NBA Draft 2012: 5 Second-Round Diamonds in the Rough
Many of this year's second-round picks will be competing for playing time in their rookie seasons.
Just because a player is drafted in the second round does not mean he can’t make solid contributions for an NBA team right away.
Some of the best player’s in NBA history have been drafted in the second round, like Willis Reed, Alex English and Dennis Rodman.
Many starters in the NBA right now were even drafted in the second round, such as Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis and Carlos Boozer.
Drafting a player in the second round that can contribute to your team right away could be a quick way to turn a struggling franchise around.
Here are five diamonds in the rough who will be drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft.
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2011-2012 Statistics: 14.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.9 APG
William Buford’s biggest attribute during college was his consistency. Because of this, he played a very significant role for the Ohio State Buckeyes through all four years of school.
During his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, Buford scored nearly identical point totals, all right around 14.5 points per game. He was also a very solid rebounder for a guard, averaging around 4.5 rebounds per game for his career.
If there is one knock on Buford, it’s that he sometimes takes too many shots, which has caused his field goal percentage to be low. If he gets to the next level and adjusts his shot selection, Buford has the skills to play solid minutes in the NBA.
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2011-2012 Statistics: 9.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG
Kentucky senior, Darius Miller, showed great leadership skills this season. Even though he was the only senior in John Calipari’s rotation and started for this team in the past, he took a backseat to the underclassman because that’s what was best for the team.
Don’t let that affect how you view Miller’s skills though. He is very tall for a guard at 6’8”, which gives him a distinct height advantage over almost every player he’s covering on defense.
He also can be a solid scorer coming off the bench for any team. His junior season, when he played in over 30 minutes per game, Miller shot 44.3 percent from three.
Had he started this season and gotten to show off what he could do more, Miller most likely would have been a first-round selection.
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2011-2012 Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG
He may be small, but he has the heart of a lion.
Tu Holloway is fearless when driving the lane and takes the ball right to the rim, even though he is barely 6’0”.
If Holloway was taller, he easily has the talent to be a first-round pick. He has great handles and can score in a variety of ways.
Where Holloway might struggle in the NBA is on the defensive end. His toughness should help him overcome this though and he can be a solid contributor at the next level.
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2011-2012 Statistics: 10.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG
Festus Ezeli has the body to play in the NBA, but what’s scaring teams off is that his production declined from his junior to senior seasons at Vanderbilt.
As a junior, Ezeli scored 13 ppg and shot a fantastic 58.8 percent from the field. He also recorded 2.6 blocks per game, which was good for top 20 in the nation.
He needs to rebound much better in the NBA though. Even his junior season, he still only averaged 6.3 rebounds per game. When he works with an NBA-level coach who teaches him how to rebound properly, Ezeli has the size to turn into a productive big man in the NBA.
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2011-2012 Statistics: 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.6 APG
Doron Lamb is probably the best player in this draft that absolutely no one is picking to go in the first-round. He really would have benefited from returning to school for another season.
During Lamb’s two years at Kentucky, he was a very efficient scorer. He finished his college career with a ridiculous 47.6 three-point percentage and a very respectable 80.2 free-throw percentage.
This was all while being a third or fourth option while on the court. If Lamb’s put into a situation where he gets to be the focal point of the offense, who knows how much scoring he can do.