2012 NBA Draft: 2nd-Round Players Who Will Shine
The 2012 NBA draft came and went, producing what could be one of the strongest rookie classes in a half-decade when it's all said and done.
Thursday's draft was crammed with top-notch prospects and, subsequently, many of college basketball's brightest stars were shelved for the second round.
Jam-packed with trades and upsets, Round 2 of the draft may yield some of 2012's best talents. Take a look at these players who will shine in the pros.
Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, Los Angeles Lakers (No. 55)
Johnson-Odom was simply in the right place at the right time.
Originally drafted by Dallas, the Marquette sharp-shooter now finds himself in Hollywood alongside Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. After averaging over 18 points and shooting over 45 percent from the field, Johnson-Odom joins a perennial competitor who needs help on the wings.
The Raleigh, N.C. native can be lethal from the perimeter, and he could immediately play a role off the bench in the Lakers' nuanced system. ESPN's Jay Bilas praises his work ethic, and L.A. general manager Mitch Kupchak had Johnson-Odom much higher than No. 55 on his board of available talents.
Good shooters tend to find their niche in the pros, and behind Bryant, Johnson-Odom could shine in time.
Kim English, SG, Detroit Pistons (No. 44)
English is another pro-ready second-rounder. Draft Express called him the only NBA-looking talent at a Nets training session, and after putting up a healthy 52.1 percent from the floor for Missouri, he could be a serious difference-maker in the Motor City.
At 23 years old, English has the court smarts and the skills to thrive in the wings. Detroit has quietly assembled a slew of young stars in guards Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight and bigs Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The former Tiger is a great fit in an upswing system.
CBS Sports graded English's selection as one of the best in the second round. Detroit may have found themselves a diamond in the rough.
Will Barton, SG, Portland Trail Blazers (No. 40)
Barton averaged over 18 a night at Memphis, and he fits well with a speedy, upstart Portland team.
The Conference USA Player of the Year as a sophomore, Barton has ideal wing size and drastically improved his field-goal and three-point percentage from his freshman campaign. Coupled with Weber State 1-guard Damian Lillard, he could get plenty of minutes early on.
At one point, Barton was slated at the tail end of the first round. Now, he's a bona fide steal at No. 40.
Quincy Miller, SF, Denver Nuggets (No. 38)
A player many considered a surefire mid-first-rounder, Miller wound up falling well into the second. Such is life on draft night.
Miller offers a mechanical jump shot, reliable defense and an offense that can be created off his own dribble. He shot over 45 percent from the field in 2011-12, and at age 19, he only stands to develop further.
Denver's throng of talented wing players will have Miller involved early on, and his wingspan tops 7'1". Critics point to his lack of basketball smarts and above-rim explosiveness, but Miller makes up for it with hustle and a sturdy perimeter game.
Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors (No. 35)
2012's NABC National Player of the Year and a consensus First-Team All-American, Draymond Green has colossal upside and a promising future in the Bay.
Green's rebounding prowess and raw athleticism make him a great fit for Golden State's retooled frontcourt, and paired with North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (No. 7) and Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeli (No. 30), the Dubs should be productive in 2012-13 and beyond.
At 6'7", Green could fit at the 3 or 4, and he offers a pro-ready post game. Michigan State's all-time career leader on the glass is an NBA natural.
Jeffery Taylor, PF, Charlotte Bobcats (No. 31)
Another projected first-rounder in consensus mocks, Taylor bears semblance to new teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Both offer pure athleticism, able wing defense and an explosive rim presence.
Taylor shot over 42 percent from downtown and averaged nearly 16 points and six boards a game at Vanderbilt. Like Green, Taylor stands at 6'7" and promotes ever-needed position flexibility.
As a senior, Taylor's game has taken huge strides, and production at the pro level is the next step.