Published on June 11th, 2012 | by Bryant West, Columnist0
NBA Draft 2012 Breakdown: News & Rumors From Around the Web
The NBA Draft fever is in full swing, and with so many different sources of news and rumors it’s hard to read it all. We here at Dishing the Rock understand your plight—so here is a handy dandy collection of all the newest info in one place!
So without further ado, let’s check out all the latest rumors and news gathered from around the internet on the players who have been making noise. All measurements are courtesy of DraftExpress.com’s wonderful database, a must-read for any draft enthusiast.
We’ll be going from prospect to prospect in order of my big board. Not all big board players will be listed, just the ones who have been making news.
Hit the jump for Bryant’s piece…
1. PF Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Anthony Davis walked into the Combine wearing a shirt that said “Check My Stats”. That’s the sort of harmless swagger you like to see in a top pick.
Here’s a nice snippet from SI.com’s Sam Amick on the very personable Mr. Davis.
As for Davis, he continued his comical habit of pretending he won’t be taken first overall. When asked by a reporter from Portland whether there was a chance he’d slip to the Trail Blazers at No. 6 as opposed to going to the Hornets at No. 1, he said there’s “a great chance, actually. Maybe the Hornets may not like me, or Charlotte. You never know. It’s not set in stone yet, so it is what it is.”
Measurement wise, nothing about Davis was shocking. DraftExpress.com pointed out that his measurements (6’9.25 without shoes, 7’5.5 wingpsan, 222 pounds) are exceptionally close to Kevin Durant’s combine measurements (6’9 without shoes, 7’4.75 wingspan, 215 pounds). Gain some weight, Davis!
2. SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Charlotte’s decision will decide the direction of the entire draft, and it’s really hard to get a read on what the Bobcats are thinking. Will they even be picking at No. 2 come June 28th?
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com reports that the Bobcats are shopping the pick. “The Bobcats don’t seem to be in love with anyone at this point,” Kennedy writes, “which means a different team could be selecting second on draft night.”
The smart money is on Kidd-Gilchrist being the No. 2 pick, no matter who is selecting, but it is not sure thing. Robinson could go first off the board after Davis.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s measurements also came out well, with the Kentucky forward standing 6’5.75 without shoes with a 7’0 wingspan and weighing in at 233 pounds. As DraftExpress.com points out, those measurements are pretty close to Carmelo Anthony’s measurements at his combine (6’6.25 without shoes, 7’0 wingspan, 233 pounds).
If you have Insider with ESPN, check out this excellent article by Chad Ford on exactly why Kidd-Gilchrist is captivating teams.
3. PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas
You want to know why I love Thomas Robinson so much? Well, when Anthony Davis showed up at the Combine with a shirt that read “Check My Stats”, Robinson fought back. “If you wanted to check the stats, then I’d be the No. 1 pick easily — if that’s what you want to do,” he said. “I should get one of those shirts. I’ll get a shirt that says, ‘Numbers don’t lie.’”
If you wanted any proof that Robinson possessed an incredible determination, his interviews at the combine should have squashed those doubts. “I’m going to go after every team that I step on the floor against,” Robinson said. “There’s really not going to be a specific team that I’m going to point out and just try to kill. I’m trying to kill everybody.”
Robinson went even further. “I don’t want to be the top pick,” he said. “I want to be the best pick.”
As for his draft chances… his ceiling seems to be Charlotte at No. 2, although most experts think that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will still be the selection whether the Bobcats keep the pick or not. The Bobcats had not contacted Robinson as of Friday, according to Kennedy.
Sam Amick of SI.com writes that the “buzz that Washington will take him at No. 3 remains strong,” and if Washington doesn’t take Robinson at three (opting for Beal, most likely), then Robinson will probably fall to Sacramento at No. 5.
We can also drop the idea of Robinson being an undersized four. He measured at 6’7.75 without shoes with a 7’3.25 wingspan and weighted in at 244 pounds. Those all put him solidly in NBA average range, and his wingspan is above average.
4. SG Bradley Beal, Florida
Beal’s draft position is as hard to read as Robinson’s.
If Washington doesn’t take him at No. 3, would Cleveland take him at No. 4? Not if they’re infatuated with Harrison Barnes. Could he drop to Sacramento at No. 5? Possibly, but what would the Kings need him for when they have Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton? Could he fall to Portland at No. 6? Could Sacramento trade down and let someone in to pick up Beal at No. 5?
I’ll still pencil in Beal at No. 3 to Washington, even with all of the noise about Robinson to the Wizards. While I have Robinson over Beal on my Big Board, I think Beal is a better fit for Washington.
The good news for Beal is he measured out (6’3.25 without shoes, 6’8 wingpsan, 202 pounds) at near NBA averages.
5. SF Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
According to Sam Amick of SI.com, Barnes is more than likely to become a Cleveland Cavalier on draft night.
The Cavaliers are very high on the 20-year-old small forward and appear unlikely to let him slip past them at the No. 4 slot in the June 28 draft, according to sources. While this week’s predraft combine in Chicago and subsequent team workouts could always change things, rival executives are planning for Barnes to be off the board by the time the fifth pick (Sacramento) rolls around.
“He’s a pretty big deal to them,” one such executive said.
Apparently, Barnes is also best friends with Cleveland star Kyrie Irving? Wait, what? A North Carolina player is best friends with a former Duke star?
I can’t see Barnes going before No. 4, and it sounds like Cleveland won’t be letting him fall past them anyways.
Barnes measured out (6’7 without shoes, 6’11.25 wingspan, 227 pounds) just above average for most small forwards.
6. C Andre Drummond, UConn
Drummond has already met with the New Orleans Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats, Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers according to Kennedy, and he also met with the Sacramento Kings, according to the Sacramento Bee.
I have Drummond falling to No. 6 to Portland, although I’m not surprised the belief that Sacramento will take him still persists. To quote Sam Amick, “It sounds as if the Kings like — to varying degrees — Barnes, North Carolina big men Tyler Zeller or John Henson, or even Kentucky forward Terrence Jones more than risky prospects such as Connecticut center Andre Drummond…”
Not surprisingly, Drummond wowed in terms of measurements. He’s 6’9.75 without shoes with an enormous 7’6.25 wingspan and weighing in at 279 pounds. Despite being 30 pounds bigger than an average NBA center, he’s still an athletic freak – he had a 38 inch vertical leap. But we knew his measurements would be amazing… it’s just his pervious performances that hold him back.
7. PF Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Sullinger successfully busted some of his draft demons at the combine, where we showed up in great shape and proved taller than expected. He measured at 6’7.75 without shoes with a 7’1.25 wingspan and weighing in at a surprisingly in shape 268 pounds. The three concerns about Sullinger were his conditioning, his lack of athleticism and his overall potential, so it’s good to see him knock off one of those problems.
9. PF John Henson, North Carolina
Henson will work out in Sacramento on Monday, and there are some who think Henson may be near the top of the Kings draft board. Athletically he’d be a good fit with DeMarcus Cousins, but you have to work about his weight issues. He weighed just 216 pounds at the combine, but otherwise looks like an excellent power forward (6’9” without shoes and an enormous 7’5” wingspan.)
10. PG Damian Lillard, Weber State
Lillard was one of only three players on my top ten board (John Henson and Terrence Jones were the other two) who actually played in the 5 on 5 showdowns, and is quickly becoming a lock for a top 10 pick. From ESPN’s Chad Ford:
Lillard’s agent gave him the choice to skip the event, but he decided he wanted to play. “I just wanted to show teams that I’m not afraid to compete with the best,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard, and I wanted to show them who I am.”
He’s just 6’1.25” without shoes, but he’s got the highest vertical leap in the combine at 40 inches.
Did you also know he once got held up by three men at gunpoint and refused to give up his belongings? That is one tough youngster.
11. SF Perry Jones III, Baylor
Jones wowed some teams in his single workout last week, but his group workouts will make or break his draft prospects. Chad Ford reported Jones looked average but impressed teams when he agreed to play:
Baylor’s Perry Jones also drew praise from NBA execs in the building. Jones, frankly, was a surprise participant. Very few teams actually thought he’d show. He was put in with the power forwards and worked really hard in all the drills in an attempt to spell criticism that he doesn’t have a great motor. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but his decision to show up and play hard helped.
Jones’ measurements (6’10.25 without shoes, 7’1.75 wingspan, 234 pounds) make him either an oversized small forward or an average power forward. But his physical gifts were never in question to begin with.
13. SG Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Did Dion Waiters get a promise from a lottery team to draft him? Certainly looks like it, as he pulled out of all interviews and workouts. It seems surprising that he’d get a promise this early, but unless this is a huge gambit by his camp to increase his value, there is no other reason why he’d pull out of workouts.
Speculation immediately centered around the Toronto Raptors, but GM Bryan Colangelo denied it. According to Steve Kyler, “Colangelo was genuine in his denial on Dion Waiters… went on a rant saying “Why Me? Why am I the guy making promises?”
If Waiters really got a promise, my bet is Portland, although I still believe that Jeremy Lamb is a better prospect and likely to still be available at No. 11. Waiters is a bit undersized for a two guard, measuring just 6’2.5” without shoes. He does have a nice 6’7” wingspan though.
14. C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
Zeller will join former teammate John Henson in a workout in Sacramento on Monday. Unless the Kings are really looking to trade back though, I doubt Zeller will be the pick. He’s a smart player which the Kings need, but he doesn’t fit their system like Henson might. He measured out at 6’11.25” without shoes but a slightly disappointing 7’0” wingspan.
16. C Meyers Leonard, Illinois
According to Chad Ford, no player better helped their stock at the combine than Leonard did. He was the same height as Zeller at 6’11.25”, but has a 7’3” wingspan and weighs in at 250 lbs. Said Chad Ford, “A number of teams remarked that Illinois big man Meyers Leonard looked awesome out there. Not only is he bigger than most people think, but he really hustled on the drills and showed off a surprising 10-foot jumper.”
18. SG Austin Rivers, Duke
Does Rivers, like Waiters before him, already have a lottery level promise? According to Yahoo Sports, he does.
The East scout expects Rivers to be selected in the Nos. 10-20 range, but an NBA source told Yahoo! Sports that Rivers has a promise late in the draft lottery. The Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and New Orleans Hornets plan to work out Rivers.
Just my educated guess, but I’d put money on that promise being with Phoenix. The Suns could seriously use some star power, even if I personally don’t see star power in Rivers. Rivers stands 6’3.5” without shoes with a solid 6′ 7.25″ wingspan.
20. SF Moe Harkless, St. John’s
Harkless has been high on my big board for a few months, but he may even need to go higher pretty quick. Says Chad Ford, “Teams loved St. John’s forward Moe Harkless as well. He shot the ball well in the workouts and just showed off his impressive athletic abilities. Many NBA scouts think he could be one player who rises into the top 10 by draft night.”
Harkless a top ten pick? Not sure he’ll go that high, but his major weakness coming into the draft was an inconsistent shot. If he’s fixing that, he’s got the tools to be a top 15 player in his class. He stands 6’7.25″ without shoes and he has a decent 7’0′ wingspan.