Trail Blazers T V Play-by-Play Mike Barrett gives his 2012 NBA draft predictions. You can view his full mock draft here and complete your own to enter the Mock Draft Contest for a chance to win a night with the broadcasters during the televised Draft Night Special.
1.) New Orleans: Anthony Davis
There’s Davis in this draft, and then there is everyone else. That’s how good he is. Amazing to think that he was a guard before his 7-inch growth spurt. All he has to do now is bulk up. Physical maturity seems to be the only thing he really has to concentrate on at this point. Will likely step in as a starter in the NBA, ceiling is very high. Everything you’d want in a top pick.
2.) Charlotte: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Some mocks have him slipping a bit, to at least 5th or 6th. I don’t see it. Charlotte doesn’t want to roll the dice on someone. They want sure-fire help. MKG gives that to them. I love the way he attacks the basket, and shows that same determination rebounding. He’s very solid in all areas, and that’s why he’s a zero-risk guy. Could be a bit of a tweener at the next level, as he’s just 6-6, but attitude and aggressiveness make up for a lot of that.
3.) Washington: Thomas Robinson
Despite the fact that he doesn’t blow you away in any one category (kind of like Kidd-Gilchrist), he’s one of the safest picks in the draft. Not the overall athlete you’d expect this high, but has that one thing you can’t coach- an incredibly strong motor and desire. Solid pick at 3. He comes from a great program, and has been well coached.
4.) Cleveland: Harrison Barnes
The major knock against Barnes is that he can’t create his own shot, and doesn’t have a solid first step. But, despite that, he can score. Kyrie Irving can set him up, and Barnes can certainly knock them down. From everything we’ve heard, Barnes is a very good kid with a great work ethic. That makes up for many shortcomings.
5.) Sacramento: Bradley Beal
Even though the Kings are in decent shape at this position (shooting guard), Beal is a pretty safe bet not to fall past this spot. Has perhaps the best range of any shooter in the draft, and can contribute to a team right away. He’s unselfish, and has a high basketball I.Q. Very young, but has a huge upside.
6.) Portland: Damian Lillard
Perhaps the best point guard in the draft, Lillard was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season. Despite having that tag, is very good at getting others involved as well. He’s also an above-average defender. There are some concerns about his injury history, especially after he missed an entire season before his junior year. His pre-draft workouts will be vital, as some have questioned the competition he faced on a nightly basis in college hoop.
7.) Golden State: Andre Drummond
No one in this draft is a bigger gamble than Drummond. He could go as high as #2, and could also easily slip into the second 10. Has the skills to be a dominant big man, but questions about his desire will hurt him. He’s very much a project, but the Warriors can afford to be patient with Andrew Bogut manning the middle for the time being.
8.) Toronto: Terence Ross
A good shooter, and a guy who will look very good in a pre-draft workout. That’s the reason his stock is on the rise. I have him moving up to this spot because of that, and I’ve got him going higher than most mocks. Very good size for an NBA shooting guard, and has the frame to handle more weight.
9.) Detroit: Jeremy Lamb
He is thin and needs to really transform his body, but will certainly get that chance, and is probably worth the gamble. He has the potential to be a very solid scorer in the NBA. Lamb is a guy who could see his stock rise a ton right before the draft, and could easily end up going in the top 6 or 7. Has a great work ethic, and has impressed scouts with his outside shooting off the catch (not so much off the dribble).
10.) New Orleans: Austin Rivers
I know, this is higher than most people expect Rivers to go, but the Hornets need a gutsy scorer to go along with Eric Gordon. Rivers is another guy who will kill it in pre-draft workouts and even though execs say they don’t get swayed simply by a great workout, they will. Rivers will slide up this high by draft day.
11.) Portland: Meyers Leonard
Hardly anyone has him going this high, but I saw him workout. He was impressive. He’s got true NBA-center size, and has the frame to pack on a lot more bulk. He worked out with Tyler Zeller for Portland, and even though he lacks Zeller’s overall skill at this point, I think he’ll be the better center down the road. I got to spend about 15 minutes with Leonard after his workout and he’s a very solid kid, and is a great story. He’s got good hands, and looks to be a solid passer. Could be a very solid NBA center in a couple of years.
12.) Milwaukee: John Henson
Tough call who will go first, Henson or Sullinger, but I’m thinking Henson. In fact, Henson could easily go top 10. Henson runs very well, and is just now learning how to utilize his size. Not much of a scorer, but could be a terrific shot blocker very soon in the NBA. Needs to put on weight, like a lot of weight, to truly reach his potential.
13.) Phoenix: Perry Jones
Very, very athletic, and very much a project. But, he’ll be tough to pass up if he’s available in this area. He’ll be impressive in pre-draft workouts and that’s probably the reason he’s climbing up the chart in most mock drafts. Red flags exist in the “demeanor” and “approach to the game” catagories, from what some execs have said. But, he’s an amazing talent and very much a gamble. Unpolished, but as physically talented as anyone in the draft.
14.) Houston: Tyler Zeller
Got to see him workout for Portland, and he can undoubtedly help a team right away. He’s a very safe pick, in that he’s very mature (four-year guy), very likable, and has a great work ethic. He’ll get pushed around by most NBA centers, but in a fast-paced system, could be very effective. Always tough to tell with four-year guys if they still have untapped talents in there somewhere, but even with that concern, Zeller shouldn’t fall much past this point in the draft.
15.) Philadelphia: Kendall Marshall
Can’t really score, but can run a team. Likely the second-best point guard in the draft, and is a good floor general, but lacks a consistent jump shot. Will rack up the assists, but has to learn to score a bit too.
16.) Houston: Arnett Moultrie
Tremendous raw skills, and should certainly be listed as a “project.” Has the size to be an NBA 4, but appeared to be more comfortable at the 3 in college. Needs to bulk up a bit, and needs to develop a back-to-the-basket game.
17.) Dallas: Dion Waiters
Won’t fall much past this point in the draft. Some have him close to the top 10, but I think that’s a little high for him. Will be an impressive work-out guy, and stock seems to be a bit on the rise.
18.) Minnesota: Jared Sullinger
At one point some experts had him going in the top 10, but has slipped a bit, but I don’t see him falling past 20. Isn’t as athletic as you would expect, and lacks some of the quickness that he’ll need to be effective in the NBA.
19.) Orlando: Terrence Jones
He’s the definition of an NBA “tweener” and doesn’t have a set position. But, he was impressive enough in two years at Kentucky to still be a top 25 pick. Needs to develop a jumper
20.) Denver: Moe Harkless
Young and thin, but has enough natural athleticism to be a first-round pick. Runs the floor very well and in the right system could be effective.
21.) Boston: Royce White
Played just one year at Iowa State, but will be 21 by draft time, so is probably more mature than his experience would indicate. Not a good distance shooter and struggles at the foul line as well.
22.) Boston: Andrew Nicholson
Plays bigger than his size, and has very nice touch from the perimeter. Some have questioned his motor, and for a senior, that’s not a compliment. Still, a solid athlete who should go in the first round.
23.) Atlanta: Doron Lamb
A very good scorer, but not a tremendous athlete. Seems to be aggressive, but playing with Kentucky, it was tough to tell. He had to share the ball with a lot of other talented players. Pre-draft workouts will be crucial to his draft position.
24.) Cleveland: Jeff Taylor
Probably won’t ever be a great scorer at the NBA level, and seems to lack the confidence to have a huge impact. Still, is a very good athlete and is an above-average defender, with good strength.
25.) Memphis: Fab Melo
Has legit size for an NBA center, and could be a good banger in time, but you’re not going to get much offense from him. Probably should be a better rebounder than he’s shown, but will likely stay in the first round just given his size and strength.
26.) Indiana: Marquis Teague
A very intriguing point guard, who could have a huge upside. An amazing athlete, but doesn’t always seem to get his teammates as involved as a point guard should. I’d rather have his brother right now, but Marquis could be as good in time.
27.) Miami: Evan Fournier
Doesn’t have the long-range skill that he’ll need to be an impactful NBA player right away, but certainly has the potential to be a decent perimeter scorer. That’s all you’re looking for late in the first round.
28.) OKC: Quincy Miller
I love the 7-3 wingspan, but there are some concerns about his knee (tore ACL in high school). Fairly thin, and not a great athlete, but polished enough to slip into the first round.
29.) Chicago: Draymond Green
Not sure why so many people have Green slipping into the second round. If you watched any Big-10 hoops this year, Green absolutely catches your eye on the court and can take over a game by himself. He could be a steal late in the first, or early in the second.
30.) Golden State: Khris Middleton
Tough to tell on this guy since an ankle injury kept him from really showing his true stuff last season. A good shooter, and a good value late in the first round.