NBA Draft 2012: 6 College Stars Who Will Be NBA Busts

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIMay 15, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: 6 College Stars Who Will Be NBA Busts

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    As we near the Conference Finals, it's clear there is a massive discrepancy between a Champion and a playoff team. Teams like Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Miami simply roll over opponents while teams like the Clippers, Lakers, Pacers, and Celtics struggle to hang in games despite a deep roster. 

    The only way to cure a league dominated by few is to successfully integrate prospects to the weaker teams — allowing for more dispersion of talent on a wider scale.

    Headed into the 2012 NBA Draft, here are seven names most likely to bust in the NBA...


    2012 NBA Draft First Round Picks:

    1. Charlotte Bobcats
    2. Washington Wizards
    3. Cleveland Cavaliers
    4. New Orleans Hornets
    5. Sacramento Kings
    6. Portland Trail Blazers (From Nets)
    7. Golden State Warriors
    8. Toronto Raptors
    9. Detroit Pistons
    10. New Orleans Hornets (From Timberwolves)
    11. Portland Trail Blazers
    12. Milwaukee Bucks
    13. Phoenix Suns
    14. Houston Rockets
    15. Philadelphia 76ers
    16. Houston Rockets (From Knicks)
    17. Dallas Mavericks
    18. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Jazz) 
    19. Orlando Magic
    20. Denver Nuggets
    21. Boston Celtics
    22. Boston Celtics (From Clippers)
    23. Atlanta Hawks
    24. Cleveland Cavaliers (From Lakers)
    25. Memphis Grizzlies
    26. Indiana Pacers
    27. Miami Heat
    28. Oklahoma City Thunder
    29. Chicago Bulls
    30. Golden State Warriors (From Spurs)

    All Mock Draft Picks From DraftExpress

Austin Rivers, Duke

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    Mock Draft: Houston Rockets, No. 16

    Rivers is the easiest target to label a potential bust as he's only had one NCAA season under his belt.




    First off, his dad is one of the smartest coaches in the NBA in Doc Rivers. Doc keeps one of the most spotty rosters in line and clearly knows how to be successful in the NBA — scouts can only hope some of this proverbial knowledge has been passed down to the 19-year-old Austin. 

    At Duke, Rivers scored consistently attacking the lane and from beyond the arc — no shot was bigger than the buzzer-beater on the road over hated rival North Carolina.



    Areas for Improvement

    Entering the draft at just 19-years-old, it's clear Rivers does not lack confidence in his game. However, a lethal NCAA three-point shooter does not automatically translate into a productive NBA offense.  

    Last season at Duke, Rivers had far too many turnovers and was often criticized for poor shot selection.

    Potential MVP candidates are the only players that are not be benched for poor shot selection.

    While poor decision making is his biggest knock, if Rivers can find a team with a solid coach and overall "team play," he can have a positive impact in the NBA.

    Unfortunately for Rivers, there are only 10 or 15 teams that already have that.  


    Pre-Bust NBA ComparisonSteph Curry 

Kendall Marshall, North Carolina

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    Mock Draft: Houston Rockets, No. 14 

    Kendall Marshall's stock rose following a successful NCAA career on a seemingly stacked Tar Hells roster, though they were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight by an overpowering Kansas team. 




    Marshall excels with control and passing, always a need in the NBA — but at 6'4'' he's got a size advantage over many guards in the league.



    Areas for Improvement 

    The biggest knock on Marshall is the lack of speed and overall athleticism. Players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist come into the draft with that absolute advantage over Marshall.

    His defense is built on positioning and he is not an overpowering threat to steal the ball, so guys like Deron Williams, Andre Miller and perhaps even Jeremy Lin can dominate Marshall.


    Pre-Bust NBA Comparison: Steve Nash and his "pass-first mentality"

Jeremy Lamb, UCONN

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    Mock Draft: Milwaukee Bucks, No. 12 

    Detroit would be another team potentially interested in Lamb, to replace Ben Gordon's expensive contract.




    Prolific scoring: 47.8 FG %

    His athleticism and wingspan are big pluses, and therefore he'll have an easier time defending the lane-driving guards throughout the league than others in the draft.



    Areas for Improvement 

    Lamb often shoots because his lack of strength doesn't allow him to drive, use his body and/or draw fouls. At Connecticut last season, Lamb averaged just 3.6 free-throw attempts per game.

    Look for Lamb to hit the weight room leading up to the draft to potentially add some size and strength to his game, or he'll have a tough time getting scoring chances consistently.


    Pre-Bust NBA Comparison: Jrue Holiday 

Terrence Jones, Kentucky

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    Mock Draft: Portland Trail Blazers, No. 11

    Storming into the draft after a National Title with Kentucky, power forward Terrence Jones is a potential top-15 draft choice for an NBA team in desperate need for a scoring and rebounding threat.




    Kentucky's Terrence Jones is one of the toughest and strongest power forwards available in the draft. At 6'9'', 252 pounds, he is primed and ready for an NBA matchup in the paint.



    Areas for Improvement 

    When placed against a Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum, the young Jones will most likely be dominated throughout the game. However, if he can master a hook shot and chisel a mid-range jumper he could hold his own offensively.


    Pre-Bust NBA Comparison: Josh Smith 

Tyler Zeller, North Carolina

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    Mock Draft: New Orleans Hornets, No. 10

    UNC's Tyler Zeller is one of the best centers in the draft, however if teams select the prolific scoring guards over Zeller he potentially can fall to 15th or 20th in the draft.




    Zeller's best strength is his offensive game at over 7-feet tall along with impressive team-oriented shot selection. Teams in need of a big man, especially a scoring big man, will look to nab Zeller between picks 10 and 20.




    Overall, Zeller lacks the strength most NBA 7-footers have — guys like Blake Griffin will easily slam it on him game after game if he does not add some strength in the weight room. 

    The only other aspect I question on Zeller is his overall mental toughness. Too many times Zeller failed to make a "heads-up" play late in the game and cost UNC some important regular season games. If he couldn't make a big play against offenses like Duke and NC State, there's no way he'll be able to against NBA talent.


    NBA Comparison: Pau Gasol 

Doron Lamb, Kentucky

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    Mock Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers, No. 33

    Kentucky guard Doron Lamb's draft stock continues to fall, as the once-projected first-round pick has fallen to an early second-round selection.




    Lamb certainly has the control and scoring ability for an NCAA guard, however his near 50% three-point shooting won't be as easily attained in the NBA. The NBA has far better perimeter defenders than any team Lamb faced in the NCAA — a big question for NBA scouts.



    Areas for Improvement 

    Lamb clearly lacks the playmaking ability of most NBA point guards, but if he is drafted to a team with a more prolific scoring guard that utilizes an explosive offense, Lamb will be a great addition.


    NBA Comparison: Derek Fisher