2012 NBA Mock Draft: The Best Fit for Every Projected First-Round Pick

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIIJune 13, 2012

2012 NBA Mock Draft: The Best Fit for Every Projected First-Round Pick

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    The 2012 NBA Draft is loaded with potential stars. 

    Some teams will make their draft selection based on each player's NBA potential, while other teams will draft based on how well the player has proven they can play in college.

    Each team will determine which strategy suits their team the best and make their first-round selection accordingly. 

    Here is the best fit for every projected first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

30. Golden State Warriors: Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Vanderbilt forward will be the last player selected in the first round. 

    Jeff Taylor proved this season he is a legitimate NBA prospect when he led his team to their first SEC Tournament championship in over 60 years.

    Taylor has the ability to put up big scoring numbers at the next level after he shot over 42 percent from the three and 53 percent from the field in his senior season. 

29. Chicago Bulls: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 19.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.1 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Another Vanderbilt player will be selected with the second-to-last pick in the first round, John Jenkins.

    Jenkins is potentially the best outside shooter in this entire draft.

    He will definitely help the Bulls out right away, who have no youth at the shooting guard position.  

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green (Michigan State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.6 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Draymond Green may be undersized for the NBA, but he knows how to win.

    The Thunder will take a chance on Green since they already have enough talent to make it to the NBA Finals without this draft pick.

    If Green can continue his productivity from college to the pros, the Thunder will be back in the championship again next season. 

27. Miami Heat: Royce White (Iowa State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.1 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 5.1 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Royce White is a consensus top-10 talent, but will fall in the draft since he comes with a ton of off-court issues.

    Since the Heat were able to make the Finals already, it would be worth it to take a risk on a talent like White.

    If he can get his life in order and just focus on basketball, the defending Eastern Conference Champions will be adding a player who can step in and contribute right away.  

26. Indiana Pacers: Quincy Miller (Baylor)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 11.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Coming out of high school, everyone believed Quincy Miller would eventually be a lottery pick. 

    He's shown flashes of excellence during his one season at Baylor, but wasn't able to put it together for an entire season.

    The Pacers are making this selection based on Miller's potential, rather than what he's proven he can do playing in college.  

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 18.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Andrew Nicholson is only 6'9", but possesses one of the largest wingspans in the draft at 7'4".

    The Grizzlies have a solid starter at every position, so they will be drafting the player with the highest ceiling at this pick.

    Nicholson was an excellent scorer and rebounder in college and will hopefully bring his versatility to the Grizz in the NBA. 

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Fournier (France)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: N/A


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Evan Fournier is regarded as the best international player in this draft, but will fall very far since he is only 19 years old and most likely won't come over to the NBA for another year or two. 

    Since the Cavs shouldn't expect to be serious title contenders in the near future, adding Fournier to their roster and allowing him to improve his skills in France is a move that will pay huge dividends in the future. 

    When the Cavaliers are prepared to compete for an NBA title in a few seasons, hopefully Fournier will be ready to form a dynamic backcourt with Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. 

23. Atlanta Hawks: Marquis Teague (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 9.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.8 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Atlanta Hawks weakest position is the point guard spot. 

    This may be an awkward selection for the Hawks, but their starting point guard's brother, Marquis Teague, happens to be the best point guard left in the draft.

    Letting the two brothers battle it out in training camp may be the best thing for the Hawks heading into next season.  

22. Boston Celtics: Fab Melo (Syracuse)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.9 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Fab Melo may not have put up great statistics in college, but he has the size and strength to succeed at the next level.

    The Celtics are one of the best teams at developing players and will turn Melo into the center he has the potential to be.

21. Boston Celtics: Moe Harkless (St. John’s)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Moe Harkless is another project the Celtics will take on entering next season.

    He showed in college he can be a great scorer and rebounder, coming in the top two in both categories for his team last season. 

    With Pierce coming to the end of his career and Garnet entering free agency, Harkless may get a chance to see big minutes in his rookie season. 

20. Denver Nuggets: Tony Wroten Jr. (Washington)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.6 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Tony Wroten's best attribute is his ability to play either guard position. 

    He is definitely the right pick for the Nuggets, who have very little depth at both the point guard and shooting guard positions.

    Wroten has also proven to be a great rebounder for his size.   

19. Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard (Illinois)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.9 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Orlando Magic need to find a replacement for Dwight Howard, who still reportedly wants out of Orlando even though he declined his early termination option.

    The best pure center left in the draft is definitely Meyers Leonard.

    Leonard needs to improve his rebounding, but has shown he is very smart on the offensive end and will shoot a very high percentage at the next level.    

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Ross (Washington)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.4 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Terrence Ross possesses great size and strength for the shooting guard position, which happens to be the biggest need for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

    Ross will be a great backcourt mate to Ricky Rubio, who is definitely a better passer than finisher. 

    He will definitely provide much better scoring from the guard position than the Timberwolves had last season.   

17. Dallas Mavericks: Austin Rivers (Duke)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Mavericks desperately need to add some youth to their guard position, which is made up of all veteran players. 

    At one point Austin Rivers was believed to be a lottery pick, but his inconsistent play and failure to lead his team past the first round in the tournament significantly hurt his draft stock.

    Rivers has proven he's fearless when the game is on the line though and has the potential to lead all rookies in scoring next season. 

16. Houston Rockets: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.8 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Rockets need a forward who can score from the perimeter. 

    Terrence Jones showed flashes of greatness during his college career at Kentucky, but lacked the consistency that could have made him a top-10 pick.

    Luckily for himself and UK, he peaked during the NCAA Tournament and proved his leadership by helping his team win a National Championship. 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.1 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The 76ers desperately need a big man to replace the disappointing Elton Brand.

    Arnett Moultrie possesses great length and leaping ability, allowing him to play either power forward or center at the next level. 

    He is great at attacking the offensive glass, averaging around 3.7 offensive rebounds per game last season. 

14. Houston Rockets: Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    This is the Rockets second selection in the last three picks.

    Tyler Zeller's biggest strength is his consistency, scoring under 10 points only six times in the Tar Heels' 38 games last season.

    Zeller will spread the court very nicely for the Rockets since he is an above average mid-range shooter for someone who is 7'0".   

13. Phoenix Suns: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    With Steve Nash entering free agency, the Phoenix Suns are left with no scoring options at the guard position. 

    Jeremy Lamb would fix that with his ability to knock down open jumpers, as well as finish at the rim. 

    He has great size and length for the shooting guard position, but unfortunately gets lost in the offense at times. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Perry Jones III (Baylor)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Most people believed Perry Jones III would be a top-five pick in last year's draft, but he appears to have gone backwards after a disappointing sophomore season at Baylor.

    The question marks surrounding Jones III aren't about his skills, but rather his motor to go all out for the entire game.

    If the Bucks can get him to live up to his potential, like they did Brandon Jennings, he could turn out to be the steal of the draft.

11. Portland Trailblazers: Kendall Marshall (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 9.7 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Had Kendall Marshall not gotten injured last season during the tournament, he may have been the top point guard selected in this draft.

    With Raymond Felton expected to leave Portland as a free agent this offseason, the Trailblazers will need to bring in Marshall as his replacement. 

    Marshall is definitely the best passer in this draft and will put up large assist totals with all of the talented scorers he will have playing around him.  

10. New Orleans Hornets: Damian Lillard (Weber State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 24.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.0 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    It is very rare that the best point guard in the draft is still available with the No. 10 pick.

    The Hornets lacked scoring last season and will certainly get that from Damian Lillard, who shot 41 percent from three and 47 percent from the field last season.

    Lillard is also a great rebounder for the point guard position, averaging over five rebounds per game at only 6'3".  

9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.9 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    John Henson is tall enough to play center in the NBA, but will excel more if he can play power forward since he is currently so lanky.

    Playing alongside Greg Monroe will give Henson a distinct height advantage over almost every player he will need to defend.  

    It will also be very difficult for opposing teams to defend Henson and Monroe when they are on the court at the same time. 

8. Toronto Raptors: Dion Waiters (Syracuse)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 12.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.6 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Scouts have mixed feelings on Dion Waiters.

    His incredible scoring ability is undeniable, but his lack of defensive effort may or may not carry over to the next level.

    The Raptors will take the risk on Waiters though, as they desperately need a perimeter shooter who can also handle the rock. 

7. Golden State Warriors: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Warriors need to select a big man with this pick, as newly acquired center Andrew Bogut hasn't played in a full season since his rookie year.

    Jared Sullinger may be a tad bit undersized for the NBA, but he makes up for it by using his large, powerful body to his advantage on the low post. 

    Even if he comes off the bench, Sullinger will definitely get ton of playing time in his rookie season with the Warriors.  

6. Portland Trailblazers: Andre Drummond (Connecticut)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.7 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Trailblazers got the point guard they needed with the No. 11 pick, Kendall Marshall, and will now address their need for a big man to play alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Andre Drummond's biggest problem in college was his inconsistency, but if he can put all his skills together on a nightly basis, he has the talent to succeed on both offense and defense at the next level.

    Drummond will be the perfect compliment to Aldridge since he excels on the defense end and will be able to guard the opposing team's best big man, regardless of if they are playing power forward or center.  

5. Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson (Kansas)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Thomas Robinson is a tenacious rebounder and low-post scorer.

    He also proved to be a great leader this season, as he brought Kansas to the NCAA Championship game when no one—not even his head coach Bill Self—thought it was possible.  

    Pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins will be very beneficial to both young players and will make the Kings extremely difficult to rebound against.   

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 11.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.0 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    With this pick, the Cavs would be getting a player that most people believe is the second-best player in this draft. 

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played every single possession last season with an intensity level that couldn't be matched by any other player on the court. It actually looked like he was trying harder than everyone else the way he defended, rebounded and went after loose balls.

    Kidd-Gilchrist is not afraid to do the dirty work for his team.  

3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal (Florida)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 APG

    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Wizards lack a great outside shooter who can spread the floor for them. 

    Not only has Bradley Beal's shooting already drawn comparisons to the best three-point shooter in NBA history, Ray Allen, but he also has the ability to attack the basket and finish at the rim.

    A backcourt of John Wall and Brad Beal will be extremely difficult for any team in the NBA to defend on a nightly basis.

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 APG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    The Bobcats biggest need is a go-to scorer and Harrison Barnes has all the tools to be just that.

    Last season, Barnes was able to average 17.4 points per game, even though he was on a team that was stacked with talent.

    Kidd-Gilchrist is the player most people feel the Bobcats should select with this pick, but Barnes will prove to be the better scorer of the two and will become the team's all-time leading scorer in no time.   

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 4.6 BPG


    Why He's the Best Fit

    Anthony Davis is by far the most talented and most coveted player in this draft.

    This pick is a no-brainer selection for the New Orleans Hornets, who are desperate to add talent to their roster after trading away their best player last season, Chris Paul

    Even if for some odd reason the Hornets didn't want Davis, they still need to select him first overall as his trade value would be through the roof.