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2012 NBA Draft: Damian Lillard Named 'Safe Bet' By Sports Illustrated

Damian Lillard burst onto NBA radars as a junior at Weber State this past season by displaying the type of size and scoring punch that is valued at the next level. While Lillard didn't face top competition in the Big Sky, he did prove to be a capable playmaker and someone who's floor could be a high-volume scorer off the bench.

Related: 2012 NBA Mock Draft: Damian Lillard Goes No. 13 To Phoenix Suns In Latest NBADraft.Net Projection

There's a lot to like about Lillard, which is why he's been talked about as a potential lottery pick. SI's Sam Amick named Lillard one of 11 "safe best" in the 2012 NBA Draft today.

Damian Lillard, Weber State, junior point guard (6-2, 185): With all due respect to Eastern Washington product and current Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, the Big Sky Conference isn't exactly known for pumping out NBA talent. Lillard is the latest exception, having proved to be one of the nation's best scorers (24.5 points on 46.7 percent shooting). More important for him, he's atop the short list of quality point guards in this draft and could find his way into the top 10 as a result. Lillard is a score-first point guard who can shoot and penetrate, his athleticism is underrated and he's shown good playmaking skills.

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