NBA Draft 2012: 15 Crazy Things to Watch for
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are finally mere hours away from the heart-pumping excitement that is the NBA draft.
As an NBA fan, it really doesn't get any better than sitting in front of your TV on a Thursday night as you watch the future of the league unfold right before your eyes.
What 2012 will have in store for us is anybody's guess, but you can bet that it will easily be the most exciting event on the NBA calendar.
Here is a look at the 15 craziest things you should look for when you tune into the 2012 NBA draft on Thursday.
Anthony Davis' Unibrow
Anthony Davis has officially made the unibrow look his own now that he has actually trademarked it, according to MSNBC.com.
No longer will we see novelty t-shirts with Davis' mono-browed silhouette next to the words "Fear The Brow" or "Raise The Brow."
We all know that Davis will be selected by the New Orleans Hornets with the first pick in the draft, but how will his famous unibrow look when he walks out on stage to shake hands with commissioner David Stern?
In fact, I bet if you plucked that bad boy right off Davis' head and stood it up straight, it would see eye-to-eye with Stern.
Anthony Davis and his infamous unibrow will be scaring opposing teams for years to come, and I can't wait to see him sport his trademark as the top pick on draft night.
What Will Charlotte Do with the No. 2 Pick?
After missing out on the No. 1 pick thanks to the full-proof lottery system, the NBA's worst team last season has several options with the No. 2 pick.
If the Charlotte Bobcats decide to keep the second overall pick, they would likely choose Kansas' Thomas Robinson, Florida's Bradley Beal, Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or North Carolina's Harrison Barnes.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio thinks that Thomas Robinson is the front-runner if Charlotte keeps the pick, but it appears the selection is fairly wide open at this point.
Another option for the Bobcats is to trade down and acquire a few picks to try to improve at several positions.
With no surefire No. 2 prospect behind Anthony Davis, it might be wise for Charlotte to trade its first-round pick for several picks. If there is a team that desperately needs an influx of quality talent in their organization, it is the Bobcats.
According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, the Bobcats are in fact shopping the No. 2 overall pick, as long as they can also get rid of Tyrus Thomas' expensive $26 million contract.
Although Thomas is coming off a terrible season where he only averaged 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds, there should be a number of teams looking to acquire Charlotte's first-round pick.
While the first pick of the 2012 NBA draft is already set in stone, the real excitement for fans will begin with Charlotte's decision of what to do with the second pick.
How High Will Former No. 1 Recruit Harrison Barnes Go?
Coming out of high school in 2010, Harrison Barnes was ranked the No. 1 player in the nation, according to ESPN.com.
While Barnes had a reasonably successful two years playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels, he wasn't able to repeat the same hype coming out of high school.
However, Barnes has been impressing several teams with early picks at pre-draft workouts, and as a result, his stock has shoot up recently.
In fact, most mock drafts don't have Barnes falling past the Kings with the No. 5 pick, and there are even rumors the Bobcats could be targeting him with the No. 2 selection.
Harrison Barnes was one of the most scrutinized players in college basketball the past couple of years, and he will also be one of the most closely watched prospects as the 2012 NBA draft unfolds.
The 2012 Draft Class' Dress Attire
When you have young kids with millions of dollars in their near future picking out their wardrobe for national television, you are bound to run into some high-priced fashion disasters.
While Joakim Noah looked like an absolute clown in his draft day attire, my personal favorite still goes to current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose for this red nightmare in 1994.
Will we see a 2012 prospect take his place in history among terrible suits? More importantly, will Anthony Davis wear a bolo tie to go perfectly perpendicular to his trademark unibrow?
Make sure you watch closely as the 2012 NBA draft class shows if they have fashion sense to back up their game.
Which Team Will Take a Chance on Andre Drummond?
One of the teams picking in the lottery on Thursday will see the potential in Connecticut center Andre Drummond and make him a first-round pick.
The question is which team is willing to take that gamble on a player who could just as easily be the next Andrew Bynum or the next Hasheem Thabeet?
The Draft Express profile on Drummond shows the incredible upside that the 7'0", 279 lb. monster has on the court.
Besides inevitable first overall pick Anthony Davis, there might not be a player in the entire draft with as much potential as Drummond.
But in his freshman year at Connecticut, Drummond left a lot of questions about his work ethic and maturity on the minds of scouts.
The team that is sold on Drummond's potential and can convince themselves that his issues are just the normal progressions of an 18-year-old superstar will draft the center early in the first round.
As one of the most talked about prospects expected to in the top-10 picks, Andre Drummond is a player you will want to keep an eye on when the draft arrives.
Will the Los Angeles Lakers Make a Big Move on Draft Day?
After a depressing playoff series defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it became very clear that the Los Angeles Lakers need to get younger and more athletic to remain a threat in the Western Conference.
Kobe Bryant is still an elite player in the NBA, but he won't be able to carry this team all the way to the Western Conference championship let alone the finals by himself.
As a result, the Lakers have been involved in a series of rumors that could see them trade away some of their valuable big men in an effort to please Kobe.
According to Chad Ford and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Lakers have indeed been shopping around Pau Gasol in an attempt to acquire a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
If the Lakers were able to acquire one of the top picks, Mike Bresnehan of the Los Angeles Times reported that they would be interested in Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Kidd-Gilchrist would be an excellent addition to Los Angeles, not only giving them youth and athleticism but also a high-intensity player on the defensive end.
As the draft gets closer it is becoming clearer that Pau Gasol's time in Los Angeles has come to an end. One of the most interesting things to watch on Thursday will be where the seven-footer ends up and what the Lakers can get in return.
How High Will Weber State Star Damian Lillard Go?
When one thinks of NBA talent hotbeds, Weber State is not usually one of the first colleges that comes to mind.
Yet, Damian Lillard is ready to go down in history as the first player from Weber State to get drafted in the first round after leading the country in scoring last year with 24.5 points per game.
In fact, Lillard has been one of the highest risers in this year's draft, impressing scouts with his all-around scoring ability and athleticism.
Draft Express has the mid-major superstar ranked as the top point guard and most experts see him as the No. 6 overall selection to the Portland Trail Blazers.
It is not often that we get to see a player of Lillard's talent ascend to the NBA from a school of such irrelevance as Weber State. His selection in the first round will be one of the more interesting things to follow on Thursday.
Will the Atlanta Hawks Move Josh Smith on Draft Day?
As reported by Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Josh Smith wanted out of Atlanta back in March.
Smith is still in a Hawks uniform, but there is a significant possibility he could be on the move as part of a draft-day deal.
The most recent rumor involving Smith also involves the previously talked about Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers.
In a tweet, Mike Bresnehan of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Hawks were interested in acquiring Gasol and that Smith would be going the other way in any deal.
Gasol, who averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season, would pair with Al Horford down low to create a formidable frontcourt for Atlanta. He would also have guard Joe Johnson to work with.
Smith would take his 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game to Los Angeles where he would be a younger, more athletic third option behind Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
The Atlanta Hawks seem determined to move Josh Smith at some point during the 2012 NBA draft and the development of any deal will certainly be something to watch as the day unfolds.
Activity of Teams with Multiple First-Round Picks
Having multiple first-round picks can really benefit an organization by allowing it to either stockpile young talent or create an enticing package in an effort to trade for a top pick or a star player.
In the 2012 NBA draft, the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics will all select more than once.
It appears that the Rockets are just gathering first-rounders to trade for a pair of top-10 picks as bargaining chips in acquiring a certain Orlando Magic center.
According to Steve Kyler of Hoops World, the Cavs have an offer on the table for the Bobcats' No. 2 overall pick in exchange for the No. 4 and No. 24 picks.
If Cleveland doesn't make any moves, they will end up taking Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal or Harrison Barnes at No. 4.
The Trail Blazers are the only team currently with two picks in the top-12, and they don't appear to be moving off of those two spots.
The Draft Express' most recent mock draft has Portland selecting point guard Damian Lillard at No. 6 and forward John Henson with the No. 11 pick.
The Boston Celtics own the No. 21 and 22 picks, and they don't appear to be very serious about moving up or down in the draft.
The Draft Express mock draft has Boston selecting the talented but troubled forward Royce White at No. 21 and St. Bonaventure forward Andrew Nicholson with at No. 22.
There will undoubtedly be a lot of movement in the draft order before the 2012 NBA draft is finished, and there is a great chance that teams with multiple picks in the first round will be at the center of the excitement.
How Far Will Ohio State's Jared Sullinger Fall?
Jared Sullinger was a dominant inside force in his two years for Ohio State, averaging 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in leading the Buckeyes to the Final Four last March.
Considered one of the top power forward prospects coming out of college, Sullinger is currently ranked by Draft Express as the No. 6 player in the 2012 draft class.
So why is he sliding down draft boards so far that he was not even invited to draft?
While there were some questions about his true position in the NBA, Sullinger was "medically red-flagged" by NBA doctors due to some back concerns which caused several teams to cross him off their lists.
The most recent Draft Express mock draft has Sullinger going to the Orlando Magic with the No. 19 pick in the first round.
While any hopes of being a lottery pick are probably gone, Jared Sullinger is still a two-time All-American with tremendous upside in his 6'8" frame and could be a steal for whoever picks him later in the first round.
As the lottery picks dwindle down, make sure you keep an eye on Sullinger as his free fall down draft boards will certainly be a hot topic of discussion.
Will the New York Knicks Make a Big Move on Draft Day?
The Knicks are always represented well by their fans on draft day, and they hit a home run when they drafted Iman Shumpert in 2011.
Without a first-round pick due to the Tracy McGrady trade (yeah, I don't remember it either), will the Knicks make a big move on Thursday?
The simple answer is no.
The Knicks have no pieces to offer clubs in a position to trade their first-round pick, and they will have to settle for whatever player they take with the No. 48 pick in the second round.
Despite the lone low pick, Jared Zwerling over at ESPN New York gives Knicks fans a good outline of what they can expect on draft day.
How Many First-Round Picks Will Kentucky and John Calipari Supply?
The Kentucky Wildcats are coming off a remarkable 38-2 season that ended with a magical run in the NCAA Tournament and a National Championship for coach John Calipari.
The success prompted virtually every important player for Calipari to declare for the NBA draft, and now the National Champions have an opportunity to dominate the first round.
In the 2010 NBA draft, Calipari and Kentucky had a record five players drafted in the first round, and this year's group could actually top that number.
Anthony Davis is a lock for the first overall pick, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should picked shortly after that.
Terrence Jones is expected to be a late-lottery pick and Marquis Teague is expected to go in the mid-late portion of the first round.
While Doron Lamb and Darius Miller have the talent to be selected in the first round, they may need a little bit of that Kentucky magic from March to make this year's class the first to have six players picked.
Draft Express has Lamb and Miller each just missing out on the first round, getting selected with the No. 6 and No. 7 picks of the second round.
The 2011-2012 Kentucky basketball team has already gone down as one of the best college basketball teams of all-time and now they have the opportunity to also be the single best draft class from one school of all time as well.
What Will the Conference Champions Do on Draft Day?
It has been just one week since the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, and if there is a pair of teams that don't need to worry about the draft, it is these two.
However, with picks late in the first round, the Heat and the Thunder have great opportunities to add key role players to their already stellar rosters.
Miami owns the No. 27 pick in the draft and could really use some help down low as they lack premier size in the middle of the paint.
Draft Express has them selecting 6'11" Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli because he has all the tools to become an impact defender in time.
The mock draft also has the Thunder picking a Vanderbilt player with the No. 28 pick in swingman Jeff Taylor.
Taylor is a popular sleeper pick among experts, and the 6'7" super-athlete has the potential to be a great defender on the wing and has underrated scoring ability.
The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder established themselves as the teams to beat this past season, and two young prospects will have the opportunity to play for a championship right out of college.
Will a Potential Superstar Emerge from the Second-Round Picks?
There have been several recent second-round picks that have gone on to stardom in the NBA, including Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, Carlos Boozer and Gilbert Arenas, and this year's group has the potential to produce some impact players.
A personal favorite of mine, Campbell's Eric Griffin is more well-known for two highlight reel dunks right now, but he is a player with a very high ceiling.
Griffin is very raw in all phases of the game, but he does a good job finishing around the rim and can be a matchup nightmare for forwards.
Iona's Scott Machado has been a quick riser up draft boards since having a breakout senior season in which he averaged 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 9.9 assists per game.
Machado has incredible court vision and was virtually unstoppable when running the fast break in college.
These are just a couple of guys who could go in the second round who have superstar potential. Make sure you don't miss the next second-round steal when they are picked on draft day.
Will Dwight Howard Get Traded?
He was the most watched player when the trade deadline rolled around in March, and he will probably be the most watched player not getting drafted on Thursday.
While the 2012 NBA draft could very easily come and go without any real threat of a Howard trade, there will undoubtedly be unending speculation as to whether the All-Pro big man will be on the move.
There is not much to do as fans except sit back and enjoy the madness that will be Dwight Howard's trade rumors over the next day.
Outside of the actual selections in the 2012 NBA draft, the possibility of Dwight Howard getting traded will be the craziest thing to watch on Thursday night.