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Ford Mock 9.0

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Ford Mock 9.0

Of note, Waiters, Rivers and Ross ahead of Lamb (#13) is interesting and could be a steal...

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With the 2012 NBA draft three days away, it's time to take our first full look at both rounds. As teams continue to narrow their draft lists, trade talk and last-minute workouts have plenty of things still up in the air. Here's our best stab, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, at how the draft will play out Thursday.

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VITALS


New Orleans

Anthony Davis

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 222 pounds
Age: 19
School: Kentucky

Analysis: The Hornets' big trade with the Wizards last week put their blueprint in sharp relief. This team is going young and will build around Davis. Although the Hornets won't be great next season, they're building a rock-solid foundation. In addition to the No. 1 pick, they now have the cap room to re-sign Eric Gordon and another significant free agent, plus the No. 10 pick.

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Charlotte

Thomas Robinson

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 244 pounds
Age: 21
School: Kansas

Analysis: Robinson is a bit of a placeholder right now. The Bobcats have had the major players in for workouts but are in the process of seeing whether they'd be better off trading this pick. As we've reported the past three weeks, they're looking for multiple young assets in return.

The most likely scenario has the Bobcats swapping the No. 2 pick with Cleveland for the No. 4 pick and either pick No. 24 or picks 33 and 34. Obviously, the Bobcats would prefer the 24th pick, but the Cavs would prefer to hold on to it. Although the Cavs aren't the only team in play for the pick, they have the most realistic scenario right now and likely would take Bradley Beal at No. 2. If the Bobcats end up keeping the pick, it sounds as though Robinson has a slight edge.

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Washington

Bradley Beal

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 202 pounds
Age: 18
School: Florida

Analysis: The Wizards made the first big trade of the offseason, sending Rashard Lewis and the 46th pick to New Orleans for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. With the deal, the Wizards essentially upgraded their front court -- Okafor likely will be their starting 5, Nene their starting 4 and Ariza their starting 3.

With John Wall running the point, that leaves them with one big hole: at the 2. I think this makes Beal a no-brainer for the Wizards, who are lacking a lights-out perimeter shooter. He's a perfect fit for this new roster. And if the Wizards believe they are in danger of losing Beal, don't be surprised if they offer the Bobcats the No. 32 pick to move up one spot. If Beal is off the board, it looks as if Harrison Barnes is Plan B.

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Cleveland

Harrison Barnes

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 228 pounds
Age: 20
School: North Carolina

Analysis: Ideally, the Cavs would like to move up to the No. 2 spot to grab Beal. But the price is high and they might decide to settle at No. 4. If they do, they have a tough choice between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes.

In the past few days, it appears Barnes has moved ahead of Kidd-Gilchrist on the Cavs' board. The team needs shooters and believes he's further along. The Cavs love Kidd-Gilchrist, too, but it sounds as if he has become a tougher sell thanks to his limited offensive repertoire.

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Sacramento

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 233 pounds
Age: 18
School: Kentucky

Analysis: In a lot of ways, if Kidd-Gilchrist falls here, it's a godsend for Sacramento. The Kings are loaded with players who want to jack up 20 shots a game. Kidd-Gilchrist is the only guy in this range who can affect a game dramatically without the ball in his hands. He's also a high-character player who will add toughness and a winning attitude to the locker room.

The Kings also have explored trading down in the draft (the Rockets seem to be the team with the most interest) and could look to add players such as John Henson (whom they've been high on all year) and Moe Harkless (who works out for them Monday) if they swap No. 5 for Houston's Nos. 14 and 16.

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Portland (via Nets)

Damian Lillard

Position: PG
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 189 pounds
Age: 21
School: Weber State

Analysis: The Blazers need a point guard and a big man. They'll have to make a very tough choice here between Lillard and Andre Drummond. Lillard is a steady, athletic guard who can shoot the lights out and get to the rim. Drummond is a super-athletic big man who can block shots. Although teams usually opt for size, the fact that Drummond is two to three years away might tip the scale toward Lillard. The Blazers, remember, aren't rebuilding, they're retooling. Dion Waiters is the sleeper pick here.

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Golden State

Andre Drummond

Position: C
Height: 7-foot-0
Weight: 279 pounds
Age: 18
School: UConn

Analysis: The Warriors are desperate to add an athletic big to their front line. So Drummond should be a no-brainer, right? Wrong. The front office and ownership also love players with a great motor, which Drummond lacks. But, although he's not an ideal fit, I don't think the Warriors will be able to pass on Drummond if he slides this far. If they do pass on him, however, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller are in the mix.

The dark-horse pick is Washington's Terrence Ross. Jerry West is a big fan and was the mastermind behind last year's Klay Thompson pick. Ross isn't a perfect fit, either, but the Warriors will focus on collecting assets at this point.

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Toronto

Dion Waiters

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 221 pounds
Age: 20
School: Syracuse

Analysis: I don't believe the Raptors promised to pick Waiters at No. 8; most signs point to the Suns making him that promise at No. 13. However, Toronto is the only team that has worked him out and really needs a guard who can get to the basket at will.

Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers are also possibilities here, but, from everything I can gather, Waiters is in the lead.

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Detroit

Meyers Leonard

Position: C
Height: 7-foot-1
Weight: 250 pounds
Age: 20
School: Illinois

Analysis: The Pistons had a huge workout scheduled for Monday with Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Perry Jones, Terrence Jones, John Henson and Jared Sullinger. Going into the workout, it looked as if Leonard and Henson had a slight edge over the rest of the group.

The Pistons really want to move Greg Monroe back over to the 4 and need a big, physical center to guard the paint. Leonard could be that guy. However, the team also sees Henson, with his elite shot-blocking ability, as a potential fit, and he could very well be the guy.

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New Orleans
(via Wolves)

Austin Rivers

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 203 pounds
Age: 19
School: Duke

Analysis: After the first nine picks, things start to break down a little bit. The Hornets can go in a lot of directions and also are exploring trades. Sources say they offered the Rockets the 10th pick for Nos. 14 and 16 but were turned down last week.

If they keep the pick, they really need help at center, point guard and small forward. Although Rivers doesn't fill any of those positions, I'm told the Hornets have been enamored with him. Tyler Zeller, Jeremy Lamb and Moe Harkless are other possibilities here.

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Portland

Tyler Zeller

Position: C
Height: 7-foot-0
Weight: 247 pounds
Age: 22
School: North Carolina

Analysis: If the Blazers go with a guard at No. 6, don't be surprised if they go big with their other selection. Zeller isn't a sexy pick, but he is capable of playing right now, has solid size for his position and runs the floor well. Other possibilities here include Dion Waiters, Austin Rivers, Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Ross.

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Milwaukee

Terrence Ross

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 197 pounds
Age: 21
School: Washington

Analysis: The Bucks really need a center, but, with the top three big men off the board, I think they'll decide to reverse gears and fill a need in their backcourt. The Bucks are devoid of shooters, and Ross has a very pretty stroke and good size for his position. Jeremy Lamb and Moe Harkless are other possibilities here.

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Phoenix

Jeremy Lamb

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 179 pounds
Age: 20
School: UConn

Analysis: Lamb suffered a high ankle sprain in a workout in Toronto and has struggled to get well enough to resume workouts. Although GMs think he's talented, they have questioned his toughness. His inability to work out has hurt him a bit, too.

However, Lamb went into Phoenix this weekend and toughed out a workout on the bad ankle. A source in Phoenix told me the Suns were impressed with his toughness and willingness to fight through the workout. His performance there could keep him in the lottery. If Lamb is gone, Terrence Ross, Dion Waiters and Austin Rivers are all possibilities here. So is Arnett Moultrie.

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Houston

John Henson

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 216 pounds
Age: 21
School: North Carolina

Analysis: The Rockets have to be disappointed that all of the top wings and top will be off the board at No. 14. They've been very active in trade calls and are looking at everything from moving up into the top five (I believe Drummond is their target) to moving out of the draft.

The name of the game for Houston now is collecting assets. Henson is a terrific shot-blocker and rebounder. He lacks strength, but he's rangy. If he bulks up, he could be a force in the paint down the road.

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Philadelphia

Perry Jones III

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 234 pounds
Age: 20
School: Baylor

Analysis: Jones might be the toughest player in the draft to project right now. Everyone is both scared to take him and scared not to take him. I heard the same assessment from a number of NBA GMs the past few weeks.

Whichever GM first overcomes his fear of taking Jones gets a super-athletic 6-11 forward who lacks the motor or toughness teams usually look for in a big man. At some point, the reward outweighs the risk, and that calculation probably starts here. Terrence Ross, Arnett Moultrie, Moe Harkless and Jared Sullinger are other possibilities.

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Houston (via Knicks)

Moe Harkless

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 207 pounds
Age: 19
School: St. John's

Analysis: The Rockets are looking for assets as they try to package players to facilitate a trade. Adding Harkless to their stock of young players might be a smart move. Lots of teams have shown interest in him. He is athletic, has great upside and can defend multiple positions. He's sort of a young Trevor Ariza.

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Dallas

Terrence Jones

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 252 pounds
Age: 20
School: Kentucky

Analysis: Rejoice, Mavs fans. After weeks and weeks of having Kendall Marshall going No. 17 to the Mavs, we have a new name for you. Although I still believe the Mavs really like Marshall, it would be tough to pass on Jones here. His versatility, rebounding and shot-blocking would all be welcome in Big D. The Mavs are another team that has been actively exploring moving up in the draft the past few days.

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Wolves (via Jazz)

Arnett Moultrie

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 223 pounds
Age: 21
School: Mississippi State

Analysis: The Wolves are really hoping a sweet-shooting 2-guard will fall to them here. Alas for Minnesota, it looks as if they'll all be taken in the lottery. That leaves the Wolves with three options: (1) They can go with an athletic big man, such as Moultrie, Fab Melo or a real dark horse such as Miles Plumlee; (2) they can reach for the next best 2-guard, Will Barton; (3) they could try to use forward Derrick Williams as trade bait to move up in the draft.

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Orlando

Jared Sullinger

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 268 pounds
Age: 20
School: Ohio State

Analysis: I'm not sure when the bleeding will end for Sullinger, whose stock is falling now that concerns about his back have every GM in the league a bit skittish. However, sources say the Suns and Sixers are still considering him in the middle of the first round.

The Magic also could use a real low-post scorer. Sullinger is the top talent left on the board and a player who could come in and contribute immediately.

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Denver

Kendall Marshall

Position: PG
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 198 pounds
Age: 20
School: North Carolina

Analysis: Andre Miller's contract is up with the Nuggets this summer, and, in most every way, Marshall is the perfect replacement. They have similar builds and games. Although Ty Lawson is the clear starter in Denver, the Nuggets could really use depth at the position. Royce White and Andrew Nicholson are options here, as well.

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Boston

Royce White

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 261 pounds
Age: 21
School: Iowa State

Analysis: White pulled out of all his remaining workouts last Thursday and has gone silent. He's not injured, and sources claim he's received a coveted first-round promise from a team. Promises are notoriously hard to pin down. Two sources are pointing in the direction of the Celtics, but a Celtics source adamantly denies they are the source of the promise.

Either way, I think White is a good fit in Boston. As long as coach Doc Rivers can buy into what White is (a ball-handling power forward) and figure out how to play him, he could be a steal at this point in the draft.

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Boston (via Clippers)

Andrew Nicholson

Position: PF
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 234 pounds
Age: 22
School: St. Bonaventure

Analysis: Nicholson is another draft sleeper who might really rise with workouts. He's a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West. He would be another welcome addition to the Celtics' summer makeover.

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Atlanta

Tony Wroten Jr.

Position: PG
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 203 pounds
Age: 18
School: Washington

Analysis: The Hawks don't have any depth behind point guard Jeff Teague. Sources say that, in the past few weeks, they've become enamored with Wroten. His shot is broken and he can be wild, but he has enormous upside as a big point guard who can see the floor and get to the hoop.

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Cavs (via Lakers)

Fab Melo

Position: C
Height: 7-foot
Weight: 255 pounds
Age: 22
School: Syracuse

Analysis: If the Cavs go small with their first pick, Melo could be a nice get with No. 24. He's big and athletic, and he could end up being a terrific shot-blocker. The fact that they have fellow Brazilian Anderson Varejao to mentor him is a bonus.

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Memphis

Marquis Teague

Position: PG
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 180 pounds
Age: 19
School: Kentucky

Analysis: The Grizzlies lack great depth at point guard behind Mike Conley (unless you're the guy who somehow voted Josh Selby to the all-rookie third team). Teague, had he stayed in school another year, would've been a likely top-10 pick in 2013. A team such as the Grizzlies can't afford to pass on his talent here.

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Indiana

Draymond Green

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 236 pounds
Age: 22
School: Michigan State

Analysis: The Pacers have a big workout scheduled for Tuesday with Green, Will Barton, Kim English and Jeff Taylor that could decide the No. 26 pick. I'm hearing increasingly that the Pacers are very high on Green. He's a smart, tough player who can come in and fill a need immediately for Indiana. Larry Bird has made similar picks in years past and done OK with them. I don't think Green will slide past here. If he's off the board, Barton could be the guy.

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Miami

Jeff Taylor

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 212 pounds
Age: 23
School: Vanderbilt

Analysis: The Heat could use Taylor's elite athletic ability, lockdown defense and spot-up shooting. He can't create his own shot, but no one will ask him to in Miami, making this the perfect spot for him to land.

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Oklahoma City

Evan Fournier

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 206 pounds
Age: 19
Country: France

Analysis: Fournier is the type of player the Thunder easily could stash for a year or two in Europe. Or, given the high level he has played at in France, he might be able to come in and get minutes for them right away -- especially if the Thunder decide they can't afford to re-sign James Harden this summer.

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Chicago

Will Barton

Position: SG
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 174 pounds
Age: 21
School: Memphis

Analysis: The Bulls are looking at a number of 2-guard options here, but Barton has separated himself from the pack in the past few weeks. He could go as high as 18 to the Wolves, and I don't think he'll slide past Chicago here.

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Golden State
(via Spurs)

Quincy Miller

Position: SF
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 219 pounds
Age: 19
School: Baylor

Analysis: There are a lot of concerns about his knee and what position he'll play in the NBA. But his upside is so high that it might be worth taking a gamble this low in the first round. There's very little risk and a lot of potential reward here.


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