Few things are better than mock season, especially considering we've waited all year to get to the June draft. Slowly but surely they have started to trickle out, and ESPN's Chad Ford has already released his Mock Draft 4.0 ($). (The dollar sign means it is Insider only, so don't be stingy and support our worldwide leader in sports).
Slated at picks two and ten, Ford has the Sixers selecting Duke's Jabari Parker and Michigan State's Gary Harris.
Here's what he had to say about a marriage between Philadelphia and Parker:
Ownership deemed this season a success after finishing with the second-worst record in the league. That should be all you need to know about whether they were really tanking. If they end up with the No. 2 overall pick, forgive them for being a little bummed if Wiggins is off the board. However, Parker would be a nice consolation prize. He'd give the Sixers a guy who could score 20 points a night right out of the gate. And the Sixers have the length and athleticism to protect Parker on defense with Michael Carter-Williams in the backcourt and Nerlens Noel in the middle. Embiid is a dark horse here, though. He's not a perfect fit up front with Noel -- they are different players, and both are pretty raw -- but it would be an intriguing teaming nonetheless.
Think Ford basically said it all here. I had Embiid rated one spot higher than Parker, but the latter is probably the better fit and more of a safe pick. There would be some serious defensive questions in regards to a tandem of Embiid and Noel. You don't want Embiid guarding smaller and quicker power forwards in the high post cause he will get torched to the basket. At the same time, you don't want Noel out there because you take away his best role as a lane clogging shot blocker. Just take Parker, who can guard four's or wings, and be merry.
The Pelicans pick is where Chad and myself disagree as to what to do. With both Vonleh and McDermott of the board to this point, here's his reasoning behind the Harris pick.
The biggest knock on Harris is that he's undersized for his position, but playing next to Carter-Williams, that shouldn't be an issue. Harris is a terrific defender who can guard both backcourt spots.
Ford's points are valid and Harris may turn out to be a decent pro, but he is widely overrated. I can only imagine his stature is even more of a deterrent to the Sixers than most, considering they've made it a trend to go large in their backcourt. He is not as great of a slasher as he has been made out to be, and when he faces contact around the rim he seems to wilt. I'm still looking for a possible starter at ten, and I do not think the Michigan State product is that guy. If McDermott and Vonleh are off the board as projected here, I've grown fond of the idea of trading back a few spots and taking former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston. He killed it in the D-League this year, and his issues at Chapel Hill seem to be a thing of the past.
What say you?