2012 NBA Mock Draft: Kentucky’s Anthony Davis Obvious Selection for New Orleans
The 2012 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 28 in Newark, New Jersey.
With the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder battling in the NBA Finals, the tables have turned to the off-season for so many others.
2012 NBA mock draft:
No. 1- New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)- Davis is one of the most sure-fired top selections in recent memory. The 6-foot-10 forward changed the landscape of college basketball in 2011-12, collecting a number of awards while becoming just the second freshman in college basketball history to win National Player of the Year (Kevin Durant).
No. 2- Charlotte Bobcats: Thomas Robinson (Kansas)- Robinson will visit the Bobcats on June 22, just days before the 2012 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9 forward helped carry the Jayhawks to the 2012 National Championship game this past spring.
No. 3- Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)- Another one-and-done on the college level, MKG was highly productive in his lone season in Lexington. The Wizards took fellow one-and-done UK star John Wall with the first overall selection in 2010.
No. 4- Cleveland Cavaliers: Andre Drummond (UConn)- After taking Kyrie Irving, the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year, with the number one overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cavaliers still have plenty of holes to fill. Drummond is the first one-and-done player in the history of Connecticut basketball.
No. 5- Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)- Barnes has been impressive in pre-draft workouts, showcasing his true athleticism and potential that once dubbed him as the top high school prospect from the class of 2010.
No. 6- Portland Trailblazers: Damian Lillard (Weber State)- One of the best players in the history of the Big Sky Conference has emerged as the top point guard prospect in this year’s NBA Draft.
No. 7- Golden State Warriors: Brad Beal (Florida)- If the Florida freshman falls to No. 7, the Golden State Warriors will have a steal in Beal. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard has a wide variety of tools that bodes well for his potential at the next level.
No. 8- Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb (UConn)- The Raptors like Lamb, and the long, athletic sophomore could be a great fit north of the border. Despite a disappointing season as a team in 2011-12, UConn could very well have two selections in the Top-10 of the draft.
No. 10- New Orleans Hornets: Kendall Marshall (North Carolina)- It’d probably be ideal if Lillard slipped to No. 10 for the Hornets, but if not Marshall could very well be the selection. After trading Chris Paul, New Orleans needs a nice replacement for the future.
No. 11- Portland Trailblazers: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)- Portland has two selections in the top 11 picks of the first round. Sullinger’s stock slipped a little despite a sophomore season in which the Buckeyes reached the Final Four.
No. 12- Milwaukee Bucks: Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)- Zeller was the 2011-12 ACC Player of the Year for a North Carolina squad that had plenty of NBA talent on it. A productive senior year has the 7-footer in the lottery.
No. 13- Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters (Syracuse)- Supposedly the Suns made a “promise” to Waiters. If the Syracuse sophomore falls to No. 13, the Suns will likely use this selection on the super-talented guard.
No. 14- Houston Rockets: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)- The Rockets would have to be thrilled if one of the aforementioned big men fell to No. 14, which is very possible. If not, UK’s Jones would be a great addition to the Rockets’ front line.
No. 15- Philadelphia 76ers: Austin Rivers (Duke)- The Duke freshman can score, in fact he led the Blue Devils in points per game this past season. A young back court could be even more dangerous if the 76ers can add this combo guard.
No. 16- Houston Rockets: Marquis Teague (Kentucky)- Another one-and-done via Kentucky, Teague was solid in guiding the Wildcats to the 2012 national title. The Rockets have two picks near the middle of the first round and should have plenty of options in their selections.
No. 17- Dallas Mavericks: Terrence Ross (Washington)- Ross could very easily be a lottery pick on June 28th, but should he slip to the middle of the first round, there is no doubt he will be a great addition to some team due to his great athleticism.
No. 18- Minnesota Timberwolves: John Henson (North Carolina)- Another defensive nightmare, Henson’s length and potential can make him a great addition for any team. Henson also has the potential to be a late lottery pick.
No. 19- Orlando Magic: Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State)- A double-double machine in Starksville, Moultrie began his career at UTEP before having a stellar season at Mississippi State in 2011-12. The forward’s production this past season has him in the midst of the middle of the first round.
No. 20- Denver Nuggets: Moe Harkless (St. John’s)- A native of Queens, New York, Harkless stayed local in signing with St. John’s. A productive freshman season in NYC has Harkless as a first round lock.
No. 21- Boston Celtics: Perry Jones III (Baylor)- Jones’ stock has slipped a bit, but there is no denying that when the 6-foot-11 big man is on, he has top-10 potential. Boston’s front line needs some help this off-season and if Jones falls far enough, the C’s have no choice but to make the selection.
No. 22- Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)- Back-to-back picks in the latter half of the first round could make for an interesting draft night in Boston. Are the Celtics interested in moving up or will they play things safe? Nicholson would be a great fit in Beantown.
No. 23- Atlanta Hawks: Royce White (Iowa State)- After a rocky start to his collegiate career in Minnesota, White revitalized himself in one season at Iowa State. White has plenty of tools to be a productive NBA player.
No. 24- Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeffrey Taylor (Vanderbilt)- Taylor was a bit under-the-radar through much of his collegiate career at Vanderbilt, but the senior has built himself up to being a first round selection.
No. 25- Memphis Grizzlies: Doron Lamb (Kentucky)- Lamb has first round talent without a doubt, leading the Wildcats in scoring during their national championship win over Kansas. There shouldn’t be much doubt that Kentucky can’t have five (maybe six) first round selections.
No. 26- Indiana Pacers: Will Barton (Memphis)- The 6-foot-6 sophomore has tons of upside, but in a deep draft like this one, Barton stands as a late-first, early-second round selection. Barton can add depth for the Pacers.
No. 27- Miami Heat: Fab Melo (Syracuse)- The Heat have a strong defensive presence around the rim despite lacking a true center. Melo was ruled academically ineligible twice this past season at Syracuse, but he could find himself as a late first round selection.
No. 28- Oklahoma City Thunder: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)- The Thunder built themselves up through the draft with stars like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. A late first round pick can be used to add depth to a franchise that currently finds themselves in the midst of a title run.
No. 29- Chicago Bulls: Orlando Johnson (UC-Santa Barbara)- Johnson has been labeled by many as a second round selection, but Johnson led the Gauchos to two NCAA Tournament in both 2010 and 2011. Johnson can score and could be a true sleeper in this year’s draft.
No. 30- Golden State Warriors: Quincy Miller (Baylor)- Miller said he was coming back to Baylor, but then he ultimately made the decision to enter the draft pool. A one-and-done, Miller is young, but certainly has the potential to become a solid NBA performer.
You can follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse
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