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Old 12-20-2012, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2028 KVBL Lottery Mock Draft

1. Philadelphia 76ers - Bunchy Collins

The 76ers have spent a long time looking for the right mix of players to create a contender, something that may have finally gotten the boost it needed this year when they pulled the ol' switcheroo on Utah and managed to nab the first overall pick plus the young, talented Stan Smith. A year that began with a trek towards mediocrity behind Robert Goodhue became a true rebuilding year that saw the ever hit or miss (or miss or miss or miss) Luis Ortiz land a starting gig for thirty three games. Philly managed to finish with that many wins, something that had them slated to pick eighth in this year's draft before some lotto luck landed them the third pick (and the Jazz moved up from two to one for this one). Four picks in the first thirteen should be enough to get this team back on the track to playoff victories, but it all starts with making the right choice here at number one. Moving forward, you have to expect the team has Scotty Clay, Todd Collins, the aforementioned Smith, and Kevin Salters in their plans. Outside of Clay, I don't think management sees any of those players as must-start types, something that ought to allow them to tackle this pick purely from a BPA standpoint. Denys Armstrong, Bridge Bachman, and Bunchy Collins lead the way stateside while some scouts believe Alvis Opalevs or Maksim Yepanchin could do great things after arriving from overseas. Given the choice between versatility and an elite skillset without it, we think the 76ers take the latter. Bunchy Collins will be the first overall pick and give the 76ers a defensive anchor they can rely on for a decade and beyond.

2. New York Knicks - Denys Armstrong

New York shocked the world last year when they beat out everyone else and signed Caramel Love to a max deal to join with Matt Kwietak and Jameson Smith. Expectations were sky high, but the team was never able to get anything going due to a combination of nonexistent depth and a complete lack of health. An achilles tear for Kwietak has many Knicks fans worried about his effectiveness moving forward, while Caramel Love was able to recover nicely from a fractured finger and should be ready to go at his best for 2028-2029. This team needs another scoring option to help Caramel out, and they're likely to be choosing between Denys Armstrong and Bridge Bachman. Given the versatility that Armstrong provides, we think they take that route and opt to plug in a fifth starter via free agency. Smith/Caramel/Armstrong/???/Kwietak should be enough to push this team to the playoffs, somewhere Caramel has proven to be quite a terror.

3. Philadelphia 76ers - Bridge Bachman

Philadelphia's own pick this year falls at number three, a spot where they have quite a few options available to them depending on who they like. We're operating under the assumption that they have Bunchy Collins manning the paint, something that should allow them to play somebody who's more of a project in that department. It seems like they'd want to maybe grab a point guard, but given the lack of worthy options here (besides hoping Yepanchin can play there) we think they'll wait on that. It's just too silly not to grab Bridge Bachman here. Bachman's ability to put the ball in the hoop is impressive, and he's just nineteen (along with Bunchy). A big man trio of Bunchy/Bachman/Salters can do a lot of wonderful things, and should make life easier for the likes of Collins and Clay.

4. Phoenix Suns - Mark Holton

Phoenix came out of last year's draft looking pretty good when they took Clifford Grice, and we'd expect them to try to replicate that this year. DeLeeroy Jenkins is still the engine that makes things go over there, but Joshua Rhett and Clifford Grice are important pieces that have to be looked at as the core moving forward. In a perfect world, the Suns would count Felix Bangerter among that group as well, but a poor work ethic and personal issues have plagued the German already this offseason and he might not be held in quite as high esteem right now. Our initial thought was that the Suns would gamble on a guy like Alvis Opalevs or Maksim Yepanchin at this point, but ,given their issues with Bangerter, they'll likely elect to play it a bit more safe here. A slew of similarly talented players are still around at this juncture, but a guy like Jamal Wallace would do wonders for this team. Alas, we don't think they'll do that because it'd be too "boring" or some other crazy thing they come up with over there in that hot sun. Instead, they'll go with another one of their "type" and take "Chubby" Holton here.

5. Memphis Grizzlies - Alvis Opalevs

The Grizzlies are picking fifth again this year, a spot that leaves them with a difficult decision between numerous comparable talents. Simon Saez looks to be a keeper next to Duke Lazear, but other than that this team is in no position to be doing anything but grabbing whoever they think is the best player available. Dantee McGahee is an option due to his strong rebounding at small forward, but he's probably better suited at the four and Zev Reuter is already essentially filling his role. Johnson O'Brien's athleticism is enticing, but his turnover issues and lack of experience should scare them away. Jamal Wallace would be a nice option here as well, but the team isn't too high on playing Duke at small forward and that would probably kill that idea. Given the lack of a home run pick here, we think they roll the dice on a guy like Alvis Opalevs and hope that Fran Fraschilla's wrong about the guy.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder - Maksim Yepanchin

Oklahoma City finds itself picking in the lottery despite making the playoffs this past season, due to their owning the now defunct St. Louis Warriors' first round selection. The pressure is on in OKC to get a title before Alistair Maynard rides off into the proverbial sunset. There is a lot of talent on this team, but there does seem to be a bit less confidence when it comes to the point guard position (also finding the right bench wing who can hit threes). We can't even really remember what the Thunder front office does when it has high draft picks, but something tells us that the obvious selection is too obvious. A guy like Shorty Starr could be a great fit with this team, but he could also crash and burn. Jamal Wallace (yes, him again) could work out a lot better if Xie Dong wasn't sitting there in front of him. So, well, we'll predict that the Thunder follow the Grizzlies' lead and roll the dice. Maksim Yepanchin could be a great get here if he's anything near the level of a guy like Aleksandr Matechowski.

7. Washington Bullets - Dantee McGahee

The Bullets need a lot of things, but management has seemed all too content to sit on its thumbs lately when it comes to personnel. Still, Ben Cashman and James Russell remain (albeit diminished versions of their prime selves) and that ought to be enough to make this team better than it's been. The main hole for this team has been next to Russell on the wings, where Henry Larsgaard has quickly become a drain. Given the way ownership has handled things lately, you've gotta believe this is just going to be BPA. McGahee should provide some nice rebounding and can score efficiently when Cashman gets him the ball in his spots.

8. Atlanta Hawks - Terry Howard

Atlanta finds itself in unfamiliar territory this year, having missed the playoffs for the first time after twelve consecutive postseason trips (three of which ended in championships). Gone are franchise mainstays Caramel Love and Frank Weiland, leaving behind an expectation for greatness that might not be met for many years to come. Still, the cupboard is not completely bare for the Hawks. Ulysses Black and Cheikh Senghor make for a dynamic pairing on the wings, while Jerry Lukas remains an effective distributor (albeit one that isn't upgrade-proof). The big situation is not pretty right now, so you have to think that the Hawks will be looking in that direction here at number eight. Johnson O'Brien is the best available, but Terry Howard's better rebounding and ability to hold onto the ball should push him in front.

9. London Raptors - Ronald Donnelson

London's roster makeup is a far cry from its veteran laden days, boasting an array of young talent just about everywhere. Lithuanian point guard Osvaldas Gvezdauskas should return stronger after becoming acclimated to KVBL ball, and will continue to provide leadership for a young team that needs it. Long term, of course, he is not the answer. That guy, though, is not to be found in this draft. The risky move for the Raptors would be to gamble on Zoltan Molnar, but his defensive woes should scare the team off given their preference for strong talent on that side of the ball. Given that preference, we think it'd make a lot of sense for London to grab stopper Ronald Donnelson. It seems a bit too obvious, and he doesn't do everything, but we don't expect London to be able to stay away from his steals and lockdown defensive potential.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Bill Galilehi

The Sixers again, eh? Well, we're not going to ramble on and on about this bunch, but we will predict that they add a point guard to their haul at this spot. The options are Bill Galilehi, Robert Gartland, and Shorty Starr. None of these guys are the "wow" types (or they'd be gone by now), but there is some usefulness to be found. DJ Alexander was shipped out of Philly when they acquired Goodhue, so we're thinking Shorty's not their style. That leaves Galilehi and Gartland to duke it out. Gartland is a steadying presence at the point, but Galilehi's got better potential for being a difference maker with his defense. Gotta be him.

11. Denver Nuggets - Robert Gartland

Denver made strides last season behind their dominating front line, but weren't quite able to get that final push needed to make the playoffs. Insiders and outsiders alike could see that point guard was a huge problem for this team, as Devin Bishop proved to be a shell of his former self and DeRon Mackey failed to bring the necessary skills to make the team go. That weakness being what it is, there's no way the Nuggets don't go point guard here or at number twelve. We think it'll come down to Robert Gartland and the Hungarian, Zoltan Molnar. Molnar is risky due to his weaknesses, but he has been trumpeted as the best passer in this class and that could sway Denver's decision makers. We think they go safe, though, and nab Gar to run their show.

12. Denver Nuggets - Jamal Wallace

A second pick in the late lottery allows Denver to add some more talent at a modest salary to the bench of a team that will be aiming for the playoffs in 2029. There's plenty of options here, but we've gotta go with a guy whose horn we've been tooting for a while now during this mock. Jamal Wallace's glue guy potential could be a boon to Denver's playoff chances in the wild West, and could allow the team to move Shayne Ekanem to the bench where he might prove all the more effective as a microwave sixth man.

13. Philadelphia 76ers - Andre Cozart

The 76ers make their final lottery selection (and second they got from Utah - oy! sucks for those guys) in the slot that traces back to Seattle (a surprising playoff miss this past season). We think they take the hardest working player in this year's draft class and hope he continues to make strides in his game, Andre Cozart. The kid from Syracuse is lottery level now, but could be a steal a few years down the line.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2028 KVBL Lottery Mock Draft

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