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Hanrahan's Mock 2012 NBA Draft

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Hanrahan's Mock 2012 NBA Draft

1) New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis, C-Kentucky

A no-brainer pick here as the Hornets hope Davis can immediately make an impact and change the team's fortunes around.

The 6'-10" center did it all in his only season at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to a national title, and was the national player of the year.

Davis averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and nearly 5 blocks a game as Kentucky went 38-2.

Davis is head and shoulders above the rest of the NBA draft prospects and is the clear-cut number one pick.

2) Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F-Kentucky

Davis's frontcourt teammate gets taken by the win-starved Charlotte Bobcats. Gilchrist's stats at Kentucky weren't overwhelming, but scouts drool over his tenacious approach and competitiveness.

Gilchrist averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds in his freshman season at Kentucky.

Charlotte hopes the small forward can attack the basket and play shutdown defense.

3) Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, G-Florida

The Wizards go for what they need instead of best available as they bypass Kansas forward Thomas Robinson and take shooting guard Bradley Beal.

Beals stock went through the roof late in his only season at Florida, where he averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds. Known for his smooth outside shot, Beal struggled, though, from 3-point land, making just 33 percent of his attempts from there.

The Wizards need players who can shoot and, hopefully, Beal fits the mold.

4) Cleveland Cavaliers
Harrison Barnes, F-North Carolina

Barnes could have been the 1 pick last year but opted to return to school and his stock dropped.

Barnes was inconsistent and appeared to play lackadaisically in his sophomore season, averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds a game.

Barnes's game is probably better suited for the NBA, as he is a smooth, athletically gifted jump shooter.

5) Sacramento Kings
Andre Drummond, C-UConn

The Kings take a gamble and select the biggest mystery of this NBA draft in Drummond.

The 6'-11" big man averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and nearly 3 blocks a game for an underachieving Huskies team.

Drummond could be the piece in the middle that the Kings need, but he is seen as a bit of a project.

6) Portland Trailblazers
Thomas Robinson, F-Kansas

Robinson falls back into the Blazers' lap and Portland takes the power forward.

Robinson put up 17 points and 11 rebounds a game as he led Kansas to the national title game.

Robinson is an appealing prospect simply because of his vast improvement from his sophomore to junior season. Robinson came off the bench two seasons ago and averaged only 7 points and 6 boards.

7) Golden State Warriors
Jeremy Lamb, F-UConn

The silky smooth swingman may have also hurt his stock by returning for his sophomore season with the Huskies. After helping UConn win the national title in his freshman season, Lamb was expected to have a huge sophomore season.

While his stats were pretty good at 17 points and 5 rebounds, UConn struggled through a sub-par year with a lot of the blame falling on Lamb.

At 6'-5" and 180 pounds, the wiry Lamb will have to get a little stronger to handle the rigors of the NBA game.

8) Toronto Raptors
Meyers Leonard, C-Illinois

Toronto needs help up front and, more by default, the Raptors will select the 7'-1" big man.

Leonard improved mightily to average 13 points and 8 rebounds in his sophomore season, after seeing only limited time in his freshman season and scoring only 2 points a game.

9) Detroit Pistons
Jared Sullinger, F-Ohio State

The Pistons need some bulk down low and they get that with the 6'-9", 270-pound power forward.

Sullinger had identical numbers in his two seasons at Ohio State, averaging about 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.

10) New Orleans Hornets
Damian Lillard, G-Weber State
The Hornets got Davis at center with the top pick and now they get a scoring point guard in the 6'-3" Lillard. A four-year player at Weber State, Lillard averaged 24 points and 4 assists in his senior campaign.

11) Portland Trail Blazers
Tyler Zeller, C-North Carolina
Good fit here with the Blazers in need of frontcourt help.

The 7'-0" Zeller averaged 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game in his senior season with the Tar Heels.

Zeller won't be a star but he should be a reliable post-player.

12) Milwaukee Bucks
John Henson, F-North Carolina

Henson is 6'-10" with a huge wing span and can bring defensive help to the Bucks.

Henson can run the floor and finish around the rim, which would also make him an ideal fit with Milwaukee's style.

Henson averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in his junior season for the Tar Heels.

13) Phoenix Suns
Dion Waiters, G-Syracuse

With Steve Nash's future up in the air, Phoenix needs guard help and they get it with the 6'-4" Waiters who can play either point or shooting guard. Waiters said the Suns guaranteed him they would take him here. We shall see.

14) Houston Rockets
Kendall Marshall, G-North Carolina

With point guard Kyle Lowry's future in doubt, the Rockets should nab Marshall out of North Carolina. Marshall is a true floor general who averaged 8 points and 9 assists in his sophomore season for the Tar Heels.

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John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

The Wizards in recent years have made a habit of trying to speak things into existence and then not having them actually come into existence. They have talked the talk and then sometimes haven't walked the walk.

A few instances come to mind, including Bradley Beal saying of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers that "they didn't want to see us" in the playoffs. Beal also said in November that the Washington was the best team in the East, just hours before James scored 57 points in the Wizards' building.

John Wall has made similar proclamations in the past, usually about himself, including how he is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Now, these statements were all relatively normal for professional athletes who pride themselves in always feeling like they are the best player on the floor or the field. It's part of the mindset that makes them who they are.

But when those statements are made and then not backed up, they can be tough to defend, and especially for a Wizards team which last season seemed to overlook the lesser teams and suffered a down year because of it.

Wall insists all that is about to change. In his 1-on-1 interview with Chris Miller on our Wizards Tipoff podcast, Wall said the message this year will be much different, much more muted than it has been in the past.

"We want to go out with a different mindset and a different focus. We're not trying to go in and think we're a team that has already established something and got respect from people. We have to earn that respect and that means going out and competing every night against the good teams or the bad teams," he said.

That doesn't mean Wall isn't confident. His belief in himself hasn't wavered and, in fact, he may believe in his team more now than ever. That's because he is happy with the offseason the front office has produced.

They signed Dwight Howard and Jeff Green in free agency, traded for Austin Rivers and drafted Troy Brown, Jr. in the first round. All should help the Wizards improve between Howard representing an upgrade at starting center and the others providing much-needed depth.

When Wall was asked by Chris if this is the most complete team he has played with in Washington, Wall left no doubts.

"Yeah, for sure. I definitely think so," he said. "I think it gives us the opportunity where we don't have to play as many minutes. That's the key. At the end of the year, you kind of fall short because you're fatigued. Nobody uses that as an excuse. You play and try to get into the best shape possible. But if you're playing 24 minutes, the whole half, and then 24 minutes and the whole half, you kind of get tired at some point. I think those guys can take a little of the burden and pressure off of us at times."

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

When asked at his introductory press conference for how he will fit on the Wizards' roster from a basketball perspective, guard Austin Rivers didn't first cite his three-point shooting, his ability to affect games scoring off the bench or his speed to run the floor with John Wall and Bradley Beal. The first thing he point to was his defense.

That may have surprised some people out there as Rivers has long been known for his scoring ability and not so much his skills on the other end. It's not that he can't play defense, it's just that most of the highlights he's produced over the years have been due to his high-flying finishes at the rim and wicked pull-up jumper from three-point range.

Defense, though, is something Rivers takes pride in and he hopes to continue developing as a defender in Washington.

"With how much Brad and John have to do every night, for them to not have to always guard the best guard on the other team, that's something I can come in here and do. Try to bring that competitive spirit and be one of the defenders on the team," Rivers said.

Rivers' defensive ability has produced some controversy among Wizards fans and media members on social media. Some insist he does not bring value on that end of the floor, while some numbers suggest he does have some defensive potential.

Last season, Rivers averaged a career-high 1.2 steals per game. He was tied for fifth on the Clippers in defensive win shares.

However, his 113 defensive rating was his worst since 2013-14. It was an outlier on the Clippers and not in the good way. He also ranked nowhere near the top of the league in deflections or contested three-point shots, two hustle stats that guys like Wall and Beal fair well in.

Rivers points to two attributes that he believes make him a strong perimeter defender. One is his versatility and the other you could call scrappiness.

"On defense [the Wizards] can switch one through three or one through four. I think that gives us a lot of dangerous options," he said.

As for his scrappiness, Rivers says it comes from the early days of his career.

"I had to figure out ways to be effective without [a jumpshot] and that's how I became a defender. I guess everything happens for a reason, right? I'm happy I did have those early career struggles because it made me find a side of me that I didn't do [early on]. Because I promise you I didn't play any defense at Duke," he said.

The last line drew laughter from those gathered at his introductory press conference. Rivers insists that he now takes that end of the floor very seriously. The Wizards certainly hope he can back up his words.

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