1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF/C, University of Kentucky
Davis was the best player on the best team last season. He was the National Player of the Year on the University of Kentucky team that won the national championship. He can be expected to start from the first game of the season and be a dominant big man on offense and defense for at least the next 10 years. Along with Eric Gordon, Jarrett Jack, Emeka Okafor, and Chris Kaman, Anthony Davis would complete a very solid starting lineup for New Orleans.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas University
The Bobcats are coming off of the worst season in NBA history with a 7-59 record. Anthony Davis would have been a great addition to their roster, but after the Hornets won the No. 1 pick, Thomas Robinson is the next best option.
The Bobcats are a team made up of great college players who haven’t panned out in the NBA. D.J. Augustin averaged 19 points per game and was an All-American at Texas, Kemba Walker led UConn to a national championship in 2011, D.J. White was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2008 at Indiana, and Derrick Brown led Xavier to an Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen in consecutive years.
Between Gerald Henderson, Augustin, and Walker, Charlotte’s guards are not as bad as the team’s record would suggest–the trio averages 38 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists per game. Robinson will be a force down low for Charlotte and will hopefully allow them to be competitive in the NBA next season.
3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, University of Kentucky
The Wizards have two talented, young guards in John Wall and Jordan Crawford, along with veteran center Nene. What they are missing is a good forward. Kidd-Gilchrist was a starter for UK as a freshman and was an integral part of their national championship run. He averaged nearly 12 points per game and 7 rebounds per game for the Wildcats and can be expected to put up the same, if not better, numbers for the Wizards next season.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, University of Florida
Beal averaged 15 points per game and 7 rebounds per game as a freshman for the Florida Gators, who made an Elite Eight run last season. The Cavs have the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving at point guard and good veterans at forward in Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao, along with Tristan Thompson. Beal and Irving could develop into a very nice scoring duo for the Cavs.
5. Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes, SF, University of North Carolina
The Kings were in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding during the regular season, and Harrison Barnes (17 ppg and 5 ppg at UNC) will only help Sacramento. Barnes has proved himself to be a top 10 draft pick during the past two years at UNC, and he will complement the pieces that the Kings already have in place–Marcus Thornton, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, and Jimmer Fredette. Assuming that Cousins can keep his emotions in check, he and Harrison Barnes could be a great scoring and rebounding duo down low.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (from New Jersey Nets): Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor University
The Portland Trail Blazers had at least one player at every position average double figures in points, except for center. At 6’11″, 220 lbs., and with nearly a 7’3″ wingspan, Jones could transition to playing center for Portland.
7. Golden State Warriors: Andre Drummond, C, University of Connecticut
Many NBA teams look for prospects who were good for one or two seasons in college who will develop into stars at the next level. Andre Drummond is one of those players who was good in college at UConn, averaging 10 points per game and 7 rebounds per game, but Golden State will try to take him to the next level in his game.
He has the size to be a force down low but he still needs a lot of work on his offensive game and free throw shooting (29%). The Warriors are in desperate need of a good center to go along with David Lee at power forward and Steph Curry at point guard.
8. Toronto Raptors: Terrence Jones, SF, University of Kentucky
Jones has two years of experience on very talented Kentucky teams that have made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. He can play as a 3 or 4 man and creates a lot of mismatches with his size when he plays small. He averaged 15 and nine during his sophomore season, which is very impressive considering how much talent was on John Calipari’s squad last year. Toronto has talent and depth at center and the guard positions, but they are lacking at the forward position and Terrence Jones should be able to fill that void well.
9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson, PF, University of North Carolina
Henson showed improvement in each of his three seasons at UNC. He is a double-double machine and has lots of big game experience from his time at Chapel Hill. He will be a good option in the post for Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight.
10. New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota Timberwolves via Los Angeles Clippers): Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
In his freshman year, Lamb was a key player on UConn’s national championship team in 2011. In his sophomore season he averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. In addition to Anthony Davis, Jeremy Lamb will help turn the Hornets franchise around.