Another NBA Draft is in the books. After all the rumors, projections, incorrect mock drafts, and soaring/dropping stocks, it is time to look at which teams had the best nights at the 2012 NBA Draft. Click here for my team-by-team drafts grades.
2012 NBA Draft Winners
New Orleans Hornets:
They won the draft lottery and then ended up winning on draft night as well. Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers should be instant game changers for the Hornets and help them with their re-building effort. Add Eric Gordon into the fold and that’s a solid young nucleus moving forward; assuming Rivers and Gordon can coexist in the same backcourt. It will be interesting to see if the Hornets move forward with trying to have Rivers play the point when he is not a true distributor but he was clearly the best player on the board. I also love the Darius Miller selection in the second round and expect him to be an immediate role player earning minutes at the three to help replace the traded Trevor Ariza.
I had Thomas Robinson as the second best player in this draft so for him to slip to five should have Kings management absolutely getting hammered at the Palms tonight. T-Rob and DeMarcus Cousins are going to be a terrorizing frontcourt for years to come with their combination of size, strength, and ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways. Things played out perfectly for Sacramento as landing Robinson is a far, FAR better result that having to choose between Andre Drummond and Harrison Barnes like many expected them to have to do. It’s a good thing the Kings held on to this pick rather than trading it like was being rumored.
With only Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson as frontcourt players under contract for next season, the Celtics needed to upgrade their depth inside. Free agents Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass could still re-sign with the team but in case one of them leaves (more than likely Bass, not Garnett), the C’s added some quality depth. Sullinger’s injury concerns dropped him from out of the lottery to 21 which is a terrific value and could end up being the steal of this draft in a few years. Taking Fab Melo at 22 provides Boston with a big body inside and gives them someone who hasn’t even scratched the surface on how effective he could be. Kris Joseph was also a solid get at 51.
Oklahoma City Thunder:
GM Sam Presti does it again by making an incredibly intelligent decision in taking Perry Jones 28th overall with OKC’s lone pick of the night. Sure, PJ3 has some injury red flags and there are questions about his overall toughness, but getting somebody that late who last summer would have been a top ten pick is a mighty smart investment. Jones will go to a young team where he will have no immediate expectations so he can spend time learning under guys like Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. The reward far outweighed the risk at this point especially when anybody the Thunder would have drafted at 28 was unlikely to be an immediate contributor anyway.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.
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