2012 NBA Mock Draft: College Superstars Who Won't Live Up to the Hype

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after the Blue Devils lose to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 75-70 during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA draft is loaded with talent, but not every prospect will be quite the star they were during their college career. 

It's the harsh truth that comes with entering the league. An athlete may have been elite in college, but life in the pros is completely different. 

Some guys aren't able to adjust and some just never had it to begin with. 

That being said, here's my 2012 NBA mock draft with info on each pick and more in-depth look at those players who won't live up to the hype. 


2012 NBA Mock Draft


1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Davis is the best athlete in the 2012 draft class, and with his talents, he is definitely going to live up to the hype and dominate at the next level. 


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

Kidd-Gilchrist has the skills to thrive in the NBA, and teaming up with another Wildcat in Washington will work wonders for his career. Having John Wall pass him the ball will significantly help Kidd-Gilchrist's development. 


3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

Beal is an exceptional scorer with the great ability to penetrate to the basket and knock down the jump shot. He and Kyrie Irving would give Cleveland a superb backcourt, pushing the Cavs closer to the playoffs. 


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

Robinson is a machine in the paint, rebounding with ease and defending very well. The Hornets need size and strength on their roster, and Robinson will give them plenty of that right from the start. 


5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, UConn

Drummond is a powerful big man, but there are questions about whether or not he is truly ready for the next level. 

He has the physical talent, but his lack of production and inconsistencies at times are major red flags. 

The Kings need size, so they'll take the risk on Drummond, but unfortunately it won't pan out. 


6. Portland Trail Blazers (via NJ): Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St

Lillard was called upon to do most of the scoring in college, but in the NBA he'll be asked to pass more. It's not his strong suit, but he is still a good distributor. Those skills will continue to get better as his career moves on, and it's certainly a bonus that he can score at will. 


7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

Barnes is the real deal and he'll be able to step in for the Warriors and make an immediate impact. If some team behind the Warriors jumps them in the lottery then this pick will go to the Jazz, so Golden State needs to pray the lottery works out in its favor. 


8. Toronto Raptors: Perry Jones III, F, Baylor

Another guy who was quite inconsistent at times during his college career, Jones is a bit of a tweener who won't amount to much at the next level.

He had flashes of brilliance in college, but there were also some really bad times. The Raptors are in need of a skilled forward, so they'll take the risk on Jones and hope for the best. 

Unfortunately, it will blow up in their face when he flops big-time. 


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

Sullinger is an absolute beast down low, which is just what the Pistons need. He'll give them great power in the paint, helping them win more games along the way. 


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

Marshall is an exceptional facilitator who makes all his teammates better. He knows how to run the show and while he's no Chris Paul, Marshall will definitely help put the Hornets back on the map. 


11. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

Zeller is a terrific rebounder, but that can only take him so far in the NBA. 

The former Tar Heel had a great surge at crucial moments at the end of the year, which significantly helped his draft stock. 

However, once he gets in the league, he'll be bossed around by stronger guys. Portland needs more size, so they'll take Zeller to help crash the boards, but don't expect a great deal of offensive production from him.  

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

Terrence Jones is the best available player here and it's going to be incredibly difficult for the Bucks to pass on him. They need a center, but Jones is such a well-rounded player that picking him is smarter than reaching for a center. 


13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, G, Duke

The Suns are likely to lose Steve Nash in free agency, so they need to hit a home run in the draft.

Not only does Rivers fill a position of need, he'll also help sell tickets since there is a great deal of hype surrounding him. 

Unfortunately, Rivers can be quite selfish with poor shot selection, which will hurt him in the NBA. He has great potential, but if he doesn't play it smart and also improve his defense, he won't live up to the hype. 

Since the Suns aren't very good and definitely will be much worse off without Nash running the show, I expect Rivers to keep up with his selfish ways on the court, failing to turn his team into winners. 


14. Houston Rockets: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

Meyers Leonard is a bit raw and needs time to hone his skills, but his potential is through the roof. The Rockets won't mind rolling the dice on Leonard because the reward could be huge. Plus, they have another first-round pick to add even more talent. 


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

Ross is a terrific shooter, something the 76ers could really use on their bench right now. Providing a spark off the bench will be Ross's task as a rookie, but he has the talent and the energy to do just that. 


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

Henson is one of the best defenders in the draft, which is what makes him such an intriguing selection. He'll step in for the Rockets and give them great production off the bench. 


17. Dallas Mavericks: Tony Wroten Jr., PG, Washington

With Jason Kidd continuing to get up their in age, the Mavericks have to look to the future. Drafting Wroten is the ideal pick for Dallas, as the skilled point guard has all the tools to become an elite stud at the next level. 


18.  Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn

Lamb and Ricky Rubio together would be a scary combination. The 2 guard is the Timberwolves biggest need, and Lamb is easily the best one on the board here. 


19. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

This is a no-brainer pick for the Magic at No. 19. Melo has immense potential and drafting him as insurance for Dwight Howard would be a very wise decision for Orlando. 


20. Denver Nuggets: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi St

Moultrie would step into the league and give the Nuggets stellar depth to work with, helping Denver in crunch time. The Nuggets play very well as a team and adding more size is never a bad move. 


21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

Lamb took a backseat to his Wildcat teammates, but there's no denying his talents. He is a fantastic shooter, which is something the Celtics have to add through the draft since their stars are aging.  


22. Boston Celtics (via LAC): Royce White, F, Iowa State

After the Celtics address their need for a shooter, adding size and strength down low is the next best thing for Boston. White will be a great contributor right away, using his big frame to help the Celtics win. 


23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

It's uncertain what the Hawks intend to do with Josh Smith, but it's no secret he isn't all that happy in Atlanta. This means that the Hawks need to find his eventual replacement, so drafting Taylor to be groomed into the starter would be a good call for Atlanta. 


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

Harkless is a big sleeper in this draft and with some more coaching, he can easily dominate the NBA. He's a great defender and penetrator, and with work on his jump shot, Harkless will be a stud. 


25. Memphis Grizzlies: Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse

I would be very surprised to see O.J. Mayo return to Memphis, so the Grizzlies will need to add another talented guard to their roster in his place. Waiters would be the perfect fit here at No. 25. 


26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

The Pacers have to get better at the point position. Teague isn't a true point, but adding him to the roster will help push Darren Collison to be better. 


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

The Heat will use this draft pick to stockpile talent for better depth down the stretch and into the postseason. Green has a great attitude toward the game, and there's no question he would be a perfect fit for Miami. 


28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor

Another team drafting purely for depth, the Thunder would be wise to take Miller here. He opted to return to school only to later change his mind. Miller has great talent and sitting on the bench and learning from Durant will make him better. 


29. Chicago Bulls: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

The Bulls would love to add a talented point guard here for insurance for Derrick Rose, but the top ones are off the board, so Chicago's next best bet is to add more size. Ezeli would be a phenomenal fit for the Bulls and in time he could become a major force for Chicago. 


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

This could end up being the Warriors only pick in the first round, so they need to make sure they're playing it smart. Adding size and strength with a guy like Nicholson to help the bench out would be a wise call for Golden State. 


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