Is it a complete fool’s errand to do a mock draft this early? Yep. Gonna do one anyway to track my mind’s progression over the season.
1. Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke: What isn’t he good at? When you ask yourself this question and have a hard time answering, that’s all the reason you need to put him at the top.
2. Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky: Athletic, fluid lefty that loves to bang inside. Prototypical NBA PF that GM’s salivate over.
3. Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Kansas: Off to a slower start than the other two but don’t be fooled, there’s still plenty of substance to go with the hype. Should flourish in the NBA game as opposed to the rigid confines of the NCAA.
4. Joel Embiid, C, Kansas: He’s huge and has a nice touch, shows flashes of creativity. Could go higher.
5. Dante Exum, PG/SG, Australia: Wildcard.
6. Zach LaVine, SG, UCLA: Hops, handles and a sweet stroke. His hype train is just leaving the station.
7. Marcus Smart, G, OK St: Great defender, good leaper but streakier than a drunk freshman trying to get into a fraternity. A bit in-between positions but his intangibles might sway a GM into taking him higher.
8. Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona: Has the big P-word. Some GM is going to snag him looking for the next Blake Griffin.
9. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky: Also lots of potential. Every teams needs a rim-protector and the quick WCS is arguably the best at for today’s “to the 2.9″ NBA.
10. James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky: NBA is starting to run out of elite SGs, Young might make a name for himself a la Joe Johnson.
11. Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas: Stout SG that will undoubtedly remind a GM of Dwyane Wade.
12. Rodney Hood, SG/SF, Duke: Another SG with excellent size and a good stroke.
13. Nick Johnson, PG, Arizona: Simply having too good a year to ignore. Will make a good backup/6th man scorer at least.
14. Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia: A lot of hype behind this Euro, could crack the top 5. I have no idea honestly.
15. Gary Harris, SG, Michigan St: Too low for this guy, he’s a solid SG that will really help any team that drafts him.
16. Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton: High IQ, lights out shooter. Is he more Kyle Korver, Wally Szczerbiak, or Chris Crawford? Who cares, he can shoot.
17. Glenn Robinson, III, SG/SF, Michigan: Pedigree.
18. Dario Saric, F, Croatia: The next Toni Kukoc? Not unless he improves that shot. Another Euro that could sneak his way up the board.
19. Noah Vonleh, PF/C, Indiana: Slow but good size and fundamentally sound. Probably ought to stay in school.
20. Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan: Trying a little too hard to impress scouts, needs to get back to being a bruiser and cleaning the glass.
21. Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor: You can’t teach 7 feet, but he’s built like a praying mantis. Scratch that, a mantis has a lower center of gravity.
22. Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA: He’ll inevitably fool some GM into thinking he’s the next James Harden. He might not even be the next Dion Waiters.
23. CJ Fair, G/F, Syracuse: Someone always reaches on an Orangeman so he might go higher than this, but CJ might develop into a good player if he gets drafted into a good situation.
24. Andrew Harrison, PG, Kentucky: Will probably go a lot higher than this if he comes out, GMs love big PGs like Sir Mix-a-lot loves big butts.
25. Kaleb Tarczewski, C, Arizona: He is huge and knows his role. Kind of a stiff but not as bad a Montross clone as he appears.
26. Kyle Anderson, ???, UCLA: Really damn slow and not a great shooter but he’s 6’9″ and can handle the ball.
27. Alex Poythress, SF/PF, Kentucky: An enigma, could crack the top 10 or slip into the 2nd round.
28. Adriean Payne, PF/C, Michigan St: Tony Battie clone.
29. Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona St: Kemba Walker with hops?
30. Cory Jefferson, PF, Baylor: Uber-athletic PF that loves dirty work.
Others in the ethos: Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin; James M. McAdoo, F, UNC; Dwight Powell, PF, Stanford; TJ Warren, SG/SF, NC State; Aaron Harrison, SG, Kentucky, Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville; Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn; etc.