NBA Draft 2012: 7 Projected Second-Round Picks Who Will Turn out to Be Steals

Luis BatlleContributor IJune 28, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: 7 Projected Second-Round Picks Who Will Turn out to Be Steals

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    In spite of the hype surrounding the first-round prospects, there are several second-round picks in the 2012 NBA draft sure to impress.

    Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor leads the list of second-round talent worth gambling on. Playing an integral role in the success of a top-notch program makes this special player a sure-fire steal.

    As a result of a plethora of talent that this 2012 draft class boasts, there is no question teams will be picking up steals in the second-round selections.

    These are the seven players that teams can bank on being steals in this year's draft.

William Buford (SG, Ohio State)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 14.5

    Assists: 2.7

    Rebounds: 5.0

    FG%: 41.9

    Breaking it Down:

    William Buford won't out quick a defender, nor burst to the rim with any sort of explosion, but sure enough this is a player that finds ways to score the basketball.

    A shooting guard that plays like a small forward, Buford would make a solid wing player coming off the bench for any team. He boasts a reliable jump shot and a strong basketball IQ. His play was essential to the success of Ohio State, even though it was Jared Sullinger getting the majority of the credit.

    His game will undoubtedly have to improve to earn starters minutes, yet there is no doubt this player has potential at the professional level.

Miles Plumlee (C, Duke)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 6.6

    Assists: 0.5

    Rebounds: 7.1

    FG%: 61.0

    Breaking it Down:

    The numbers are nowhere near impressive, but keep in mind this was a talent that played behind as solid a frontcourt as there is in basketball. Whether it was Ryan Kelly or brother Mason, there is no question Miles' production was low because of his teammates' contributions.

    Not to mention, these numbers come in just 20 minutes per game. Considering he grabs over seven boards per game in such scarce minutes is impressive to say the least.

    Coming from a solid program under Coach K, this is certainly a player that will prove to be both coachable and productive with time.

Evan Fournier (SF, France)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 14.0

    Assists: 2.2

    Rebounds: 3.2

    FG %: 42.5

    Breaking it Down:

    This international prospect is just 19 years old, as the risk in taking this talent is that he is far too inexperienced and ill-prepared for the NBA.

    Yet given his superior length and athleticism, there is no question Fournier can bang bodies with other SG and SF at the position. A shooting guard or swingman, this is a talent that will make his presence felt as a scorer in the league.

    He is a strong passer as well, as his length gives him exceptional vision in the half-court set. This aggressive playmaker will be a positive asset to any team in the league. 

Khris Middleton (SF, Texas A&M)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 13.2

    Assists: 2.3

    Rebounds: 5.0

    FG%: 41.5

    Minutes: 28.8

    Breaking it Down:

    Khris Middleton is as complete of a SF as a team could ask for, boasting solid rebounding, shooting and defending in his arsenal.

    Easily the best player for his Aggies, the South Carolina-native has three years of college ball under his belt. The junior was especially solid last season, averaging 13.2 points per contest. The risk with Middleton in his tendency to rely on the jumper as oppose to taking the ball to the basket.  If he is coached to stay in the paint and use his size, this is a player that has a significant upside.

Darius Johnson-Odom (SG, Marquette)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 18.3

    Assists: 2.7

    Rebounds: 3.5

    FG%: 44.7

    Breaking it Down:

    Three years of Big East basketball have prepared Johnson-Odom especially well for the NBA.

    There is no question Johnson-Odom has a special understanding and feel for the game, as his intelligent plays proved time and time again for his Golden Eagles. It was his play that made Marquette the team they were last season, finishing at an impressive 27-8 on the year.

    Johnson-Odom was not only a solid scorer and decision maker, but more importantly, he was a winner in his three years with the program. Picking Johnson-Odom in this draft is the right move for any team, as his experience at the college level will make him an immediate impact player in the league.

Will Barton (SF, Memphis)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 18.0

    Assists: 2.9

    Rebounds: 8.0

    FG%: 50.9

    Breaking it Down:

    Teams know what they get when they take Will Barton. He's as pure of a scorer at the swingman spot as any in the draft class, and will get a chance to shine at the next level.

    He's a slim 6'6'', 174 pounds, as it is clear he is undersized at the small forward position. Yet his scoring mentality could easily have him moving over to the shooting guard spot in the league, where his size would be much less of a factor.

    Barton's 18 points per game and 50.9 shooting percentage is exactly why teams will get high reward from the talent. He isn't afraid to score, can rebound well and is accurate with his jump shot. These are qualities that could well separate him from the rest in the NBA.

Tyshawn Taylor (PG, Kansas)

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    The Numbers (per game):

    Points: 16.6

    Assists: 4.8

    Rebounds: 2.3

    FG%: 47.7

    Breaking it Down:

    Tyshawn Taylor is as overlooked of a point guard as any in the 2012 NBA Draft and will undoubtedly be a remarkable steal.

    Any team in the second-round lucky enough to scoop Taylor will bring in a 6'4'' point guard that will create matchup problems left and right. What makes Taylor all the more special is just how proficient a scorer he has become.

    Exploding in his senior season, Taylor posted 16.6 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting. It was his scoring load, along with Thomas Robinson's, that got Kansas to the national championship game. The win over North Carolina in the Elite Eight was easily his best game of the season, where Taylor scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out five assists.

    Easily the steal of the draft, Taylor will be a top-notch NBA player in due time.