The day is finally here! The 2012 NBA Draft commences tonight at 7:00 PM ET from Newark, New Jersey, at the Prudential Center and is televised live on ESPN. Rece Davis will host the ESPN coverage alongside Jay Bilas, Jeff Van Gundy, and Chris Broussard with field reporters Andy Katz and Ric Bucher also part of the broadcast. While the analysts will offer insight to viewers before and after every selection, there’s much more to know about each prospect than the four or five minutes in between picks. Scouting services like Draft Express and NBADraft.net spend all year preparing for this day with mock drafts on the line, and there are plenty of news sites to consult for in-depth coverage of different players. But here at RTC, we’ve got it all covered for you with full profiles of the top 35 available prospects that include an overview, strengths and weaknesses, player comparisons, scouting takes from Aran Smith at NBADraft.net, and more. Today we’re throwing in a one-sentence description to help you understand each player as he’s perceived heading into draft night. See below for quick references to all of our draft profiles and player summaries.
- Anthony Davis, Kentucky – Best forward prospect in years with comparisons to Garnett and Russell has elite athleticism, agility, work ethic, and intelligence that leads to versatile contributions on both ends and the most dominant college defender in a decade.
- Thomas Robinson, Kansas – Polished big man has scary NBA body and passionate work ethic and can contribute right away, but does he have All-Star upside against NBA length in the post?
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – Youngest player in the draft isn’t a go-to scorer but is an incredibly passionate and athletic small forward who attacks on both ends and does everything his team needs.
- Bradley Beal, Florida – Tough, athletic guard is the full package on both ends and has All-Star upside if his silky smooth three-point jumper starts falling more consistently in the pros.
- Harrison Barnes, North Carolina – Never quite lived up to sky-high expectations at North Carolina yet can score 16-20 points easy and remains an intriguing pro prospect with a high ‘floor.’
- Dion Waiters, Syracuse – Rising prospect is perhaps the most explosive scorer in the draft and scouts hope his tumultuous freshman season is not indicative of his future effort level on and off the court.
- Andre Drummond, Connecticut – 18-year-old could become the next Dwight Howard or the next Kwame Brown, but his athletic intrigue and unique personality offers upside that he can eventually figure it out.
- Damian Lillard, Weber State – Top point guard prospect is a knockdown shooter and unselfish floor general, but will he struggle adjusting from the Big Sky to the NBA?