The NBA fans of the world are placing more of their attention to the NBA Draft now that the NBA Finals are over. This year's draft is all over the place and the various mocks are pretty much guess work for the exact location, and even some of the first rounders.
In the latest mock drafts from SB Nation and a community one done by the NBA blogs, the Mountain West is expected to have three players drafted in the first round.
In SB Nation's latest mock draft they go with just two Mountain West players in UNLV's Anthony Bennett and San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin; with New Mexico's Tony Snell missing the cut.
3. Washington Wizards -- Anthony Bennett (Scouting report)
This pick will likely come down to either Bennett or Otto Porter, the top two forwards in this year's draft class. Porter is the safer pick, a local kid from Georgetown with the type of polished, fundamentally sound game that coaches will love.
However, with John Wall and Bradley Beal already in the fold, can Washington justify another top-3 pick on a perimeter player? Wall has already gone on record saying the team needs a pick-and-pop 4. Bennett has the skill set and upside to be a great fit next to their backcourt of the future.
25. Los Angeles Clippers -- Jamaal Franklin (Scouting report)
Franklin's jumper is a work in progress, but he's a versatile player who should be be able to help the Clippers bench right away. In a best-case scenario, he could follow in Kawhi Leonard's footsteps as a San Diego State product who outperforms his draft spot.
In the SB Nation community mock draft at Ridiculous Upside they have Bennett, Franklin and also Snell being taken in the first round.
In the community mock draft, Bennett goes to the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 7 pick, and that occurs due to a trade for the 76ers to move up to take Bennett.
Here is the explanation of the pick and the trade by Liberty Ballers:
Seems like you either love the 6'8 power forward from UNLV or you hate him. Like Jonathan Tjarks, I love him. I think he's a more athletic Zach Randolph. He played on a UNLV team that passed the ball a total of six times all season and still managed to put up strong numbers.
While I made a terrifically strong push to trade Thaddeus Young (ask every other GM.), I didn't find the deal that would be worth it just yet, so he's somebody I'd look to move at the deadline. Bennett can find his legs behind Thad until then or, if either or both of them can maintain consistency from beyond, play next to each other. A Jrue-Evan-Thad-Bennett-DeAndre lineup is as intriguing as it is brow-creasing.
Anthony's got a lot of work to do on his defense, but I can't emphasize how selfish that UNLV team was. Plus, he was only a freshman and there's plenty of examples of players improving their defense after coming out as a freshman -- Thad Young, for instance.
I couldn't be looking forward to Bennett's offensive game any more if he had wings and breathed fire. Kid can do everything on that end and if he keeps working at his game, he'll be unstoppable for a lot of years.
Have you ever been constipated? Not just "eat some Raisin Bran!" constipated, but the kind of constipated where you have to cut off your butt and just let it fly? That's what it feels like to trade Spencer Hawes. Sure, I've now got a rabid case of Assless Chaps, but that's totally worth it, don't you think?
Taken next is Franklin who was acquired at No. 20 via a trade by the Phoenix Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun:
It's been time to go young for a long, long time in the desert. Starting the draft day with the worst collection of talent in the NBA - I mean seriously, the worst - and yet boasting a median age of 26 years old, it's clear that the Suns won't be making the playoffs again any time soon with the current roster.
After trading 29-year old Marcin Gortat to Portland for the #10 pick (Rudy Gobert), the Suns now trade 28-year old Jared Dudley for the #20 pick (SG Jamaal Franklin). Gortat and Dudley were two of the three best players on the Suns roster, but neither was going to carry the Suns to the playoffs in the prime of their careers.
Add Jamaal Franklin to Victor Oladipo (#5 pick) and incumbent PG Goran Dragic, and the Suns can run and gun again on the perimeter with a very young pair of shooting guards.
The third Mountain West player to be taken is Snell who went at No. 29 to the Oklahoma City Thunder:
We're going to take Tony Snell from New Mexico. The Thunder's offense totally revolves around mid-range jumpers, and it was apparent from this year's playoffs that they need some three point shooting help. Derek Fisher was there to provide that help, but he won't be able to play forever (hopefully). Thus, we look to the draft for a solution, and Tony Snell fits the bill. He's got a really high percentage from three in college, and can definitely shoot from an NBA range. He's not a guy who would to be able to create his own shot, but it would be pretty darn hard to find that at the end of the first round. He's also apparently an excellent isolation defender and has a lot of length, two things which will help him slot into the Thunder perfectly. If he can play defense on a decent level and knock down a few threes, kinda like a Danny Green, he's good as gold in my book. Even if he can't shoot from the right side.
Also, I wonder which team has the most length in the NBA? I'd be willing to bet the Thunder do.