As part of our blowout rookie class and NBA Draft coverage in Dime 70, we ranked the top 30 first-year players coming into the league. To see this feature in its entirety, check out the issue now on newsstands nationwide.
As the NBA Draft is now over and rookies are infiltrating organizations throughout the league, you need to be able to keep up heading into next year. Here, I ranked the top 30 prospects of the 2012 NBA rookie class, regardless of position…
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1. Anthony Davis
6-10, 222 lbs. PF – Kentucky, Fr.
There are not many “can’t miss” prospects in professional sports. Davis is that type of prospect that has barely scratched the surface and is a future star in the NBA. The consensus No. 1 pick is the best pure athlete, shot-blocker, and defender since Kevin Garnett.
2. Bradley Beal
6-4, 200 lbs. SG – Florida, Fr.
The smooth shooting guard evolved throughout the season as he became more than just a three-point shooter. Beal was a dominant rebounder for his position and became a playmaker in the NCAA Tournament.
3. Thomas Robinson
6-9, 245 lbs. PF – Kansas, Jr.
The double-double monster does not have the same potential as some of his peers here in the Top 10, but Robinson is a great athlete who plays all out on every possession and has a lot of similarities to current NBA All-Star Blake Griffin.
4. Andre Drummond
6-11 270 lbs. C – Connecticut, Fr.
Drummond should have been a high school senior, but instead he reclassified and joined the dysfunctional Huskies. Drummond has the ability to be an elite center especially on the defensive end, but all of that is up to him and his effort level.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
6-7 230 lbs. SF – Kentucky, Fr.
He is a power forward in a wing’s body. That may be the best way to describe the tornado of energy that is MKG. He plays with a very high motor, which translates to elite defense and rebounding.
6. Harrison Barnes
6-8, 228 lbs. SF – North Carolina, So.
Barnes may not be the next Kobe Bryant like some experts pegged him as coming out of high school, but he is still an elite prospect. He is the best pure shooter in this class with the ability to hit shots from anywhere on the court, open or contested.
7. Damian Lillard
6-2, 189 lbs. PG – Weber State, Jr.
The small school (scoring) point guard is one of the best overall guards in the class. He is dangerous off the pick-n-roll as a scorer and plays a style similar to that of a Chauncey Billups type who leads with scoring and timely shooting.
8. Perry Jones
6-11, 235 lbs. PF – Baylor, So.
Through two seasons at Baylor, Jones III never became the star he seemed destined to be, but the potential is there for him to become a great. The versatile power forward may not want to be the “the man” on a team making Jones III the wild card of the draft.
9. Arnett Moultrie
6-11, 230 lbs. PF – Mississippi State, Jr.
The long, athletic forward/center really came on as one of the best players in the SEC. After transferring from Texas El-Paso, Moultrie showcased that he has a big game on the defensive end and on the glass.
10. Austin Rivers
6-5, 203 lbs. SG – Duke, Fr.
The lightning quick combo guard has the pedigree and confidence working for him already. With his quick first step and shooting ability, Rivers is the complete package on offense.