There were several notable names that fell to the second round in the 2012 NBA draft Thursday night, but there were also a handful of lesser-known players taken that could become stars at the next level.
Orlando Johnson may have played for a small school, but he has the potential to make an impact at the next level with his dynamic scoring and athleticism. Drafted to the Indiana Pacers at No. 35, Johnson should be able to provide quality minutes off the bench at either shooting guard or small forward.
Khris Middleton is another player who is going to succeed, despite slipping to the second round. His all-around game has very few holes, and his ability to knock down mid-range jump shots is better than most small forwards in this class. The Pistons were wise to overlook Middleton’s injury history and take him at No. 39.
Kostas Papanikolaou was one of many European players to go in the first round, but he is a unique talent that the Knicks were lucky to snatch at No. 48. While perimeter shooting is his greatest asset, he is an above-average defender at either forward spot and plays with high energy. While Papanikolaou won’t come over to the NBA right away, he will make a name for himself down the road.
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