NBA Mock Draft 2012: Over-Hyped Prospects Who Won't Reach Their Potential
In the days and weeks before any draft, the prospects of that draft are hyped up and more true and false information comes out about them. The 2012 NBA Draft is full of prospects that have been completely over-hyped and who won’t reach their potential.
Some players won’t fall into the right situations, and, instead, will go to teams that won’t know how to develop their games. Others will underachieve because they don’t work hard enough or don’t have what it takes, and they would have no matter where they went.
Here’s a mock draft for your pleasure, letting you know whether each first round pick is or isn’t over-hyped.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF Kentucky
The amount of hype Anthony Davis has gotten has been just right. He is the best player in the draft, and, though his game has deficiencies, he has the right attitude to improve quickly in the NBA. He also has defense already figured out, which makes him better than most college players making the jump to the NBA.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, PF Kansas
Thomas Robinson might be the most NBA-ready prospect in the top six, but he may also have the least upside. That being said, he’s still appropriately hyped and worth the No. 2 overall pick. He can affect a team on both offense and defense immediately, especially the Bobcats.
3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG Florida
Bradley Beal has a chance to be the best player that came out of this draft in a few seasons. He can shoot lights-out, can play defense and is a very good rebounder at his position. He also has great size for a two-guard (6’5”). Beal is very under-hyped and will shine in the NBA.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Harrison Barnes, SF North Carolina
Harrison Barnes’ decision to return for his sophomore season a year ago probably cost him a little money. However, it also proved that he was over-hyped. He showed a lot more deficiencies in his game during that extra year, like how one dimensional he is and how passive he can be at times. He’ll struggle to live up to his billing as a scorer.
5. Sacramento Kings: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF Kentucky
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a great perimeter athlete and one of the most under-hyped prospects in the draft. MKG has elite length and will be one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA in a few years. His upside is endless, especially if his jumper improves.
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Drummond, C Connecticut
Andre Drummond is an extremely athletic center that, if he works hard, could be a great NBA player. However, Drummond lacks a motor and didn’t come up big in very many games in college. Unfortunately, it seems he doesn’t have the makeup to reach his full potential.
7. Golden State Warriors: Dion Waiters, G Syracuse
Dion Waiters has climbed the big boards in the past few weeks and established himself as the best combo guard in this draft. He’ll do well for Golden State as a great perimeter scorer to pair with Stephen Curry. Waiters will be a very good NBA player.
8. Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, SG Connecticut
Jeremy Lamb looks like a great NBA prospect, but whether or not he’ll reach his potential is a big mystery. While he is very athletic and has a good shot, he is extremely weak and is inconsistent from three-point range. His passiveness on offense is also a big reason for concern.
9. Detroit Pistons: John Henson, PF North Carolina
Although not a perfect player, John Henson’s potential has been adequately-hyped. At 6’10”, Henson has great size for the power forward position and is a great rebounder and shot-blocker. He needs to add some bulk, as he weighs just 216 pounds, but it shouldn’t be too hard because he has a great frame.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Austin Rivers, SG Duke
Austin Rivers is a tough player to figure out. He has great upside as a scorer, but he also has a lot of things to work on. Enough things that he might have benefited from staying at Duke for another year. He’s not a great athlete, he struggles with his left hand and he can be selfish. None of those bode well for a rookie, and those problems may keep Rivers from achieving his true potential.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, PG Weber State
Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in this draft, if not the best. He is a great scorer from the one position who can shoot from the outside and get to the rim. He also has good size for the position at 6’4” and is a very good ball-handler. Any team would be lucky to have him, and he’ll be a top-tier point guard in a few years.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller, C North Carolina
Tyler Zeller won’t be a star in the NBA, but that’s alright because no one expects him to be. What he will be is a nice, mobile big man who rebounds and defends well and scores when his team needs him to. That is where his potential reaches, and that is where he will get, probably sooner rather than later.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall, PG North Carolina
Kendall Marshall is one of the most under-hyped players in the draft this year. The sophomore proved he could run an offense in college, averaging an impressive 9.8 assists per game for North Carolina. He also has elite size for his position and is a decent outside shooter. He’ll end up being one of the league’s best point guards.
14. Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III, PF Baylor
Perry Jones III is a Top 5 talent that will go about 10 spots lower in this draft than he should. Questions about his consistency and passiveness at times may loom, but Jones’ talent is just too much. He’ll be an All-Star at some point in his career.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Terrence Ross, SG Washington
Terrence Ross is a very good player and will be very good in the NBA. The reasons are simple. Ross is an explosive athlete that is also a very good long-range shooter. That combination is rare to find in the NBA, and it will make Ross a steal in the draft.
16. Houston Rockets: Moe Harkless, SF St. John’s
While Moe Harkless has the potential to be a good NBA player, he is still a bit over-hyped. The fact that he doesn’t always play hard is a huge issue and he’s also too weak to make a big difference on an NBA team right now. His shooting inconsistency is a problem as well.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Terrence Jones, F Kentucky
Questions about Terrence Jones have pushed him down from a Top 10 pick all the way out of the lottery and possibly even farther. However, his upside is great and he has shown a willingness to improve. He has great length and could become an elite defender. He is also a good passer and scorer. His status as a tweener between the three and four spots is the biggest question mark.
18. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie, PF Mississippi State
The expectations for Arnett Moultrie are reasonable, and he should have no trouble fulfilling them. He’s a very athletic, scoring big man who can excel on the offensive boards. His free throw shooting must improve, along with his strength. He’ll be a starter on an NBA team.
19. Orlando Magic: Jared Sullinger, PF Ohio State
You might have expected to see under-hyped for Jared Sullinger, but it just isn’t true. His recent fall from the lottery is warranted, especially given his injury history and lack of athleticism. However, he still has the potential to be a very good NBA player, and I think he will be.
20. Denver Nuggets: Royce White, SF Iowa State
Royce White might be a lottery pick were it not for his anxiety issues scaring away some NBA teams. Any team that can get a talent like White this late in the draft should absolutely jump on it. White’s only on-the-court issue is his inconsistency shooting the ball, and that isn’t a major concern for a rookie.
21. Boston Celtics: Quincy Miller, SF Baylor
Although he’ll probably get picked in the right spot for this draft, Quincy Miller would have been a lottery pick in next year’s. That’s why he’s such a good value in this one. Miller is an athletic three who can score inside and out and who has a high basketball IQ. That IQ is what will help him reach his potential the most.
22. Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson, PF St. Bonaventure
Andrew Nicholson has the potential to challenge Anthony Davis in a few years as the best power forward to come out of this NBA draft class. No, that’s not blasphemy. That’s the truth. The long, athletic power forward is a better scorer than Davis and has range that can reach to the NBA three-point line. He’s also a good free throw shooter and defender.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Tony Wroten Jr., PG Washington
The NBA has seen an increase in run-and-gun style point guards that can score for themselves, and Tony Wroten Jr. should fit right in. Wroten is the best athlete in this point guard class and has amazing size for his position at 6’6”. He’s a bit of a risk as he can be reckless and is a streaky jumpshooter, but he is a risk that could pay huge dividends.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Fab Melo, C Syracuse
Anyone who thinks that Fab Melo isn’t a project is wrong. He is a tremendously raw player offensively, but for any team looking for a defensive presence in the paint, he could be a difference-maker immediately. He’s long and physical, which is just what you want in a center.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier, SG/SF France
Most expect Evan Fournier to be a draft and stash prospect who we won’t see playing in the league for a few years. As a result, he can’t really be over-hyped or even under-hyped, since he is a young player who isn’t ready for the NBA yet.
26. Indiana Pacers: Draymond Green, F Michigan State
Draymond Green is this low in the draft for two reasons: he is a tweener between the three and four and he isn’t very athletic. However, Green is still a difference-maker on the NBA level as a player who can stretch the floor from the four spot and bang down low with the best of them. He’s a high-character player, which is always a good thing to have. Green will be better than people expect.
27. Miami Heat: Festus Ezeli, C Vanderbilt
It seems like no one is talking about Festus Ezeli, which is a shame because his name is incredibly fun to say. Anyway, he is a true center which alone makes him valuable, but other than that he shouldn’t be talked about much. Ezeli is a decent player and he’ll be a role player in the NBA. It is a bit alarming that his production dipped from his junior season to his senior season.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Taylor, SF Vanderbilt
Need an NBA comparison for Jeff Taylor? Think of a more athletic version of Shane Battier. Taylor is a sharpshooter from the three-point line and is a great defender. His ball-handling and shot creating aren’t great, but he won’t be asked to do either much anyway. Taylor won’t be a star, but he’ll be one of the best role players in the NBA eventually.
29. Chicago Bulls: Will Barton, SG Memphis
Will Barton has come on the scene of late as the projection to be picked to play alongside Derrick Rose for the Chicago Bulls. Barton is a great scorer and has great size for his position. He is a bit of streaky shooter, but he can create his own shot, which is what the Bulls need. He’ll flourish if picked by Chicago.
30. Golden State Warriors: Marquis Teague, PF Kentucky
Marquis Teague is adequately hyped. While he won’t be a star, he can be s starting point guard in the NBA. He has good court vision, can finish at the rim and is incredibly quick. If he improves his outside shot and continues to get even better vision, he’ll have a chance to be a special player.