The 2012 draft class is being regarded as one of the most talented we’ve seen in years, but talent can’t always make up for concerns heading into the NBA draft.
Every class has a handful of reaches when it comes to the lottery, and this year should prove to be no different when it’s all said and done.
Austin Rivers has the potential to be one of the deadliest scorers in this year’s draft, but questions about his defense and willingness to share the ball are concerns heading into his professional career.
An isolation scorer, Rivers averaged more turnovers than assists and struggled to finish with his left hand throughout his freshman season.
Despite having all the confidence in the world, he doesn’t have the explosive athletic ability that you’d want see out of a player with such a streaky jump shot.
While Rivers was a great scorer during his time with Duke, his shot wasn’t always as consistent as you’d expect it to be, and building around him as a lottery pick next season could be a risky move for any organization.
Jeremy Lamb is a scoring guard with smooth athleticism and incredible length, but if taken high in the lottery, he could prove to be a bit of a reach as a rookie next season.
While Lamb has added more muscle to his 6’5”, 179-pound frame this summer, he’s still going to need to add strength if he wants to compete physically at the next level.
Whether or not Lamb has the killer instinct that a scorer of his caliber should have is debatable. With a sometimes inconsistent shot currently on his resume, he’s going to need to show he can do more than just score as a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
Perry Jones III is currently projected at No. 19 in Chad Ford’s Mock Draft, but with his length and talent on display, it’s not too difficult to imagine a team reaching for him inside the lottery.
A major question mark heading into the draft, Jones appears to be a small forward stuck in a power forward’s body and could struggle mightily finding his true position at the next level.
His ball-handling skills and perimeter presence are impressive for a player with a 6’11”, 234-pound frame, but questions about his motor and inconsistent play make him a major concern for any team willing to take him in the top 14.
Big guys have a tendency to see their stock rise as the draft nears, and Meyers Leonard is a perfect example of this ongoing trend.
Having measured in as the tallest player in the class, Leonard has the size and athleticism to eventually become a solid player at the center position.
His offensive game is extremely raw, however, making him a project throughout his first few years as an NBA player.
In a draft with less talent, he could conceivably be a top-10 pick; but with this year’s class being as stacked as it is, there are a number of prospects who should be considered before Leonard late in the lottery.
Based on talent and production at the collegiate level, Jared Sullinger could be a lottery selection this summer.
That being said, the former Ohio State Buckeye has more than a few question marks as he makes his transition to the NBA.
Sullinger was medically red flagged this week and concerns about his back have caused his draft stock to plummet.
Having the ability to score and rebound from below the rim proves that the talent is there, but a lack of athleticism and looming injuries could make him a major risk if taken in the lottery.