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2012 NBA Draft Selections: Biggest Steals of 2nd Round

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts as he runs back down court in the second half while taking on the Louisville Cardinals during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 29, 2012

It's one thing to grab a steal at the end of the first round of the NBA draft, but when you land a first-round prospect in the second round, that's another thing entirely.

The 2012 NBA draft was like any other NBA draft: full of surprises. Some current playoff contenders lucked out in the second round, while some bottom-feeders may have gotten that much closer to making it to the postseason.

Here's a look at my top five second-round steals of the 2012 NBA draft.

Note: Prospects are ranked based on when they were selected, not necessarily their talent level.

 

5. Milwaukee Bucks, No. 42: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after making a three-pointer in the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercede
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Doron Lamb is not only one of the best perimeter shooters in the draft, he has the demeanor on the floor to be a key piece coming off the bench for a championship contender.

Lamb averaged 13.7 points for the Wildcats during their championship run, shooting 47 percent from the floor and 46 percent from downtown. There are questions about his size as a shooting guard (6'4"), but his wingspan (6'7") will help him in that regard. 

 

4. Portland Trail Blazers, No. 40: Will Barton, SG, Memphis

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 16:  Will Barton #5 of the Memphis Tigers dribbles the ball against the Saint Louis Billikens during the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament on March 16, 2012 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Ge
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

I'm personally a big fan of Will Barton. He was a legit first-round draft pick for me this year.

Barton has the ability to be a starter at the 2 spot for the Blazers. He improved his jump shooting exponentially in his sophomore season at Memphis, his length and athleticism create problems on both sides of the floor and he may be the best rebounding guard in the class.

 

3. Denver Nuggets, No. 38: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Quincy Miller #30 of the Baylor Bears cleebrates during their 75 to 70 win over the Xavier Musketeers during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Quincy Miller has the explosiveness and athleticism to be a star in the NBA; but tearing his ACL certainly didn't help his draft stock, and he was inconsistent when he did play at Baylor.

He's one of those guys, like teammate Perry Jones III, who has the ability to be an impact player if he can put it all together. A low-risk, high reward pick for the Nuggets here.

 

2. Charlotte Bobcats, No. 31: Jeffrey Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - MARCH 17:  Jeffery Taylor #44 of the Vanderbilt Commodores reacts during the first half of the game against the Wisconsin Badgers during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Pit on March 17, 2012 in Albuque
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jeffrey Taylor is another one of those guys who I'm really high on. You look at the complete package he is on the floor and it's no wonder why he was being projected as a first-round pick by many draft experts.

Taylor has always been known for his explosiveness and athleticism, but he developed a more consistent perimeter game in his senior year at Vanderbilt. He also has the ability to be a lockdown defender. What else could you ask for?

 

1. Golden State Warriors, No. 35: Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates after a basket against the St. Louis Billikens in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 201
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Here's a guy I thought could have gone as early as No. 26 to the Indiana Pacers. A lot of draft experts had him in the first round at least. But getting him at No. 35 overall? What a steal.

There are questions about Green's overall athleticism and "tweener" size, but you watch him play and you can see him on a championship contender coming off the bench. His ability to play point-forward and demeanor on the floor are no doubt valuable.

Chad Ford of ESPN compared his potential to that of Shane Battier—he won't be a star, but he can be an impact player off the bench.

 

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