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Standig's 2012 NBA Mock Draft, picks 1-32

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Standig's 2012 NBA Mock Draft, picks 1-32

What's the point of having a draft if you don't mock it. This is my second - and perhaps - final version...1) New Orleans: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky Obviously. Lets move on.2 Charlotte: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas If the Bobcats keep the pick, the athletically gifted double-double machine is probably the only option that makes sense for a team lacking, um, a lot.3 Washington: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida No need to be coy about this one, Beal is the only option that makes positional and need sense based on the current depth chart. Addhis textbook jumper and court awareness to an offense that made efficient strides late last season and the success rate goes up, especially from long range. 4 Cleveland: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky Players can develop their shot in the pro ranks. If MKG does and maintains the rest of his high-energy, intangible-heavy game,he forms ascary perimeter combo with his high school teammate, some guy named Kyrie Irving. Late draft chatter has Syracuses Dion Waiters gaining steam with this pick.

5 Sacramento: Harrison Barnes, SF, Cleveland Like the Wizards and Bobcats, the Kings came way up short last season in the make 3-pointers consistently category. Say what you want about Barnes ability to create his own scoring opportunities, but he can knock down perimeter looks and his athleticism is truly off the charts.6 Portland: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State If the Blazers want the highest upside player remaining, Andre Drummond is the obvious call. However, Portland is lacking at the point guard slot and Lillard is impressing more and more. He might not be available when the Blazers pick again at 11.7 Golden State: Andre Drummond, PF, Connecticut The Warriors need small forward help and therefore are probably hoping Barnes falls to them. Waiters is a much-rumored option. At this point, taking a shot on Drummonds power-packed physique and truly raw skill set is a relative no-brainer.8 Toronto: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke Waiters may have offer a more intrigue as a scorer and Jeremy Lamb has better size and athleticism, but Docs kid has that Kobe Bryant-like confidence teams fall in love with. 9 Detroit: John Henson, PF, North Carolina Ive had Meyers Leonard in this spot, but far too many folk have the Pistons tabbing the slender but athletic shot blocker for me to ignore. Regardless, Greg Monroe gets some help inside.10 New Orleans: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina Though not an elite prospect, the polished 7-foot senior averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds in his ACC Player of the Year campaign. Taking Zeller is more about adding a piece to the puzzle rather than selecting a future top 3 player .11- Portland: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse If the buzz surrounding the legitimate two-way threat is sincere, Waiters might surpass Davis as the overall number one pick by Thursday night. Call it naivete ora hint of skepticism, Ill leave the 6-foot-4 wing around for the Blazers. Waiters dramatically improved his 3-point shooting (36.3 percent) as a sophomore while swiping 1.8 steals per game.12 Houston: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut Based on all their maneuvering, seems likely the Rockets move this pick, if not any or all of their three first rounders. If the silky-smooth guard with size and length proved to NBA decision makers there is a competitive rage behind the placid demeanor, he could hear his name called in the top 10.13 Phoenix Terrence Ross, SFSG, Washington Whichever wing guard is left, the Suns take. Ross knocked down 37 percent of his 3-point tries last season and he has the versatility to swing up to small forward. Would benefit greatly if Steve Nash returned. Who wouldn't.14 Milwaukee: Perry Jones, PF, Baylor After trading down for center Samuel Dalembert, the Bucks shoot for the moon with the highly-athletic, but low-motor 6-foot-11 forward. Jones is one of those players whose future position remains in question.15 Philadelphia: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State The 76ers lose out in the scoring guard game of musical chairs, butthe 6-foot-11 forward with crazy hops and double-double production last season is no mere consolation prize.16 Houston: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois Whether its the Rockets or another team drafting in this spot, the athletic 7-foot-1 center who can run the court and averaged 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore will be tough to resist.17 Dallas: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina Because there is so much talk about Marshalls lack of athleticism, were set for 10 future years worth of stories about how the entirety of the D.C. area natives skill set can be measured in measurements alone. Jason Kidd replacement owns a Jason Kidd knack for finding open shooters. That is what the point guards job is about.18 Houston: Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky Draft range for the 6-foot-9 forward starts at No. 7. Would be clearer if teams felt confident he could transition from college power forward to NBA small forward.19 Orlando: Royce White, PF, Iowa State Im a sucker for big men that are effective passers, especially when said passing leads to the player being deemed a point-power forward. One of my faves in this entire draft.20 Denver: Moe Harkless, SFPF, St. Johns Only inexperience and the freshman transitioning to a small forward role keeps the talented 6-foot-9 forward away from the lottery. Harkless scored 30 points against Duke and averaged 21.5 in two games against Georgetown last season.21 Boston: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State Has a pro skill set, a major league caboose, but amateurish athleticism, an under-the-rim gameand apparentlya faulty back. Boston has an opening for a wide-bodied forward after trading away Big Baby last year. Sullinger will be ready for key minutes for the annual title contender.22 Boston:Fab Melo, C, Syracuse Celts have lacked an interior power player since Kendrick Perkins was shipped to the Thunder.23 Atlanta: Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt Taylor is one of the top athletes in the draft and a position hedge should Josh Smith be dealt.24 Cleveland: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure The polished power forward averaged 16 and 8 last season while shooting 57 percent from the field. The Cavs could use a big man that can make shots away from the basket.25 Memphis: Evan Fournier, SG, France The only international prospect receiving consistent first round love, Fourniers high basketball IQ and knack for late game heroics eventually help the Grizzlies, either this year or next. 26 Indiana: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky George Hill is a free agent and should he return, Darren Collisons trade bait status goes up a notch. Adding another ball handler works.27 Miami: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt Play LeBron James wherever you want, but the reigning NBA champs need help in the middle regardless.28 Oklahoma City: Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State The Big 10 Player of the Year may be a rookie, but he will bring grit to a youthful Thunder lineup.29 Chicago: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt The Bulls start setting the deck for Derrick Roses realistic return (2013-14) by adding a knockdown shooter.30 Golden State: Will Barton, SG, Memphis With the final pick in the first round, the Warriors addan electric wing presence who shines in the open court.31 Charlotte: Tony Wroten, SGPG, Washington There are safer picks on the board, but the 6-foot-6 combo guards offers an assertive physical presence out of the backcourt. A potential lottery pick if he had stayed beyond his freshman season.32 Washington: Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas - For my take on why the senior floor leader makes sense for the locals, click here.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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If All-Star selections were based on play alone, Bradley Beal would be a starter

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If All-Star selections were based on play alone, Bradley Beal would be a starter

Bradley Beal’s stellar play ended the debate over whether the Washington Wizards leading scorer deserved a second consecutive All-Star berth – and started a new one: Should he start in the game?

Now, based on the latest batch of fan results, Beal will not in fact start. Fans account for 50 percent of the vote with current players and Beal ranked 10th among Eastern Conference guards. Current players and selected media members each receive 25 percent of the vote. Beal’s case is not so overwhelming that those factions would stuff the ballot box on his behalf.

Those future results remain fascinating regardless.

Beal’s performance throughout the season and particularly since John Wall went out with season-ending surgery to repair bone spurs in his left foot pushed him into the starter conversation.

Voting for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, set for Feb. 17 in Charlotte, concludes Monday. Televised announcements for the starters (Thursday) and reserves (Jan. 31) come later this month followed by the draft on Feb. 7.

Boston’s Kyrie Irving is the runaway leader among the East guards in the fan vote followed by Dwyane Wade (Miami), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia), Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and Kyle Lowry (Toronto).

Unless Wade’s career achievement candidacy gains momentum among players and the media, the future Hall of Fame is not in the running for the other starting guard spot. The other five including Beal have the numbers.

Lowry, named a starter in 2015 and 2016, is second in the NBA with 9.4 assists, but this is not the steadiest of seasons for Lowry (31.1 percent on 3-pointers).

Oladipo continues his rocket ride toward the top of the NBA’s best guards, but the two-way threat missed 11 games for 30-15 Pacers.

That leaves Beal, Simmons, and Walker, who will represent the hosting team in the big event. Walker ticks ahead of Beal in scoring as the Hornets do the Wizards in the NBA standings. Comparing on-off numbers gives Washington’s leading man the edge.

The lengthy Simmons, one of the league’s most unique players, veers close to averaging a triple-double. There is also the weirdness of the 6-foot-10 point-forward attempting literally zero 3-point attempts.

Beal’s numbers, strong throughout the season outside of a 3-point shooting dip, zoomed upward after Washington lost Wall in late December. Overall he joins James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only players averaging at least 24 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.4 steals. The Wizards, in the midst of their best collective work this season, are feeding off Beal’s vibe and all-court game.

Again, the lack of interest from the fans – surely in part of Washington’s struggles this season -- dooms Beal’s starter hope. The recognition from the players and media members might offer a different take on a player performing as well as almost any guard in the league.

That remains true whether Beal starts or not. He will not, but there is a strong argument that he should.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

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