NBA Draft 2012: Most Risky Prospects in 1st Round

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIMay 28, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Perry Jones III #1 of the Baylor Bears celebrates in the first half against the Xavier Musketeers during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

You never know what you're going to get from Perry Jones III. One game you see his extraordinary talent, and the next game you don't even know if he's on the court.

Jones brings the biggest risk-reward factor in the 2012 NBA draft class, but he's not the only one. There are several risky prospects, but we're going to focus on Jones and two others.


Perry Jones III

Let's start with Jones since we already mentioned him. The reason why he's the most risky selection in the NBA draft is because of his stock.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats and Perry Jones III #1 of the Baylor Bears vie for posession during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

He could go as high as No. 5 overall if some team decides to look at his talent alone.

Jones is 6'11" and 235 pounds. He's athletic, can score in multiple areas and shoots well from the floor. But there is one glaring problem, and that's his inability to perform or show up to a game.

For example, Jones scored 17 points against Kentucky on 6-of-14 shooting. Not a bad game at all.

Three games before, Jones looked lost. You couldn't locate him on the floor, and he wasn't producing. He scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 32 minutes played against South Dakota State.

This was a major trend at Baylor.

Some consider him soft, and his play tends to back it up. He's a major risk early in the first round.


Jared Sullinger

For two years at Ohio State Jared Sullinger struggled against taller, equally strong and more athletic post defenders. Just about every power forward or center in the NBA will be able to outperform Sullinger on the block if they can match his muscle.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superd
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Is he deserving of a top pick in the NBA draft? Will he ever be the player people thought he could be at the end of the 2011 season?

I think that he has DeJuan Blair written all over him.

He's a guy who can get good positioning on the block, can outmuscle defenders and will be able to rebound the basketball with his large exterior. 

Other than that, I don't see where Sullinger is deserving of a top-10 pick, but I think he could go that high.


Evan Fournier

Europeans tend to be finesse basketball players. Those types of athletes generally don't pan out in the NBA.

You have to be physical, strong and quick to make it in the league.

Evan Fournier is a French basketball player who is thought of as a late-first-round draft choice.

Similar to what we see every season, an NBA team will take a European player in hopes of him turning out like some of the other European stars in the league.

But that's not how it works out, generally.

Most European basketball players are either average or busts. Maybe Fournier is getting the raw end of the deal here, but European players are much more of a risk than American-born players.

Fournier is one of the most risky selections in the first round.