2012 NBA Mock Draft: Hidden Gems Ready to Make Big Splash

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06:  Moe Harkless #4 of the St. John's Red Storm in action against the Pittsburgh Panthers during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA draft is filled with immense talent, and there a few lesser-known players that are sure to be steals on draft day. 

Every team picking late in the first round hopes to find gold there. The same can be said for every second-round pick. 

Of course, that's easy, but there will be a few teams that hit the jackpot so to speak. 

That being said, here's my latest 2012 NBA mock draft with info on each pick and a more in-depth look at the hidden gems ready to shine. 



2012 NBA Mock Draft


1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

It's no secret Davis is the top prospect in the draft. What's more intriguing is the fact that the Bobcats might just be tanking games to ensure they land the No. 1 pick to get Davis. Charlotte has lost 14 games in a row entering Friday's contest with the Miami Heat.  

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

Kidd-Gilchrist put on quite a show this year. The freshman sensation has a high ceiling and he'll thrive with John Wall in Washington. 


3. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

Once David West left, the Hornets had a huge hole down low. Robinson is a rebounding machine that will fill the void. 


4. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, UConn

It's a risky pick, but the Kings need another big man. Drummond has excellent potential, but he could easily bust. Adding him to the mix could get DeMarcus Cousins to play even better. 


5. Toronto Raptors: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

The Raptors would love a center here, but Barnes is the best available, and passing on him would be a terrible decision since he would instantly make the team better. 


6. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

Getting another big time scorer to work with Kyrie Irving would do wonders for the struggling Cavs. 


7. Portland Trail Blazers (via NJ): Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

This is somewhat of a reach, but the Blazers need to upgrade at the center position, and Zeller is the best one available. He needs work, but he's a dominant rebounder who will give Portland some much-needed help. 


8. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State

Detroit needs more size, and Sullinger will use his big frame to turn lots of heads in the NBA season next year. 


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

Lillard is a hidden gem to most of the casual basketball fans. 

Playing at Weber State, a team in the Big Sky Conference, Lillard was an unstoppable force. Utah's backcourt needs help, and Lillard will provide a great spark for the Jazz.

He averaged 24 points this past season, and his quickness on the court will be a warm welcome to Utah. 


10. New Orleans Hornets (via MINN): Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

Marshall is no Chris Paul, but he'll definitely step in and help distribute the ball extremely well for the Hornets. 


11. Portland Trail Blazers: Austin Rivers, G, Duke

This is also a gamble, but the Blazers need someone young who can slash and score. Rivers has the hype, but living up to it won't be easy. 


12. Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones, PF, Baylor

Jones has had his fair share of ups and downs, but there's no denying he's superbly talented. Milwaukee gets more size for their depth with this pick. 


13. Utah Jazz: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn

The Jazz continue to help their backcourt by getting a stud scorer in Lamb. 


14. Phoenix Suns: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

The Suns would prefer a point guard, but the best ones are off the board now. Leonard is a boom or bust prospect, but the Suns won't pass on the chance to add great size to their team.


15. Houston Rockets (via NY): John Henson, PF, North Carolina

Henson would be a tremendous fit for the Rockets, a team that needs a defensive presence down low. Henson will give them that plus more. 


16. Philadelphia 76ers:  Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

Ross is a phenomenal shooter. He'll step in and give the 76ers a great spark off the bench, working his way into the starting rotation in time.


17. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

Jones falls out of the lottery since he stayed in school another year, but the good news is that he ended up winning a championship because of it. Denver boosts its depth by adding Jones. 


18. Dallas Mavericks: Tony Wroten, PG, Washington

Jason Kidd isn't getting any younger. Wroten was a stand out freshman this past season, helping the Huskies win numerous games. 

He's not as highly rated as Lillard or Marshall, nor does he have the hype like Rivers; however, Wroten has what it takes to make it big at the next level. 

At 6'5", Wroten has excellent size for the point position, and with the help from Kidd, Wroten will grow into a star. 


19. New Jersey Nets (via HOU): Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi St

Moultrie would give the Nets better depth in the frontcourt. At 6'11", 225 pounds, Moultrie will need to bulk up some, but there's no denying he has great ability in the low post. 


20. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

Lamb was overshadowed by the bigger stars at Kentucky, but the truth is, this kid can play. He's a great shooter, and that's exactly what Boston needs from this draft.

Ray Allen isn't getting any younger, and molding Lamb to eventually take his place would be a wise decision. 

The Celtics do need extra size, but they'll play it smart and draft Lamb, a true sleeper in the draft. 

21. Memphis Grizzlies: Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse

The Grizzlies have long been fed up with OJ Mayo, and here they find his replacement. Waiters can get to the basket with ease, and Memphis will love that. 


22. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse 

It's really hard to trust anything Dwight Howard says. While this is a risky pick (Melo is boom or bust), the Magic have to draft a center this year as insurance for Howard. 


23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

With the future of Josh Smith being rather uncertain in Atlanta, drafting his possible replacement would be a smart move by the Hawks. Then again, when it comes to the draft, Atlanta rarely does make the smart move. 


24. Boston Celtics (via LAC): C.J. Leslie, SF, N.C. State

The Celtics add another great athlete here with Leslie. He's got the ability to score form anywhere on the court, and with several aging stars leading the way for Boston, it would be in the Celtics' best interest to draft Leslie to help take over the future. 


25. Indiana Pacers: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

Ezeli has superb potential. When it's all said and done, he could end up being one of the best players from this draft. 

There's no question that he'll have to put in a lot of work, but the talent to thrive is certainly there. Ezeli's low post moves aren't stellar, but in time, he can grow into a powerful player down low. 


26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LAL): Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s

Harkless could perhaps be the best late-round steal of the draft. He's young and raw and will need more work, but his skills translate very well to the next level. 

With continued work on the jump shot, Harkless can be something special. He's a strong scorer and a great defender, something the Cavs would love to have. 


27. Golden State Warriors (via SA): Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure

Nicholson would serve as a solid backup to David Lee should the Warriors take him. He's similar to David West, and he's only going to continue to get better. 


28. Miami Heat: Draymond Green, F, Michigan State

Green is a fantastic all-around player. He does whatever the team needs, and the Heat will love that. He doesn't have to be a star in Miami, but doing all the little things will help keep the Heat on top.  

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Royce White, F, Iowa State

Oklahoma City doesn't have a huge need at any position, so look for the Thunder to add the best depth possible. Getting another small forward for insurance to Kevin Durant would be smart. 


30. Chicago Bulls: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

Teague may end up getting drafted higher because he's a point guard. It's not a strong PG class this year, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see someone reach on him. 

The Bulls have to be stacked at point guard behind Derrick Rose just in case he gets injured. Adding Teague to the mix will definitely make Chicago a stronger team overall. 



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