We can predict who the Suns will take with the 13th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft based on which players teams will take before Phoenix is up to bat. We can project it by determining who the Suns might want to take themselves.
In the end, we can process a seemingly infinite number of scenarios and guess the most likely outcome. We could ask an MIT grad or a supercomputer to work this all out, but what actually happens will probably still evade anyone’s guess.
And that unpredictability is why the draft is one of the most gripping days for an admirer of the NBA. Still, it’s fun to talk mock.
On the eve of the draft, we’re taking a look at the mock drafts around the internet to see what the experts are saying about Phoenix’s pick at No. 13.
— DraftExpress.com has the Suns swiping 6-foot-7 wing Terrence Ross out of Washington with their first-round selection, and that means they agree with Michael Schwartz and myself in taking the silky-smooth scorer.
Sure, the Suns would love for a guy like Dion Waiters or Damian Lillard to fall to them, but those two are probably long gone by the time the Suns are up, according to most mocks. So too is Austin Rivers, who Mike Schmitz believes will be a gem of an NBA player thanks to his competitive pedigree. Doc’s kid has been steadily climbing draft boards of late, as many have him going to Toronto at No. 8 or New Orleans at No. 10.
— Another Husky, this one from UConn, is appearing as Phoenix’s choice on Chad Ford‘s 9.4 mock draft. Jeremy Lamb sprained his ankle but still went through a workout with the Suns this weekend, according to Paul Coro, and with guys like Rivers moving up the boards, Lamb might be one of the players to drop into Phoenix’s lap.
— In a different take on the draft, the ESPN Insider crew conducted a mock draft based on who they believe each team should take rather than guessing who the teams will take. David Thorpe selected North Carolina’s John Henson at No. 13 for the Suns, citing the lack of rebounding and shot blocking on their current roster.
— Meanwhile, NBA Draft Insider’s Kristofer Habbas has Phoenix going the opposite route, choosing Tar Heel point guard Kendall Marshall as Steve Nash’s successor.
— Basketball Prospectus‘ Kevin Pelton took Draft Express’ mock draft and with a formula of comparison tackled comparing each pick to another players’ statistics and size when they were around the same age. The database only goes back to 2000 so it’s a little bit limited.
It should be of note that a player comparison at this point in a career isn’t necessarily an accurate evaluation of what could be, but rather a fun look at who was in a similar position at the beginning of their respective professional career.
Pelton’s analysis finds that Terrence Ross is similar to Antoine Wright, the No. 15 overall pick by the New Jersey Nets in 2005. Wikipedia says Wright is now in a Venezuelan league, so that’s not going to make us feel great about Ross’ future. But remember, this is just for fun — we hope.