As we are approaching the all-star weekend of the NBA season we can now start to see what teams will end up with lottery picks and what college standouts are most likely to fall to those teams come draft time. As of right now Charlotte is looking at the number one pick after starting the season 3-20. Although keep in mind that with the NBA lottery system the top pick is not guaranteed to the worst team.
1. The Charlotte Bobcats- The Charlotte Bobcats have had their struggles this season and have only recorded three wins. The Bobcats are only averaging 87.3 points per game while their opponents are averaging 101.3 points per game. Charlotte’s leading scorer is Gerald Henderson with 15 ppg but he has been facing multiple injuries this season. With the first pick in the draft I expect the Bobcats to take the 6-11 forward from Kentucky, Anthony Davis. Davis is averaging 13 ppg and 10 rebounds per game as a Freshman. Along with Davis averaging double doubles he also averages 4 blocks per game. Last year Charlotte ended up with both Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo in the draft but Biyombo has only been averaging 2.9 ppg this season. Charlotte is getting out rebounded in almost every game this year which is why they could use Davis’s exceptional rebounding and scoring ability.
2. Detroit Pistons- The Pistons look to have found their point guard of the future in Brandon Knight who is averaging 12.3 ppg this season. Detroit is a team with a large amount of potential after spending the past few seasons rebuilding. Going into next year the Pistons only have about two starters set in stone and they are Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe. The Pistons expected to get big numbers out of guard Ben Gordon but he has been plagued by injuries for most of the season. The Pistons also have had trouble at the small forward position with the aging Tayshaun Prince and the under performing Austin Daye. Expect the Pistons to take another Kentucky freshman in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Gilchrist has been playing well beyond expectations and averaging 12.8 ppg and 7.6 rpg. The Pistons are getting outscored on an average of 10 points per game. Gilchrist who is 6-7 is considered one of the best defenders in college basketball still needs to work on his mid-range and outside shooting. With a team with great potential Gilchrist fits in perfectly.
3. Washington Wizards- The Wizards have found themselves in the lottery for the past few years and have yet to make use of their first round picks. John Wall, who is now the face of the franchise has been stellar averaging 15 ppg and former USC Trojan, Nick Young has been leading the team averaging 16.8 ppg. The Wizards are set at the guard position and have look to found their center of the future in JaVale McGee who averages 3 blocks per game. The one position that the wizards still need is the small forward position since Rashard Lewis is nearing retirement and only scoring 9 ppg. I see the Wizards taking Harrison Barnes who is a sophomore out of the University of North Carolina. Barnes is a 6-8 small forward and averaging 17.3 ppg this season. Barnes does need to work on holding on to the ball since he has commit close to 2 turnovers a game this year but his shooting has been superb. Barnes has been shooting 43% from the three point line and converting on a little less than half of his shots at 48.4%. Barnes could have easily been a top pick in the draft last year but he will enter the NBA with more knowledge about the game and more prepared for the transition from collegiate to professional basketball.
4. New Orleans Hornets- The Hornets have also won four games this year after trading their best player Chris Paul in the offseason. Jarrett Jack has stepped up for the Hornets this season scoring 15.8 ppg and 6.8 assists per game. The Hornets acquired Eric Gordon in the trade with Chris Paul who is leading the team with 21 ppg. The Hornets are also set at the guard position but desperately need a big man since they are looking to trade Chris Kaman who refuses to play. All of the Hornets losses have been relatively close and if they had a dominant rebounder to pair with Emeka Okafor they could easily have won six more games then they have. The Hornets will looks to take the center from Connecticut Andre Drummond, who is 6-11 and 275 pounds. Drummond averages 10.3 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Drummond shoots a remarkable 57.1% from the field and and averages 2.4 blocks per game. The one area that Drummond will need to improve on is his free throw shooting where he has shot only 32.7% which many would consider horrible. Drummond is the presence that the Hornets need in the paint to block shots and grab rebounds.
5. Sacramento Kings – It still amazes me that the Kings have only won six games considering they have one of the most dominant center and point guard pairs in the NBA with DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Evans has been averaging 16.9 ppg while Cousins has been averaging 15 ppg and 11 rpg. The Kings brought in Jimmer Fredette in last years draft who has under performed and only scored 8.6 ppg. The Kings need scorer which they can find in Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger. Sullinger has been plagued by some back injuries this season but has still managed to put up 17 ppg and 9 rpg. Sullinger’s numbers are slightly down from last years but he is still putting up double doubles in most of his games. Sullinger will need to lose some weight entering the NBA since he is 6-9 and 280 pounds. Sullinger is a dominant scorer in the paint and would make a perfect fit in an almost contending Kings organization.
Listed in the DC Pro Sports Report in their NBA Mock Draft Database