Mock Draft Tracker
Climbin' the Board
Michael Kidd Gilchrist 6'6 SF, Kentucky
MKG has a motor that doesn't stop, which translates to buckets around the rim, a high rebounding rate and likeability. Though he's not a dynamic scorer off the dribble, he can get to the rim and elude defenders on the way. He's knocked down perimeters jumpers out to the the three point line, and remains Kentucky's top on-ball defender. You only have to watch him once to get a feel for what he brings to the table, which include the intangibles that can't necessarily be taught.
He went for 17 and 11 against UNC, outperforming Harrison Barnes head to head, and has moved into the #10 spot in this year's mock.
Thomas Robinson 6'8 PF, Kansas
He's really up there with some of the most explosive athletes in the game, and considering his size and developing skill-set, T-Rob's value is on the rise.
He uses his body effectively on the interior, sealing off his defender and creating angles that give him a positional advantage. Robinson is such a strong and explosive finisher that you practically expect him to dunk anything within the vicinity of the rim. He's made strides as a screener in the pick and roll game, where he can slide off his screen to the rim or pop out for the corner 15 footer. He's also shown the ability to create shots in the post, and although he doesn't convert them all, you can't make what you can't take. While he's developing into a more round and complete power forward, Robinson's physical tools alone should allow him to glow during individual pre-draft workouts.
Robinson moved into our 2012 lottery, and shouldn't stray too far for the remainder of the year.
Meyers Leonard 7'0 C, Illinois
Leonard has NBA center size and the wingspan of a mythical creature. Guards can feed the ball into the post 9+ feet in the air, and expect Leonard to come down with it and finish over his defender. He's more than just a lanky 7 footer, displaying athleticism and mobility on the interior that allow him to finish strong, regardless of his positioning. 61% from the floor this year illustrates that. He has a soft touch on his midrange jumper, which is also put on display at the stripe where he shoots 82%. Leonard also shows a great frame and should continue to add strength to an impressive basketball body.
The goofy episodes are being replaced with confidence and consistency as Leonard continues to figure out what he's capable of on the basketball floor.
His rebounding numbers are lousy, but this is still his first year playing regular minutes (only 8 minutes per game as a freshman). We expect a rise in his activity level by the end of this year, where we having moving to the 17th overall pick in 2012.
Perry Jones 6'11 SF/PF, Baylor
Though he's only played two games, Jones provided his viewers with a glimpse of his potential when he dropped 27 points in his debut.
He's extremely fluid and agile for a 6'11 athlete, whether it's attacking the rim with the ball or running the floor without it. In his two games he's managed to score both in the half court and in transition, looking comfortable handling the ball and finishing after contact. He's shown strong balance and fluidity on his jumper, pivoting effectively off the dribble into an uncontested rise and fire shot attempt. Between his footwork, size, athleticism and mobility, Jones could be a nightmare matchup for opposing centers whose comfort zones' range from baseline to foul line. Remember all that hype he received at the beginning of last year? Now he's fulfilling it. 6'11 guys with guard-like mobility just don't come around very often.
Jones moved from the back of the lottery to the 6th spot in our latest mock draft.
Terrence Jones 6'9 SF/PF, Kentucky
Jones looks sharp as a sophomore, seemingly stronger and converting at a higher clip. Though the sample size is small, he's 8-16 from downtown, which has opened up his off-the-dribble game from the perimeter. He has a deceivingly quick first step, making him tough to defend facing up at the high post. He appears more determined than ever, playing with a high motor and competitive edge that brings out the intensity in his teammates and fans.
Concerns over Jones' potential stem from his lack of a true position, but he's playing too good of basketball to embrace these questionable technical deficiencies. After hovering around the back of the lottery, Jones is back at #8 on our 2012 mock draft.
Allen Crabbe 6'5 SG, California
Crabbe can score, but looks to be establishing himself as a three point specialist with defensive capability. He's shooting a better percentage from outside the arch and inside, which tells you exactly what type of player Crabbe is. He's a nice complimentary scorer, with the ability to spread the floor, slash off the ball and finish in transition. Limited physically and off the dribble, Crabbe should wait another year before entering his name into the draft.
He's currently shooting a remarkable 48% from downtown on over 6 attempts per game. We have him moving from a late first rounder to a lottery selection in 2013.
Cody Zeller 6'11 C, Indiana
Zeller possesses a high basketball IQ and an appealing skill-set for a 6'11 prospect. He's extremely efficient around the rim, showing a high awareness level of his defender's positioning and a soft touch around the block. Zeller has produced from the get-go, and that's without the impressive recruiting class coach Crean brings in next season. His maturity and feel for the game should allow him to progressively improve, with his stock likely to peak as a sophomore on a more nationally relevant team.
After two solid years at Indiana, we have Zeller going 8th overall in 2013.
Tony Mitchell 6'6 SF, Alabama
Mitchell is an explosive leaper with good strength, and remains Alabama's X-factor in terms of how dangerous they can be. He seemingly catches anything around the cylinder and throws it down with authority, an attractive quality when it comes to evaluating one's athleticism. He's proven effective as a spot-up three point threat, shooting a much improved 39% as a junior. The fact that his shooting percentage has risen despite an increase in three point attempts means he's becoming more comfortable shooting with range. He's also a strong defender, which gives him first round potential considering that many playoff teams picking in the 24-31 range need complimentary reserves over shot-creators.
Mitchell has moved from a second rounder to first round pick in the 2013 mock.
Marquis Teague 6'2 PG, Kentucky
Teague is on a bit of a slide after struggling against North Carolina and St. Johns, combining to shoot 5-20 from the floor. He's still a threat attacking the rim and in the the open floor, but overall his range, pull-up game off the dribble and facilitating ability in the half court could all use some work. Kendall Marshall essentially gave him wide open looks playing off him, and when Teague didn;t make him pay, or even look to, scouts took notice.
Teague falls out of the 2012 lottery to 15 on our current mock.
James McAdoo 6'9 SF/PF, North Carolina
I don't want to say he looks lost, but the fact that his presence is only known on loose balls and in transition doesn't bode well for his immediate draft stock. Still an elite athlete with the versatility to guard and play multiple positions, McAdoo is more likely to raise his value playing a more stable role in the rotation as a sophomore.
We have McAdoo waiting another year before leaving, and being selected as the 4th pick in 2013.
Johnson has not shot the ball well this year, yet continues to fire away like a mad man. He's attempted 37 three-pointers over his last five games, converting on only 11. He'll need to either start knocking down more shots or expand his game, since he'll be 22 by the time of the draft. Johnson needs to establish an identity moving forward.
Scouts wonder about Johnson's feel for the game, and while they see him getting drafted, it likely won;t be until the mid to late 2nd round. We have him dropping from 36th to 48th in this year's second round.