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2012 NBA Mock Draft: An Early Look at Next Year's Stacked Draft Class

Andy BaileyFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2017

2012 NBA Mock Draft: An Early Look at Next Year's Stacked Draft Class

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    The 2012 NBA draft class looks like it has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory.  Because of an impending lockout, lottery talents such as Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger and others decided to return to college.  

    Those guys, along with several stellar incoming freshman will make this a very deep crop of prospects.  

    Without knowing how teams will fare this season and what exactly their rosters will look like next offseason, it's difficult to project how the 2012 draft's first round will look.  

    Nevertheless, here is an extremely early mock draft.

     

    You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter   @_Andy_Bailey

No. 1: Minnesota Timberwolves, Harrison Barnes

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Position: SF/SG

    Age: 19

    School: North Carolina

    Harrison Barnes enters this college season as a legitimate threat to win national player of the year.  He would have contended for the top overall pick this year but decided to return to North Carolina for his sophomore season instead.

    Look for improvement in his perimeter play this year, as he's been working on his guard skills at a camp run by Chris Paul.

    Barnes is the best player on the best team in the nation and is as safe a prediction for 2012's top pick as anyone right now.

No 2: Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Gilchrist

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Position: SF/SG

    Age: 17

    School: Kentucky

    John Calipari has shown that he has absolutely no reservations when it comes to taking one-and-done players.  Michael Gilchrist could be yet another player to go from Calipari freshman to lottery pick in a year.

    He's an extremely gifted athlete but needs a lot of work on his consistency from the perimeter.

No. 3: Toronto Raptors, Anthony Davis

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 209 lbs.

    Position: PF/SF

    Age: 18

    School: Kentucky

    As another big time recruit for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats, many think Anthony Davis may be the top overall pick in next summer's draft.  

    If the T'Wolves get that pick, it's hard to imagine David Kahn taking yet another tweener forward (they already have Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Derrick Williams).

No. 4: Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    Position: SG/PG

    Age: 18

    School: Florida

    He may be a little undersized for a shooting guard, but his excellent outside shooting could help space the floor for John Wall.

No. 5: Sacramento Kings, Perry Jones

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 235 lbs.

    Position: PF/SF

    Age: 19

    School: Baylor

    For months, Perry Jones was considered the top pick for the 2011 draft.  As he slowly started to slip down draft boards, Jones decided to return to Baylor for his sophomore season.

    He needs to show some improvement and polish in his overall game.  Especially if he wants to play on the wing at the next level.

No. 6: New Jersey Nets, Jared Sullinger

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 280 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 19

    School: Ohio State

    A frontcourt of Jared Sullinger and Brook Lopez could be lethal playing with a point guard like Deron Williams (assuming he signs an extension with the Nets).

No. 7: Detroit Pistons, James McAdoo

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 223 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 18

    School: North Carolina

    James McAdoo is heading to a team in Chapel Hill that is absolutely stacked.  He may be coming off the bench as a freshman but will still likely be a lottery pick if he declares for 2012 (a la Marvin Williams).

    He has great fundamentals and plays the game with a great deal of effort.

No. 8: Los Angeles Clippers, Austin Rivers

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 199 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 18

    School: Duke

    Imagine with me for a moment, a situation in which Eric Gordon and Dwight Howard are the principle assets involved in a trade sending the big man to team up with Blake Griffin in the Clipper's frontcourt.  

    Yeah, obviously not going to happen.

    Even with elite shooting guard Eric Gordon in place, there's still a chance the Clippers would take the extremely talented Austin Rivers.  He's a great shooter with a very high basketball IQ, and Gordon has the ability to switch to point guard if need be.

No. 9: Charlotte Bobcats, Terrence Jones

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 244 lbs.

    Position: PF/SF

    Age: 19

    School: Kentucky

    Much like Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones entered last season as one of the most highly touted freshman in the country.  Barnes started the year slow and finished hot, while Jones got off to a great start but saw his production taper off toward the end of the season.  

    Next year, they'll be two of the most talked about players in the country.

    He's listed as a power forward, but Jones great all-around game could allow him to play three (maybe even four) positions at the next level. 

No. 10: Milwaukee Bucks, Quincy Miller

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 18

    School: Baylor

    Baylor, of all teams, has an outside shot at having one of the very best frontcourts in the nation with Perry Jones and Quincy Miller.

    Miller is a versatile forward whose all-around game could allow him to play both the 3 and the 4.

No. 11: Golden State Warriors, John Henson

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 20

    School: North Carolina

    John Henson was a double-double machine last year, averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds in less than 27 minutes a game.

No. 12: Utah Jazz, Marquis Teague

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 178 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 18

    School: Kentucky

    Yet another incoming Calipari freshman.  Somehow, he always manages to get arguably the best point guard available.  This guy's recruiting classes are crazy.

    The Jazz have a great young core with four lottery picks from the last two years (Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks).  A fifth could give them their starting five for the next few years.

No. 13: Phoenix Suns, Kendall Marshall

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 188 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 19

    School: North Carolina

    If the Phoenix Suns finally move on from Steve Nash, they'll need a point guard for the future.  Kendall Marshall could be the best pure point guard in 2012's draft class.

    He wasn't made the starter until Larry Drew left the team, but he still managed to average 6.2 assists a game (great number for a college player).

No 14: Houston Rockets, Tyler Zeller

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    Height: 7'0"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    Position: C/PF

    Age: 21

    School: North Carolina

    The Rockets have a solid roster with no true center after the retirement of Yao Ming.  Zeller is an underrated prospect who could be a steal at this point in the first round.

No. 15: Indiana Pacers, Adonis Thomas

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 217 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 18

    School: Memphis

    There has been a lot of chatter on the Pacers possibly moving Danny Granger.  If that happens, they may start looking for a new small forward.

    Adonis Thomas has a lot of potential with his athleticism and basketball IQ.  He needs a lot of work on his perimeter skills though.

16: Philadelphia 76ers, Patric Young

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 245 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 19

    School: Florida

    Physically, Patric Young is extremely gifted.  He needs loads of work polishing his game though.

    The 76ers took center Nikola Vucevic this year and could pair Young with him in the frontcourt for the future.

17: New York Knicks, Lucas Nogueira

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 218 lbs.

    Position: C/PF

    Age: 18

    Country: Brazil

    The Knicks have a need for size and defense inside.  Nogueira is extremely raw but has some potential.

No. 18: Atlanta Hawks, Thomas Robinson

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 237 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 20

    School: Kansas

    Thomas Robinson was considered by many to be the most naturally talented forward on Kansas's roster. He backed up the Morris twins because he lacked experience.

    Like many young prospects, he's pretty raw.

No. 19: Memphis Grizzlies, Jeremy Lamb

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 19

    School: Connecticut

    The Huskies were a bit of a one-man show last season, but Jeremy Lamb showed signs of serious talent throughout the year.

    He's a great shooter and could fill a need for the Grizzlies if they end up trading O.J. Mayo.

No. 20: New Orleans Hornets, LeBryan Nash

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 19

    School: Oklahoma State

    He reportedly has some maturity issues, but Nash's extreme athleticism and NBA body could make him a hot commodity when he makes the leap to the next level.

No. 21: Portland Trail Blazers, Mason Plumlee

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 21

    School: Duke

    Honestly, I don't get the hype surrounding Duke's Mason Plumlee.  He does have great size and is fairly athletic, but I have a hard time seeing him doing much at the next level.

No. 22: Denver Nuggets, Festus Ezeli

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 255 lbs.

    Position: C

    Age: 21

    School: Vanderbilt

    Denver will need a center if they lose Nene.  Ezeli is a fairly talented center who could make an intriguing frontcourt mate for Kenneth Faried.

No. 23: Orlando Magic, Jeff Taylor

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    Position: SF/SG

    Age: 22

    School: Vanderbilt

    If they lose Dwight Howard, Orlando could be in full-scale rebuilding mode next offseason.  Finding a good replacement for Hedo Turkoglu would be a good place to start.

No. 24: Boston Celtics, Khris Middleton

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 19

    School: Texas A&M

    Boston drafted possible replacements for "big three" members Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett when they took former Purdue Boilermakers E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson this year.  

    Next year, they may take a small forward to learn from Paul Pierce.

No. 25: Oklahoma City Thunder, C.J. Leslie

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 206 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 20

    School: North Carolina State

    If he develops more of a perimeter game, he could emerge as a solid combo-forward to backup Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

No. 26: Dallas Mavericks, Tony Wroten Jr.

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 205 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 18

    School: Washington

    Jason Kidd can't play forever.  Tony Wroten has the potential to be a great point guard but is a bit raw right now.  Put two and two together, and you can see how this team and this player may come together.

    He's extremely athletic and has displayed great court vision and elite passing ability at the high school level.

No. 27: Los Angeles Lakers, Doron Lamb

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 19

    School: Kentucky

    Doron Lamb may be the best shooter in next year's draft.  As a freshman, he averaged 12.3 points a game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 49 percent from three-point range.

No. 28: Miami Heat, Joshua Smith

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 320 lbs.

    Position: C

    Age: 19

    School: UCLA

    He'll probably have to cut a lot of weight leading up to the draft, but Josh Smith's powerful game, soft hands and rebounding ability could still get him drafted in the first round.

No. 29: San Antonio Spurs, Myck Kabongo

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 170 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 18

    School: Texas

    Things are pretty rocky between Tony Parker and the Spurs organization right now.  They took Texas point guard Cory Joseph this year, but I have a hard time seeing him pan out.

     Will they take another shot at a Longhorn with Myck Kabongo?

No. 30: Chicago Bulls, Marcus Jordan

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    Position: SG/PG

    Age: 20

    School: Central Florida

    The Bulls have yet to address their big need at shooting guard.  They'll probably try to take care of it in free agency this summer, but they may still look to add depth in next year's draft.

    Why Michael Jordan's Son Marcus May be the Answer Can be Found HERE.

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