2012 NBA Draft: 10 Highly Rated Prospects Who Are Way Overrated
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Hearing their names called in the first round of the NBA draft is a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but that is just the beginning for prospects coming into the league.
Even if a player is taken in the lottery portion of the draft, he needs to back up his high selection by producing, or he will be given the dreaded "bust" label.
By the conclusion of the draft, 60 names will have been called. Only a few will be future stars, but many will not be productive at all, and do not deserve the high ratings they receive during the pre-draft process.
The following are the 10 most overrated, but highly touted 2012 NBA draft prospects.
10. Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
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From his days at St. Anthony's High School in New Jersey to the University of Kansas, Tyshawn Taylor has always been a point guard.
If Taylor wants to continue that trend into the NBA, he seriously needs to improve his turnover to assist ratio. Pass-first point guards are becoming a lost art, and Tyshawn Taylor is a part of that movement.
Unfortunately, Taylor isn't an incredible scorer either.
If he is focused completely on basketball, he can be a nice change-of-pace guy for an NBA team off the bench. If not, he will be an erratic bench player that washes out of the league in no time.
Taylor may be able to sneak into the end of the first round, but that would be unwarranted. Taylor is a mid to late second-round talent who is riding off the success of his team's run to the NCAA tournament finals.
9. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
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Jeremy Lamb probably received a little too much credit for Connecticut's championship run in 2011.
Kemba Walker was more than just the star for that squad. Kemba was that team.
Following an unimaginable route to becoming an NCAA Champion, Lamb's draft stock soared. His sophomore season didn't necessarily "wow" anyone, but his stock didn't fall, either.
I actually like Lamb as a role player or glue guy for an NBA team, but his draft projections do not suggest that is what he will become as a professional. Lamb could be a top-10 pick.
Top-10 picks are expected to become leaders for their respective teams—something that Lamb will never become. His reputation won't let him fall past the end of the lottery, but he really is more of a late-first round pick that projects as a sixth man at the next level.
8. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
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Many outlets, including NBADraft.net, have Jared Sullinger listed at 6'10''. Any NBA team who drafts Sullinger is going to discover that isn't the case.
Sullinger played like a center for the Buckeyes, but he is a true 6'8'' without shoes. That height is not going to cut it for a center in the pros.
While Sullinger is physical, he's not really athletic or quick for his size or position. The NBA is a fast game, and despite Sullinger's weight loss in between his freshman and sophomore seasons, he may not be able to keep up.
A likable young man with obvious skill, Sullinger will be drafted in the lottery.
One day, he may surprise me and live up to that draft selection. However, I would not be surprised if the team that reaches for him ends up regretting their decision.
7. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
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Harrison Barnes' skill set comes a dime a dozen in the present-day NBA, which makes his services somewhat expendable.
Barnes is a pure scorer with an excellent mid-range game, a ferocious attack to the basket and a very happy trigger from beyond the arc.
All three of those qualities make Barnes a prolific scorer, but the other dimensions of his game simply do not compare. Barnes is an average passer, a subpar ball handler and an uninspiring leader.
NBA teams can find a player similar to Harrison Barnes later in the draft, because a pure scoring talent with an unimpressive all-around game is not hard to find.
6. Tony Wroten, Washington
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NBA scouts have been drooling over this combo guard from Washington because of his size and athleticism. Frankly, I don't share that obsession.
Though he has his pitfalls, Tony Wroten isn't a bad basketball player. He is, however, alarmingly immature, and ultimately a risky draft-day selection.
Wroten needs to cut down on his turnover rate and become a better ball-protector. His jump-shot is mediocre at best, and he doesn't have sound shot-selection.
Mentally, Tony Wroten just isn't fully there yet. And that's expected, because he left the Huskies after just one season.
If an NBA team elects to draft Wroten with their first-round pick, which is a very likely scenario, they could be in for a rude awakening.
5. Fab Melo, Syracuse
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To state it simply, Fab Melo will never be a proficient offensive player in the NBA
Melo actually got in shape for his sophomore season and played 15 minutes more per game than in his freshman year. He was a shot-blocking machine and was a force on the boards for the Orange.
On the offensive end of the floor, Melo was seemingly non-existent and didn't pose much of a threat for opposing defenders. He has laughable footwork and zero finesse in his post game.
Melo is so one-dimensional that he doesn't warrant his projected first-round draft slot. Whichever team takes a gamble on him will receive a major work-in-progress that may never be completed.
4. Andre Drummond, Connecticut
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At some point, size and potential has to take a backseat to productivity.
Against a small Iowa State team in the NCAA tournament, Drummond totaled two points, three rebounds, and zero attempted free throws. What 6'11'', top-five NBA draft pick doesn't get to the free throw line in the biggest game of his career?
Drummond certainly has the potential to prove me wrong, but he was so ineffective at Connecticut that I can only envision a Derrick Favors-like scenario at best. That is, a top five draft pick who comes off the bench and averages under double digits in both points and rebounds in the NBA.
3. Meyers Leonard, Illinois
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I really liked Leonard as a college basketball player for the Fighting Illini, but not as an NBA lottery pick.
Leonard is the tallest American prospect in the draft, standing at 7'1''. He has great physical tools, but there are major flaws in his game including no mid-range game or dribbling ability.
Leonard is only effective when catching the ball with his back to the basket. But even when he receives the ball where he is comfortable, his footwork is unrefined and his lack of strength is evident.
NBA centers are much bigger and tougher than what Leonard has faced in the Big Ten. They won't fear his towering stature and will clobber him on the glass.
2. Austin Rivers, Duke
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Rivers is destined to be a lottery selection, but his skills suggest he should fall to his father, Doc Rivers, at the 21st pick in the first round.
Rivers' inconsistency and inability to finish close games will terrorize him in the NBA, and his performance against Lehigh in the NCAA tournament may have foreshadowed his future as a professional.
Rivers' biggest weakness is his tendency to determine his course of action before actually seeing how the play develops. He chooses what he is going to do, and struggles to adjust to what the defense does to stop him.
Once he is in the lane, he gets tunnel vision. He only focuses on the basket, when he should be focused on the basket and his surroundings.
Intelligent NBA defenses will eat him up with this immature style of basketball.
1. Marquis Teague, Kentucky
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I almost feel as if Marquis Teague actually wanted to stay at Kentucky, but it would have been too awkward had he stayed and all of his teammates left.
Teague is easily the least NBA-ready out of the six Kentucky players in this year's draft pool, but he may be the third or fourth highest drafted Wildcat.
Marquis isn't quite the distributor his big brother, Jeff, was coming out of college. To make matters worse, he is not a prolific scorer and has just average size at 6'2''.
Teague struggled with decision making against SEC opponents, and won't fare any better against NBA talent.