2012 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Every All-Star Player in First Round
A pretty impressive top of the draft, for sure. But only three other players from the first round of that draft have ever made an All-Star game—Chris Kaman, David West and Josh Howard—and none of them would be considered stars.
Generally speaking, anywhere from three to five players selected in the first round will make an All-Star game at some point in their career. Let's be optimistic and pick five such players from this year's draft class.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF (Kentucky)
Davis has the ability to become an iconic defensive player on the block and one of the game's truly special shot-blockers. He'll need to add some muscle to his skinny frame and evolve his offensive game, but that will come in time.
Davis is an unreal athlete who will have a solid game facing the basket as he continues to grow. And even if he never becomes an elite offensive option, he'll dominate game's with his defensive presence.
2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF (Kentucky)
Like Davis, MKG will have to evolve his offensive game and improve his jump shot.
But he'll do everything else well.
He'll be an excellent defender. He'll run the court and be an elite finisher at the rim. He'll be an unselfish teammate. He'll be a leader. He's the sort of player you'll want on your team.
Eventually, a full-rounded offensive game will come because he'll work hard to develop it, and when it does, the All-Star berth will follow.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, SG (Florida)
He and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt will be a very nice pair.
4. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson, PF (Kansas)
I think Robinson will be the first player in this draft class to reach an All-Star game. He's got an NBA-ready game, he's tenacious and he'll never stop working to improve his game.
While his ceiling might be limited, the floor is already raised fairly high. He'll be a double-double machine at the next level.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C (Connecticut)
Drummond could be an All-Star, or he could be a complete bust. I'm betting he'll be closer to the latter.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via New Jersey): Austin Rivers, SG (Duke)
Rivers will never be able to play the point in the NBA, and he'll need to learn how to consistently score without being a ball-handler.
Austin Rives will be an All-Star.
He will—if there is one thing Rivers is capable of, it is scoring.
As his game continues to develop and mature, he'll become the most prolific scorer of this draft class. With a solid outside shot and the ability to drive to the hoop at will, he'll evoke comparisons to Monta Ellis, but be exciting enough to catch the fans' attention and make a few All-Star appearances.
7. Golden State Warriors (from Utah): Harrison Barnes, SF (North Carolina)
At every level, he's scored the rock, from high school to North Carolina. Why stop in the NBA?
Barnes will have to work on getting his own shot off the dribble, but there's not question he enters the draft as the best catch-and-shoot weapon available. If he rounds out his offensive arsenal, he should consistently average 20 points per game at the next level.
8. Toronto Raptors: Perry Jones III, PF (Baylor)
He's this draft's biggest enigma, plain and simple. If he doesn't become more consistent, he'll be maddening for whichever team drafts him.
9. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, PF (Ohio State)
Unlike Jones, you know what you get with Sullinger: limited ceiling, limited offensive game, hard worker, good rebounder and defender and a player who will find a way to put the ball in the net, even if it's ugly.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota): Damian Lillard, PG (Weber State)
I'm not sure if he'll ever be a great passing point guard, but he should be able to score at the position.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Kendall Marshall, PG (North Carolina)
In contrast to Lillard, Marshall will be an excellent distributor.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller, C (North Carolina)
Zeller will never skimp on the effort, that's for sure. He makes sense for the team that traded away Andrew Bogut.
13. Phoenix Suns: Jeremy Lamb, SG (Connecticut)
Lamb is another enigma, but he could become Richard Hamilton at the next level. At this slot in the draft, he's a steal.
14. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie, PF (Mississippi State)
He's one of this draft's lesser-known commodities, but he averaged a double-double last year (15.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG) and could shoot up the board even more.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, PF (North Carolina)
The Sixers need to improve their frontcourt. Henson will do so, and fit perfectly with Doug Collins' defensive-minded system.
16. Houston Rockets (via New York): Terrence Jones, PF (Kentucky)
He'll never be a star, but he could be the sort of player that wins a Sixth Man of the Year award someday.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Dion Waiters, SG (Syracuse)
He and Deron Williams could give the Mavericks a scary backcourt next year alongside Jason Terry if the team is able to land both this offseason.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah): Terrence Ross, SG (Washington)
If he doesn't score, it won't be for a lack of trying at the next level—he's not afraid to go on the offensive.
19. Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard, C (Illinois)
Consider this pick Dwight Howard insurance. Leonard may be a bit of a project anyway, so they can afford to bring him in slowly next season.
20. Denver Nuggets: Quincy Miller, SF (Baylor)
Another long-term project. Miller sometimes got lost in the shuffle at Baylor, but the kid has some serious upside.
21. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb, SG (Kentucky)
If this postseason is Ray Allen's swan song in Boston, adding Lamb would be a logical move to replace him.
22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Royce White, SF (Iowa State)
White is known to have an anxiety disorder and has faced off-court questions in the past, but he turned heads with his impressive play this year at the NCAA tournament. He's a risk worth taking.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten, Jr., PG (Washington)
He'll need to work on getting teammates involved more, but his ability to get to the rim and his potential as a very good defensive guard makes him an intriguing prospect.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Andrew Nicholson, PF (St. Bonaventure)
His upside may be limited, but who cares? He averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season a senior, his game is ready for the next level.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Moe Harkless, PF (St. John's)
His game is raw. But hey, after scoring 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds as a freshman this year, he's the good kind of raw, like sushi.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG (Kentucky)
Teague's going to be a bit of a project, but the Pacers have a solid enough core in place that they can afford a project.
27. Miami Heat: Draymond Green, PF (Michigan State)
My crazy prediction that no one else will agree with but I'm sticking to. I simply think Green is the sort of player that will work in the unique system Miami runs.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Fab Melo, C (Syracuse)
The Thunder could use another banger in the post. Melo will be a project, but if nothing else, he's a banger in the post.
29. Chicago Bulls: Jeffrey Taylor, SG (Vanderbilt)
Taylor shoots a high percentage from three (.423 percent last season), plays excellent defense, is a polished player and has good size and versatility on the wing. He's the perfect fit for Chicago.
30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio): Will Barton, SG (Memphis)
Yeah, Golden State is swinging hard in this draft. I like Barton, and I think he could be a find this late in the draft.
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