2012 NBA Draft Recap Picks 1-10
The Miami Heat clinched the title of the number one team in the NBA, after defeating the young and electrifying Oklahoma City Thunder, just last week. Due to the Heat’s success, the off-season began. With free agency coming up on July 1, 2012, what better way to start the off-season, like every year, with the NBA Draft.
This year’s draft was held in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, which is the old home of the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets. The top college prospects, as well as international prospects were gathered in the arena with friends and family in hopes of hearing their names called for a dream come true.
The number one overall pick was, with no surprise, the big man who won an NCAA National Championship with the Kentucky Wildcats, Anthony Davis. All basketball fans, as well as analysts can agree that he is the one player that will be a sure difference maker for his team. His team, of course, is now the New Orleans Hornets. Last season, the Hornets lost Chris Paul, but they have no worries now that Davis is on board. Hey, he might even get to enjoy a whole bunch of jambalaya in the Big Easy.
The Charlotte Bobcats had the privilege to pick second in this draft. With their atrocious win-loss record from last season (7-59), the Bobcats were projected to pick first to land Anthony Davis, but their chances were bad when the draft lottery came about. Charlotte is in big need in areas of that concern scoring. They decided to select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, also from the University of Kentucky. Although his jump shot is very inconsistent, he is a great run-jump player and can grab rebounds as well as a great physique getting to the basket.
The Washington Wizards came up big in the draft. Right now, the Wizards team are full of big headed players, but most of all, they needed someone who can be their scorer. With the third overall pick, the Wizards selected Bradley Beal from Florida. Beal is not the prototypical two-guard and he needs to work on shooting the ball on the move. The great thing about him is, he is a player of high character, he can attack the rim, he can make plays for others, and he has great basketball IQ. Teaming up with John Wall will be excellent for Beal. Beal can spread the floor and can create some lane opportunities for John Wall and others.
Cleveland had their luck at selecting first overall last year and they selected Kyrie Irving. Irving brought a lot of promise to the Cavaliers franchise, but they still need a player who can create their own shots. A lot of speculation was that either Bradley Beal or Harrison Barnes was going to be the Cavaliers’ pick, but surprisingly they picked Dion Waiters. Waiters does need help creating a consistent jumper, but he can bring the ball up the court, he can pass, and he attacks the rim. Waiters is undoubtedly a player that brings instant offense, which the Cavaliers need.
There has not been much luck in Sacramento. Last year, they picked up a steal in Isaiah Thomas with the 60th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Kings lacked good defense and they were only putting up the effort in rebounding on the offensive end. Luckily for them, Thomas Robinson was still available and they did indeed pick the big man from Kansas. Robinson is an excellent rebounder with a 7’1 wingspan. His NBA-ready body will allow him to grab boards and face-up with many of the big men of the league. Robinson can be a great student with working alongside DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is arguably one of the top five centers in the NBA. If Robinson can score and rebound like DeMarcus, the Kings will prosper as early as next season.
Portland had their eyes on one player for the sixth overall pick and that was the guard from Weber State, Damian Lillard. The Trailblazers are lacking at the point guard position, with the uncertainty of bringing back Raymond Felton. Picking up Lillard was an excellent choice. Lillard can make perimeter jumpers, drive the lane and draw contact, and he is very unselfish. He would be great at helping Lamarcus Aldridge.
Up in the Bay Area, there was not a sure prospect for them to select. They have been very inconsistent at the small forward position, with Dorrell Wright being the only true small forward (despite picking up Richard Jefferson), but Wright may be on the move. With the seventh overall pick, they selected the big scorer from UNC, Harrison Barnes. Barnes is a proven scorer in college basketball. He can catch and shoot, step back and rain three point jumpers, and he can rebound. All he needs to work on is scoring off the dribble.
Many Raptor fans might have been asking themselves if Toronto chose the right prospect. With the eighth overall pick, the Raptors selected Terrence Ross from Washington. Ross is a great scorer and all, but the Raptors already have a solid two-guard in DeMar DeRozan.
With the ninth overall pick, the Pistons looked to add a quality scorer on the wing. They also need help down low to serve as a backup to Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko. Detroit added the power forward from the University of Connecticut, Andre Drummond. Drummond is long and athletic. He can grab the boards and block shots. Drummond can work alongside Greg Monroe to become a potential power duo down on the block.
Not only was New Orleans blessed with selecting Anthony Davis at number one, they were also blessed with the privilege to select tenth in the draft. They decided to select Austin Rivers, who can play the point and shooting guard positions. Of course, the Hornets already have Eric Gordon and Jarrett Jack, but who knows? Jarrett Jack can come off the bench to provide some great energy. Rivers is already a scorer and will need to learn how to play with Eric Gordon. After a couple games playing with each other, as well as having Davis on the block, the Hornets might be able to pull off the run for the eighth seed next season.