Players rise and fall on and before draft day, no matter what the draft is. There were many talented players who were overlooked and fell out of the lottery in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Some of those players will be steals for the teams that got them, while others will turn out to be busts that everyone else is glad they avoided. Either way, each of these young men will be intriguing to watch as they begin their NBA career.
Here are five players who were overlooked and picked outside the lottery, despite having lottery-caliber talent.
Perry Jones III fell for one big reason. A report came out that he had been red-flagged by some doctors for a knee issue. Whether he has knee issues or not, Jones is a steal at No. 28 for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jones has great size at 6'11" and can score from anywhere on the floor. He's extremely athletic, runs the floor very well for his size and could even play the small forward some, making him a matchup nightmare.
There will be a lot of teams that regret passing on a player as talented as this one.
Jared Sullinger's story will go down as a cautionary tale about striking while the iron is hot. This kid could have been a sure-fire top 10 pick last season if he'd left college and entered the draft. On Thursday, he ended up going No. 21 overall to Boston. That's a lot of money he lost.
However, if he can be successful in the NBA, he could change the story. Sullinger is very skilled in the low post and is very strong. His rebounding and scoring abilities make up for his lackluster skills on the defensive end and his lack of athleticism.
If he can learn in the great Celtics organization, he could prove a lot of people wrong.
Moultrie is long and athletic and can score from inside and out. He's also got great quickness and can really rebound the ball on the offensive end. The fact that this guy was overlooked is a crime, but it will pay off for him. He'll thrive in Philadelphia's offensive system.
Terrence Jones would have been a much higher pick had he come out after his freshman year last season. He went lower in this draft, but he did improve as a player in that extra year in college.
Jones is an explosive athlete that can do a little bit of everything for his team. He is a bit of a tweener between the small forward and power forward positions though. He's not quite skilled enough to be a small forward but not quite big enough to be great at the power forward.
However, if Houston knows how to use him, he has the potential to be a big game-changer.
When we look back on this draft years from now, Tyler Zeller could be remembered as the best big man of this draft class. The Cavaliers needed a center and were lucky to get him after he dropped out of the lottery.
Zeller has a nice touch around the basket, is athletic and runs the floor very well. He also has a decent jumper outside the paint and can rebound very well. There are some questions about his leaping ability and his strength, but the upside outweighs those.
He'll play immediately and will flourish playing with a point guard like Kyrie Irving. Cleveland now has the big man it needed.