2012 NBA Mock Draft: Breaking Down All 30 First-Round Picks

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2011

2012 NBA Mock Draft: Breaking Down All 30 First-Round Picks

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    The NBA season hasn't even started yet, but it's never too early for a 2012 mock draft. 

    First though, a couple of ground rules for the draft. 

    The draft order was determined by my projected standings, which you can find in my article titled Full NBA Predictions for the 2011-12 Season. 

    For each pick, you'll see a brief bio of the player, complete with statistics through Sunday, December 18th and the player's rank in my Big Board, which you can find here. Finally, there will be a brief justification for each pick. 

    Enjoy the mock!

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis

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    School: Kentucky

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 1

     

    The Charlotte Bobcats have holes everywhere. Fortunately, one of them can be solved by Anthony Davis' unibrow. 

    Then again, what can't his unibrow fix?

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andre Drummond

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    School: Connecticut

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Power forward and center

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 2

     

    Andre Drummond may not have made much of an impact during the beginning of his freshman season, but he's still showed that he's a tremendous talent. 

    A physical specimen, Drummond has through-the-roof potential at either the power forward or center spot. Since the Cleveland Cavaliers need help at the five, this is a great fit for the team. 

3. Toronto Raptors: Harrison Barnes

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    School: North Carolina

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 3

     

    Jose Calderon and Jerry Bayless form a solid point guard rotation, DeMar DeRozan is the future at shooting guard, Ed Davis looks to be in a similar situation to DeRozan at power forward and Andrea Bargnani is at least serviceable. That leaves small forward as the position to fill. 

    It's hard to find a better small forward than Harrison Barnes in any year, much less in the 2012 class. 

4. New Orleans Hornets (From Los Angeles Clippers): Michael Kidd Gilchrist

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    School: Kentucky

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 4


     

    The New Orleans Hornets need a point guard or small forward more than anything else at this point, which makes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the only logical choice here, despite the ridiculous amount of talent left on the board. 

    MKG can simply do it all on the basketball court. He scores when he gets to the rim, he has a decent jump shot, he rebounds the ball quite well for his size and he plays lock-down defense. 

    I won't hesitate to say it: I love this guy's potential. 

5. Sacramento Kings: Jared Sullinger

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    School: Ohio State

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 16.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 5


    You know the draft class is stacked when a player as talented as Jared Sullinger is barely going in the top five of the draft. 

    The Ohio State big man is a tremendous all-around player and should be a star power forward in the NBA for years to come while teaming up with DeMarcus Cousins to form a potent frontcourt duo. 

6. Detroit Pistons: Jeremy Lamb

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    School: Connecticut 

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 6


    At this point, if Jeremy Lamb is available, you have to take him. 

7. Phoenix Suns: Marquis Teague

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    School: Kentucky

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 10.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 7

     

    Marquis Teague has talent brimming out of his Kentucky jersey, but he has yet to fully harness the potential. 

    What better situation for him to be drafted into than one that allows him to learn from the tutelage of Steve Nash, one of the greatest point guards of all time? 

8. Denver Nuggets: Austin Rivers

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    School: Duke

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 11

     

    This might be a little bit too early for Austin Rivers to go in the draft, but the Denver Nuggets don't have any better options. 

    Rivers has all the makings of a tremendous shooting guard in the NBA and the current players at that position on Denver's roster are...wait for it...Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer. 

9. New Jersey Nets: Perry Jones

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    School: Baylor

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 18.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists 

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 8

     

    If Perry Jones is available at this point, you take him. 

    Period. 

    End of story. 

10. Utah Jazz: Quincy Miller

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    School: Baylor

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 10

     

    The Utah Jazz are pretty set at every position other than small forward. They have Devin Harris and Earl Watson at point guard, Raja Bell and Gordon Hayward at shooting guard, Paul Milsap and Derrick Favors at power forward and Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter at center. 

    It seems pretty obvious to me that small forward should be their first priority. Quincy Miller is the most talented one left and it's really not even close. 

11. Utah Jazz (From Golden State Warriors): Bradley Beal

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    School: Florida

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 13

     

    Now set at every position after taking Quincy Miller with the No. 10 pick, the Utah Jazz should simply go for the most talented player left. 

    Look no further than Bradley Beal, a future Ray Allen currently playing at the University of Florida. 

12. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson

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    School: Kansas

    Year: Junior

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 12

     

    The New Orleans Hornets need a point guard more than anything else at this point after already drafting small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but there really aren't any that could justifiably be taken this high in the draft. 

    Instead, they should go the best player available route and take the double-double machine known as Thomas Robinson. 

13. Washington Wizards: John Henson

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    School: North Carolina

    Year: Junior

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 9

     

    The Washington Wizards have a ridiculous amount of athleticism and offense on their roster, so it's time to draft for defense. 

    John Henson is a shot-blocking machine for the North Carolina Tar Heels and should form a nice power forward duo with incoming rookie Jan Vesely. 

14. Milwaukee Bucks: Terrence Ross

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    School: Washington

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists 

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 14

     

    The Milwaukee Bucks need a shooting guard. A combo of Carlos Delfino and Mike Dunleavy simply won't cut it for a team on the verge of the playoffs. 

    Drafting Terrence Ross would add to the athleticism of this team and give them a better mix of offense and defense while forming a terrific backcourt duo of Ross and Brandon Jennings. 

15. New Jersey Nets (From Houston Rockets): Terrence Jones

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    School: Kentucky

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 15

     

    The New Jersey Nets have already grabbed Perry Jones in this draft, but that won't stop them from taking a combo-forward in Terrence Jones. 

    When motivated, Jones is unstoppable on the basketball court as he slashes to the left side of the rim. The only problem is that he's sometimes not quite focused enough. Leave it to Deron Williams to change that. 

16. Memphis Grizzlies: Tyler Zeller

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    School: North Carolina

    Year: Senior

    Position: Power forward and center

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 16

     

    The Memphis Grizzlies don't really have any weakness in their starting lineup, so they're likely going to go for the best player available. 

    At this point, that would be Tyler Zeller. The big man for the North Carolina Tar Heels is a talent worth watching on both ends of the court and has shown off an impressive arsenal of post moves throughout his collegiate career. 

17. Philadelphia 76ers: James Michael McAdoo

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    School: North Carolina

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.3 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 20

     

    The Philadelphia 76ers don't really need another power forward so long as Elton Brand is on the roster, but then again, they don't really need help anywhere else. 

    James Michael McAdoo may not have received consistent minutes for the North Carolina Tar Heels so far this season, but he has made the most of his limited action and showed that he is a talent worth drafting. 

18. Indiana Pacers: Kendall Marshall

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    School: North Carolina

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 4.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 10.5 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 17

     

    I'm not entirely sure what to make of Kendall Marshall yet. He seems like a clone of Ricky Rubio (if we assume that clones can look different). 

    His peak is probably something like a less defensively skilled version of Rajon Rondo. That's still something a lot of teams would like to get their hands on. 

19. Atlanta Hawks: Khris Middleton

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    School: Texas A&M

    Year: Junior

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 22

     

    I'm assuming here that Jeff Teague breaks out and becomes the Atlanta Hawks' point guard of the future. If that happens, the Hawks would love to land a true center. Unfortunately, those are hard to come by in this draft. 

    The Hawks will have to settle for the incredibly talented small forward out of Texas A&M. Khris Middleton's best attribute for the Hawks may simply be that he's not named Marvin Williams. 

20. Portland Trail Blazers: Patric Young

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    School: Florida

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Center and power forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 24

     

    The Portland Trail Blazers don't have any holes in their roster, so they're going to look to draft a big body with high upside. 

    There aren't many players in college basketball more physically gifted than Patric Young. He has yet to put it all together basketball-wise for the Florida Gators, but he's not too far away from making the offensive breakthrough needed to become a true stud. 

21. Orlando Magic: Tony Wroten

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    School: Washington

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 19

     

    Eventually, the Orlando Magic are going to have to find someone other than Jameer Nelson to run the show. 

    This is possibly the hardest pick to predict because Dwight Howard will most likely be traded during the year and I have absolutely no clue which players will be heading south to join the Orlando Magic. 

    Tony Wroten is my best guess with the current roster, so take that as you wish. 

22. Boston Celtics (From Los Angeles Clippers): Doron Lamb

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    School: Kentucky

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 21

     

    This is the year that the Boston Celtics need to start drafting successors to the Big Three. Remember that line and read it again in your head on the next slide. 

    Here's the replacement for Ray Allen: Doron Lamb. 

23. Boston Celtics: Kris Joseph

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    School: Syracuse

    Year: Senior

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 23

     

    Here's the replacement for Paul Pierce: Kris Joseph. 

24. Houston Rockets (From New York Knicks): Myck Kabongo

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    School: Texas

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists 

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 18

     

    Myck Kabongo has fallen too far in my mock draft. It's simply time for someone to forget about needs and draft this incredible talent. 

    Kabongo is one of the rare players that simply doesn't care how much he scores, even though he's fully capable of lighting up the scoreboard. He's just even better at distributing the ball. 

25. Los Angeles Lakers: Adonis Thomas

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    School: Memphis

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 26

     

    The Los Angeles Lakers' biggest weakness is at small forward, where a player named Metta World Peace may be their best option. You may remember that some thought the Lakers should amnesty him before the season started. 

    Adonis Thomas has a similarly awesome name and his potential is through the roof. He's looked dominant during brief stretches for the Memphis Tigers. 

26. Los Angeles Lakers (From Dallas Mavericks): Maalik Wayns

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    School: Villanova

    Year: Junior

    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 25

     

    With the second of their back-to-back picks, I have the Los Angeles Lakers drafting a point guard who can challenge Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris for the starting role. 

    Maalik Wayns is more of a scoring point guard than anything else and he has a tendency to lean towards inefficiency, but he's still quite a talent. 

27. San Antonio Spurs: Cody Zeller

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    School: Indiana

    Year: Freshman

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 27

     

    Wouldn't it just be typical if the San Antonio Spurs managed to draft Cody Zeller at No. 27? 

    Then they'd have gone from the David Robinson era to the Tim Duncan era to the Cody Zeller era. And yes, I feel like his name is eventually going to be worth putting next to those other two legendary ones. 

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: JaMychal Green

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    School: Alabama

    Year: Senior

    Position: Power Forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 15.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 34

     

    The Oklahoma City Thunder roster is absolutely stacked right now, but they lack more frontcourt depth than backcourt depth. 

    Drafting JaMychal Green would absolutely change that. Green has added a midrange jumper to his offensive game and is dominant on the defensive side of the court thus far during his senior season for the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

29. Chicago Bulls: Jeffery Taylor

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    School: Vanderbilt

    Year: Senior

    Position: Shooting guard and small forward

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 37

     

    Even though the Chicago Bulls signed Rip Hamilton as their shooting guard of the present, he isn't the shooting guard of the future. 

    Jeffery Taylor's insane athleticism could enable him to fill that latter role as he learns behind the veteran playing his position. 

30. Miami Heat: Mason Plumlee

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    School: Duke

    Year: Junior

    Position: Power forward and center

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 12.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists

    Spot in My Power Rankings: No. 28

     

    The Miami Heat still lack a top-notch center. Mason Plumlee is the only one of those left. 

    That's really all there is to it.