Now that the 2012 NBA regular season has officially wrapped up, we have a much clearer picture of what June’s draft will look like. Granted, there is still uncertainty as it relates to who the Charlotte Bobcats’ coach will be, what the Sacramento Kings’ future looks like, and who will be running the Portland Trail Blazers’ front office; however, by and large, the only real general question mark as it pertains to the draft at this point is which way the lottery balls are going to bounce.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky’s ultra-talented, unibrow-rocking big man is undoubtedly going No. 1. Regardless of who ultimately gets the first overall selection, there is no way anyone will pass on the most impressive young defensive force we’ve seen enter the league in a long time. Beyond that, though, things are questionable. The second pick will almost certainly be either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond or Thomas Robinson, but which one it will actually be depends largely on who’s up to bat when that No. 2 pick needs to be in.
The top five will be some mishmash of Davis, Beal, Drummond, Kidd-Gilchrist and Robinson. That seems like a sure thing, at least at this point. Past that, the next two spots are in serious doubt. On one hand, you have proven collegiate players like Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes coming off not-so-great NCAA Tournament campaigns. On the other hand, you have extraordinarily talented players like Terrence Jones, Kendall Marshall, and Austin Rivers who may not have the technical skills that Sullinger and Barnes have (although Marshall sort of does), but have slightly more upside.
What will the teams selecting at the top of the first round do? We analyze that in our early projections for picks Nos. 1-7.