2012 NBA Mock Draft: How Harrison Barnes Going Pro Reshapes the Draft

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25:  Dexter Strickland #1, Kendall Marshall #5, John Henson #31 and Harrison Barnes #40  of the North Carolina Tar Heels walk on the court after a play against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The dynamic University of North Carolina trio consisting of Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and John Henson all announced they would be entering the 2012 NBA draft, and each is a definitive first-round selection.

However, each player will go in different slots, and the announcement that all three will turn pro definitely has an impact on the other prospects who will join them in the draft pool.

With the news that all three will be headed into the draft, let's take a look at how it reshapes the first round.

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF Kentucky

Unless something drastic happens with Davis between now and the draft, he's locked into being the top overall pick of the 2012 class.

2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Kentucky

Kidd-Gilchrist's transition game is excellent, and he has a knack for putting the ball on the floor and finding success at the rim.

He'd be a natural fit with the Wizards alongside John Wall, but Kidd-Gilchrist is showing he deserves to be up here regardless of how the ping pong balls fall.

3. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson, PF Kansas

Robinson is an incredibly impressive physical specimen beneath the basket, and he could really help a team that needs help along the front line.

Assuming he remains healthy, there is no reason for Robinson to slide past third overall.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (via NJ Nets): Andre Drummond, C UConn

Drummond would be a steal outside of the top three, but several have been disappointed with how he fared in school.

It's entirely possible he'd be more successful at the next level than he was at UConn, and there's just too much upside here to overlook.

5. Toronto Raptors: Bradley Beal, SG Florida

Arguably the fastest riser in the draft, Beal is looking like he should be the first shooting guard off the board on draft day.

He's got a versatile game that can help a lot of teams in need of backcourt help, but he's going to have to do a better job of facilitating ball movement to reach his potential.

6. Detroit Pistons: Harrison Barnes, SF UNC

Barnes' struggles in the tournament shouldn't have interested teams fearing the thought of drafting him.

He can step in and be an impact performer at small forward, but it's going to take some time for Barnes to adjust to the next level of competition.

7. Sacramento Kings: Arnett Moultrie, PF Mississippi State

Moultrie is higher here than in a lot of other mock drafts, but this kid has the skill and size to bang with the bigger bodies he'll face in the NBA.

With the lack of big men with legitimate skill in the league nowadays, Moultrie could really make his presence felt in a hurry if he lands in the right situation.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats and Perry Jones III #1 of the Baylor Bears vie for posession during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Perry Jones III, PF Baylor

Some team is going to have to gamble on Jones' upside, and it's possible he could wind up being the home run pick of the draft.

He's got the gifts to do almost anything he wants on the basketball court, but he's going to have to show a stronger passion for the game on a far more consistent basis.

9. Utah Jazz (via GS Warriors): Damian Lillard, PG Weber State

Lillard deserves to go in the lottery, and it's looking more and more likely that general managers won't be afraid to pull the trigger.

The kid was an absolute baller for Weber State this season, and there are a plethora of teams looking for point guard help that will be drafting early.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jared Sullinger, PF Ohio State

Whatever team drafts Sullinger will have to temper expectations, but he should be able to find success in the NBA.

There isn't a ton of upside to his game, but he could immediately help a team that needs a boost down low.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Austin Rivers, SG Duke

There has been a lot of talk that Rivers' game may be better suited for the NBA, and it's entirely possible that is the case.

However, Rivers needs to land with a team that will allow him to play with the ball in his hands, as that is when he's most effective.

12. New Orleans Hornets (via NO Hornets): Kendall Marshall, PG UNC

Some felt Marshall should have stayed in school for another season, but he should be a lottery pick despite the wrist injury that kept him sidelined at the end of the year.

He's going to have an advantage in the size department over most opposing point guards, and he's got a natural ability to command control of the offense when he's on the floor.

13. Phoenix Suns: Tyler Zeller, C UNC

Zeller's height will get him drafted in a high slot, but he's going to need to put on a ton of weight if he's going to have a prayer against the big boys in the league.

Weighing in at less than 250 lbs and standing seven-feet tall is not going to get it done among the vast majority of starting centers.

14. Houston Rockets: Jeremy Lamb, SG UConn

Lamb might not go quite this high, but he is a perfect replacement for Kevin Martin in Houston if the Rockets select here.

The team needs to get younger and has shown a previous willingness to part with Martin via trade, so it's possible Houston will revisit the possibility in the summer.

15. Houston Rockets (via NY Knicks): John Henson, PF UNC

Henson is incredibly athletic for someone of his size, but he is a versatile contributor who can help in a variety of areas.

He's going to have to sharpen his skills at both ends of the floor before making a major impact, but the foundation is there for Henson to turn into a very skilled player.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

16. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Jones, F Kentucky

Jones is another player who could wind up being a steal in the draft considering his potential.

He shoots the rock well for someone of his size, but he's a bit of a tweener at the forward spot and will have to find a permanent position.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): Moe Harkless, SF St. John's

Harkless' draft stock is fairly volatile at the moment, but his ability to defend should get him picked inside the top 20.

He'll come in and give a strong effort for every minute he's on the floor, but his offensive game remains a work in progress.

18. Boston Celtics: Royce White, SF Iowa State

The Celtics need to add speed and athleticism on the wing for Rajon Rondo and the future, and White is an ideal pick if he's still on the board for Boston.

He'd go a lot higher if it weren't for the off-court concerns, as this kid harbors an awfully impressive amount of talent.

19. Philadelphia 76ers: Dion Waiters, G Syracuse

Waiters has the ability to score whenever he feels like it, and his size shouldn't be a problem in the NBA with how hard he plays the game.

He proved that he's a big-time player for Syracuse this season, and Waiters could very well have a more sudden impact than several prospects who are taken before him.

20. Memphis Grizzlies: Meyers Leonard, Illinois

There isn't a lot to love about Leonard's game other than his size, but Memphis sorely needs a backup center behind Marc Gasol.

He could go anywhere in the back end of the first round, but the Grizzlies would be wise to give him a good, hard look if he's available when Memphis is on the clock.

21. Houston Rockets (via DAL Mavericks): Terrence Ross, SG Washington

Ross is a shooter capable of stretching the floor and would boost any second unit he'd join during his rookie season.

He's still very young and could further blossom, but he's going to need to add some strength to his frame given how scrawny he is currently.

22. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers): Doron Lamb, SG Kentucky

There are a lot of skilled shooting guards available, and Lamb could very well find himself sliding on draft day if things don't fall the right way.

However, he should appeal to any team that needs to improve its scoring in the second unit. It's possible several clubs could reach for his services.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Tony Wroten #14 of the Washington Huskies reacts after a put-back dunk in the second half against the Oregon State Beavers during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center on Mar
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten, PG Washington

The Hawks love Wroten and he knows it, but he's got a long way to go in order to fulfill his potential as a player.

He's got an incredible amount of talent and even more upside, but he'll need to mature on the floor to become a true floor general.

24. Indiana Pacers: Quincy Miller, SF Baylor

Miller is another young gun who could wind up being a huge addition down the line, but he reminds me of Jrue Holiday in terms of how the current Sixers point guard was utilized at UCLA.

He wasn't a huge part of Baylor's attack this season, but his upside is difficult to ignore—that is what most teams target this late in the first round.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers): Andrew Nicholson, PF St. Bonaventure

If Nicholson lasts until the mid-20s of the first round, whatever team that plucks him off the draft board will wind up with an absolute steal.

He improved his game by leaps and bounds during his senior season and isn't afraid to do whatever his team needs him to in order to win the game.

26. Orlando Magic: Marquis Teague, PG Kentucky

Teague hasn't exactly done a ton to improve his stock in the tournament, but there are enough teams that need a point guard for Teague to be a first-round selection.

He'd be an interesting fit with Orlando considering Jameer Nelson is heading into a contract season, but he needs to develop his decision-making and jump shot.

27. Golden State Warriors (via SA Spurs): Mason Plumlee, PF Duke

Plumlee is athletic for someone of his size, but the jury is split on whether or not he'll be able to be successful in the NBA.

For a team that is desperate for size like the Warriors, Plumlee would be an easy fit, as the team has very little financial flexibility to add size through free agency.

28. Miami Heat: Jeffery Taylor, SF Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt product doesn't get a ton of public attention, but he's got insane athleticism and leaping ability for someone of his size.

He'll need to prove that his offensive game can result in sustainable success at the next level, and that's the biggest question interested teams will have about him on draft day.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Fab Melo, C Syracuse

Melo's off-court concerns are obvious at this point, but he's super young and possesses a tremendous amount of upside.

He would be an insanely good fit in Oklahoma City, where he could learn under Kevin Durant and really blossom into something special for the Thunder.

30. Chicago Bulls: Draymond Green, SF Michigan State

Green doesn't have the size to play power forward in the NBA, so he's going to have to hone his skills at the 3 spot.

He's a great gamble at the end of the first round, but nobody should be expecting miracles right off the bat.


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