Written by: Andrew Wittry
1. New Orleans Hornets - PF/C Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Davis was the best player on the best team last season. He was the National Player of the Year on the University of Kentucky team that won the national championship. He can be expected to start from the first game of the season and be a dominant big man on offense and defense for at least the next ten years. Along with Eric Gordon, Jarrett Jack, Emeka Okafor, and Chris Kaman, Anthony Davis would complete a very solid starting lineup for New Orleans.
2. Charlotte Bobcats - F Thomas Robinson, Kansas
The Bobcats are coming off of the worst season in NBA history with a 7-59 record. Anthony Davis would have been a great addition to their roster, but after the Hornets won the number one pick, Thomas Robinson is the next best option. The Bobcats are a team made up of great college players who haven’t panned out in the NBA. D.J. Augustin averaged nineteen points per game and an All-American at Texas, Kemba Walker led UConn to a national championship in 2011, D.J. White was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2008 at Indiana, and Derrick Brown led Xavier to an Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen in consecutive years. Between Gerald Henderson, Augustin, and Walker, Charlotte’s guards are not as bad as the team’s record would suggest-the trio averages 38 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists per game. Robinson will be a force down low for Charlotte and will hopefully allow them to be competitive in the NBA next season.
3. Washington Wizards - F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
The Wizards have two talented, young guards in John Wall and Jordan Crawford, along with veteran center Nene. What they are missing is a good forward. Kidd-Gilchrist was a starter for UK as a freshman and was an integral part of their national championship run. He averaged nearly 12 points per game and 7 rebounds per game for the Wildcats and can be expected to put up the same, if not better, numbers for the Wizards next season.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers - G Bradley Beal, Florida
Beal averaged fifteen points per game and seven rebounds per game as a freshman for the Florida Gators, who made an Elite Eight run last season. The Cavs have the 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving at point guard and good veterans at forward in Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao, along with rookie Tristan Thompson. Beal and Irving could develop into a very nice scoring duo for the Cavs.
5. Sacramento Kings - F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
The Kings were in the top ten in scoring and rebounding during the regular season and Harrison Barnes (17 ppg and 5 ppg at UNC) will only help Sacramento. Barnes has proved himself to be a top ten draft pick over the past two years at UNC and he will complement the pieces that the Kings already have in place - Marcus Thornton, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, and Jimmer Fredette. Assuming that Cousins can keep his emotions in check, he and Harrison Barnes could be a great scoring and rebounding duo down low.
6. Portland Trail Blazers - F Perry Jones III, Baylor
The Blazers had at least one player at every position average double figures in points, except for center. At 6’11″, 220 lbs., and nearly a 7’3″ wingspan, Jones could transition to playing center for Portland.
7. Golden State Warriors - C Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Many NBA teams look for prospects who were good for one or two seasons in college, who will develop into stars at the next level. Andre Drummond is one of those players who was good in college at UConn, averaging 10 points per game and 7 rebounds per game, but Golden State will try to take him to the next level in his game. He has the size to be a force down low but he still needs a lot of work on his offensive game and free throw shooting (29%). The Warriors could use a good, developmental center as Andrew Bogut insurance to go along with David Lee at power forward, Klay Thompson at shooting guard, and Steph Curry at point guard.
8. Toronto Raptors - F Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Jones has two years of experience on very talented Kentucky teams that have made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. He can play as a 3 or 4 man and creates a lot of mismatches with his size when he plays small. He averaged fifteen and nine during his sophomore season, which is very impressive considering how much talent was on John Calipari’s squad last year. Toronto has talent and depth at center and the guard positions, but they are lacking at the forward position and Terrence Jones should be able to fill that void well.
9. Detroit Pistons - F John Henson, North Carolina
Henson showed improvement in each of his three seasons at UNC. He is a double-double machine and has lots of big game experience from his time at Chapel Hill. He will be a good option in the post for Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight.
10. New Orleans Hornets - G Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
In his freshman year, Lamb was a key player on UConn’s national championship team in 2011. In his sophomore season he averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. In addition to Anthony Davis, Jeremy Lamb will help turn the Hornets franchise around.
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