2012 NBA Mock Draft: How Thomas Robinson at No. 2 Shakes Things Up

Adam FriedgoodContributor IIIJune 21, 2012

2012 NBA Mock Draft: How Thomas Robinson at No. 2 Shakes Things Up

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    With the No. 1 pick in the draft already set, the No. 2 pick will determine how the rest of the draft plays out. 

    If the Bobcats use this pick on Thomas Robinson, that drastically affects the draft strategy of everyone else since the top two big men will be off the board in only two picks.   

    This is a very deep draft class for big men, but there is a definite distinction between the ones who will be drafted at the beginning of the lottery and the ones who will fall into the teens and the 20s.  

    Here is how the rest of the 2012 NBA Draft will shake up if the Bobcats select Thomas Robinson at No. 2 overall.

1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 4.6 BPG


    Anthony Davis is the clear-cut No. 1 pick in this draft.

    With this pick, the Hornets are getting a stud defender who can play both big man positions.

    Davis' offensive game is still very raw, but with the proper coaching, he has all the tools to become a dominant scorer as well.

2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson (Kansas)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG

     

    Michael Jordam and the Bobcats are reportedly debating between three players for this pick: Harrison Barnes, Thomas Robinson and Brad Beal.

    Robinson should be the selection in the end because he was the most consistent player in college out of the three.

    His dominant low-post scoring and ferocious rebounding should quickly make Robinson the best player the Bobcats have ever had on their roster.

3. Washington Wizards: Brad Beal (Florida)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 APG


    Eight days before the draft, the Washington Wizards traded Rashard Lewis and a second-round pick to the New Orleans Hornets for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. 

    Due to this trade, the Wizards will most likely select Brad Beal with the third pick in this draft. 

    Beal is an extremely versatile offensive player, who can score both down low and on the perimeter. 

    He should step in and start at shooting guard right away for the lowly Wizards. 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 11.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.0 APG

     

    The Cleveland Cavaliers will luck out if they can grab the player most people feel should be the No. 2 overall pick at No. 4.

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the best perimeter defender in this draft. The Cavs desperately need help on the defensive end since they were one of only six teams in the league last season that gave up more than 100 points per game. 

    Kidd-Gilchrist's effort was infectious in his one year at Kentucky, which should translate over to the NBA and make him a leader of the very young Cavs in no time.

5. Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 APG

     

    The Sacramento Kings haven't had a dominant small forward since Metta World Peace was still Ron Artest back in 2008. 

    Harrison Barnes is the best scoring forward in this draft and should be the player the Kings want to select all along.

    The Kings really don't have much work to do though, since there are a clear top five players and the Kings will just pick whichever one is left for them.   

6. Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Drummond (Connecticut)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.7 BPG

     

    Andre Drummond is extremely talented and built to be a pro, but scared the top five teams off with his inconsistent effort last season.

    In some of the games that mattered the most, like UConn's one game in the tournament last season, Drummond didn't show up.

    It is debatable whether Robinson or Drummond will be a better player in the NBA, but scouts are leaning toward Robinson who had 27 double-doubles compared to Drummond's 10.

7. Golden State Warriors: Dion Waiters (Syracuse)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 12.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.6 APG

     

    It is believed Dion Waiters received a promise from the Phoenix Suns to get drafted at No. 13, but he most likely won't last that long.  

    Waiters has the offensive skills to be the leading scorer in this draft, but will slide out of the top five due to his lack of defensive effort in his two years at Syracuse. 

    If he can prove to the Warriors this won't be the case when he reaches the next level, he should be an instant starter next to Steph Curry.

8. Toronto Raptors: Damian Lillard (Weber State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 24.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.0 APG

     

    Damian Lillard is easily the best pure point guard in this draft.

    Not only can he score the ball, but he is an excellent rebounder for a point guard, averaging more than five rebounds per game his senior season.

    Lillard will learn a lot from sitting behind Jose Calderon for a season, and then will take over the starting role once Calderon becomes a free agent after the season.

9. Detroit Pistons: Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.1 APG

     

    The Pistons see something in Arnett Moultrie that no one else does. 

    He is clearly going to be their selection since he is the only player the Pistons have worked out who is projected to be drafted in the first round. 

    Pairing Moultrie with Greg Monroe should pay off though, as it will be very difficult for opposing teams to defend both big men when they are on the floor together.

10. New Orleans Hornets: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 APG

     

    Jared Sullinger will slip down the draft board due to the recent red flags that have been raised by NBA doctors about his back problem. 

    The Hornets, who are looking to pair Anthony Davis up with another big man, will take the risk though and draft Sullinger with their second selection in the top 10 picks. 

    Sullinger will be the perfect complement to Davis since he likes to play in the low post and Davis likes to play in the high post.  

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Austin Rivers (Duke)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG


    The Trail Blazers should be looking to go with one big man and one guard with their two first-round picks in this draft.

    They selected center Andre Drummond with their first pick and will now take Duke combo-guard Austin Rivers with their second. 

    It is rumored that Rivers has been given a promise by a team selecting in the lottery that he will be taken by them if he's available.

    Since he hasn't scheduled any workouts with teams that select later in the draft than the Trail Blazers, they are most likely the team that made that promise. 

12. Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.9 BPG

     

    The Bucks are in need of a big man after trading Andrew Bogut to the Warriors last season.

    He admitted that the Bucks told him they are looking for a center more than a power forward, but they were impressed with Henson's defense and shooting ability. 

    If Henson is available when the Bucks pick at No. 12, he will be too talented of a big man for them to pass up on. 

13. Phoenix Suns: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG

     

    This is the perfect fit for Jeremy Lamb.

    Lamb will join the Suns and become the team's go-to scorer from the day he joins the team, especially if Steve Nash doesn't return next season. 

    Unfortunately, Lamb suffered an ankle injury during his workout with the Raptors and was forced to cancel a few workouts he had scheduled. This injury isn't rumored to be serious though and shouldn't concern the Suns enough to not draft him.

14. Houston Rockets: Meyers Leonard (Illinois)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.9 BPG


    The Houston Rockets own two of the next three picks. 

    They need a center and a forward, but should select the center first since the 76ers, who pick next, are also expected to go after a center.

    Meyers Leonard's skills are still very raw, but he is flying up the draft board after measuring as the tallest player at the combine, 7'0", and outperforming many other big men during his pre-draft workouts.

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG


    As expected, the 76ers will select the next best center available, Tyler Zeller.

    Zeller has a very smooth outside jumper, which should allow him to play both power forward and center at the next level. 

    He isn't the sexiest pick and probably won't ever be an all-star, but you can expect consistent, efficient play out of Zeller for his entire career.

16. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III (Baylor)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 14.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG

     

    Perry Jones III, who was at one point projected as a lottery pick, finally comes off the board with the Rockets second pick in the first round. 

    Perry Jones III will fall out of the lottery due to the inconsistent effort he showed at Baylor, as well as the uncertainty of what position he will play in the NBA.

    He has been focusing on his small forward skills during draft workouts to boost his stock, but the Rockets will decide for themselves where they would like to play him next season.  

17. Dallas Mavericks: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.8 BPG

     

    Terrence Jones stated that he hopes the Hornets take him with their No. 10 pick, so he can join fellow Kentucky teammate Anthony Davis in New Orleans, but that doesn't appear to be a likely scenario.

    If he's still available at No. 17, the Dallas Mavericks would love to add some youth to their small forward position since they are currently starting 34-year-old Shawn Marion. 

    Jones will be very fortunate to learn the ropes from a bunch of proven veterans, like Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter and Marion.

    He will then get his chance to become the leader of this team in the near future.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Ross (Washington)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.4 APG


    The Timberwolves are praying that one of the excellent scoring shooting guards in this draft falls to them at No. 18.

    Terrence Ross is definitely one of those players. He has excellent size and strength for a shooting guard, which will make him an effective pro on both ends of the floor.

    Ross has the talent to be the biggest sleeper pick in this draft.

19. Orlando Magic: Kendall Marshall (North Carolina)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 9.7 APG

     

    The Magic will luck out in this draft, snagging the best passer extremely late.

    Had Marshall not injured his wrist and played in the NCAA Tournament, he probably would have gone way earlier than this draft instead of flying under the radar.

    Jameer Nelson's status with the team is still uncertain, so Marshall may get his chance to start for the Magic sooner rather than later.

20. Denver Nuggets: Tony Wroten Jr. (Washington)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.6 APG

     

    During the combine, Tony Wroten Jr. measured in at 6'6", extremely tall for a player who could play point guard in the NBA. 

    The Nuggets currently start Ty Lawson, a very small point guard, so Wroten Jr. would be a great complement to him.

    Wroten Jr. has been preparing for the draft by working out with Brandon Roy, who is looking to make a comeback next season.

21. Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 18.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG

     

    The Boston Celtics own the next two picks in this draft. 

    The only two pieces the Celtics currently have to build around are guards Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, so they will most likely go after big men with these two picks. 

    Andrew Nicholson's stock has been rising since the draft process started, especially after outplaying Fab Melo during their workout together in Phoenix. 

    Nicholson's 7'4" wingspan will make him a great defender in the NBA.

22. Boston Celtics: Moe Harkless (St. John's)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 15.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG

     

    Moe Harkless has been impressing scouts after testing very well at the NBA Draft combine. 

    He said he's been working a lot on his shooting since the season ended, and it's clearly paid off for him.

    Scouts are intrigued by Harkless' potential and see him as still a work in progress at only 19 years old.  

23. Atlanta Hawks: Fab Melo (Syracuse)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.9 BPG

     

    Al Horford is certainly better suited to play power forward, as opposed to center. 

    Drafting Fab Melo allows Horford to slide over to his more natural position and gives the Hawks a bigger body to match up with opposing teams' centers on defense.

    Melo has done a poor job in some of his workouts so far, but blamed it on dehydration and not his physical skills. 

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Royce White (Iowa State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 13.1 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 5.1 APG

     

    Royce White is believed to be a top-10 talent on the court, but has hurt his draft stock by getting kicked out of Minnesota for getting arrested and suffering from anxiety disorder.

    After joining his new team, Iowa State, he led the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks last season. 

    The Cleveland Cavaliers are desperate for talented players and will take a risk on White this late in the draft.

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Marquis Teague (Kentucky)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 9.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.8 APG

     

    The Memphis Grizzlies struck out in last year's draft when they selected point guard Josh Selby, who didn't even play one minute during the playoffs.

    They will have much better luck this year when they select Marquis Teague, brother of Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.

    Teague probably would have been a top-10 pick had he stayed in school for another year, but instead will be a steal for the Grizzlies at the end of the first round.

26. Indiana Pacers: Quincy Miller (Baylor)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 11.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG

     

    Quincy Miller was originally believed to be a top-five pick before tearing his ACL during his senior year of high school.

    In his one year at Baylor, Miller showed a fraction of the skills that he once possessed. He definitely would have benefited from staying another year at school to further rehab his injury. 

    The Pacers will hope Miller can regain the talent he once showed and select him with the No. 26 pick.

27. Miami Heat: Draymond Green (Michigan State)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 16.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.6 APG

     

    Draymond Green's versatility has been impressing scouts and coaches during his pre-draft workouts. 

    According to James Carr of Fox Sports South, Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew said this after watching Green workout for him, “I think he’s going to be a terrific NBA player."

    The Hawks will pass on Green for a true center, but the Miami Heat will be ecstatic to scoop him up at the end of the first round. 

    Green is a proven winner and will join a team that has been in the NBA Finals the past two seasons.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 10.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG


    The Thunder want to trade out of the first round, so they don't need to give a guaranteed contract to a player who most likely won't get a significant role in their rotation. 

    If they are forced to choose someone though, it will probably be a defender and rebounder since they already get enough scoring from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

    Festus Ezeli has an NBA-ready body, but needs a great coach to improve his skills and teach him how to be an effective rebounder in the NBA.  

29. Chicago Bulls: Will Barton (Memphis)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: 18.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.0 APG

     

    The Chicago Bulls need another guard who can score since Derrick Rose was injured for much of last season.

    Barton is a terrific rebounder for the guard position and an excellent scorer, averaging more than 18 points per game last season.

    He can get to the rim very well, but needs to improve his outside shooting once he reaches the next level. Barton took a lot of threes in college, but only shot 30.5 percent from distance during his two seasons at Memphis.

30. Golden State Warriors: Evan Fournier (France)

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    2011-2012 Statistics: N/A

     

    The Warriors are looking to move one or two of the four draft picks they own. 

    If they can't, they will most likely select a player like Evan Fournier, who will not come over to the NBA for at least a couple of seasons.

    Fournier is only 19 years old, but is already a proven scorer for his club team back in France.

    If he continues to improve at the rate he's currently growing at, he could be a solid NBA player in the future.