NBA Mock Draft 2012: Predicting the First 10 Players to Be Picked

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The NBA draft is just under four months away, but the imminent NCAA tournament has put the spotlight on the college stars who will become NBA stars next fall. That makes it a great time to look at which campus standouts are in line to hear their names called first on June 28.

One player you won't find on this list is Baylor star Perry Jones III, for the simple reason that it's looking increasingly contrary to his best interests to declare for the draft this season. Jones has struggled in high-pressure games, and his team has largely fallen apart in conference play. These are factors that are conspiring to drive the 6'11" forward's draft stock lower by the week.

That's not to say that the immensely talented Jones wouldn't be a Top 10 selection anyway,—he has enough potential that somebody might still take a chance on him—but an improved junior campaign could put him back in Top Three territory, which looks like a prohibitive long-shot for 2012.

Of course, Jones' absence wouldn't keep the Top 10 from being loaded with underclassmen as usual. Have a look at one way the beginning of the lottery could shake out in June (assuming the draft order reflects the teams' current records).

 

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