2012 NBA re-draft: The way it should have been

The 2012 NBA draft is notable in that it gave us Anthony Davis, an excellent No. 1 pick and eventual NBA champion, Damian Lillard, one of the best scoring guards of all time, and Draymond Green, one of the league’s best defenders and second-round picks ever.

However, as you’ll see below, this draft falls off pretty quickly, with role players taking up the majority of the Top 10 in this re-draft.

No. 1 pick: Anthony Davis

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The No. 1 pick of the 2012 draft with unreal expectations placed upon him after winning a national title at Kentucky, coming off of being the No. 1 high school prospect in the world, Anthony Davis has lived up to the expectations. If not for injury troubles, Davis might have even more accolades, a scary notion for a champion, eight-time All-Star, four-time 1st Team All-NBAer and three-time blocks leader. Davis quite obviously holds onto his spot at No. 1, which is somewhat of a rarity in our re-drafts.

Actual position: No. 1
Career earnings: $189,720,908
Career stats: 24.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 51.8 FG%, 30.1 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 2 pick: Damian Lillard

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One of the best scoring guards the NBA has ever seen, Damian Lillard can shoot from all over the floor, off the dribble, with a hand in his face, and still sink shots. His team success is lacking, and that might not change as his loyalty to the Portland Trail Blazers remains as strong as ever, but either way, we’re looking at a Hall-of-Famer here already.

Actual position: No. 6
Career earnings: $193,078,511
Career stats: 25.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.7 apg, 43.9 FG%, 37.3 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 3 pick: Draymond Green

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Passed up by every single NBA team once in the draft, including the Golden State Warriors, who took Festus Ezeli at the 30th overall spot, Draymond Green will go down as one of the best second-round picks of all time, one of the best defenders ever and a very unique player, one who can create like a guard but struggles to score while rebounding quite well.

Actual position: No. 35
Career earnings: $130,914,411
Career stats: 8.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.6 apg, 44.7 FG%, 31.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 4 pick: Bradley Beal

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In a league with so much talent, Bradley Beal has been one of the NBA’s best 2-guards for a lot of his time in the league. Like Lillard, Beal’s success in the team department is lacking, though it’s tough to fault him solely for that. Still, Beal probably isn’t the guy who can lead your team to the playoffs on his own, let alone on a deep postseason run once there. He may be better suited as a second option on a contender, something we might never see as he remains loyal to the Washington Wizards.

Actual position: No. 3
Career earnings: $179,548,023
Career stats: 22.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 45.9 FG%, 37.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 5 pick: Khris Middleton

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Another excellent second-round pick out of the 2012 draft, Khris Middleton has been able to slot into that No. 2 role on a contender, winning a championship in that role in 2020-21. Middleton’s a smooth scorer with a great face-up game who can get buckets from all three levels.

Actual position: No. 39
Career earnings: $158,332,891
Career stats: 17.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 45.7 FG%, 38.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 6 pick: Harrison Barnes

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The year prior to Davis in the 2010 class, Harris Barnes was actually the No. 1 high school recruit in the country, looking like the next great wing player with high-level scoring prowess and athleticism in an ideal package. It became apparent while at North Carolina, however, that Barnes was just a bit too mechanical in his movement and skill to live up to that. Still, he had a solid career at UNC and has likewise enjoyed a solid career in the NBA, winning a championship in 2015 with the Warriors.

Actual position: No. 7
Career earnings: $148,629,017
Career stats: 14.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 45.5 FG%, 37.8 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 7 pick: Andre Drummond

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The man with the 43rd-most rebounds in NBA history, and counting, Andre Drummond is a double-double machine, though perhaps a player stuck in the wrong era. Maybe Drummond would have found success in the pre-small ball, three-point-obsessed NBA of today. At the same time, he lacks the post moves of the great centers of yesteryear, so maybe Drummond just is what he is: a great rebounder who can throw down lobs and finish around the basket.

Actual position: No. 9
Career earnings: $140,232,017
Career stats: 13.3 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 54.2 FG%, 47.5 FT%
Scouting Report

No. 8 pick: Jae Crowder

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Not quite on the level of Green or Middleton but still a steal of a second-round pick, Jae Crowder has been a tough-nosed two-way wing for years now, one who can hit open threes, does the dirty work and who can defend multiple positions.

Actual position: No. 34
Career earnings: $56,283,506
Career stats: 9.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 41.8 FG%, 34.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 9 pick: Evan Fournier

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While lacking in athleticism, Evan Fournier is a smooth wing with a solid ball handle, crafty moves and a decent jumper, a player who can get hot quickly. He’s never been a star and his role is currently diminished but still, the man deserves credit for having earned nearly $109 million in his career. At the end of the day, basketball is about getting buckets and Fournier has been able to do that.

Actual position: No. 20
Career earnings: $108,999,101
Career stats: 14.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg, 44.4 FG%, 37.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 10 pick: Will Barton

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An athletic guard with hops and a decent three-point stroke, Will Barton has stuck it out as long as he has thanks to his scoring ability off the bench. Barton has been able to get hot at a moment’s notice throughout his career, though he lacked the consistency to make it an every-night thing.

Actual position: No. 40
Career earnings: $66,809,472
Career stats: 11.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 43.1 FG%, 35.5 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 11 pick: Terrence Ross

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A player actually very similar to Barton, Terrence Ross remains a solid bench scorer to this day, putting up very similar numbers to the former Memphis standout. The difference is, Ross went eighth overall in his draft, so it’s fair to say his output has been a bit more disappointing in the NBA than Barton’s.

Actual position: No. 8
Career earnings: $81,089,837
Career stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 41.8 FG%, 36.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 12 pick: Austin Rivers

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High school mixtape legend Austin Rivers was one of the most fun prep players ever, scoring from NBA range often, off the dribble, using fadeaways, pretty much getting buckets any which way you can imagine. But his lack of size and top-end athleticism has made it so in the NBA, he’s pretty much been a role player, one who’s had his moments here and there but hasn’t been the star he was in high school. Still, there’s no shame in that, as Rivers remains in the NBA to this day, using defensive tenacity to keep a role in the league.

Actual position: No. 10
Career earnings: $54,613,256
Career stats: 8.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 41.9 FG%, 34.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 13 pick: Kent Bazemore

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The highest undrafted player taken in this re-draft, Kent Bazemore used elite athleticism and good length to go with spot-up shooting and slashing ability to last quite a while in the NBA.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $79,957,380
Career stats: 8.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 41.3 FG%, 35.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 14 pick: Jeremy Lamb

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A national champion in college at UConn, Jeremy Lamb hasn’t been the same level of star in the NBA, though he has used a silky midrange jumper and a good feel for scoring to stick it out for a long time in the top basketball league in the world.

Actual position: No. 12
Career earnings: $61,867,716
Career stats: 10.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 43.9 FG%, 34.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 15 pick: JaMychal Green

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From undrafted to earning over $38 million in the NBA, JaMychal Green has been a great success story in his basketball journey. Green found his place in the NBA as a big man with shooting touch who can score and rebound a bit.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $38,836,962
Career stats: 7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 47.5 FG%, 36.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 16 pick: Maurice Harkless

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A good defender with length and physicality on the less glamorous end of the floor, Maurice Harkless was just never a good enough shooter to be more than a low-level 3-and-D role player. Still, considering how quickly this draft falls off a cliff, that’s enough to keep him at No. 16 in this re-draft.

Actual position: No. 15
Career earnings: $57,794,297
Career stats: 6.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 47.4 FG%, 32.0 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 17 pick: John Henson

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It’s actually a bit surprising John Henson, a teammate of Barnes’ at North Carolina, didn’t last longer in the NBA, as he had great mobility for a big man to go with his otherworldly length, making him a dynamo defender, particularly as a rim protector. It was probably due to his lacking of any sort of offense outside of dunks and his slight frame that did him in, but even in his eight-year career, he was a pretty impressive shot-blocker.

Actual position: No. 14
Career earnings: $52,818,091
Career stats: 7.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 54.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 18 pick: Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters, Los Angeles Lakers
Dion Waiters, Los Angeles Lakers

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Billed by some as a potential Dwyane Wade 2.0, Dion Waiters was very much not that in the NBA, though he was a solid scorer in the league. He just lacked consistency, mostly due to his poor outside shooting. Regardless, when Waiters was on, he was a fun player to watch get going, confident as anyone in the league all the way until the end of his NBA career.

Actual position: No. 4
Career earnings: $57,549,655
Career stats: 13.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 41.2 FG%, 34.6 3P%
Dion Waiters Rumors

No. 19 pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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That he even lasted eight seasons in the NBA while having the ugliest outside jumper maybe in league history is a testament to what a defender and slasher Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was. A teammate of Davis’ on the national-title-winning Kentucky team, that Kidd-Gilchrist even went second overall with that jumper is another story altogether.

Actual position: No. 2
Career earnings: $60,356,045
Career stats: 8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 47.4 FG%, 27.2 3P%
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Rumors

No. 20 pick: Tomas Satoransky

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Now back in Europe playing for Barcelona, Tomas Satoransky had some ability as a guard who could score, rebound and create, but he was unable to do any of those things in the NBA at a high enough level to warrant him having a huge role.

Actual position: No. 32
Career earnings: $39,000,000
Career stats: 6.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 46.8 FG%, 35.4 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 21 pick: Meyers Leonard

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A big man with great size and jumping ability coming out of college, Meyers Leonard received comparisons to Tyson Chandler out of Illinois. Obviously, Leonard was no Chandler, with his jumping ability as a prospect overrated and his feet way too slow to be an impactful defender in the NBA. Leonard was able to reinvent himself as an outside shooting big man, extending his career that way.

Actual position: No. 11
Career earnings: $60,142,479
Career stats: 5.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 48.2 FG%, 39.1 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 22 pick: Kyle O'Quinn

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Kyle O’Quinn was a bruising big man who could set hard screens and give you six good fouls down low, capable of blocking some shots as well. He wasn’t much more than a role player in the NBA, but as far as role players go, he knew what his job was and did it well.

Actual position: No. 49
Career earnings: $20,872,555
Career stats: 5.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 51.7 FG%, 21.8 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 23 pick: Mike James

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Mike James had a cup of water in the NBA, playing 58 total games over three seasons, but he’s been one of the best guards in Europe for years now, a confident bucket-getter from all over the floor.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $402,450
Career stats: 8.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 38.0 FG%, 28.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 24 pick: Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger, Toronto Raptors
Jared Sullinger, Toronto Raptors

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In high school, Jared Sullinger was a five-star prospect thanks to his low-post scoring and quickness in the paint. Sullinger’s size, poor athleticism and lack of athleticism made it so his success in college, where he averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds at Ohio State, didn’t really carry over to the NBA.

Actual position: No. 21
Career earnings: $11,994,420
Career stats: 10.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 43.6 FG%, 27.2 3P%
Jared Sullinger Rumors

No. 25 pick: Mike Scott

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A shooting big man who could space the floor, Mike Scott had a solid face-up game, though he’s been out of the NBA for a few years now. He peaked in 2017-18, averaging 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Washington Wizards.

Actual position: No. 43
Career earnings: $27,064,863
Career stats: 6.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 45.3 FG%, 36.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 26 pick: Tyler Zeller

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Yet another Tar Heel from the 2012 draft class along with Barnes and Henson, Tyler Zeller was a quick big man who could set good screens and finish around the paint out of the pick-and-roll.

Actual position: No. 17
Career earnings: $17,686,467
Career stats: 6.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 apg, 50.8 FG%, 28.6 3P%
Tyler Zeller Rumors

No. 27 pick: Quincy Acy

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Bouncy as anyone, Quincy Acy didn’t have a super long or fruitful NBA career, but he did post some very fun dunking highlights over his seven seasons in the Association. In a class as poor as 2012’s, that’s good enough to get you a spot in the re-draft.

Actual position: No. 37
Career earnings: $8,239,454
Career stats: 4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 44.4 FG%, 35.0 3P%
Quincy Acy Rumors

No. 28 pick: Miles Plumlee

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The oldest Plumlee brother, Miles Plumlee did manage to last seven seasons in the NBA thanks to being a big man with size who was willing to do the dirty work and who could set good screens. Sometimes, that’s enough to earn you over $42 million while averaging fewer than five points in your career.

Actual position: No. 26
Career earnings: $42,673,973
Career stats: 4.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 54.2 FG%, 54.3 FT%
Miles Plumlee Rumors

No. 29 pick: Terrence Jones

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One of the bigger disappointments of the 2012 draft, Terrence Jones was a five-star prospect out of high school, went to Kentucky and returned for his sophomore season when many thought he was NBA-bound after his freshman campaign, eventually winning a national title while accepting a slightly smaller role in Year-2. Jones had the ability to be a starter for years in the NBA, too, a lefty power forward with unique skill and athleticism, but he was just never able to put it together consistently enough, with his porous jumper being the primary culprit for that.

Actual position: No. 18
Career earnings: $8,550,822
Career stats: 10.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 50.1 FG%, 29.7 3P%
Terrence Jones Rumors

No. 30 pick: Thomas Robinson

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Back-to-back disappointments is how we end our 2012 re-draft, with actual No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson falling all the way to 30th in this re-draft. Robinson was a monster athlete at Kansas, a pick-and-roll machine who could throw highlight dunks down with aplomb, but his lack of size and poor skill level made his NBA career a forgettable one at best.

Actual position: No. 5
Career earnings: $12,611,7549
Career stats: 4.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.6 apg, 47.0 FG%, 50.5 FT%
Thomas Robinson Rumors

Biggest risers

Kent Bazemore, Golden State Warriors
Kent Bazemore, Golden State Warriors

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kent Bazemore: From undrafted to No. 13
JaMychal Green: From undrafted to No. 15
Mike James: From undrafted to No. 23
Khris Middleton: From No. 39 to No. 5 (+34)
Draymond Green: From No. 35 to No. 3 (+32)
Will Barton: From No. 40 to No. 10 (+30)
Kyle O’Quinn: From No. 49 to No. 22 (+27)
Jae Crowder: From No. 34 to No. 8 (+26)
Mike Scott: From No. 43 to No. 25 (+18)

Highest picks not listed

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kendall Marshall: No. 13
Royce White: No. 16
Andrew Nicholson: No. 19
Fab Melo: No. 22
Jared Cunningham: No. 24
Tony Wroten: No. 25

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Story originally appeared on HoopsHype