2012 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-7
1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis
Nobody wants to hastily throw the ‘Bill Russell’ label out there, but there is a reason that folks have whispered it. In terms of pure basketball ability, Davis’ knack for impacting opposing teams defensively is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory. This kid has the size and athleticism to be a difference-maker at the next level, it’s just a matter of how his offense will translate.
2. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Pairing up John Wall and Kidd-Gilchrist would be a dream come true for all the Kentucky fans out there, but it would also provide Washington with one of the most stable and versatile duos in the NBA. Over his brief time in college, Kidd-Gilchrist is someone who’s proven to be more than just a smart basketball mind and an extremely athletic talent – he’s also a strong, reliable leader that will be an asset to any roster he ultimately joins.
3. New Orleans Hornets: Thomas Robinson
The Hornets actually need a solid power forward, and Robinson is someone who has more than proven himself over the course of this latest NCAA Tournament run. Robinson’s offensive skills -- particularly in the post -- may or may not translate at the next level, but his rebounding and natural size/strength should make him an immediate difference-maker.
4. Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Drummond
There are two ways to look at this pick. On one hand, in the post-Greg Oden Era, the Blazers might be hesitant to pull the trigger on a raw, unproven center. On the other hand, center is a pretty glaring hole for this team. Perhaps even Portland’s biggest hole, to be honest. Does Drummond have the skills to be a quality NBA big beginning on Day One? Nope. Eventually? Maybe.
5. Toronto Raptors: Bradley Beal
Beal had something of an up and down season with Florida this year. On one hand, his silky smooth game seems like it should translate well at the next level. On the other hand, he isn’t a particularly threatening shooter or scorer, and he teeters on edge of approvable size. By all accounts, this guy is a worker and has a good attitude, though, so it’s hard to envision someone not taking a chance on his talent even though he didn’t exactly live up to expectations as a freshman.
6. Sacramento Kings: Jared Sullinger
C, Ohio State
This pick is a lot more iffy post-Final Four than it was two weeks ago. Sullinger kind of got exposed when his Buckeyes flamed out versus the Jayhawks, and now there are all sorts of questions about how his skillset will translate at the next level. Folks definitely aren’t as confident about his prospects now as they would have been had he come out last season. Still, the Kings need a big, so they’ll cross their fingers and hope that the last performance we saw from Sullinger was an aberration.
7. Detroit Pistons: Terrence Jones
John Calipari basically took Jones out of the top five when he decided to stop featuring him so prominently in the offense earlier this year, but this kid has ridiculous skills. There are some questions about his attitude and what position he’ll be most effective at in the NBA, but he’d be a pretty perfect fit for Detroit no matter what.