2012 NBA Mock Draft: First-Round Busts Who Should Be Avoided in the Lottery

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: First-Round Busts Who Should Be Avoided in the Lottery
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Bust candidate. The two words organizations hate to hear about NBA prospects.

We see busts occur every year and the 2012 NBA draft won't be any different.

There are several bust candidates in this year's class, but we will focus on just a few of them.

You can find those players with (*) beside their school. 

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Anthony Davis will be a dominant force down low for the New Orleans Hornets. He provides size, length, athleticism and an underrated offensive game. 

Davis will average 20 points, 10 rebounds and a handful of blocks per game at the peak of his career. He's a special talent that only comes once in a blue moon.  

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

What's not to love about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? He is one of those players who doesn't come along often. 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He has the perfect mix of talent, skill, will to win, grittiness, competitiveness at all times, length, size and athleticism. 

Kidd-Gilchrist will be a star in the NBA.   

3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

Bradley Beal turned up his game in the SEC and NCAA Tournament. He proved that he was more than just an outside shooter. 

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

However, Beal is still slightly overrated in my mind. He is a top-five talent, but I can easily see him going No. 3 to Washington. Slightly overrated.

At 6'3", Beal doesn't bring the size from a natural two-guard position. 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina 

Harrison Barnes dropped 40 points on Clemson in the ACC tournament two years ago. His mid-range game is of high quality. 

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Barnes has great size and underrated athleticism. 

He averaged 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this past season. Cleveland should select Barnes if he's still on the table. 

5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

Andre Drummond is one of those high ceiling/bust potential players. His size, length and athleticism is amazing for a guy of his stature. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

However, he would have benefited from another year at Connecticut. His offensive game needs loads of work and he is invisible for too many stretches of games. 

Which player will we see at the next level? Sacramento will find out. 

6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn): Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas  

Thomas Robinson is an underrated power forward in this draft class. He doesn't receive the respect he deserves. 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

He's a double-double machine that is capable of playing at the same level in the NBA. 

7. Golden State Warriors (via Utah): Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor *

Perry Jones III is one of those players you select with your eyes closed. He has all the talent you would want to see in the NBA but he rarely puts it together. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

His size, athleticism and skill set are top-10 worthy but I wouldn't go near him in the lottery. Most of his scoring production came from dunks or in the paint. 

What will he do when that's not available at the next level?

It will be a struggle for Jones, and he's a player I don't have much faith in. 

8. Toronto Raptors: Austin Rivers, G, Duke 

Austin Rivers is as explosive as anybody in this draft class. He's a legitimate beast when taking it to the rack. 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

His offensive game is dynamic and he can get to the rim when he wants. Rivers was asked to be the scorer, facilitator, last-shot taker and leader of a Duke squad. He was only a freshman.

When was the last time you could say that about a player from Duke? 

9. Detroit Pistons: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State

Arnett Moultrie is a guy who didn't receive a ton of love this season. He should have.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Moultrie brings quality size and athleticism from the power forward position. Detroit will give him a hard look at No. 9. 

10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota) Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina 

Kendall Marshall is the best pure point guard in this draft class.  

He averaged eight points and 10 assists per game this past season at North Carolina. Marshall isn't the best shooter from the perimeter, but he isn't as awful as people think.

Marshall shot a respectable 35 percent from behind the arc this season, compared to 38 the season before. 

New Orleans is set to have a dynamic 2012 NBA Draft

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State 

Damian Lillard has star potential written all over him. He averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds and four assists per game this past season. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Lillard is a great scoring threat and his talents translate to today's point guards; guys who can attack the rim with reckless abandon. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

No Andrew Bogut means Milwaukee will be looking for a center. North Carolina's Tyler Zeller should be the option with the No. 12 pick. 

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Zeller runs the floor well, has solid size and is strong enough to compete down low.  

13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse 

Who doesn't love instant offense?

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Dion Waiters provides quality offense whenever and wherever. He came off the bench for Syracuse despite being the Orange's best offensive weapon. 

14. Houston Rockets: Royce White, PF, Iowa State 

Royce White has star quality in his game. He can do a bit of everything on the basketball court. 

He can handle the ball, shoot from outside, lead transition breaks and find the open man. He's a potential superstar. 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: John Henson, PF, North Carolina *

Philadelphia needs size immediately. John Henson averaged 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this past year for North Carolina.

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The fit makes sense. However, Henson won't be more than a role player in the NBA. Drafting him in the lottery would be a mistake because drafting role players that high shouldn't be an option.

Henson is a good player and if he can get with a team he meshes well with, he can reach his peak performance. 

16. Houston Rockets (via New York): Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

Terrence Ross could be one of the bigger steals in the draft if he reaches his ceiling. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ross has quality size, athleticism and scoring ability. His skills translate well to the NBA game. 

17. Dallas Mavericks: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut

Jeremy Lamb scored 17.7 points in his sophomore season at Connecticut. He seemed to be overlooked because of how consistent he was. 

Jason Szenes/Getty Images

It's almost like people expected too much from Lamb. It was impossible to live up to the expectations. 

18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah): Moe Harkless, G/F St. John's 

Size, athleticism, 7'0" wingspan, a dynamic offensive skill set and underrated defensive skills. These are the characteristics St. John's Moe Harkless brings to the table.  

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Harkless scored 15.3 points and recorded 8.6 rebounds per game in his freshman season. Minnesota would be ecstatic to see him left on the board.  

19. Orlando Magic: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

Is Dwight Howard staying or going? Apparently, even he doesn't know.

Orlando must plan for the future because nobody knows what's going on in Howard's mind.

Meyers Leonard would be a solid selection with his size and skill set. 

20. Denver Nuggets: Jared Sullinger, C/PF, Ohio State *

Some people have Jared Sullinger going in the lottery. I think that drafting him that high would be a major mistake.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Sullinger struggled against size and athleticism at Ohio State. It frustrated him, he couldn't find his offensive game and his position on the block worsened against quality defenders.

What will he do against these guys on a game-by-game basis?

Sullinger will be a role player in the NBA, not a star. He will slide down the draft board. 

21. Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure

Maybe Boston decides to shop their two selections in the first round or maybe they draft backups for aging stars.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Let's say that they keep their draft picks. 

Andrew Nicholson's game reminds of Kevin Garnett. He has a great mid-range game. He should be the selection here.  

22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt

Ray Allen is all but out the door in Boston. The Celtics need to search for a replacement in the draft.

John Jenkins shot 44 percent from beyond the arc this past season at Vanderbilt. Sounds like a great fit. 

23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten Jr., PG, Washington 

Tony Wroten is 6'5", 203 pounds, he is excellent at getting to the rim and his vision is great. Today's NBA isn't about true point guards, it's about athletic point guards; guys who can get to the rim and make things happen. 

Wroten is that type of player. He has the characteristics and skill set of today's best. 

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24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State

Draymond Green won't be anything more than a role player in the NBA. Despite saying that, I love his game.

He can handle the rock, attack the rim, shoot from outside, start the break and he's a great leader on and off the floor. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Quincy Miller, F, Baylor 

Quincy Miller is another player who probably should have stayed another year in school. He's a great player with fantastic upside, but he would have been better suited staying at Baylor for at least another season.

If he did that, we could be talking about a lottery pick in 2013. 

26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky 

Marquis Teague can attack the rim better than most in this draft class. Being from Indianapolis, Teague has a great chance of playing for his hometown team.

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Indiana needs another guy who can attack the rim and create his own shot. The fit makes sense. 

27. Miami Heat: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

Miami needs size down low. If not a starter, at least some depth at the position.

Fab Melo provides great size, defense, rebounding and underrated athleticism. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

Oklahoma City is still searching for Jeff Green after they traded him to Boston. While Jeff Green isn't available, another option similar to Green is in the draft.

Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor provides size and outside shooting. He would be a great fit on a talented roster. 

29. Chicago Bulls: Will Barton, SG, Memphis

Will Barton has star potential written all over his game. He has size, athleticism and he can score the rock with great proficiency.

Chicago should look to land a potential steal late in the first round. Barton is that type of player. 

30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio) Evan Fournier, SG, France 

Evan Fournier may be the only European player drafted in the NBA draft this year. Very surprising.

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Generally, European players are filtered throughout the first round. That won't be the case this year. Fournier is a great prospect, but he will be a project. 

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