2012 NBA Draft: Austin Rivers and Star Players Who Will Fall Past Lottery Picks

Steven Goldstein@@GoldsteinNUContributor IJune 14, 2012

2012 NBA Draft: Austin Rivers and Star Players Who Will Fall Past Lottery Picks

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    This year's installment of the NBA Draft is just around the corner, and while the Finals are in full swing, it is tough to deny the brewing fervor of draft day.

    Before you know it, David Stern will be taking the podium, and the New Orleans Hornets will be on the clock. 2012's draft class is brimming with talent, meaning that even some of the biggest names on the board will be reluctantly forced past the early first round.

    Check out Austin Rivers and a handful of other stars who will fall on the wrong end of the lottery picks (No. 1-14) come June 28th.

Draymond Green, SF/PF, Michigan State

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    Tagged as the "ultimate glue guy" by NBADraft.net, Green provides the interior physicality of a center with the shooting prowess of a 2-guard.

    He was a bona fide star at Michigan State, averaging over 10 boards a game to go along with 16.2 points.

    A consensus First-Team All-American and the 2012 NACB Player of the Year, Green has been fighting to stave off second-round selection in recent mocks. He was certainly a stud in college, but a lottery pick seems out of the question at this point.

Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

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    Fab Melo's academic ineligibility may have cost Syracuse their second NCAA championship, but he is still a sure-fire first-rounder.

    Melo brought exceptional post defense in the Orange's 2-3 system, and became a household name when he was held out of tourney action. The highly-touted senior averaged 2.9 blocks per contest.

    But Melo has been falling to the tail-end of the first round in recent mocks, and this year's deep center class will likely keep him out of a lottery pick.

Royce White, SF, Iowa State

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    Royce White's exceptional hardwood play and noted battle with an anxiety disorder have both garnered headlines.

    Coming from a relatively low-profile program, White has blossomed into a star, averaging nearly a double-double in regular season play.

    White shot 55.6 percent from the field and notched 23 points against national champion Kentucky in the second round of the tourney. But he appears to be on the outside looking in on lottery picks. SportsIllustrated.com has White going to Indiana at No. 26 overall.

Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

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    The 1-guard for the national champs and the younger brother of a Wake Forrest legend, there is no denying Teague's star-power.

    Teague scored the highest vertical jump of all point guards of this year's draft. His raw athleticism is promising, but his jump shot is suspect, shooting just a hair better than 41 percent from the field last season.

    Ultimately, Teague looks to be just shy of the lottery picks, but should still be a mid-level first-round selection.

Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

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    One of the biggest names on the board, Marshall will be closely watched on draft day.

    Manning the point for one of the country's most prolific programs, Marshall's reputation for setting up teammates will propel him to the middle of the first round. His adjusted 10.7 assists per 40 minutes ranks as the best in DraftExpress.com's 11-year history.

    Marshall is a pro-ready court general, but questions about his own scoring and this year's stacked draft class will likely put him around picks No. 15-17, just missing out on the lottery level.

John Henson, PF, North Carolina

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    Marshall's teammate at UNC, Henson averaged a double-double and was an invaluable leader in his team's Elite Eight run.

    His name certainly rings a few bells, and his 7'4" wingspan will not hurt his stock either. But his jump shot lacks consistency, his frame lacks bulk, and he is unfortunately juxtaposed in an absolutely stacked class for forwards.

    Matt Moore of CBS Sports has Henson going as early as ninth, but SportsIllustrated.com and NBADraft.net both have him at No. 18. For now, let's leave Henson out of the lottery.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

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    Rivers reached national prominence with his game-winning three-ball against arch-rival North Carolina. He has not slowed down since.

    Although Rivers averaged more turnovers than assists, the freshman churned out 15.4 points per game, good for eighth in the competitive ACC.

    But Rivers poses myriad concerns about his NBA-ready potential, and because he creates his offense solely off his own dribble, he might fall out of the lottery picks. Most mocks have him slated around No. 15, just missing the cut.