Every year, there's at least one prospect who begins sliding, and once a slide begins, a herd mentality can erupt. Teams who didn't think they would have a chance at a player everyone thought would be a Top 15 pick get cold feet about a player who they never evaluated and a free-fall begins.
In 2012, the late dropped could be Baylor star Perry Jones III. With concerns about his knee popping up at the last minute, Jones slips all the way to the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 24 in ESPN Insider Chad Ford's final mock draft:
Analysis: Jones might be the toughest player in the draft to project right now. Everyone is both scared to take him and scared not to take him. (I've heard the same assessment from a number of NBA GMs the past few weeks.) His knee issues aren't helping things.
Whichever GM first overcomes his fear gets a super-athletic, 6-foot-11 forward who lacks the motor or toughness teams usually look for in a big man. But at some point, the reward outweighs the risk, and that calculation probably starts here.
Two weeks ago, the same things were said about Jones risk/reward ratio, except at the No. 12 pick instead of the No. 24. NBA players have always made a point of "proving the doubters wrong", and if anything is certain, it's that Jones has no shortage of doubters to inspire him.