The 2012 NBA Draft will take place Thursday, and while fans and the media will rightfully focus on the lottery picks and big names take early on in the process, there are gems to be found each year late in the draft.
Adept front offices such as the one in San Antonio have found an ability to properly scout and draft contributors late in the first round and throughout the second. According to Sam Amick of SI.com one such name to keep an eye on as a potential 2012 draft sleeper is former Virginia Cavalier power forward Mike Scott.
Virginia, Sr., PF, 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, projected second round
The red flag: The left ankle
In a league where executives are so often obsessed with upside and potential, Scott has shown an ability to produce and improve for five straight years now. The versatile big man averaged 18 points (56.3 percent shooting) and 8.3 rebounds last season while finishing second in voting for ACC Player of the Year behind North Carolina center and likely first-rounder Tyler Zeller.
If not for a left ankle injury that required surgery in December of 2010 and a follow-up procedure a month later, Scott would have entered the draft a year ago. But he earned a medical redshirt and returned for another season, then proceeded to take his game to another level yet again despite concerns about whether he would fully return to form.
The 2012 NBA Draft will kick off at 7:00 p.m. EST on June 28 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.