2012 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions, Draft-Day Edition
NBA fans have watched with anticipation as teams worked out prospects, watched them in the draft combine and postured themselves around possible moves between picks. All of the buildup has led to a day of anxiety for fans as they wait on Thursday to see whom they will choose to help their rosters.
Many fans and analysts seem certain whom the New Orleans Hornets will select with the first overall pick. After that, the possibilities are endless. Teams will hope that the same can be said for their selections after the draft.
Following is a full look at all the picks as the hours wind down before the draft.
1. New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Anthony Davis is a special prospect who seems likely to be taken No. 1 by the New Orleans Hornets. His tremendous shot-blocking ability could boost a Hornets team that had the 15th-best defensive rating (105.1 points allowed per 100 possessions).
Davis' hot rebounding numbers in college help his cause, but the question with that and other aspects of his game is whether he'll build the muscle necessary to make him a strong inside man. If he does, then he'll be able to haul in numerous missed shots on both ends.
Regardless, his moves underneath and his above-the-rim game are attractive enough to fortify his position as the No. 1 pick.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson, Kansas
The Charlotte Bobcats could go for Andre Drummond to fill a gaping hole at center. However, they'll go for the best player available with the second overall pick by drafting Thomas Robinson.
Robinson has the offensive game that Drummond lacks. Robinson is far better than Drummond at positioning himself inside and going up confidently to score.
Also, Robinson's superior functional strength makes him better on the boards than Drummond. The former Connecticut center is very strong but isn't confident enough in using his muscularity.
Meanwhile, Robinson will catch the attention of Bobcats GM Rick Cho with his combination of strength, coordination and assertiveness.
3. Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, Florida
The Washington Wizards looked to be in position to pick up a post player with the No. 3 pick, but they had their need at center filled with the acquisition of Emeka Okafor.
They're still lacking in scoring. The Wizards were 22nd in scoring average (93.6 points per game) and 25th in offensive rating (101 points per 100 possessions) last season.
Drafting Bradley Beal would immediately boost scoring for the Wizards. Beal is a solid scorer. He hit 54.1 percent of two-point field-goal attempts. He can drive the lane and hit shots from the perimeter. Also, he makes good decisions on offense.
Beal's offensive talent would be a big boost for John Wall, allowing him to more easily find options and space out the offense.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Everybody needs size, especially when you've already got one of the most promising PGs in the NBA. Drafting Andre Drummond will serve to address that need.
Drummond could become a nice defensive player. He's a good shot-blocker, and he could be a monster on the glass if changes his attitude and work ethic.
Drummond's lack of toughness in the post is a significant concern, however. Hopefully, someone will be able to push him to get him to use his strength as he should.
5. Sacramento Kings: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
The Sacramento Kings have plenty of pieces. Tyreke Evans is a nice shooter. DeMarcus Cousins is a remarkable inside man. Marcus Thornton is a stellar scorer. Isaiah Thomas is a nice guard who began growing into the point-guard role in the latter part of last season.
What Sacramento is lacking is a tenacious defender. That's apparent with the Kings' last-place standing in scoring defense (104.4 points allowed per game) and 29th place ranking in defensive rating (109.8 points allowed per 100 possessions).
Drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would help address the Kings' defensive deficiency. Kidd-Gilchrist has the length and agility to be a strong defender at the pro level. He also stays on his feet on defense.
The Kings need someone who's as steady as MKG on defense to shore things up on that end of the floor.
6. Portland Trailblazers: Damian Lillard, Weber St.
Damian Lillard was a spectacular scorer in his last season at Weber State. He averaged 24.5 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting and also shot 40.9 percent from three-point range.
Lillard is a natural point guard. He's used to handling the ball a great deal, and at 6'3" and 189 pounds he's got pro-PG size.
Lillard can create separation, take passes from other combo guards and then blow by defenders with his speed.
Certainly, Lillard can succeed in the NBA after possibly even adjust to a 2-guard role.
7. Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
The Golden State Warriors could use the all-around game that Harrison Barnes would bring. Mark Jackson is still trying to bring the team along defensively after it placed in the bottom five in scoring defense and defensive rating.
Barnes is solid defensively, using his length and quickness to keep ball-handlers in front of him.
He can shoot effectively and create for himself remarkably well in isolation. Since they're in need of more scoring in the post-Monta Ellis era, the Warriors will be longing for Barnes' offensive creativity.
Barnes has much to offer the Warriors, and they'll have a hard time turning away from him when they pick at No. 7.
8. Toronto Raptors: Austin Rivers, Duke
The Toronto Raptors need real scoring help. That was evident last year with Andrea Bargnani out most of the season. DeMar DeRozan isn't an effective scorer for them. He averaged 16.7 points per game while shooting an impish 42.2 percent from the field.
Austin Rivers would be the man to boost scoring for the Raptors. Rivers is a tremendously creative scorer who can score inside and out. He's explosive going to the basket.
Jose Calderon would be excited to be able to put the ball in his hands.
9. Detroit Pistons: Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
Since the Detroit Pistons have traded Ben Gordon to the Bobcats for Corey Maggette, the Pistons will be looking for a shooter. Jeremy Lamb would fill that role. Lamb has the heart to take the ball and cut away for shot opportunities.
Lamb isn't one of the more efficient shooters. He'll take some ill-advised shots just for the sake of taking shots. Still, he has the capability to help boost scoring for the Pistons.
10. New Orleans Hornets: Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
The Hornets will both fill a team need and get the best player available by picking Kendall Marshall with the No. 10 pick. Jarrett Jack is a decent point guard, and Greivis Vasquez showed flashes of brilliance last season, but neither is one to lead the Hornets' offense down the road.
Marshall is a strong pass-first point guard. He has great court vision and does very well running things in the halfcourt. He generally makes good decisions, and his efficiency is top-notch, as evidenced by his 3.51 assist-to-turnover ratio in his last season at North Carolina.
Some may be concerned with his limited scoring. However, Marshall doesn't have to score a great deal with his level of efficiency as a pass-first player.
11. Portland Trail Blazers: Terrence Ross, Washington
The Blazers will add a shooter with their second first-round pick by taking Terrence Ross. Ross is a nice perimeter shooter who excels at shooting from particular spots. Ross can also play off screens.
He could work out well as a big 2-guard standing 6'7". Ross doesn't bring great versatility, but he's good from the spots where he can shoot.
12. Houston Rockets: Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
The Houston Rockets will need to look towards the future at center very soon. Marcus Camby is ancient in basketball years at 38. He could return for another year and provide solid defense, but he can't be relied upon much more than that.
Houston needs to act on this impending need in this draft to prevent any future problems at the position. Tyler Zeller would be a solid choice to address this.
Zeller runs the floor well for a seven-footer. He's a solid shooter who can hit jump shots better than most big men.
Zeller needs to add some muscle, but as long as he does that, he'll be the complete package for the Rockets.
13. Phoenix Suns: John Henson, North Carolina
The Phoenix Suns are in need of capable scorers from just about anywhere on the floor. Steve Nash had almost no help offensively this season. Marcin Gortat was the only player other than Nash to shoot 50 percent. Besides Gortat, the Suns don't have anyone Nash can rely upon to produce significant offense.
Picking John Henson would help address that. Henson is a solid shooter, having shot 50 percent in his last season at North Carolina. He has a decent jump shot and can score pretty well inside 10 feet.
Henson will also help the Suns improve on the defensive end. His incredible 7'5" wingspan will allow him to get the rebounds that the Suns missed last year, as they placed 19th in rebounding.
14. Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers Leonard, Illinois
The Milwaukee Bucks had been hurting at the center position since Andrew Bogut was traded to the Warriors. Before that, they faced insecurity at the position due to Bogut's injuries.
Even after acquiring Samuel Dalembert from the Rockets (per CBSSports.com), they need to tighten things up at the position. Besides, Dalembert is 31 years old.
Meyers Leonard would be the right guy to take here. Leonard rebounds well. His offense is pretty good, featuring a nice hook shot. He's big, long and runs the floor well.
Leonard has great physical tools and knows how to use them on defense, moving quickly from side to side and playing big man-to-man.
With help from Dalembert, a spectacular defender who can make others better on that end, Leonard could become a rock for years for the Bucks.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Terrence Jones, Kentucky
The Philadelphia 76ers need a replacement for Elton Brand, who is 33 years old and steadily on the decline. Terrence Jones would be a good pick to take Brand's place in the Sixers' post.
Jones is a long, strong power forward who can score and rebound. He has good moves in the post and goes up strong.
Doug Collins would have some work to do to get Jones to play consistently, but Collins can be self-assured with Jones' talent.
16. Houston Rockets: Moe Harkless, St. John's
Having traded Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 18 pick (per ESPN) and having questions about Chandler Parsons, the Rockets should be looking at Moe Harkless. Harkless is a promising scorer who can be a good plug-in with whatever may happen with Kyle Lowry or Kevin Martin.
He has great length for a small forward at 6'9" and a 7' wingspan. As his DraftExpress.com profile mentions, he moves well without the ball. He puts himself in position to score. Harkless drives hard to the basket and is a solid finisher.
17. Dallas Mavericks: Dion Waiters, Syracuse
The Dallas Mavericks have an aging roster, with hardly any of the key players younger than 30. They need to find someone for the future in the backcourt especially. The lineup this past season featured 35-year-old Vince Carter and 38-year-old Jason Kidd.
Dion Waiters would be a nice pick to help the team get younger. Waiters is an excellent defender who is aggressive when defending on the ball. As his DraftExpress.com profile points out, he's best on offense when playing pick-and-rolls and making plays in transition.
Waiters does have some issues. He had trouble creating shots for himself, which is troubling for someone who generally played the 2-guard spot at Syracuse. Also, he didn't do a great job handling the ball, which isn't a good sign for someone who could grow into a point-guard role.
Waiters' skills suit him equally well for either position, particularly when making plays in transition.
However, he'll still need to figure out which position he wants to play at the next level. Perhaps Kidd, who has become more of a team player in his advanced basketball years, could help Waiters realize his NBA fit.
18. Houston Rockets: Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi St.
Arnett Moultrie is as close as any player outside of the lottery range to having the full package as a big man. The Rockets would do well to go for him with their ridiculous third first-round pick.
Moultrie has great defensive skills. He's shown himself to be a solid rebounder and can defend the perimeter very well.
He's also terrific on offense. He's a great finisher and inside scorer in general.
The promising star of Moultrie comes at a perfect time to address the decline of Luis Scola.
19. Orlando Magic: Royce White, Iowa St.
White is a big, thick man at 6'8" and 270 pounds. He moves around well for being such a big guy.
He's a good passer, having dished out five assists per game in his last season with Iowa State.
Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg sometimes had him bring the ball up the court to create mismatches, but White probably won't get to do that in the pros.
However, he will be able to play inside and outside on offense for Orlando, maximizing his all-around shooting ability.
20. Denver Nuggets: Quincy Miller, Baylor
Without any pressing needs or exciting talent available at their spot, the Denver Nuggets will take on a project in Quincy Miller.
Miller tore an ACL during his senior year in high school, and it plagued him during his year at Baylor.
He showed some flashes of his potential while at Baylor, and his ceiling is much higher than the 10 points per game he averaged in that season.
He'll get a fair number of minutes playing behind Wilson Chandler. Miller will be able to score a bit in his rookie year, and he should grow steadily after that.
21. Boston Celtics: Orlando Johnson, California-Santa Barbara
The Boston Celtics will choose to go out on a limb and grab a highly talented scorer from a small school in Orlando Johnson from California-Santa Barbara.
Johnson is a remarkable scorer who blew up the Big West Conference. He averaged 19.7 points per game in his last season at UCSB.
He’s a prolific shooter, both inside and out, and can make plays in transition.
The Celtics need someone to fill in scoring, as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen may not return and Paul Pierce is on the decline. Johnson will be a good aide to push the franchise into the future.
22. Boston Celtics: Perry Jones, Baylor
With Kevin Garnett possibly leaving Boston, the Celtics will find a capable replacement in Perry Jones. "Capable" is the key word. Jones can be a strong scorer and a fierce defender.
However, as he’s acknowledged, he doesn’t always go as hard as he could. His numbers certainly could have been higher last season if he’d given it a little more gas during game time.
Doc Rivers will have to watch him closely to ensure that he realizes his potential.
23. Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt
The Hawks need backcourt help going forward. Joe Johnson has hit his peak. At age 31, Johnson won't be having too many more really good seasons.
Jeff Taylor would be a good help to ease Johnson's burden in the latter part of his career. Taylor is a strong offensive player. He's a solid jump shooter, hitting 43.2 percent of his jump shots, according to DraftExpress.com. He's mostly a spot-up shooter, and his tenacity while shooting under pressure is impressive.
Also, he's solid in working off the ball. Taylor catches passes well and moves fluidly with the ball.
The Hawks would be able to move forward confidently with a solid backup behind Johnson as he gets older.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Fab Melo, Syracuse
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking for help up front, with Anderson Varejao moving past his peak. Fab Melo is the right guy for the Cavaliers to replace Varejao.
Like Varejao, Melo is a defensive specialist who patrols his ground well. Melo is a prolific shot-blocker and a decent rebounder.
That Melo will likely be a non-factor offensively as Varejao has been shouldn't be too much of a concern since the Cavaliers will have two guards who can score very effectively in Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Evan Fournier, France
The Memphis Grizzlies relied upon O.J. Mayo for much of their bench scoring this season. They won't have the money available before the luxury tax threshold to pay Mayo. If they can't get a replacement for next season, the Grizzlies will miss him dearly.
So that they don't have to lean on Quincy Pondexter for scoring, the Grizzlies need to draft Evan Fournier. Fournier is a pure scorer with high upside. The French guard is a daring player who can rack up points quickly.
He doesn't shoot at a high percentage at this point, but he shoots more than he should.
That didn't stop Mayo from attacking the way he wanted.
He's a good finisher, hitting 63 percent from around the rim, according to DraftExpress.com.
The rising former Western Conference doormat is determined to win a championship in the next couple of years, and they can ensure those chances by adding Fournier.
While Fournier has a year left on his contract with his French team, Grizzlies officials told The Commercial Appeal they were confident that his buyout to come to the NBA could be arranged.
Thus, unless complications in negotiations come about, Fournier would join the Grizzlies if they draft him at No. 25.
26. Indiana Pacers: Marquis Teague, Kentucky
The Indiana Pacers don't have a great situation at point guard. Darren Collison went to the bench after missing time due to a groin injury late in the season. George Hill took over as the starter at the end of the regular season and ran the point in the playoffs.
Generally, a top-six team in its conference wouldn't switch the starting point guard towards the end of the season.
This isn't a good indicator for the Pacers going forward. Hill isn't a real point guard. He doesn't create like one. Collison doesn't control the offense like a good point guard should. He had 4.8 assists per game and a 24 percent assist rate.
Still, Collison should simply take the starting job back since he fits the position better. However, Frank Vogel seems to be challenging Collison to take it back, rather than giving it to him. Vogel told the Indianapolis Star, "I could definitely see a situation where Darren, one of the most driven players I've ever been around, comes back and outplays George."
With the possible conundrum between these two underwhelming players at the point, including one (Hill) who is a free agent, the Pacers are in need of another point guard. Grabbing Marquis Teague can at least add depth at the position, if not bring an eventual new starter.
Teague is a solid passer and a good facilitator. He's great at making plays on the fast break. He has good court vision. His half-court decision-making skills need improvement, but he could grow into a good creator for the Pacers.
27. Miami Heat: Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
The Miami Heat's struggles inside were glaring when Chris Bosh was out. They struggled to rebound without Bosh, often leaning on LeBron James in that department. That's why they'll dial up the prospect who spent the last four years wearing a Franciscan hue of brown, Andrew Nicholson.
Nicholson is a fantastic all-around player who could become a very nice NBA big man. He shoots very well both inside and out, rebounds very well, shows great shot-blocking ability and plays as physically as one would expect a big man to play.
The one glaring issue with Nicholson is that he fouls too much. Sometimes he'd take himself out of games for stretches by getting into early foul trouble. Erik Spoelstra would have to teach him to show more restraint.
Picking Nicholson should put the Heat at peace with what they have inside.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Draymond Green, Michigan St.
The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't have great depth inside this season. Nick Collison is a weak rebounder, grabbing just 12 percent of available boards. Nazr Mohammed hasn't been relevant for a few years. Cole Aldrich can score and rebound a little bit, but the operative phrase is "a little bit."
Drafting Draymond Green would help interior depth. He's a versatile power forward who's quite capable as a scorer and rebounder. Green is a good jump shooter. As his DraftExpress.com profiles notes, he has good rebounding instincts, soft hands and impressive aggression on the boards.
Those instincts will help make up for his lack of size when he goes up for rebounds.
Green is also a good passer. He averaged 3.8 assists per game last season.
Thunder fans would be able to rest assured about the team's inside competitiveness when Serge Ibaka or Kendrick Perkins sit down with Green coming on the floor.
29. Chicago Bulls: Will Barton, Memphis
Barton is a strong all-around shooter. He's a solid jump shooter and effective driving to the basket. Often, when he goes to the basket, he is able to pick up a foul. He can hit a fair number of three-pointers, having hit 34.6 percent last season.
Barton, who averaged 18 points per game last season, is a terrific offensive player and will become even better as he builds muscle.
30. Golden State Warriors: Tony Wroten, Washington
The Golden State Warriors can still use more help in the backcourt after drafting Harrison Barnes early in the first round. They'll help fortify the backcourt and bring more scoring by picking Tony Wroten.
Wroten is a talented scorer who is the type of slasher that the team has been missing since they traded Monta Ellis. He cuts to the basket with quickness and explosion. Wroten finishes well at the basket.
He is indeed a turnover-prone player. The Seattle native turned it over 3.8 times per game in 2011-12.
To address that issue, the Warriors could have him play off the ball more and have Stephen Curry lead him into suitable scoring opportunities.
Also, Wroten would fit Mark Jackson's defensive plans. He's an aggressive defender who averaged 1.9 steals per game.
31. (2nd Round, 1st Pick) Charlotte Bobcats: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
A team that loses by 13.9 points per game like the Charlotte Bobcats did this past season often can't shoot their way back into games. The Bobcats were dead last in both field-goal percentage and three-point field-goal percentage. When a team can't shoot at all—especially from downtown—it has no chance to come back.
John Jenkins would help the Bobcats find some ability to score. Jenkins is a terrific all-around shooter. He shot 47.4 percent from the field in his last season at Vanderbilt, including 43.9 percent from three-point range. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, Jenkins can play effectively off the ball, work off screens and catch and quickly shoot the ball.
The Gallatin, Tenn., native takes many of his shots from downtown. 66.6 percent of his field-goal attempts came from three-point range in 2011-12, which is not far off from his 63.4 percent career mark.
With that tendency to take three-point shots, Jenkins has the ability to help shoot the Bobcats back into games—and shoot them to victory when the time calls.
32. (2nd Round, 2nd Pick) Washington Wizards: Jared Sullinger, Ohio St.
After waiting and waiting and waiting, Jared Sullinger will finally hear his name called. After a couple dozen teams pass on Sullinger due to medical concerns, the Wizards will decide that they need frontcourt help enough that, at this point in the draft, they can see him for talent—not injury risk.
With Sullinger figuring to be small for the center position he's used to playing, the Wizards may try to help a weak spot on the roster by moving him to the 4 spot. Jan Vesely is helpful in small doses, and both James and Chris Singleton are nice contributors, but the power-forward position is anything but strong for the Wizards.
Adding Sullinger can improve the quality of play at the position. His pretty shooting touch on the inside will add scoring in the paint, as will his strong ability to position himself in the post. He can shape up the team's defensive play with his brilliant ball-hawking skills.
His rebounding intangibles, such as timing and positioning, will help him succeed as a rebounder.
33. (2nd Round, 3rd Pick) Cleveland Cavaliers: Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
The Cleveland Cavaliers will build depth into the frontcourt by picking Festus Ezeli. Ezeli is a good shot-blocker, having swatted two shots per game in his last season at Vanderbilt. He's strong pulling down rebounds on the offensive glass, averaging 2.4 per game.
However, he struggles to get rebounds on the defensive end. He averaged just 3.5 defensive rebounds per game in 2011-12. His DraftExpress.com profile points out that he doesn't box out consistently or go for the ball quickly.
Ezeli isn't much of a scorer. He only took 6.3 field-goal attempts per game last season.
His lack of physicality is a problem. If he can't make use of his 7', 264-pound frame, then he won't be much of a factor on an NBA team.
34. (2nd Round, 4th Pick) Cleveland Cavaliers: Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Doron Lamb is a highly efficient player who can help the Cavaliers boost their offensive profile. Lamb turned the ball over just 1.1 times per game while handling the ball quite a bit. He averaged 13.7 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting while taking just 9.2 shots per game in 2011-12.
He's terrific from three-point range, having shot 46.6 percent from three-point range last season. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he is good shooting off the dribble or from a standstill setup.
Getting a player with the right size in the second round is difficult, but Byron Scott will be happy to see that his team grabbed a big guard at No. 34 in Lamb, who's 6'5" and weighs 199 pounds.
35. (2nd Round, 5th Pick) Golden State Warriors: Bernard James, Florida St.
The Golden State Warriors might have made a move this spring to improve their situation at the center position, but the position could remain a weakness. Andrew Bogut could be a good center for Golden State, but they can't count on him being healthy.
Andris Biedrins wasn't healthy for a significant part of this season and would normally play 20 to 30 minutes in a game anyway.
With that said, the Warriors need to ensure that they have plenty of depth at center. They could do that by picking Bernard James. James has decent size at 6'10" and 230 pounds. He's a terrific offensive rebounder, averaging 3.1 offensive boards per game in 2011-12.
His overall rebounding ability is aided by his terrific length. James has a remarkable 7'3" wingspan.
In general, he's a terrific defender. He attacks the ball and blocks shots that likely few others would get. His average was 2.3 shots swatted per game last year.
The former Florida State Seminole doesn't shoot a great deal, but when he does, he's very likely to hit. He knocked down 60.6 percent of his 7.4 shots per game.
36. (2nd Round, 6th Pick) Sacramento Kings: Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
The Sacramento Kings shifted their lineup this season by making Tyreke Evans a 2-guard and making Isaiah Thomas the starting point guard. Thomas did a nice job as the starter, but he'll need the support of a capable backup going forward.
Tyshawn Taylor would be a nice pick for that role. The former Kansas Jayhawk put up great core numbers with 16.6 points and 4.8 assists per game and a 47.7 percent field-goal mark. However, he wasn't consistent. He turned it over 3.5 times per game and sometimes pushed the ball too hard.
The Kings could get him to become steadier by putting him in a backup role. That could allow Taylor to avoid making too many mistakes.
37. (2nd Round, 7th Pick) Toronto Raptors: Jared Cunningham, Oregon St.
The Toronto Raptors are in need of real scoring, especially in the backcourt. DeMar DeRozan isn't reliable. The sophomore small forward shot just 42.2 percent from the field. Linas Kleiza shot just 40.2 percent.
Jose Calderon is a very good pass-first point guard. Accordingly, he needs to be able to distribute the ball to people who can score effectively.
Jared Cunningham would be a good addition to boost scoring in Toronto's backcourt. Cunningham scored 17.9 points per game on 45 percent shooting in his last season at Oregon State. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he's good at getting open quickly and working in transition.
He still has to work on scoring off pick-and-rolls.
He can also make passes when he knows he doesn't have a good shot opportunity.
Cunningham's high offensive aptitude should be attractive to the Raptors, who need good shooting to maximize the tools of their fantastic point guard.
38. (2nd Round, 8th Pick) Denver Nuggets: Darius Miller, Kentucky
The Denver Nuggets can further their scoring by taking a big, strong scorer in Darius Miller. Miller has good size at 6'7" and 233 pounds. He's an efficient scorer, averaging 9.9 points on 7.6 field-goal attempts per game and shooting 47 percent from the field.
He's mostly a jump shooter and takes a sizable amount of shots from three-point range. Almost half of his attempts came from downtown in 2011-12, and 46.8 percent came from beyond the arc in his four-year Kentucky career.
He hit 44.1 percent in 2010-11, but he didn't hit quite as nicely in his last season, knocking down 37.6 percent.
Still, Miller is a solid outside shooter and a capable three-point shooter who can spread the floor for the Nuggets.
39. (2nd Round, 9th Pick) Detroit Pistons: Scott Machado, Iona
No Iona player has been drafted in 20 years—not since Sean Green was selected by the Pacers in 1992.
Scott Machado is the right player to end that drought.
Machado is a solid point guard. He's efficient, averaging 9.9 assists per game and holding a three-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio. He averaged 13.6 points on just 9.5 field-goal attempts per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the field.
The New York City native is thickly built at 6'2" and 206 pounds. He did 17 repetitions of 185 pounds on the bench press in the combine, per DraftExpress.com. That's an impressive figure for a point guard.
The Pistons don't have a good situation at point guard. Rodney Stuckey hasn't turned out to be what he was expected to be. Brandon Knight was none too efficient in his rookie year, holding a 1.47 assist-to-turnover ratio and producing 97 points per 100 possessions.
Machado would be a great pick for the Pistons to ensure depth at the position. If Knight doesn't work out, Lawrence Frank would have a good alternative.
40. (2nd Round, 10th Pick) Portland Trail Blazers: Drew Gordon, New Mexico
The Trail Blazers need help on the boards after placing 25th in rebounding this season. Drew Gordon would be the perfect second-round pick to address this need. Gordon is one of the best rebounding prospects in the draft. He averaged 11.1 rebounds per game in his last season with New Mexico, including 3.1 per game on the offensive end.
As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he boxes out with great toughness and goes aggressively at missed shots. On the offensive end, he tracks shots well to grab the boards.
His rebounding ability alone makes him a nice prospect. That Gordon knocks shots down well in the post is icing on the cake.
41: (2nd Round, 11th Pick) Portland Trail Blazers: Kyle O'Quinn, Norfolk St.
To further the depth of their frontcourt, the Trail Blazers will follow the selection of Drew Gordon with the pick of Kyle O'Quinn.
O'Quinn, who would become the first Norfolk State player to be drafted since David Pope in 1985, is a terrific inside scorer. He averaged 15.9 points on 9.9 field-goal attempts per game while shooting a spectacular 57.3 percent from the field.
He's most successful in the post. At that, he isn't one who can hit shots from the perimeter. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he doesn't take good shots all the time and doesn't often hit from outside the post.
As long as the Trail Blazers get him to stay home in the post, O'Quinn can be a successful scorer. Such direction can also help him maximize his great ability to pull down offensive rebounds.
42. (2nd Round, 12th Pick) Milwaukee Bucks: Kim English, Missouri
At No. 42, the Bucks will go for bench support in their backcourt by drafting Kim English.
He's basically a three-point shooter, taking more than half his attempts from beyond the arc. In 2011-12, he hit 45.9 percent from three-point range. That would be a big help for a team that placed 16th in three-point shooting this year.
He fits as a shooting guard/small forward, possessing good size at 6'6" and 192 pounds.
43. (2nd Round, 13th Pick) Altlanta Hawks: Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
As they did earlier in the draft, the Hawks will work to fortify their backcourt. They'll pick a small scoring guard at No. 43 in Darius Johnson-Odom. The Marquette product is a brilliant player who can pick opposing defenses apart. He averaged a terrific 18.3 points per game in 2011-12.
Despite being short, Johnson-Odom is magnificently built. He has 212 pounds on his 6'3" frame. Also, he is quite long, with a 6'6.5" wingspan.
After drafting this Raleigh, N.C., native, the Hawks will have little thought about retaining Kirk Hinrich.
44. (2nd Round, 14th Pick) Detroit Pistons: Jae Crowder, Marquette
After the Hawks take Darius Johnson-Odom, the Pistons will go for a former Marquette player themselves by taking Jae Crowder.
Crowder is a fine player who pushed himself over the top as a Golden Eagle and could use that same determination to make it in the pros despite not having the ideal size or skills for a particular position.
Crowder is an amazing physical specimen. He has astounding muscular definition on his 6'6", 241-pound frame. He has a wingspan of 6'8.5". At the combine, he did a pleasing 17 repetitions of 185 pounds on the bench press, per DraftExpress.com.
He plays smart and gets in the right position at the right time on offense. Also, Crowder is a strong inside scorer.
While he fits only as a general forward, Crowder could find a way around his height issue to succeed in the NBA.
45. (2nd Round, 15th Pick) Philadelphia 76ers: Kevin Jones, West Virginia
The Philadelphia 76ers will further add to their frontcourt by drafting Kevin Jones with the No. 45 pick. Jones is undersized for a power forward at 6'7". He isn't as strong as teams would like him to be.
What the 76ers will like about him is his ability to run the floor and strong rebounding. He had 4.3 offensive rebounds and 10.9 total rebounds per game in 2011-12. As his DraftExpress.com profiles notes, he has improved his ability to box out and rise up for the rebound.
46. (2nd Round, 16th Pick) New Orleans Hornets: Mike Scott, Virginia
The New Orleans Hornets will fortify the power-forward position by drafting Mike Scott. Scott is a steady big man who can knock down shots effectively in the post. He shot 56.3 percent from the field in 2011-12.
He's not a standout rebounder, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game.
He had an ankle surgically repaired during his fourth year, but didn't feel any effects from the injury in his last year at Virginia.
47. (2nd Round, 17th Pick) Utah Jazz: Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
The Jazz will look to enhance their already dynamic scoring offense by drafting Kevin Murphy at No. 47.
Murphy dazzled the Ohio Valley Conference in his four-year Tennessee Tech career. He averaged 20.6 points per game—10th in the nation—on 44.4 percent shooting.
He's tall at 6'6", which bodes well for the Jazz.
Murphy is also effective on defense, which would help a Utah team that didn't excel on that end.
48. (2nd Round, 18th Pick) New York Knicks: William Buford, Ohio St.
The Knicks will add a scoring guard at No. 48 by taking William Buford. The Ohio State product has good size, standing 6'5" and weighing 215 pounds with a 6'10" wingspan.
Buford's game last season revealed that he'd be best off as a shooting specialist. He didn't shoot very well, as he took more three-pointers than shots in transition, which also caused him to turn it over more. His DraftExpress.com profile notes that he isn't good at creating shots.
The Knicks could employ Buford in an appropriate shooting role that could lead him to an effective field-goal mark.
49. (2nd Round, 19th Pick) Orlando Magic: Miles Plumlee, Duke
The Orlando Magic need to add a center in the draft, especially for the case in which Dwight Howard arranges to be traded. Miles Plumlee would be a fine choice at this point in the draft. He has good size at 7' and 252 pounds.
The former Duke center is solid on the boards. He averaged an amazing 5.5 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes in 2011-12, third best in the nation, according to DraftExpress.com. Further, as his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he goes up strong for rebounds and follows the ball very well.
He doesn't shoot much (4.3 field-goal attempts per game), but when he does, he drops it in the hole. Plumlee shoots 61 percent from the field.
50. (2nd Round, 20th Pick) Denver Nuggets: Tomas Satoransky, Czech Republic
The Nuggets will add another piece to their backcourt by drafting Tomas Satoransky at No. 50.
This Czech guard has nice size at 6'7" and 201 pounds. He's not the most impressive shooter, hitting 42.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range. However, he has good ball-handling skills, court vision and ability to create shots, per DraftExpress.com.
Satoransky might not be ready to enter the NBA in 2012-13, but after another year of development in Spain, he could become a good offensive player for the Nuggets.
51. (2nd Round, 21st Pick) Boston Celtics: Kris Joseph, Syracuse
The Celtics will go for bench scoring late in the second round by drafting Kris Joseph.
Joseph is a good shooter, particularly from three-point range, though he stumbled late in the season. His three-point mark fell from 36.8 percent to 34.5 down the stretch, as he hit just five of 23 from three in March.
He has some ability to score inside the arc, as shown by his 46.7 percent two-point percentage.
Many of his offensive tools need improvement, but he can still provide a little burst of scoring.
52. (2nd Round, 22nd Pick) Golden State Warriors: Hollis Thompson, Georgetown
The Warriors will look to solidify the small-forward position late in the draft by picking Hollis Thompson. Thompson is a nice offensive player. He averaged 12.8 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting, including 43 percent from three-point range.
He also defends well, using his length to keep opponents in check.
53. (2nd Round, 23rd Pick) Los Angeles Clippers: Khris Middleton, Texas A&M
The Clippers will add a wingman late in the draft by taking Khris Middleton. Middleton can score well, although he isn't very efficient, scoring 13.2 points on 12.3 field-goal attempts per game and 41.5 percent shooting.
As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, Middleton is good at scoring off the dribble and on mid-range jumpers, but he isn't good at catch-and-shoot jumpers and struggled from beyond the arc last season.
The Clippers could find him to be an effective scorer who can grow into a versatile offensive player. Playing with Chris Paul could help Middleton develop into a real scoring threat in the pros.
54. (2nd Round, 24th Pick) Philadelphia 76ers: Tu Holloway, Xavier
The 76ers will put another guy in their bin of talented guards as they draft Tu Holloway. The former Xavier point guard is short, at just 6', but is muscular and long with a wingspan of 6'4.5".
Holloway uses a good amount of his offense to create for himself. He averaged 17.5 points per game in 2011-12 and had just 4.8 assists. DraftExpress.com identified him as a jump shooter who largely relies upon pull-up jumpers.
He's still developing his passing ability, and will have to continue to learn to create for others in the pros.
55. (2nd Round, 25th Pick) Dallas Mavericks: Henry Sims, Georgetown
The Mavericks need to find a center for the future. Brendan Haywood is on the wrong side of 30. Ian Mahimi can make an impact, but he'll need help since he can't be expected to play 35 minutes per game.
Henry Sims would be a nice pick at this point in the draft. Despite not being too muscular, Sims is effective in the post. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he has good moves inside and does a number of things fairly well in creating for himself. He also passes very well.
The big problem in his game is his poor rebounding ability. Perhaps he could improve that with added muscle.
56. (2nd Round, 26th Pick) Toronto Raptors: J'Covan Brown, Texas
J'Covan Brown would be another great addition to help increase scoring for the Raptors. Brown averaged 20.1 points per game on 41.7 percent shooting. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he's mostly a jump shooter who doesn't always take the best shots.
Even in small spurts, Brown would be able to boost scoring in Toronto.
57. (2nd Round, 27th Pick) Brooklyn Nets: Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
Jordan Taylor is a small, yet strong point guard who could be a good aide off the bench for the Nets. Taylor controlled the ball well in 2011-12, turning it over just 1.6 times per game.
Taylor is also a great defender. As his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he shows great awareness, works hard and uses his hands well.
58. (2nd Round, 28th Pick) Minnesota Timberwolves: Herb Pope, Seton Hall
The Minnesota Timberwolves will pick up a backup front man in Herb Pope near the end of the draft. Pope is a good rebounder and shot-blocker. He had an impressive 14 rebounds per 40 minutes, per DraftExpress.com. He follows the ball well and plays the boards with great energy.
Also, Pope's 7' wingspan and great physical strength allow him to rack up blocks.
59. (2nd Round, 29th Pick) San Antonio Spurs: Marcus Denmon, Missouri
As the San Antonio Spurs look for scoring for the future, they'll be taking Marcus Denmon in the second round.
Denmon is a solid shooter. He averaged 17.7 points per game on 46 percent shooting and 40.7 percent from three-point range in 2011-12. Also, he did a remarkable job at the free-throw line, knocking down 89.6 percent of his attempts.
His size (6'3" and 186 pounds) is unimpressive, but he's aggressive enough to get by at the pro level.
60. (2nd Round, 30th Pick) Los Angeles Lakers: Dee Bost, Mississippi St.
The Los Angeles Lakers could use a backup point guard. As they look across the landscape at the end of the draft, they shouldn't look any farther than Dee Bost. Bost did a superb job at Mississippi State, averaging 15.8 points and 5.5 assists per game.
His DraftExpress.com profile notes that he has good court vision, but often makes poor decisions. Overall, he can pass well. He simply needs to focus on making better decisions.
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