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NBA Mock Draft

The Finals are over, and professional basketball is curling up for its annual summer-long nap on a pile of money stacked up in the corner of some luxury suite somewhere.  For most people, this means the NBA is will be disappearing for the next three months, but for a select slew of diehards – hopeless loners with no lives, former high school sports stars living vicariously through the professionals they weren’t good enough to compete with, random entertainment junkies with dangerously addictive personalities (such as myself), and various other types of those curious bastards known as NBA fans – this just means it’s time for the annual Basketball Potential Pageant, a.k.a. the NBA draft.

The newly bought New Orleans Hornets won the draft lottery this year, like everybody on the damn planet knew they would, marking the third year in a row that it’s been disgustingly easy to predict what’s passed off to be a “random” event (2010 newly bought Washington, 2011 Lebron-less Cleveland, 2012 newly bought NOH).  While this development undeniably sucked ass, if nothing else it has at least made it painfully obvious that the process is fixed, and seeing as that’s out in the open now there’s really no need to sit here and mock the integrity of the draft with the whole conspiracy theory discussion – instead, we can move right on to the mocking the draft:

This is the same face Hornets management made when they found out they’d won the draft lottery… two months before it happened.

1)  New Orleans Hornets – Unibrow Davis, C

This pick is a goddamn lock – I could make it in my sleep.  It’s basically like taking candy from a baby, or better yet from a dead hobo’s pocket.  …Not that I’ve ever done either, or anything… or ever would… I mean, I don’t know… I’m not on trial here!

Point is, this guy’s gonna be a beast – you can’t teach timing, and he’s got it.  Even if he’s never an All-Star (and I’m almost sure that he will be) he still won’t be a bust, because he’ll be a force protecting the rim for years to come, and that’s the most critical ability a center can possess in today’s Association.

Plus, against any and all predictions he seems to be embracing his godlike unibrow – a first for such a high profile figure, as far as I know – and that’s a fucking fan gimmick waiting to happen.  I can see it now: thousands of drunk N’Orleans folk packed into whatever the hell the Hornets’ arena is called, all wearing tie-on felt unibrows a la Bert from Sesame Street and chanting madly every time Davis gets a block.  I mean, this shit basically comes up with itself – I hope you’re taking notes, Hornets marketing and promotional staff.

2)  Charlotte Bobcats – Bradley Beal, SG

I don’t see Charlotte keeping whoever gets taken here – I expect they’ll either trade the pick, or trade whoever they select shortly thereafter.  But then again, MJ has always been one to shoot from the hip (and hit innocent Kwame Browns in the face), so really who knows what the fuck he’s gonna do?  Lest we forget, it was only five years ago that he chose to take a fat dump on the number three pick of the draft by choosing Adam Morrison with it.  There’s no doubt he could similarly squander it in this case, or perhaps even gamble it away on a hole of golf or a hand of blackjack – everything is in the cards, with MJ.  Like, you know… literally.

All I can say is that if I were the general manager of this “franchise,” I would trade this pick to Cleveland for the #4 and the #24 picks.  This sets up the low-scoring Cavs to take Bradley Beal, who they can pair alongside Kyrie Irving to effectively cement their backcourt for the next few years – if Beal pans out, the result would be one of the most potent guard combos in the East.

3)  Washington Hollow Tips – Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, SF

If Beal is still here – and there’s a pretty good chance that he will be – then I expect Washington to take him, since their acquisitions of Emeka Okafur and Trevor “I Used to Play for the Lakers” Ariza appear to have left them with starter-quality players at all other positions aside from SG.

If Beal’s not around, though, then look for Washington to select Kidd-Gilchrest.  The hyphenated swingman may not be a natural 2-guard but he could certainly eat up some minutes there, and he’s big enough at 6’9” to slide down to the 4-spot as well, giving him an element of versatility that would be a huge plus for a Wiz team that got about as much from its bench last year as you got from reading this paragraph.

Jack shit, in other words.

4)  Cleveland Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes, F

Sources close to a guy who once saw Dan Gilbert in a gas station convenient store tell me that Cleveland is planning on packaging this pick to move up to #2, and it’s a widely believed fact that any person important enough to be referred to as a “source” must know what they’re talking about.  Therefore, Cleveland must be doing what I just said, in which case they’ll be picking for Charlotte here, and Charlotte will no doubt jizz their pants at the chance to take former North Carolina star Harrison “Barnes and Nobles” Barnes, who in turn will no doubt put a shit ton of Tarheel butts in the seats for the practically fanless ‘Cats.

5)  Sacramento Kings – Thomas Robinson, PF

To be honest, I really have no idea what the Kings are planning to do, or what they should do, or why they even exist for that matter.  Their roster is basically a bunch of wet clumps of toilet paper that that were thrown at the proverbial NBA wall, only not enough time has passed yet to see which ones are going to stick and which ones are going to Beasely.

In a perfect world, they would probably trade the pick for a proven veteran or two, but let’s get real here: it’s been years since the Kings organization has done anything clever or newsworthy, so odds are they’ll keep that streak alive and hold onto the pick to select Thomas “Mrs.” Robinson – he’s the best player left available, but I don’t see him getting much better than he is right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years from now he’s considered a bust.

6)  Portland BudBlazers – Austin Rivers, G

Here’s where things start to get real dicey.  The top five I laid out above will almost certainly all get taken in the first five picks, in some order, but here at #6 is where the true draftniks start showing their stuff, and the precise art of bullshitting begins in earnest.  I’ve got Portland taking Little Doc Rivers for two simple reasons:

A) Portland already possesses a veritable glut talented forwards (LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Nicholas Batum, etc.) so will probably be looking for a guard, and B) Rivers’ game is strikingly similar to that of one Brandon Roy, whose combo-guard style of play inspired much of Portland’s current offense.  Also, this is the same number pick that Roy got taken with five years ago, so it just seems fittingly symmetrical.

7)  Golden State Warriors – Terrence Ross, SG

The Warriors need a swingman like a Russian needs a warm glass fifth of vodka before bed, and with MKG and Barnes & Nobles both gone, Ross is the next best thing.

8)  Toronto Raptors – Andre Drummond, C

Quick, name a big man besides Amir Johnson who currently plays for Toronto!  Any big will do – anybody at all who’s over 6’9”!  Hurry!! …Come on!!! …Still drawing a blank?  Yeah, no shit.  Me too.

The fact of the matter is, if you were able to come up with an answer to such a riddle without looking it up, then you either work in the NBA or you are a diehard Raptor Truther – either way, the Raps desperately need some bigs, and Andre Drummond is certainly pretty big, if nothing else.

WOOPS

9)  Detroit Pissed-Ons – Meyers Leonard, C

The Pistons haven’t drafted a white guy in the first round since they took Darko… I don’t know, they seem due.

10)  N’Orleans Hornets – Jeremy Lamb, SG

This guy Lamb can flat out score the basketball, and considering the Hornets are gonna spend the first overall pick in this draft on a guy who only averaged 14 points per game in college, it might not be a bad idea to use this one on a guy who can put the ball in the fucking basket every once in a while.

11)  Portland BudBlazers – Damian Lillard, PG

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, this writer’s got Portland taking Austin Rivers and Damien Lillard?  Did the Blazers hire David Kahn without me knowing?”  Well, either that or “Wait, this writer’s got Portland taking Austin Rivers and Damien Lillard?  He’s stupid!”

Alas, hear me out: it comes down to the simple fact that I can’t really envision Portland keeping both the #6 and #11 picks, so I’m expecting somebody to trade up to this spot in order to nab the falling Lillard before he can fall any farther.  Who will be the one to trade up, you ask?  I don’t know, I answer – I’m not a fucking fortune cookie.  Just expect Lillard to get picked sometime around this point in the draft.

12)  Milwaukee Buckaroos – John Henson, PF

Now that the Bucks have traded away Bogut for the dueling banjos of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, they definitely need size more than anything else besides a new coach.  In light of this, it basically comes down to Tyler Zeller or John Henson here, and while Zeller is more NBA-ready, Henson has loads more potential to improve – seeing as the Bucks need more of a cast than a band-aid to fix what ails this squad, they’ll probably shoot for the stars here.

13)  Phoenix Nashes – Dion Waiters, SG

I don’t know – Waiters just seems like a Sun, doesn’t he?  Slightly undersized, extremely quick, effortless on offense, covered in densely packed molecules of burning hydrogen and helium… yeah, he’s a Sun alright.

14)  Houston Pocket Rockets – Arnett Moultrie, PF

I have no fucking clue what the Rockets are gonna do, other than make some sort of trade at some point, which I definitely know they’re gonna do – I mean, I’d be willing to bet my left nut and parlay my right on that shit.

Regardless, I have no idea who they’re thinking about drafting, because they don’t really have any glaring needs.  Arnett Moultrie has the coolest name of the remaining first round hopefuls (yes – even Fab Melo, whose name reeks of effort to sound cool), so I’m giving him the nod here.

15)  Philadelphia 1776ers – Tyler Zeller, C

Zeller is pretty much a no-brainer for Philly if he’s still around.  If he’s not, though, I imagine they’ll probably grab Moe Harkless for no reason other than he’s freakin’ freakishly athletic – that seems to be Philly’s “thing,” or whatever.

16)  Houston Red Rockets – Royce White, SF

Supposedly, White has got a promise from notoriously heartless Celtics GM Danny Ainge, which is worth about as much as a dumpster full of flaming medical waste.  Still, the Celts do have two first rounders, and Houston has made it known they’re looking to trade down, so I’m gonna go out on a ridiculously flimsy limb here and predict that Ainge actually keeps his promise to Royce White, giving the Rockets the #21 pick and a future first to move up.

17)  Dallas Mavericks – Kendall Marshall, PG

Marshall is easily the best passer in the draft, but probably the worst defender, scorer, and rebounder.  I don’t really know where that leaves him in terms of value, but is there any better reanimated corpse for him to learn behind than Jason Kidd’s reanimated corpse?  I say no, and therefore the Mavs wind up taking him.

18)  Houston Rockets (Again) – Perry Jones, F

Why the fuck not?  Houston has about a billion first round picks, they can afford to gamble one on the talented-yet-mercurial Perry Jones, a.k.a. “The ?”.

19)  Orlando Magic – Jared Sullinger, PF

Sullinger is arguably the most polished product in this whole draft, and Orlando definitely needs to try and win now so this seems like a decent fit.  If Sullinger’s back holds up this could wind up being a steal, as MightyDwight’s seemingly steroid-fueled prowess in the paint will help minimize the negative effect of Sullinger’s undersized frame.  …What?  I said “seemingly.”

20)  Denver Nuggs – Moe Harkless, SF

The elite athlete Harkless will fit in well with the run-and-gun, high-scoring, “fuck-playing-defense-let’s-just-cherry-pick-and-fastbreak” mentality of George Karl’s Nuggets.

21)  Boston Smelltics – Marquis Teague, PG

This’ll be Houston picking here after the trade, or Boston making the pick for Houston, or something along those lines – anyway, in the end Houston will wind up with Teague.

22)  Boston Celtics – Fab Melo, C

Greg “Bill Russell in Larry Bird’s Skin” Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins were the Celtics only true centers last season, so… yeah.  ‘Nuff said.  If you need me to explain this pick any further, you’re a fucking idiot – I don’t know what else to tell you.

In fact, why the hell am I explaining myself at all?  It’s all going to be wrong, anyway!  Fuck it, here are the last eight picks with no explanation whatsoever, because when it comes down to it I’m a genius if I was right and I’m an idiot if I was wrong, no matter how I go about trying to justify it.  Enjoy the draft errbody, and if any of y’all disagree with any of my picks or my explanations – which I’m sure none of you will because they’re so spectacular and correct – then feel free to let me know, you assholes!

23)  Atlanta Hawks – Terrence Jones, SF

24)  Cleveland Cavs (picking for Charlotte) – Evan Fournier, SG

25)  Memphis Grizzle – Andrew Nicholson, PF

26)  Indiana Pacers – Deron Lamb, SG

27)  Miami Feet – John Jenkins, SG

28)  Oklahoma City Bombers – Khris Middleton, SF

29)  Chicago Bullshit – Tyshawn Taylor, PG

30)  Golden State Warriors – Draymond Green, F

Andy J. Krom is a professional peyote dealer who likes to write in his spare time.  Follow him on twitter @Ace_Jack_King

Anthony Davis photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/abeckstrom/

Darko photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/vedia/

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