Which prospects will fall out of the top 10 in the 2012 NBA draft? Every year, depending on your outlet of choice, there are a couple of prospects who fall for various reasons. Usually it’s only a couple places, somewhere around the middle of the first-round.
Unlike NFL mock drafts, NBA draft scouting is a little more precise. There’s more of a consensus reached as the draft gets closer. There are also fewer players to pick, so that undoubtedly helps organize things.
Who will it be in 2012? Will the risk of picking Andre Drummond or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist drop them from the top 10? I’m leaning towards no. Both players have too big of an upside to ignore with NBA draft picks. In this draft, top 10 picks are boom or bust and teams tend to draft according to that philosophy. That’s especially true after the first couple of picks, when the “sure things” are off the board.
Depending on which outlet you are examining, the projected top 10 of Thursday’s draft will look somewhat different, especially after the first five picks are off the board. I’ve looked at several drafts, collected and displayed on a consensus mock draft on NBA.com, in order to make this analysis.
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
Lamb is only listed in the top 10 in two mock drafts on the consensus. At the end of last season, it seemed a certainty that Lamb would be a top 10 pick in 2012. Time, and more game film, has a funny way of changing prospect’s appeal.
His defensive effort and acumen is suspect and needs a lot of help for a successful transition to the professional game. This is something he can learn, but is he ready to step in and be a deciding factor for a lottery team right now? That is the question that is pushing Lamb further and further down draft boards as the draft approaches.
John Henson, PF/C, UNC
The competition at the power forward and center position isn’t as fierce as it seems. For Henson, that should signal an opening that he can take advantage of. Henson will likely make a fine NBA player, but concerns about his size and strength may limit his desirability, at least in the top 10.
Henson’s ceiling, if he adds weight, is as a high as it comes for the power forward position in this draft. However, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to compete in the paint at his current stature.
Tyler Zeller, C, UNC
Zeller is a great player around the rim who really excels because of his strong basketball IQ and determination to succeed. However, like his teammate Henson, Zeller’s weakness is in his size and frame. The things he did in college underneath will not come as easily when matched up against the bruising bigs of the NBA.
He is a top 10 bubble prospect on nearly every mock draft and will likely find himself on the outside looking in on Thursday night. Though, like Henson and Lamb, I can see him being taken quickly after the top 10 is over.
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