2012 NBA Mock Draft: Entire 1st-Round Forecast for All 30 Teams
The depth in the 2012 NBA draft offers teams the opportunity to land a potential starter nearly anywhere in the first round.
We know Anthony Davis is coming off the board at No. 1 overall, but it would hardly be a surprise at all if the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls or San Antonio Spurs found a potential starter in the latter portion of the round.
And the elite talent in this draft—well, the elite potential, shows us there could be as many 10 legitimate superstars in this class.
So with that in mind, here's the latest forecast of the first round.
1. New Orleans Hornets (21-45): Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
The top player in all the land, Davis is an easy favorite for rookie of the year and will immediately give the Hornets a boost both on and off the court.
Should he find a way onto Team USA, it will also be a be a huge boost.
The Hornets have a long way to go, but Davis is a great, great start.
2. Charlotte Bobcats (7-59): Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
The Bobcats will almost certainly screw this pick up by drafting someone like Andre Drummond, but they desperately need a scorer and Beal is the best this draft has to offer.
The Florida freshman spent too much time on the basketball this past year for the Gators, but he's already dominating in workouts showing off that shooting stroke that teams loved when he came out of high school.
The comparisons to a jacked-up Ray Allen are starting resurface, and this kid has the potential to be a legitimate superstar. That is something the Bobcats sorely need.
3. Washington Wizards (20-46): Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
This is arguably the best fit in the entire draft. MKG needs to do some work offensively, but he loves to get out and run and will be a star alongside John Wall. His defensive prowess, hustle and team-first mentality will be a huge boost to a team stuck at the bottom on the league.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-45): Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes could truly be a superstar if he lands with the right point guard, and in this scenario he finds just that.
The UNC star has legitimate size to play the 3, can rebound, play defense and catch fire as a scorer. With Kyrie Irving running the show and defenses collapsing to contain him, Barnes should find plenty of opportunities to score the basketball.
Beal and Barnes are the ideal fit at No. 4 here, but if MKG somehow falls he'd work too.
5. Sacramento Kings (22-44): Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The Kings reportedly don't want to develop another big man, but the way the first four shake out leaves Robinson the odd man out in the draft and he's too good a value to pass up here.
The Jayhawk star does everything well, but doesn't necessarily excel at anything. He'll be a very solid NBA player, and the Kings should add him here because they've struggled to find solid, all-around players, but he'll struggle to be a true star.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via 22-44 New Jersey Nets): Andre Drummond, C, UConn
Drummond has elite potential, but he also has some huge detractors. The UConn center failed to live up to lofty expectations as a freshman and severely underperformed in key games.
The Blazers have two lottery picks, this one courtesy of the Nets and Gerald Wallace, so it wouldn't be surprising at all if they took a chance here.
7. Golden State Warriors (23-43): Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor
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The Warriors are a potential trade-down team here as they look to land a more proven superstar in their attempt to push for the postseason.
PJIII has a ton of potential, but he doesn't always play up to it and he's shrunk in big moments. That said, his combination of size, skills and athleticism are unique.
If Golden State sits here they take a risk, but another team could also trade in and make the Baylor star the pick.
8. Toronto Raptors (23-43): Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Toronto needs some youth, fire and a guy who can score some baskets—Rivers does all that and can be more.
The son of Celtics coach Doc, the Duke freshman still has maturing to do, but he has the one thing a number of players in this draft don't: a clutch gene.
The Raptors could use some of that, too.
9. Detroit Pistons (25-41): Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Greg Monroe is quickly becoming a legitimate star, but the Pistons need to put someone alongside him to help out. Sullinger has limited upside, but he's ready to contribute immediately.
Detroit could do much worse than Sully as they look to get back to relevance.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via 26-40 Minnesota Timberwolves): Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
Anthony Davis is going to need someone to lob him balls under the basket. While Damian Lillard has more upside, Marshall is a better pure point guard and can help them out immediately.
He could be a poor man's version of Deron Williams with a left hand.
11. Portland Trail Blazers (28-38): Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
There is so much potential here with Jones, but there is also a number of things that have dragged down his stock this season. The workout session has put him back on the map though and the Blazers, who are looking to revamp things quickly, again see themselves flushed with a super-talented player on the board.
12. Milwaukee Bucks (31-35): Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
The Bucks are out to find themselves a replacement for Andrew Bogut, and there is no better prospect for that in the draft than Tyler Zeller.
While he may never be a true superstar, he can score around the basket, rebound and play defense.
13. Phoenix Suns (33-33): Damian Lillard, G, Weber State
A feisty combo-guard with scoring chops, Lillard has top-10 potential in some people's eyes. The Suns are looking for a potential Steve Nash replacement and this is as good a fit as there is with Marshall off the board.
If Nash sticks around, Lillard instantly becomes a scoring threat off the bench while learning from a future Hall of Famer.
14. Houston Rockets (34-32): Terrence Ross, G, Washington
Houston is looking for a youthful big man and a new 2-guard to develop. Ross has legitimate top-10 potential and fills an immediate need for this team.
If given enough of an opportunity, he could easily be a Rookie of the Year candidate with his ability to score points in bunches.
15. Philadelphia 76ers (35-31): John Henson, PF, North Carolina
The Sixers are likely saying goodbye to Elton Brand, so a young power forward is very much in the cards when on the clock. Henson can score around the basket, loves to rebound and can get after it defensively as well.
This is a solid all-around pick here.
16. Houston Rockets (via 36-20 New York Knicks): Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
As for the developmental center in Houston, Leonard fills that role perfectly. The Illinois big man is a genuine seven-footer with the potential to become a starter down the line.
17. Dallas Mavericks (36-30): Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Dallas would love to land someone they can count on to come in next year and make something happen, but Miller, who has a ton of upside and could easily come off the board earlier than this, is too good to pass up.
He struggled to get back on track from a high school injury, but the Mavs will look past that in a heartbeat.
There is a good chance they'll be looking to find someone to fill Jason Terry's role, which makes Jeremy Lamb a possibility as well.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via 36-30 Utah Jazz): Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
This is the absolute floor for Lamb. He struggles to play up to his ability at times, but he does have the potential to take over games and score in bunches.
The Timberwolves cannot pass up an opportunity like this.
19. Orlando Magic (37-29): Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
And neither can the Magic. Waiters has top-10 buzz around him right now, so it would be surprising if he were to fall down this far. But if he did, the Magic wouldn't hesitate to select him.
Orlando is going to be searching for someone with legitimate star potential, and the 'Cuse guard has that in spades. He's a proven scorer who could be the steal of the draft if he were to last this long.
20. Denver Nuggets (38-28): Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's
A developing young star, Harkless needs to work harder on the defensive end to make a complete impact, but there is a lot to love about him.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, don't have any major needs and would be foolish to pass on him here.
21. Boston Celtics (39-27): Royce White, PF, Iowa State
A star rebounder with point-forward skills, White gives the Celtics a huge boost on the block. This team has been beyond impressive this postseason, but their age is something of a concern.
White, who does have some off-the-court concerns, helps fix that problem.
22. Boston Celtics (via 40-26 Los Angeles Clippers): Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson, another skilled big man, can do everything well and at his best could help replace KG's scoring load.
23. Atlanta Hawks (40-26): Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
This is the floor for Moultrie, an SEC star who put it all together this year.
The Hawks don't have a ton of pressing needs, so a great value like this will be extremely difficult to pass up.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via 41-25 Los Angeles Lakers): Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
After adding Barnes with their first pick, the Cavs can do a number of things here. Lamb is a solid get at this point and could be a great scoring option off the bench for them.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (41-25): Tony Wroten, PG/SG, Washington
Wroten is a bit of question mark, but this late in the draft the Grizzlies could do much worse. They're looking for a backup to Mike Conley and Wroten is someone who can get to the basket as well.
Some time as a backup may help humble this youngster too.
26. Indiana Pacers (42-24): Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Much of the same goes here for the Pacers. They're looking for a backup at the point guard position, and Teague, who flashed immense talent at times this season, stands to benefit from a learning role.
27. Miami Heat (46-20): Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
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The Heat should go after the biggest man they can find in this draft; Melo fits the bill perfectly. He's a complete liability and may even struggle to find the court, but the Heat have virtually no presence on the block.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder (47-19): Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State
The Thunder don't need another starter, so picking this late in the draft gives them the opportunity to land a key role player.
Fortunately for them, Green is the ideal role player, as he can play a number of positions and do a bit of everything. He was the Spartans' go-to guy this year.
29. Chicago Bulls (50-16): John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
The Bulls tried to patch up their shooting guard position but Jenkins, who is arguably the best shooter in this draft, could be the player to take over the position long term.
Chicago would be foolish to pass on him if he were still on the board here.
30. Golden State Warriors (via 50-16 San Antonio Spurs): Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
A super-athletic wing with defensive talents, Taylor would be a steal this late in the draft for whichever team picks here (expect the Warriors to be moving around).
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