#21. Boston Celtics 
Needs: C and depth/youth 
Charlie’s Pick: Fab Melo 
Kerry’s Pick: Moe Harkless

The players on the Celtics roster who were officially listed as centers this past season were Jermaine O’Neal, Ryan Hollins, and Greg Stiemsma. In other words, finding a passable center is one of Boston’s top priorities moving forward. This team never really found a replacement for Kendrick Perkins, and although Fab Melo will really have to work on his scowl, he could potentially play that same kind of role for Boston (i.e. physical, defensive minded big man). Melo’s offensive game is extremely limited right now but he’s got the size and defensive ability to help Boston. If he develops, the Celtics won’t have to play Garnett at center ever again. –C.S.

#22. Boston Celtics (From Clippers)
Needs: C and depth/youth 
Charlie’s Pick: Andrew Nicholson 
Kerry’s Pick: Andrew Nicholson

I detailed Nicholson in a recent post on SIIJ, and the former St. Bonaventure standout is certainly starting to turn some heads as draft day approaches. His defense, size, and range should immediately translate to the NBA, and as the Celtics look to get younger, they could do a lot worse than adding Nicholson to their roster. Assuming they re-sign Kevin Garnett, it would be a great situation for a multi-talented PF like Nicholson to study under a Hall of Famer like KG. –C.S.

#23. Atlanta Hawks 
Needs: SF/C 
Charlie’s Pick: Royce White 
Kerry’s Pick: John Jenkins

The Hawks have a solid core of players who have helped them maintain a “good but nothing special” status for the last five seasons, and picking in the low 20’s of the first round doesn’t seem like it could really turn the tables and suddenly put this team over the top. However, Royce White brings immense skill and versatility to the table, and he’s got top 10 caliber talent, albeit with a little baggage. Even though some may say he’s a bit undersized for an NBA power forward, White’s got the strength to make an impact around the basket, and he’s obviously got the distribution skills to play point forward. Considering that Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 4.9 assists last season, White’s ability to share the ball could be a huge plus for Atlanta. There are questions about his anxiety disorder, other off the court issues, and also about his shooting, but if you’ve seen him play you know Royce White is a risk worth taking. –C.S.

#24. Cleveland Cavaliers 
Needs: SG/SF 
Charlie’s Pick: Quincy Miller 
Kerry’s Pick: Royce White

There’s a possibility that Quincy Miller falls out of the first round completely, but a player who was considered one of the best pro prospects in his high school class presents good value at this point in the draft. Miller’s recovery from a torn ACL has been slow (it certainly affected him last year at Baylor) and it seems to be making a negative impact on his draft stock. Even so, the 6’10’’ Chicago native has good size and his all-around versatility translates well at the next level. If he was healthy he would be a likely lottery pick, and since I have the Cavaliers playing it relatively safe with Thomas Robinson earlier in the draft, I think Cleveland can take a chance here and hope that Miller’s knee fully recovers and he is able to become the small forward this team needs. –C.S.

#25. Memphis Grizzlies
Needs: Best available guard 
Charlie’s Pick: Marquis Teague 
Kerry’s Pick: Marquis Teague

I must have stared at this roster and this pick for 25 minutes before settling on Marquis Teague, mainly because I spent the first 24 minutes wondering how the hell the Grizzlies lost 4 out of 7 against the Clippers. Where was the Zach Randolph that dominated the Western Conference semis in 2011? Where was Rudy Gay when it actually mattered? Where was OJ Mayo period? Did they seriously get alley-ooped out of the playoffs? I thought this was supposed to be the team to compete with OKC over the next 4-6 years while the Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks work on getting younger. I have to assume they’ll be back near the top of the West standings next season, led by a point guard tandem of Conley and Teague. – K.M.

#26. Indiana Pacers 
Needs: PG depth 
Charlie’s Pick: Tony Wroten 
Kerry’s Pick: Draymond Green

The Pacers have a formidable nucleus to build around right now, but point guard is one spot that this team could stand to improve. Darren Collison didn’t have a great year, and by the time the playoffs rolled around he found himself coming off the bench while George Hill took his spot in the starting lineup. Tony Wroten is one of the toughest players to evaluate in this year’s draft because he absolutely has an NBA body and athleticism, but his shot needs a fair amount of work, as does his decision-making. Despite his flaws, Wroten has the potential to mature into a very good point guard, and the Pacers are in a position to take a chance on him late in the first round. –C.S.

#27. Miami Heat
Needs: C/ Three-Point Shooters 
Charlie’s Pick: John Jenkins 
Kerry’s Pick: Festus Ezeli

Not two. Not three. Not four. Not five. Not six. Festus Ezeli is seven feet tall. And the closest thing the Heat have to a center outside of Chris Bosh is some combination of Joel Anthony, Ronny Turiaf, and Dexter Pittman – none of whom are particularly young or talented enough to develop into anything more than they were last season. Ezeli wasn’t exactly durable or a point machine in his four years at Vanderbilt, but the Heat won’t be looking for a Dwight Howard so much as they’ll be looking for a Marcus Camby / Samuel Dalembert type of rebounding and shot blocking presence for 25 minutes per game, and I think Ezeli could fill out that mold nicely. Alternatively, with rumors of Mike Miller retiring after this season, they might want to grab a new three point specialist, in which case you can’t ask for a better guy than John Jenkins. As long as they go with a Commodore, we’ll support the pick. Speaking of Vanderbilt... – K.M.

#28. Oklahoma City 
Needs: More ring fingers 
Charlie’s Pick: Jeff Taylor 
Kerry’s Pick: Jeff Taylor

What do you get the man who has it all? The Thunder have the following guys signed at least through the 2013-14 season: Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Perkins, Sefalosha, Maynor, Aldrich, and Collison…even Lazar Hayward and Reggie Jackson won’t be leaving the Thunder bench before then. The only guys of any interest that they’re poised to lose any time soon are Daequan Cook and Derek Fisher; and getting a healthy Eric Maynor back next year will certainly help soften that already soft blow. I originally had Tony Wroten Jr. going here, but then I remembered they already have Maynor, and that I might not have seen Wroten play a single minute last year because the Pac 12 was less watchable than the WNBA. Hence, I’ve joined Charlie on the Jeff Taylor bandwagon. I loved watching him and Jenkins play for Vanderbilt last season. His shot is much improved, but his defensive intensity has never been questioned. If you put him on the floor with Ibaka and Sefalosha, the Thunder could very well hold an opposing team scoreless for an entire quarter at some point next season. –K.M.

#29. Chicago Bulls 
Needs: SG/PF 
Charlie’s Pick: Will Barton 
Kerry’s Pick: Will Barton

It seems like the Bulls have needed a shooting guard since Jordan left town, and it’s pretty clear that the three-headed combo of Rip Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver could use an upgrade. Considering it’s the end of the first round, Chicago could do a lot worse than Will Barton, whose long, athletic 6’6’’ frame would make a nice running mate for Derrick Rose (whenever he comes back from that torn ACL). Barton’s touch from beyond the arc at Memphis wasn’t always consistent, but he absolutely has the ability to get hot and make teams pay from deep. The Baltimore native isn’t shy about looking for his shot either, and the Bulls could use another player who can take some pressure off Rose on the offensive side of the floor. –C.S.

#30. Golden State Warriors 
Needs: SF/C 
Charlie’s Pick: Festus Ezeli 
Kerry’s Pick: Kyle O’Quinn

Despite his somewhat disappointing senior season at Vanderbilt, there’s a lot to like about Festus Ezeli’s pro prospects. He measured an impressive 7’0’’ at the combine a few days ago, he’s got long arms that make him a legitimate shot blocker, and his post game is coming along. The Warriors have Andrew Bogut, but what are the odds he stays healthy for a full season? Ezeli would be a nice addition to Golden State with the last pick of the first round, and he could one day mature into the defensive intimidator this team needs around the basket while also contributing on the glass. –C.S.

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