2012 NBA Mock Draft
Before the season began, the 2012 NBA Draft was hyped up to be the deepest draft since the 2003. After the first overall pick, Anthony Davis, the draft can go a number of directions. Here is an in-depth look at the first round of the 2012 NBA draft.
June 21, 2012 (Newswire.com) - Before the season began, the 2012 NBA Draft was hyped up to be the deepest draft since the heralded 2003 draft which produced the likes of LeBron, Carmelo, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all in the first 5 picks! Now that the dust has finally settled, it seems as if there is only one surefire prospect in this draft, and he happens to have only one eye brow. After Anthony Davis, the draft can go a number of directions starting with the second overall pick. There is so much uncertainty regarding this year's draft class, and I believe there will be a lot of movement and trades amongst teams looking to move up or down to secure the player that fits their team the best.
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1. New Orleans Hornets - Kentucky PF/C, Anthony Davis
It seems all but a formality that Anthony Davis will be selected first overall by the Hornets. Davis is as close to a sure thing in this draft as you can get. A future perennial All-Star and will have the ability to impact a game with his defensive prowess alone. Davis turned heads at the pre-draft combine in Chicago by showing up in a shirt that read "Check My Stats," prompting some scouts to questions his maturity. Ironically, the future number one overall pick's impact on an opposing team's confidence cannot be measured by the stat sheet alone.
2. Charlotte Bobcats - Florida SG, Bradley Beal
Rumor around the league is that the Bobcats are trying to ship the pick for a package of picks plus a starting lineup caliber veteran. The Bobcats need a lot of help and the league's most high profile owner can ill afford to miss in a draft filled with talented prospects. That being said, Bradley Beal could be the pick here as he has skyrocketed to the top of most team's draft boards. Beal possesses the complete package in a shooting guard and could even play some point guard down the line. He has unlimited range on his jump shot and rebounds extremely well for a guard. The fact that he has only worked out for teams in the top 4 speaks to how highly he is regarded.
3. Washington Wizards - Kansas PF, Thomas Robinson
Thomas Robinson is a tremendous athlete who was able to produce at a high level while at Kansas. He was the centerpiece of a championship runner-up Jayhawk team who lost two star players to the draft the year before in the Morris twins, but was still one game away from winning it all thanks to the scoring and rebounding of Robinson. Even though the Wizards acquired a more than serviceable big man in Nene for talented but raw center JaVale McGee, Robinson will provide them with explosive athleticism and rebounding in the low post for years to come. Oh, and did I mention he is also a D.C. native?
4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kentucky SF, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Before the pre-draft process began it was widely viewed that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the second highest rated player in the draft. Now it appears that he will slip to Cleveland at No.4. Although Kidd-Gilchrist is regarded as a lock-down defender, it appears as if there are some questions from scouts about his offensive skills. However, I would be shocked if MGK slips any further than the No.5 pick overall.
5. Sacramento Kings - UNC SF, Harrison Barnes
The Kings have lacked a difference maker at the small forward position for the last few years, and they will certainly remedy that by selecting Harrison Barnes. Barnes might have been the top overall pick had he come out after his freshman season; however his decision to stay has caused his draft stock to slip in 2012. He is a prototypical wing player who tested very highly at the draft combine in many categories including athleticism and strength. With Barnes in the mix, the Kings will finally have a chance to get out of the cellar in the loaded Western Conference with a young nucleus of DeMarcus Cousins, Barnes, and Tyreke Evans (if Reke stays in Sacramento) leading the way.
6. Portland Trailblazers - Weber State PG, Damian Lillard
With the likely departure of FA point guard Raymond Felton, the Blazers will need to find someone to fill the void in a hurry. Good thing Weber State PG/Damian Lillard will be available when the Blazers pick at No.6. Lillard has only solidified his status as the number one point guard in the draft, thanks in large part to his stellar workouts and explosive scoring ability. Lillard is also an underrated playmaker who will show his full skill set at the next level en route to becoming the next great point guard out of the Oakland/Bay Area.
7. Golden State Warriors - UCONN PF/C, Andre Drummond
If Lillard falls here, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Warriors pick the hometown kid out of mid-major Weber State. However, if that is not the case then new Warriors GM Bob Myers would have to pull the trigger on Andre Drummond, who could have the most upside of any player in the draft outside of Anthony Davis. Drummond may have underperformed last year in his lone season at UCONN, but his measurables and athleticism for someone his size are off the charts. Best case scenario for Drummond: He turns out to be the next DeAndre Jordan, the player the Warriors went after last summer before resigning with the Clippers.
8. Toronto Raptors - UCONN SG/SF, Jeremy Lamb
The raptors will have several options to consider when the time comes to make their pick. But the most intriguing option could be SG/SF Jeremy Lamb out of UCONN. It shouldn't be forgotten that Lamb was a key piece to the Huskies National title run in 2011, and his versatility is a big reason why. Lamb is very agile and has an extremely long wingspan for someone his size. He can also score the ball in a variety of ways and has experience playing for one of the best coaches in the college game. He will need to put in time in the weight room however, as he is rail-thin and could be a liability on the defensive end as a rookie. But in time, Lamb could turn out to be the biggest steal in this year's draft.
9. Detroit Pistons - UNC PF, Tyler Zeller
Detroit has always been a blue-town, and no prospect has a more blue-collar game than Tyler Zeller. He was the ACC player of the year last season for the Tar Heels and is a double-double treat every time he touches the floor. Some mocks have Zeller's teammate John Henson as Detroit's pick but I believe he is still several years away from making an impact due to his rail-thin frame. Zeller, on the other hand can help any team out right away with his legit NBA size (7'0" at the combine) and rebounding ability. Zeller is also capable of stepping out and hitting the mid-range shot at the top of the key with consistency.
10. New Orleans Hornets - Duke SG, Austin Rivers
Word around the league is that Austin Rivers has secured a promise from a team drafting late in the lottery. I have a hunch that this team is the Hornets. Head Coach Monty Williams has been a long-time family friend of the Rivers family and has seen Austin develop from the skinny son of Doc Rivers to the nation's number one high school prospect and the go to leading scorer for an over-achieving Duke team. Landing Anthony Davis and Rivers would be a huge boon for the Hornets whose roster has very little star power outside of shooting guard Eric Gordon assuming he opts to re-sign with the team.
11. Portland Trail Blazers - Washington SG, Terrence Ross
The Blazers are in need of a big-time shooting guard, and would be happy to take Ross with their pick. Ross has excellent height (6'7") for a shooting guard and is most effective scoring in isolation plays. He is also very well-known prospect out of the Pacific Northwest which should make this pick that much easier for the Blazers.
12. Milwaukee Bucks - UNC PF, Jon Henson
Many sources have said that the Bucks are in love with Jon Henson and would be shocked to see him fall to them with the 12th pick. There are concerns however that Henson will struggle in the NBA due to his skinny frame and lack of strength at the draft combine. I for one think that Henson will eventually fill out and become an elite shot blocker in the NBA thanks to his enormous wingspan and timing. He has also shown an improved outside shot in team workouts which should help his stock going forward.
13. Phoenix Suns - Syracuse SG, Dion Waiters
This Suns seem to be very high on Austin Rivers, but if he is picked before their selection, then I see them going with Dion Waiters. Waiters came off the bench for the Orangemen last year, however that does not mean he is not a star in the making. Head Coach Jim Boehim used Waiters a lot like how James Harden is utilized in OKC. An explosive scorer off the bench who makes the second unit better. Some scouts have even compared Waiters' game to that of Dwyane Wade. It may be a stretch but there are a lot of similarities between the two.
14. Houston Rockets - Baylor SF/PF, Perry Jones III
Perry Jones III slide down the draft order is due in large part to his perceived lack of mental toughness and inconsistent play. There are also some people who say he is really a power forward masquerading as a small forward at 6'11" 234 lbs. but without the requisite skills to play that position. There is no doubt that Jones III has the athleticism and talent to become a star in the NBA, but only time will tell whether he has the drive and confidence in himself to prove it.
15. Philadelphia 76ers - Ohio State SF/PF, Jared Sullinger
16. Houston Rockets - Illinois C, Meyers Leonard
17. Dallas Mavericks - North Carolina PG, Kendall Marshall
18. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kentucky SF/PF, Terrence Jones
19. Orlando Magic - Syracuse C, Fab Melo
20. Denver Nuggets - Kentucky PG, Marquis Teague
21. Boston Celtics - St.John's SF, Moe Harkless
22. Boston Celtics - St. Bonaventure PF, Andrew Nicholson
23. Atlanta Hawks - Iowa State SF, Royce White
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Mississippi State PF, Arnette Moultrie
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Washington PG, Tony Wroten Jr.
26. Indiana Pacers - Duke C, Miles Plumlee
27. Miami Heat - Michigan State SF, Draymond Green
28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Vanderbilt SF, Jeff Taylor
29. Chicago Bulls - Memphis SG, Will Barton
30. Golden State Warriors - Baylor SF, Quincy Miller
Overall, this draft is full of players who will make an impact on NBA rosters next season, but will not produce perennial All-Stars as it once was projected to. Teams drafting in the second round will find some hidden gems who will make rosters and provide them with much-needed depth. For Fantasy owners looking for rookies for their keeper leagues, there are a good amount of players in the first round who could end up helping your team. The Top 5 rookies to target based on playing time, skill level and potential production are Anthony Davis, Brad Beal, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Damian Lillard.