2012 NBA Mock Draft: Teams Under Most Pressure to Select Instant Impact Prospect

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 25:  Owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan yells during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The 2012 NBA draft is right around the corner, and there are some teams really feeling the heat. Nobody wants to get a bust player, as several teams are in dire need of big-time help.

There's a great deal of pressure of the weaker franchises to strike gold in this draft and land a player who will help turn things around. 

It's the unfortunate truth that some teams will flop with their picks while others win big. None of that changes the fact these teams are desperate for dominant players. 

That being said, here's my 2012 NBA mock draft with info on each pick and a more in-depth look at those teams under the most pressure to land an instant impact player. 


2012 NBA Mock Draft


1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

The Bobcats were clearly the worst team in the league this year. They're dying for help right now, and Davis will definitely make them better. 

This franchise is trying to rebuild, but the level of talent it has right now can't hang with the rest of the league.

Basically, the Bobcats have to hope the ball bounces their way and they get the No. 1 pick. Even if they don't, they need to make sure they're drafting an elite stud that will help lift them off the floor.  


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

The Wizards need to continue to build their roster around John Wall. He and Kidd-Gilchrist would work very well together. 


3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

Ever since LeBron James left, it's been no secret that the Cavs aren't very good.

They helped themselves a great deal with last year's draft, but they're still not ready to make a playoff push. 

All of that can change by hitting a home run with both of their first-round picks this year. Beal would be ideal with their first pick, as he and Kyrie Irving would make for a strong backcourt for many years. 


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

The Hornets really shook up their team once they lost David West in free agency and traded Chris Paul away. 

Now, they have a huge hole in their roster, but they can get much better by wisely using both first-round picks this year. 

Robinson is a double-double machine, and he'll waste no time in proving himself at the next level. New Orleans really needs all the help it can get at the moment. 


5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, UConn

The Kings would be gambling here with Drummond, but it's a risk they have to take. The reward outweighs it all if Drummond lives up to his great potential. 


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

The Blazers have a chance to get much stronger in this draft, and starting it off by selecting a skilled point like Lillard who can pass and score at will would be fantastic. 


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

After trading Monta Ellis away, the Warriors are in need of another impact player. 

Barnes would be a terrific selection here, but the only way it happens is if a team lower than Golden State jumps them in the lottery—this pick goes to Jazz. 

The Warriors are hoping that doesn't happen, but it's a mystery right now. Either way, they have to get a dynamic player in the draft. 


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

The Raptors would be taking a chance on Jones, a guy who can be inconsistent at times. However, his talent is very good, and Toronto won't be able to pass on that. 


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

The Pistons looked really ugly at times this year, so there's no question they need someone who can step in and make an immediate impact. 

Detroit needs help all over, but selecting an athlete like Sullinger would be a huge start to becoming a powerhouse team once again. 

Should the Pistons end up with a bust here instead of a player who can contribute right away, they'll continue to be one of the laughing stocks of the NBA. 


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

Here the Hornets continue to help their roster out in a big way by drafting a talented distributor like Marshall. He sees the floor very well and makes everyone around him better. 


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

The Blazers have to add more size and strength with one of their first-round picks. Zeller does a tremendous job rebounding, and he would give Portland superb depth. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

The Bucks might gamble on a center here, but with Jones still on the board, they'll do the right thing, play it smart and draft the skilled forward.  

13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, G, Duke

The Suns are likely to lose Steve Nash in free agency, which means they have to find a star player in this draft. 

They'll certainly hope and pray the lottery is kind to them and they get a better pick than No. 13, but there's no guarantee.

Still, ending up with Rivers here would be great for Phoenix. He has all kinds of talent but can be selfish at times, so that will need to be fixed if the Suns want him to reach his full potential.  


14. Houston Rockets: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

With two first-round picks, the Rockets can afford to take a major risk here in Leonard. He's a raw prospect that needs some time to develop before being thrown into the fire, but nobody can question his potential. 


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

The 76ers must improve their depth if they're ever going to thrive in the postseason. They can win in the regular season, but in crunch time its a different story, so boosting the roster with a solid shooter like Ross would be clutch.  

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

The Rockets know they have to add more size and power to their roster. Henson is an exceptional defender, so he'll be welcomed with open arms and asked to shut down some of the NBA's elite.  

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

Dallas has to look toward the future here, which means drafting Jason Kidd's eventual replacement would be wise. Wroten is a big sleeper in this draft, and joining the Mavericks would be a great place for him to succeed. 


18.  Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn

Lamb is a top-notch two guard, which just so happens to be Minnesota's biggest need. He and Ricky Rubio together would be very fun to watch.  


19. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

The Magic would be wise to draft insurance for Dwight Howard. Melo needs some work, but his potential is through the roof. 


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

Denver will be drafting solely for the depth of the roster, so adding size and strength to the bench is most likely where the Nuggets will focus. Moultrie is a powerful big man with great athleticism that Denver would love to have. 


21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

The Celtics are an aging team, so using both draft picks to get younger is their best bet. Of course, they could decide to package the two together and jump up into the lottery picks to land a big name stud. Using this pick on Lamb though would be ideal, as he is a talented shooter who will help keep Boston prominent.  


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

In addition to needing a scorer like Lamb, the Celtics also need a big man for extra roster depth. White is a force down low and could easily be selected before this pick. Should he be available, though, the Celtics better play it smart and draft him. 


23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

The Hawks will have a lot to think about here, and chances are they doing something insane. Drafting Taylor would actually be a smart decision for Atlanta, but too many times have the Hawks made poor draft day choices.  

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

Another sleeper in the draft, Harkless is very athletic and scorer at will and is also a great defender. He needs to work on his jump shot, but in time he can master it and become an elite star for Cleveland. 


25. Memphis Grizzlies: Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse

With O.J. Mayo surely on his way, the Grizzlies will need another two guard on the roster. Waiters is the best available here, and he'll easily make Memphis forget the many headaches Mayo provided.  

26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

Teague isn't an elite point guard, but he would help the depth of the Pacers and also come back to his home, which of course would help ticket prices. Indiana needs help in the frontcourt, and Teague is the top point guard left on the board. 

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

The prospect that Miami picks will of course be thrilled to play with some big stars, but not a whole lot will be asked of him. Coming off the bench and providing the team with a burst of energy will be a must, and that is definitely something Green can achieve. 


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

The Thunder will also be drafting just for depth, as their starting lineup is good to go for a number of years. Picking Miller here would give Oklahoma City an even better bench. 


29. Chicago Bulls: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

The Bulls are most likely hoping one of the top point guards falls their way, but since it's doubtful, using this pick to add size would be smart as well. Chicago can find PG help in free agency and help the depth of the team by drafting Ezeli. 


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

Another pick solely for the depth of the team, the Warriors would be able to have Nicholson serve as David Lee's backup. Should Golden State miss out on a lottery pick, it will drastically change their approach to this selection.  



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