Kawhi Leonard was a stroke of draft day genius for the Spurs in 2011.
Author's note: The folks over at DC Sports Report were kind enough to include the PtR Mock Draft in their Mock Draft Database.
I love the NBA draft. It has such a different hype and dynamic than its football counterpart. I love the heightened sense of pressure. I love the draft day steals we've seen in just the last decade: David Lee taken 30th in 2005, Marc Gasol taken 48th in 2007, Carlos Boozer taken 43rd in 2002, Carl Landry taken 31st in 2007, and Monta Ellis taken 40th in 2005.
With the Spurs not picking until Round 2 (barring an unlikely trade-up), our minds are free to anticipate all the other hat-wearing young men who will stride across the stage to take our unworthy commissioner's hand in Round 1.
Now, on to the mock draft...
1. New Orleans Hornets: F Anthony Davis, Kentucky - Monty Williams gets his shot at a Duncan-esque cornerstone
2. Charlotte Bobcats: F Thomas Robinson, Kansas - Jordan finally makes the decision he's supposed to
3. Washington Wizards: F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky - Everybody loves John Calipari players (5 should go in the first round)
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: G Bradley Beal, Florida - The Cavs could suddenly have a strong backcourt
5. Sacramento Kings: C Andre Drummond - Cousins gets a running mate
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn Nets): F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina - Barnes could fill Wallace's shoes
7. Golden State Warriors: G Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut - Klay Thompson shouldn't be starting
8. Toronto Raptors: F Perry Jones, Baylor - Toronto is in desperate need of big men
9. Detroit Pistons: F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State - He'll play the 4 alongside Greg Monroe
10. New Orleans (via Minnesota): G Damien Lillard, Weber State - Jarrett Jack can start to phase back to the bench
11. Portland: C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina - Blazers draft for need, not luxury
12. Milwaukee Bucks: F John Henson, North Carolina - Pairing with Ekpe Udoh could be a fearsome shot-blocking duo
13. Phoenix Suns: G Kendall Marshall, North Carolina - Nash is gone; they're fortunate this good a prospect is here
14. Houston Rockets: G Austin Rivers, Duke - Best available talent for a pretty deep team
15. Philadelphia 76ers: G Dion Waiters, Syracuse - Provides an option behind Evan Turner
16. Houston (via New York Knicks): C Meyers Leonard, Illinois - Most draftniks agree, Meyers is Houston-bound
17. Dallas Mavericks: F Terrence Jones, Kentucky - Dallas has porous holes to fill...a lot is riding on D-Will signing
18. Minnesota (via Utah Jazz): G Terrence Ross, Washington - A perfect match for a team in dire need of wing scoring
19. Orlando Magic: F Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State - Could ease Superman's impending exit on the defensive end
20. Denver Nuggets: G Moe Harkless, St. Johns - Deep team could use another wing scorer
21. Boston Celtics: F Quincy Miller, Baylor - Miller's ceiling is as high as just about anyone; Boston has depth issues
22. Boston (via L.A. Clippers): C Fab Melo, Syracuse - A boon to draft back-to-back, Melo 2 is long-term insurance
23. Atlanta Hawks: F Royce White, Iowa State - Allows Joe Johnson to move back to SG, his best position
24. Cleveland (via L.A. Lakers): F Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure - Frontcourt of future with Tristan Thompson
25. Memphis Grizzlies: C Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt - Grizz might get poached in FA, must reload, Ezeli fits their style
26. Indiana Pacers: F Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt - Pacers hang their hat on D; Taylor could become a cog in that wheel
27. Miami Heat: G Doron Lamb, Kentucky - Lamb will score right away off the bench, which the Heat need badly
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Marcus Teague, Kentucky - OKC thrilled to have this high-quality PG fall to them here
29. Chicago Bulls: F Evan Fournier, France - Best foreign prospect, Bulls deep enough they can keep developing him
30. Golden State via San Antonio Spurs: PF Kevin Jones, West Virginia - A true scoring threat to back up David Lee
2nd Round coming soon...(where WE pick!)