2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 1.0
Each year HOOPSWORLD puts together a team of writers to look at the NBA Draft. The idea here is to illustrate how differently (or similarly) writers from various NBA markets see the 2012 NBA Draft.
So who are these guys?… Alex Raskin has covered the NBA for four years and is based in New York with the Knicks and the Nets. Yannis Koutroupis is HOOPSWORLD’s college basketball editor. He has also covered the NBA for six years and covers the San Antonio Spurs. Joel Brigham has covered the NBA for seven years and covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD including the Bulls and the Pacers. Steve Kyler is the editor and publisher of HOOPSWORLD and has covered the NBA for 12 seasons.
So with that out of the way… Here is the first installment of the 2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Draft.
Joel’s Notebook: Mock draft season has officially begun, but this early on in the game it can be pretty hard to nail down who goes where because we really don’t have any idea about how the lottery is going to play out.
This year’s lottery in particular has a lot at stake, especially for teams like Golden State, Brooklyn, Utah, and Portland. Unless the Nets end up with a top-three pick, for example, their lottery selection will head to the Blazers as part of the Gerald Wallace deal, and Utah will get Golden State’s pick if it falls out of the top seven. Right now, the Warriors would pick exactly seventh, but that could change should the lottery gods decide that a team slated eighth or lower should jump them. So if, say, Toronto and Brooklyn end up in the top three, they’ll get a crack at this draft’s top talents, and Golden State and Portland will be out of luck. On the other hand, Golden State could keep their pick and Portland could potentially end up with two of the first eleven selections.
A huge part of the excitement leading up to the draft is who goes where, but at this point it’s almost equally exciting to see who picks where.
Yannis’ Notebook: The NBA draft lottery cannot get here fast enough for the Charlotte Bobcats because that day will determine their foreseeable future. Should they win, they’ll get the top prize in the draft: Anthony Davis. Davis is a franchise player whose game favors Kevin Garnett’s, but his attitude and mindset reminds me a lot of Tim Duncan’s.
If there’s anyone capable of changing the Bobcats’ culture it’s him. However, it’s well documented that the team with the worst record rarely wins the lottery. That thought has to be a nightmare that keeps Bobcats owner Michael Jordan awake at night.
Not to take anything away from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brad Beal, Thomas Robinson or any of the other top prospects in this year’s class, but they’re not Davis and they’re not what the Bobcats need. The Bobcats need someone like Davis, who epitomizes unselfishness and focuses on doing the little things that are vital to win.
Should the Bobcats end up losing the lottery, their best bet could be to put the pick on the open market and see what they can get for it. There should be teams more interested in trading up than they are in staying put. Plus, this team would really benefit from adding some more proven talent if it’s not Davis they’re drafting.
For all the wrong moves and bad hires MJ has made, the potential is there for him to turn things around in fairly quick fashion. It’s contingent on him landing Davis, though. With Davis, a high-profile new head coach and some solid offseason signings, the Bobcats could immediately become respectable.
Alex’s Notebook: No matter how good Jared Sullinger looked over his last two years at Ohio State, there’s no getting around the fact that he’s undersized, even at power forward.
A lot of people see the hulking, 6-9, 280-pound big man coming off the board when the Portland Trail Blazers use their first pick (which should be the one they got from the Nets, assuming it doesn’t fall in the top three, in which case Brooklyn would retain the pick). However, Sullinger could still be on the board whenever the Trail Blazers make their second pick, which should come in the bottom half of the lottery. He supposedly has a 7-1 wingspan, which is great, but unless he’s legitimately 6-9, there are going to be issues around the basket.
For instance, he probably can’t expect to make 54.2 percent of his two-point shots as he did with the Buckeyes last season. Sullinger’s slide could help guys like the North Carolina trio of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson, Kentucky forward Terrence Jones or Baylor forward Perry Jones.
Steve’s Notebook: There are two guys to keep your eye on as the draft class starts to really take shape in the coming weeks. Mississippi State’s Arnet Moultrie and St. Bonaventures’ Andrew Nicholson.
One NBA executive who’s team is drafting in the mid-to-late twenties says neither player will be there when his team drafts, especially as teams start to get them in for workouts.
Of the two, Moultrie is pegged as a borderline Lottery Pick with more than one NBA executive saying he won’t be there in the late teens. Nicholson who had a great season for the Bonnies has really wowed talent evaluators from afar, most expect him to be a lock in the first round. The question is where is his floor?
The biggest question mark in the top of the draft is what to make of UCONN big man Andre Drummond. Most agree that he is far too big and athletic to fall far, but as one GM put it, "that’s a risky pick" because you just don’t know yet on Drummond.
Most agree with the assessment that he could be as good as say Orlando’s Dwight Howard or could be as average as say New Orleans big man Emeka Okafor – the gap in NBA career could be that wide. One executive asked "Does Drummond have the work ethic Okafor has?" – that might be the biggest problem in projecting where Drummond lands because there is no real consensus on what kind of pro he’ll be and with a top five pick, flaming out on a big man might be more risk than some teams want to take.
NBA teams will get their first real look at players in this draft class on May 19th as the Nets host a huge 44-player workout. None of the top tier guys are expected to attend, it will be mostly second round and undrafted types participating in 3-on-3 workouts. Most of the invites are trying to shore up their stock in advance of the Draft combine and individual workouts which will start in June.