PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates on the bench late in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Out of 46 different recently updated NBA Mock Drafts, eight different players could go to the Golden State Warriors. Who are they, and what does each prospect bring to the table?
Even though they often look extremely inaccurate in hindsight due to a variety of reasons -- including trades and unpredictable general managers -- mock drafts are also a lot of fun. Besides ridiculous wardrobe choices and awkward handshakes/fist-bumps/man-hugs between players and commissioners, drafts aren't as entertaining as your favorite cable network would like you to believe. For drafts, it's all about the anticipation, the permutations, the predictions.
Before chatting with Golden State Warriors announcer Tim Roye for his "Mocking The Draft" feature, I wrote up my own Mock Draft over on BASG, but I only got to choice No. 7 ... where I have the Golden State Warriors picking Jared Sullinger (KNBR host and former Warrior Tom Tolbert agreed with me, by the way). That's not necessarily because I think Sullinger is the most talented player the Warriors could select (although his interior scoring and rebounding could prove valuable in Golden State), but instead because I see the Warriors going for a "safe" pick, since they need size and probably won't have a first rounder next season.
While I had my reasons for mocking Sullinger to the Warriors, let's check out what the mockers who do this for a living (or at least more often than I do) think. To help in that respect, I went over all the mock drafts I could find that have been updated since June 1 (most are available here). That's a total of 46 mock drafts, which led to a total of eight different players theoretically going to the Warriors. Here they are, with the number of mocks that have each player going to the Warriors in parentheses:
1. Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor (10)
Jones' production was up and down at Baylor, but he's 6' 11.25" with his shoes on and can run and jump with anyone. Here's the question: will the Warriors gamble on someone who's been criticized as an inconsistent, passive player in college?
2. Jared Sullinger, PF/C, Ohio State (8)
I explained why the Warriors would be interested in Sullinger here. Golden State needs a small forward, but the best ones will probably be off the board by pick No. 7 and they need frontcourt depth almost as badly. A starting lineup that includes Jeremy Tyler and Mickell Gladness only looks good when you're blatantly tanking.
3. Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Kentucky (7)
Both Terrence and Perry worked out against each other at the Warriors' facility. Terrence isn't quite as big as Perry, but he's a better ball-handler and contributed to a National Championship team. It'll be interesting to see whether teams think Terrence Jones' talents were overlooked on a team with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and others, or if he isn't quite the star teams are looking for in a Lottery pick.
3. Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina (7)
I don't see a scenario where Barnes drops all the way to No. 7, but many clearly disagree with that assessment. Barnes has a smooth, pro-ready game and a vertical jump (38 inches from a standstill) that leaves scouts drooling. If he's available, the Warriors almost certainly would pounce.
5. Bradley Beal, SG, Florida (5)
Whenever a guy is compared to Ray Allen, teams take notice. They should. Beal's a fantastic athlete who can shoot from anywhere. Beal is another guy who seems unlikely to drop all the way to the Warriors, but if he does they'll have to think long and hard about taking Beal and moving Klay Thompson to SF.
6. Austin Rivers, PG, Duke (4)
I actually thought about mocking Rivers to the Warriors. Not only would he be nice insurance in case Stephen Curry hurts his ankle again (or signs elsewhere after the 2012-13 season), he'd also be the Warriors' third son of an almost-NBA-star, along with Curry and Thompson. If the Warriors are obsessed with pedigree, they could do worse than Rivers.
7. Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut (3)
If nothing else, he'd give the Warriors a better backup center option than Tyler. Drummond blocked 2.7 shots per game in his freshman year, and would immediately become the team's second-best low post defender behind Andrew Bogut. Drummond has a lot of work to do to become a Lottery-worthy prospect on the offensive end, however.
8. Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut (2)
His measurables are off the charts for a 6' 5" shooting guard. Lamb is fast, he can jump, and he possesses a 6' 11" wingspan. Like Beal, if the Warriors really like Lamb they could move Thompson to SF and start Lamb at the 2 without the size concerns that they faced when Curry played next to Monta Ellis.