The 2012 NBA Draft has finally arrived, and we here at NBA Soup are here to keep you up-to-date on every single pick and every single trade that goes down tonight.
Be sure to check-in throughout the night starting at 7pm ET for analysis and updates on all the evening’s happenings around the NBA.
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF/C, Kentucky
This was a foregone conclusion, obviously. Less than a year after losing franchise centerpiece Chris Paul via trade, the rebuilding process officially begins for New Orleans with Anthony Davis. The Hornets hope the trio of Davis, Eric Gordon and whomever they select with the No. 10 pick (Austin Rivers) can become one of the league’s premier young cores.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
MKG doesn’t have an ideal shooting stroke, but he does just about everything else on the basketball court well. He’s got an incredibly high motor, and could step in and become one of the league’s premier defenders right away. His great length and athleticism will make him a formidable player on both ends of the floor.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
Beal has been most oft compared to aforementioned Hornets guard Eric Gordon. He has a great shooting touch from the perimeter, and has shown a knack for getting to the rim, as well. His stock as risen as quickly as anyone’s in recent weeks. The combination of Beal and John Wall could give the Wizards an imposing backcourt.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
Waiters started exactly Zero games for the Orange last year, but, like Beal, he’s seen his NBA stock skyrocket of late. He’s relentless when attacking the basket, and is a natural scorer. Explosive athleticism and a real competitor.
5. Sacramento Kings – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
Robinson has been described by some as the most NBA-ready player in this class. He’s a beast on the low block offensively and can display an array of moves. He’s not as undersized as previously thought, and also hits the glass hard. Pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins could give Sacramento a dominant frontcourt.
6. Portland Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
The Blazers are in need of an upgrade in point guard, and they’ve reportedly been high on Lillard for a while now. Obviously, having played at Weber State, he’s not the most well-known name out there, but he seems to have the whole package. He finished second in the nation in scoring as a senior last season, and can really shoot it from three-point range. He has good size and is a willing defender, as well.
7. Golden State Warriors – Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Barnes was the top-ranked recruit coming out of high school, and disappointed some with his performance in two years as a Tar Heel. That said, there’s still far too much star potential to pass on. He’s tall and long at 6’8″, and is as athletic as any small forward in the draft. Barnes is a very good midrange shooter, but could stand to improve his ball-handling and footwork. There are also questions about his aggressiveness.
8. Toronto Raptors – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
Ross is big for a two guard at 6’7″, giving him a good size advantage against most fellow shooting guards. He has shown the ability to excel offensively in the post, and can be an explosive scorer, which we know Toronto sorely lacks.
9. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
If Drummond can pan out, the Pistons have the potential for one scary frontcourt. Drummond is an athletic freak at 6’11″ with a 7’6″ wingspan. At the very least, he can be a great shot-blocker and rebounder at the NBA level. He’s incredibly raw and there are countless questions about his work ethic, which caused him to fall.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Rivers, G, Duke
Rivers is a controversial prospect, because many question his desire to get his teammates involved. He’s a scorer, which will make his backcourt partnership with Eric Gordon interesting. He has a quick first step, and natural-born scorer.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Leonard needs to bulk up a bit, but he’s very skilled for a big man offensively. He can improve rebounding, and has sky-high potential.
12. Houston Rockets – Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
It’s not Dwight Howard, but the Rockets nab an athletic shooter here with pick No. 12. He has star potential, and is 6’5″ with a 6’11″ wingspan. He shot over 60% from inside-the-arc this past season.
13. Phoenix Suns – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
The primary concern about Marshall involves his athleticism and ability to defend NBA-level point guards. Offensively, he’s a very solid, prototypical point guard. He has great court vision and is a pass-first player. Should be a nice find in the post-Nash era.
14. Milwaukee Bucks – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
Henson makes it three Tar Heels in the last seven selections. He has great length, which makes him a natural shot-blocker. At 6’11″ and just 220 pounds, he’s basically a stick, so he’ll need to add some bulk to his frame to really bang with the best in the post at the next level. Plenty of room to grow, and a good pick for Milwaukee to add to the frontline. He was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the ACC.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Maurice Harkless, F, St. John’s
Remember how awful the Sixers-Celtics playoff series was offensively? The Sixers needed some scoring help, and Harkless should be able to help in that department. Also, with Andre Iguodala possibly on the way out, Harkless may be a solid replacement.
16. Houston Rockets – Royce White, F, Iowa State
White is one of the more unique players in this class. He’s 6’8″ and 260 pounds, yet can handle the ball like a guard and has a solid presence around the rim. Point forwards are a rarity in today’s NBA, which makes him an intriguing talent.
17. Cleveland Cavaliers (from DAL) - Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
Cleveland traded picks 24, 33 and 34 to the Mavericks for the rights to Zeller. He has decent offensive skills for a big man, and has shown he can be a very good defensive presence in the paint.
18. Houston Rockets – Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky
The Rockets seem to be loading up on forwards, which could mean the end of the line is near for the likes of Luis Scola. Jones’ work ethic has been maligned in the past, with many thinking he hasn’t made the most of his abilities. The talent and physical abilities are there.
19. Orlando Magic – Andrew Nicholson, F, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson may be a power forward at the next level, but has the offensive skills to possibly play the three at some points. He’s not a great athlete, and is yet another guy that needs to add a bit of strength in order to bang around the post against NBA bigs.
20. Denver Nuggets – Evan Fournier, G, France
Fournier will likely play off-guard in the NBA. He has the handles to get himself to the rim, and has shown a good ability to score. Which makes him a natural fit with the up-tempo Nuggets attack.
21. Boston Celtics – Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State
The fall ends here for Sullinger. Once thought of as a high lottery pick, back concerns and being undersized caused him to slip all the way to No. 21. He is a very polished offensive player, and is a load to deal with in the paint. The Celtics had no problem turning fellow undersized-yet-skilled big man Glen Davis into a useful player, so they hope the same for Sullinger.
22. Boston Celtics – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Melo is super raw, but he’s a big body with plenty of potential, especially defensively. He has tons of room to improve offensively, and he’s a bit clunky with his footwork, but he has the chance to be a shot-blocking difference-maker from day one.
23. Atlanta Hawks – John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
The Hawks need shooting, and the Hawks got shooting here with John Jenkins. He has some ability 0ff-the-dribble, but his game is primarily centered around being able to make three-point jumpers, and excels particularly off the pick-and-roll.
24. Dallas Mavericks (via Cleveland) – Jared Cunningham, G, Oregon State
Cunningam is an elite athlete, which is something Dallas has lacked from their shooting guards in recent years. He’s a decent shooter, but excels when slashing and getting to the rim with the ball. He could stand to add some bulk to his thin frame in order to better size up against pro shooting guards.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Tony Wroten, Jr., G, Washington
He’s very tall for a point guard at 6’6″, and may be the best passer in the draft. He’s comparable to Rajon Rondo in that he can’t shoot a lick, but that doesn’t keep him from being a difference-maker on the floor.
26. Indiana Pacers – Miles Plumlee, F/C, Duke
Jeff Foster had to retire last season, so the Pacers had a hole on the frontline. He’s super athletic for a near seven-footer, and has shown good touch around the rim. Plumlee can run the floor and hit the offensive glass, as well.
27. Miami Heat – Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State (traded to PHI)
Moultrie has very good shooting ability for a power forward, and has nice wingspan and athletic ability. He’s a high-energy, high-motor type player, and should be able to make a difference on the relatively thin frontline for the Sixers. The Heat acquired the 45th overall pick and a future first-rounder in exchange for Moultrie.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Perry Jones III, F, Baylor
The free-fall ends here. Concerns over a knee issue likely caused him to slip all the way to No. 28, but nobody questions Jones’ talent. The only issue with him, like with Andre Drummond, is that his personality and work ethic may not be good enough to capitalize on his tremendous abilities. He has the chance to be the steal of the draft, and OKC has to be ecstatic that he fell to them here.
29. Chicago Bulls – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
Teague, like so many others, has a long way to go until he can fulfill his potential, but his quickness should give him a leg-up from the start. The Bulls will need help at the point with Derrick Rose sidelined for the majority of next season, so Teague should help to fill that hole. He needs to improve his shooting and decision-making, but the ceiling is high.
30. Golden State Warriors – Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Second Vandy player off the board to conclude the first round. We all know the Warriors seek big men, and Ezeli certainly fits the bill. He’s a raw offensive player, but, physically, he’s ready for the NBA. He has solid footwork and mobility and, should he continue to develop, could be a difference-maker one day.
31. Charlotte Bobcats – Jeff Taylor, F, Vanderbilt
32. Washington Wizards – Tomas Satoransky, G, Czech Republic
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