The Draft Team has compiled a Big Board, or hierarchical ranking, or where we think the players stack up for each of our picks. Anthony Davis is obviously out of the question, so we have listed the top 5 players available for the Second pick and the top 5 players for the Thirty-first pick. This list does not factor in the draft combine so please keep that in mind while reading through.
1. Thomas Robinson (6’9″ PF, Kansas, Junior)
Strengths: Physically mature, high motor, great character moves well with and without the ball, natural scorer and is an amazing rebounder.
Weaknesses: What is his true size on the court for a PF (possibly undersized), inconsistent shot selection, double teams.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: At 21 years of age, Robinson’s chiseled physique and mental stability is already NBA ready. He is always around the ball and knows how to get the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. His frame is able to bang down low (not necessarily in a post game, but physical enough to hang), yet he is athletic enough to step out on the perimeter and drain shots with ease. Robinson is a beast on the boards and is an ideal player at running the pick and roll game. Size is the biggest knock on Robinson due to the fact that he has been measured between 6’8’’ – 6’10’’. If he measures well at the pre-draft camps, and can hit that 6’10” measurement, Thomas Robinson should be the ‘Cats pick at #2.
2. Andre Drummond (6’11″ PF/C, Connecticut, Freshman)
Strengths: Very athletic and strong for his size, defensive stalwart, great rebounder and shot blocker, highest ceiling.
Weaknesses: Limited offensive game, work ethic and desire is questionable, disappears too often.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Andre Drummond is about as frustrating a player as you will find in this draft. On paper and high school videos, he appears to be the next Dwight Howard. Then, you flip on his games at UConn, and you see a much different player. If Andre Drummond can discover a passion for the game of basketball, he could dominate in the NBA. He is an athletic freak with a 7’5” wingspan, and runs the court like a guard. Drummond’s presence in the paint is noticeable as he alters shots defensively and is always crashing rebounds. His upside and potential is what will sell an owner on Andre Drummond because if he can flip the switch, he will be a franchise center.
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6’7″ SF, Kentucky, Freshman)
Strengths: Athletic, hard-worker, can get to the basket, defensive force, still has room to grow, great pedigree.
Weaknesses: Awkward shot, not a go-to scorer, mid-range game needs work
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a great complimentary player with potential to turn into an All-Star. MKG was a great wing man to Anthony Davis at Kentucky, and often stood out more than AD. Gilchrist’s game is so well-rounded, that he doesn’t necessarily jump out at you in any one major category. He has the potential to drop 25 points with ease, but it’s questionable as to whether the former UK star can do it consistently and take over games. MKG’s ability to shut down defenders can’t be overlooked and will help his confidence at the next level as his offensive game catches up. He is only 18 years old as of now, so patience should yield results in the right system and tutelage.
4. Bradley Beal (6’4″ SG, Florida, Freshman)
Strengths: Great shooter, quick feet, incredible work ethic, effective passer and good at getting to the rim.
Weaknesses: Undersized for a SG, inconsistent 3-ball, not as athletic as you would want, average speed.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Bradley Beal is young enough that you can see the potential ready to take off. Armed with a passion for the game and an undying desire to constantly improve, Beal is a welcomed prospect for any team that is capable of taking him. Beal’s three point game has a solid foundation, but he needs to build on that and continue improving. Beal is capable of slashing and taking the ball to the hole with ease, but he will find it a lot harder in the NBA against bigger players on the wing. That being said, Beal is young, driven and could add the much needed scoring punch that the Bobcats have lacked for so long. His ability to get to the free throw line is huge and he can shoulder the offensive load for his team.
5. Harrison Barnes (6’8″ SF, North Carolina, Sophomore)
Strengths: Lethal scorer, great from behind the arc, fluid athletic body, great in transition, high b-ball IQ
Weaknesses: Lacks leadership, not very strong, not very versatile in shot creating, slow first step.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Fans salivated over the prospect of landing Harrison Barnes in 2011, and here we are able to bring him on board just one year later. Barnes’ ability to put points on the scoreboard are rivaled by almost all in this draft class. The former UNC star has a deadly pull-up jumper and can stroke the three pointer effortlessly. His offensive prowess, though somewhat one-dimensional, would definitely add to the Bobcats’ shortage of point production. Barnes, like Beal and MKG, would be a complimentary player, rather than a franchise cornerstone, but his game would fit what the Bobcats are currently lacking on this roster.
1. Jeff Taylor (6’7″ SF, Vanderbilt, Senior)
Strengths: Physically gifted body, strong athleticism, puts points on the board, great defender and assist guy.
Weaknesses: Not a good ball handler, small wingspan, inconsistent, age.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Jeff Taylor flew under a lot of people’s radar this past year. A physically mature prospect that can handle his own against anyone in the country, Taylor is a fluid and talented scorer. He is deadly slashing to the rim, and his perimeter game is what makes him so feared. A true athlete that can step outside the arc and knock down the three like it’s his job, and can also stop and pop the mid-range shot. If we are looking for offense, Taylor fits the bill and with a lot of energy at that.
2. Darius Miller (6’7″ SF, Kentucky, Senior)
Strengths: Confident leader, good shooter, good ball handler, solid defender
Weaknesses: Unselfish to the point of default, average rebounder
How he would fit on the ‘Cats: Darius Miller was the 6th man for Kentucky’s impressive run to the championship. His leadership and team-first mentality would be great to have in Charlotte. Given the opportunity, Miller could start off as a role player and work his way into an energy guy off the bench. Blessed with a good blend of size and quickness at the SF position, Miller’s ability to knock down shots when called upon and his love for getting others around him involved would become infectious.
3. John Jenkins (6’4″ SG, Vanderbilt, Junior)
Strengths: Deadly shooter, great 3pt shot, young
Weaknesses: One-dimensional, only good coming off screens and without the ball, not the most gifted athlete.
How he would fit the ‘Cats: Jenkins was one of the most prolific scorers in college ranks in 2012. Jenkins wouldn’t be a starter, but would add that energy scoring punch off the bench. His game needs to be brought along and he has room for improvement, but the Bobcats could definitely use his 3-point ability in a role similar to Matt Carroll.
4. Orlando Johnson (6’5″ SG, UC Santa Barbara, Senior)
Strengths: Score from anywhere on the floor, makes difficult shots, spot up shooter, very little turnovers, 7 foot wingspan
Weaknesses: Defense, ball handling, small college
How he would fit the ‘Cats: We need a shooter. He has first round talent that could slip to us in the second round. He can penetrate and shoot the ball effectively. Has a very large wingspan. 7’0 for a 6’5 wing. If his defense strengthens, then he could guard up to 3 positions. (PG,SG,SF)
5. Kyle O’Quinn (6’10″ PF/C, Norfolk State, Senior)
Strengths: Tall, long, intelligent.
Weakness: From a small school and not an elite athlete
How he would fit the ‘Cats: He provides a lot of things the team sorely needs and has shown he can perform at a high level on a big stage. He hung 26 and 14 on #2 seed Missouri in the tournament. He isn’t the greatest athlete in the world, but he is super long and can be a productive player off the bench for any team.