Every year around this time, with the NBA playoffs underway and the draft looming, a debate begins about whether a team should draft a player with tremendous promise or opt for someone who already seems to be developed. Is it wise to use a high lottery pick on a guy who will come in as a clearly defined role-player, or go for the home run selection that, if he reaches his ceiling, could become a franchise leader but who could also wind up as another over-hyped draft bust?
With the popularity of college players foregoing two or even three years of NCAA eligibility to declare for the NBA draft, there are a number of players who could be deemed "projects", or who are believed to show untapped potential if they end up with the right coach and teammates or a part of the right system. Though they may have raw offensive games, be prone to making bad decisions, or have yet to mature physically, these kinds of players are often the ones who end up being stars in the league when all is said and done.
The 2012 draft class is no exception, as it comes chock-full of prospects that could very well emerge as studs in the next few years if they can continue to grow as players. From lightening quick point guards to bruising, defensive centers and everything in between, this year's crop of talent has a chance to radically alter the NBA landscape if it can live up to its potential.