2012 NBA Mock Draft

Draft order based on standings as of January 17, 2012.

In this mock draft, I included everybody. Guys like Moe Harkness and James McAdoo are probably going to return to school, but you never know. The next mock I do I will be more selective with who I have declaring. But it's really a guessing game, as guys who are not ready declare all the time.

1. Washington Wizards - C Andre Drummond, Fr, Connecticut
10.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.7 bpg, .617 FG%

Drummond isn't the most productive player in college basketball this year, but he is still my pick for the top spot. One thing you cannot teach is size, and that is why centers are so often taken first overall. No one batted an eye when Andrew Bogut was taken over Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Size always wins out. Drummond has an NBA body at 6'11, 275 at only 19 years old. He still has a lot to learn about playing at the NBA level, and it is unlikely he will step right in and set the world on fire. But I think any team picking first has to take the guy, true centers are too far and few between. As for the Wizards, they would have a young, athletic rotation of big men with Drummond as well as JaVale McGee and Jan Vesely.

2. Charlotte Bobcats - PF Anthony Davis, Fr, Kentucky
12.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 4.6 bpg, 1.5 spg, .639 PG%

If anyone needs to tank this year and land a superstar potential talent, it is the Charlotte Bobcats. I am sure the 7 fans of the team are tired of seeing low ceiling guys like Emeka Okafor and Adam Morrison drafted year after year. Davis would definitely qualify as superstar potential. He is having a fantastic freshman year for a loaded Wildcats team. There is really not much he can't do on a college basketball court. He fills up the stat sheet. His offensive game is still a work in progress, but that could be due to the fact that he hasn't really been taught to play like a big man. Many people think he is the top player in this draft, and I would not disagree with that. If Drummond is 1 then Davis is 1A. I don't worry about his size, he has the frame to bulk up without losing his dangerous all around game.

3. New Jersey Nets - SF Harrison Barnes, So, North Carolina.
16.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg, .484 FG%, .458 3P%

If you look at the stats, it looks like Barnes isn't progressing that much. But this Tar Heels team is so deep and loaded that he doesn't need to do much more then score at the moment. What I am pleased with is his percentages are up all across the board. He has become a much better and more efficient scorer. I think he is the top wing player in this draft and has shown why he was so highly regarded coming out of high school. In the event that the Nets cannot convince any big free agents to come to Brooklyn and Deron Williams bolts, they will at least be able to build around a couple of athletic scorers in Barnes and MarShon Brooks.

4, New Orleans Hornets - SF/PF Perry Jones, So, Baylor.
14.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg, .545 FG%

This pick was a toss up between two players who went head to head this past weekend. Perry Jones and Thomas Robinson. Robinson did what he has done all season, as he tore through the Bears for huge numbers. But Jones held his own. With the Hornets having two lottery picks, I think they need to swing for the fences and draft the potential franchise player. Jones could be that. He has some knocks about floating through games and not being assertive, but I remember hearing the same things about Rudy Gay and he ended up being a much better pro then college player. I think Jones will end up the same way. The Hornets need to strike gold in this draft, and their best chance here is by taking Jones.

5. Detroit Pistons - PF Thomas Robinson, Jr, Kansas
17.6 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg, .545 FG%

Now that the Morris Twins have moved on to the NBA, Thomas Robinson has exploded for the Jayhawks. He is compared somewhat to current Nets starting power forward Kris Humphries in that he is a bit undersized but makes up for it with a great gift for going after the rebound. He has also shown an expanded offensive game with range out to 20 feet. I think he has shown enough during his junior season to hold off the younger, more talented guys to be drafted this high. He would be a good fit next to Greg Monroe and a huge upgrade over Charlie Villanueva for the Pistons.

6. Sacramento Kings - SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Fr, Kentucky
13.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 bpg, .503 FG%

As you can see from Kidd-Gilchrist's stat line, he is not great at anything, but good at pretty much everything. He would be a great fit with a Kings team that is talented but a complete mess personnel wise. Kidd-Gilchrist is a good defender that would most likely go up against the other teams best wing player, he can rebound and score. Unlike the rest of the Kings, he doesn't need the ball in his hands the entire game to be effective. A perfect glue guy who has the talent to blossom into an All Star.

7. Toronto Raptors - SG Jeremy Lamb, So, Connecticut
18.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, .514 FG%, .394 3P%

The Raptors have quietly drafted very well and collected quite a bit of young talent. Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas all look to be a big part of the future. But for right now, this team is still very bad and needs to keep hitting on draft picks. I like Lamb here. He is a great shooter and scorer who falls a bit due to all the size available in this draft. And more importantly for the defensively challenged Raptors, he can cause some havoc on that end. If Toronto can somehow find themselves a point guard, a future rotation of Valanciunas, Davis, DeRozan and Lamb looks pretty good.

8. Utah Jazz (from Golden St. Warriors) - SG Bradley Beal, Fr, Florida
14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.4 spg, .421 FG %

The Jazz go two deep with young players at every position but point guard. In the front court especially where Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are waiting behind two All Star caliber big men in their prime. So it would really make no sense to take someone like John Henson or Jared Sullinger. So I go with Brad Beal here. He is much more talented then Alec Burks. He is a bit undersized but a good shooter and defender. He can play some point as well. The Jazz would love to find a young point guard to groom to take over for the painfully mediocre Devin Harris, but this draft is looking like a pretty bad one for that position.

9. Boston Celtics - PF Jared Sullinger, So, Ohio St.
17.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.5 spg, .597 FG%

If the Celtics finish this low it is almost a certainty that Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will be gone. Paul Pierce might be moved as well, signaling a flat out rebuilding phase. Sullinger might not be the type of guy you can build an entire team around, but he would be a good start. He is one of the most productive players in college basketball who falls a bit because of his size (maybe 6'8, but approaching 280 pounds). But guys like Zach Randolph and Al Jefferson have shown that you can still be a terror offensively if you don't have amazing height and athletic talents. At his best, Sullinger would provide a very nice offensive game down low, and he could abuse some of the lesser big men in the league. The Celtics will have to surround him with shooters though.

10. Phoenix Suns - PF John Henson, Jr, North Carolina
14.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 3.0 bpg, .546 FG%

John Henson, not of the old Talk Soup television show variety, has really improved every year he has been at Chapel Hill. He is one of the best shot blockers and rebounders in college basketball, showing great skill and timing. But on offense he still relies on put backs and dunks, and is so weak that it is easy to push him out of the lane offensively. He has bulked up about 30 pounds since he was a freshman, and has the frame to add a little bit more strength, but there is a worry he will be the next Steven Hunter, just too weak to be this effective at the next level. I think with his defensive talents and size, he is a lottery lock, though. Best case scanario is he develops a jump shot and carves out a Marcus Camby like career. He would be a good backup big man with the Suns who can come in and block some shots.

11. Milwaukee Bucks - PG/SG Tony Wroten, Fr, Washington
16.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.9 spg, .479 FG%

There is a lot to like and almost as much to hate about freshman Tony Wroten. First, the good. He is a terror offensively. He can play the point guard position if needed, and if he does in the NBA, he will simply be too strong and powerful for most point guards to handle. He is a great scorer and has good vision. He is more then just a combo guard who needs the ball in his hand at all times. The bad? He is still learning how to play the position, as evidenced by his 4 turnovers per game. He can be erratic and a bit wild at times. Would he be able to coexist with Brandon Jennings on the Bucks? He might cause Scott Skiles to lose the rest of his hair, but Milwaukee really needs more guys who can create their own offense.

12. New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota Timbewolves) - C Meyers Leonard, So, Illinois
13.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.1 bpg, .599 FG%

Like I said earlier, the Hornets need to come out of this draft with gold. That means taking chances. Who would you rather see your team draft? A high talent project like Leonard or someone with a lower ceiling like a Tyler Zeller. Leonard would definitely be a project at this point. He was invisible as a freshman, but has really blossomed as a sophomore for Illinois. He was a former top recruit so it is not like he has come out of nowhere. He has great size (7'1) and the frame to add another 30 pounds or so to his 245 pound body. Like I said earlier, you can't teach size. So size will always be drafted high. Leonard won't step right in and produce though, he needs a lot more seasoning and strength. If he stays in school one more year he could be a top five pick in 2013.

13. Houston Rockets - C Tyler Zeller, Sr, North Carolina
14.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg, .545 FG%
This pick will be owed to the New Jersey Nets if Houston does not finish in the top 14.

The Rockets have been looking for size since Yao Ming's injury woes first began. All they have to show for it is Samuel Dalembert and a host of young power forwards like Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons. Zeller at least has what none of those other guys have. A 7 foot frame. Zeller is more then just your average big white stiff though. He is pretty athletic and has a nice offensive game with range out to almost 20 feet. Even at 22 years old, he is pretty weak and needs to bulk up if he wants to play 30 minutes per game in the NBA. I think he would step right in and start for the Rockets, and could wind up being one of the better centers in the NBA one day.

14. Memphis Grizzlies - PF Patric Young, So, Florida
11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, .627 FG %

I still like Patrick Young as being an NBA lottery pick whenever he comes out. He has improved this year, though not as much as one might want. He is part of a deep Florida Gators team and really hasn't made that much of an impact, especially on offense. But I think he will be picked in the top 20 or so picks due to his presence on the defensive side of the basketball. He has good size, great strength and can rebound and block shots. His offense is still a huge work in progress, which means he might not ever become a starter. He would be a perfect fit for a team like the Grizzlies that are established at the starting spots but could really use some backup depth on the front court.

15. Houston Rockets (from New York Knicks) - PF/C Cody Zeller, Fr, Indiana
14.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 1.6 spg, .648 FG%, .771 FT%

No, I am not trying to be cute here by having the Rockets take both Zeller brothers. Like I said before, the Rockets are going to keep drafting size until someone sticks. Zeller is having a fantastic freshman season for the Hoosiers. His stats look great, and his shooting percentages are very impressive. If he wasn't a rail thin 220 pounds on a 7 foot frame, he would be a top ten pick. Even if he declares this year, I think he will get drafted in the teens based on potential. I think it would be a good idea to stay at Indiana for at least one more year. He could be a future top five pick.

16. Cleveland Cavaliers - SG Austin Rivers, Fr, Duke
13.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, .436 FG %, .370 3PT %

Austin Rivers has had a so so freshman season for the Blue Devils. He plays almost 30 minutes per game but has struggled to make a name for himself. He has had a couple good scoring games against good competition (Michigan and Ohio St.) and should continue to get better if he stays a couple years. The problem is I think he is definitely one and done. Which means he will be a project in the pros. I think his future is instant offense off the bench for both guard spots. If he gets taken by Cleveland, however, he will have a great chance to win the starting shooting guard position next to Kyrie Irving. That duo could be pretty fun to watch.

17. Dallas Mavericks - SF/PF James McAdoo, Fr, North Carolina
5.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.8 spg, .412 FG %

McAdoo has been relegated to part time player for the Tar Heels. Which had to be expected when he is on a team that features a front court with three guys picked in my top 13. It is hard to find a rhythm and consistent production with spotty minutes like that. McAdoo would be very wise to go back to school for his sophomore year, where he could have all the minutes he can handle. But I said I was going to include every player in college in this mock. We have seen guys like this come out before, Daniel Orton and Marvin Williams come to mind. If he does declare, he would be a steal here, as he has the talent to be a top ten guy as early as next year.

18. Denver Nuggets - SF/PF Terrence Jones, So, Kentucky
11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg, .480 FG%

This time a year ago Jones was talked about as the possible first overall pick. But far, far too often he has coasted through games, and his stats and draft position has really suffered as a result. This is a guy who is compared to Lamar Odom for his on the court versatility, and his empty eyed, sleepy demeanor. Sure, he is on a very talented and deep Kentucky Wildcats team, but you would like to see him be more assertive. If he shows some hunger, he will shoot up draft boards, but right now, in a draft this deep, he will probably go around this spot. As a Nuggets fan, I would gladly take him here. He has the talent to become the Nuggets starting power forward while providing a good all around game. It is up to him if he has the hunger to do that, though.

19. Portland Trail Blazers - SF/PF Quincy Miller, Fr, Baylor
12.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, .472 FG %

Miller is having a pretty good freshman season for the highly ranked Baylor Bears. I think the problem with him right now is you aren't sure what type of pro he will be. He is not the best shooter for a small forward, but not the best rebounder for a power forward. Right now he is more basketball player, and if he comes out this year will probably sit on the end of the bench and learn the game. It would do him very well to play another year or two and carve out a game for himself. With the Blazers he would probably join Luke Babbitt and Elliot Williams as first round picks relegated to garbage time.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah Jazz) - SG Terrence Ross, So, Washington
15.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, .452 FG %, .407 3PT %

The Timberwolves are playing pretty well right now, but one of their weaknesses is a true wing player who can shoot the basketball. Ross is a good shooter who is still developing the rest of his game. But he has improved a great deal this year and could get some lottery looks.

21. Miami Heat - PF Arnett Moultrie, Jr, Mississippi St.
16.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, .577 FG %

UTEP transfer Moultrie is a talented offensive player who can do a few things well. He has really blossomed this season with Mississippi St. He has bulked up to power forward and is really getting after it on the glass. In the NBA he might be more of a stretch four. He has the ability to hit the occasional three point shot and could get some looks there with the Heat's best players driving and kicking.

22. Los Angeles Lakers - PG Myck Kabongo, Fr, Texas
10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 spg, .419 FG %

Kabongo is a very talented point guard who would be a much higher pick in a weaker draft. If he stays another year or two, I think he is top ten. But right now, he still needs to learn to improve his shot selection and gain some strength, as his listed weight of 170 might be pushing it. He would get pushed around big time in the NBA. But he would still be a first round pick if he declared this year. He is a dynamic pass first point guard and has the type of flash to be a fan favorite for a team like the Lakers. Even as a project, he would be much better then Derek Fisher and Steve Blake right now, of course.

23. San Antonio Spurs - C Fab Melo, So, Syracuse
7.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 bpg, .563 FG %

Melo is very slowly developing into a good college basketball center. However, he is at least five years away from being a productive NBA player. But some team will take him in the first round of the draft when he declares. At least he won't be taken #2 overall like Hasheem Thabeet. The Spurs are one of the most patient teams in the NBA when it comes to developing young talent. There would not be a better situation for Melo to land in.

24. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers) - SF Moe Harkless, Fr, St. John's
15.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 1.6 spg, .451 FG %

Freshman Moe Harkless is doing it all for a bad St. John's team. He is not nearly ready for the NBA right now, but could be a lottery pick if he stays another year or two. The Celtics need to try to strike it big as they move on from the big three, so this is a good gamble at this point in the draft.

25. Atlanta Hawks - PG Marquis Teague, Fr, Kentucky
10.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.5 rpg, .427 FG %

I wasn't trying to be cute with the Rockets taking the Zeller brothers, but maybe I am with Marquis Teague joining his brother Jeff in Atlanta. The Hawks patience with Jeff, who they took around this spot after his freshman season a few years ago, is paying off. Why not do the same thing with Marquis, who might be more talented?

26. Orlando Magic - PG Kendall Marshall, So, North Carolina
5.9 ppg, 9.5 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 spg, .432 FG %

What a stat line Marshall is putting up. Almost twice as many assists as points. His job on a loaded Tar Heels team is not to score, but his complete lack of offense will probably keep him out of the top 15. He is a great floor leader, and if he can at least learn to keep defenses honest like Jason Kidd or Rajon Rondo has, has a future as a starter in this league. For the Magic, he's an upgrade over Chris Duhon as the backup point guard.

27. Indiana Pacers - PF Mason Plumlee, Jr, Duke
11.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 bpg, .614 FT %

Plumlee has improved every year for Duke and looks like a solid first round draft pick. He might not ever be a big time scorer but could carve out a Chris Andersen like role off the bench as a rebounder and shot blocker. With Plumlee and Tyler Hansbrough, the Pacers will have a couple guys on their second unit who can go after the ball.

28. Philadelphia 76ers - PF Kevin Jones, Sr, West Virginia
20.4 ppg, 11.4 rpg, .545 FG %

Kevin Jones has been one of the top players in college basketball, piling up the double doubles. He is one of the most ferocious rebounders in the nation and has surprising range out to the three point line. Undersized power forwards are getting more and more looks in the first round these days. One of the things that usually translates well to the NBA is rebounding. He would add to an already great 76ers second unit.

29. Chicago Bulls - PG Damian Lillard, Jr, Weber St.
25.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, .468 FG %

Lillard is the leading scorer in college basketball and has enough handles to be a point guard at the next level. He would add to an already deep Bulls bench.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder - SG/SF Evan Fournier, France

Extensions are already starting to kick in for the Thunder, as they recently gave Russell Westbrook a max extension. Big contracts for James Harden and Serge Ibaka are coming next, so they probably will want to save some money. Who knows though, as they always seem to draft guys and glue them to the bench.

Jonathan Carrano

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