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2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 7.0
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 15, 2012 @ 9:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA Draft | No Comments
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… Here is the second installment of the 2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Draft.
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Alex’s Notebook: It could be a dramatic fall for Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. Other mock drafts still see him as a top-10 talent because of his improving jump shot and basketball IQ, but his poor testing at Chicago’s pre- draft combine cannot be ignored.
It’s not news that Sullinger was the slowest player in the ¾-court spring (3.81 seconds), but the fact that he did so poorly in the lane- agility test (12.77 seconds) and in the bench press (seven reps at 185 pounds) really raises questions about his ability to survive in the paint as an NBA player.
If Sullinger were 6-11, perhaps he’d be able to overcome some of these deficiencies, but since he measured a hair under 6-8, he has an uphill battle ahead of him.
Kentucky’s Doron Lamb didn’t wow many people with his combine measurements, but he might be creeping into the first round thanks to the Chicago Bulls’ need at shooting guard. Kyler Korver saw far too many minutes at the position last year, and Lamb offers more than just perimeter shooting (he made 46.6 percent of his 3-pointers with the Wildcats in 2011-2012). Lamb can also handle the ball and penetrate, which makes him far more versatile than Chicago’s current options at the position.
Keep an eye on Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie and Baylor’s Perry Jones. Both are 6-11 and have the ability to play away from the hoop. But whereas Jones was a top lottery projection for the better part of two years, Moultrie has been seen as more of a project and hasn’t received much attention until recently. Now, however, things are changing and there’s a real chance that Moultrie gets picked ahead of Jones. One warning sign on Moultrie: He sat out of drills at the combine.
Yannis’ Notebook: As big as I am on judging prospects based on what they’ve done on the court, there are two guys who I just can’t help but feel like did themselves a lot of good with the showings they had in the athletic testing portion of the draft combine.
Nobody expected Harrison Barnes to be one of top athletes at the combine, let alone the most explosive. The fact that he came in with a 38” standing vertical blew everyone away. And while Barnes seems programmed to go to his jumper first and foremost, knowing that he does have that type of explosiveness does create more optimism about his attacking ability than there was previously.
I think that Barnes has put himself back into the discussion for the second overall pick. Had he left early last year and performed similarly at the combine, he probably would have surpassed Derrick Williams too. So, don’t sleep on him wooing Michael Jordan, Rich Cho and company and going second overall.
My big high riser this week is Meyers Leonard. I had a hard time moving him up last week, but the 19 reps on the bench press have me believing in him as a prospect. One of the biggest knocks on him has been his work ethic and desire. Say what you want about that, there’s no way 20-year-old kid reps out 185 19 times without having a strong work ethic. That’s not an easy feat at all, especially for someone with Leonard’s reach. So many prospects in the past have used long arms as an excuse for underperforming on the bench press. I’ll never put credence into that excuse again thanks to Leonard’s showing.
The Milwaukee Bucks cannot let Leonard go past them on draft night. I have him into my top 10 now with Detroit because I believe his promise is too great for them to pass on. The combination of him and Monroe in the paint could be dominant in just another year or two. That’s a home rung swing I’m comfortable taking if I’m Joe Dumars.
Joel’s Notebook: I had a hard time this week figuring out where to put Perry Jones. On the one hand, he’s one of those uncanny physical talents that doesn’t come around very often. At 6’10" and with a skill set that more closely matches many of the league’s shooting guards than its power forwards, Jones has an opportunity to play the three or the stretch four in the NBA well enough to create some serious mismatches. That’s the part that teams have loved and will continue to love about his developing game.
But question marks about his consistency and work ethic could drop him a little bit in this draft. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford is even suggesting that he could fall out of the lottery, something that seemed improbable a few months ago. I can’t see I disagree with Ford, particularly if Golden State, who needs a small forward, passes on him at #7. It’s just as easy to justify taking him there as it is to take him in the 16-20 range. He’s just such an enigmatic prospect that teams apparently don’t know where to put him on their draft boards, and if it comes down to selecting him or a kid teams feel more certain about, guess which way they’re going to go.
It might be a long draft night for Perry Jones, but despite that he really does have the tools to be a heck of an NBA player. We’ll see who takes the gamble on him in just a couple more weeks.
Steve’s Notebook: If someone is telling you your team has locked into a draft prospect, you are likely wrong.
More and more insiders are trying to peg how this draft may play out, and as you talk to more and more of them, this draft is starting to look incredibly cloudy.
Outside of the presumptive top pick Anthony Davis, the next six picks are easy to pick in terms of players, but the exact order is still taking shape.
The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be torn between Harrison Barnes – a close friend of last year’s top pick Kyrie Irving – or Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Let’s not forget Florida guard Brad Beal. It’s such a neck and neck race for the fourth pick that the Cavs are working MKG and Beal out against each other, apparently trying to break some kind of tie or establish a dominate option. The Washington Wizards will have something to say with who’s there for Cleveland, as they are working out the same guys.
The Portland Trail Blazers are all over the place too, mainly because they hold two first round picks. Sources say Portland has kicked the tires on more than a few trade scenarios, so do not be surprised to see Portland grab a guy at #6 and trade out of the 11th pick. The Blazers want to be free agent players and the $1.77 million salary slotted to the 11th pick might mean more in free agent currency especially if a trade for the pick returns assets a future draft.
Keep an eye on Milwaukee at #12. Rumor has it the Bucks are looking at deals involving the #12 and a possible move up in the draft that could include a roster player, or deals to move down and add additional talent later in the draft.
The Boston Celtics are also kicking the tires on deals, although if there is any team in the first round that needs two pick it the depleted Celtics who have five players under contract for next season after Brandon Bass opted for free agency.
The six names to watch at the top of the draft are Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brad Beal, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond.
The six names to watch at the bottom of the draft are Royce White, Festus Ezeli, Orlando Johnson, Kevin Murphy, John Jenkins and Quincy Miller – all six are expected to drop between 25 and 35.
It’s looking to be an interesting draft, and if the Insiders have it right – and they usually do — no one’s Mock Draft is safe.
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.
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