2012 NBA Draft: Early, Early Top 10
Barnes, Jones and Sullinger ready to make a statement.
It’s too early to talk about the 2012 NBA Draft, you claim? Ok, would you rather discuss the NBA lockout and the real possibility of next season being cancelled? Didn’t think so. So the NBA Draft it is, then. And, besides, we’re good at predicting these things, so it’s never too early – Draft 365′s 2010 NBA Draft top 10 from last summer contained six of the guys who really did go in the top 10 of the actual draft, and three others who are in our projected top 10 for the 2011 Draft. So,while we aren’t perfect, when we gaze into our crystal ball one things is certain – next year’s draft is going to be much stronger than the one we endured a few weeks ago (oh – and Kentucky, North Carolina, Baylor and Florida are stacked).
1) Anthony Davis – Power Forward – Kentucky – Freshman
Having already appeared on a cover of SLAM, Anthony Davis appears headed for greatness. And he’s going to the right school to keep him on that path. The athletic 6-10 power forward (with a 7-4 wingspan!) used to be a guard, so he has great ball-handling and perimeter skills for a player his size. While he needs to add weight and strength, big things are expected of him at Kentucky and, sooner rather than later, the NBA.
2) Harrison Barnes – Small Forward – North Carolina – Sophomore
Last year’s early season projected number one overall pick is in the running for the same in 2012. We speak of Harrison Barnes, of course, who after an up and down freshman year at Carolina is back for another kick at the can. There is still plenty to like about Barnes’ game, and another year of college seasoning might be just what his ailing draft stock needs.
3) Perry Jones – Power Forward – Baylor – Sophomore
The second of a trifecta of freshman who decided to skip this past year’s draft, Perry Jones will instead look to improve his game and draft stock in Waco for at least one more year. After having to defer to upperclassmen guards last year, this fall Jones will look to be “The Man” and show scouts his full package of skills and athleticism.
4) James McAdoo – Power Forward - North Carolina - Freshman
Old-timers reading this will recognize the last name – yes, James McAdoo is related to former NBA MVP Bob McAdoo. Bob’s his uncle (as the expression goes). And nephew James looks like he’ll continue the family tradition in the NBA very soon. A 6-8 forward, with a 7-1 wingspan, McAdoo is known as a very smart player with an extremely high skill level. And the fact that he’ll probably be coming off the bench for the uber-talented Tar Heels in the fall should give opponents cause for alarm.
5) Jared Sullinger – Power Forward – Ohio State – Sophomore
The best freshman in the nation last year is back for more. While Jared Sullinger doesn’t have standout athleticism or length, he knows how to get the job done and projects to be a very solid pro.
6) Quincy Miller – Small Forward - Baylor - Freshman
SLAM’s diary keeper had an injury-shortened senior year of high school, but he’s healthy now and will form a long, athletic frontcourt with Perry Jones this fall in Waco.
7) Michael Kidd-Gilchrest – Small Forward - Kentucky – Freshman
The newly renamed Michael Kidd-Gilchrest has been highly touted for years already, and the defensive dynamo should back up the hype this fall at Kentucky.
8 ) Brad Beal – Shooting Guard – Florida – Freshman
Highly skilled at both ends of the floor, Bradley Beal should be able to put up points in bunches for Billy Donovan’s gang down in Gainesville.
9) Jeremy Lamb – Shooting Guard - Connecticut – Sophomore
With Kemba Walker off the scene, freshman breakout sensation Jeremy Lamb will look to elevate and expand his game even more this season as the leader of the Huskies.
10) Patric Young – Power Forward - Florida - Sophomore
While he only put up pedestrian numbers his freshman year at Florida, scouts are still high on the athletic Young.