2012 NBA Mock Draft: Anthony Davis and Top Picks Who Will Be Instant All-Stars
With the NBA season drawing to its close, fans of the teams already out of the playoff hunt have already turned their attention to the 2012 NBA draft.
NBA mock draft standings are fluid—from lottery teams to playoffs, things will change. Order based on mix of current standings and projected finish.
The following italicized players will go on to be major successes in the NBA.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
While there is no question that Kentucky star Anthony Davis has to work on his offensive talents, his defensive prowess is unreal. Add a little meat to his bones, and the No. 1 overall pick will be a surefire NBA All-Star for years to come.
2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
The Washington Wizards know what kind of product they will get from Kentucky from their experience with John Wall. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist there at No. 2, whoever has this pick will walk away with a bona fide star.
3. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
While Kentucky may have lost in the 2012 NCAA tournament, they had the biggest winner and my personal MVP, Thomas Robinson. With a knack for scoring around the basket and snagging rebounds, there is no reason Robinson won’t step right into the NBA and dominate.
4. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, UConn
While many scouts see a lot of potential, Andre Drummond could be the most overrated star in this draft.
5. Toronto Raptors: Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC
While his offensive game needs to develop a bit to remain effective in the NBA, his stellar defense will make him a staple of the league for years to come.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
One of the more underrated players in the draft, Beal would be an interesting compliment at guard to Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (via NJ): Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
Portland is still trying to find their replacement for the retired Brandon Roy, and Jeremy Lamb may just be that guy. If he finds consistency, the Blazers find a star.
8. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Some scouts have really fallen out of love with Jared Sullinger, but the powerful forward has one of the best motors in this draft glass and can be relentless on the glass. If an NBA team straightens out his scoring, he is a star in the making.
9. Utah Jazz (via GS from NJ): Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St.
Lillard is the pure point guard who can score the ball—the type of player Utah has missed since Deron Williams was traded.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via LAC from MIN): Kendall Marshall, PG, UNC
The Hornets' rebuilding process couldn’t have happened during a deeper draft. Adding point guard Kendall Marshall will be a huge step towards replacing Chris Paul.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
With Greg Oden gone, it’s time for another long-term center project. Let’s just hope this Tyler Zeller pick goes a bit smoother.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones III, F, Baylor
Another overrated star who will bust for his new team. Whichever foolish team buys into the Baylor forward deserves the mess they are creating.
13. Utah Jazz: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
While his time at Duke was short, it was clear that Austin wasn’t the prototypical Blue Devil. When a team selects Rivers, they will be getting a Monta Ellis type shoot-first player—or "ball hog" as we call them on the streets.
14. Phoenix Suns: Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky
While Jones isn’t the best scorer in the draft, his ability to do everything well from almost every spot on the floor is what a team like Phoenix needs in the rebuilding process.
15. Houston Rockets (via NYK): Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
While the Mississippi State prospect has some serious talent, he is very raw and definitely a long-term project.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
The Philadelphia 76ers need a long-term answer at center. With proper development, they’re hoping that’s Meyers Leonard.
17. Denver Nuggets: Tony Wroten, G, Washington
While the casual fan may not know who Tony Wroten is, he could be one of the biggest sleepers in this draft. If he falls to a playoff team, it will be an amazing addition.
18. Dallas Mavericks: John Henson, PF, UNC
The Dallas Mavericks will get from John Henson what they wanted from LaMar Odom, minus all the Kardashian b.s.
19. New Jersey Nets (via HOU): Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
If Deron Williams leaves New Jersey, Taylor will instantly be the best thing the Nets have going for them. So sad.
20. Boston Celtics: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
With Ray Allen on his last legs in the NBA, drafting what could be his successor at shooting guard is the right choice. Waiters can’t hit threes like Allen, but who can?
21. Orlando Magic: Royce White, SF, Iowa State
While they need a center to replace the departing Dwight Howard (because he isn’t staying all season), that’s something they can address next season. Royce White will do for now.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
As the best pure shooter in the draft, Jenkins' biggest chore will be committing to the defensive side of the ball.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
With the first true point guard who can also make his own shots in years for Atlanta, Marquis Teague would help Josh Johnson and Josh Smith regain their All-Star form.
24. Boston Celtics (via LAC from OKC): Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Finally, the Celtics get a legitimate center in Fab Melo.
25. Indiana Pacers: Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
While his shot is something that teams will have to work on if they draft the St. John’s star, Harkless could be another great addition to an already good Pacers squad.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LAL): Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
With a year or two in the NBA training room, Andre Nicholson could become the dominate force down low that can also have a soft offensive touch around the rim.
27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Adding pieces around the Big Three will always be the key to the team’s success, and Festus Ezeli is the kind of center that helps a team in every way.
28. Golden State (via SA): Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
Some fans may disagree, but I see another version of Monta Ellis with Doron Lamb, and I mean the Ellis that missed a ton of shots, too.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, F, Michigan State
A great leader on and off the court, Green may not be the most skilled player in this draft, but he is the perfect fit for the Thunder.
30. Chicago Bulls: Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia
Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson are good, but Kevin Jones could be the future.
Check back for more on the National Basketball Association as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NBA Page to get your fill of all things basketball.
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