The rumors and smokescreens are heavy with just three days until the 2012 NBA Draft. After months of variety and uncertainty in the top five, a near consensus is coalescing around the top three in most mock draft projections. Chad Ford released the ninth edition of his mock on Monday, and like the others, he thinks the Wizards end up with Florida's Brad Beal. The shooting guard has reportedly ascended ahead of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes on most teams' draft boards.
The Wizards also have a pick at the top of the second round, picking 32nd overall. Ford thinks the Wizards add another point guard to back up John Wall. He predicts Ernie Grunfeld will choose Iona's Scott Machado, which would be the third point guard drafted in the past three years. Grunfeld took Shelvin Mack in almost the exact same spot last year but Ford is extremely high on Machado:
Some in Washington aren't totally sure whether John Wall is really a point guard. Machado, however, is the second-best pure point guard in the draft. He lacks Wall's athletic abilities, but some believe he sees the floor as well or better than Kendall Marshall. He'd be a very nice get for the Wizards at 32.
In addition to the two Wizards selections, Ford predicts two local college stars will hear their names called on Thursday night. Virginia's Mike Scott is also moving up draft boards, putting together solid workouts after an incredibly productive 2011-2012 season in Charlottesville. Ford's mock has Scott gong to Denver with the No. 38 pick, where he'd play alongside former Wizard Javale McGee.
For the second year in a row, Georgetown's Hollis Thompson declared for the draft, only this time he kept his name in it and is going all the way. Ford thinks the rangy LA native will go towards the bottom of the second round, with the Philadelphia 76ers drafting him at No. 54.