The J Money Mock Draft

For a basketball nerd like me today is Christmas morning.  Today’s draft will be just crazy.  There is no lock for the number one pick.  In fact there are 6 guys who could be taken by the Cavs at that spot.  Since the draft is tonight, and it’s one of my favorite things I thought I would do the first ever J Money mock draft.  I don’t have inside connections like the other guys who do this.  I don’t talk to GM’s or scouts.  The one thing I do have going for me is I’ve seen most of these guys play a lot.  I watch so much college ball that I know how most of this guys play.  I know their strengths and weaknesses.  I know who steps up in big spots and who wilts under the pressure.  I know who will fit in certain situations and who will be a disaster.  With all that being said here is the first annual J Money mock draft.

  1.  Nerlens Noel- even with all of the smoke screens the Cavs have been throwing up over the last few weeks Noel still feels like the best fit.  The Cavs need a defensive presence in the middle and if nothing else Noel can be that guy.
  2. Victor Oladipo-a point guard or Noel would be a better fit here.   I don’t really see minutes here for Oladipo unless Aaron Afflalo gets moved, but be is the most polished player in the draft and I don’t think the Magic can pass him up.
  3. Otto Porter- this is about the only spot where I have some certainty.  Having Porter play next to Bradley Beal and John Wall would be a great fit.
  4. Alex Len- rumor has it that a number of teams are trying to move up here to take Len.  He’s the best rebounder in the draft and has decent offensive skills.  Len will be a good fit no matter who jumps up here to take him or if the Bobcats stay put.
  5. Ben McLemore-the Suns will be very lucky if the freshman Kansas product slips this far. He had a really streaky season at KU but has too much upside to fall any farther than this.
  6. Anthony Bennett-Bennett would fit in a lot of places and with New Orleans is definitely one of them.  The Kings are dying for Bennett to fall one more stop but I don’t think that will happen.  Plugging Bennett into the young and versatile lineup would give them a solid young starting 5 and much promise for the future.
  7. Trey Burke-none of the guards left on the board fit here at all, but the Kings haven’t made sense in who they’ve drafted for a while.  Trey Burke is very similar to the Kings starting point guard but the Kings don’t pass up guys who can sell jerseys.
  8. Shabazz Muhammad-I don’t think the Pistons are ready to give up on Brandon Knight just yet.  If they are, this pick will be CJ McCollum.  Muhammad has a nice stroke and can really score.  The Pistons really need that.
  9. C.J. McCollum-McCollum would be a nice fit between Rubio and Williams (if Minnesota doesn’t move Williams).  He can really shoot it and would be an upgrade from the aging Luke Ridnour.
  10. Cody Zeller-Zeller is too good to pass up here, especially if the Blazers don’t plan on re-signing J.J. Hickson.  If Hickson returns than Cody can back up at the 3 and 4 spots.
  11. Steven Adams-I don’t see Andrew Bynum in a 76ers uniform next year.  For that reason alone I think Philadelphia takes Adams here.  He is young and very raw but is a freak athlete.
  12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope-Kevin Martin is a free agent and might be too pricey to re-sign.  Pope would fit well if Martin walks although I don’t think he’s better than Jeremy Lamb.
  13. Michael Carter-Williams- Williams is long and athletic.  Big point guards are hard to find and Cuban wants a big lead guard.  Carter-Williams is really raw but has tons of upside if he can put it all together.
  14. Shane Larkin-Larkin is a pass first point guard who is ready to start from day one.  He’s great in the pick and roll and a ridiculous athlete.  Shane can also knock down the outside shot to keep the defense honest.  He would be a great fit for the young and upcoming Jazz.
  15. Dennis Schroeder-the Bucks really like Karasev but with their back court situation I think Schroeder’s upside is too good to pass up.  He is long and quick although he’s very, very raw.
  16. Kelly Olynyk-he’s a great face up shooter who knows how to use his body very well.  Could use a year or two next to Garnett but can step in right away even if the Celtics trade KG.
  17. Sergey Karasev-one of the few European players who is ready to play right away.  Would be a great fit in Atlanta especially if Josh Smith walks via free agency.
  18. Mason Plumlee-the Duke product is not overly talented offensively but is a solid rebounder who can be a really good backup 4 and 5.  Would be a perfect fit behind the Hawks big men.
  19. Jamaal Franklin-Franklin is not ready to play in the NBA on the offensive end of the floor but would be a big step up for the Cavs defensively.
  20. Tim Hardaway Jr.-Tim would be a great fit playing next to a healthy Derrick Rose.  He’s a streaky shooter but has a great pedigree.  Could’ve used another year at Michigan but is more NBA ready than a few guys taken earlier.
  21. Tony Mitchell-Mitchell isn’t the safest pick here but he has the most upside by far.  A great rebounder and shot blocker, Tony could take the minutes vacated by the 2 Jazz free agent big men.
  22. Gorgui Dieng-the Nets could use a nice back up to Brook Lopez and Dieng would fit right in.  He can rebound and block shots and has a solid face up game from 15 feet.
  23. Reggie Bullock-the Pacers really need another point guard but all the ones they like will be gone by now.  The Pacers do need a shooter as well and Bullock can really do that.
  24. Erick Green-the Knicks will need to find a replacement for J.R. Smith and Green is as close as anyone in this draft to Smith.  Green, like Smith can really score.
  25. Rudy Gobert-the Clippers need a backup 5 and Gobert would be a nice fit.  He is a huge project but with a pick this late in the draft Los Angeles can’t pass on Rudy.
  26. Lucas Nogueira-after taking a 2 guard with their earlier pick Minnesota choses to go big with their 2nd first round pick. With Pekovic being a free agent the Wolves need a center and with Lucas’s defensive presence, he will still find minutes even if Pekovic re-signs.
  27. Tony Snell-with a new coach and probably a whole new system the Nuggets could use another wing shooter and defender especially if Andre Iguodala walks via free agency.
  28. Ricky Ledo-Ledo is the most talented player left on the board and the Spurs don’t usually pass on those guys.  Could be a nice fit to replace Manu Ginobili if he can mature.
  29. Jeff Withey-having missed on a big in their earlier pick the Thunder go with one of the safest pick on the board.  Withey is about as good as he’s going to be and that’s not too bad.  He is a great shot blocker and could fit really well next to Serge Ibaka.
  30. Isaiah Caanan-the Suns need a backup point would fit that role nicely.  Although not much of a distributor Isaiah can really score the ball and that’s something that every team can use.

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