College, Featured Gallery, NBA, NBA Draft / Jun 29, 2011 / 2:00 pm

Bumper Crop: Top 15 Prospects In The 2012 NBA Draft

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes (photo. UNC Athletic Communications)

After last week’s NBA Draft, you are probably left wanting more, right? Well, with the NBA Summer League cancelled and the lockout looming, the next best thing we can analyze is the 2012 NBA Draft. With that, here is a list of the top 15 prospects that will hear their names called by David Stern next year.

Note: We know it is too early to predict next year’s draft. What we are analyzing is guys that are on pace to get drafted or could get drafted.

Anthony Davis
We have seen slight players like Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant succeed in the past, and the next skinny star in line is Davis. Aside from his rail-thin frame, everything about Davis screams NBA ready. He can do it all on the court. He can shoot, dribble, pass, block shots, and rebound. At 6-11, it would not be an incredible shock if Davis logs a quadruple-double next year for Kentucky. One thing to watch out for about Davis is what position he will play. If he is forced to play center, which is likely, and shows improvement in his post moves, his stock may soar even higher.

Perry Jones
Jones made an excellent decision by returning to Baylor. Not only will the 6-11 small forward/power forward have the opportunity to play for a top-20 team, but he will also have the chance to prove critics wrong. The biggest knock on Jones is his consistency. On a good day, he looks like an NBA franchise player because of his ability to go inside and outside. On a bad day, however, he looks like an uninterested borderline NBA player. With a better team around him next season, watch out for Jones to take his versatile game to another level.

Patric Young
Physical specimens like Young are hard to come by. His 6-9 frame and freakish athleticism, at times, is reminiscent of Dwight Howard. Now to say that Young is one-tenth of the player that Howard is would be absurd. He still has a long way to go in terms of productivity. With Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons gone next year, Young will be the featured post player. Hopefully, Florida’s guard-heavy attack will not prevent Young from getting touches.

Harrison Barnes
Barnes could have very well been the No. 1 in this year’s draft, but he still felt like he had something to prove. After a disappointing start of the year, Barnes stepped up his game when Kendall Marshall took over the starting point guard duties. Barnes will now play a full season with Marshall at the point, and the rest of the team will return as well. Look for Barnes’ game to improve drastically, as it was a bit uncharacteristic of him to lose his confidence mid-year. A summer of hard work will fix that issue.

Myck Kabongo
Kabongo has one of those games and personalities that everyone can gravitate towards. He is a lightning-quick floor general with a lot of flash to his game. Kabongo will be one of the nation’s only freshman to step onto the floor and be the man for his team from day one with Tristan Thompson, Jordan Hamilton, and Cory Joseph all being drafted last Thursday. One thing that makes Kabongo special: he makes his teammates better around him. That is a quality that NBA teams salivate over.

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  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    College basketball is going to be SO GOOD next season!

  • BRUCE

    Jared Sullinger – Sean May 2.0

  • sweetv0mit

    John Henson probably has one of the worst basketball IQs I’ve seen in awhile. Specially during the tourney, he almost cost UNC a couple of games. Que in Jay Bilas – Henson has an above average athleticism, great timing in blocking shots, high upside and his WINGSPAN is incredible.

  • iCARNACKi

    What are you willing to put on the chances of Rivers not being #1?

  • Rainman

    iCARNACKi : Rivers is currently either not in the top 10 of most mock drafts at all, or barely in the top 10.

    He can make the top 5, but i doubt seeing him as the top pick in such a strong draft.

  • SayItAintSo

    Terrence Ross. Remember the name. The kid has the whole package. The hunger. The dedication. The work ethic. The intelligence. The drive. The athleticism. The chip on his shoulder. The skills. The talent. You name it.

    He’ll step out of the shadows this year and be on lists like this by the end of the year.

  • beiber newz

    could this team win a title if they stayed together for their whole career? or are there too many holes and lack of potential chemistry?

    pg rivers
    sg harrison barnes
    sf terrence jones
    pf anthony davis
    c perry jones

  • Hot Fiyah

    @ BRUCE

    You’re out of your mind!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/djlocdog Loc

    So after the draft we just had, not ONE Euro in this list???

  • Celts Fan

    @Bruce – tend to agree sort of. the guy’s game is too below the rim for my liking. Can’t see him outta the league in 4 years like May, but I don’t see anything resembling star in him. Quality player, sure, but no franchise player. What’s his ceiling? Big Al?

    @Loc – look at a mock man. None are that good for this year. The good ones jumped over this year when Americans decided to stay cuz of the lockout.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Love it, Mr. Shapiro.

    Good point, Loc. Celts, I see what you’re saying but you have to think that one or two might sneak in.

  • JAY

    @Loc
    Historically, that’s how most mock drafts are. As we progress through the year, the familiar unpronounceable names we’re so accustomed to seeing will start to appear as potential high picks. Bargnani wasn’t a lottery pick the year before he was drafted. Euro players usually move up as scouts get more familiar with them.

    @Celts
    The lockout has nothing to do with it. If anything, the threat of a lockout would have influenced them to stay in Europe instead of jumping to the NBA. Think about it… it made the top college players to stay another year. There will be a couple Euro players in the top half of the 1st round next year… probably even lottery picks.

  • Chaos

    I agree somewhat with bruce but sullinger really needs to get his body in order. Dude looks way to pudgy right now he def has the skills but his weight really hampers his output. Henson needs to put on some muscle

  • Rafa23

    I hope Terrence Jones doesn’t have the same attitude as Ty Crane. Reporter: ” Are you the next Lebron James?” Crane: “Lebron James? I’m the only Ty Crane!!”
    But I agrre with you, the games are similar and I like Jones returning. He might fall a bit with the stronger class next year, but it will help him long term cause he just wasn’t ready yet…

  • iCARNACKi

    @ Rainman

    I’m not necessarily saying Rivers will be #1 I’m more saying I wouldn’t definitively write that he won’t be #1… he looks like a taller Stephen Curry to me… I think he’s already Top 10 next year and can quite easily be a Top 5 pick. I see Davis, Barnes & Jones going ahead of him but then nobody else has impressed me to the point where I’d confidently say I’d take them over Rivers.

    One thing is for sure, if all these guys stay in next year’s draft it should be amazing.