New mock draft has four Tar Heels in top 17

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
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The New Orleans Hornets were the big winners in the NBA draft lottery on Wednesday night, landing the top overall pick (which they will almost certainly use on Kentucky's Anthony Davis).

What does the new draft order mean for the quartet of North Carolina players expected to go in the first round? ESPN.com NBA draft analyst Chad Ford weighed in with a new mock draft, version 5.0 . Here's where he ranked the Tar Heels:
4. Harrison Barnes, Cleveland Cavaliers

Analysis: Thomas Robinson may be the best player left on the board, but he's not a great fit with Tristan Thompson. If both MKG and Beal are off the board, the choice will be between Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond. Both fit needs and Drummond has crazy upside, but the Cavs loved Barnes at the No. 4 pick last year before he decided to go back to school. I think they'll roll the dice on him again this year.

9. John Henson, Detroit Pistons

Analysis: Greg Monroe has been a revelation in the middle for the Pistons, but they really need to pair him alongside an athletic shot-blocker. Although John Henson is painfully thin, he rebounds, blocks shots and defends multiple positions. It wouldn't be a perfect solution in Detroit, but the Pistons don't have a lot of other options here.

14. Tyler Zeller, Houston Rockets

Analysis: The Rockets' biggest need is in the middle and Zeller should be a solid option. Scouts don't think Zeller is going to be an All-Star someday, but he's big, he runs the floor very well and he has a great touch around the basket. Zeller should ultimately land somewhere between Picks 8 and 14.

17. Kendall Marshall, Dallas Mavericks

Analysis: With Jason Kidd 39 and a free agent and Rodrigue Beaubois more of a combo guard, Marshall would bring much of what Kidd brings to the table -- incredible court vision and size -- right away. He's not a great athlete or a great shooter, but he could keep Dirk and company happy.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.

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