As the 2012 NBA Draft creeps nearer, the Nuggets still remain in prime position with the 20th pick. They could easily get an NBA ready player or go for a young player with potential. They have already worked out the likes of Royce White, John Jenkins and Terrence Ross and will work out Will Barton this week. Many more workouts will be planned out as the draft nears.
- NEW ORLEANS: Anthony Davis, 6-foot-11 222 pounds, 19 years old, Kentucky, Freshman, Power Forward
Davis will help the Hornets, but they need more than him to get over the threshold.
- CHARLOTTE: Thomas Robinson, 6-10 244, 21 years old, Kansas, Junior, Power Forward
(Previous pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist)
This is a tough pick to predict, because there is a good chance that the Bobcats trade the pick. If they keep it, Robinson has to be the guy. Rumor is it that Michael Jordan isn’t too high on Michael Kidd Gilchrist. Robinson is the most ready player in the draft and somebody that will play hard for the Bobcats. If Bismack Biyombo pans out, him and Robinson would be a dominating duo in the paint.
- WASHINGTON: Michael Kidd Gilchrist, 6-8 233, 18 years old, Kentucky, Freshman, Small Forward
(Previous pick: Bradley Beal)
The Wizards are in a great spot to fill their voids at shooting guard or at small forward. While Beal would give Washington more of an offensive weapon, Kidd Gilchrist’s intangibles may be too much to pass up. While he struggles shooting the rock, he plays hard and with heart. Kidd Gilchrist should thrive playing next to former Kentucky star John Wall, especially if Jordan Crawford continues to develop.
- CLEVELAND: Bradley Beal, 6-5 202, 18 years old, Florida, Freshman, Shooting Guard
(Previous pick: Harrison Barnes)
It’s funny to say, but Beal may be the steal of the draft here. He doesn’t have great size, but he can score and is a much better shooter than he showed in college. He also is a great rebounder for his size and underrated defensively and athletically. Beal and Kyrie Irving would be an exciting backcourt for Cleveland. The Cavs may also look at Barnes, but Beal is the better prospect.
- SACRAMENTO: Harrison Barnes, 6-8 223, 20 years old, North Carolina, Sophomore, Small Forward
(Previous pick: Thomas Robinson)
Barnes could easily go fourth, but the Kings will gladly take him with the fifth pick. Barnes has great size for small forward and is a good shooter, but he isn’t a dominate scorer. He’s more of a complimentary scorer, similar to Loul Deng. The Kings may also look at Andre Drummond here and the wild card at this pick is John Henson.
- PORTLAND: Damian Lillard, 6-3 189, 21 years old, Weber State, Junior, Guard
(Previous pick: Andre Drummond)
The Blazers can go in many different ways with the sixth pick; they can draft Lillard and hope he is their starting point guard for the present and future. Or they can go after a project like Andre Drummond. Dion Waiters may be an option as his stock continues to rise or draft Jared Sullinger to pair him with LaMarcus Aldridge. Lillard may be the safest pick, he has proven time and time again what he can do and he’d look good playing with Aldridge.
- GOLDEN STATE: Terrence Jones, 6-10 252, 20 years old, Kentucky, Sophomore, Forward
The Warriors biggest need is at small forward, but Jones would help as a stretch 4 coming off the bench. Jones has all the talent in the world; he can shoot the ball, score, rebound and defend. The biggest knock is how driven is he?
- TORONTO: Dion Waiters, 6-4 221, 20 years old, Syracuse, Sophomore, Guard
(Previous pick: Jeremy Lamb)
The Raptors biggest need is a star player and outside of Davis, Waiters has the highest ceiling. He has killer instinct and has the power and speed to drive by just about anybody. Waiters doesn’t really fit a need for a position (he is a combo guard) for the Raptors, but his potential may be too much to pass up.
- DETROIT: Meyers Leonard, 7 -1 250, 20 years old, Illinois, Sophomore, Center
(Previous pick: Andre Drummond)
A lot of mock drafts have the Pistons selecting Henson to team up with Greg Monroe. However, with how high Leonard’s stock is rising it’s hard to see the Pistons passing on this big man. He is very athletic and has great size (measuring in above 7-foot-1 with shoes on), but he is very raw. Another option for the ninth pick is Drummond.
- NEW ORLEANS: Jared Sullinger, 6-9 268, 20 years old, Ohio State, Sophomore, Power Forward
(Previous pick: Damian Lillard)
Putting together a duo of Davis and Sullinger in New Orleans would be scary. Each would help the others shortcomings and give the Hornets two very young and talented big man to build around.
- PORTLAND: Andre Drummond, 7 279, 18 years old, Connecticut, Freshman, Center
(Previous pick: Dion Waiters)
Some mock drafts have Drummond going as high as No. 2 overall, but there is so much uncertainty surrounding Drummond that may scare a few teams off. He has all the talent in the world, but many worry about his drive and how successful he will be at the next level. Taking him in the top 10 would be a risk, but snagging him at No. 11 would give the Blazers a very solid and talented draft to work with. Who knows, it may even motivate Drummond to prove people wrong.
- MILWAUKEE: Jeremy Lamb, 6-5 185, 20 years old, Connecticut, Sophomore, Shooting Guard
(Previous pick: Perry Jones)
Lamb won’t fill any needs for the Bucks, but he’s too talented for Milwaukee to pass up. Lamb has great size and scoring potential. Many scouts compare him to Rip Hamilton, but the biggest question surrounding Lamb is his passion. The Bucks could also draft Jones, Henson or Tyler Zeller. However, Lamb is the best prospect with the most potential for this pick.
- PHOENIX: Austin Rivers, 6-4 203, 19 years old, Duke, Freshman, Shooting Guard
Rivers is one of the most hyped players in the Draft and it’s hard to see him living up to the expectations. Rivers is a good scorer and has good ball-handling skills, but he lacks ideal height and isn’t terribly athletic. He also is a bit of a chucker. Rivers would fit in perfectly for the Suns, who need a talented scorer and ball-handler. Rivers may not be enough to make Steve Nash stay, but he’d help Phoenix’s future after Nash.
- HOUSTON: Perry Jones, 6-11 234, 20 years old, Baylor, Sophomore, Forward
(Previous pick: Tyler Zeller)
The Rockets are searching for a star and Jones has one of the highest ceilings in the draft. There is a high-risk, high-reward pick, but Jones is worth the risk at 14. Jones will probably play small forward at the next level, and with his size, talent and range he should be a force.
- PHILADELPHIA: Moe Harkless, 6-9 207, 19 years old, St. John’s, Freshman, Forward
(Previous pick: Jared Sullinger)
The Sixers want to go big, but they also are in a position where they may go for the best prospect available. Harkless has impressed a lot of people with his confidence and work ethic. There aren’t many players left in the draft that has a higher ceiling.
- HOUSTON: Terrence Ross, 6-7 197, 21 years old, Washington, Sophomore, SG/SF
Ross has all the tools of an NBA shooting guard. He is extremely athletic, has deep range and length to be a good defender. The Rockets are crowded at shooting guard and small forward, but Ross is too talented to pass up. Don’t be surprised if Ross goes higher in the draft.
- DALLAS: John Henson, 6-11 220, 21 years old, North Carolina, Junior, Power Forward
(Previous pick: Meyers Leonard)
This pick is crap shot; the Mavericks can draft Kendall Marshall and develop him into their starting point guard. Or they can go after Henson and hope he is the defensive stopper that they have missed since Tyson Chandler has left. Or they can get Zeller with the idea that he can play right away and can help Dirk Nowitzki out. Any of the three former Tar Heels can help the Mavs. However, Henson may be the most needed. Dallas got killed in the post and Henson’s length and defensive presence will help there.
- MINNESOTA: Evan Fournier, 6-7 206, 19 years old, France, Shooting Guard
(Previous pick: Quincy Miller)
The Timberwolves really don’t have a need. They are set pretty much all over the floor, except at shooting guard. And while there aren’t any shooting guards worth reaching at, Fournier may be intriguing. He is young and has great size. The T-wolves have already added some young European talent with Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, Fournier may be the next in line, Blazers’ small forward Nicolas Batum has even compared him to Manu Ginobili.
- ORLANDO: Kendall Marshall, 6-4 197, 20 years old, North Carolina, Sophomore, Point Guard
(Previous pick: Moe Harkless)
What do you do when your best player wants to be traded, do you draft the best player available or go for need? Marshall may help at both. He arguably the best passer in the draft and can play right away. He is a great leader on the floor and could be the piece that makes Dwight Howard stay. Doubtfully, but possibly.
- DENVER: Tyler Zeller, 7-1 247, 22 years old, North Carolina, Senior, Center
(Previous pick: Kendall Marshall)
Zeller is predicted to go in the lottery, but with so many prospects on the rise Zeller may slide through the cracks. He will never be a star, but he is one of the most ready players in the NBA and somebody that should have a long career in the NBA.
- BOSTON: Royce White, 6-8 249, 21 years old, Iowa State, Sophomore, Power Forward
- BOSTON: Andrew Nicholson, 6-9 220, 22 years old, St. Bonaventure, Senior, Power Forward
(Previous pick: Evan Fournier)
The Celtics can’t be looking for more than depth with these two picks and Nicholson and White are the two best players available. Nicholson has great range on his jumper, while White is probably the most versatile player in the draft. Boston’s biggest need is size, but their second biggest need is depth.
- ATLANTA: Arnett Moultrie, 6-11 233, 21 years old, Mississippi State, Junior, Power Forward
(Previous pick: Tony Wroten)
The Hawks need size and Moultrie is the best big man available. He is a good rebounder and has range on his jumper. Moultrie also has a lot of fire too, with the plethora of big man in Atlanta it wouldn’t be surprising if Moultrie is part of Atlanta’s rotation.
- CLEVELAND: Fab Melo, 7-0 255, 21 years old, Syracuse, Sophomore, Center
(Previous pick: Doron Lamb)
The Cavaliers don’t have any 7-footers on their roster, and Melo’s size and defensive ability is intriguing. Not to mention it probably would be nice for Melo to play with a fellow Brazilian (Anderson Varejao).
- MEMPHIS: Marquis Teague, 6-2 189, 19 years old, Kentucky, Freshman, Point Guard
The Grizzlies desperately need a backup point guard as they turned to OJ Mayo to run the point at times during the playoffs and it didn’t turn out well. Teague isn’t a traditional point guard, he struggles with his decision making and tends to be out of control at times. However, he is still young and is very aggressive and could be a nice piece for Memphis.
- INDIANA: Jeff Taylor, 6-7 226, 23 years old, Vanderbilt, Senior, Forward
The Pacers have been making a living on finding players late in the draft (Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger…) and Taylor may be another one. He is very undervalued, mainly due to his age. However, he is a lockdown defender and has range on his jump shot. He could play right away.
- MIAMI: Draymond Green, 6-8 236, 22 years old, Michigan State, Senior, Forward
(Previous pick: Arnett Moultrie)
Green would be another great role player for the Heat. He is very versatile, who can pass the ball, grab a rebound and score the ball.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: Quincy Miller, 6-10 219, 19 years old, Baylor, Freshman, Forward
(Previous pick: Andrew Nicholson)
Miller is a poor man’s Kevin Durant. It’s still unclear if Miller can recover from his high school injury, but if he does he’d bea steal for the Thunder.
- CHICAGO: Orlando Johnson, 6-5 223, 23 years old, UC Santa Barbara, Senior, Shooting Guard
This is a tough pick to predict. The Bulls will be without Derrick Rose for part of next year and could go for a prospect here or look more towards a player to help now. Some mock drafts have the Bulls drafting John Jenkins here, but Jenkins may not be enough of a scorer for Chicago which tended to struggle offensively down the stretch. Johnson is a very prominent scorer who can score in many ways. He can take smaller players into the post, he can drive by slower wings and also take bigger defenders outside. Johnson doesn’t have the upside but the Bulls may not be looking for upside with this pick.
- GOLDEN STATE: Will Barton, 6-6 174, 21 yeras old, Memphis, Sophomore, Shooting Guard
(Previous pick: Fab Melo)
Barton is a very talented prospect, great length with an ability to score and share the ball. The issue with Barton is he lacks the strength to play in the NBA. Of course, the same thing can be said about Durant. However, unlike Durant, Barton’s growth is limited due to his inconsistent jump shot and strength.
NEXT UP: John Jenkins, Tony Wroten, Jared Cunningham, Doron Lamb, Khris Middleton
Topics: Anderson Varejao, Andre Drummond, Andrew Nicholson, Anthony Davis, Arnett Moultrie, Atlanta Hawks, Austin Rivers., Bismack Biyombo, Boston Celtics, Bradley Beal, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard, Danny Granger, Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons, Dion Waiters, Doron Lamb, Draymond Green, Dwight Howard, Evan Fournier, Fab Melo, Golden State Warriors, Greg Monroe, Harrison Barnes, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Jared Cunningham, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Taylor, Jeremy Lamb, John Henson, John Jenkins, John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Kendall Marshall, Kevin Durant, Khris Middleton, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili, Marquis Teague, Memphis Grizzlies, Meyers Leonard, Miami Heat, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Minnesota Timberwolves, Moe Harkless, New Orleans Hornets, Nicolas Batum, Nikola Pekovic, OJ Mayo, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Johnson, Orlando Magic, Perry Jones, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers, Quincy Miller, Ricky Rubio, Rip Hamilton, Roy Hibbert, Royce White, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Steve Nash, Terrence Jones, Terrence Ross, Thomas Robinson, Tony Wroten, Toronto Raptors, Tyler Zeller, Tyson Chandler, Washington Wizards, Will Barton