Every Draft Pick (Prematurely) Reviewed: 2012

This is my third year of putting down some thoughts/guesses on as many draft prospects as I possibly can, which typically lasts until sometime at the start of the 2nd round and I get lazy and skip through to a couple of my final favorites.

Kevin S, Mike Payne, Sean_Corp, brgulker, The Boourns, and everyone on DBB has been doing a great job breaking down the draft, so I'll try and keep it short and sweet for most of the players.

Click here for my 2010 predictions. Click here for my 2011 predictions.

** I'm using the draft order from the Draftexpress mock draft, the players are not listed in the order that I would pick them **

1. Anthony Davis: Nothing interesting to add. Stats+measurements are off the charts. Barring injury, looks like a lock to become a superstar.

2. Thomas Robinson: There are red flags. Low block rate, and a low 2 point FG% - 50.5% - as a junior (his only year shouldering a large scoring load). That's not a happy combination, as they suggest he may struggle with the length and athleticism of NBA PF/C's both on offense and defense. The big positive with Robinson is his rebounding rate, I love bebounds, and he is reportedly a great person/hard worker/intangiblesintangiblesintangibles guy. I think he'll have a long career, but will be like Joe Smith, where in ten years it will seem weird he was drafted so high.

3. Bradley Beal: His 3 pt% was 34%, nothing to write home about about, but enough to keep defenses honest. His steal rate is just okay. But he was played out of position at Florida, was a solid finisher for a SG with a 54% 2pt FG%, and is extremely young. When I add everything up I actually like him more than I probably should, since I usually prefer when a player has pronounced strengths (even if they come with corresponding weaknesses), but Beal is solid across the board and is a low risk type of player.

4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Very, very young. His stats are actually nothing special, but very rarely does a player as young as MKG play such a huge role on such a great team. His individual stats may have also been kept down because of how stacked his team was. I think he'll make a Kawhi Leonard type impact right off the bat.

5. Harrison Barnes: DaJuan Summers 2.0. Maybe not quite that bad. But pretty damn bad. He fails every test for a prospect, except that most important of tests - eyeballz. He's a big dude, who can shoot jump shots pretty well. NBA GM's love, love, love these guys until the losses start to pile up. Then another GM signs them to a 4 year, $35m contract. If Barnes gets picked this high it will not end well.

6. Damian Lilliard: The classic great senior year player. He wasn't terrible as a sophomore and junior, which makes me hesitate to brand him as a likely bust. The worry is even if Lilliard can hack it as an NBA player, there is a chance you're drafting Norris Cole 2.0 in the top ten. He does look like a great shooter, so will probably stick around the league for a long time.

7. Dion Walters: All over the place. Great steal rate and abysmal rebound rate are an unusual combo, one suggests good timing and quickness, but the other suggests lack of explosiveness and possibly effort. I like the solid assist rate and his 3 pt% at 36% is good for a slasher. He's high risk because of only having played a relatively limited role in college. I'd pass until outside the lottery, but there is a chance he becomes a very good player.

8. Austin Rivers: Quite possibly the worst prospect I've seen discussed as a lottery pick in recent memory. He is literally bad at everything, except for scoring, and he's not good at scoring.

9. Andre Drummond: Coin flip / Russian roulette / etc. His upside makes him an understandable pick after the top 5 or so. Block and steal rates are good. Everything else is not so good. He's very young and has perfect size for a center. Nobody really knows.

10. Jeremy Lamb: Has long arms. I don't really have anything interesting to say about him. His stats are similar to Beal's, but Lamb is a better finisher inside (60% 2pt%), which I like a lot, but is a worse rebounder, which I don't like. Low ceiling, high floor type of player - pretty good bet to be pretty good.

11. John Henson: Has really long arms. Great shot-blocker and rebounder. Bad at all things scoring. Didn't improve as a junior, which obviously isn't a good thing, but isn't a kiss of death as his sophomore year was pretty good. I like him, and think he will be productive, but his upside is limited, and unfortunately he looks awkward while playing, which NBA coaches tend to hate.

12. Tyler Zeller: Struggled as a freshman, still pretty bad as a sophomore, but made solid progress to become a very good senior. If he'd showed signs of being an NBA player earlier, I'd accept the senior year with less skepticism. I'd rather the role the dice with a younger player.

13. Terrence Ross: Intriguing wing option. Is a year old for his class, which mitigates the intrigue a little. Has similar stats to Lamb, except without the excellent finishing ability. Worth a lotto pick.

14. Meyers Leonard: Cut and paste from the note on Drummond. Except Leonard is a year and a half older, and not as good a shot-blocker... Almost definitely a bust, but you never know.

15. Perry Jones: If he can just scoot over and play shooting guard, then everything is fine! At PF, everything is most certainly not fine. The block and steal rates are laughably bad for a player with Jones athleticism. Pass all the way.

16. Moe Harkless: Great rebounder for a wing, but not a dominant steal or block rate, mixed with being a very poor passer (1.6 asts per40!). Could be useful as a defensive minded back-up SF, but not much more.

17. Terrence Jones: Not a fan of the player type (draftexpress "best case" comp is Al Harrington). He's a slightly better shot-blocker (2.4 blks per 40) than normal for a "Stretch-PF," but nothing in his stats stands out as better than average.

18. Kendall Marshall: If historical precedent holds, he's a bust. Pure and simple. Marshall's unusual, because his assist rate is one of the highest I've ever seen, but the red flags are flying high and the warning bells are chiming. His rebound rate is unacceptably low. His steal rate is below average. And the history of guards who shouldered almost no scoring load whatsoever in college is very poor. All those combine to strongly suggest he doesn't have NBA athletic ability.

19. Jared Sullinger: He's free-falling, and then he'll get picked in the late teens, early 20's, and when actual basketball games start being played again, he will probably be a lot better than most of the players picked ahead of him.

20. Arnett Moultrie: Not sure what the big deal is/was. A PF/C who doesn't block shots, and isn't a particularly strong inside scorer. Oh, and he's 21 and will be 22 early into next season. Not likely to make an impact.

21. Royce White: Really interesting player. His scoring efficiency is dragged down by a sub 50% FT%. Renowned versatility (6.3 asts per 40) comes at the expense of a crazy turnover rate (4.8 per 40). Not a good shot-blocker either. There is a lot of offensive potential here, as the FT% and turnover rate seem improvable. Worth a lottery pick in my book.

22. Andrew Nicholson: Similar to Zeller, it took Nicholson until his senior year to really show NBA potential. That's usually not a good sign.

23. Evan Fournier: Trying to project wings from the euro leagues is almost impossible. Good steal rate and got to the FT line surprisingly frequently for a young player makes me optimistic. I'm not in love with too many players in this draft, so I'd take a swing on Fournier with a mid to late lottery pick.

24. Fab Melo: Cut and paste from the note on Meyers Leonard, except Melo is about a year and a half older. I'll be nice and applaud the great block rate, but yeah... probably a bust.

25. Marquis Teague: Manages the impressive feat of having worse stats than Austin Rivers.

26. Draymond Green: If he can play some SF I like his upside a lot more. Great versatility and surprisingly solid steal rate are both good signs either way. Was productive throughout college, while still improving on his weaknesses - a willingness to work on his game and expand his skills is a good sign. I like him and think he'll be one of the more productive players from the draft.

27. Festus Ezeli: Cut and paste from Fab Melo, except Ezeli is about a half year older and has (IME) a slightly cooler name.

28. Jeff Taylor: Anonymous name and an anonymous game. Sorry couldn't help myself. Added an effective 3 point shot as a junior and senior. But everything else stayed eerily steady all the way through his four years in college.

29. Will Barton: If he can hack it as a SG, he might be a Landy Fields type of surprise. No real holes in his game and a very good rebound rate. I like.

30. Tony Wroten: Worth a shot late in the mid to late 1st. Unbelievably turnover prone, a horrible finisher and horrible FT%. But got to the FT line at an excellent rate and has a solid assist and steal rate. RIght now Wroten is a very bad player with the potential to become a very good player. I think he's worth taking a chance on above a lot of the players currently slated above him, even though the likelihood that he busts is high.


and now for a handful of my favorites in the 2nd round:

32. John Jenkins: 48%, 40.8%, 43.9%. Those were Jenkins 3 point FG%'s for his three seasons of college ball. His rebound and steal rates are in Marshall red flag territory, but he scored almost 20 PPG's with a TS% of 66%. Looks like a good bet as a gunner off the bench.

41. Drew Gordon: The reason I'd hesitate to draft Thomas Robinson with the 2nd pick, is a player like Gordon can be picked up so much later. He's a grinder with an incredible rebound rate, and not much else. The Draftexpress comparison to Kris Humphries seems like a good one. If a team gives him a chance he will be a surprise.

43. Kyle O'Quinn: Read this.

44. Jae Crowder: Amazing stats. If he can transition to being a full time SF I think he has a chance to be really great player. If he gets a real chance at sustained minutes I'll be shocked if he's not extremely productive. But if he can't shed the tweener status, I think he'll still be valuable as a change of pace role player off the bench. DO IT JOD. Just this once.

53. Scott Machado: The Real Norris Cole 2.0. Completely out of nowhere great senior year. Sometimes that represents an improvement that can be transferred over to the higher level of competition in the NBA, though mostly it doesn't. Worth taking a chance on either way, for his senior year. If his steal rate was higher I'd be more gung ho.

And that's all I got!

Overall I don't think this draft lived up to everyone's expectations, there's really only a handful of players that I would confidently predict happy NBA futures for. Hopefully a couple of them end up on the Pistons! Thanks for reading!

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