2012 NBA Draft: 10 Prospects Who Will Be Steals of the Draft

Elijah Abramson@@BasesandBasketsCorrespondent IIIJune 28, 2012

2012 NBA Draft: 10 Prospects Who Will Be Steals of the Draft

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    When David Stern takes the podium for the first time on Thursday night, we could all bet who will be selected (Anthony Davis).

    But there aren't too many franchise players to go around, which is why GMs are constantly on the prowl for more than just the next big thing—and what's better than getting a solid player from a draft pick in the late first/early second round?

    Dennis Rodman, Manu Ginobili and Dennis Johnson are just three of the excellent players who didn't come to close to a lottery pick. Granted none of them are Michael Jordan, but Dennis Rodman definitely helped a bit in Chicago.

    With that in mind, here are 10 potential low-risk steals in the draft who have the potential to add a spark to their new team.

Ognjen Kuzmic

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    College: International (Bosnia)

    Height: 7'1"

    Weight: 233 pounds

    In a league that is always thirsty for more big men, the European Ognjen Kuzmic (say that name five times fast) should be a solid pick.

    A shot blocker and good defensive rebounder, there are many teams that could use him.

    The defending champion Miami Heat come to mind. Kuzmic could be a solid complement to the offensively capable Chris Bosh

Kostas Panaikolaou

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    College: International (Greece)

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 230 pounds

    Sticking with the theme of European players, Kostas Panaikolaou may only be an average athlete, but he has an NBA-ready size and mentality.

    His smarts are readily exemplified by his mere 30 turnovers in about 1,000 minutes in the Euroleague.

    He would provide a solid ball-handler and defensive presence off the bench and is a reasonable second-round pick.

Nihad Djedovic

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    College: International (Bosnia)

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 211 pounds

    Nihad Djedovic has been on the international stage since being a young teenager at 16 years old. His main weakness is ball handling, but his game within the three-point line is above average.

    Like the other European players mentioned, Djedovic has the size to succeed at the small forward position. He may be one of the more underrated players in the draft and has a good upside.

    If he can decrease his turnovers, look for him to get significant minutes and contribute more than what his paycheck would suggest he is worth.

Orlando Johnson

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    College: UC Santa Barbara

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 224 pounds

    In a game that has been taken over by long arms (scoring champion Kevin Durant comes to mind), Orlando Johnson definitely has the wingspan to help deceive opposing defenders.

    He stands 6'3" without shoes (per DraftExpress) and has a wingpspan of 6'11".

    His 20 points per game and 43 percent three-point shooting are worth noting, and he has performed well against the bigger schools (i.e. BYU, San Diego State and California).

    Orlando Johnson has what it takes to be a contributor in the NBA and possibly make it into the starting rotation—a good deal considering he won't likely be taken in the first round.

Marcus Denmon

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    College: Missouri

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 188 pounds

    Marcus Denmon is an efficient player with a solid game for a wing player. Turning the ball over on only nine percent of your possessions is an excellent sign for someone who isn't going to be an NBA star.

    Denmon will be a valuable role player whose quickness has the ability to make up for his lack of size.

Festus Ezeli

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    College: Vanderbilt

    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 264 pounds

    A 7'6" wingspan on a 264-pounder can mean only two things: rebounds and shot blocking.

    Ezeli is a big man who has all of the physical tools to make an impact in the NBA. His mental maturity is something that will improve with time, which is why Ezeli will be a steal in the draft.

    He may not have the NBA-ready offensive game on day one, but that should improve with NBA coaching.

    If Oklahoma City chooses to get rid of Kendrick Perkins or Serge Ibaka to increase cap space for the other superstars, Ezeli would be a solid fit for a team that has a proven track record of drafting well.

Darius Miller

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    College: Kentucky

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 233 pounds

    The 22-year-old out of Kentucky is overshadowed by a couple of Kentucky players who you may have heard of.

    Darius Miller has the big-game experience that is extremely valuable at the next level. Although he didn't get quite the minutes and big shots that someone like Mario Chalmers did, his intangibles will prove valuable to a playoff contender.

    And with his spot-up shooting ability, look for Darius Miller to be a great addition to the team that decides to draft him.

Kim English

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    College: Missouri

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 192 pounds

    Shooting 52 percent from the field and 46 percent on threes is something that will not go away when Kim English hits the NBA court.

    At 6'6", English has the versatility to run both guard positions as well as the small forward. His breakout senior season was not a fluke, and look for him to continue to improve. The 23-year-old has a huge upside, and the sky is the limit.

    Luckily for him, there won't be much pressure on him considering he isn't expected to be drafted highly. If he can relax and play his game, don't be surprised to see him compete for more than just a position on the starting five.

Quincy Acy

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    College: Baylor

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 224 pounds

    At 21 years old, the former Baylor power forward has time to develop.

    While he may be known for his defensive and rebounding skills, Quincy Acy has been steadily improving his perimeter offensive game.

    If he keeps it up, he may become a dangerously well-rounded player.

    The Golden State Warriors could be an excellent fit for Acy because with injury problems (who knows what to expect from Andrew Bogut) and a lack of team defensive rebounding, the Dubs would be wise to grab the 224-pounder with the final pick in the first round.

John Jenkins

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    College: Vanderbilt

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 212 pounds

    Everything about John Jenkins says that his bright future will become tangible NBA success.

    His 20 points per game average for Vanderbilt is also supported by a 44 percent three-point percentage. While the rest of his game needs some work, there's always room on an NBA roster for a great shooter.

    He has been compared to Anthony Morrow, and while Morrow isn't exactly an All-Star player, his career 43 percent three-point shooting speaks for itself.

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