2012 NBA Mock Draft: Assessing Best Offensive Prospects in First Round
The 2012 NBA draft features a lot of top talent, but only a few prospects have the ability to take over on the offensive end.
Defense is important, but teams cannot win without scoring.
Here is a rundown of the NBA draft, with an emphasis on the guys who will light up a scoreboard at the next level.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
There are few sure things in this draft, but Anthony Davis is one of them. He presence in the paint will affect the shots of even the best NBA players. Even if he does not become an elite offensive player, he will be worth the No. 1 pick.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
The Bobcats need frontcourt help, and Robinson is the best available player. His motor will allow him to be successful, even if his athleticism does not.
3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
After acquiring Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the Hornets, shooting guard becomes the greatest position of need for the Wizards. Beal has solid potential and could pick up the scoring for this struggling team.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
Cleveland had one of the worst defensive teams in the league last year. Kidd-Gilchrist is a shut-down defender that has athleticism and could develop an offensive game in the future. He should be starting right away.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
A team will draft Andre Drummond early simply based on his potential. He has elite athleticism for his size, but it might take a few years to develop the rest of his game. The Kings have time to wait.
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Lillard has been one of the fastest-rising prospects in the draft, and his offensive game is the reason.
The Weber State product put up great numbers against inferior competition—second in the nation at 24.5 points per game—but his skills should translate well to the next level.
He is one of the best shooters in the class and will likely be a better facilitator when there is more talent around him.
Lillard could eventually be a star for the new-look Blazers.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes is a player that has all of the tools to be a great NBA player. With size, shooting ability and athleticism, all he really needs to develop is a killer instinct to become elite.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
One of the leaders of a disappointing Connecticut team, Lamb was inconsistent throughout the season and never really took over like he should. Still, he is a good enough shooter to make an instant impact on a team that needs offense.
9. Detroit Pistons: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
He is not the most exciting pick in the draft, but Tyler Zeller will be in the league for a long time. He is solid defensively and runs the floor very well for a seven-foot center.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Terrence Ross, SF, Washington
For the Hornets' second pick, they could take a little more risk for a guy who has some of the best potential in the class.
With the tools that Terrence Ross has, it is a wonder he will not be a top-five pick. He has solid size for the position and has the athleticism to get to another level when attacking the rim. Ross can also spread the floor, and he shot 37.1 percent from three this year at Washington.
The wing improved tremendously from his freshman to sophomore year, and there is still plenty of room to grow.
The Hornets will also not have to worry about weight problems, as Ross was measured as having 3.2 percent body fat.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Teams love drafting seven-footers with potential, and Leonard fits that bill. The Trail Blazers are in a rebuilding stage, and he can learn a lot from LaMarcus Aldridge.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson, PF, North Carolina
Henson is might be the best shot-blocker in the draft not named Anthony Davis. If he adds strength, he could be one of the better defenders in all of basketball.
13. Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Waiters did not put up huge numbers in college, but he was very productive within the system at Syracuse.
The guard came off the bench to be one of the team's leading scorers and was usually the person the team counted on to make the big shots at the end of the game.
He still needs to improve his shot a little, but he knows how to get to the basket and score in traffic.
With some time to develop, Waiters could be an elite scorer in the NBA.
14. Houston Rockets: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
The Rockets have a crowded backcourt, but they are still missing a true point guard that can set up shots for other players. Marshall lacks athleticism but will survive with his tremendous vision.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
Philadelphia has one of the deepest teams in the league, so it can draft the best available player. Moultrie is a bit of a risky pick, but he is a solid rebounder that can also shoot from the outside.
16. Houston Rockets: Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
For the second pick, Houston should bolster the frontcourt. Jones did not put up big numbers on a loaded team, but is a relatively safe pick to do well in the NBA.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
The Mavericks would like to get an elite point guard like Deron Williams, but Teague would be a decent pick otherwise to replace the veteran Jason Kidd.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Rivers has not shown he has enough vision or passing ability to be a point guard, but he still has the ability to drive the lane and score. Every team needs someone who can do that.
19. Orlando Magic, Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's
The Magic might be one of the hardest to predict teams in the draft, but Moe Harkless would be a solid play. The wing needs time to develop, but you cannot teach athleticism or size. His seven-foot wingspan will also come in handy in the NBA.
20. Denver Nuggets, Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
Jones had a disappointing college career considering his talent level, but he could still be able to use his athleticism to change games in the pros.
21. Boston Celtics: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
If Ray Allen leaves via free agency, John Jenkins is the perfect player to replace him.
Jenkins is not only the most accurate shooter in the class, but he has a quick release and will be able to jump into a team's rotation immediately.
He might become a liability on defense, but at this point in the draft, he is the best player to help a contender win right away.
22. Boston Celtics: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Reports of a bad back will send Sullinger down draft boards, but he has enough skill on the offensive and defensive end to be a factor sooner than later.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Royce White, SF, Iowa State
White does not have the upside of other players, but he could be one of the most complete players in the draft. He led Iowa State this past season in points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
After adding a solid defender in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Cavaliers should add another one in Syracuse center Fab Melo. He will be a force in the middle of the defense and could develop an offensive game later.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Wroten, G, Washington
The Grizzlies do not have a specific need, but Wroten would provide solid depth at either point guard or shooting guard.
26. Indiana Pacers: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
On a team filled with role players, Taylor could be a defensive specialist. He has good size and can guard almost any position on the floor.
27. Miami Heat: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Miami needs more frontcourt depth, and Nicholson is the best available. The big power forward is a good rebounder and can free up space for the team's star players.
28. Oklahoma City: Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
Unlike some of the other top offensive players in the draft, Green is unlikely to light up the scoreboard himself. However, the team as a whole will be better with him on the floor.
The forward not only has great quickness and dribbling ability for his size, but outstanding vision for a low-post player.
Green will be a threat to score, but will be very willing to pass out to set up a teammate.
Oklahoma City already has the scorers and will now be able to get even more production out of them.
29. Chicago Bulls: Khris Middleton, SF, Texas A&M
Few players come around at 6'8" and can knock down jumpers like Middleton. With no true point guards available, the Bulls should select the Texas A&M product to improve its depth.
30. Golden State Warriors: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
Lamb becomes the fifth Kentucky player taken in the first round, but still has plenty of upside. It is unlikely he is a point guard in the NBA, but can score in many ways and would be a solid 2-guard for the Warriors.
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