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Scott Howard-Cooper

Mock Draft 3.0: Top 3 set; Rockets making moves


Posted Jun 28 2012 1:31PM

The real implication, of course, is that the Rockets are trying to position themselves, again, for a big move, by many indications heading straight for Dwight Howard even with the David Aldridge report that there is no chance Howard would re-sign in Houston as a free agent after 2012-13.

For now, though, there are the draft implications of the Rockets sending Chase Budinger to the Timberwolves on Tuesday for the 18th pick Thursday night. For one thing, Houston now has 14, 16 and 18. For another, there is somewhere between zero percent and zero percent chance they use all three, especially three so bunched together, so welcome to the starting line of the dominoes beginning to fall.

There figured to be some movement higher up, into the lottery, anyway. The No. 2 pick, now Bobcats property, has been dangled for weeks. The Trail Blazers have two picks, though indications are they will keep both. The Warriors want a push into the playoffs, not another rookie. The surprise would be if nothing happens.

FIRST ROUND

1 New Orleans Hornets | Anthony Davis | C | Kentucky

Davis is nothing short of the perfect piece for the rebuilding: superstar-level talent, high energy, hard worker, excellent character. | Season highlights


2 Charlotte Bobcats | Thomas Robinson | PF | Kansas

The pick is in play. If the Bobcats do not trade it, Robinson is an inside presence for a team that needs to get tougher. | Season highlights


3 Washington Wizards | Bradley Beal | SG | Florida

If Robinson is off the board and the best chance to address a size need is gone, the Wizards fill another hole by adding a promising shooter. | Season highlights


4 Cleveland Cavaliers | Harrison Barnes | SF | North Carolina

You take Tristan Thompson at 4 a year ago, you clearly don't mind unconventional. So keep Andre Drummond in mind. But most signs still pointing to a Barnes-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist decision. | Season highlights


5 Sacramento Kings | Michael Kidd-Gilchrist | SF | Kentucky

The Kings would be very happy. While Kidd-Gilchrist adds to the shooting woes, he would be a big improvement for the defense, for small forward and for the locker room. | Season highlights


6 Portland Trail Blazers | Damian Lillard | PG | Weber St.

The Blazers, in need of a center, will give Andre Drummond a look. But they also need a point guard, and Lillard is the best one in the draft.


7 Golden State Warriors | Andre Drummond | C | Connecticut

There is no ideal outcome for the Warriors barring a surprising slip by someone who once thought he was a lock for the top five. Dion Waiters is a strong option as well. | Season highlights


8 Toronto Raptors | Dion Waiters | SG | Syracuse

Waiters is a little small at 6-foot-4, but he is an aggressive scorer who will cause problems for defenses.| Season highlights


9 Detroit Pistons | Meyers Leonard | C | Illinois

The Pistons could have their choice of centers if Drummond slips, a possibility. Either way, they'd be pleased to have a pairing for Greg Monroe.| Prospect Profile


10 New Orleans Hornets | Kendall Marshall | PG | North Carolina

After going big with the first pick, the Hornets take the best distributor in the Draft and hope he continues to improve as a shooter. | Season highlights


11 Portland Trail Blazers | Tyler Zeller | C | North Carolina

Although he does not have the same upside as Drummond or Leonard, Zeller is the most NBA-ready of the centers and will be solid for many years. | Season highlights


12 Houston Rockets | Austin Rivers | SG | Duke

There is great disparity from teams on the Rivers read. Some see mid-lottery with a long career of scoring numbers, others see mid-teens with dominating the ball and turnovers. | Season highlights


13 Phoenix Suns | Jeremy Lamb | SG | Connecticut

The Suns would love to add a defensive presence -- John Henson is an option -- but can't let Lamb's offense drop down the board any longer. | Season highlights


14 Milwaukee Bucks | Moe Harkless | SF | St. John's

The Bucks got their (temporary) solution at center with the Samuel Dalembert acquisition while trading down two spots. If they also end up with a small forward an upgrade at small forward and in athleticism, it is a very good week. | Season highlights


15 Philadelphia 76ers | John Henson | PF | North Carolina

Some teams see a potential defensive star in Henson. He needs to bulk up to make the possibility a reality. A good candidate for the Bucks at the end of the lottery as well. | Season highlights


16 Houston Rockets | Terrence Jones | PF | Kentucky

The Rockets are obviously aiming for something big and looking to package their three picks. But if there is no major deal, there is a good chance they will move the last of selections on its own. There is no European prospect to take here and stash. | Season highlights


17 Dallas Mavericks | Terrence Ross | SG | Washington

The emerging sophomore has signs of a big-time scorer, with range on his shot and athleticism, with the versatility to play either swing spot. | Season highlights


18 Houston Rockets | Royce White | SF | Iowa State

The pick acquired in the Budinger deal. White lost the chance to play for the hometown Timberwolves, as he hoped, but is still headed for the teens or early-20s. | Season highlights


19 Orlando Magic | Jared Sullinger | PF | Ohio State

Power forward is among the least of the concerns in Orlando, but that's most of the candidates on the board. Sullinger has too much talent to pass. | Season highlights


20 Denver Nuggets | Perry Jones III | PF | Baylor

The talented-but-enigmatic Jones, a strong candidate for the lottery early in the season, is hoping he convinced teams he has gained the proper mindset. | Season highlights


21 Boston Celtics | Arnett Moultrie | PF | Mississippi St.

The Celtics, needing size anyway, try to build a bridge to life after Kevin Garnett. Moultrie rebounds, moves well and has an improving offensive game. | Season highlights


22 Boston Celtics | John Jenkins | SG | Vanderbilt

Jenkins is one of the best shooters available, complete with 3-point range. Plus, the Celtics may be parting ways with Ray Allen. | Season highlights


23 Atlanta Hawks | Andrew Nicholson | PF | St. Bonaventure

Nicholson is experienced and projects as a dependable player who can score from inside or out. | Season highlights


24 Cleveland Cavaliers | Fab Melo | C | Syracuse

Melo needs a lot of work on offense, but is a worthwhile investment because of his defensive presence at 7-feet and 255 pounds. | Season highlights


25 Memphis Grizzlies | Jeffrey Taylor | SF | Vanderbilt

The Grizzlies could become very formidable defensively on the wings with Tony Allen and Taylor, the son of the former NBA player of the same name.


26 Indiana Pacers | Quincy Miller | SF | Baylor

The Pacers have developed something that will last and can afford to wait for a payoff this late. Miller has talent, but struggled in 2011-12. | Season highlights


27 Miami Heat | Festus Ezeli | C | Vanderbilt

At 6-foot-11 and 265 pounds, Ezeli has the potential to become a shot blocker and the work ethic to become a solid role player for Miami. | Season highlights


28 Oklahoma City Thunder | Marquis Teague | PG | Kentucky

OKC needs point guard depth behind Russell Westbrook. Teague isn't a true point, but some teams believe he can develop. | Season highlights


29 Chicago Bulls | Will Barton | SG | Memphis

The Bulls will like the scoring punch from one of the Draft sleepers, a long, athletic junior who needs to get stronger and add range to his shot. | Prospect Profile


30 Golden State Warriors | Tony Wroten Jr. | PG | Washington

The pick probably changes -- to Miles Plumlee, Draymond Green or maybe Evan Fournier -- if the Warriors go guard at No. 7.

SECOND ROUND

31 Charlotte Bobcats | Orlando Johnson | SG | UC-Santa Barbara

The Bobcats are desperate for offense, and Johnson has a versatile scoring game and can also pass and rebound. | Prospect profile


32 Washington Wizards | Miles Plumlee | PF | Duke

Plumlee has packaged great athleticism with a set of quality pre-draft workouts to become a possibility for the first round. | Prospect profile


33 Cleveland Cavaliers | Evan Fournier | SF | France

The top-rated prospect from Europe -- discounting Sweden's Jeff Taylor, who attended high school and college (Vandy) in the U.S. -- probably stays in Europe another season.


34 Cleveland Cavaliers | Doron Lamb | SG | Kentucky

He has a great chance to stick as a role player on shooting alone. One of the less-publicized members of the national champions has NBA range and can create. | Season highlights


35 Golden State Warriors | Tomas Satoransky | SG | Czech Republic

The Warriors have no interest in adding two rookies in the first round and two in the second. Satoransky has an out in his contract this summer, but is open to returning to Europe. | Prospect profile


36 Sacramento Kings | Draymond Green | SF | Michigan State

There are questions whether he can transition from college power forward, but Green has four years college experience, rebounds, passes and scores inside. | Season highlights


37 Toronto Raptors | Tyshawn Taylor | PG | Kansas

Taylor has great physical attributes, but is suspect as a decision maker. If he improves there, the Raptors have a contributor. | Season highlights


38 Denver Nuggets | Kyle O'Quinn | C | Norfolk State

O'Quinn went from 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead the upset of Missouri in the NCAA tournament to being named MVP at the Portsmouth pre-Draft tournament. | Season highlights


39 Detroit Pistons | Jared Cunningham | SG | Oregon State

Cunningham can be a difference maker on defense and brings a strong work ethic. Getting stronger will help. | Season highlights


40 Portland Trail Blazers | Kevin Murphy | SF | Tennessee Tech

A quick player who uses screens well and can score in bunches. The concern is that he is only 195 pounds and played at a small school.


41 Portland Trail Blazers | Kostas Papanikolaou | SF | Greece

He boosted his stock at the Euroleague Final Final to become a good candidate to keep in Europe to develop, especially for a team that has three earlier picks.


42 Milwaukee Bucks | Henry Sims | C | Georgetown

Sims is such a skilled passer at 6-11 and 240 pounds that he was the only player to finish in the top 15 in the Big East in blocks and assists. | Prospect profile


43 Atlanta Hawks | Scott Machado | PG | Iona

Machado is a poor-man's Kendall Marshall -- terrific passer and floor vision, but not explosive. A candidate to become a dependable backup. | Prospect profile


44 Detroit Pistons | Drew Gordon | PF | New Mexico

A nonstop competitor who moves well at 240 pounds and is particularly tenacious on the boards. | Season highlights


45 Philadelphia 76ers | Darius Miller | SF | Kentucky

A senior and one of the glue guys of the national champions, Miller is a shooter with 3-point range and NBA size at 6-7 and 235 pounds. | Season highlights


46 New Orleans Hornets | Hollis Thompson | SG | Georgetown

Thompson is one of the best perimeter shooters in the Draft, with the kind of 3-point range that can keep him in the NBA. | Season highlights


47 Utah Jazz | Kim English | SG | Missouri

English, at 190 pounds, needs to get stronger. But he is a very good shooter with range, experienced after four years in school, and smart. | Prospect profile


48 New York Knicks | Khris Middleton | SF | Texas A&M

His play in pre-Draft auditions, particularly the Chicago combine, was an encouraging reminder of his previous level of play after a 2011-12 marred by injury. | Season highlights


49 Orlando Magic | Kris Joseph | SF | Syracuse

A terrific athlete and finisher who sometimes had lapses in aggressiveness last season as a senior. | Season highlights


50 Denver Nuggets | Furkan Aldemir | PF | Turkey

If he can bulk up from the 220 pounds on the 6-foot-9 frame, Aldemir has a chance to be a sold rebounder in the NBA, whenever he comes over.


51 Boston Celtics | Quincy Acy | PF | Baylor

While it is never easy to make it as a power forward at 6-foot-7, Acy is a leaper with a long reach and a passion to scrap. | Season highlights


52 Golden State Warriors | Bernard James | PF | Florida State

James is a defender/rebounder with a proven work ethic after six years in the Air Force, exactly the approach the Warriors hope to add. | Prospect profile


53 Los Angeles Clippers | Kevin Jones | PF | West Virgina

The Clippers may need immediate help inside, depending what happens with their own free agents, and Jones will crash the offensive glass. | Season highlights


54 Philadelphia 76ers | Darius Johnson-Odom | PG | Marquette

Though an honorable mention All-America and the No. 2 scorer in the Big East, he will have a tough time staying at shooting guard at 6-foot-3. | Prospect profile


55 Dallas Mavericks | Jae Crowder | SF | Marquette

A tough, versatile defender who can guard both wing spots and will rebound, especially on the offensive end. | Season highlights


56 Toronto Raptors | Tornike Shengelia | SF | Republic of Georgia

Though not ready to come to the NBA now, Shengelia has shown enough skill and toughness to warrant a second-round pick.


57 Brooklyn Nets | JaMychal Green | PF | Alabama

An active defender, Green can use athleticism and effort to block shots and rebound, maybe even enough to make the team. | Season highlights


58 Minnesota Timberwolves | William Buford | SG | Ohio State

Buford will have to continue as a perimeter threat to have a chance to stick in Minnesota, though he can also pass and will rebound. | Season highlights


59 San Antonio Spurs | Robert Sacre | C | Gonzaga

A legit center at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Sacre plays solid and smart. He has a few inside moves and an understanding of where to be to make the right play on defense. | Season highlights


60 L.A. Lakers | Mike Scott | PF | Virginia

Scott is a physical presence inside at 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds and can also score from different spots on the court. | Prospect profile


Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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