My 2012 NBA Draft Winners and Losers Recap
2012 NBA Draft Recap
New Orleans Hornets – What is there not to like about what the Hornets did in this draft? They were the obvious winners in 2012.
- They took arguably the only potential superstar of the draft in Anthony Davis, from Kentucky, who can provide elite shot blocking and defensive ability as soon as he starts playing. He also has some guard skills in him back from when he was a guard in high school so his offensive ceiling is pretty high.
- They get Austin Rivers, from Duke, who for some reason was being called “uncoachable” by multiple draft experts (Doesn’t his Dad coach in the NBA?). In a league where 80 percent of players cannot create their own shot, Rivers can come in and create his own shot and score on a high level. He will play alongside Eric Gordon which I think the Hornets can make work. He will need to work on his point guard skills and he has the right coach to do it. (His dad played point guard in the NBA too right?)
- The Hornets also added value late in the draft by selecting Darius Miller, from Kentucky, who will add toughness, maturity, and be a good all-around NBA defender
- Some experts said the Houston Rockets were losers in this draft because in the big picture, they did not acquire Dwight Howard. Instead of trading for a guy who will probably only play there one year I think Houston made a good decision in not pulling the trigger on Howard.
- With all the talk about Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters how did Jeremy Lamb out of UCONN not get mentioned? So he is thin and not very strong but he might be the best pure shooter in this draft. He has the tools in terms of athleticism, ability and pedigree to become a great all around shooting guard in the NBA and I’d say has a pretty big chip on his shoulder to prove that after the lack of attention he got during the draft.
- Also I felt any team that drafted Royce White, from Iowa State, would automatically be a winner. He is a big, strong, physical player with ridiculous passing ability for a guy his size. He lead the Cyclones in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals and always played (if not outplayed) the best competition he faced during the season. He needs to work on his shot (a lot) but that will come with time and experience. So what if he has an anxiety disorder? So what he can’t fly on planes? Didn’t seem to hurt the Cyclones this year so I do not see why it will hurt the Rockets next year
Phoenix Suns – I really liked that the Suns selected Kendall Marshall, from North Carolina, to be the heir-apparent to the great Steve Nash. I don’t know if Nash will be back in Phoenix but if he does come back that would just expedite Marshall’s growing process.
- Just like Nash, Marshall is a traditional floor general point guard who looks to pass first. I think he will flourish in Alvin Gentry’s system were we will get to run up and down just like at North Carolina. Had he stayed for his junior season he would have more than likely set the ACC record for assists and was a huge reason why Tyler Zeller won ACC player of the year (we will get to that later). He needs to work on his jump shot so defenses can play him honest in pick and roll situations and look more often to get “his” in transition. But he isn’t the first point guard to come into the league with an inconsistent jump shot and with the system he will run and the potential to learn under one of the best point guards of all time, I think you could see Marshall leading the NBA in assists one day.
Portland TrailBlazers – The TrailBlazers had a distinct plan in place by filling their two biggest needs with extremely promising prospects in Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard.
- Lillard has the idle height for a point guard at 6’2 and already is a confident shooter behind the arc and has a dangerous mid-range game which is perfect for pick and roll situations as a point guard. Was not a pure point guard in college but quite frankly did not have a choice because if he wasn’t scoring no one else was (no offense Weber State players).
- As for Leonard, from Illinois he’s an extremely mobile big man who provides some much-needed relief down low for LaMarcus Aldridge. He is a forceful defender who is merely a few low post moves away from becoming an elite scoring threat as well. Knock on wood he doesn’t have any serious injuries either (sorry Greg Oden)
- I also really like the Will Barton pick because the kid is just a baller. He is super skinny and will need to add some weight but he is super versatile and can do some many things well on both ends of the court
Oklahoma City Thunder – I will admit I am not the biggest Perry Jones III fan but the fact that his lottery talent level landed in Oklahoma City near the end of the first round is a total steal.
- This is a great situation for the Thunder. They really did not need to add a lot to any already young team that is still learning after losing in the NBA finals. But now they got a guy who has all-star potential and got him at the end of the first round. So if Jones pans out and turns into the second coming of Rudy Gay, Sam Presti’s draft pick genius will continue. If not, it won’t hurt the overall foundation of the team if Jones is a dud because the team is already centered on their young talent. Little risk and great reward with this pick.
Brooklyn Nets – And for their inaugural season in Brooklyn, New York, the Nets select… Tyshawn Taylor?
- The “Will he stay or will he go?” Deron Williams game had to be the most fun anyone in Brooklyn had on draft night. After trading their first-round pick to the Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace, who is now a free agent, the Nets weren’t slated a pick until No. 57, just three slots before the end of the draft.
- Instead of making a hit in their former building, the Nets really did not do anything at all besides letting the NBA know that they are all in with Deron Williams and trying to build the team around him.
- Besides getting Tyshawn Taylor, from Kansas, who I think will be a good NBA defender and actually a solid player, they got Ilkan Karaman, and were able to trade for the No. 54 pick, Tornike Shengalia, from the 76ers. Both are international players who I do not know a single thing about and from what I have heard, and it’s unclear if either will ever see the NBA court. Now we will have to see if Deron Williams will end up resigning with the Nets or going home to play in Dallas.
Cleveland Cavaliers – I actually didn’t have that big a problem with Cleveland reaching on Dion Waiters, from Syracuse, because I think the kid has potential to be a Dwayne Wade type of player in the future.
- The main reason Cleveland is on my losers list is because of Tyler Zeller, from North Carolina. I never liked Zeller as a player. Yeah he is seven foot. Yeah he won ACC player of the year. Yeah he has potential. I just never liked the kid. Besides the Plumlee brothers, there were not a lot of great big men to defend Zeller this year in the weak ACC. His height allowed him to be a man amongst boys during conference play and at times basically just turned around and shot with no one really challenging him. If he ever played against a stronger player, he seemed to shy away from contact and fade away too much. Ever since he broke his wrist as a freshman because he was afraid of contact when someone was going to make a play on him when he was dunking a ball, I have always seen him as soft. If Kendall Marshall wasn’t the point guard for North Carolina I don’t think Zeller scores half of his points. I always thought he was overrated just because he played at North Carolina. Maybe I am letting my emotions get the best of me on this selection but I am just trying to call them how I see them and I’m calling Tyler Zeller……SOFT. So I don’t think Zeller will last long in the NBA.
- Oh yeah, Lebron won a championship and your still bitter about it.
- I really don’t dislike the John Jenkins, from Vanderbilt, pick all that much. I think his three point shooting can actually help the Hawks, I just kind of see him as a smaller version of Joe Johnson so I don’t know if that really addressed the Hawks weakness at small forward.
- Atlanta is already in an odd situation because they have a good team but there just not as good Miami, Chicago or Boston. I don’t think this pick helps them get over that hump and more than likely you will see the Hawks out of the first round of the playoffs again if they don’t go after someone in free agency or try to make a trade. Their at the point where they either need to stick with the players they like or blow this thing up because they still aren’t getting past the 2nd round in the East with this pick.
Philadelphia 76ers – Philly was already a team full of small forward NBA players so what do they use their first pick on? A small forward?
- Although I have no issue with Maurice (formally Moe) Harkless as a NBA prospect, this fit really does not make a lot of since to me. I like his upside and what he brings to the table as a young player. Harkless, from St John’s is a versatile defender with a raw offense and very good athletic ability. After the description I just gave you, you might think I was talking about oh I don’t know… Andre Iguodala? He shares a lot of the same characteristics as the other small forwards on the 76ers too.
- With this pick, I have to believe that Doug Collins and the 76ers staff have a plan to move Iguodala or Thaddeus Young. If they don’t, Harkless basically is out of the picture in terms of playing time and it will hurt his developing process as a young player. I do not see this working out for either side if Philadelphia decides to keep all three of these guys but they have been trying to trade Iguodala for a while now so we will see.
Indiana Pacers – The Pacers were in a really good position to add a good draft pick to a team that is already on the rise in the East after taking Miami to six games in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Honestly I think Larry Bird should have stayed with the team after their first pick of Miles Plumlee.
- To me, the Miles Plumlee pick was the biggest reach in this draft. I did not like this selection at all. Plumlee, from Duke, is noticeably athletic, however overwhelmingly raw at the offensive end. He’s one of the most mobile centers available, yet he’s wildly uncoordinated on both sides of the ball. I don’t see him having a lot of effect on the offensive end and he honestly just reminds me of a Josh McRoberts type of player. His numbers at Duke certainly don’t suggest Indiana has a player ready to break out on its hands.
- While the Pacers are a deep enough team to take on a risk like Plumlee, they’re close enough to contention where they can ill afford to waste golden opportunities to get better in the East, especially when they are as close as they are.