2012 NBA Mock Draft: Updated First Round Landing Spots, Pre-Lottery Edition
As we approach the annual NBA Draft, teams are compiling their boards and the players are readying themselves for the next step in their lives.
Every team utilizes countless hours of research, interviews and workouts to determine their own grades for each player available.
Draft pundits research, analyze and speculate which player will be drafted by which team based on rumors and opinions. And mock drafts will certainly change after the Draft Lottery leading up to the Draft itself.
But here is a look at a pre-Lottery mock draft.
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis
Size: 6'10", 220 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks
Anthony Davis is the consensus top rated player in this year's draft and should make an immediate impact in the NBA. His defensive prowess alone will make him a superstar and when his offensive game fully blossoms, he will be an elite player in this league.
Davis is blessed with a high motor, outstanding athletic ability and incredible size. Even in games when he is struggling offensively, he doesn't let that affect his defensive intensity.
Anthony Davis is as close to a "can't miss" prospect as there is in this draft.
2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Size: 6'7", 232 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is an amazing athlete and has the defensive ability to lock down the players he is matched up against. He has a motor that never stops and long arms to disrupt passes and block shots.
His overall offensive game is not quite where most teams would want it, as he lacks consistency with his shooting. However, he is a strong finisher when getting to the hoop.
MKG is not the "sure thing" that his teammate Davis is, but many teams are sold on him as a definite high lottery pick.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal
Size: 6'3", 207 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists
Bradley Beal has been called a cross between Hornets guard Eric Gordon and Celtic great Ray Allen. Beal is a natural scorer. He has NBA three-point range, can create his own shot and can play both guard spots if need be.
Even though Beal lacks the ideal size, he has an uncanny ability to crash the boards and come away with the rebound; averaging almost seven rebounds per game.
The team that misses out on Anthony Davis will have to decide whether it is MKG's defense or Beal's offense that is more valuable.
4. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson
Size: 6'9", 237 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Thomas Robinson appears to be one of the most NBA-ready players in this year's draft. He is a tremendous rebounder, has a good mid-range jump shot and can even create his own shot.
The only knock on Robinson is his size. Many scouts question his height and if can hold his own against the bigger power forwards in the league.
Overall, Robinson is a polished prospect on both sides of the ball and with proper coaching can develop into a solid NBA player.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond
Size: 6'11", 275 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks
Andre Drummond has the size and athletic ability that NBA teams look for in their centers. He is an intimidating presence in the post as both a rebounder and shot blocker.
While he has good perimeter skills, he needs to assert himself more in the post, as he tends to settle for jump shots.
If Drummond can learn to be more aggressive on offense, he could be a special player in this league for a long time.
6. Brooklyn Nets: Harrison Barnes
School: North Carolina
Size: 6'8", 210 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Harrison Barnes is a scorer, plain and simple. He is a smart player who can score from anywhere. He also has long arms and is a lock down defender.
While Barnes has a terrific perimeter game, he lacks quickness, is not a great ball-handler and struggles to create his own shot.
Barnes needs to be more assertive and add strength or he could wind up being relegated to a supporting role.
7. Golden State Warriors: Jeremy Lamb
Size: 6'5" 185 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Jeremy Lamb is a gifted athlete blessed with extremely long arms that make him a lethal defender. His offensive game is smooth and effortless as his range extends from the post to the three-point line.
If you're trying to find something to knock in Lamb's game, he could add strength. Going up against physical defenders or powerful drivers, he can get overpowered at times.
But with a skill-set like that of Lamb, there's little doubt that he will figure prominently in his team's future.
8. Toronto Raptors: Dion Waiters
Size: 6'4", 215 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Dion Waiters is a gifted scoring machine. While slightly undersized for his position, he relentlessly attacks the rim without fear.
Waiters needs to improve his jump shot consistency. A switch to point guard may also benefit him, as the bigger, more physical two-guards could easily overpower him.
Someone who has the scoring ability of Waiters will always have a place on a team.
9. Detroit Pistons: Perry Jones III
Size: 6'11", 235 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 13.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Perry Jones III is one of the toughest players in this draft to evaluate. His abilities suggest that he should've been much more productive than his final numbers dictate.
Jones has great size, amazing leaping ability and can score from anywhere. All of this just begs the question why can't he put it all together?
If PJ3 can learn to play up to his abilities, then a team could be getting a top-3 talent with the ninth overall selection.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard
School: Weber St
Size: 6'2", 185 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Damian Lillard has shot up draft boards of late and for good reason. He can carve up defenses and score the ball from anywhere on the court.
Lillard is not a true point guard, looking to shoot first. But that could change when he's on a team with other great players.
If Lillard can learn to see the court better and read defenses, then he will become a special player.
11. Portland Trailblazers: Austin Rivers
Size: 6'4", 199 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Austin Rivers is a difficult player to evaluate because he has all the tools to be a superstar at the next level, but we just don't see it consistently. He's a very confident player and can score from anywhere on the court at any time.
The issue with Rivers is his decision making. Whether it's electing to take a contested shot instead of passing to an open teammate or making errant passes leading to turnovers, he needs to slow down and focus.
Rivers has the skill-set to be elite at the NBA level. He just needs to take the time to put it all together.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller
School: North Carolina
Size: 7'0", 250 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks
Tyler Zeller is among the top big men in this year's draft. He possesses the size, touch around the basket and rebounding ability that team's look for in post players.
What sets Zeller apart from the others is his athletic ability for a man his size. He runs the floor extremely well and has pretty good range with his jump shot.
If Zeller were more of a dominating force in the paint we would be talking about a top-5 pick. With that said, he represents good value here at No. 12.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall
School: North Carolina
Size: 6'4", 188 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 8.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 9.8 assists
Kendall Marshall had a breakout season in 2011-12. He became one of the more dominating point guards in the nation. While his scoring leaves something to be desired, his vision on the court is second to none.
Marshall's game bears a resemblance to that of Jason Kidd. While he'll never "wow" anyone with his scoring numbers, he is an elite court general, and should carry this into the NBA.
If Marshall can improve his shooting and overall scoring ability, he will prove to be a dominating player at the point, much like Jason Kidd for most of his career.
14. Houston Rockets: Meyers Leonard
Size: 7'1", 245 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks
Meyers Leonard is another very athletic center in this year's draft. He runs the floor well and is a dominating defensive force in the paint.
While there is no doubting Leonard's defensive prowess, his offensive is still a bit raw. He shows good touch around the basket, but he needs to develop more of an offensive repertoire to really set himself apart.
Leonard has the necessary tools to be a dominant center in the league, but only time will tell if he will realize his true potential.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Jared Sullinger
School: Ohio St
Size: 6'9", 280 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Jared Sullinger has been one of the more dominating players in the country during his time at Ohio St. He is a low-post force who really knows how to use his size to his advantage. He also has range out to the three-point line.
Sully's one disadvantage is his size. While he is a physical presence, he is under-sized as a power forward in the NBA.
As long as Sullinger proves that he can hold his own against the bigger forwards in the league, then he will be an absolute steal with the fifteenth pick.
16. Houston Rockets (from New York): John Henson
School: North Carolina
Size: 6'10", 211 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 blocks
John Henson is an athlete, plain and simple. He has an incredibly long frame that he utilizes well on the defensive end as both a rebounder and shot-blocker.
He needs to develop his offensive game, but his ultimate shortcoming is his size. He is very thin and if playing the power forward position will easily get overpowered. So, he'll need to put on some weight and develop a finesse game against his bigger opponents.
Henson is a tough grade, but he has worlds of potential. If he can find ways to work around his size, then he could be a very good player at the next level.
17. Dallas Mavericks : Terrence Ross
Size: 6'6", 190 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Terrence Ross has everything team's look for in a swing player. He can drive to the basket, his range is limitless and he has exceptional leaping ability.
Ross needs to improve his shot selection to develop into a complete player. It can be questionable at times.
There is plenty to like about Ross' ability and production. If he makes the minor adjustments, we could be talking about a very good player in the very near future.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah): Terrence Jones
Size: 6'8", 244 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 12.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists
There are plenty of things to like about Terrence Jones. He's very athletic, long and can play multiple positions. He can score from anywhere and is an excellent passer.
Jones doesn't come without concerns. There are questions about the consistency of his motor and he can avoid post play at times, choosing to remain behind the arc.
He needs to play at a high level consistently and learn to take advantage of his body. With that said, he represents good value at this point in the draft.
19. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo
Size: 7'0", 275 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks
Fab Melo is a very raw player with plenty of room for improvement. With that said, he is a force on the defensive front and can dominate at the next level immediately.
His offense is still a work in progress, but it is improving. He is a project and the team that drafts him must be willing to endure the growing pains.
Melo has immense size and a defensive prowess near the top of this draft. He just needs to take the time to fully develop his game. Melo is a classic boom/bust prospect.
20. Denver Nuggets: Tony Wroten
Size: 6'5", 205 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists
Tony Wroten is a good combination of a scoring-guard and a point guard. He has great vision and is an excellent passer. He is also a strong finisher when driving to the hoop.
Wroten lacks a strong perimeter game and can be reckless at times, taking poor shots and turning the ball over.
With his size, if Wroten can improve his focus and develop his perimeter scoring, he has the potential to be an absolute steal at this point in the draft.
21. Boston Celtics (from L.A. Clippers) Quincy Miller
Size: 6'9", 210 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 10.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Quincy Miller suffered an ACL injury his senior season of high school and many scouts think that he is still in the recovery process. With that said, Miller has all the tools, good size and understands the game.
He has a good inside and outside game, but he can rely on his jumper too often at times. He is a very good rebounder and shot blocker.
Miller has good quickness, so if he can learn to use it to get to the rim more often instead of relying on his jump shot, then he will have a long, successful career in the NBA.
22. Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie
School: Mississippi St
Size: 6'11", 225 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Arnett Moultrie is another player who has seen their stock rise of late. He has a long body with the ability to score from inside as well as from the perimeter. He also has great leaping ability and is an outstanding rebounder.
He needs to bulk up a bit in order to compete with the big, physical forwards and centers in the league. He tends to fall in love with the outside game and does not assert himself in the paint at times.
Moultrie is quality player and with proper coaching can develop into a good player down the road.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Royce White
School: Iowa St
Size: 6'8", 240 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists
Royce White was without question the Cyclones' best player. He did it all for them. He is a big man who possesses a strong inside/outside game, has great court vision and has great ball-handling ability.
White comes with plenty of questions. He lacks ideal size for the power forward position and he suffers from an anxiety disorder.
If he can satisfy the teams' concerns and do what he needs to do to put his issues behind him, White can be a very intriguing player at the next level.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Lakers): Moe Harkless
School: St. John's
Size: 6'8", 190 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Moe Harkless is a player that was not as highly regarded as other players in this draft, but he brings some NBA talent to the table. He's a strong defender with exceptional quickness.
He struggles with his jumper at times and there are questions about his motor. He would also do well to bulk up a bit to be able to match up with the more physical players in the league.
Harkless is an interesting grade. He has the potential to be a good player. He just needs to prove he has the desire.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier
Size: 6'7", 206 pounds
2011-12 Stats: N/A
Evan Fournier is the first international player taken in this draft. He penetrates into the lane with ease and can finish around the rim. He has a solid mid-range jump shot.
He needs to improve his outside shooting and become a more physical player to survive in this league.
However, if Fournier can't develop any farther, he still remains a solid sixth-man option for most teams.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague
Size: 6'2", 178 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists
Marquis Teague is a lightning-quick point guard who attacks the rim and can finish strong. He has great court vision and excels in an up-tempo style of offense.
Teague is not a consistent perimeter shooter and plays out of control at times, leading to multiple turnovers.
If he can slow his pace just a bit and be more in control, then Teague will be a steal with the 26th pick.
27. Miami Heat: Andrew Nicholson
School: St. Bonaventure
Size: 6'9", 225 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks
Andrew Nicholson has very good size and jumper range out to the NBA three-point line. He's a solid defensive presence, both on the boards and as a shot-blocker.
Nicholson needs to be more consistent and develop more inside moves. He also needs to prove that he can produce at the same high level against tougher competition.
Nicholson has everything you would look for in a starting power forward and then some. He just needs to show that he can bring his level of play night in and night out.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Taylor
Size: 6'7", 225 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Jeff Taylor is an outstanding defender and a guy that can get it done from anywhere on the court. He has a solid perimeter shot and an extremely quick first step.
He's not great at creating his own shot. He tends to rely on his teammates creating open looks for him throughout games.
Taylor is a work in progress. But with proper development, Taylor can be a quality player in the NBA league for years to come.
29. Chicago Bulls: Doron Lamb
Size: 6'4", 195 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Doron Lamb is a big-time scorer. He gets into the lane easily, can finish at the hoop and is very efficient from beyond the arc.
The major concern for Lamb is his size, but he has a tremendous wingspan to help him on defense.
Lamb was overshadowed most of the year by his other highly-touted teammates at Kentucky, but he remains a much underrated prospect in this draft.
30. Golden State Warriors (from San Antonio): Tyshawn Taylor
Size: 6'3", 185 pounds
2011-12 Stats: 16.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists
Tyshawn Taylor is still developing his overall game, but he has knack for scoring and possesses exceptional quickness. He has above-average court vision and is a very good defender.
Taylor needs to work on the consistency of his jumper and reign in some off the court issues that he had while at Kansas.
Taylor is a project and is not ready to start immediately, but given the right coaching he could develop into a solid player down the road.