February 29, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Arnett Moultrie (23) blocks the shot of South Carolina Gamecocks forward R.J. Slawson (33) in the first half at Colonial-Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
Last Friday, I put together a piece on positional depth in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. The idea was to see what positions were well-represented at the different tiers (top 10, top 20, first round) to figure out what needs for various teams could be fulfilled in the draft. But there's a second reason to keep the positional depth in mind.
Chances are that a few picks not currently slated to go in the first round will indeed get taken in the late teens and 20s. That will push some of these first round prospects down into the second. The Sacramento Kings have the No. 36 pick, right near the top of the second round. If the first round is heavy on big men (it is) and we expect some first round prospects to slip into the top of the second (we do), we would then expect better power forwards and centers than typically seen to potentially be available, yes?
Who are those power forwards and centers? Meyers Leonard (currently No. 21 in DraftExpress' mock), Arnett Moultrie (No. 23), Fab Melo (No. 24), Royce White (No. 28) and Andrew Nicholson (No. 30) are all possibilities. The current DX second round big men include guys like Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Kevin Jones and Drew Gordon. Clearly, landing Leonard or Moultrie out of that mix would seem like a victory.
Last season, the Kings leaped on Tyler Honeycutt, who was expected to be a late first. Isaiah Thomas, of course, lasted all of the way to No. 60. Thomas himself made the draft for the Kings; Petrie hasn't always had second round success (Sean Singletary and Patrick Ewing Jr., anyone?), but perhaps his confidence is back.