The variety of paths and possibilities that Rob Hennigan can take come Thursday is enormous. Henny's phone is apparently ringing off the hook. We are desperate for a center, a point guard, and a potential go-to winger who isn’t afraid to score. Can we find that at #19. Damn right we can. Our 49th selection can provide us a superb talent as well. The mock drafts indicate that and are decent supporters to my argument. No, don't take Tom Ziller's 'Drake' selection seriously. Also, I'm quite perturbed at NBA.com trusting The Hoops Report with their sketchy mock draft. Hey, if Rob gives Terrence Jones or Henry Sims even a phone call I'll give them props. Dan Savage is also on the Jones bandwagon. Maybe they mixed up Terrence with Perry Jones III? Again, feel free to call me out. I have no problem eating crow if Terrence can prove me wrong at Summer League and camp. Josh Robbins also throws in Moultrie and Wroten Jr. who were legitimate targets weeks ago. Very quickly, they have disappeared under the radar now.
Here’s looking at our #19 options.
Jared Sullinger (Writers/Bloggers who think we’ll take him: Scott Howard-Cooper, DraftExpress) -
I’ve never been sold on Sullinger as being effective in the NBA. Now with the revelation of his weak back, that’s a major red flag to stay away. Plus, we already have Big Baby and Ryno (for now) shoring up our power forward position. I’m sure our war room would be tempted to select a potential top 5 pick, but backs can be a major pain. Ask Dwight and T-MAC.
Kendall Marshall (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: Evan Dunlap, Jake Chapman) -
I think Mr. Orlando Pinstriped Post and the Magic's radio producer themselves know that this Tar Heel will get snagged long before #19. It's fantastic to dream though.
Moe Harkless (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: Sam Amick) -
The St. John's product appears to be creeping up the draft board. To the point where Moe is now sneaking into the lottery. Too bad for us if that's the case. I'd imagine that he has Paul George to thank for that. Well him, and Moe's constant effort to improve his own stock through combines and workouts. The potential of any freshman 6'8" scorer is enormous.
Tyler Zeller (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: Sean Deveney) -
Ugh, please God no. For our sake I hope the UNC senior is LONG off the board by the time we pick. He'll be a good bench player, but that's where his ceiling ends.
Perry Jones III (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: InsideHoops, NBADraftInsider, Josh Cohen) -
Other than Andre Drummond, Jones' stock couldn't be on a more turbulent roller coaster ride. It's tough to get a good read on such potential when his own coaches at Baylor said he probably should've been a small forward than a PF. Perry can definitely drill shots from the perimeter. It's all about which team drafts Jones and what type of identity they want him to gain. I'm worried about his drive to succeed in this league and would prefer to stay away.
John Jenkins (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: David Aldridge) -
If this had come from anyone else, I would've laughed and moved on. But 'DA' has my attention with this Vanderbilt shooting guard who is making a late charge up the draft charts. This junior is a ridiculously good jump shooter. More importantly, he finds a way to score even with a lack of dribbling skill. Aldridge oddly compares Jenkins to J.J. Redick. Does that mean David assumes that Hennigan will make 'Redickulous' walk and pocket the salary cap space while tapping Jenkins as the replacement?
Fab Melo (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: No one...now. ) -
Ah yes, the man who most feel was most likely to fill Dwight's shoes out of all the draft choice options. Funny how slowly but surely the media backed off that notion. Fab may need a name change if he doesn't start impressing folks. Melo will protect the paint, but is an overall raw prospect. Despite his size, couldn't dominate rebounding battles. That's a major concern in my eyes.
Andrew Nicholson (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: NBADraft.net, Sheridan Hoops) -
Even if we trade Ryan Anderson, this is a huge stretch. There are better and more stable prospects on the board. Someone tell Sheridan that it's not likely Rob will take the advice of the scouts he just fired.
Jeff Taylor (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: HoopsWorld) -
The other Vanderbilt prospect in our pick range. I'd much rather have John Jenkins, but if Taylor is anything like Arron Afflalo I would be curious to see that come to fruition. One of the few seniors in the first round, Jeff was around to know what it's like to slowly build a team into a contender. Even if it was in just college, he got to reap the benefits of Commodore success.
As far as who I'd want. I rank them as: 1. Kendall Marshall and 2. Marquis Teague. One or maybe both will be available at #19. *Hint: It will be Teague* 'Henny' honestly can't go wrong with either in rebuilding our weakest position of point guard. You need that floor general to dictate tempo. Both have supposed 'weak' jump shots. However, they can still cause chaos to defenses in their own separate ways. Marshall is a passing machine that parts lanes wider than the Red Sea. Teague is your Russ Westbrook-prototype (I'm sure Rob knows this) who can be taught how to shoot. My 3rd and 4th options in order are Harkless and Jenkins. Perry Jones III is anchoring the rear from way in the back to round out my 'Top 5'. There really isn't one or two correct choices. This is a talented and extremely athletic draft.
Let’s also peak at #49 possibilities.
Kris Joseph (Writers/Bloggers who think we’ll take him: Scott Howard-Cooper) -
I’m definitely a fan of seniors. Also athletic forwards out of Syracuse. I’m not keen on guys named Kris. His aggressiveness has been called into question for much of his college career, but Jim Boeheim believes that he’s turned a corner. If Joseph has matured at the opportune time, and can be anything like Wilson Chandler, this will be a steal.
Darius Johnson-Odom (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: DraftExpress) -
He's an undersized shooting guard who measures 6'2" in shoes. But being from Marquette, I'm sure this senior heard some 'Dwyane Wade' whispers. Basically from what I assume is that if Darius was 3 inches taller he's easily be a first rounder.
Quincy Acy (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: NBADraft.net) -
I would hope Hennigan knows better than to draft an undersized power forward. That is all.
Orlando Johnson (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: NBADraftInsider) -
I like how weak the actual summary and reporting of Orlando Johnson is, yet they throw in a comparison to J-Rich and probably have the Magic picking him because of his first name. Still, Johnson is very lengthy and has the size to prove doubters wrong. Motivation won't be an issue here.
Charlie Westbrook (Writers/Bloggers who think we'll take him: HoopsWorld) -
One of those undersized 4-year 'small school' shooting guards that is a low risk, high reward type of gambles. It's all about how his athleticism can transfer from South Dakota to the big stage. I'm not keen on this prospect.
If he's somehow by the grace of God available at #49, you take Kostas Papanikolaou. Don't worry about that wacky Boki Nachbar comparison. He's much more like Manu. Pocket the money and let him develop another year or two at Olympiakos. Kris Joseph or Orlando Johnson works for me. DeAndre and Justin will make them work VERY hard come July.
There are other mock drafts and predictions from countless prognosticators and armchair analysis guys such as myself. So enough speculation. June 28th is here. Enjoy draft coverage as a mini-holiday and tune into NBA TV and ESPN to see how the Rob Hennigan era officially begins.