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NBA Draft 2012: Projecting the Biggest Surprises in the Top 10 Picks

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NBA Draft 2012: Projecting the Biggest Surprises in the Top 10 Picks
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA draft is less than two weeks away, and the only thing that we know for certain is that Kentucky's Anthony Davis is going to go No. 1 overall to the New Orleans Hornets.

The rest of the top of the draft will feature the expected names, such as Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but there are going to be some surprises along the line when it comes to the top 10 picks.

Here's a look at the four biggest surprises.

 

Harrison Barnes will be taken No. 4 by Cleveland

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It's no secret that the Cavs love Barnes and have for two years. It's not as much of a surprise that they will take Barnes, but more of a surprise of who they will pass on—Beal or Kidd-Gilchrist will likely still be there at No. 4.

Barnes will be a good fit in Cleveland playing with Kyrie Irving, but he's also a guy they could probably get a couple spots lower in the draft.

What's even a bigger surprise is that Beal or Kidd-Gilchrist could ultimately fall to No. 6 or No. 7. Sacramento at No. 5 will likely go big and Portland at No. 6 might elect for point guard Damian Lillard instead.

 

Meyers Leonard will go in the top 10

Teams love to grab seven-footers early and Leonard measured at 7'1.25" (the tallest player in the draft), but more importantly, he wowed scouts at the combine.

ESPN's Chad Ford reported that several general managers told him that Leonard looked awesome.

His stock is soaring right now, so Leonard will find himself a place in the top 10, possibly New Orleans at No. 10, who will have a future frontcourt of Davis and Leonard.

 

Detroit will take John Henson

Looking at Henson, you see a fantastic athlete who can rebound (10.1 RPG) and block shots (2.9 BPG), but he's also a guy without a ton of hype surrounding him.

Part of that is because he's raw offensively, but a team like Detroit needs an athletic big man to play next to Greg Monroe. Henson makes a lot of sense right there.

 

Dion Waiters is a top-10 pick

Very rarely does a player who averaged 12.1 points per game in college get a lottery promise and cancel all of his workouts.

But that's exactly the case with Waiters.

SI.com reported that the Phoenix Suns made Waiters the draft promise, but there's no guarantee he makes it that far. A team like Toronto could nab Waiters at No. 8.

The Raptors have a ton of jump shooters, but need some toughness and a guy that can get to the basket. Waiters could be a very good fit.

 

Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.

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