With the 2012 NBA draft on Thursday, June 28, the excitement over one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar is reaching its boiling point.
While the majority of fans are wondering where the big names will fall, the hardcore basketball fanatics are digging deeper. During this mock, we will talk about international prospects sure to be flops.
This season has far less impactful imports, so there will only be one international incident to report after this season. The potential bust is italicized.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
The unquestioned and most deserving No. 1 in this draft, the New Orleans Hornets are getting a defensive stud in Anthony Davis.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
With Michael Jordan’s affinity for scoring and scorers, the Bobcats will snag top offensive threat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Not a bad consolation prize.
3. Washington Wizards: Thomas Robinson, Kansas
The best NBA-ready prospect in this draft, Thomas Robinson will be a beast in the low post for the Wizards. Add in John Wall and be prepared for a new mindset in Washington.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley Beal, Florida
With Kyrie Irving running the point, Bradley Beal would step into the league and make Cleveland’s backcourt the stuff championships are made of. Watch out for the Cavs next season.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Arguably the most overrated prospect in the 2012 draft, center Andre Drummond needs a team that can develop him over time. Sacramento is not that location.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn Nets): Damian Lillard, Weber State
Damian Lillard is the best all-around point guard in the draft, and he compares favorably to Russell Westbrook. With a stagnant offense, Lillard will be the head of the offense that the Trail Blazers have missed.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Golden State needs talent and depth at small forward, but UNC star Harrison Barnes will only bring the depth. I have Barnes as an NBA bust.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
Toronto needs a player who can play or slide to small forward and make his own shots. While Jeremy Lamb isn’t the perfect fit, his upside is too great for the Raptors to pass on at No. 8.
9. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
The Detroit Pistons need help under the basket, and Ohio State standout Jared Sullinger will add a toughness and tenacity that the team has missed for years. Detroit will love Sullinger, despite his OU heritage.
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota Timberwolves): Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Terence Jones is the small forward that the team desperately needs. Now the New Orleans Hornets need to make sure they re-sign Eric Gordon.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Austin Rivers, Duke
With Portland taking an offensive-minded point guard, the next logical step would be to find him a shooting guard companion who can spot up and hit his shots. Enter Duke’s Austin Rivers.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers Leonard, Illinois
With Meyers Leonard showing real skill at Illinois, the Bucks would be wise to take a chance on the center after trading Andrew Bogut last season.
13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Of all the locks in this draft, Dion Waiters and his playmaking abilities will be taking those talents to Phoenix.
14. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III, Baylor
As raw as Perry Jones III is, his sheer ability and upside, mixed with the Houston Rockets’ history grooming big men, will make the Baylor star a long-term success in the NBA.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, North Carolina
For as good as Henson was at times during his stay at UNC, the Sixers will snag him if he is there for his defensive attributes more than anything else.
16. Houston Rockets (via New York Knicks): Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
While the Rockets develop Perry Jones III, they will look to Tyler Zeller to be the NBA-ready starter and eventually back up Jones. In a perfect world, Houston would grab two solid centers and develop them both into NBA-caliber talent.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
With Jason Kidd’s days numbered, drafting the best pure point guard available will be the only choice for Dallas. North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall is that man.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): Terrence Ross, Washington
Terrence Ross is not a power forward or a point guard. That means that there will be a chance he could start in the NBA for the Timberwolves.
19. Orlando Magic: Marquis Teague, Kentucky
Orlando has lacked an elite playmaking point guard who has no problem dishing the ball. But Dwight Howard may want to stay if the team selects Marquis Teague at No. 19. There would be plenty of alley-oops in Magicland.
20. Denver Nuggets: Moe Harkless, St. John's
While Moe Harkless is a long-term prospect who needs to be developed, he has the potential to be the scoring small forward that the team has lacked since trading Carmelo.
21. Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
The plan in Boston should be to sign Kevin Garnett to a one-year extension and allow him to help turn Arnett Moultrie into a Celtic.
22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Quincy Miller, Baylor
With Ray Allen likely out of Boston’s plans going forward, drafting a pure-shooting guard like Quincy Miller is a no-brainer. If the Celtics get Moultrie and Miller back-to-back, this will be a great draft for their future.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Royce White, Iowa State
While Royce White isn’t the sexiest pick, he can do all the small things right while going at 100 percent at all times. On an Atlanta team that gets lazy, White will be a spark plug.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
With Cleveland in the search for a title, it has completely committed to rebuilding the team through the draft. Risking a late first-round pick on a player with as much potential as Andrew Nicholson is an easy call.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier, France
While many scouts are high on foreign prospects, I do not have any slated as first-round worthy. With that said, Evan Fournier will go to the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 25.
Fournier will be the only international star chosen in the first round, because the sheer lack of talent coming out this year, coupled with the great NCAA class, has made these long-term risks not worth it.
Memphis has the depth and talent to stash a prospect like Fournier, but having a role player who will still be nothing in five years is a bad investment any way you look at it.
26. Indiana Pacers: Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
One of the toughest players in the 2012 class, Jeffery Taylor offers the perimeter offense while defending his position with a tenacity that will have Larry Bird salivating at the idea of selecting the Vanderbilt star.
27. Miami Heat: Fab Melo, Syracuse
Miami needs all kinds of help. Fab Melo is a great selection for the Heat at No. 27, though.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, Michigan State
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team based on character, and there is no better leader coming out of college than Michigan State’s Draymond Green. While he will assume a bench position, Green will have a great impact on the team.
29. Chicago Bulls: Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Do I have to explain Chicago’s lack of guard depth? Doron Lamb is a much needed reinforcement.
30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio Spurs): Tony Wroten, Washington
With depth at guard also being a problem for Golden State, Tony Wroten is the right answer for a Warriors team looking for toughness.
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