With the NBA draft quickly approaching in nine days teams will be scrounging through every bit of information they have on their possible selections during the next week-and-a-half. With that said, bloggers Chris Manning and Zachary Kolesar share who they think are the best 10 players available in the 2012 NBA Draft. Here’s what they thought:
Zachary Kolesar’s Top 10 Big Board
1. Anthony Davis – PF – Kentucky – Whoever ends up with the No. 1 pick, and at this point it looks like the Hornets aren’t looking to move, will choose one of the most physical players to come out of the draft in years in Davis. With a wingspan of 7’ 5.5” and a 10.4 rebound average, Davis is one of the most athletically gifted tall men to be a sure-fire No. 1 pick in years.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF – Kentucky – Being the best wingman in the draft, Kidd-Gilchrist is the best double-threat player if you look at his offensive and defensive skill set. He was also a high school teammate of Kyrie Irving, just saying.
3. Bradley Beal – SG – Florida – Considered one of the hardest workers in the draft, Beal is a player who could slide past the first three picks to the Cavaliers. He will turn 19 in nine days and would look great playing in the two-guard position with Kyrie. Also made 54.1 percent of his two-point attempts.
4. Thomas Robinson – PF – Kansas – What’s not to like about a junior who averaged a double-double (17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds)? Not to mention he also shot 50.5 percent from the field. I have him going at No. 2 to the Charlotte Bobcats.
5. Andre Drummond – C – Connecticut – Drummond could end up being a Serge Ibaka-type player for a team looking for a center and in a league where the “big man” position is deteriorating.
6. Harrison Barnes – SF – North Carolina – If he had entered the draft last year he just might have gone to the Cavaliers at pick No. 4. He jumped an amazing 38 inches flat-footed at the draft combine and can be a huge asset on offense.
7. Jeremy Lamb – SG – Connecticut – A recently sprained ankle has kept him out of some workouts, but that shouldn’t hurt Lamb’s stock very much. A great inside shooter, Lamb shot 60.1 percent from two-point range.
8. John Henson – PF – North Carolina – Whenever I watched Henson play I saw a little bit of Kevin Durant in him. Not as explosive as the OKC star, but definitely has the physical set (6’ 9” in height and a 7’ 5” wingspan) to succeed at the NBA level.
9. Damian Lillard – PG – Weber State – Lillard flew under the radar for most of the 2011-12 college basketball season, but was an explosive scorer whenever he stepped on the court. Could end up being a long-term piece for a team in need of offensive firepower.
10. Austin Rivers – SG – Duke – A lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but the young man will learn a lot about the game of basketball by choosing to enter the draft early. Shot selection is what concerns me about the 19-year-old.
Chris Manning’s Top 10 Big Board
1. Anthony Davis – PF – Kentucky — Davis is a player you can build a team around. Great on defense, great work ethic, and is only going to get better.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF – Kentucky – Kidd-Gilchrist is an athletic small forward who is a stand out defender who reminds of Andre Igoudala. Would look great in Wine and Gold.
3. Thomas Robinson – PF – Kansas – Reminds me of Kevin Garnett. Works hard, solid around the basket, and can rebound well. At the worst, he gives you 15 and 8 a night.
4. Harrison Barnes – SF – North Carolina — Smooth wing player who seems to fade in big games. Could still blossom into a perennial All-Star.
5. Jeremy Lamb – SG – Connecticut – Every time I watched Lamb play, he impressed me. Can flat out score, but needs to improve his all around game. He’d be my back-up pick if I was the Cavs.
6. Bradley Beal – SG – Florida – Talented kid who has a big, durable frame. (6’4, 202). Struggled from behind the arc at Florida, but should improvement over the course of the season.
7. Jared Sullinger — C — Ohio State — Sullinger is a big bodied power forward who is a deadly scorer around the basket. Concerns about his endurance and weight have hindered his draft stock.
8. Andre Drummond – C – Connecticut – Drummond is either going to be an elite center or become the next Kwame Brown. While he does have a lot of talent, I wouldn’t take him too high.
9. Damian Lillard – PG – Weber State – Lillard is a shoot first point guard in the mold of Russell Westbrook. As a mid-major prospect, he’ll have to prove himself against elite competition.
10. Fab Melo — C — Syracuse – Fab Melo has the potential to a defensive monster in the NBA. His limited offense hurts his stock, but I think he’s a safer bet as compared to Drummond.
Stay tuned to Right Down Euclid for more NBA Draft coverage