Now that the 2012 NFL Draft is behind us, the next major order of business for Baylor's pro-bound athletes is the NBA Draft to be held on Thursday, June 28, 2012. Seeing as how that date is still nearly 2 months away, we still have quite a bit of time for things to change between now and the actual Draft itself. Workouts, pro days, and the summer circuits have yet to occur, and which international players will make themselves available is also a question yet to be answered. That those players are bound by different rules and allowed to sit on the sidelines waiting for the declarations of American-born collegians makes about as much sense as the bird law in this country.
Baylor fans never really questioned that Perry Jones III would declare for the Draft after his sophomore year. He already stuck around once when he might have gone and, though I truly believe he loves Baylor, his family needs the money. He's a lottery pick this year. Quincy Miller's surprising and relatively abrupt about-face last week gave Baylor the second probable first-round pick we didn't expect to have (I'm sorry, but Quincy Acy is a second-rounder at best and it isn't because of desire). To help get a handle on where PJ3 and Miller might go, I've tried to collect the most reputable mock drafts available to date.
- First up is DraftExpress, which has PJ3 going 9th to the Detroit Pistons and Miller 18th to the Utah Jazz.
- USA Today gives Perry to the Toronto Raptors at #8 and calls him "Crazy athletic. Can score from almost anywhere on the floor. Extremely long and agile. Explosive at the rim." Miller goes #21 to the Boston Celtics as "A wiry scorer with a tremendous wingspan for a forward. Slightly undersized but effective from the perimeter. Somewhat streaky with huge upside."
- NBADraft.net does not like PJ3 so much and has him at #11 to the Portland Trailblazers. Miller won't want to read this mock because it has him as the last pick in the first round (#30) to the Golden State Warriors. Great pick for the Warriors. Not so great destination for QMill.
- CBSSports' Jeff Goodman has PJ3 the lowest of all going #12 to the Milwaukee Bucks. He describes Jones much in the same way he does Andre Drummond as "soft" with a questionable basketball IQ. Like most observers, he ultimately recognizes Perry's immense potential. Goodman has Miller going #22 to the Atlanta Hawks and says that Miller should have stayed in school another year. Excuse me while I pour myself a stiff drink.
- Finally, Chad Ford of ESPN posted his Mock Draft 4.0 today. As best I can tell, nobody knows the NBA Draft like Ford, and he has Perry going to the Warriors at #7 and Miller to the Denver Nuggets at #20. There is also a lottery generator in case you want to play with the possible outcomes a bit.
Head below the jump for more:
About Jones, Ford says:
Jones has the talent to be a top 3 pick and many scouts believe his best pro position will be at the 3, which is a need for Golden State. If he lives up to his potential, this is a home run of a pick. But the Warriors have had their share of athletic, underperforming tweeners (Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright) in the past.
And about Miller...
The Nuggets don't have any real glaring needs right now, which gives them the luxury of taking the best player left on the board. Had Miller stayed in school another year, he would've likely been a top 10 pick in 2013. He's great value here.
Ford also noted that Miller has the potential to rise in just the next few months if he can demonstrate that his surgically-repaired knee has strengthened since the season ended and restored some of the athleticism absent from his game this year. A carefully-scripted workout could be the perfect venue for Miller to show off the same ability that made him a top-10 recruit in the 2011 class and could convince a team that might not otherwise take the chance on an inconsistent player this season to do so.
The general theme of these mocks has Perry going somewhere in the range of 7-12 (in the lottery) and Miller in the later half, somewhere between 17-22. Remember that the NBA Draft uses a weighted lottery system that favors teams with lower records while still allowing for a bit of unpredictability. A team that loves them some Perry could get the tenth pick and take Perry there or the fourth and decide his upside is still worth it. At any rate, I don't think Perry will fall to the Dallas Mavericks (my favorite team) any more than I think the Mavs will want Miller at 17.