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Kentucky forward Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday, but after that it could be a free-for-all. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
NBA: The Tribune’s 2012 mock draft
NBA Draft » We pick them all, 1 through 30.
First Published Jun 27 2012 02:53 pm • Last Updated Jul 14 2012 05:06 pm

The Jazz don’t have a dog in this NBA draft — at least not yet. But that only slightly lessens the intrigue going into Thursday night’s festivities in New York — and at Energy Solutions Arena.

Sure, Anthony Davis will go first, to the New Orleans Hornets. But after that, it could become a free-for-all, with teams like Charlotte (which will draft No. 2) offering its pick to the highest bidder.

At a glance

NBA Draft

Thursday, 5 p.m., ESPN, Energy Solutions Arena

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And who will pick Weber State point guard Damian Lillard in the first round. Portland? Toronto? Golden State?

As always, we’re ready with some pre-draft answers.

The Tribune’s NBA mock draft: Picks 1-10; Picks 11-20; and Picks 21-30.

Draft notes

Anthony Davis: The surefire number one pick.

Some call him the next Kevin Garnett. Some call him the next Marcus Camby, which is still pretty respectable.

This section likes calling Davis the next Garnett. His ability to block shots, and rebound and disrupt opposing offenses with his length will make him a star. His unibrow will get him trademarked. He’s exactly what New Orleans needs right now, a guy whom the Hornets can build a franchise around.

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Davis has work to do offensively, but he’s more refined than given credit for. If he can develop a jumper and a game off the dribble, watch out.

Sleepers: This is the list of guys who could make an impact out of nowhere.

Scott Machado, Iona: He’s one of the best point guards in the draft, a ballhandling and passing wizard.

Royce White, Iowa State: If he stays on the straight and narrow, may be an All-Star down the road.

Draymond Green, Michigan State: One of those glue guys who every winning franchise picks up like clockwork.

Hollis Thompson, Georgetown: A shooter with size and athleticism — could be a nice addition.

Year after topping mock drafts, OSU’s Sullinger sinks downward

Thus far, the 2012 NBA Draft hasn’t been kind to Jared Sullinger. A year ago, the Ohio State power forward was on top of the collegiate basketball world. Then he decided to stay out of the 2011 draft, fearing the NBA lockout would cancel the entire 2011-12 season. Sullinger bet wrong, and his stock suffered during his sophomore season with the Buckeyes. Things have only gotten worse for the once-projected top-three pick since then. After being red-flagged because of medical issues by several teams during recent draft workouts, Sullinger slid from the lottery to the late first round in many mock drafts. Then, he wasn’t invited to the green room for draft night. Despite his sudden fall, Sullinger could eventually end up being a steal for anyone willing to take a minimal first-round risk. He has the talent, power and overall potential to eventually be an All-Star. And no one initially pegged as a top-three pick should ever fall as far as Sullinger has in one year.

— Brian T. Smith

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