2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 8.0
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…
Here is the eighth installment of the 2012 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Draft.
Alex’s Notebook: The team that’s becoming the hardest to peg in the lottery is the Golden State Warriors, which is why they’ll continue to be mentioned in trade rumors.
The issue is that there doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit for the Warriors and general manager Bob Myers.
Jared Sullinger’s back issues and unimpressive athleticism has probably bumped him out of the lottery. Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers both play shooting guard, which is a position that currently belongs to last year’s pick, Klay Thompson. Point guard Stephen Curry’s ankle could keep him out until April, and if the team doesn’t think he’s fully healed, there’s a possibility that point guards Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall could be considered. The team could conceivably go after a center or power forward, but since Andrew Bogut and David Lee will make a combined $26 million next season, it’s hard to envision Myers adding more players into that mix, particularly when backup Andris Biedrins is already making $9 million per year.
The best bet as of now seems to be Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, who has already worked out for the Warriors. Jones is one of the bigger wild cards in the draft as he possesses the size and skills to make it in the NBA, but frequently blended into the background with the Wildcats.
The good news is that, as Jones continues to mature physically, he should develop into one of the stronger forwards in the game. At just 20 years of age he’s already 6-9, 252 pounds, and he did 12 bench press repetitions of 185 pounds at the combine. Considering he has a 34.5-inch vertical, Jones could give the Warriors the added element of athleticism next season.
Yannis’ Notebook: The draft is less than a week away and you would think with all the workouts and interviews conducted that doing a mock would become easier, but that hasn’t been the case. There are so many variables in this draft right now that make it really dificult to determine this year’s order.
Take Jared Sullinger’s medical red flag for example. There’s no telling how much the back issue could make the big man slip. DeJuan Blair was the Indiana Pacer’s guy at 13 a couple years back, only to fall to the 40′s when they passed because of the red flag his knees received.
Even the guys without medical red flags are tough to project, though. There’s still no real feel for Perry Jones III’s stock. I can see PJ3 being considered as high as seven just as easily as I can see him falling to the late teens or even early 20s.
Austin Rivers is another guy who I could see going in several places. The difference with him now is that I sense he has a floor at 13 with the Phoenix Suns. I can’t see him being on the board past then with the way he’s performed in the predraft process. I’ve bumped him up several spots over former top 10 guys who have slipped like John Henson, Tyler Zeller and the aforementioned Jones.
One thing that I can say with almost certainty is that there are going to be some really good big man available late in the draft. I don’t like where I have Royce White, Andrew Nicholson, Fab Melo and Arnett Moultrie going right now. I think they’re all better than where I have them slotted, but I just couldn’t figure out how to move them in their proper range. It’s inevitable that a couple of quality big men are going to be around late in the draft.
The NBA season may be over, but that means the offseason begins and typically it can be just as fun thanks in large part to the draft.
Joel’s Notebook: Jared Sullinger’s medical red flagging was the major shake-up in the draft world over the course of the last week, and as I prepared my final mock draft before draft day next Thursday, I honestly had no idea where to put the guy.
It’s been pointed out several times how past red flags for guys like DeJuan Blair and Josh Selby seriously injured their status and dropped them completely out of the first round, but I have a hard time envisioning Sullinger not getting a flier from some first-round team, probably somewhere in the 20-30 range. I think Boston and Cleveland, should they both keep their two first-rounders, could afford to take a gamble that late in the round, but there have been whispers that back surgery could keep this young man out for the majority of the upcoming season. There were no such immediate concerns for Blair and Selby, who both ended up being fine, yet they still dropped because of long-term concerns. Sullinger could have both immediate and long-term concerns; can talent overcome those concerns and earn him a guaranteed first-round deal?
It would really, really risky, but at some point Sullinger’s talent and experience are going to be so much greater than everybody else’s that he’ll have to get snatched up. It’s just a matter of teams balancing the benefits of a healthy Andrew Nicholson or Royce White versus the uncertainty of Sullinger’s bad back. Who’s going to have the guts to take him?
He’s a great kid, so I hope he’s healthy enough to have a long career and find a team willing to take him in the first round. The really sad thing about all this, though, is that he would’ve been a top three pick a year ago. As far as "oopsies" go, passing up on that opportunity was a big one.
Steve’s Notebook: They often say there is a calm before the storm, but for this NBA Draft class, the calm is anything but.
With the NBA Draft approaching fast, NBA teams are trying to lock in who they will have a chance to land and all manner of crazy combinations are starting to emerge.
Sources close to the process in Portland say there are as many as seven possibilities for the Blazers with the 6th overall pick. The low hanging fruit are guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond and even Thomas Robinson, those are the “named” players the Blazers are considering if they fall to #6. But just as there are names the Blazers hope fall to them, there are some players that the Blazers are considering taking a few spots higher than expected; mainly for fear that those players are the “gems” and that they won’t be there when the Blazers pick again at #11.
Austin Rivers appears to be a player the Blazers would love to have, however they know that he’ll be gone to the New Orleans Hornets at #10. The Blazers are said to be weighing the merits of grabbing Rivers with the #6 and taking a center at #11 where bigs like Tyler Zeller and possibly Myers Leonard could be on the board.
The Blazers are also said to have interest in St. John’s scorer Moe Harkless in a similar situation. If the Blazers go with Andre Drummond at #6, as most are projecting, they could very well go Harkless or Washington’s Terrence Ross at #11.
Weber State’s Damian Lillard throws another wrinkle into the equation because he is viewed as the best point guard in the class and one of the biggest glaring needs for the Blazers going forward. If Lillard is still on the board at #6, he could be a Blazer too.
Portland represents the first real unknown at the top of the draft board and how they choose to play the #6 will shape how the rest of the draft comes together, mainly because it seems they are open to a little risk, even if it bucks traditional wisdom.
Most of the teams in the top five seem to be looking at the draft the same way. Portland on the flip side seems willing to go “dare to be great” – a luxury Portland has with an All-Star already on the roster and ton of future cap space.
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.