With the 2012 NBA Draft approaching, teams have been bringing players in for workouts and interviews so that they can begin adjusting their draft board. Here is a look at some players that teams could be sleeping on and may have them ranked higher than most 2012 NBA Mock Draft boards.
Miller is a unique player, with elite size and length for his position to go along with a very nice offensive game for a player coming off his freshman season. Concerns about his strength and athleticism coming off of an ACL in high school have led to him being projected to be taken in the latter part of the first round. But if Miller can regain some of his explosiveness, he could develop into one of the top 10 players from the draft class.
Middleton is coming off of a very disappointing junior season, where he struggled with injuries and consistency throughout the year. Surprisingly, he declared for the draft with his stock at an all time low, with Middleton being projected to go in the second round or undrafted. However, if he can return to the form of his sophomore year, Middleton could be the steal of the draft. With his length, shot-making ability, and unselfish play, Middleton should have no problem making an NBA roster this fall, even if he isn’t drafted.
English doesn’t really stand out physically as a prospect, lacking great size, strength, and athleticism. Combine that with the fact that he will be 24 by the time the season starts makes it look likely that English will go undrafted. English has some very interesting skills though, as he is a very proficient 3-point shooter and he has a high basketball IQ. English has a good outlook as a role player and should have no problem being productive as long as he isn’t asked to do too much.
Jones was a top recruit coming out of high school, but has had problems with consistency and focus in his two years at Kentucky. This, as well as his struggles adjusting to a more secondary role behind Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has led to his draft stock falling. All that being said, Jones is still one of the most talented players in the draft, with great physical tools and the ability to impact both ends of the court. If he falls out of the lottery on draft day, some teams may end up regretting that they passed on him.
Cunningham was the best player on an Oregon State team that struggled in the weak Pac-12 this past season. He is also lacking in size and strength to deal with some of the bigger 2 guards in the NBA. Yet the potential is there for Cunningham to become a very nice NBA player. He is an impressive athlete that can finish in spectacular fashion in transition and has shown to be an exceptional defender. If a team has the patience to allow Cunningham to develop, they could have a steal on their hands.
David Jinks is a guest correspondent for NetScouts Basketball. The opinions in this article are his and do not necessarily reflect the view of NetScouts Basketball.