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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Offensive Studs Who Will Thrive in the League

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels against the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 7, 2012

Today's NBA is mostly about offensive superstars. They receive the most notoriety, media coverage and attention from basketball fans. 

There are several offensive options in the 2012 NBA draft who are next to experience this love.

Here are some offensive studs who will thrive in the NBA.

You can find those players with (*) beside their school. 

 

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Ping pong balls bounced in the favor of New Orleans and they will have (most likely) the best draft with two top-10 picks. The first pick is a no-brainer.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates before he cuts down the net after the Wildcats defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

New Orleans will select Kentucky star Anthony Davis. His length, size, skill set and rebounding skills will translate perfectly to the NBA game. 

 

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

Bradley Beal turned it on in the SEC and NCAA tournament, playing some of his best ball of the season. He proved there that he wasn't just an outside shooter who could be hot or cold.

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators drives in the first half against Jontel Evans #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha,
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Beal averaged 14.6 points per game as a freshman in Florida. He is a bit undersized at 6'3" because he's not a point guard, but Cleveland will take a hard look at him with this selection.

 

3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is legit. He's not flashy, but he gets it done—he's a guy you want on your team.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates their 82 to 70 win over the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kidd-Gil
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

He has great size, length, slashing ability, defensive ability and great drive. Kidd-Gilchrist stepped up his game when other Kentucky teammates didn't have their A-game.

He can play that way all the time; he just wanted to get everybody involved because he knew that's how they would win a championship.

 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina *

Harrison Barnes dropped 40 points on Clemson in the ACC tournament two years ago. He can fill it up with his dynamic mid-range game.

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts as he runs down court next to Jahenns Manigat #12 of the Creighton Bluejays in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Gre
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

At 6'8", he can hit the outside shot, drive the lane or hit spot-up shots from teammates' penetration.  

His game reminds me a lot of Luol Deng, a guy who is underrated but highly talented offensively. Barnes may not have the same defensive mindset as Deng, but he may be able to score the rock more than Deng can for the Bulls. 

Barnes averaged 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this past season at North Carolina. 

 

5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

Andre Drummond may be a bust in waiting. He could also be a superstar.

Given his size, length and superior athleticism, Sacramento should select him in the first round.

 

6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn): Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas  

Thomas Robinson is a double-double candidate waiting to happen. He can put it on the floor, shoot a mid-range jumper and work from the post.

Robinson won't be a superstar in the NBA, but he can become a really nice player in Portland.

 

7. Golden State Warriors (via Utah): Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor

Perry Jones III is another bust waiting to happen. He's also another star waiting to happen.

His talent level suggests he is capable of being a prime-time player in the NBA, but he rarely puts it together consistently.

 

8. Toronto Raptors: Austin Rivers, G, Duke *

Explosiveness.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Austin Rivers #30 of the Duke Blue Devils during the semifinals of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Philips Arena on March 10, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Austin Rivers provides more explosiveness than anybody in this draft class. With Toronto being 28th in the league in scoring, it's an easy decision to take Rivers with the No. 8 pick.

Rivers was the go-to guy at Duke in his freshman season. Not many can say that. He did force the issue too much, but that was because he felt it was necessary because nobody else on the roster could create their own shot.

 

9. Detroit Pistons: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State

Arnett Moultrie would give Detroit another option at the power forward position. 

He averaged 15.8 points and 10. 6 rebounds per game this past season.

 

10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota) Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

Kendall Marshall is everything you want in a point guard. He has a pass-first mentality, sees the floor exceptionally well and can command an entire offensive scheme.

Marshall is a prototypical point guard and he would mesh well with what the Hornets are trying to do.

 

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State *

Damian Lillard could be the steal of the draft if he can continue to score the ball at his ridiculous 24.5 points per game pace at Weber State.

Portland needs a point guard and Lillard is one of the best in the draft class.

 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

No Andrew Bogut means Milwaukee will be looking for a center. North Carolina's Tyler Zeller should be the answer here.

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 23:  :  :  :  Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels dunks in the first half against Reggie Keely #30 and Walter Offutt #3 of the Ohio Bobcats during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Semifinal at Edward Jones
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Zeller will find success in today's NBA game. He has the size and athleticism to compete on both ends of the floor.

 

13. Phoenix Suns: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut

Jeremy Lamb may have had more momentum if he would have entered last year's NBA draft given how well he played in the NCAA tournament, but he still should be in the middle of the pack in this year's draft.

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 15:  Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies attempts a shot in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 15, 2012 in Louisville
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He has solid size for the position, but he needs to add muscle to his frame.

 

14. Houston Rockets: Royce White, PF, Iowa State *

Royce White has all the tools to become a star in the NBA. He's dynamic with the ball in his hands, doesn't mind the big stage and can impact games in several areas.

He stepped onto the big stage and delivered in the NCAA tournament this past season. His performance proved how effective he could be on the floor.

Against Connecticut, White was the best player on the floor—it wasn't really close.

 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, PF, North Carolina

John Henson brings size; Philadelphia needs size. The fit makes sense if you're Philadelphia.

Henson averaged 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this year. 

 

16. Houston Rockets (via New York): Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

Terrence Ross has steal potential. 

He has the size, talent and athleticism to play a major role in the NBA. He'll just need to be more consistent.

 

17. Dallas Mavericks: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

Who doesn't love some instant offense?

Syracuse's Dion Waiters provided instant offense off the bench this past season. Whenever they needed a boost, Waiters was implemented into the game and the rest was history. 

He shot 48 percent from the floor this past season.

 

18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah): Moe Harkless, G/F St. John's *

Moe Harkless is another potential steal in the middle of the first round. He has top-10 scoring ability with great 6'8" size. He needs to work on his jump shot, however, because he only shot 20 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite not being able to shoot from outside, Harkless still got to where he wanted on the floor and defenses couldn't do much about it.  

Harkless scored 15.3 points and recorded 8.6 rebounds per game in his freshman season. He'll develop an outside shot at the next level as well as be an intimidating defender with his length.

 

19. Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

Who knows where Dwight Howard is going? He seems like he switches his mind every other day. It's time to draft a center just in case he does decide to leave the only team he knows in the dust.

Meyers Leonard should be the selection with this pick. 

 

20. Denver Nuggets: Jared Sullinger, C/PF, Ohio State

DeJuan Blair started more games in the regular season than any other Spurs player. That's who Ohio State's Jared Sullinger reminds me of.

Both had big bodies in college and both use it to their advantage. They rebound exceptionally well, and they work hard. 

Sullinger won't be dominant in the NBA, but he could be useful down low.

 

21. Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure

Maybe Boston does have what it takes to win the Eastern Conference. Regardless, Boston needs to plan for the future by adding Andrew Nicholson from St. Bonaventure.

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16:  Andrew Nicholson #44 of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies holds the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Ten
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

He reminds me of Kevin Garnett with his ability to dominate in the mid-range game. He could work well off of Rajon Rondo in pick-and-pop situations.

 

22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt

John Jenkins is a dynamic three-point shooter. He could be the potential replacement for Ray Allen when he decides to leave Boston.

Jenkins shot 44 percent from beyond the arc this past season at Vanderbilt.

 

23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten Jr., PG, Washington 

Tony Wroten Jr. has the size and athleticism to thrive at the next level. However, his shooting is atrocious, and he doesn't play consistent basketball. 

The potential to become a star is there, but he will have work on several areas of his game.

 

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State

Draymond Green isn't your everyday prospect.

He doesn't have the athleticism of some of the other guys in the class, but he can just flat-out play the game.

 

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Quincy Miller, F, Baylor 

Quincy Miller could become a solid NBA player in a few years, but it's going to take time. He should have stayed another year at Baylor instead of coming out after his freshman season.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Quincy Miller #30 of the Baylor Bears cleebrates during their 75 to 70 win over 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.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

He could have used another year to hone his skills.

 

26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

Marquis Teague is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He has a chance to play for his hometown team.

Indiana should jump on the opportunity to have Teague on its roster. He is a guy who can create his own shot off the dribble. Indiana doesn't have too many players who can do that right now.

 

27. Miami Heat: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

Miami needs a big man down low to block or alter shots and rebound. They need a presence on the interior.

Fab Melo fits the bill.

 

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

Oklahoma City has been looking for a replacement for Jeff Green ever since they dealt him to Boston—another option on offense who has size and can shoot from outside. 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - MARCH 17:  Jeffery Taylor #44 of the Vanderbilt Commodores reacts during the first half of the game against the Wisconsin Badgers during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Pit on March 17, 2012 in Albuque
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor could be that guy if Oklahoma City decided to give him a look at No. 28.

 

29. Chicago Bulls: Will Barton, SG, Memphis

Chicago must look for a home run with the No. 29 pick in the draft. Will Barton has the potential to be a home run selection late in the draft.

Barton can score the rock with great proficiency. He shot 51 percent from the floor while scoring 18 points per game this season.

 

30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio) Evan Fournier, SG, France 

Evan Fournier may be the only European draftee in the first round this year. Golden State will be looking to find another scoring threat now that Monta Ellis is playing in Milwaukee.

You never know how European players will perform in the NBA, but it's worth the risk.

 

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