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June 11, 2012

NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0

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Written by: Hank Glassner
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NBA Mock Draft
The NBA Draft is right around the corner! Below is my first edition of my 2012 NBA mock draft and 50 player Big Board.

Enjoy both after the jump…

NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 (Updated: 6/11/12)
Round 1
1. New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis – PF – 6’10’’, 220 lbs – Kentucky

It’s not too hard to figure out why Davis is the clear-cut top pick in this draft. He’s got incredible length and defensive ability that can translate to instant success at the professional level of basketball. Fully developed offensive game and strength will come in time, but I don’t think the Hornets will feel bad with a player that will make their franchise relevant again.


2. Charlotte Bobcats
  Thomas Robinson – PF – 6’9’’, 245 lbs – Kansas  

The Bobcats can go in plenty of different directions here, as they really have no strengths on their team whatsoever. Robinson is the choice here for now. He is a very hard worker and has an NBA body that will translate seamlessly into the next level. He is going to have to work on his offensive repertoire, as he was never a jump shooter or a fluid post up player during his career as Kansas. He does have a nice touch though. Other options here could include Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Drummond.


3. Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal – SG – 6’4’’, 200 lbs – Florida

Beal is the perfect compliment to John Wall in the Wizards backcourt. He’s a tremendous shooter, and silenced the doubters who questioned his size for the position at the NBA Draft Combine measuring in at 6’4’’ with shoes on. Has a great feel for the game and possibly has the highest ceiling for any guard in this draft. Very mature and well-rounded talent for Washington to take here.


4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Harrison Barnes – SF – 6’8’’, 230 lbs – North Carolina

Likewise with the previous pick, this is a perfect fit for the Barnes and the Cavs. Barnes has a game that will translate better in the pros than it did at the college level. He has a reliable mid range jumper that is his calling card, with great form and touch on his shot. However, he can become reliant on the jumper. He needs to develop a mentality to get into the paint for some easy buckets, which will allow him to become more of a versatile threat offensively. He also has to become a better player off the ball. He is a plus defender though. Partnering Barnes with Kyrie Irving is a great foundation for the future for Dan Gilbert and company.


5. Sacramento Kings
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF – 6’7”, 230 lbs – Kentucky

The Kings do not need scoring, but do need about everything else. Well, MKG does exactly that. He is the best ‘intangibles’ guy in the draft. He is the smartest player in the draft, a fantastic defender, and is always at the right place at the right time. He’s going to be one of those elite defenders who is going to be asked to guard the 1-3 (and maybe 4) positions on opposing teams. MKG is a player that any team would love to have on their squad, but his offensive shortcomings won’t allow for him to become a franchise player for a while (or ever).


6. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn)
Andre Drummond – C – 7’0’’, 280 lbs – Connecticut

Drummond is the ‘potential’ guy of the draft. He has a massive amount of upside. He’s got all of the physical traits necessary for a successful NBA center’s body—he has great athleticism, size, strength, and physique. But he needs work. A lot of work. He has virtually zero feel for the game offensively. He is a good shot-blocker and big man defender. Doesn’t this remind you exactly of some #1 draft pick in ’04? He’ll need a boatload of coaching and experience, but if (a HUGE if) everything pans out well, he could end up as a Dwight Howard type of player. A high risk, high reward pick here for the Blazers, who could use a nice compliment to LaMarcus Aldridge for years to come.


7. Golden State Warriors
Jarred Sullinger – PF – 6’9’’, 270 lbs –Ohio State 

The Warriors need interior frontcourt scoring. Sullinger will provide that instantly. He’s a space eater who plays below the rim, but has a very polished and refined post game with excellent footwork. He’s also a very underrated defender, and his weight loss from his freshman to sophomore seasons at Ohio State provides him with more agility. There are still questions regarding his physical attributes transitioning in the NBA effectively. If Mark Jackson decides to finally slow the pace of his offense down, Sullinger could produce well for fans up in the Bay Area.


8. Toronto Raptors
Jeremy Lamb – SG – 6’5’’, 180 lbs – Connecticut 

The Raptors are a very poor shooting team. Jeremy Lamb is a legit shooter with great size for his position. He not only is a great jump shooter, but he does a good job creating a shot for himself off the dribble. He needs to add strength to his rather skinny frame and learn to attack the basket more often offensively (like Harrison Barnes) in order to become the complete package Toronto would hope for him to be.

9. Detroit Pistons
Tyler Zeller – PF/C – 7’0’’, 250 lbs – North Carolina

One thing the Pistons clearly lack is true size up front, and the addition of Zeller will help solve that problem. A true 7 footer with a great IQ and athleticism, Zeller will need to put on a little more weight and develop a complete post game (which is not half bad as is) if he wants to take his game to the next level. He can certaintly run the floor alongside Greg Monroe and would make for a very unique, valuable PF/C combination.


10. New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota through L.A. Clippers)
Damian Lillard – PG – 6’3’’, 190 lbs – Weber State 

The best player in the draft you never heard of is also the best point guard in the draft. NBA scouts and personnel were raving about him after his workouts at the NBA Draft Combine this past week, and his stock continues to rise by the second. He’s an NBA ready player who’s size and strength combine with his fantastic shooting stroke make him able to grab the reigns of an NBA team successfully. The Hornets can provide him that opportunity by picking him. A Lillard/Anthony Davis pick-and-roll combination doesn’t sound too shabby, eh?


11. Portland Trail Blazers
Kendall Marshall – PG – 6’4’’, 200 lbs – North Carolina  

Marshall is the best pure passer in this draft. He understand the point guard ‘distributor’ role as well as anyone, and can get his teammates involved with his superb passing and court vision skills. However, he lacks a jump shot and has plenty of defensive shortcomings (mostly revolving around his lack of quickness). He’s the floor general that Portland needs.


12. Milwaukee Bucks
Meyers Leonard – C – 7’1’’, 250 lbs – Illinois  

Another true 7 footer with an array of physical and skillful tools that make him a lottery pick. He still needs to complete his back-to-the-basket offensive game, but Leonard has shown strides of improvement in college that make it seem like he will continue to progress with time. Defensively, his mobility and quickness will make him an above average rim protector. He needs to develop a jump shot, and once he does, people need to watch out. This could possibly be the best value pick in the draft if the Bucks decide to go in this direction.


13. Phoenix Suns
Dion Waiters – SG – 6’4’’, 220 lbs – Syracuse  

Waiters pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine after Day 1. Reports are surfacing that he has received a promise from a team rather positioned late in the lottery. Phoenix could most definitely be that option. The Suns need some youth out on its wings. Grant Hill is not getting any older, and with his impending free agency status, Waiters seems like an ideal replacement. Waiters is a good defender, who has shown ability to take the ball to the basket. He still lacks a consistent jumper.


14. Houston Rockets
John Henson – PF – 6’11’’, 220 lbs – North Carolina  

Another upside pick here. Henson has improved every year since he started playing for Roy Williams, but his offensive game is still raw (although his post game is developing), and he is way too skinny to be playing his position in the NBA. He does play stronger than his weight suggests though (but still a huge liability), and his defensive skill set is elite and will be a big bonus for any team looking for interior length, rebounding, shot blocking. Houston needs this.


15. Philadelphia 76ers
Arnett Moultrie – PF/C – 6’11’’, 230 lbs – Mississippi State 

Doug Collins knows he needs more size in order to compete in the NBA. Without a pure center on their roster, the Sixers could use the draft to add a player like Moultrie to their roster. He is good athlete who runs the floor real well, is a very good offensive rebounder, and has a nice touch near the basket. Likewise with Henson, Moultrie needs to add some weight. If he can develop any kind of post game, it will be a big plus to a team who desperately lacks interior frontcourt scoring (and defending).


16. Houston Rockets (from New York)
Terrence Ross – SF – 6’7’’, 200 lbs – Washington

A shooter who loves spotting up, Ross is another player that scouts have been raving about after his performance at the NBA Draft Combine. A versatile threat with his ability to play the SG or SF position, Ross will contribute primarily through his offensive ability off the ball—coming off screens and making proper cuts. He needs work with his ball handling skills, which makes attacking the basket one of his primary weaknesses. If he can fix that up, he will become a complete offensive scoring threat. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Houston trade this or their 14thpick during the draft.


17. Dallas Mavericks
Perry Jones – PF – 6’11, 230 lbs – Baylor 

On one end you have a player like Ross (above) who has seen his draft stock rise recently. On the other hand, you have a player like Perry Jones, whose draft stock has plummeted after the NBA Draft Combine. Once thought of as the next big time NBA star athlete coming out of high school, Jones never lived up to expectations at Baylor, constantly underperforming under the national spotlight. He has all of the tools to eventually become a star in the pros. He’s got size, freakish athleticism, good shooting range (work in progress), good footwork, above average handles, and defensive potential to be a franchise cornerstone. While all of those attributes aren’t fully developed yet, he showed at times that he could become that unreal talent people are hoping for him to become. So what’s holding him back? It’s quite simple, actually. His motor. He has poor body language and looks disinterested on the court at times, as if he does not know how good he can be as a basketball player. Under the right situation with the right coaching, Jones could possibly become that supreme talent.


18. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)
Austin Rivers – SG – 6’5’’, 200 lbs – Duke 

This is a perfect fit for Rivers, going to an up-and-coming Minnesota team where he could feature as the starting shooting guard. He has a very good offensive game that will easily translate to the NBA. He has very good ball handling skills and runs the pick-and-roll very well, which could be an added plus with Kevin Love setting him those picks. Rivers would also be a nice compliment to Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. He does need to improve his overall defending skills, as he is known for being too much of a gambler.


19. Orlando Magic
Terrence Jones – PF – 6’9’’, 250 lbs – Kentucky 

The enigma that Jones is will be hard for Orlando to pass up this late in the first round. He has attitude and motor problems, but does possess a very well rounded game, including his above average ball handling for his position. He is going to struggle at time defensively guarding the post and will need to become more motivated to rebound the basketball. With that said, he has the tools to become a very good player in the pros.


20. Denver Nuggets
Royce White – PF – 6’8’’, 260 lbs – Iowa State 

The most unique player in the draft, White has an enormous frame and was known for his point-forward skills at Iowa State while leading his team in about every major offensive and defensive category this past season. White is very comfortable operating at any spot on the floor offensively. Improving his jump shot would just add to his versatility. Defensively, he might have trouble guarding NBA sized power forwards. The Nuggets, with backup point guard Andre Miller most likely leaving, could use White’s skills to implement a point forward system adding to all of the length they already have.


21. Boston Celtics
Moe Harkless – SF – 6’8’’, 205 lbs – St. John’s

Harkless is a very aggressive, tough-nosed player with an NBA ready body. He’s very good at moving off the ball and getting to the basket, but he’s another player that could really benefit from developing a reliable perimeter jump shot. His quickness also is top-notch, but in the NBA it will be limited due to his average ball handling skills. One of the raw players in this draft who won’t contribute immediately, but has some NBA level skills already in place and tremendous upside.


22. Boston Celtics (From L.A. Clippers through Oklahoma City)
Fab Melo – C – 7’0’’, 255 lbs – Syracuse 

Yet another 7 footer, Melo has taken serious strides from year 1 to year 2 at Syracuse, a sign that he knows what it takes to reach his full potential in the NBA. His primary area of contribution will come on the defensive end. He is a first class shot blocker and rim protector that will translate well into the pros. He will never contribute much on the offensive end (unless some MAJOR coaching help is provided) besides his knack for offensive rebounding and put backs. Boston could use his size and defense immediately, although he might develop more as a long-term project.


23. Atlanta Hawks
Jeffrey Taylor – SF – 6’7’’, 210 lbs – Vanderbilt  

An outstanding jump shooter, Taylor has the athletic ability to be an impact player in the pros who will be ready to contribute right away. However, he was known for being very inconsistent at Vanderbilt, and some question whether that inconsistency will not translate well into the NBA. If he can prove the doubters wrong and develop better ball handling skills, Taylor can become a quality role player that teammates can rely on.


24. Cleveland Cavaliers
John Jenkins – SG – 6’4’’, 210 lbs – Vanderbilt 

Jenkins, Taylor’s teammate at Vandy, is even a better shooter. In fact, he’s such a good shooter that it most likely will make him a first round pick in the draft. He lacks athleticism and quickness to be a complete player offensively or defensively. He will be asked to become a spot up shooter. If he can master that craft, the Cavs will surely be relying on his touch to help them succeed.


25. Memphis Grizzlies
Marquis Teague – PG – 6’2’’, 180 lbs – Kentucky

The Grizzlies lack a backup point guard. Badly. Marquis Teague would be the perfect pickup here late in the first round. Teague started out his freshman campaign in Kentucky very slowly, but matured and showed ample progress throughout the season to validate claims that he could be a successful pro-style point guard. His inconsistency and turnover rates really improved throughout the year, but he has problems running a half court set offense that could spell trouble for the 19 year old. He has shown no signs of being an effective floor leader and commanding his teammates attention during the run of play. He’ll need to improve his overall leadership and decision making and become more confident in order to become the player he could potentially live up to.


26. Indiana Pacers
Andrew Nicholson – PF – 6’9’’, 235 lbs – St. Bonaventure

A very skilled big man with a refined post game, Nicholson will be able to contribute at the next level with his offensive maturity and skill set. He also has shown the ability to take a man out to the perimeter and create a shot off the dribble. He has defensive issues, ranging from his skinny frame to his overall effort level. He’s a true project to develop defensively, but his length could really help his shortcomings. This pick could help provide Indiana with some frontcourt depth and Roy Hibbert (free agent) insurance that they sorely need.


27. Miami Heat
Festus Ezeli – C – 6’11’’, 255 lbs – Vanderbilt 

Another Vandy player projected to go in the twenties, Ezeli has the most potential out of the bunch that could translate into a huge value pick here for Miami. Did not produce to expectations this past year due to a NCAA suspension and a sprained knee. His big man size will instantly help a team who needs exactly that–big man size. Will help them defensively, besides the fact that he does take himself out of position too often. His offensive game that has plenty of room for improvement. If he matures and develops as a player, he could become a quality backup big man on a championship contending team.


28. Oklahoma City Thunder
Quincy Miller – SF – 6’10’’, 220 lbs – Baylor  

Ah, yes, the classic case of the player who should have stayed in school for another year before even thinking about declaring for the draft. Miller was a standout recruit at Baylor, and performed pretty well in his first year in college. However, he is nowhere ready to being an NBA caliber player. This was reaffirmed at the NBA Draft Combine, where Miller failed to impress. Thus, his stock has dropped more than any other player in this year’s draft pool. He’s got great potential and raw ability, but another year or two in college would not have hurt. He could have been a lottery pick, and now he’s a fringe first rounder. Luckily, the Thunder can afford to pick Miller up and attempt to develop him into a NBA talent.


29. Chicago Bulls

Doron Lamb – SG – 6’5’’, 200 lbs – Kentucky

 Another great fit for team and player. Lamb was an excellent shooter in college for a NCAA championship winning team in college. He also is very good at coming off of screens and making the correct off ball movements to get in the right offensive spots on the court at the right time. He’s also a plus, hard-nosed defender that lacks pure quickness but makes up for it with his effort level. He also has troubles finishing around the rim, but does do a good job getting to the free throw line. He should become an NBA role player rather quickly, and for a team that lacks a sustainable two-guard, this fit seems ideal.


30. Golden State Warriors (from San Antonio)
Evan Fournier – SG – 6’7’’, 205 lbs – France

The international player pool is not as strong as it has been in years before, but Fournier did enjoy a successful season playing in France’s top league (one of the top European leagues). He’s got a great offensive skill set, but his shot selection comes into question with scouts. He is also known to be a lazy defender. With the right situation and coaching, Fournier could turn out to be a impactful NBA talent at just 19 years old.


Hank Glassner’s Big Board – Version 1.0


First Name Last Name Position College
1. Anthony  Davis PF Kentucky
2. Michael  Kidd-Gilchrist SF Kentucky
3. Bradley Beal SG Florida
4. Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina
5. Andre Drummond C Connecticut
6. Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State
7. Myers Leonard C Illinois
8. Jeremy  Lamb SG Connecticut
9. Damian  Lillard PG Weber State
10. Perry Jones PF Baylor
11. Tyler  Zeller C North Carolina
12. Austin Rivers SG Duke
13. Dion Waiters SG Syracuse
14. John Henson PF North Carolina
15. Terrence Jones PF Kentucky
16. Kendall Marshall PG North Carolina
17. Royce White PF Iowa State
18. Terrence Ross SG/SF Washington
19. Arnett Moultrie PF Mississippi State
20. Moe  Harkless SF St. John’s
21. Andrew Nicholson PF St. Bonaventure
22. Jeffrey Taylor SG Vanderbilt
23. Marquis Teague PG Kentucky
24. Doron Lamb SG Kentucky
25. Quincy  Miller SF Baylor
26. Tony Wroten PG/SG Washington
27. Festus Ezeli C Vanderbilt
28. Orlando Johnson SG UC Santa Barbara
29. Evan Fournier SG France
30. Tyshawn Taylor PG  Kansas
31. Darius  Miller SF Kentucky
32. Draymond Green PF Michigan State
33. Fab Melo C Syracuse
34. John Jenkins SG Vanderbilt
35. Will  Barton SG/SF Memphis
36. Scott Machado PG Iona
37. Miles Plumlee PF/C Duke
38. Kyle O’Quinn PF/C Norfolk State
39. Jared Cunningham PG/SG Oregon State
40. Jae Crowder SF/PF Marquette
41. Kevin Murphy SG/SF Tennessee Tech
42. Kevin Jones PF West Virginia
43. Drew Gordon PF New Mexico
44. JayMychal Green PF Alabama
45. J’Covan  Brown PG/SG Texas
46. Hollis Thompson SF Georgetown
47. Darius Johnson-Odom PG/SG Marquette
48. Tomas Satoransky PG/SG Czech Republic
49. Kim English SG/SF Missouri
50. Mike Scott PF Virginia


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About the Author

Hank Glassner
Hank Glassner is a Senior at Indiana University hailing from Los Angeles, California. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the entertainment blog "Pop Hoosier", host of the "Group Therapy" podcast, and is also the founder of the Indiana Univeristy Sport Communication Club. You can follow Hank on Twitter at @hglassner.



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