Breaking Down Which 2012 2nd-Round Draft Picks Will Succeed in the NBA
Every season there are "diamonds in the rough" that slip into the second round of the NBA draft for numerous reasons.
Some talented players fall out of the first round due to injury history. Others see their stock take a hit because they are deemed as "undersized," have alleged character issues or due to a handful of other red flags that swayed teams away from selecting them in the first round, where their salaries would have been guaranteed.
The 2012 NBA draft was no different, with a handful of potential immediate rotation players available for teams willing to take a small risk on them. Let's take a look at a few second-round steals that should have an impact during the 2012-2013 season.
Jeff Taylor—Selected 31st overall by the Charlotte Bobcats
An NBA team can never have too many perimeter defenders, and this is an area where Taylor is already ahead of the curve. Taylor's athleticism, length and quick feet will allow him to guard anywhere from the 1-4 positions, if needed.
Taylor resembles current Thunder defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha. In the NBA Summer League, Taylor displayed offensive skills and a smooth shooting stroke from three-point range that may eventually make him a very rich man's version of Sefolosha.
The youthful Bobcats have a bit of a logjam at the shooting guard and small forward positions, but Taylor's versatility and defensive prowess will make it difficult for new Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap to keep him off the floor.
Draymond Green—Selected 35th overall by the Golden State Warriors
Despite being named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Green unexpectedly slipped out of the first round due to being labeled a "tweener" and having limited athleticism. At just 6'7" and 236 lbs, Green lacks the ideal height of an NBA power forward—a position he excelled in at Michigan State.
After registering only a 33-inch vertical at the NBA combine, Green isn't what a pro team looks for at the small forward position either.
Green does stand out in the fact that he was one of the most versatile players in all of college basketball last season, leading the Spartans in scoring (16.2 PPG), rebounding (10.6 RPG) and assists (3.8 APG).
Green initiated Michigan State's offense on more occasions than not and also knocked down 38.8 percent of his three-point attempts. His leadership qualities and overall athleticism will fit in perfectly in a jack-of-all-trades reserve role for the young Warriors, whose roster, at least on paper, appears to focus on versatility at multiple positions.
Quincy Acy—Selected 37th overall by the Toronto Raptors
An NBA franchise can never have enough "glue" guys on its roster—the type of players that will do the dirty work necessary to win basketball games. Acy is one of those players. Acy is a scrappy, undersized power forward with a ton of energy and athleticism, making him a valuable asset as a backup big for the injury-prone Raptors.
Acy's game favors that of NBA veteran Reggie Evans, but with more refined offensive skills. Acy averaged 12-plus PPG over his junior and senior seasons on a loaded Baylor squad. He also shot .782 from the free-throw line, which is stellar for a frontcourt player on any level.
The Raptors have about $13.5 million committed to incumbent reserve forward Amir Johnson over the next two seasons, but if the ultra-athletic Acy can impress in however many minutes he plays this season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Johnson sent packing.
Doron Lamb—Selected 42nd overall by the Milwaukee Bucks
While his other Kentucky teammates were more high profile, no player besides No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis was arguably more valuable to the Wildcats than Doron Lamb. When the Wildcats needed a big shot, Lamb was usually the one to take it. His performance in the National Championship Game is evidence of Lamb's value; he scored a game-high 22 points on an efficient 12 shots.
Lamb is joining a Milwaukee team that is poised to make a playoff push. Though playing behind notorious gunners Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Lamb should find his niche as a combo guard sooner rather than later.
Lamb can get to the basket and is a much better outside shooter than he is given credit for. Players of Lamb's caliber with championship pedigree typically fall toward the end of the first round, so the Bucks may very well have landed one of the best steals in the entire 2012 draft.
Kyle O'Quinn—Selected 49th overall by the Orlando Magic
After finally trading Dwight Howard, the Magic are in full rebuilding mode, which is great news for O'Quinn. The 6'10" power forward from Norfolk State raised some eyebrows when he torched Missouri for 26 points and 14 rebounds in the NCAA tournament after averaging a steady 16.0 PPG and 10.3 RPG during the regular season.
O'Quinn also displayed solid post moves and a soft touch from about 15 feet during Summer League play. He appears to have the drive to carve out a niche as a serviceable NBA big man for years to come.
With O'Quinn and first-round pick Andrew Nicholson, Orlando may have a couple of post options to build on for the future.
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