2012 NBA Mock Draft: Draft Express Has Meyers Leonard At No. 16 To Houston Rockets

Former Illinois Fighting Illini center Meyers Leonard is said to be one of the hottest names in Thursday's 2012 NBA Draft. Leonard has gone as high as No. 9 to the Detroit Pistons in some mocks, but the latest from Draft Express has the center slipping to the Houston Rockets at pick No. 16.

Related: 2012 NBA Mock Draft Meta-Analysis, Vol. 3: Rumors Sully Sullinger

Here's what DX had to say about Leonard and Houston:

Meyers Leonard: C, 20, 7-1, 250, Illinois, Soph.

This pick is widely assumed to be in play, as the Rockets have a number of young prospects on their roster and may not be looking to bring two more rookies into the fold. Regardless of whether it's Houston making the pick, Meyers Leonard is a safe bet to come off the board at this stage. He's too big, talented and athletic to fall much further, and the Rockets can afford to be patient with him as his frame fills out and his feel for the game improves.

Houston acquired the pick from the New York Knicks. For what it's worth, Draft Express has the Pistons going with North Carolina power forward John Henson with the ninth pick.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of Illini basketball, head over to Hail to the Orange. For additional news, notes and analysis from around the NBA, visit SB Nation's NBA news hub.

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