NBA Draft 2012: 10 Prospects Who Will Struggle to Stick in the NBA
Each year the NBA draft is filled with prospects labeled both safe and risky.
While different degrees of safety and risk accompany prospective talent, there are certain players who don't look to be cut out for basketball at the professional level.
Down the line, some of this year's prospects will be considered "busts," but it all comes with the territory of entering a highly scrutinized and competitive field.
This year's draft may be one of the deepest in recent memory, however it won't go without its fair share of disappointments.
Here are 10 players who will struggle to stick in the NBA.
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One of the most consistent players in the country during his two years as a Buckeye, Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his sophomore season.
At 6'9'' and 265 pounds, Sullinger doesn't possess ideal size or versatility for a player at his position. Some good post moves and a decent mid-range jumper help Sullinger's cause, but that may not be enough to see him selected in the draft's first 20 picks.
With images of former Ohio State big man Greg Oden fresh in the minds of NBA executives, Sullinger will be a risky selection, and one that may implode once he reaches the NBA.
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Royce White is one of the NBA draft's biggest mysteries. At 6'8'' and 270 pounds, White possesses elite athletic ability for someone his size.
Although White has all of the tools to become a quality player in the NBA, there are a few concerns both on and off the court for the Iowa State product.
According to an article from SI.com, White has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and has a morbid fear of flying:
Of course, the NBA's decision-makers will ask about White's anxiety disorder, his fear of flying and how he's dealt with so much angst since receiving the diagnosis five years ago. And White is willing to tell potential employers everything he knows even if can't explain it all.
While White's off-the-court issues may not be a serious deterrent, his limited offensive capabilities may be of more concern. White's 13.1 points per game on 53.4 percent shooting in his lone season at Iowa State was impressive, but his lack of a polished offensive game will hinder his growth as a professional.
In a league where half-court offense is becoming more prevalent, White may struggle to adjust.
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Syracuse's Fab Melo enters this year's NBA draft as a project at center. Although he may be a force on the defensive end (2.9 blocks per game), his offensive capabilities are extremely limited.
At the professional level, Melo will most likely be a liability on the offensive end. Without any sort of consistent post moves, much less a jump shot, Melo will be fighting an uphill battle when he enters the NBA.
After two seasons at Syracuse, the Brazilian product will face a steep learning curve at the next level. Matching up against more fundamentally skilled big men will be a big problem for Melo, whose game is far from refined.
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Although Meyers Leonard is a more fundamental center than Fab Melo, he is still a project for his future NBA team.
The 7'1'' Leonard has great size for an NBA center, but unfortunately he conjures up images of Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes.
Like Hawes, Leonard has a thin frame; one that will inhibit him from becoming a dominant force in the post. Leonard has developed a nice jump shot, but that won't be enough to make him an effective, starting NBA center.
Centers in today's NBA must be imposing in the post, and like Hawes, Leonard doesn't appear to be the most aggressive center out there.
While his upside is intriguing, spending a top-10 pick on Leonard is a very risky proposition for NBA teams looking to improve right away.
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The University of Washington has two prospects who are projected as first-round selections in this year's NBA draft.
Both Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten are unique talents, but only one will become an effective player at the next level.
Terrence Ross is a good shooter but figures to be one-dimensional as a professional. Wroten, on the other hand, is a 6'5'' combo-guard whose versatility will allow him to maximize his potential as a professional.
While Wroten's jump shot is nowhere near as developed as Ross', he has the tools to become a starting-caliber NBA point guard.
Ross doesn't offer a whole lot other than a consistent jump shot and the ability to slash to the basket. Ross figures to be situated on the perimeter as a pro, but doesn't possess the length to guard some of the NBA's more athletic swingmen.
Unless Ross' skill set expands, he will not exceed expectations as a pro.
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Perhaps one of the draft's least versatile prospects, Duke's Miles Plumlee will be fortunate to be drafted in the second round.
Although he has the potential to be dominant on the glass (7.1 rebounds per game in 2011-2012), Plumlee doesn't have much else to offer teams.
Averaging just 6.6 points in 20.5 minutes of work per night last season, Plumlee will likely serve as a practice body at the professional level.
While Plumlee's rebounding abilities are reminiscent of New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries, his ability to clock regular minutes in the NBA will be limited by his shallow skill set.
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Although he's one of the most energetic and athletic players in this year's NBA draft, Baylor's Quincy Acy will struggle in the NBA.
While Acy's skill set is more reminiscent of that of a power forward, his height will limit him in the NBA to spot duty at the small forward.
At 6'7'' and 235 pounds, Acy is an imposing force but unfortunately lacks a polished perimeter game that could make him one of the draft's most complete weapons.
Acy could benefit from being drafted by a veteran team in need of some energy off of the bench—aside from that, he doesn't offer much to get excited about.
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Georgetown's Henry Sims is another project at the center position. After riding the bench for three years under John Thompson III, Sims emerged in his senior season, averaging 11.6 points and six rebounds per game.
In addition to being a decent mid-range shooter and scorer off of the dribble, Sims is a very good passer for someone his size.
However, at 6'10'' and 245 pounds, Sims does not have ideal size for an NBA center. Much like Illinois' Meyers Leonard, Sims does not have the muscle or stature to compete with stronger big men in the post.
Currently projected as a second-round pick, Sims will need to prove that his senior season wasn't a fluke in order to demand any kind of minutes as a professional.
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A prolific scorer at the University of Texas, J'Covan Brown lacks the necessary versatility to be an effective point guard in the NBA.
While he can score at will (20.1 points per game), Brown's style of play doesn't resemble that of a prototypical NBA point guard.
If Brown is looking to succeed at the next level, he should analyze the game of former Washington guard Isaiah Thomas. Primarily a scorer in college, Thomas developed into a complete NBA point guard, seeing the floor well enough to become a staple of the Sacramento Kings rotation.
The last selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Thomas averaged 11.5 points and 4.1 assists in his first NBA season. For Brown to succeed, his game will need to morph drastically at the professional level.
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Like J'Covan Brown, Villanova's Maalik Wayns is a one-trick pony. In his junior season, Wayns averaged 17.6 points per game for a struggling Wildcats squad that had some offensive deficiencies.
While Wayns has a great jump shot and is unafraid to attack the basket, he is too small to be considered a shooting guard in the NBA.
At a stout 6'1'' and 205 pounds, Wayns is a load to handle for opposing point guards, but he lacks the court vision and selflessness to produce as a floor general.
Last season, Wayns averaged a solid 4.6 assists per game—but he has a propensity to turn the ball over, as is evident by his three turnovers per game.
If Wayns does end up being selected, expect it to be late in the second round.