NBA Mock Draft 2012: Which Prospects Are Moving Up Draft Boards After Combine?
Several NBA prospects helped their causes with outstanding workouts last week at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. As a result, there will be several risers up the board in my latest mock draft.
However, the opposite is true, as well. We'll also see a few players drop down the board after poor combine showings.
With that being said, let’s take a look at who’s moving up and who’s moving down after the NBA Draft Combine.
All measurements used are via Chad Ford at ESPN.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Davis didn’t work out at the combine but he’s still a lock to be selected No. 1 overall.
He really didn’t need to work out to improve his stock, but measured in at 6’10.5” with an impressive 7’5.5” wingspan.
Who helped themselves most at the combine?
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Probably not what Bobcats fans want to hear, but taking a shot on Drummond’s potential could pay dividends in the long run.
Charlotte isn’t ready to win right now and Drummond has as high a ceiling as anyone in the draft. He showed off outstanding athleticism at the combine and measured very well at 6'11", 280 pounds with a 7'6" wingspan.
3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
I’ve been high on MKG all season, but I’m starting to sour on him a bit and nearly had him dropping down to No. 7 because of other teams' needs.
Kidd-Gilchrist though, while probably not a guy a team can build around due to his inability to be a top scoring option, brings everything else the Wizards need right now. He’s a great athlete, a shutdown defender and more importantly for Washington, MKG is a high character guy.
The bottom line is that he’s a pretty safe pick.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, Florida
SI.com is among the sources linking Harrison Barnes to the Cavs here and he would make a lot of sense for Cleveland, but I just don’t know how they pass on Beal here.
Beal measured at over 6’4” in height with a 6’8” wingspan. While that’s not great size for a 2-guard, it’s pretty good, and pairing the sharp-shooting Beal with Kyrie Irving gives Cleveland a very good young backcourt with a ton of promise.
5. Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds on the season while recording 27 double-doubles. He's a steal for the Kings at No. 5.
Concerns about his height were eased when he measured close to 6'9" with a 7'3" wingspan. That's plenty big enough to be an NBA power forward. With his motor and athleticism, Robinson will produce when paired next to DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via New Jersey Nets): Damian Lillard, Weber State
Portland needs a point guard and after his showing at the combine, Lillard won’t be there for them at No. 11.
Lillard had the reputation as a shooter and not only decided to work out, but drew the most buzz among NBA general managers after putting on a shooting display during the first day. In addition to averaging 24.5 points on the season, Lillard also posted an assist to turnover ratio of 2-to-1.
With his performance in Chicago, Lillard all but assured himself of being a Top 10 pick.
Here's an interview with Lillard following his workouts in Chicago.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
If the Warriors keep this pick and Barnes falls to them, it’s a natural match as the Warriors need some wing production.
I’m not as high on Barnes as most, but he does have the ability to possibly become a No.1 scoring option in the NBA, after averaging 17.1 points per game in college. He measured only 6’8” in shoes, so he’s not as big as most NBA 3’s, but he does have some upside.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
The Raptors have reportedly shown interest in Lamb and I like him here, as Toronto needs not only a legitimate small forward, but also consistent production from the 2-guard spot.
DeMar Derozan has yet to show he can be that guy, so I have no problem with Toronto taking Lamb here, who averaged 17.7 points per game at UConn and could turn himself into a fine NBA scorer down the road.
9. Detroit Pistons: Perry Jones III, Baylor
The Pistons must get more athletic and Jones helps them in a big way.
Although I see him more as a 3 in the NBA, Jones worked out with the power forwards in Chicago and answered a lot of questions about his motor and intensity.
He measured 6’11” with a wingspan close to 7’2.”
Jones has the ability to be a star; it’s just a matter of whether he can bring it out consistently. As the draft gets closer, he’s one guy that could keep rising.
In this interview, Jones talks about how he possibly helped himself in Chicago.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota Timberwolves): Austin Rivers, Duke
One report has the Hornets considering Austin Rivers here and the Sporting News reported via Twitter has said that Rivers may have a lottery guarantee from a certain team.
Austin Rivers might have late-lottery guarantee dlvr.it/1hkt0n— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) June 10, 2012
Add it all up and New Orleans seems like a reasonable destination for the Duke product who averaged 15.5 points per game on the season.
Rivers will be a scorer, but he has to learn to play better without the ball and use his teammates more effectively to succeed in the NBA.
If the Hornets are considering Rivers here, what does that mean for the future of Eric Gordon, who is a restricted free agent this season?
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Meyers Leonard, Illinois
Next to Lillard, the player that possibly generated the next most buzz in Chicago was Leonard, who Ford suggested looked awesome and could move into the Top 10 after his impressive workouts.
He measured in at 7’1.25” and while he may still have to develop, he could be the future big man the Blazers need badly. Leonard showed great athleticism, soft hands and the ability to finish, rebound and block shots.
His stock is shooting way up.
The guys at ESPN talk about how impressive Leonard was in Chicago.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State.
Sullinger measured in at 6’9” and while that’s good for him, it doesn’t do much to answer the questions about his lack of athleticism.
He has an advanced low-post game that could result in NBA success, but he doesn’t have a high ceiling and I’m not that high on him. After averaging 17.3 points and 9.3 rebounds throughout his collegiate career, Sullinger could be a decent 4 in the NBA, but I doubt he becomes a star.
However, Milwaukee needs post production and Sullinger is worth the gamble.
13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Waiters could go much higher, as Ford reported that an unnamed lottery team gave the Syracuse combo guard a promise to be taken in the lottery.
Waiters is happy with that, as he cancelled all of his remaining workouts.
14. Houston Rockets: Terrence Ross, Washington
Ross used the combine to put on a show as he took advantage of the fact that the other top 2-guards decided to not work out.
He shot the ball very well from everywhere and showed the athleticism that could make him a star.
In addition, Ross measured at 6’7", which is outstanding size for an NBA shooting guard. Don’t be surprised if he sneaks into the Top 10 come draft time.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, North Carolina
Henson is an outstanding athlete who can help the Sixers by rebounding (10.1 RPG) and blocking shots (2.9 BPG).
He’s raw offensively, but he can help a team’s interior defense right away,
16. Houston Rockets (via New York Knicks): Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
I’ve had Zeller ahead of Leonard for most of the year, but Leonard may have leapfrogged him with his combine performance.
That’s not to say that Zeller won’t be a good pro. He’s very athletic and solid fundamentally. Zeller won’t be an All-Star and while Leonard may have a much higher upside, Zeller can likely contribute a little bit right away.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
With Jason Kidd’s tenure in Dallas likely over, Marshall makes a ton of sense for Dallas here.
He’s the best pure point guard in the class and measured in at over 6’4".
Should the Mavs select Marshall, they get a point guard similar to the one they had in Kidd, a guy that is an effortless passer and outstanding decision maker (9.8 APG).
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
With the top shooting guards off the board, the Wolves can add needed frontcourt depth with Moultrie, who measures in at close to 6’11".
He could go higher in the draft based on his athleticism and production on the season (16.4 PPG, 10.5 RPG). However, it’s near shocking that Moultrie chose not to work out at the combine, as it could only have helped his draft stock.
Moultrie is a guy that can play the 4 or the 5 and can score from the inside or outside, but could see himself slip out of the lottery, which could be good for the Wolves.
19. Orlando Magic: Moe Harkless, St. Johns
For now I have Harkless to the Magic as he’s moved up a few spots, but he could continue to rise after opening up a ton of eyes at the combine.
Harkless showed his athleticism and ability to score and Ford reported that he could have forced his way into the lottery. I will wait on that bump, though, until after I see how his individual workouts go.
20. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Denver doesn’t need much except extra depth, and Jones at No. 20 is a steal for an up-and-coming Nuggets team.
He is versatile and can score from any level on the floor, shooting 50 percent from the field overall to go along with 33 percent from behind the arc.
21. Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson averaged 18.5 points per game during the season and opened up eyes in Chicago with his ability to score.
I’ve loved him for Boston almost all year and more so now. He has a chance to become a very productive player down the road.
22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Fab Melo, Syracuse
I’m not that high on Melo, but Boston needs size and Melo is a legit prospect who measured 7’0” tall.
He’s raw offensively, but could contribute immediately by rebounding and blocking shots (2.9 BPG).
23. Atlanta Hawks: Royce White, Iowa State
According to Ford, White was the talk of the interview process as he turned in the best interview of any player.
His skills were never questioned, but there were concerns about some off the court issues that included him being kicked off the University of Minnesota team and also an anxiety disorder that includes a fear of flying.
While in Chicago, White eased all concerns and should now be a lock to be a first rounder.
Here's a look at a post combine interview that White did, courtesy of HoopsWorld.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt
Taylor may be the best pure athlete in the draft and showed that ability in Chicago.
Cleveland needs to get more athletic and Taylor is a guy that can do a lot of things. He’s a very good perimeter defender, can get to the rim and finally developed a perimeter shot (42 percent).
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Memphis needs someone that can knock down shots from behind the arc and Lamb could be a great fit for the Grizzlies.
When he’s shooting well, Lamb is lethal, knocking down close to 47 percent of his three-point attempts.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, Kentucky
Tony Wroten’s struggles in Chicago could be good news for Teague, as the Kentucky freshman may have leaped ahead of him.
Teague could end up becoming Indiana’s point guard of the future once he develops.
27. Miami Heat: Quincy Miller, Baylor
Miller is another guy that may have played himself out of the first round with a poor showing at the combine.
He could be a good fit for Miami, though, as they don’t need much except depth. Adding an athlete the caliber of Miller makes sense, as the Heat can be patient while he develops.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, Michigan State
Green came to Chicago in great shape and could prove to be a useful piece coming off the Oklahoma City bench.
I have some concerns about who Green will guard in the NBA as he’s a tweener, but the intangibles he brings are a coach’s dream.
29. Chicago Bulls: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
The Bulls could go plenty of different ways with this pick, but adding a shooter like Jenkins makes sense, especially considering he could be the best pure shooter in the draft, after down 44 percent of his college long-range attempts.
30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio Spurs): Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
Golden State can add more size with the likes of Ezeli. He’s raw offensively, but still shot 60 percent from the floor on the season and averaged 10.0 points per game.
Ezeli is a big body that can help the Warriors rebound the ball (5.9 RPG) and block shots (2.0 BPG).
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