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2012 NBA Draft


Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky Wildcats

Anthony Davis will be picked first overall, and Kentucky teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist won't be waiting in the green room for very long after that.

Andy Lyons, Getty Images
Updated June 27, 2012
Anthony Davis will be the top overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. After that, all bets are off. This year's class is very talented, but there may not be a ton of difference between the second overall pick and the rest of the lottery; we could see quite a few trades as teams chase particular players.

And then there's Dwight Howard, who could be the ultimate prize on draft night. Several teams - most notably, the Houston Rockets - continue to pursue Orlando's all-star center. And Houston general manager Daryl Morey, with three first-round picks, could have the ammunition to make a deal.

Here's our final projection of who ends up where:

  • This projection is based, in part, on the picks we'd make if we were calling the shots, and partly on reports that have been released. We haven't attempted to project draft-day trades, but several are likely, especially with the Houston Rockets stockpiling first-round picks.
  • We've attempted to match players to team needs wherever possible.

The draft itself will be held on June 28th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Team Player - Position, School Class Notes
1 New Orleans Anthony Davis - C, Kentucky Fr. Davis is the surest of sure things, and has been the prohibitive pick for this spot since well before the Hornets won the lottery. The combination of Davis, Eric Gordon and whoever the Hornets take with the 10th overall pick will probably be enough to get this team back into the playoffs... in 2014.
2 Charlotte Thomas Robinson - PF, Kansas Jr. The Bobcats need a little bit -- ok, a lot of -- everything. But what they might need most is to show their fans some progress. That being the case, we're giving them Robinson, who may be the most NBA-ready of the big men in this year's draft.
3 Washington Bradley Beal - SG, Florida Fr. The Wizards are in dire need of shooter to open up the floor for slashers like John Wall, Trevor Ariza and Jan Veseley. Beal is almost certainly the best option in this year's draft.
4 Cleveland Harrison Barnes - SF, North Carolina So. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would make a lot of sense here, but the Cavs seem enamored of Barnes' shooting.
5 Sacramento Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - SF, Kentucky Fr. Do-everything forward should make a contribution on the defensive end immediately and take some of the pressure off Tyreke Evans.
6 Portland (from Brooklyn) Damian Lillard - PG, Weber St. Jr. Small-school point guard has been flying up draft boards and is generally regarded as the best option at his position in this year's class. Portland needs help at the point, with Raymond Felton on his way out.
7 Golden State Andre Drummond - PF/C, UConn Fr. It's hard not to think of Drummond as the next Hasheem Thabeet - a raw center with lots of "potential" that won't live up to the hype. But several teams love the guy. The Warriors could be making this selection for some other team - the Houston Rockets, perhaps.
8 Toronto Dion Waiters - SG, Syracuse So. Syracuse scorer's stock has been soaring of late. Some compare him to Dwyane Wade.
9 Detroit John Henson - PF, North Carolina Jr. Has the wingspan of a pterodactyl - should be a defensive presence from day one, and an excellent complement to Greg Monroe.
10 New Orleans (from Minnesota, via the Clippers) Kendall Marshall - PG, North Carolina So. After adding Davis with the top overall pick, the Hornets can use this selection to solidify their backcourt with a talented playmaker.
11 Portland Tyler Zeller - PF/C, North Carolina Sr. Quality big man will provide defense and rebounding, and take some of the pressure off LaMarcus Aldridge.
12 Milwaukee Meyers Leonard - C, Illinois So. Trade of Andrew Bogut left the Bucks without a natural center. Leonard plugs that hole.
13 Phoenix Austin Rivers - SG, Duke Fr. Gives the Suns a scorer at the two, and a possible replacement for Steve Nash should the future hall-of-famer leave town.
14 Houston Jeremy Lamb - SG, UConn So. Showed enormous promise as a freshman, but wasn't dominant as a sophomore. Some say he'll be the best shooting guard of this class.
15 Philadelphia Jared Sullinger - PF, Ohio State So. Not sure how much stock we should put in reports of back trouble; that smelled like a story floated by a team hoping Sullinger will drop.
16 Houston (from New York) Terrence Jones - SF, Kentucky So. Excellent face-up wing player with a point guard's handle, draws comparisons to Atlanta's Josh Smith.
17 Dallas Mo Harkless - SF, St. John's Fr. Talented rebounded from the small forward position; may need time to develop, but could be special.
18 Houston (from Utah via Minnesota) Terrence Ross - SG, Washington So. No one really expects Houston to use all three first-rounders… one or more could be used in a package for someone like Drummond. Good blend of size, athleticism and skill, but needs to improve his defense.
19 Orlando Perry Jones - SF/PF, Baylor So. Didn't live up to the hype as a freshman, but has near-limitless potential. An off-the-charts athlete at either forward spot.
20 Denver Jeffery Taylor - SF, Vanderbilt Sr. Superior athlete that added a three-pointer to his repertoire last season.
21 Boston Arnett Moultrie - PF, Mississippi St. Jr. Could develop into a very good stretch four, but needs to bulk up and play more consistently.
22 Boston (from Clippers, via Oklahoma City) Royce White - PF, Iowa State So. One of the most intriguing players in this draft, a physical power forward that can handle and pass like a guard. Stock as dropped some due to reports about an anxiety disorder, but White reportedly has a promise that he won't slip past the Celtics.
23 Atlanta Quincy Miller - SF, Baylor Fr. Tremendous prospect that once drew comparisons to Kevin Durant. Development slowed by December 2010 ACL tear. Could allow the Hawks to part ways with Josh Smith or Marvin Williams.
24 Cleveland (from Lakers) Fab Melo - C , Syracuse So. Legit - but raw - seven footer could develop into a real asset on the defensive end.
25 Memphis Festus Ezeli - C, Vanderbilt Sr. Remarkable physical specimen and very good shot-blocker - can he develop skills to match?
26 Indiana Doron Lamb - SG, Kentucky So. Has all the tools to become a top two at the next level; got lost on a star-studded Kentucky team at times.
27 Miami Andrew Nicholson - PF, St. Bonaventure Sr. Looks the part, but some question his work ethic. Started playing basketball later than most prospects, and it shows in his skill level.
28 Oklahoma City John Jenkins - SG, Vanderbilt Jr. Very good shooter, but just average size/athleticism.
29 Chicago Marquis Teague - PG, Kentucky Fr. Has the athleticism and first-step of top NBA points, but will need to get better at running an offense, particularly in the halfcourt. Depth at PG is important for the Bulls with Derrick Rose recovering from ACL surgery.
30 Golden State (from San Antonio) Draymond Green - SF/PF, Michigan St. Sr. "Glue guy" and very good team player, but a bit small for the pro game.
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