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2012 NBA Draft: 5 High Risk-High Reward Prospects

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One of the biggest challenges in the NBA draft is that most lottery picks need to be based not on proven performance, but on how well a player might develop down the road.

While a team can occasionally get lucky and land a player who’s already blossomed into an NBA-ready star (see Duncan, Tim), it’s more common for even the most talented college prospects to leave their pro teams holding their breath for a couple of years before panning out, like All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, or busting out, like draft classmate Adam Morrison.

One player who’s nearly as much of a risk as Morrison heading into the draft is North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes. Like Morrison, Barnes is a first-rate scorer who hasn’t really proven that he can do anything else at an NBA level, but unlike the former Gonzaga star, Barnes has the advantage of being a top-notch athlete even by NBA standards.

Still, whether Barnes will follow through on his immense promise is far from a sure thing. Take a look at this collection of other potential lottery picks with real chances to either boom or bust at the next level.

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