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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Which Hot Prospects Are Climbing the Draft Board?

Trevor LowryContributor IApril 3, 2012

NBA Mock Draft 2012: Which Hot Prospects Are Climbing the Draft Board?

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    Now that the college basketball season is officially over, all of the talk will move towards the NBA draft. There have been so many players in the NCAA tournament that have made a name for themselves, and many players are climbing up the draft board.

    The No. 1 overall pick really isn't even a question anymore, but there are many other questions that linger.

    So, read on to find out which hot prospects are climbing up the draft board.  

1. Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony Davis

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    School: Kentucky

    Points Per Game: 14.3

    Rebounds Per Game: 10

     

    There is no question that Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 overall draft pick this year. He is easily the best player in the country, and guess what? He is only a freshman.

    Davis is an absolute freak on defense, averaging 4.6 blocks per game.

    Kentucky's star big man will go No. 1 overall no matter which team wins the lottery.  

2. Washington Wizards, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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    School: Kentucky

    Points Per Game: 11.8

    Rebounds Per Game: 7.6

     

    Overall, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may be the best player in the draft.

    It doesn't matter if he's passing, shooting or dribbling—MKG can do it all. Oh yeah, he can also play some mean defense.

    This kid really has everything going for him and he is going to make some NBA team very happy.  

3. New Orleans Hornets, Thomas Robinson

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    School: Kansas

    Points Per Game: 17.7

    Rebounds Per Game: 11.7

     

    Just look at what Thomas Robinson has done in the NCAA tournament this year and you will see how great of a player he really is.

    Robinson has an NBA-type body, which helps him tremendously on the boards and on defense.

    He went from averaging 7.6 points per game last season to 17.7 points per game this season. To say that he has improved his game on offense is a huge understatement.  

4. Toronto Raptors, Bradley Beal

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    School: Florida

    Points Per Game: 14.8

    Rebounds Per Game: 6.7

     

    Bradley Beal is the best rebounding guard in the entire draft and his numbers prove that. 

    Beal is also a great shooter who will make teams pay if he's left open. 

    There is really nothing wrong with Beal's game. He is great on both sides of the ball. Enough said.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers, Harrison Barnes

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    School: North Carolina

    Points Per Game: 17.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.2

     

    Harrison Barnes can score from anywhere on the court. That is a fact of life.

    He is also a terrific defender and really knows how to play the game of basketball. If you had to say there was something wrong with Barnes, it would be his dribbling skills. In his defense, he is 6'8'' and all...

6. Sacramento Kings, Andre Drummond

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    School: Connecticut 

    Points Per Game: 10

    Rebounds Per Game: 7.6

     

    Drummond is everything that an NBA team looks for in a center. 

    He is a great rebounder on both sides of the court and can be an offensive force when he wants to.

    Drummond is not just limited to the post, as he can also knock down shots and is a relatively good passer with an excellent basketball IQ. 

7. Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard

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    School: Weber State

    Points Per Game: 24.5

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.0

     

    Damian Lillard is an absolute beast when it comes to scoring the basketball. He is easily the best scoring guard in the draft and one of the best scorers at any position, for that matter. It doesn't matter where Lillard shoots from because his range is limitless.  

    For only being 6'2'', Lillard's five rebounds per game is also pretty impressive.

8. Detroit Pistons, Jared Sullinger

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    School: Ohio State

    Points Per Game: 17.5

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.2

     

    Jared Sullinger had an amazing freshman season. As a result, people expected his numbers to improve and they did not.

    Sullinger has not gotten enough credit for what he's done this season. He still had a very impressive year and is easily one of the best players in the draft.

9. Utah Jazz, Kendall Marshall

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    School: North Carolina

    Points Per Game: 8.1

    Assists Per Game: 9.8

     

    When Kendall Marshall was not on the court, the North Carolina Tar Heels were not the same team. Marshall was the key ingredient for the Tar Heels, and this can be credited to his amazing passing skills and high basketball IQ.

    Marshall is easily the best passer in the draft. 

10. Milwaukee Bucks, Tyler Zeller

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    School: Tyler Zeller

    Points Per Game: 16.3

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.6

     

    Tyler Zeller may just be the best center in the draft, but he will most likely be the second one picked. 

    Whoever gets this big man, though, will have a great center who can both rebound and score. 

11. New Orleans Hornets, Terrence Jones

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    School: Kentucky

    Points Per Game: 12.4

    Rebounds Per Game: 7.2

     

    Terrence Jones' numbers may have been down from his freshman season, but that is because Kentucky is rife with talent.

    Jones is capable of averaging more than 15 points a night, but that is not what the Wildcats need him to do. 

    Jones can play just about any position on the court, thanks to his athleticism, big body, solid jump shot and dribbling skills. 

12. Portland Trail Blazers, Meyers Leonard

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    School: Illinois

    Points Per Game: 13.6

    Rebounds Per Game: 8.2

     

    Meyers Leonard is known for his size and defending ability, but he can actually run the floor very well. He is not too shabby at rebounding either, but you would expect that from a seven-footer. 

13. Phoenix Suns, Tony Wroten Jr.

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    School: Washington

    Points Per Game: 16.0 

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.0

     

    Tony Wroten's name does not match his game.

    The freshman from Washington is an amazing scorer with good court vision.

14. Utah Jazz, Jeremy Lamb

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    School: Connecticut

    Points Per Game: 17.7

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.9

     

    Jeremy Lamb is your typical shooting guard. He has range out from behind the arc, moves well without the ball and is very athletic.

    However, Lamb is also great on defense and has some leaping ability, which helps him in the rebounding department. 

15. Houston Rockets, Perry Jones III

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    School: Baylor

    Points Per Game: 13.5

    Rebounds Per Game: 7.6

     

    Perry Jones III most likely hurt his draft stock by coming back to Baylor for his sophomore season, but that does not mean he will be bad in the NBA.

    The fact of the matter is, Jones has a world of potential, but hasn't really lived up to the hype.

    At 6'11'', Jones can score in any way imaginable, and he is obviously amazing on the boards. However, he should have been more dominant in college. 

16. New Jersey Nets, Austin Rivers

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    School: Duke

    Points Per Game: 15.5

    Rebounds Per Game: 3.4

     

    To get a more thorough analysis on Austin Rivers, feel free to read this article.

    Rivers is a very confident player, which is a big reason why he jacks up so many shots no matter how far behind the arc he is. His fearlessness can be frustrating, but it's also what makes him so darn good.

17. Denver Nuggets, James Michael McAdoo

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    School: North Carolina

    Points Per Game: 6.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 3.9

     

    James Michael McAdoo did not get the most playing time in the world for the Tar Heels, but when he did, he definitely shined.

    McAdoo is a great rebounder with a great basketball IQ for a big man, or any position for that matter. 

18. Philadelphia 76ers, John Henson

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    School: North Carolina

    Points Per Game: 13.7

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.9

     

    Whoever picks up John Henson will be getting an amazing player who is great on both sides of the court.

    Henson is a tremendous shot-blocker and rebounder, which goes very nicely with his athletic playing style. 

    Henson could use some more muscle, but he is an all-around good player no matter what. 

19. Memphis Grizzlies, Terrence Ross

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    School: Washington

    Points Per Game: 16.4

    Rebounds Per Game: 6.4

     

    Terrence Ross' shot selection may be questionable at times, but he is a great shooter who is capable of driving the ball to the hoop. Ross can also play defense and rebound the ball.

    Yeah, I'm sold. 

20. Dallas Mavericks, Dion Waiters

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    School: Syracuse

    Points Per Game: 12.6

    Assists Per Game: 2.5

     

    Athletically, Waiters is one of the best players in the draft, which will help him become an elite scorer at the next level. That being said, Waiters could use some more work on his shot, which is kind of big deal considering that he is a shooting guard.

21. Atlanta Hawks, Quincy Miller

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    School: Baylor

    Points Per Game: 10.6

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.9

     

    Being 6'9'', Quincy Miller is obviously a decent rebounder. What may surprise you, though, is the fact that he is capable of scoring on the inside and outside.

    Considering that Miller only averaged 24.4 minutes per game, his numbers are pretty impressive. 

22. Boston Celtics, Mason Plumlee

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    School: Duke

    Points Per Game: 11.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.2

     

    Plumlee may have not been the highest scorer on Duke, but that is for an obvious reason: the Blue Devils were a shooting team.

    Plumlee does not really fit that category, but that does not mean he won't find a team for himself at the next level. 

23. Boston Celtics, Royce White

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    School: Iowa State

    Points Per Game: 13.4

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.3

     

    How many players do you hear of that go to Iowa State for one season and then enter the NBA draft? I am guessing not a lot, so White must be pretty good to be one-and-done in college.

    Okay, he may have not played his first two seasons in college, but he might as well be a freshman.

    The main thing about White is the fact that he has such great court vision and ball-handling skills for being a big man. 

24. Indiana Pacers, Jeff Taylor

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    School: Vanderbilt

    Points Per Game: 16.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.6

     

    Jeff Taylor's best attribute is his defensive ability, but as you can see, he is also great at putting the ball in the hoop, averaging 16.1 points per game.

    Taylor's shot has gotten better and better over the course of his career in college. 

25. Orlando Magic, Arnett Moultrie

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    School: Mississippi State

    Points Per Game: 16.4

    Rebounds Per Game: 10.5

     

    Arnett Moultrie is a pretty big dude...when it comes to his height. If he added some strength, he would be set in the NBA.

    Moultrie has great rebounding ability, which goes hand and hand with his height. 

26. Cleveland Cavaliers, C.J. McCollum

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    School: Lehigh

    Points Per Game: 21.9

    Rebounds Per Game: 6.5

     

    If it weren't for Lehigh beating Duke in the NCAA tournament, many people probably would not know about C.J. McCollum.

    However, McCollum is a scoring machine who can shoot from just about anywhere. 

27. Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green

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    School: Michigan State

    Points Per Game: 16.2

    Rebounds Per Game: 10.6

     

    It's hard to believe that someone so good could go this late in the first round, but weirder things have happened.

    Whoever drafts Green is going to get an absolute steal. 

    Green is an amazing leader, which goes pretty well with his basketball skills. 

28. Miami Heat, Fab Melo

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    School: Syracuse

    Points Per Game: 7.8

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.8

    Fab Melo won't be anywhere near the best available player when it is time for Miami to draft a player, but they could use a decent center, and Melo is definitely that.

    Melo would be a great fit in Miami, thanks to his 7'0'' height and rebounding and shot-blocking ability.  

29. Oklahoma City Thunder, Festus Ezeli

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    School: Vanderbilt

    Points Per Game: 10.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.9

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are already pretty stacked, but Festus Ezeli would not be a bad fit for them.

    Ezeli isn't the best offensive player in the world, but he is certainly improving. He is a great defender, though, who can rebound on both sides of the court. 

30. Chicago Bulls, Deshaun Thomas

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    School: Ohio State

    Points Per Game: 15.9

    Rebounds Per Game: 5.4


    Deshaun Thomas played like a grown man in the NCAA tournament. In my opinion, he out-shined Jared Sullinger.

    Thomas is great on the boards and he is also a very impressive scorer, which he showed in the dance. 

     

    If you’re a tweeter, feel free to follow me @TheTrevorLowry


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