Best Picks of the NBA Draft
Brad Beal - Washington Wizards - 3rd Overall
I had the Wizards selecting Thomas Robinson in my mock draft, but I have to come clean: I completely forgot they had acquired Emeka Okafor in the Rashard Lewis trade. Had I remembered that, I'm sure I would have predicted they pick Beal. Beal was my 3rd ranked draftee and I think he's underrated by much of the country. He's got a complete game that I believe will translate well to the NBA. I love the Wizards taking him because, all of a sudden, they have a somewhat complete starting lineup with 1-Wall 2-Beal 3-Ariza 4-Nene 5-Okafor. The front court may not be the flashiest, but Okafor is a big banger who can pull down boards and intimidate in the paint. Nene is a solid offensive player who won't light up the score board but is efficient with his shots. The back court will be lighting it up for the Wiz next season, while the big men do the dirty work (sort of a very poor man's Thunder). I think they're on the right track.
John Henson - Milwaukee Bucks - 14th Overall
I had the Bucks selecting Tyler Zeller with the 12th pick, but that was before they traded down, acquiring Samuel Dalembert in the process. I also didn't expect Henson to still be on the board at this point. Dalembert is not very good, but he does give you length, a shot blocking presence, and some rebounding at the center position. Pairing him with Henson should result in a long front court that is difficult to drive past. Henson also runs the floor very well, which will be useful for a Bucks team that is transitioning to an uptempo style of basketball. Hopefully Henson will bulk up a bit more than Dalembert has since coming into the league, but I like Henson's chances of becoming a very useful player for the Bucks.
Jeremy Lamb/Royce White/Terrence Jones - Houston Rockets - 12th/16th/18th Overall
I like what the Rockets did with their collection of first round picks. First off, they go with Jeremy Lamb. Shooting guard Kevin Martin seems to be on his way out and Lamb was by far the best available at that position. Royce White many believe will be the steal of the draft. His stock was rising like crazy since the Combine. He's a complete player (minus defense) that will help the Rockets in a variety of ways. And for anyone who read my player rankings, you know what made me the happiest about the Rockets last night: Terrence Jones. My 4th ranked player selected 18th. His ability to play offense, defense, and fit into whatever role his team needs was paralleled only by his two Kentucky teammates selected before him. This should be a great core to move forward with in Houston.