11. Portland Trailblazers – Meyers Leonard (Illinois) 7-1 250 pounds
With the Blazers electing to go with a guard with there 6th overall pick, look for the Blazers to lock up a big man with there second pick in the first round. They most likely will have their pick of 3 viable big men in Leonard, Zeller, and Henson here, but with Leonards upside and frame he seems to be the fit alongside LaMarcus Aldridge. Although many people don’t know much about Leonard he is an athletic 7 footer that plays tough on both ends of the floor.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) 7-0 247 pounds
After trading Andrew Bogut to Golden State the Bucks are in a desperate need of center. Zeller is a polished offensive scorer with a deadly right hand baby hook and a good touch. Although there is question marks in his toughness and strength, he comes to play day in and day out and is the best running big man in the draft.
13. Phoenix Suns – Terrence Ross (Washington) 6-7 200 pounds
I don’t think many people would have expected out of high school for Ross to be a lottery pick over his high school teammate Terrence Jones (Kentucky), but with his height and athletic ability, Ross has shot up draft boards. Although streaky at times, Ross can stroke it from deep and will help the Suns backcourt out.
14. Houston Rockets – John Henson (North Carolina) 6-10 216 pounds
If the Pistons don’t grab Henson at #8, I can see Henson falling down the board a bit. The Rockets are in need of center, and with Leonard, Zeller off the board Henson is the guy. He is the second best shot blocker in the draft behind Anthony Davis, and is an athletic big that can also run the floor. Only reason for him falling to #14 is his weight, and can be pushed around on the block easily.
Note: Houston might package picks #14,16,18 after their trade with Minnesota today. Look for a trade to Sacramento or a desperate attempt at Dwight Howard.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Perry Jones III (Baylor) 6-11 235 pounds
With the aging Elton Brand, the 76ers are in need of an young athletic big man that can run the floor and score in a variety of ways. Jones has the potential and upside to be a top 5 pick (as many projected coming out of high school), but many GMs are in limbo about what kind of player Perry Jones III really is. I think at #15 the 76ers would love to grab this kind of talent.
16. Houston Rockets – Moe Harkless (St. John’s) 6-9 207 pounds
At pick 16 the Rockets can take a little gamble and I think Harkless should be that gamble. Restricted to playing the PF slot at St. John’s, Harkless was limited in showing his true offensive ability. Harkless is an underrated shooter and can guard multiple positions. Could turn out to be a solid selection in the mid-first round.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Terrence Jones (Kentucky) 6-10 25o pounds
I want to say Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) is the play for the Mavs here, but if Terrence Jones is available this late it would be hard to pass up. Jones can rebound, he’s tough, he’s versatile and most importantly he wants to win. The Mavs need some youth and toughness down low and Jones is willing to be that guy.
18. Houston Rockets (via Timberwolves 6/26/12) – Marquis Teague (Kentucky) 6-2 180 pounds
Like I noted above, look for the Rockets to package these picks to move up in the top 10, but if that doesn’t happen and 2 bigs already selected, the Rockets need some depth at the PG spot especially since they are actively shopping Kyle Lowry around. If Teague had stayed another year at Kentucky he would have been a top 10 pick. At 18 the Rockets would be drafting Teague purely on value.
19. Orlando Magic – Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) 6-9 270 pounds
No one was hurt more in the pre-draft business then Sullinger. He has been sliding down the draft boards ever since the word of his bad back was made public. But if I were a GM in the middle of the first round and needed a solid low post guy, I would take the risk. Sullinger is a winner and you know what kind of player you are going to get. Sullinger can step in from day one and play meaningful minutes. The Magic in my eyes would be getting a steal at #19.
20. Denver Nuggets – Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) 6-4 195 pounds
Besides Dallas, I see the Nuggets being a perfect fit for Marshall. Andre Miller’s contract is up, and Marshall could slide right in to replace the old with youth. Marshall is the best passer in the draft and can push the ball in a flash. With the UNC duo in Lawson and Marshall, teams would have be very scared of the Nuggets transition offense.