Jun 24, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT
Well, Anthony Davis is No.1 and Thomas Robinson will go in the top five. That’s a pretty good start for the bigs in the 2012 NBA draft. After that, things get really interesting. Of the top bigs: Andre Drummond, Jared Sullinger, John Henson, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Perry Jones, and if you want to throw him in, Terrence Jones (I think Jones will play more 3 in the league), there’s really no way to determine in what order they’ll definitely go.
We know a few things.
- Drummond is the most coveted big outside of Davis, and at the same time the biggest risk. He has immense athleticism to go with his size, but is severely lacking in the skills department and there are huge questions about his mindset and attitude.
- Henson has no such question marks, but doesn’t have the same raw ability. He is more polished, however, and could immediately contribute.
- Leonard has excellent size and slightly more skills than Drummond, but falls behind in the athleticism department.
- Zeller is a player scouts absolutely love, but because of his play style and athleticism, is not going to jump to the front.
- Perry Jones could be a Hall of Famer or could be out of the league in three years and neither would surprise me.
- Sullinger has the best mindset and approach of any big, is extremely smart and coachable. But the back is a question mark. More importantly, though, his defensive lateral speed is a huge issue.
Chad Ford has more on Drummond’s situation and how he could go top five or slide, and where it might stop:
Right now, sources say Leonard and Henson are the two leading candidates in the group. Sullinger has slid on the Pistons’ draft board since the team saw his draft combine physical. Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie is also in the running for the No. 9 pick; however, he’s more of a long shot. He worked out earlier with the Pistons.
The winner of the workout could very well be the ninth pick if UConn big man Andre Drummond doesn’t fall to Detroit.
The Pistons are hoping Drummond does fall, and there are scenarios where they could get their wish. Right now it doesn’t look like Drummond has a home inside the top five. Sources say he’s struggled in workouts and hasn’t gotten strong feedback from teams. The Blazers are a real possibility at six.
The Pistons would be really set with Henson. A super-long rebounder with a bit of a mid-range game (his jumper is underrated), he would fit perfectly with Greg Monroe and set the Pistons up with a terrific core for the future. Drummond… on the list of coaches to try and crack that nut, Lawrence Frank seems like a bit of a gamble, given his tougher, professional approach. Is Frank going to nurture him the way he may need to? No, because most coaches won’t do that. This is the NBA. That’s the problem with Drummond.
There’s also talk from the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Hornets could use the tenth pick on Zeller. The best case scenario may honestly be for the Pistons to bypass Drummond, take Henson, and Drummond falls to New Orleans. Monty Williams could likely connect with Drummond and build one of the best defensive frontcourts of the past 20 years with Davis and Drummond as anchors.
Leonard has risen meteorically based off his size. You can tell the lack of quality centers in the league with this run on guys without much in the way of go-to post moves.
Honestly, there’s no telling how those players shake out. We know Drummond likely won’t fall past six to Portland, definitely won’t fall past nine. We know Henson is unlikely to slip out of the top ten, and will likely go before Zeller. We know Zeller’s a value pick, and that Leonard is probably going to get snagged top 12. Everything else is liquid.
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