During the 2012 NBA Draft, some high-profile players fell, whereas some relatively unknown players were chosen early. Some teams were treated to bargains while others were on the outside looking in. Let's take a look at the
New Orleans Hornets
Naturally the Hornets would have had a great time selecting the best player of the draft in Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis. It also bolstered its team by selecting argluably the draft's best scorer in Duke's Austin Rivers with the tenth pick. With a potential starting rotation of Rivers, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman and Anthony Davis, the Hornets will have the potential to be an exciting team next season and beyond.
With or without the first overall pick, the Bobcats would have been winners of the draft. Why? Because this team desperately needs an infusion of talent. They got it Thursday night. Charlotte selected Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second overall pick. This kid is a player any team needs. He plays hard and ferocious. The best thing about him is that he's a team guy who will do anything to win.
The Bobcats' other selection was at No. 31, where they chose Vanderbilt's Jeff Taylor. Charlotte upgraded its players tonight, and its future immediately looks better.
The Kings had just one notable selection Thursday night, but it was the kind of player Sacramento desperately needed. Kansas' Thomas Robinson will be a great team player as well as a productive power forward and will complement center DeMarcus Cousins extremely well. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a better person than Robinson, who lost both his mother and his grandmother in a span of two weeks just over a year ago. The Kings made a fantastic selection with the fifth overall pick.
The Celtics committed highway robbery Thursday night, as they had the luck of Ohio State's Jared Sullinger falling into their laps at pick No. 21. The forward's draft stock plummeted after the news of his back troubles during the combine spread. Before the news about his back, Sullinger could have been selected within the first ten picks. With the selection, Boston beefs up its front court with an extremely capable player that could potentially replace Kevin Garnett.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Much like the Boston Celtics, the Thunder had a lottery talent fall to them at pick No. 28. Baylor's Perry Jones III has all the talent in the world but it was discovered a couple days ago that he has an issue with the meniscus in his knee. That all but destroyed the forward's draft stock, but he ended up being selected by one of the best teams in the NBA. With this selection, the Thunder add yet another supremely talented player to its young roster. If there is anyone to recognize for this pick, it's GM Sam Presti. This man does nothing but make great picks for this young team.
With Andre Drummond, Rivers and Jeremy Lamb still on the board, the Raptors selected Washington's Terrence Ross with the eighth overall pick. It's not that Ross is a bad player, it's just that there were better players available.
Then, with the seventh pick in the second round, Toronto chose Baylor's Quincy Acy, a man who is only effective when he is able to slam dunk the ball. For a team that can honestly use talent everywhere on the roster, these selections were somewhat disappointing.
The Nets' only pick was No. 57 and they chose Ilkan Karaman, a Turkish forward who might never have the chance to move to the NBA. The Nets haven't been able to rely on the draft in the last few years because it keeps trading away its picks for overrated players, the latest being Gerald Wallace.
If Brooklyn is serious about wooing Dwight Howard, the league's best center, it has to build up its supporting cast throught the draft, or else it will end up with a team much like the New York Knicks have. Two superstars and not much else. The thinking has to change.
The Rockets were surely ambitious Thursday night with the desire to stockpile enough assets to trade for Howard. But what really happened for Houston was much less impressive. The selections of Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones will hardly entice the Magic into a blockbuster trade. The Rockets were looking for either star power, a legitimate big man or multiple promising prospects. They found none of those, and the search for a dominant center continues for Houston.