2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 6.0
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 with that out of the way…
Alex’s Notebook: It’s hard to imagine Illinois center Meyers Leonard getting by the Orlando Magic at No. 19. Not only do they need a backup for Dwight Howard, who is coming off back surgery, but there’s still a good chance that Superman flies away in the next year or so. And if that’s the case, Meyers is an outstanding insurance policy.
The 7-0, 240-pound sophomore registered 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the Fighting Illini in 2011-2012. His 7-3 wingspan makes him an intriguing prospect on the defensive end, but it’s Leonard’s mobility that makes him perfect for NBA offenses, many of which need big men who can roll to the basket. And that mobility also serves Leonard on defense, where he has shined defending pick and rolls.
The only question for the Magic is whether Leonard will be available, but the meteoric rise of Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie as well as North Carolina center Tyler Zeller suggests that Leonard could still be on the board.
Other options for the Magic include Kentucky point guard Marcus Teague and St. John’s forward Moe Harkless, but Orlando could also trade back in the draft, add depth and still get Syracuse center Fab Melo. Melo is more raw than Leonard, but he could serve as Howard’s backup for a season while battling Daniel Orton to become Orlando’s next center.
Don’t be surprised to see the Magic speaking to a team with multiple picks, such as the Boston Celtics or Golden State Warriors.
Yannis’ Notebook: Typically when the draft measurements come out there is a lot of shock and awe associated with them. Some guys always come in way shorter or taller than expected and there’s almost always someone whose body fat percentage is just flat out embarrassing.
That wasn’t really the case this year. Everyone pretty much came in where they were expected to. Nobody really hurt themselves. Miles Plumlee’s 11.4 body fat percentage was the highest, but he’s just 252 lbs. and it’s not like that’s keeps him from jumping out of the gym. Even at 11.4 he’s probably the most athletic big man in the draft.
Austin Rivers coming in at 6’5 in shoes should relieve any concerns that he’s too small to play shooting guard in the NBA. That’s bigger than I expected him to come in at. As a result, I’ve bumped him into his rightful spot in the lottery.
Meyers Leonard and Fab Melo are two guys who should probably be ranked higher and will almost undoubtedly climb as we get closer to the draft. Centers are always at a premium in the draft, especially if they’re young with a lot of room to improve like they are.
Two notable players who have taken big slips on my mock this week are Tony Wroten and Quincy Miller. Quincy has not performed well here in Chicago and his knee isn’t where teams would like it to be considering how far removed he is from originally tearing his ACL.
Wroten remains one of the tougher guys to project. He could be one of the better players at this class, or he could never figure it out at the NBA level. Just based off of natural talent I can’t leave him out of the first just yet, but he’s gotta start shooting it better to rise back up to where he once was. As talented as he is, it’s a problem that he doesn’t have a defined position, turns it over really excessively and has serious fundamental flaws in his shot.
Joel’s Notebook: The fun thing about the combine is that you get all these really smart journalists in one place at one time, and when you compound that with all the GMs and coaches and, of course, draft prospects having all kinds of conversations here and there, real news starts to leak about who’s going to do what with their draft picks.
One player who is predictably picking up steam is UNC forward Harrison Barnes, who some now have going as high to Cleveland at #4. Of course, if Barnes goes up, somebody previously thought to be rated higher will drop, and the guy I’ve heard as a possible casualty could be, remarkably, Thomas Robinson, the player who many consider the second best prospect in this draft.
If The Bobcats take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Washington selects Bradley Beal—a scenario that some are painting as more than a little possible—that could push Cleveland towards taking Barnes at #4. They already have Tristan Thompson to play Thomas Robinson’s position, so Barnes is a better fit for team need. Plus, they reportedly really, really like the guy anyway, so on some level it makes a certain amount of sense.
But there shouldn’t be any scenario in which Robinson falls all the way down to pick #5. that’s apparently a possibility though, so hopefully order and common sense restore themselves by June 28th.
Steve’s Notebook: The NBA Draft Combine is one part dog-and-pony show and one part behind the scenes deal making.
What you see televised means almost nothing to the NBA teams and scouts on hand, what they really care about are the face to face meetings with prospects and the medical information that’s gathered, as every players goes through a massive medical review including full body MRI, X-Rays and blood work.
What you saw on the court, a lot of GMs didn’t see because they were too busy talking to each other. That’s the other part.
Based on the vibe from the lobby of the Marriott, almost every team with more than one pick is trying to move up, move out or use it to acquire a proven player.
The Charlotte Bobcats are said to be aggressively shopping the #2 overall pick, however they may have a hard time finding a buyer that doesn’t want to simply flip two lower picks into Thomas Robinson.
The New Orleans Hornets are said to be willing to move the #10 overall pick, but they too might not find a buyer that’s willing to take on the contracts of Trevor Ariza or Emeka Okafor – what everyone believed the asking price would be for the 10th pick.
There were a couple of players generating real buzz among teams… Andrew Nicholson from St. Bonaventure was a name almost everyone mentioned. Moe Harkless from St. John’s drew rave reviews as did Weber State’s Damian Lillard.
Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom has a large number of fans in NBA circles, he came off brash and indignant with the media, but teams love his aggressiveness and his motor.
More than one executive gushed over Michigan State’s Draymond Green, keeping the odds of a late first round selection more than alive for the Spartan’s big man.
UCONN big man Andre Drummond has his fans too. NBA teams are enamored with his physical tools, but still openly question how aggressive he’ll be at the next level. One insider said “the team that can get Drummond to play hard will get the best big man in this draft… but he is a huge risk.”
Unfortunately it’s not looking good for Washington’s Tony Wroten. He has really struggled to shoot the ball and most executives in Chicago said he just simply isn’t ready for prime time. Like Josh Selby last year, Tony looks like he is primed to tumble. He has immense physical tools, but when a handful of executives point out that he had more turnovers per game than assists, almost as if reading from a script, a players stock is in trouble.
No one gets drafted based on the Draft Combine, but it is a place where the lay of the land becomes a little clearer and the reasons why guys tumble on draft night get openly talked about.
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.