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2012 NBA Mock Draft V2.0: Picks 1-7

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Here is what we know for certain about the 2012 NBA Draft: three out of the first five picks will feature players who participated in this year’s National Championship Game.

While it’s generally accepted that Bradley Beal out of Florida will probably sneak into the equation and that Andre Drummond’s sheer massiveness will earn him a top-tier selection, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson are all locks to go at the top of this thing.

The only thing that’s in doubt at this point in time is the order, beginning with pick No. 2.

For better or worse, whether he becomes the next Bill Russell or the next Marcus Camby, Davis will be the first overall selection this year. His ability to influence the game on the defensive end, even with his somewhat raw offensive skills, makes him the clear-cut prize for whatever team is fortunate enough to win the lottery. No teams in the league outside of the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and maybe the Indiana Pacers have a big even remotely as impactful as what Davis could be.

So Davis is going first – that’s etched in stone. Who goes after that, though? The player ultimately taken at No. 2 will vary depending on who ends up nabbing that pick. Some teams need size and thus would be more inclined to take a chance on a very underdeveloped Drummond. Others need stability at small or power forward, at which point Kidd-Gilchrist or Robinson become the desired picks.

And once you get past the first five picks, that’s where things really get interesting. Since our last mock draft, at least one top 10 pick decided to stay in school. How did that change our projections?

Check out picks Nos. 1-7 here.

[Check out picks Nos. 8-15 here]

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