2012 NBA Mock Draft: Every First-Round Pick's Biggest Weakness
It's always fun to focus on what kind of stars the 2012 NBA draft will produce, but for as many highlight-reel plays, incredible dunks and talent many of the projected first-rounders have, they each have weaknesses they will need to address at the next level.
Here's a look at an updated 2012 mock draft, highlighting each pick's biggest weakness heading into their professional career.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis
Biggest Weakness: Strength
There's no doubt the young man can play with the big boys, as evidenced by his handling of Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson in the NCAA championship game.
But he'll need to add some weight to take on bigger opponents, especially in the 82-game schedule and names like Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol and fellow Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins on the schedule four times per season and waiting to bully him around inside.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Biggest Weakness: Offensive Consistency
MKG is great in transition, and when he attacks the rim, he has the innate ability to finish, either craftily or by drawing the foul. However, against stronger opponents and smarter defenders, will he be able to knock down the jump shot the way he did in the NCAA tournament?
Or will his 26 percent shooting from three come back to haunt him as guys start to defend the paint more when he has the ball, forcing him to knock down jumpers to stay on the court?
3. Washington Wizards: Thomas Robinson
Biggest Weakness: Lack of Size
He might look like a force, but many are concerned that Robinson's measurements will inhibit him from being effective in the NBA. I'm in the minority, and I think he will show all the characteristics of his drive, leadership and hard work that will carry over.
While size certainly can't be fixed, he can learn how to be a smarter defender, become more technical on offense and just plain out-work guys who are bigger than he is down low.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal
Biggest Weakness: Three-Point Range
Many don't know due to his stellar play in both the SEC and NCAA tournaments, but Beal struggles to consistently make three-pointers at a rate (33 percent) to impress enough folks to think he'll be a day one knock-down shooter.
He certainly has the tools to develop into one, and since many comparisons of his game are to Ray Allen, he'll need to learn that quick to match those high expectations.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond
Biggest Weakness: Low Post Offense
He's a beast on the defensive end, but it's going to see how long it takes Drummond to develop a back-to-the-basket game in the NBA. It took Dwight Howard some time, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Drummond pick up a personal coach and get better in the next few years.
Side note: Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins at power forward? Scary.
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Jared Sullinger
Biggest Weakness: Size
Like Robinson, there is nothing Sully can do to fix not being as tall as the rest of the kids in school. But he can overcome by being smarter, a harder worker and continuing to display the kind of offensive versatility he did in college.
There's tons of upside to his game, so his size will just be a risk for whoever drafts him, hoping he can catch up sooner than later.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes
Biggest Weakness: Ball-Handling
He's as proficient of a scorer and fundamental player as they come, but Barnes struggles to create his own shot in isolation situations. He also lacks that "first step" scouts love in the explosiveness game, but if he can learn to create more off the dribble, it will bode well for his development.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb
Biggest Weakness: Drive
He has all the tools to succeed, but will he? Lamb got lost in the UConn offense this season, and it showed in the Huskies' record. He didn't demand more from his teammates, showing just how important Kemba Walker was to that championship squad.
He'll be a complementary piece at this point, but when he's expected to be the man in the NBA (and he will be) we'll see what kind of player he really is.
9. Detroit Pistons: Meyers Leonard
Biggest Weakness: Low Post Offense
He's one of the tallest prospects in this year's class, but Leonard needs to keep working if he wants to be a threat on offense against other seven-footers in the NBA.
He has slow footwork and is predictable at times, both things he'll need to work on leading up to the draft and in the summer league.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Kendall Marshall
Biggest Weakness: Defense Liability
In today's NBA, JJ Barea can blow by you just as fast as Russell Westbrook. OK, so no one's as fast as Westbrook, but Marshall certainly couldn't cover him 50 percent of the time.
He'll need to work on lateral quickness and drive on defense at the next level, especially since more and more point guards are turning into scorers in today's NBA.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard
Biggest Weakness: Level of Competition
If you can play, you can play, but there's always doubt when a guy like Lillard or George Hill comes from a school where the talent isn't as close as in the big-time Division I programs.
But he has the tools to be both a scoring and passing guard. It's time to see if playing against better foes will impact his stock any going forward.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson
Biggest Weakness: Strength
Drawing comparisons to Marcus Camby, Henson is a great shot-blocker, and some think he's better in that department than Anthony Davis.
Just like Davis, he needs to add weight to his frame so he can attack bigger forwards and centers without being driven off the block like a rag doll.
13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers
Biggest Weakness: Decision Making
The freshman guard can light it up, but he needs to work on giving it up more in transition and taking better shots if he wants to succeed at the next level.
14. Houston Rockets: Tyler Zeller
Biggest Weakness: Limited Upside
Zeller doesn't do anything exceptionally well, although he's a solid performer and has been for four years with coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels.
Houston needs consistency from the center position, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you know what you're getting with Zeller and there isn't much more he can do to drastically improve his game.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Dion Waiters
Biggest Weakness: Half-Court Offense
Waiters excelled in transition and from behind the arc for the Orange this year, but when the game slows down and you have to start thinking and acting collectively, he wasn't anything special.
The upside is there for him to be a major talent by creating his own shot and taking defenders to the basket at will, but he needs to sharpen his decision making and knowledge of the half-court offense, especially in the NBA.
16. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones
Biggest Weakness: Lack of Assertiveness
Jones could be the next Lamar Odom, or the next Anthony Randolph. He shows up every few games and dominates, then goes out and scores four points and grabs four rebounds against weaker teams and players.
He doesn't have the killer instinct so far in his Baylor career, but if he wants to be a rotation player, he'll need to find it sooner rather than later to keep up with the competitive players in the NBA who go hard every play no matter the score or team.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Moe Harkless
Biggest Weakness: Three-Pointer
He can't step out and knock down shots from outside the arc just yet, but the Mavericks likely wouldn't need him to.
He only hit 21 percent from three-point land at St. John's so it's something he'll have to improve and work on during his first few seasons.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Ross
Biggest Weakness: Getting to the Rim
He's a good shooter, scorer and otherwise great on offense, but his isolation game isn't great at getting into the paint and finishing amongst the trees.
Ross relies too much on the jump shot sometimes, which leads to his lesser ball-handling abilities and a lack of desire to get to the rim, even though he is a solid-sized prospect at 6'6", 200 pounds.
19. Orlando Magic: Fab Melo
Biggest Weakness: Identity Crisis
You never know what Melo you're going to get. Is he the guy who averaged more than three blocks per game on the Syracuse No. 1 seed this year? Or is he the academically ineligible guy who got crossways with too many people?
Orlando hasn't had a legitimate backup to Dwight Howard since Marcin Gortat left, and since they might not have Howard for long, taking a big man should be a priority, no matter what Melo they get.
20. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Jones
Biggest Weakness: Drive/Lack of Position
Publicly admonished by John Calipari for sloppy defense and failing to play hard on multiple occasions, Jones (who could be the steal of the draft or the biggest bust) would certainly have his weaknesses and strengths shown under George Karl.
Karl would weed out if he is ready to compete at a high level or not. As for his position, it's not as much of a concern, but there's always an Anthony Randolph comparison looming for those who don't have a true NBA position.
21. Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie
Biggest Weakness: Interior Defense
The bulldogs finished near the bottom in defense in 2012, even though they had Moultrie and Renardo Sidney in the middle. He isn't much of a shot-blocker, and has a tendency to give in more times than he should on defense, for lack of effort or whatever reason.
Doc Rivers will fix that.
22. Boston Celtics: Doron Lamb
Biggest Weakness: No Elite Athleticism
Lamb is a knock-down shooter, scoring a ton of points for the Wildcats during their championship run. He's a great addition off the bench as a scorer, but he doesn't possess the kind of athleticism that will allow him to destroy defenders off the dribble or create his own shot consistently without some sort of ball movement or screen at first.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Quincy Miller
Biggest Weakness: Lack of Strength
With a good mid-range, low-post and perimeter game, Quincy Miller has all the tools. He lacks the elite size and speed that would set him apart in the next group, but he certainly can score the ball—he did so at Baylor consistently.
He needs to add weight to guard bigger small forwards in the NBA.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Nicholson
Biggest Weakness: Level of Competition
He certainly didn't back down in the NCAA tournament, but the jury is still out on Nicholson and his learning curve once he hits the pros. For now, you'd have to say he'd be fine, but we'll see how it goes once the season gets going.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Marquis Teague
Biggest Weakness: Jump Shot
The clutch factor was there in the final, when he made several key jumpers, but Teague shot only 41 percent from the floor during his freshman season. He needs to effectively knock down jump shots to outshine not only fellow teammates, but his brother, Jeff.
26. Indiana Pacers: Festus Ezeli
Biggest Weakness: Basketball Instinct
Ezeli is a somewhat raw prospect, but he's getting better on both ends, and it showed this past year at Vanderbilt. However, he still turns the ball over too much, isn't a fluid passer and overall just isn't comfortable as much as a front line prospect should be.
Look for him to keep improving in a reserve role for whatever team takes a leap on him.
27. Miami Heat: Tony Wroten
Biggest Weakness: Three-Pointer
After shooting an ice cold 16 percent from the three-point line last year, Wroten will have to get in the gym quick to keep up with today's three-happy NBA game.
Wroten is more of an aggressive, penetration guard, but he certainly has room to improve shooting the ball from the perimeter, where he'll need to expand his game.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Taylor
Biggest Weakness: Mid-Range Game
Taylor is a lights-out shooter who is also very athletic and can finish in transition. Every year he was at Vanderbilt, he improved his game, and that includes off the dribble and in isolation sets.
But he's still working on a consistent mid-range game, which will be important in confusing defenders at the next level.
29. Chicago Bulls: John Jenkins
Biggest Weakness: Everything but Scoring
You look at Jenkins' 19.3 points per game, and you think he's ready to emerge as an Eric Gordon-like prospect here pretty soon.
However, besides score the ball, scouts don't think he contributes much to the flow of the game, lacking skills in passing, finishing at the rim and taking defenders off the dribble. He'll need to polish his game outside of scoring, although that is certainly his ticket into the league.
30. Golden State Warriors: Royce White
Biggest Weakness: Stretching the Floor
White brings a ton of versatility to the table, but hitting the face-up jump shot isn't one of those things. He's more of an inside the paint, Lamar Odom-type player without Odom's jump shot.
His face-up game would improve ten fold if he could knock down a baseline jumper and stretch the defense when the ball is in his hands.