Top 15 2012 NBA Draft Prospects, with NBA Player Comparisons
1. Anthony Davis – PF- Kentucky
I see a lot of Chris Bosh and Serge Ibaka in Anthony Davis. Like Bosh, Davis has a very thin frame, which will make adding mass difficult, but their offensive games seem to be similar. They are both good around the rim and have extremely reliable jump shots. Neither are true post players, but they are very good offensive players regardless. Like Ibaka, Davis is extremely long and athletic and is an elite shot blocker and a phenomenal defensive talent. If Davis can mix the talents of Bosh and Ibaka, he will be one of the ten best players in the NBA.
2. Bradley Beal- Guard- Florida
I see a lot of Eric Gordon and Evan Turner in Bradley Beal. Like Gordon, Beal is an elite shooter, but he can also create his own shot and drive to the hoop. Quite simply, Beal, like Gordon is a very gifted scorer. Like Turner, Beal can create for others and run an offense if need be and is an excellent rebounder for a guard. If Beal can somehow combine the games’ of Gordon and Turner, he should without a doubt be a perennial All-Star
3. Thomas Robinson- PF- Kansas
I see a lot Paul Millsap and Amare Stoudemire in Thomas Robinson. Like Millsap, Robinson is undersized for a power forward, but makes up for this with effort, motor and skill. They are both also unnaturally good rebounders for their size and have a nose for the basketball. Like Stoudemire, Robinson is a great athlete and can single handedly dominate a game in the paint. With the traits from both players, Robinson has a chance to become one of the best big men in the NBA.
4. Harrison Barnes- SF- UNC
- I see a lot of Danny Granger in Harrison Barnes. Like Granger, Barnes is a gifted scorer, a very good shooter and effective at getting to the rim. Both players are quite athletic as well, which serves them well. On the negative side, both players have critics that question if there is more to their games than just scoring. There is no doubt that Barnes will be a very good offensive player in the NBA and is capable of scoring 20 points a game, but it will be interesting to see if he becomes a capable defender and plays within a team concept on both ends in the NBA.
5. Michael Kidd Gilchrist- SF- Kentucky
I see a lot of Derrick Rose and Andre Iguodala in Michael Kidd Gilchrsit. Like Rose, MKG is willing to do whatever it takes to win and can will his team to victory. Basically, MKG has the intangibles of a superstar and the leadership skills of one and at a very young age, like Derrick Rose. Like Iguodala, MKG is a top-notch athlete and is long and potentially dominant on defense. If MKG can continue to have the mentality of Rose and the defensive prowess of Iguodala, he can be a franchise player.
6. Andre Drummond- F/C- UCONN
I see a lot Dwight Howard and Tyrus Thomas in Andre Drummond. Like Howard, Drummond is a physical specimen and is extremely long, muscular and athletically gifted, with the defensive potential to dominate the game on that end. Like Thomas, Drummond does not have a high basketball IQ or court awareness and can look clueless at times. If Drummond wants to have a successful NBA career, he better become more like Howard than Thomas.
7. Dion Waiters- Guard- Syracuse
I see a lot of Dwayne Wade and James Harden in Dion Waiters, but to be clear, I am much higher on Waiters than most. Like Wade, Waiters is unstoppable getting to the hoop, is a great ball-handler and is a very gifted scorer. Like Harden, Waiters has shown great maturity by being willing to play off his team’s bench and be a leader for the second unit. It’s safe to say that if Waiters keeps maturing as a basketball player and stays in the mentality that team success is everything, he could develop into a poor man’s Wade and a future star, or at the very least flourish as a dynamic sixth man a la Harden.
8. Jarred Sullinger- PF- Ohio State
I see a lot of Carlos Boozer and Al Jefferson in Jarred Sullinger. Like Boozer, Sullinger has pure brute strength, which he uses to abuse people in the post and fight for every made basket. Like Jefferson, Sullinger has a stable of moves down low and can score in a variety of ways. Whether it be an 8-12 foot jump shot or one of many different post moves, Sullinger knows how to score. Also like Jefferson, Sullinger can be a bit of a ball hog and will struggle when he is having trouble scoring the basketball. If he can effectively score the ball and bully players in the paint, he should be an All-Star.
9. Kendall Marshall- PG- UNC
I see a lot of Chris Paul and Andre Miller in Kendall Marshall. Like Paul, Marshall can run a team to perfection and improve every player’s performance. Just by watching North Carolina in the tournament without Marshall, showed how lost the team was without him, even though his team had four other lottery caliber players. There is no doubt that he was the most important player on the team. Like Miller, Marshall does not rely on athleticism or speed, but talent and skill. Marshall and Miller are also capable scorers, but always look to pass first, which is rare in the league.
10. Perry Jones- PF- Baylor
I see a lot of Derrick Favors and Josh Smith in Perry Jones. Like Favors, Jones just oozes potential, with his length, athleticism and great defensive potential. Like Smith, Jones is a power forward who plays like a guard and falls in love with the perimeter game. Jones seems to be quite raw like Favors, but with the offensive potential of Josh Smith.
11.Damian Lillard- PG- Weber State
- I see a lot of Russell Westbrook in Damian Lillard. Like Westbrook, Lillard is a truly gifted offensive player and an elite scorer. Lillard also has the same questions about his game. Westbrook has become a more than capable distributor (he could get better though), and it will be interesting if Lillard has the point guard skills to be a true starting point guard, or best served as a scoring guard off the bench.
12. Jeremy Lamb- SG- UCONN
I see a lot of Demar Derozan in Jeremy Lamb. Like Derozan, Lamb is great scorer and is able to create his own shot, whenever and wherever he pleases. Also like Derozan, Lamb often does not play up to his potential and can sometimes lose focus. But Lamb is an extremely gifted offensive player who has the potential to score 20 points a game and get his teammates involved. He has the overall talent to become one of the best two-guards in the league.
13. Austin (Doc Jr.) Rivers- Guard- Duke
I see a lot of Jason Terry in Austin Rivers. Like Terry, Rivers is undersized, not an elite athlete and lacks a true position. But also like Terry, Rivers is an elite scorer, a gifted ball-handler and a top-notch shooter. They also have the same mentality, as they both are as clutch as they come, relish taking the final shot and will not let five straight misses deter them. Simply put, great scorers must have short-term memory loss in order to keep going and Rivers has shown that ability. Rivers may best be served as a sixth man, but he could become one of the best backups in the league, a la Jason Terry.
14. Terrence Jones- Forward- Kentucky
- I see a lot of Lamar Odom in Terrence Jones. Like Odom, Jones is a jack-of-all-trades player, but lacks one elite skill. Williams is a capable scorer, a gifted rebounder and able to distribute in a point forward role, just like Odom. Basically, versatility is his greatest strength. He also has a reputation of underachieving and having a problem with his attitude and focus, which sounds exactly like Lamar Odom. Jones has the talent to be a difference maker as a combo forward, but to reach his potential, he must adjust his behavior.
15. Tyler Zeller- Center- UNC
- I see a lot of Pau Gasol in Tyler Zeller. This in no way means that Zeller will ever have a career anywhere near as good as Gasol’s, but they do have a similar skill-set. Like Gasol, Zeller is a below the rim big man, with a very good mid-range shot and a solid set of moves down low. Both players have been called soft, but play hard and run the court well. If Zeller models his game after Gasol, he could be a long-time starter in the NBA.