NBA Draft 2012: 5 Players Who Will Be Surprise Lottery Picks

Stephen Fenech@Fenech2491Correspondent IApril 13, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: 5 Players Who Will Be Surprise Lottery Picks

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    NBA teams count on the NBA Draft to improve their team in both the short and long term. The first 14 picks of the draft, called the lottery, are where the superstars are drafted, and those drafted in the lottery are held to a different standard than the rest.

    These players are often looked at as franchise saviors, and are brought in to help their new team make the playoffs the next season. 

    Just like the regular season, the draft will be filled with surprises. 

    Here are some players that could move up draft boards and find themselves with the honor of being chosen in the lottery of the 2012 NBA Draft. 

Arnett Moultrie

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    Moultire has great height, he is 6'11". Upon entering the NBA, it will be in his best interest to add some muscle to his frame, he currently weights 225 pounds. 

    When Arnett Moultrie transferred from UTEP after the 2010 season, his draft stock dropped. Scouts were worried about the problems that caused the super-talented Moultrie to leave UTEP.  

    After he sat out the entire 2010-2011 season, Moultrie played very well for Mississippi State this past season. He averaged over 16 points per game to go along with 10 rebounds a contest. 

    Moultrie is a great athlete with tremendous leaping ability, he will most certainly be playing above the rim in the NBA. 

    He is a good offensive rebounder, a talent that is appreciated by every NBA team. Moultrie's height cannot be taught, even by the best coaches in the NBA. 

    Moultrie needs to improve his free-throw shooting, he shot just 55 percent last year. This won't cut it in the NBA. He better get ready for some long days in the gym working on his shot from the line. 

    Amazingly, Moultrie played almost 36 minutes a game last season. This shows that he has incredible stamina and is in peak physical shape. 

Tony Wroten Jr.

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    Tony Wroten Jr. has the talent to be a Top Five pick. Unfortunately for him, his game needs so much work in certain areas that some scouts don't think he is worth a first round pick. 

    Wroten has the size of a combo guard, he is 6'5" and weighs 205 pounds. His size is one of the things that some scouts are in love with, he has the size and speed to guard both point guards and shooting guards in the NBA.

    Last season at Washington, he averaged 16 points, 3.7 assists, and 5.0 rebounds a game.

    Wroten has exceptional court vision and is a great passer, skills that will transfer to the NBA game. The ex-Husky has the ability to make his teammates better, and should create a lot of open looks for them. 

    NBA GM's must be salivating over Wroten's play-making ability. Once he learns his teams' NBA offense, he should translate that knowledge into a lot of assists.

    Wroten has the ability to get into the paint, another trait that is never undervalued by NBA scouts. 

    His jump shot needs a lot of work and he is terrible from behind the three-point line—he shot just 16 percent from that range last season.

    Wroten is very raw offensively, and must develop some type of jump shot to force defenses to respect that part of his game. If he is able to do this, then he will be very difficult to stop. 

    Wroten's current skill-set will convince a GM to take a chance on him sooner than later, and there is a chance that he could slide into the end of the lottery. 

Meyers Leonard

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    Meyers Leonard is a 7' tall big man who played his college ball at Illinois. He represents something most of the league is looking for, a 7' big man who is a good defender.

    Leonard is a very good shot blocker and moves extremely well for his size. While most big men struggle to run the floor, Leonard does not. Leonard is a natural mover who should be a very good interior defender in the NBA. 

    Last season, he averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. 

    Leonard is a good inside scorer but has to refine the rest of his offensive game. His size allows him to get easy put backs as well as a lot of easy rebounds.

    Scouts think that Leonard needs to refine his focus. Last season, although Leonard played well, Illinois went into a free-fall in the second half of the season.

    This caused them to miss the NCAA tournament and long-time Illinois coach, Bruce Weber, was fired after the season. 

    Teams tend to be wary of players who have mental troubles on the court, because sometimes these issues cannot be overcome.

    Ultimately, Leonard's size and post defense will likely induce a team to select him sooner rather than later. 

Terrence Ross

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    Terrence Ross was the starting shooting guard for the University of Washington last season. This paired him with Tony Wroten Jr. who appeared earlier on this list. 

    Ross is a very good shooter, he shot 45.7 percent last season. He is also deadly from behind the arc, he made 37 of his attempts from that range last season.

    He is also a good perimeter defender, which should encourage teams to select him. Ross should not be a detriment on the defensive side of the floor, this should give him time to get his offensive game going once in the NBA.

    A couple of the knocks on Ross are his ball-handling and shot selection. 

    Like many younger shooters, Ross has the tendency to put up some bad shots. This should be fixed in the NBA, where most coaches won't tolerate bad shots. 

    There is always a shortage of good shooters in the NBA and this should help the draft stock of Ross. 

Royce White

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    Royce White has the talent to be a very good player in the NBA on the court. He has off-court problems that could derail his career, thus making him a risky selection. 

    White is 6'8" and weighs 240 pounds, he already has an NBA ready body. 

    He is a threat to score from everywhere on the court, including from behind the three-point line.

    His stock began to soar after he put up great performances against Connecticut and Kentucky at this years' NCAA tournament. 

    White handles the ball very well and the Iowa State offense went through him. He can be a point-forward in the NBA like LeBron James or Hedo Turkoglu. 

    White suffers from an anxiety disorder that makes him fear flying, Unfortunately for him, NBA players are on the planes several times per week. 

    He was also kicked off the Minnesota basketball team and had to sit out the entire 2010-2011 prior to playing for Iowa State. 

    If White is able to handle the NBA lifestyle then he will be a steal. It is unlikely that a GM will take a chance on White inside the lottery, but you never know.