2012 NBA Mock Draft: Future Stars Rising Up Draft Boards

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 18, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 14:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is all smiles as he warms up before a game against the South Carolina-Upstate Spartans on December 14, 2011 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The NBA will enjoy an amazing youth movement this offseason, and these are the budding young stars that will help bring it to you. 

We are months away from the end of the NBA season, and even further from the draft. That doesn't mean we can't acquaint ourselves with the superstars of tomorrow. 

The college basketball season is entering the thick of the schedule. It's time that we take notice of the names that will drive our brackets and soon land on our favorite NBA teams. 

Here is the NBA draft as it sits now. Make note that the order is far from set and remains fluid until the end of the season. There is no harm in making a few assumptions every now and again.

List of Trades and Transactions affecting draft at NBADraft.net

1. Washington Wizards: Andre Drummond PF UConn

The Wizards are in need of a superstar, but they could also use a great deal of substance while they are at it. This team has been too long mired in the doldrums. Washington is once again awful and needs a big man that can dominate the paint. 

Drummond is long, lean and, more importantly, mean. This league is scant of big men that can impose physicality on defense. The Wizards need a ton of defensive pressure on the inside, and Drummond would deliver just that. 

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis PF Kentucky 

Anthony Davis excites scouts with his size and frame. The only drawback is that he is raw and needs to learn the finer nuances of footwork and creating his own shot. 

3. New Jersey Nets: Jeremy Lamb SG UConn

This may be the steal of the draft. Last year we didn't see a great deal of talent come out of the two guard position, but this season is different. 

Lamb can score and has the wingspan to affect balls on defense. The best part about him is the work ethic and passion for the game.

All the greats want the ball in crunch time, and that's Lamb. Any team would be amazed to land a player with his talent, but more importantly, he has the mentality of a future star. 

4. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State 

If Sullinger can prove his health and show that speed is not a worry, we may not have seen the last of Sullinger rise on draft boards. 

He has a refined low post game and may actually be underrated for what he gives you in consistency and leadership. 

5. New Orleans Hornets (Via Timberwolves): Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina 

It's tough to justly mock a draft at this point in the season, and Harrison Barnes is one reason why. The Tar Heel star has the talent to land in the top 5, but what I really enjoy watching is how he runs the floor. 

If you are looking for a smart basketball player that knows where to be, you can find him in Barnes. I wouldn't be surprised to see him flirt with an overall No. 1 pick when all is said and done. 

6. Utah Jazz (Via Warriors): Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF Kentucky

This kid exudes Jazz mentality of tough defensive play. He could breakout as similarities to Kevin Garnett continue. 

7. Sacramento Kings: Terrence Jones SF Kentucky

A raw talent that can score despite awkward shooting style. The Kings will find use for him as they continue to build a run and gun team. 

8. Toronto Raptors: Bradley Beal SG Florida

Beal continues to land near the top 10 and the Raptors could use a pure shooter that can score with abandon. He needs to prove consistency to stay a lottery pick though. 

9. Phoenix Suns: Perry Jones SF Baylor

The Suns get the most enigmatic player in the draft. My hope is that Jones gains the spark he needs to impose his will through another few months of college basketball. 

There is no questioning his physical attributes, but he tends to take time off and lacks on-the-court tenacity. All he needs is a little fire to his game and he could be a top overall selection. 

10. New Orleans Hornets: Meyers Leonard C Illinois 

There is a lot of hype surrounding a promising young big man. These types of players tend to leave the draft board early. 

11. Milwaukee Bucks: Thomas Robinson SF Kansas 

Consistent scorer that can shoot the mid-range. The Bucks get a potential star in Robinson. 

12. New Jersey Nets: John Henson PF North Carolina

A lot more gifted than he is given credit for. His maturity in the last year proved he is committed to honing his game for the next level. 

13. Memphis Grizzlies: Arnett Moultrie PF Mississippi State

The Grizzlies get a big that is not afraid to bang down low. He is a beast on the boards and wills himself to score. 

14. Boston Celtics: Kendall Marshall PG North Carolina

The Celtics are in much need of youth wherever they can get it. Marshall needs to add a consistent shot to his game, but his ability to make those around him better cannot be undervalued. 

15. Cleveland Cavaliers: Terrence Ross SG Washington

The Cavs get the scorer they need as they continue to move on post-LeBron James. Ross has a smooth stroke and should blend in well on Day 1. 

16. Houston Rockets: Austin Rivers PG Duke 

Here is one of the most volatile picks on the board. Rivers came to Duke with an immense amount of buzz. So far, the only certainty is that another year in college would help his game a great deal. 

He is a raw talent that has shown flashes of brilliance. If he can continue to grow and show consistency in the next few months, we will see him nearing a lottery pick. 

His talent is unquestioned, but his ability at this point in his tenure needs to have a lot more polish added to it. 

17. Dallas Mavericks: Myck Kabongo PG Texas

The freshman is an exciting player that may have the best speed of the draft. If Kabongo does come out, he has the most upside of any point guard out there. 

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Doron Lamb SG Kentucky

Lamb continues to show polish as the ear continues. The best part is Lamb's clutch factor. The guard just has a way of making the big shot when Kentucky needs it. 

19. Boston Celtics (Via Clippers): Patrick Young PF Florida

The Celtics have been clamoring for more physicality since they sent off Kendrick Perkins. Young doesn't bring back the big man, but he does play with the same level of passion. 

If he can add a bit more size and work on his defensive measures, he would be the perfect bruiser to add to a Celtics team that is desperate for one. 

20. Portland Trail Blazers: Marquis Teague PG Kentucky

Marquis Teague should enjoy a much better second half to his season. The Blazers will be getting a swift player that has tremendous upside. 

21. Miami Heat: Tyler Zeller PF North Carolina

The Heat could use a great deal of size and Zeller would be the best big man on the board at this time. 

He has the size and rebounding ability to become a solid performer. He will have the ability to add the size he needs as he comes off the bench for the star-studded team. 

The Heat like to run and Zeller does that very well for a big man. This is the perfect match for team need and player ability. 

22. Atlanta Hawks: John Jenkins SG Vanderbilt 

Jenkins may slide if his lack of size and speed continues to be a problem for scouts. The fact is this man can shoot the lights out, and there is always a need for that in the NBA. 

23. Denver Nuggets: William Buford SG Ohio State

Buford is a solid shooter and has showed a great deal more shine to his game since last year. The Nuggets get a workhorse that will continue to hone his craft. 

24. San Antonio Spurs: Tony Wroten PG Washington

The Spurs, like the Celtics, can use youth at pretty much every part of the court. They take the best athlete at the time with Tony Wroten. 

The Washington guard has emerged as the next big thing and only needs to put polish on his shooting. A consistent shot can always be worked with, that is why I am confident that Wroten continues to rise up draft boards. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Wroten is gone by this point in the draft. 

25. LA Lakers: Kris Joseph SG Syracuse

The Lakers can always be counted on to find diamond amidst the rough of future prospects. Joseph needs a lot of work but has shown tremendous ability at times. 

With LA, he would get enough time to put much needed polish to his game. 

26. Indiana Pacers: Mason Plumlee PF Duke

There are not a lot of teams that will take a chance on a top-10 talent that can't score. That is what Plumlee provides as he has great strength and defensive skills, but has not had to prove his worth yet on offense. 

At this point in the draft, the Pacers can't pass up on a great talent that may show one day to be the steal of the draft. 

27. Philadelphia 76ers: Tomas Satoransky PG Czech Republic

We shall see if the love given to Europeans from last year washes over 2012. Satoransky is a big guard that does everything every well. 

28. Orlando Magic: Alex Oriakhi PF UConn

There is no telling what state the Magic will be in by the draft. All signs point to them needing a great deal of depth in the paint, even if Dwight Howard decides to stay. 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Quincy Miller PF Baylor 

Great mind for the game and can score from pretty much anywhere. He needs bulk though. 

30. Chicago Bulls: Alex Young SG IUPUI

We come to the sleeper of the draft. Young can score and is a wily lefty that would fit in well with the Bulls.


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