2012 NBA Mock Draft: Which College Studs Are Rising on Draft Boards?
The 2012 NBA draft will be here before you know it, but as it draws closer, some prospects continue to rise and others slip down.
They'll keep fluctuating up and down draft boards throughout the pre-draft process, as certain athletes will stand out in a major way during their workouts.
Scouts will be keeping a watchful eye over the big-name prospects, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses and figuring out if they're truly ready for the next level or if they need time to grow.
With that said, here's my updated 2012 NBA mock draft with info on each pick and a more in-depth look at the college studs rising up draft boards.
2012 NBA Mock Draft
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
The top prospect in the draft, Davis is going to be the No. 1 pick no matter which team wins the lottery. He's a dynamic star who will thrive at the next level, and I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see him play.
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2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Kidd-Gilchrist burst onto the scene this past season, quickly proving his worth and making a major impact. Teaming up with John Wall will help him get better, as well as help the Wizards win more.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
A natural scorer, Beal will be an excellent addition to the Cavs. He and Kyrie Irving will give Cleveland an outstanding backcourt for many years to come.
4. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
A dominant post man, Robinson is going to waste no time in making his presence known in the NBA. He's a beast down low, and he'll give the Hornets great power moving forward.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, UConn
Drummond is definitely a rising prospect. He's being considered a high pick as is, but as the draft day gets closer, he's going to keep rising on the boards.
At 6'11", 275 pounds, Drummond is turning heads and will give every high pick a run for his money, including Davis.
He's a monster player with amazing potential, which is why he will be so highly coveted. While Drummond is a risky pick, the chance of him being a huge star in the league is very high.
Because of that, he's going to rise up draft boards a great deal, and may just end up being the No. 2 pick when it's all said and done. That, of course, will likely depend on the lottery.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via NJ): Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St
Lillard can score and distribute, which makes him a big threat in the NBA. He'll have to adjust to playing against much better talent, but he has the skills to win.
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7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes is the real deal in my opinion. He can shoot well and is a great defender. The Warriors might not end up with their lottery selection, but if they do, they'll quickly grab Barnes to help them contend.
8. Toronto Raptors: Perry Jones III, F, Baylor
Jones has had his fare share of ups and downs in college, but his potential is sky high, which is why the Raptors will love having him.
9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson, PF, North Carolina
Henson is steadily rising up draft boards because of his ability to defend.
Some might consider this a reach for Detroit, but to get a sit-down defender like Henson would be huge for the Pistons.
What's more, the Pistons need a long athletic big man, and at 6'10", 210 pounds, Henson fits the mold. His superb defensive skills are what make him an enticing prospect and will ultimately make him a high draft pick.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via MINN): Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
Marshall is a fantastic facilitator who will instantly make those around him in New Orleans better. He knows how to run the show, which is something the Hornets really need.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
Zeller is a terrific rebounder. He'll add great size and strength to the Blazers' depth. Zeller won't be a big star in the league, but he does the little things, and Portland needs a big man like him.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Sullinger will be a fine addition to Milwaukee, especially if Ersan Ilyasova leaves in free agency. Sullinger is a powerful big man who will use his strength to put up great numbers in his rookie campaign.
13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, G, Duke
Rivers has a great deal of hype to live up to, but there is no denying his talents. He can be a bit selfish at times, but the Suns are in dire need to help at the guard position. I really don't see Steve Nash staying in Phoenix.
14. Houston Rockets: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Leonard is a project prospect, but since the Rockets have two first-round picks, they can afford to take the risk here. As a seven-footer, Leonard is going to garner a great deal of attention, and joining the Rockets would be a good fit for him to continue to develop.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
The 76ers need better shooters on their team, which is why Ross would be a stellar pick. He can knock down the three-pointers and give Philadelphia a great burst of energy off the bench.
16. Houston Rockets (via NY): Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi St
Moultrie is another prospect on the rise, and rightfully so.
The 6'11", 225-pound power forward is a long, athletic big man who will really help a number of teams. Should the Rockets end up taking him, they'll be glad they did.
He'll give Houston even more size and strength to work with, making the Rockets' depth that much better.
Don't be surprised to see Moultrie continue to climb.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Tony Wroten Jr., PG, Washington
Jason Kidd isn't getting any younger, so the Mavericks would be very wise to draft his replacement here. Wroten is a big sleeper in the draft, and in time, he has the talents to grow into a major star.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
The Timberwolves' biggest need is at the two-guard position, and Lamb is the best available here. He and Ricky Rubio working together would be very fun to watch.
19. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
The Magic have to draft a center as insurance for Dwight Howard. Who knows if he'll still be with them in the next year or so, which is exactly why it makes perfect sense for Orlando to select a stud like Melo.
20. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
Jones drops a bit because of different team needs, but the Nuggets will be thrilled because of it. They don't need any star players here, but rather help for the depth on the team. Jones can do it all, and there is no doubt that he would be able to come off the bench and give Denver a great spark.
21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
The Celtics need size and a shooter in this draft. With back-to-back picks, I have them drafting a shooter first. Lamb is underrated in this draft, and considering the fact Boston is aging in key positions, Lamb would be a warm welcome.
22. Boston Celtics (via LAC): Royce White, F, Iowa State
Here, the Celtics address their need for size and strength. White is a strong force who sees the floor well, is a great rebounder and also can handle the ball very well.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
Josh Smith's future with the Hawks is up in the air, so it would be smart for Atlanta to draft a forward here. Taylor makes the most sense, but oftentimes the Hawks do strange things on draft day.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LAL): Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Harkless is a true sleeper in the draft, and with extra work he could be special at the next level. Cleveland would be a strong fit for him as he would have time to work on his craft and become a better overall player.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse
With O.J. Mayo surely departing from Memphis after this season, the Grizzlies will need to fill his void, and there's no question Waiters would be a solid fit.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
The Pacers need help at the point guard position, and Teague is the best one on the board here at No. 26. He isn't a pure point, but he has the talent to help push the ball up the court and challenge Darren Collison to be better.
27. Miami Heat: Draymond Green, F, Michigan State
The Heat will be drafting strictly for depth here, and Green would an outstanding selection. He can do all the little things for Miami, coming off the bench and providing the team with great energy while the stars rest.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Miller returned to school, but later changed his mind. With another year in college he would have helped himself become a sure-fire lottery pick. The Thunder won't pass on his potential as they know he'll help make the depth of the team so much better.
29. Chicago Bulls: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Chicago would love to land a talented point guard here to have as insurance for Derrick Rose. Finding a veteran in free agency would probably be the Bulls best bet, and for the draft, selecting great size would be ideal.
30. Golden State Warriors (via SA): Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson has the talent to grow into an elite player, but there's no telling how long it will take him or if he will ever reach his full potential. For now, though, he'll serve as a solid backup to David Lee.
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