The 2012 NBA Draft is starting in about 45 minutes.  Be sure to refresh the page to see pick by pick commentary from our resident NBA junkie, Hook.

6:52 PM If you “Like” the New York Knicks on Facebook, they just posted this picture from the 2012 NBA Draft:

Nice picture.  Only problem is this photo won’t be relevant for Knicks fans for about 3 or 4 hours seeing that they don’t have a first round pick.  Thanks for nothing, whoever’s in charge of the Knicks Facebook page.

7:02 PM The first pick of the draft is no mystery, so I’m just going to pencil it in now.  People with unibrows haven’t been this proud of an athlete since Tiki Mayben played for my Binghamton Bearcats.

This is Tiki Mayben, NOT Anthony Davis. They could pass for brothers, though

Pick #1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis F/C, Kentucky

I know the draft doesn’t start for another 20 minutes, but it’s pretty much a done deal.  Davis is the only can’t-miss star in this draft, although there are several talented players in this field and I expect there to be at least 4 future all-stars in this group of young ballers.

7:18 PM The 2nd overall pick can go several different ways.  The Bobcats could take Thomas Robinson.  They might go with Bradley Beal.  MKG or even Harrison Barnes could be the pick.  Heck, the Bobcats might even trade the pick in order to acquire more young talent.  If I was Charlotte, I’d take Thomas Robinson.  I saw him play live in Saint Louis, he’s a beast.

7:34 PM David Stern puts the Hornets on the clock in what is most likely his final season as commissioner of the NBA.  Let’s see if he can get through the night without taking shots at Jim Rome.

7:37 PM The New Orleans pick is officially in, and it’s Anthony Davis as expected.  Now the real drama starts.

Pick #2. Charlotte Bobcats- Michael Kidd Gilchrist G/F, Kentucky

Kentucky players go 1st and 2nd overall.  MKG is a gamer known for his non-stop motor, and should bring some much-needed energy to a lethargic Charlotte Bobcats team.  I’m not surprised by this pick at all, MKG was a safe pick.  The last thing Michael Jordan needs is another Kwame Brown.

Pick #3. Washington Wizards- Bradley Beal G, Florida

The Wizards wasted no time picking the sharp-shooting guard from Florida.  They had been salivating over Bradley Beal for weeks.  The 19 year old Beal has been drawn comparisons to Ray Allen as far as his stroke goes.  That’s a major compliment.

Pick #4. Cleveland Cavaliers- Dion Waiters G, Syracuse

I love this pick. I think Dion Waiters is a Dwyane Wade clone who could turn out to be the 2nd best player in this draft.  I didn’t expect him to go this high, but obviously someone in the Cleveland front office feels the same about Waiters as I do.

7:57 PM Not sure if this is the first commercial break of the draft, but it’s the first one I’ve noticed.  Give me a break, I’m doing a lot of things here I can’t pay complete attention to the TV all night.  Just want to reiterate how much I like the Cavs’ last pick.  While I think they may have been able to trade down to get him, I think they got an absolute stud.  Waiters has to be the first 6th man taken in the top 5 of the NBA draft.  I can’t remember the last time a guy off the bench went so high.  Orton from Kentucky comes to mind, but he wasn’t top 5.

Pick #5. Sacramento Kings- Thomas Robinson F, Kansas

Easy pick for the Kings.  Robinson is a beast and should pair well with DeMarcus Cousins in the Kings frontcourt.  Robinson is a grown man with strength, power, and length.  Boards are going to be hard to come by when teams play Sacramento.

8:04 PM That interview with Thomas Robinson’s sister was super uncomfortable.  Poor girl.  Obviously camera shy, how did they let that go on for more than 5 seconds?  Blazers are on the clock, I’m expecting Lillard to be announced shortly.

Pick #6. Portland Trailblazers- Damian Lillard G, Weber State

Again, no surprise here.  Lillard has been getting Derrick Rose comparisons in terms of size, speed and length.  While I don’t think he’s a D-Rose type talent, the kid can ball.

8:09 PM Glad to see someone’s paying attention.  I’ve just been informed by @johnnyo784 that UNC product Marvin Williams was a 6th man who went #2 overall, besting Dion Waiters as far as 6th men in the NBA Draft go.  Well done, John.

Pick #7. Golden State Warriors- Harrison Barnes G/F, UNC

The Warriors get a player who may have went #1 overall in last year’s draft had he declared after his freshman season.  Barnes has good size, but needs work on his left hand dribble.  He can develop into a stud with the right coaching and effort.

Pick #8. Toronto Raptors- Terrence Ross G, Washington

REACH!  There are at least 3 or 4 guards left on the board that are better than Terrence Ross.  I’m going to call this a terrible pick by the Raptors.  I can’t believe they didn’t go big here.  I’m dumbfounded.  Time for Detroit to take the player Toronto should have taken, Andre Drummond.

Pick #9. Detroit Pistons- Andre Drummond C, UConn

I drank the Andre Drummond Kool-Ade big time heading into the 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season.  His YouTube highlights were sick.  He’s got size, speed, athleticism, but showed almost none of it this past year.  You can’t teach size though, and this kid has a 7’6.25 wingspan.  With the right coaches, he could develop into an all-star center, but buyer beware: he could also be the next Eddy Curry.

8:26 PM ESPN just showed Andre Drummond crying.  I can’t tell if he’s happy for being drafted, or sad he has to move to that cesspool known as Detroit.

Pick #10. New Orleans Hornets- Austin Rivers G, Duke

Austin Rivers was once the #1 overall rated player coming into college (yes, ahead of Anthony Davis) but he simply didn’t live up to the hype.  He has one of the quickest crossovers I’ve ever seen and is fearless, but doesn’t seem to be much of a team player.  His game should translate well into the NBA though and New Orleans all of a sudden has a solid core of young players.

8:32 PM The Hornets are screwed whenever they play the Celtics.  Doc is absolutely going to exploit all of his son’s shortcomings.  I could never imagine playing against a team my father coaches.  It’s going to be awkward for sure.

Pick #11. Portland Trailblazers- Meyers Leonard C, Illinois

I hate this pick.  There are 2 big men that played for the same college team that I think are better than Meyers Leonard (UNC’s John Henson and Tyler Zeller).  Meyers Leonard reminds me of Miles Plumlee, a late 1st early 2nd round prospect.  Illinois sucked this year, and I don’t think Meyers Leonard even remotely kept them from being completely awful.  Apparently his family needs the money though, hopefully Meyers’ knees hold up in Portland.

Pick #12. Houston Rockets- Jeremy Lamb G, UConn

UConn struggled this year without Kemba Walker, and Jeremy Lamb was supposed to be the guy to pick up the slack.  He put up some big numbers and highlights early, but the Huskies faded as the season went on.  Lamb has good length and at one time was projected to go top 5 in this year’s draft, so it’ll be interesting to see how he pans out for Houston (who’ll be back on the clock at #16).

Pick #13. Phoenix Suns- Kendall Marshall G, UNC

I thought Marshall would be the 3rd Tarheel off the board, but I understand the pick here.  The Suns need a replacement for Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall is as good as any.  One of the best passers coming out of college in years, Marshall will fit in nicely with the Suns.

8:49 PM Expect the Bucks to go big here.  Tyler Zeller, I hope you like cheese and beer.

Pick #14. Milwaukee Bucks- John Henson F/C, UNC

Well, I guessed the wrong Tarheel.  Bucks went with the shot blocking John Henson.  He’s a good athlete but he needs to get stronger and improve his offensive game.  I thought Tyler Zeller would have been the better fit here seeing as he’s more polished overall, but you can’t go wrong with a Marcus Camby-like big man.

Pick #15. Philadelphia 76ers- M0e Harkless G/F, St Johns

St Johns was one of the most under-performing teams last year in my opinion.  They had a great recruiting class but not many wins to show for it.  Harkless can play.  I don’t think he’s got star potential, but his game should translate well as a role player in the NBA.

Pick #16. Houston Rockets- Royce White F, Iowa State

Houston has another pick in about 5 minutes, so I’ll let this slight reach slide.  Royce White has a fear of flying, which hurt his draft stock a little bit (seriously, what grown man is afraid to fly?). Dalls is going to snatch up the player they should have taken, Tyler Zeller.  I’m not a fan of the Houston draft picks so far.

Pick #17. Dallas Mavericks- Tyler Zeller C, UNC

If the Mavs passed on Zeller here I was going to be done making pick predictions for the night.  Zeller has the ability to run the court and take over down low against smaller opponents.  I saw him play in Saint Louis this year in the Sweet 16 and was very impressed.  Dallas probably got the steal of the draft so far.

Pick #18. Houston Rockets- Terrence Jones G/F, Kentucky

I like this pick.  Terrence Jones can ball.  His stats were cannibalized by the great players around him the past few years.  I think he’s going to have a nice, long career in the NBA.

TRADE ALERT!

Dallas sends Tyler Zeller to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks in this draft.  Cavs now have a solid core of young players to build around.  Dallas now has options.  Should be interesting to see who they get with the upcoming picks.

Pick #19. Orlando Magic- Andrew Nicholson F, St Bonaventure

The Magic step on Jared Sullinger and go with the Bonnies inside/outside threat.  Solid pick here.  I wouldn’t touch Jared Sullinger and his back/hamstring issues with a ten foot pole.

Pick #20. Denver Nuggets- Evan Fournier G, France

I’ve got nothing to say about this pick.  Just checked out his YouTube highlights, maybe he’ll be like Tony Parker.  Maybe he’ll be like the guy Vince Carter dunked over and never play in the NBA.  Guess we’ll wait and see.

Pick #21. Boston Celtics- Jared Sullinger F, Ohio St

Celtics have back to back picks here, but I think they made a mistake taking Jared Sullinger 21st instead of 22nd.  If they take him 22nd, they can pay him a bit less and have some extra insurance for that bad back, or whatever it is that got him red flagged and made his draft stock plummet.  The next pick could be Fab Melo, Perry Jones, maybe Moultrie.

Pick #22. Boston Celtics- Fab Melo F/C, Syracuse

While the average IQ just fell for the Celtics, they gained an intimidating shot blocker in the Syracuse/Brazilian standout.  Fab Melo was a beast for the Orange and could have potentially led them to the NCAA Championship had he not been deemed academically ineligible.  TSB’s Earl is a huge fan of this pick and so am I.

Pick #23. Atlanta Hawks- John Jenkins G, Vanderbilt

Jenkins can shoot the hell out of the ball.  I don’t know where he fits in with Atlanta, but every team needs a guy who can put the ball in the bucket.

Pick #24. Dallas Mavericks- Jared Cunningham G, Oregon St

I’m not about to lie and say I watched a bunch of Oregon St games, even though I watch more NCAA basketball every year than most people do in their lifetime.  Mavs brass must know something I don’t because this is much higher than I saw Cunningham going in mock drafts.

Pick #25. Memphis Grizzlies- Tony Wroten G, Washington

Wroten has great athleticism and seemed like he couldn’t wait to enter the draft.  He would have gotten more exposure this year had he returned for a sophomore season, but if people are in your ear telling you you’re a late first/early 2nd round pick in the NBA draft it’s pretty easy to stop studying for exams.

10:02 PM ESPN’s Chad Ford is the reason I’ve stopped predicting picks.  He’s providing information from his “sources” as far as 3 picks in advance, and the info is too juicy not to look at.  Word is Indiana is eying my boy from Duke, Miles Plumlee.  A true 7 footer with insane hops could have a Jeff Foster-like career.  Indi loves hyper athletic white guys.

Pick #26. Indiana Pacers- Miles Plumlee C, Duke

There it is.  Miles Plumlee’s stock skyrocketed after workouts.  He went from undrafted FA, to 2nd round, to early 2nd round, to 1st round draft pick after a few weeks.  He’s big, strong, and athletic.  He can’t shoot freethrows and needs to develop offensively, but he’ll be a beast on the boards.  Check out this video of him dunking over his 6’11 little brother

Pick #27. Miami Heat (traded to 76ers)- Arnett Moultrie F/C, Mississippi St

Word is the Heat are trading Moultrie to the 76ers for the 45th pick and a future first according to Chad Ford’s sources.  If I was in the Heat front office, I’d take Perry Jones and keep him (although I’m now hearing Perry Jones’ knee has been red flagged by doctors).

Pick #28. Oklahoma City Thunder- Perry Jones III F, Baylor

The Thunder just added another piece to an already near-complete puzzle.  If Jones’ knee isn’t an issue, this could be the guy to help OKC knock off the Heat in a couple of years. (I’m calling back to back championships for LeBron, write it down).

Pick #29. Chicago Bulls- Marquis Teague G, Kentucky

Bulls get a steal here with a very talented guard.  Teague can play and I thought he’d be drafted somewhere in the 18-24 range.  It’ll be interesting to see if the Warriors take Lamb to make it 5 Wildcats in the first round.

Pick #30. Golden State Warriors- Festus Ezeli C, Vanderbilt

Festus Ezeli can ball.  He was injured for the majority of the 2011-2012 NBA season but really had an impact when he came back.  I think he’ll be a decent pro.

That’s a wrap for the 1st round of the NBA Draft.  A few surprises here and there, but overall this draft went par for the course.  There’s still plenty of talent left in the 2nd round.  Hopefully a player like Quincy Miller or Draymond Green falls to the Knicks, but I’m pretty sure that’s wishful thinking.  Leave your comments in the comment section and be sure to follow me on Twitter @HookTSB

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