When 30 teams decide which incoming rookie prospects to add to their teams on Thursday night at the 2012 NBA draft, they will be looking for a combination of NBA-readiness, long-term upside and fit with their team.
It is rare to find a player who can contribute from day one, has room to grow and fills a hole in a lineup at the same time. Those players do exist though; it is just all about finding them.
The first pick of the draft is fairly locked in, but the rest or all up in the air. Let's see how both rounds will play out on Thursday night.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
The only thing surer than the ability of Anthony Davis' unibrow to attract the ladies is the fact that the big man who sports the extra hair on his face will be the first player called up to the stage during the 2012 NBA draft.
Davis' shot-blocking skills are too good to pass up and it helps that he has got the potential to develop into an offensive powerhouse as well.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Thomas Robinson is a power forward with all the physical tools you could ever ask for. Whether it is strength, athleticism, quickness, energy or anything else, Robinson has got it.
A constant threat for a double-double at Kansas, Robinson should have a big impact during his rookie season.
3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, Florida
Here, the Washington Wizards finally realize that Jordan Crawford is not a good option at shooting guard and draft a replacement.
Bradley Beal is the best shooting guard in the class thanks to his diverse offensive game. The former Florida Gator may not be the most explosive athlete, but he has enough to get by and always plays within the flow of the offense.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's jumper needs a lot of work before he is a complete offensive player, but he already has the skill to be a shut-down perimeter defender at the next level.
The second Kentucky Wildcat to be drafted, MKG is the very definition of a hustle player. His motor never stops running and he has every trait you could ever want when searching for a winner to add to your team.
5. Sacramento Kings: Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Even though Harrison Barnes is tempting here, the Dwight Howard-level potential of Andre Drummond is even more tantalizing. The Sacramento Kings will be salivating over a future frontcourt pairing of Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins.
Drummond also has the potential to be a massive flop as he is incredibly raw and will need significant development before making a consistently positive impact.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (From Brooklyn Nets): Damian Lillard, Weber State
The No. 1 point guard in the class, Damian Lillard was an offensive machine for Weber State. He will not fill the exact same role with the Portland Trail Blazers, but his distribution skills are adequate enough that LaMarcus Aldridge and the other scorers will be satisfied.
Lillard's offensive game is quite well-rounded and hard to poke holes in.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Dorell Wright will be crossing his fingers and hoping that Harrison Barnes is off the board by No. 7. After all, once Barnes is gone, the next-best true small forward does not get taken for a while.
Barnes is a ridiculously pure shooter who will benefit immensely from the presence of a dangerous and creative point guard like Stephen Curry.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
The Toronto Raptors do not need a point guard this early due to the presences of Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless (restricted free agent). They do not need a big man thanks to the logjam of players on the roster and the incoming Jonas Valanciunas.
That leaves Jeremy Lamb, an incredible offensive sparkplug with a deadly pull-up jumper. He just needs to stay motivated.
9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson, North Carolina
The Detroit Pistons need a frontcourt mate for Greg Monroe and the length of John Henson makes him too much to pass up here.
Henson is a shot-blocking specialist with a developing offensive game and he is versatile enough defensively to play down low or on the perimeter.
10. New Orleans Hornets (From Minnesota Timberwolves): Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
The shipment of Emeka Okafor out of New Orleans not only opens the door for Anthony Davis, but also leaves an unfilled void in the frontcourt, especially if Dell Demps does not resign Chris Kaman. New Orleans needs to go big with its second pick in the top 10.
Tyler Zeller may not be the sexiest name left on the board, but he is a well-rounded big man and a safe bet to at least have a solid NBA career.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Dion Waiters was a combo guard in college, but he is most likely going to play the part of the undersized shooting guard at the next level.
A great slasher who is deadly in transition, Waiters will spend the summer honing his jump-shot so he can have a more well-rounded offensive game. Right now, he is at his best in transition and pick-and-roll situations.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers Leonard, Illinois
Meyers Leonard may not be completely NBA-ready, but he has an abundance of size and a developing game on both ends of the court.
The Illinois big man is 7'1", but he is also a ridiculous athlete, capable of jumping far higher than his size would indicate.
13. Phoenix Suns: Austin Rivers, Duke
The Phoenix Suns need a go-to scorer and that's exactly what Austin Rivers is. The problem with this prospect is that he knows that a little bit too much and sometimes makes bad decisions as he tries to shoulder the load.
Austin, the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, has great handles and can get into the lane at will.
14. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III, Baylor
If it was not for his inconsistency and lack of an elite motor, Perry Jones III would most likely be drafted a lot higher than No. 14.
With ridiculous athleticism and size, PJ3 can create a mismatch at small forward, line up at power forward or hold down the fort as an undersized center in a small lineup.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Terrence Jones, Kentucky
A bit of a tweener, Terrence Jones has the skills of a small forward and the size and physicality of a power forward. In this case, being a tweener is a bit of a compliment.
Jones has some work to do on offense, but he can be an above-average defender from day one. His court vision is miles ahead of other players at his position and he is unbelievably good at driving to the left.
16. Houston Rockets (From New York Knicks): Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
Arnett Moultrie may have some red flags off the court, but his physical tools are too much to pass up for the center-starved Houston Rockets.
The Mississippi State big man has a great offensive game and he is a solid defender, but he will have to work on both his consistency on that less glamorous end, as well as his knack for rebounding the ball after missed shots on either end.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Who better to replace Jason Kidd (potentially, as the veteran is a free agent) than a North Carolina Tar Heel with unmatched floor vision and passing ability?
Kendall Marshall may struggle to score and play defense, but his passing is just off the charts and he can single-handedly make an offense at least appear to flow nicely.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Utah Jazz): Terrence Ross, Washington
A great defender who needs to add some size to avoid being pushed around at the next level, Terrence Ross fills the one hole in the Minnesota Timberwolves lineup.
With a solid wing player, the Wolves—health permitting—could make a serious run at a playoff spot.
19. Orlando Magic: Moe Harkless, St. John's
Moe Harkless is a bit raw, but his hands are quick on defense and his hops are sensational at both ends of the court.
This small forward has the height, but he needs to add some mass to his frame or else his collegiate dominance in transition is not going to carry over to the Association.
20. Denver Nuggets: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
The Ohio State big man has lottery-level talent, but his back issues may cause him to drop even lower than this. As it is, Jared Sullinger is simply too good for the Denver Nuggets to pass up.
As set as they are at every position, the Nuggets can afford to take a risk on Sully and hope that his old-school, back-to-the-basket game translates with flying colors.
21. Boston Celtics: Royce White, Iowa State
An incredibly versatile player who was used to running the show for Iowa State, Royce White's role is going to have to change with the Boston Celtics. However, that will not be much of a problem for him.
Unless the anxiety issues flare up during his career, White is going to be a steal at No. 21.
22. Boston Celtics (From Los Angeles Clippers): Andrew Nicholson. St. Bonaventure
An insurance policy in case Kevin Garnett retires or leaves in free agency, Andrew Nicholson is a rising big man who can dazzle opponents with his footwork under the basket or step up and play on the perimeter.
The question of how easy the adjustment from St. Bonaventure to the NBA will be still persists though.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Quincy Miller, Baylor
Quincy Miller desperately needs to add strength and a jump shot to his resume, but his potential is too much to let slip here.
The one-and-done from Baylor is a better athlete than many would think. He just did not get to show it at Baylor while he recovered from an ACL injury.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (From Los Angeles Lakers): Fab Melo, Syracuse
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already added Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the roster, so now it is time to take one more defensive presence, this time in the frontcourt.
Fab Melo is not a great scorer or rebounder, but he will be able to learn from Anderson Varejao as he anchors the defense while he is on the court.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier, France
The Memphis Grizzlies should go draft-and-stash here to save money. Evan Fournier is the best foreign prospect available.
With a smooth offensive game that's based on well-timed drives to the basket, Fournier is just a consistent jumper away from potential superstardom.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague. Kentucky
The brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, Marquis is a high-upside floor general with bad decision-making habits.
He improved monumentally during the end of his one and only season with the Kentucky Wildcats and should have the two-way game to thrive as he develops.
27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
It is a bit early for Festus Ezeli to come off the boards, but the Miami Heat need a center more than anything else and Ezeli is the best left.
The Vanderbilt center may not be a terrific player on offense, but he is a solid defender with potential to be a lot more.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, Michigan State
Draymond Green provides a backup for Kevin Durant while adding another winner to this Oklahoma City Thunder squad.
His versatile offensive game allows him to contribute in many ways and he will be perfectly content to be the best role player he can possibly be.
29. Chicago Bulls: Doron Lamb, Kentucky
A smooth offensive player who would have been able to contribute a lot more if he was not surrounded by the wealth of talent in Lexington, Doron Lamb gives the Chicago Bulls the shooting guard they need.
Lamb is a two-way player, and that's what gets him the nod over John Jenkins.
30. Golden State Warriors (From San Antonio Spurs): Tony Wroten, Washington
Tony Wroten's jumper is completely broken and he is not a great teammate, but the combo guard is too much of a talent to let slip to the second round of the 2012 NBA draft.
He is a very good defender and a terrific athlete, plus he is still only 19 years old.
31. Charlotte Bobcats: Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt
Speaking of terrific athletes, Jeff Taylor would definitely be considered one.
The Charlotte Bobcats have already taken Thomas Robinson in the first round, so drafting Taylor would give them an almost-unfair boost in the physical tools department.
32. Washington Wizards: Will Barton, Memphis
The Washington Wizards have already filled the need at shooting guard, so now it is time to draft a small forward with potential. Will Barton can technically play both of the aforementioned positions, but he is going to be a small forward if he can add weight to his frame.
Barton is not a great ball-handler, but he is another athlete who loves to play at a breakneck speed.
33. Cleveland Cavaliers: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
The best sharpshooter in this class, John Jenkins can and will hit three-balls with remarkable ease. He is quite adept at coming off screens and should score at a high level in the NBA, even if he is not a league leader like he was each of the last two seasons in the SEC.
Cleveland has already added a small forward and a center, both of whom are defenders first and foremost, so it is time to add an offensively-oriented shooting guard.
34. Cleveland Cavaliers (From New Orleans Hornets): Darius Miller, Kentucky
Even though they have already taken Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who started over Darius Miller at Kentucky, adding a big wing player with shooting skills as a backup is not exactly a bad decision.
Miller has never had a chance to prove that he cannot be a star and he will not get one here, not that he needs it to be a successful NBA player.
35. Golden State Warriors (From Brooklyn Nets): Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
Drafting Jared Cunningham would give the Dubs another young shooting guard, but Jared Cunningham plays the game of basketball significantly differently than Klay Thompson.
Whereas last year's lottery pick prefers to let fly from long-range, Cunningham is all about using the athleticism. He has got a lot of it too.
36. Sacramento Kings: Kevin Jones, West Virginia
With a good mid-range game on offense, Kevin Jones is a rebounder first and foremost. He has always been great on the offensive glass, but his defensive rebounding has gotten better and better as his career has progressed.
Jones may not be an elite threat on the block, but he does have good hands and can minimize turnovers when the ball is thrown in to him.
37. Toronto Raptors: Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
Kevin Murphy is not ridiculously strong, but he is 6'6" and may be taller than that. He can get by at shooting guard just fine.
A great shooter, Murphy will make for a fine backup as Jeremy Lamb takes over the starting job.
38. Denver Nuggets (From Golden State Warriors): Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
The Denver Nuggets already have a great young point guard in Ty Lawson, but it cannot hurt to add a backup with Andre Miller potentially leaving in free agency.
Tyshawn Taylor is similar to Lawson in the speed department, although the former plays way more out of control than the latter.
39. Detroit Pistons: Jae Crowder, Marquette
On a team that's rebuilding, there should always be a spot for a former player of the year in a major conference.
That's exactly what Jae Crowder is and he will continue to play off the ball and do the little things for his new team.
40. Portland Trail Blazers (From Minnesota Timberwolves): Drew Gordon, New Mexico
Drew Gordon is a great athlete and fully capable of finishing almost any play with a dunk, but that's not the primary reason to draft him at No. 40.
Above all else, Gordon is a sensational rebounder, a threat to pull down any missed shot on either side of the court.
41. Portland Trail Blazers: Kyle O'Quinn, Norfolk State
With a 7'5'' wingspan, Kyle O'Quinn has the size necessary to play either power forward or center in the NBA.
He is a great defender and a well-rounded offensive player who prefers to play in the post even though his range can extend out well beyond the paint.
42. Milwaukee Bucks: Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara
There is no telling whether Orlando Johnson will be quick enough to stay in front of opposing guards or get by defenders while the ball is in his hands, but the shooting guard is still a great offensive talent.
He can shoot the ball well from anywhere on the court and adds to the impact of his above-average passing skills by completely minimizing his turnovers.
43. Atlanta Hawks (From Phoenix Suns): Scott Machado, Iona
My second-favorite point guard in this draft class, Scott Machado is going to be the single biggest steal in the 2012 NBA draft.
He has passing skills second only to Kendall Marshall. Frankly, they may even be better. However, Machado is also a capable defender and he excels when he calls his own number and not just when he is asked to put the ball in someone else's hands.
44. Detroit Pistons (From Houston Rockets): William Buford, Ohio State
William Buford's release is not blazingly fast, which will allow NBA defenders to contest it early and often. As a result, he is going to have to pass more than he did in college.
The shooting guard struggled down the stretch during his senior season with the Ohio State Buckeyes, but he is a great teammate and still has first-round talent.
45. Philadelphia 76ers: Furkan Aldemir, Turkey
Furkan Aldemir is not a great athlete and he is only a 6'9" power forward, but he is ridiculously good at rebounding.
The Turkish big man can make an immediate impact in that area of the game if Philly chooses to bring him overseas and not let him develop for another year or two.
46. New Orleans Hornets (From Dallas Mavericks): Khris Middleton, Texas A&M
Everything in College Station pointed towards Khris Middleton's departure for the ranks of the NBA, even if another season would have helped his draft stock. As it stands, the lackluster showing that resulted from his early knee injury is dropping him too far down the boards.
Middleton is a creative offensive player who can get up a variety of shots. They usually drop.
47. Utah Jazz: Mike Scott, Virginia
An uber-efficient power forward, Mike Scott is already going to be 24 years old by the time the 2012-13 season begins. That works against him in a big way.
Scott is a crafty player who should make a nice impact in an offensive system that plays faster than the torturously-slow Virginia team he spent his college career playing for.
48. New York Knicks: Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
Darius Johnson-Odom is undersized as a shooting guard, but he is the best one left on the board.
A fantastic marksman from the perimeter, DJO needs to work on keeping his head up as he drives with the ball so he can cut down on both the turnovers and the ill-advised shots.
49. Orlando Magic: Tomas Satoransky, Czech Republic
An unfairly tall point guard, Tomas Satoransky may be shifted over to shooting guard to make the most of his 6'7" frame.
The Czech floor general needs to add strength to his frame, but he is an intelligent player who should be able to make a nice impact off the bench.
50. Denver Nuggets: Tornike Shengelia, Georgia
As a point of clarification, Tornike Shengelia is from the country Georgia and not the University of Georgia.
He is still working on his jumper, but the combo forward is a great defender at this point in his young career. At only 20 years of age, Shengelia has a lot of time to improve.
51. Boston Celtics: Tu Holloway, Xavier
Tu Holloway can light up the scoreboard in a variety of ways. He can drive, he can shoot from the outside and he can draw contact before finishing the play at the charity stripe.
The Xavier floor general was a few ill-advised comments following the brawl with Cincinnati away from going much higher in the draft.
52. Golden State Warriors (From Atlanta Hawks): Kostas Papanikolaou, Greece
A good, but not great, athlete with terrific off-ball skills, Kostas Papanikolaou struggles immensely when he is asked to create a shot for himself.
The Greek may be a good shooter from the outside, but it is defense where he makes his living.
53. Los Angeles Clippers: Casper Ware, Long Beach State
If Casper Ware were a few inches taller, we would see him in an entirely new light. I mean that both figuratively and literally, seeing as he would no longer be hiding in the shadows of other players if he was taller than 5'10" with shoes on.
Ware can do everything you would want from a point guard and should be a massive steal if he is given the right number of minutes.
54. Philadelphia 76ers (From Memphis Grizzlies): J'Covan Brown, Texas
J'Covan Brown loves to shoot. Drafting him would give the Philadelphia 76ers the luxury of placing less of a priority on keeping Lou Williams.
Brown might struggle with his shot selection, but he has the talent to make any one that he chooses to take.
55. Dallas Mavericks (From Los Angeles Lakers): Kris Joseph, Syracuse
A good athlete with a nice outside shot, Kris Joseph is too good for the Dallas Mavericks to pass up at this point in the draft.
Joseph needs to add strength so he can finish after contact, but he has a well-rounded offensive game.
56. Toronto Raptors (From Indiana Pacers): JaMychal Green, Alabama
From offense to defense we go.
JaMychal Green was one of the anchors on defense for the Alabama Crimson Tide before the off-court troubles kicked in. He has a smooth offensive game and a whole lot of athleticism to boot.
57. Brooklyn Nets (From Miami Heat): Kim English, Missouri
A deadly spot-up shooter who cannot create his own shot for himself, Kim English should become a solid role player in the NBA.
He is one of the most intelligent players in the class as well.
58. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Oklahoma City Thunder): Marcus Denmon, Missouri
Marcus Denmon will not be putting up similar stats to his time at Missouri thanks to both a decreased role in the offense and a decreased speed employed by that offense.
Making it two-straight Mizzou players off the board, the Minnesota Timberwolves could use an offensive sparkplug off the bench.
59. San Antonio Spurs: Leon Radosevic, Croatia
A Croatian power forward who should spend another year of two over in Europe developing a go-to skill on offense, Leon Radosevic is a versatile player who plays with a ridiculous amount of energy.
Radosevic embodies the concept of team basketball and should have no trouble accepting whatever role Gregg Popovich thinks is best.
60. Los Angeles Lakers (From Chicago Bulls): Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
The Los Angeles Lakers are not going to solve their point guard woes by drafting Jordan Taylor, but they will help fix the situation at least a little bit.
Taylor is a great shooter, an intelligent player and a man who absolutely hates to turn the ball over, protecting it and making good decisions at all times.
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