2012 NBA Mock Draft: 2-Round Predictions with Player Analysis and Comparisons
Biases, conspiracy theories and Bobcat sympathies aside, the New Orleans Hornets have earned the right to select the top player in the 2012 NBA draft. And who's the top player, you ask?
If you asked that, you should be immediately admitted into your local psych ward in no less than 15 minutes. But for those who do not need their heads examined, there's not an ounce of doubt that Kentucky's freshman phenom Anthony Davis is the very best this class has to offer.
So now that we know of Davis' inevitable move to the Bayou, how will the rest of the dominoes fall? And that's where I come in.
Here is my first full two-round 2012 NBA mock complete with stats, player analysis and alternate scenarios for each team.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky
2011-2012 stats: 14.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 4.7 BPG
Height-Weight: 6'10", 220 lbs
Pro Comparison: Kevin Garnett
As I just stated, Anthony Davis is the home run of the entire draft class. And why not?
Plain and simple, the one-browed wonder has all the physical attributes and flat-out skill NBA scouts drool over. He possesses tremendous length, soft hands, great timing, incredible explosiveness and a ridiculous 7'4" wingspan.
The 2012 National Player of the Year also runs the floor very well, has good hops and never takes a play off. Although he didn't exactly light up the points section of the box score, Davis is easily one of the most efficient offensive players in recent history.
If he pans out, Davis will bring over his winning ways and transform an otherwise dull franchise into an up-and-coming one. Let's just hope he doesn't disappoint the league's front office and their "basketball reasons."
2. Become the ultimate laughingstock of professional sports
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky
2011-2012 stats: 11.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.0 APG
Height-Weight: 6'7", 232 lbs
Pro Comparison: Gerald Wallace
Now here's where the draft becomes a tad transparent at the moment. Although Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is considered by many as the second-best prospect, there's no certainty the ailing Charlotte Bobcats will nab him.
Unless general manager Rich Cho trades the pick, the decision will ultimately come down to Kansas' Thomas Robinson and the aforementioned Kidd-Gilchrist. But since the team should and will go with the best player available, I'll mock them the latter.
Kidd-Gilchrist is a high-energy, give-it-my-all player. His versatility, size, length and strength on defense make him arguably the draft's best defender. He doesn't have a polished offensive game but can move extremely well to the hoop.
The 2012 national champion will not be the go-to offensive option Charlotte so desperately lacks. He will, however, provide the Bobcats with a much-needed leader and important building piece for the future.
1. Thomas Robinson: Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bobcat brass may opt for a more well-rounded player. If it's not Gilchrist, Robinson will be the pick.
2. Trade: Charlotte could explore a trade down into the No. 4-6 range. If so, North Carolina's Harrison Barnes could be the potential hometown superstar that'll fill the seats in the rather empty Time Warner Cable Arena.
3. Washington Wizards: Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas
2011-2012 stats: 17.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.9 APG
Height-Weight: 6'10", 237 lbs
Pro Comparison: Derrick Williams
If you didn't skip over the entire commentary I wrote on the previous slide, you may be hard-pressed to believe there's a competition for this pick. With Wildcats Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist off the board, the best available would be Thomas Robinson.
Easy pick, right? Not so fast.
Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal will certainly weigh into the Wizards' options. Beal could give John Wall a nice complement in the team's backcourt.
But judging by their horrific forward situation and a recent report from Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, the Kansas Jayhawk should be the pick.
Robinson, a Washington native, had the second-best season of any player in collegiate ball. His size, quickness and strength helped him average a double-double as a junior. He has the ability to forcefully establish himself in the paint and play off his defender in the mid-range game.
Look for Robinson to be this year's version of Minnesota's Derrick Williams—an explosive offensive weapon with a decent jumper and a nice post game.
1. Bradley Beal: Again, they could be looking for a guard to start alongside Wall.
2. Andre Drummond: Washington may want to invest in a potential superstar center to throw in the middle.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, G, Florida
2011-2012 stats: 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 APG
Height-Weight: 6'3", 207 lbs
Pro Comparison: Eric Gordon
This pick will be too easy for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although they didn't land into the top three spots of the draft, Dan Gilbert and company will gladly pick up the remains.
In this case, it'll be Bradley Beal.
Beal, a freshman, has quietly positioned himself amongst the top five players in the 2012 draft class. The guard moves nicely on the floor, possesses great athleticism and strokes the rock rather well. Although his shooting numbers weren't eye-popping, Beal has the ability to become a very effective three-point threat in the NBA.
If the Wizards do not want to pair their point guard with Beal, there's no doubt the Cavs will.
1. Andre Drummond: The Cavs could look for size now and address the guard position with their other first-rounder.
2. Harrison Barnes: Kyrie Irving needs a complementary scorer.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
2011-2012 stats: 10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 2.7 BPG
Height-Weight: 6'10", 270 lbs
Pro Comparison: Tyson Chandler
Even though they haven't been making a ton of noise, it seems as if the Sacramento Kings are headed in the right direction. With that said, this will be a very important selection for the franchise.
The pick should come down to Connecticut's big man Andre Drummond and North Carolina's swingman Harrison Barnes. Quite frankly, neither would be the wrong pick.
As a legitimate scoring threat in the ACC, Barnes would give Sacramento a more established talent. The Kings could be getting a steal in a guy who was considered the No. 1 overall selection had he declared for last year's draft.
But if we've learned anything over the past four seasons, it's that size matters. And being that they are in the same division as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings should know that as well as anyone.
That's why I'll opt for Drummond as the pick.
Drummond is anything but a finished product. He has great size and skill to become a highly feared defensive force at the next level. His less-than-impressive offense, however, may have teams shying away from the 6'10" prospect.
If the Kings are devoted to building a winner, they should roll the dice on Drummond becoming a poor man's Dwight Howard. He'll be a nice complement to DeMarcus Cousins and give the Lakers' Andrew Bynum a tough job in those Pacific division games.
Sacramento took their chances on a highly potent big man in Cousins and may very well do the same this go-round.
1. Harrison Barnes: He could start at the 3 from day one.
2. Trade: The Kings could find a trade partner in Charlotte to leapfrog Washington for Thomas Robinson.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn): Damian Lillard, G, Weber State
2011-2012 stats: 24.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.0 APG
Height-Weight: 6'3", 195 lbs
Pro Comparison: Stephen Curry
Damian Lillard's lack of coverage can certainly be attributed to playing in a lesser-known school at Weber State. The point guard's game, however, will have him right in the middle of the top-10 discussion of the draft.
Lillard is a very efficient and highly skilled guard. He shot 45 percent from long range and turned the ball over in just 10 percent of his possessions. He's smooth in the pick-and-roll, can drive well to either side and has game-breaking ability.
Above all, Lillard is one heck of a scorer. His 24.5 points per game ranked second in the nation during the 2011-2012 campaign. His jumpers as well as his to-the-basket game make him a solid scoring threat for the NBA. He'll fit in perfectly with the rest of the league's hybrid point guards.
That's why the Portland Trail Blazers should be calling his cell on draft day. Sure, the team could use a sizable forward in Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger or Perry Jones, but given the team's lack of a point guard, they should assure themselves here with this pick and worry about the frontcourt with the 11th overall selection.
1. Andre Drummond: If Drummond drops, he'll be the pick.
2. Harrison Barnes: Portland needs a legitimate scorer. Barnes could fill the gaping hole left behind by Brandon Roy.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, F, North Carolina
2011-2012 stats: 17.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 APG
Height-Weight: 6'8", 215 lbs
Pro Comparison: Luol Deng
Finally, it's Harrison Barnes' time. After teasing him in the previous handful of selections, I'll now find Barnes a home with the Golden State Warriors.
Like I stated earlier, Barnes may have been the first pick of the 2011 NBA draft had he declared. His scoring ability and instincts as a freshman had drawn him some rather flattering comparisons to Kobe Bryant.
But as it is in many cases, Barnes' decision to return to school backfired. He didn't exactly light the competition on fire with 17.4 points per and finished the year shooting at a terrible 33 percent clip.
That may not worry the run-and-gun Warriors though. With Monta Ellis traded, head coach Mark Jackson should be vying for another scorer to put alongside Stephen Curry. This will allow Golden State to slide Barnes into the 3 and place Dorell Wright on the pine, where he is better suited.
1. Perry Jones: After trading Ellis for Andrew Bogut, the Warriors could look to add some more size.
2. Jeremy Lamb: Could be the Monta Ellis replacement at the 2.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut
2011-2012 stats: 17.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.8 APG
Height-Weight: 6'5", 180 lbs
Pro Comparison: Kevin Martin
After soaking in irrelevance over the past five seasons or so, it's relatively clear that the Toronto Raptors need someone to shake it up. And given their lack of talent at pretty much every position, they should to add the best available player with this pick.
UConn's Jeremy Lamb may not be the best available at No. 8, but he will undoubtedly give the Raptors a scoring threat that they so sorely lack.
Attitude problems aside, Lamb is easily one of the best at putting the ball in the hoop. He has good ball-handling skills, a smooth first step and a knack for creating his own shot. Lamb possesses a handful of favorable physical attributes which include his frame, wingspan and overall athletic ability.
1. Perry Jones: Could fit into the "best available" scenario.
2. Jared Sullinger: Also a BPA option.
9. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State
2011-2012 stats: 17.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 APG
Height-Weight: 6'9", 265 lbs
Pro Comparison: Elton Brand
In an otherwise low-key season, the Detroit Pistons found themselves a glimmer of hope in Greg Monroe. So in order to keep the big man going, the Pistons should opt for a big man in this draft to put alongside the progressing talent.
If so, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger would fit the bill.
Sullinger, a sophomore, is easily one of the draft's most polished post players. He is great with his back to the basket as well as finding some position down low. When Sullinger finds his way into the post, don't be surprised when you see the ball constantly finding its way into the rim.
The 6'9" forward/center has great hands, excellent footwork and incredible explosiveness. His immense skill and desirable attitude should make him a sought-after prospect in this draft.
1. Tyler Zeller: The Pistons could move Monroe to the 4 while welcoming Zeller.
2. Terrence Jones/John Henson: Two more well-sized defenders.
10. New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota): Kendall Marshall, G, North Carolina
2011-2012 stats: 7.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 9.7 APG
Height-Weight: 6'4", 195 lbs
Pro Comparison: Jose Calderon
The New Orleans Hornets will presumably be looking for a point guard to complement Anthony Davis with this pick. If that's the case, UNC's Kendall Marshall is a no-brainer.
After shipping away Chris Paul to Los Angeles, it's rather clear the team is lacking a true point guard. Jarrett Jack, although filling in rather admirably, is not the long-term answer. Marshall, however, could be.
Unlike Jack, Marshall has the knack to rack up the assists. His 9.7 assists per game ranked amongst the very best in the college basketball, second only to Iona's Scott Machado.
Marshall won't light up the scoreboard, but he should help out Davis with his great court vision and decision-making.
1. Tyler Zeller: More size to add alongside Davis.
2. Austin Rivers: If the guard they want isn't Marshall, it could be Rivers.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
2011-2012 stats: 16.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.5 BPG
Height-Weight: 7'0"-250 lbs
Pro Comparison: Spencer Hawes
Right after seeing his teammate get snatched up with the 10th overall selection, Tyler Zeller could hear his name called next.
Portland currently lacks a legitimate frontcourt presence to pair with All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Trail Blazers finished with an average of 40.9 rebounds, ranking just 25th in that category. Sadly, that total won't get better with J.J. Hickson, Joel Przybilla and Hasheem Thabeet entering free agency.
So this is where Zeller could come in. In his four seasons at Chapel Hill, the seven-footer displayed his seemingly never-ending motor. Zeller does a nice job of running the floor and often exhibits his high basketball I.Q.
After picking up their future point guard in Lillard with the sixth overall pick, the Blazers can turn to Zeller with the 11th to establish some size.
1. Perry Jones/Terrence Jones: Could look for a 3 with Batum hitting the market.
2. Austin Rivers/Dion Waiters: The guard spot could be up for grabs as well.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones, F, Baylor
2011-2012 stats: 14.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG
Height-Weight: 6'11''-235 lbs
Pro Comparison: Anthony Randolph
If Baylor's Perry Jones does indeed fall all the way down to the Milwaukee Bucks, then be prepared to give them the "Steal of the Night" award.
And just as fellow 2012 draftees Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger, Jones would have most likely landed within the top five of last year's proceedings had he left school. Either way, Jones boasts just as much upside as any another player in the draft class.
In addition to his tremendous length, wingspan and overall athleticism, Jones is a very effective force down low. He could improve his strength and physicality, but he is very explosive to and at the rim.
Jones should fit in rather nicely with Milwaukee's scoring machines, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
1. John Henson: Milwaukee needs an interior defensive presence after trading Andrew Bogut.
2. Meyers Leonard: Again, the loss of Bogut could usher in a new center.
13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, G, Duke
2011-2012 stats: 15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG
Height-Weight: 6'4", 200 lbs
Pro Comparison: O.J. Mayo
You're either on or off the Austin Rivers bandwagon.
Although Rivers should be landing within the top 18 picks, there's no doubt another year or two at Duke would have improved both his game and his draft stock. Perhaps his name would have been in the argument for 2013's or 2014's top-five selections.
But that's neither here nor there, as Rivers has already declared.
When I watch Rivers, I see a player that definitely knows how to create his own shot. His extensive, yet still growing, offensive arsenal consists of a nice pull-up jumper, a quick crossover and a seemingly limitless shot range. Rivers is also very crafty at the rim.
If Kendall Marshall is gone, I can see Phoenix's pick come down to Rivers and Dion Waiters. With Steve Nash hitting the market and Shannon Brown better utilized off the bench, the starting guard situation for the Suns is rather unclear.
Since Rivers is sometimes listed as a point guard, he may fit the system a tad better.
1. Dion Waiters: Another guard option for Phoenix.
2. Terrence Ross: Could challenge Rivers and Waiters as the draft nears.
14. Houston Rockets: Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse
2011-2012 stats: 12.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.6 APG
Height-Weight: 6'4", 215 lbs
Pro Comparison: Rodney Stuckey
Here's a guy who will dart up draft boards within three weeks or so. As a matter of fact, he's probably already up there.
Dion Waiters, easily one of the draft's top pure scorers, hasn't been mentioned as much as his fellow guards in this draft class. Why? Because he came off the bench at Syracuse this season.
That, however, wasn't much of a problem for Waiters. The 6'4" guard averaged 12.6 points in 24.1 minutes as the Jim Boeheim's sixth man. He displayed his effectiveness in one-on-ones, his creativity at the rim and dangerous transition play.
If the guard situation doesn't work itself out in Houston, perhaps the Rockets take their chances on a guy who has flashed a little Dwyane Wade ability, according to a few scouts (per Sports Illustrated).
1. Meyers Leonard: It is imperative for Houston to add a center this offseason.
2. Terrence Jones: Best available forward on the board.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
2011-2012 stats: 12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.8 BPG
Height-Weight: 6'9", 252 lbs
Pro Comparison: Lamar Odom
Terrence Jones is another one of those Kentucky super prospects. Although very young, Jones has flashed quite a few signs of an effective NBA talent.
And as a 2011-2012 Wildcat, you get all the intangibles with Jones. He's competitive, intense and plays the game with a constant motor. Jones also has nice size, is a strong rebounder and effective shot-blocker and can finish at the basket.
Moreover, Jones does have some three-point range. He does, however, need to improve the consistency of his jumper as well as post moves on the block.
Entering the offseason, the ever-improving Sixers should be looking for offense and athleticism. And if they decide to part ways with Andre Iguodala, Jones could fit in rather nicely at forward. If not, he'll still be a very useful piece on a rising team.
16. Houston Rockets (from New York): Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
2011-2012 stats: 13.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.9 BPG
Height-Weight: 7'1"-245 lbs
Pro Comparison: Byron Mullens
If you read the "alternate options" bit on the Houston Rockets slide, you shouldn't be surprised that Meyers Leonard is the pick here.
Leonard, 7'1", just oozes potential. In addition to his incredible length, Leonard possesses great athleticism, good shot-blocking ability and even has a decent jumper. He doesn't have a tremendous amount of skill, but he can develop into a solid NBA center if he improves his strength and basketball I.Q.
With Marcus Camby moving on to free agency, the Rockets should be on the lookout for another center.
17. Dallas Mavericks: John Henson, F, North Carolina
2011-2012 stats: 13.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 2.9 BPG
Height-Weight: 6'11", 220 lbs
Pro Comparison: Brandan Wright
I guess Tyson Chandler was the difference.
While playing for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2010-2011 season, Chandler was consistently dubbed as the team's X-factor. His defensive presence transformed the Mavs from championship contenders to actual NBA champions. But after losing Chandler in their title defense the very next season, Dallas whittled back down into the hard-luck losers role.
Luckily for Dallas, they can turn to North Carolina's John Henson to help refill those shoes.
Henson, 6'11", has straight up ridiculous measurables. His 7'4" wingspan, in addition to his height, will allow him to be an immediate force on the defensive end. Henson has great timing down low, runs the floor very well and passes the ball nicely for a big man.
In order to fully translate into an elite defender, Henson must bulk up and improve his physicality.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Ross, G, Washington
2011-2012 stats: 16.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.4 APG
Height-Weight: 6'6", 195 lbs
Pro Comparison: Nick Young
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Wesley Johnson with the fourth overall pick in 2010, hoping he would become an effective scorer. Well, that hasn't quite worked out. Johnson averaged just 9.0 points per game in his rookie season and three less with 6.0 his sophomore season.
And with Michael Beasley hitting the free-agent market, Minnesota will need to add another scorer alongside Kevin Love and Derrick Williams. That man could very well be Washington's Terrence Ross.
Ross, a 6'6" sophomore guard, specializes at putting the ball in the net. He has a good outside stroke, a good pull-up jumper and uses his length and athleticism to get to the hoop.
19. Orlando Magic: Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky
2011-2012 stats: 9.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.8 APG
Height-Weight: 6'2", 189 lbs
Pro Comparison: Ramon Sessions
With Stan Van Gundy fired and Dwight Howard easing his way out the door, it seems as if a new regime is in order for the Orlando Magic franchise. And how should they start a new reign? With a point guard.
Kentucky's Marquis Teague should fit in here. He's lethal off the bounce, is dangerous in transition and will fit right into the current system with his three-point shooting.
20. Denver Nuggets: Tony Wroten, G, Washington
2011-2012 stats: 16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.6 APG
Height-Weight: 6'5", 205 lbs
Pro Comparison: Tyreke Evans
Although I ultimately believe he will be re-signed by the Denver Nuggets, there is a chance that point guard Andre Miller could be headed elsewhere. If so, they'll need another guard off the bench.
Tony Wroten of Washington is one of the top point guards in this class. He has tremendous handle and is very good in transition and in the open floor. Wroten also possesses nice size and rebounding ability for a point guard. He's not a terribly great passer, but he does have good court vision.
Even if Miller does re-sign, Wroten will be very useful to George Karl in his guard sets. At worst, he can work as a very high-end backup to Ty Lawson in the near future.
21. Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie, F, Mississippi State
2011-2012 stats: 15.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.1 APG
Height-Weight: 6'11", 230 lbs
Pro Comparison: Jason Thompson
As far as sleepers go in this draft, Arnett Moultrie needs some NyQuil. Although I have him dropping to Boston here at pick 21, it wouldn't be surprising to see him go at 15.
Moultrie has a knack to hit the offensive boards and has the ability to play both center and power forward in the NBA. He also boasts a very solid offensive game, as evidenced by his 15.8 points per.
With the Celtics about to implode amongst their 10 free agents, Moultrie would be a nice and much-needed presence down low.
22. Boston Celtics (from L.A. Clippers): Royce White, F, Iowa State
2011-2012 stats: 13.1 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 5.1 APG
Height-Weight: 6'8", 270 lbs
Pro Comparison: Paul Millsap
Iowa State's Royce White would be another nice piece for a team seeing two-thirds of their roster hitting the market.
He isn't the best scorer nor the best attitude guy. White, however, is a player than can bang with the big boys down low. The top features of his game include his strength, his post-up game and his ability to establish position. White is also a good ball-handler and passer for a man his size.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Quincy Miller, F, Baylor
2011-2012 stats: 11.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG
Height-Weight: 6'9", 210 lbs
Pro Comparison: Nicolas Batum
Quincy Miller, freshman, is anything but inept when it comes to scoring. Although his numbers don't always show it, Miller has a wide range of positives that allow him to do so.
He plays well in the three-point and mid-range game, can create his shot and has a nice touch at the rim. Miller is lengthy but does need to bulk up his frame for the next level.
Atlanta can use an athletic forward that can contribute off the bench.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Lakers): Moe Harkless, F, St. John's
2011-2012 stats: 15.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG
Height-Weight: 6'8", 208 lbs
Pro Comparison: Paul George
Even though staying at St. John's would have made him a sure-fire lottery player in the near future, forward Moe Harkless decided to dart Jamaica, Queens, for the NBA. And despite playing just one year with a young Red Storm squad, he did flash some promising skills.
Harkless can score from just about anywhere on the court. He can score from mid and three-point range and possesses a number of tools that allow him to get to the bucket. Harkless is explosive at the rim, smooth through the lane and is very aggressive on the boards.
After taking guard Bradley Beal with the fourth overall selection, the Cavs should have no problem picking up a potential starter in Harkless.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky
2011-2012 stats: 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.6 APG
Height-Weight: 6'4", 210 lbs
Pro Comparison: Marcus Thornton
Fortunately or unfortunately for Memphis Grizzlies fans, I'm not sure if I can see O.J. Mayo returning to the team. The Grizz will be in need for a scorer off the bench if the unrestricted free agent does end up bolting for a payday elsewhere.
If so, Kentucky's Doron Lamb would suffice rather nicely. He has solid three-point, mid-range and free-throw game. Lamb also uses his pull-up and catch-and-shoot skills to put up points.
26. Indiana Pacers: Jeffery Taylor, F, Vanderbilt
2011-2012 stats: 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 APG
Height-Weight: 6'7", 225 lbs
Pro Comparison: Matt Barnes
Being that Indiana doesn't have a particular need that can be repaired through this late first-rounder, we could see them going with the best available. The best available could be Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor.
Taylor, a senior, possesses a range of very solid skills. He can find his shot to the basket and distribute well for his position. Above all, Taylor is an NBA-ready defender. He's active and aggressive and has the size to defend from day one.
27. Miami Heat: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
2011-2012 stats: 7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 2.9 BPG
Height-Weight: 7'0", 255 lbs
Pro Comparison: DeSagana Diop
Fab Melo is one of the more questionable prospects in the draft. As of now, the only intriguing appeal of his game is his defense.
Melo, however, isn't very well-versed on the other side of the court. The sophomore center doesn't have a great feel for any type of offensive game. He is extremely shy on offense, averaging just under five shots and two free throws per game this past season. Melo has also taken just 85 free throws to the tune of a 55.3 percent clip in his two years at Syracuse.
If Miami can take on a project with the upside waiting to emerge, Melo would be a nice addition to a team that lacks a true center.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Andrew Nicholson, F, St. Bonaventure
2011-2012 stats: 18.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.0 BPG
Height-Weight: 6'9", 240 lbs
Pro Comparison: Charlie Villanueva
Andrew Nicholson could end up as one of the bets hidden gems of the draft. And being that he is an offensively efficient big, he could be too much to pass up for Oklahoma City.
Nicholson boasts a very advanced scoring game that spans around the floor. He has good range, a nice jumper and is effective in the post.
29. Chicago Bulls: Evan Fournier, SG, Union Poitiers 86 (France)
2011-2012 stats: 14.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 APG
Height-Weight: 6'7", 206 lbs
Pro Comparison: Evan Turner
If they can afford it, the Chicago Bulls could have a nice stash-away in Evan Fournier. He has expressed some intention of playing in the states from day one by declaring for the draft. Then again, how can we be sure? (See: Rubio, Ricky)
In addition to his ideal size for an NBA wingman, Fournier is a considerably crafty talent. He does need to improve his jump shot but can create on offense. Fournier proved his offensive worth with Union Poitiers in France, where he was heavily involved in the team's activity on most possessions.
30. Golden State Warriors: Draymond Green, F, Michigan State
2011-2012 stats: 16.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.6 APG
Height-Weight: 6'7", 230 lbs
Pro Comparison: Boris Diaw
For the last pick of the first round, the Golden State Warriors opt for Michigan State standout Draymond Green. I can see Green sneaking his way into Round 1 despite the second-round consensus on him.
Green is a terribly hard worker, an attribute that can catapult his draft stock. He's an aggressive rebounder, is extremely physical and carries the I.Q. and leadership intangibles a young team looks for.
Since Golden State is building up a young, talented squad, there's no doubting the potential worth Green can bring if his game translates well.
Round 2: Picks 31-35
31. Charlotte Bobcats: Will Barton, G, Memphis
32. Washington Wizards: Kevin Murphy, G, Tennessee Tech
33. Cleveland Cavaliers: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
34. Cleveland Cavaliers (from New Orleans): Orlando Johnson, G, UC Santa Barbara
35. Golden State Warriors (from Brooklyn): John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
Round 2: Picks 36-40
36. Sacramento Kings: Darius Miller, F, Kentucky
37. Toronto Raptors: Scott Machado, G, Iona
38. Denver Nuggets: Jared Cunningham, G, Oregon State
39. Detroit Pistons: Kevin Jones, F, West Virginia
40. Portland Trail Blazers (from Minnesota): Drew Gordon, F New Mexico
Round 2: Picks 41-45
41. Portland Trail Blazers: Tomas Satoransky, G, Sevilla
42. Milwaukee Bucks: Tu Holloway, G, Xavier
43. Atlanta Hawks (from Phoenix): Khris Middleton, F, Texas A&M
44. Detroit Pistons (from Houston); William Buford, G, Ohio State
45. Philadelphia 76ers: Hollis Thompson, G, Georgetown
Round 2: Picks 46-50
46. Washington Wizards (from Dallas): Mike Scott, F, Virginia
47. Utah Jazz: Tyshawn Taylor, G, Kansas
48. New York Knicks: Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse
49. Orlando Magic: Dusan Cantekin, C, Serbia
50. Denver Nuggets: Kostas Papanikolaou, F, Olympiacos
Round 2: Picks 51-55
51. Boston Celtics: Chris Johnson, G, Dayton
52. Golden State Warriors: Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Marquette
53. Philadelphia 76ers (from Memphis): Eric Griffin, F, Campbell
54. Los Angeles Clippers: JaMychal Green, F, Alabama
55. Dallas Mavericks (from L.A. Lakers): Kim English, G, Missouri
Round 2: 56-60
56. Toronto Raptors (from Indiana): Marcus Denmon, G, Missouri
57. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City): Furkan Aldemir, F, Galatasaray
58. Brooklyn Nets (from Miami); Quincy Acy, F, Baylor
59. San Antonio Spurs: Josep Franch, PG, DKV Joventut
60. Los Angeles Lakers (from Chicago): Robbie Hummel, F, Purdue
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!