NBA Draft: Recap and Observations
The NBA Draft provided us with plenty of surprises.
By The Hoops Report Staff
Friday, June 29, 2012
There were plenty of surprises in last night's NBA Draft. Here are some of our observations:
-There was no great pick for the Bobcats at No. 2. Thomas Robinson would have made a great role player but they did draft another big man last year in Bismack Biymobo. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist isn't an awful pick there, simply because there wasn't anyone that much better there. But Kidd-Gilchrist doesn't help the Bobcats offensively. However, at the very least, Michael Jordan and Rich Cho deserve credit for tricking the media and other teams. Everyone thought they would take Robinson. When they were entertaining offers for Beal at No. 2, the Wizards threatened them by saying they were entertaining offers for Robinson at No. 3. But the Bobcats weren't really worried about that. They were worried about the Wizards taking Kidd-Gilchrist.
-We speculated for a while that the Cavaliers might surprise us with their No. 4 pick once again. And they certainly did. Most of us thought that Kidd-Gilchrist would be the pick. With Beal and MKG both gone, they took the No. 4 guy on their list.
-The Kings got great value by drafting Robinson at No. 5. He's the perfect fit for them, a player that can rebound, score in the post, play solid defense, and can be a positive addition to the locker room.
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-The Blazers had a very solid draft. They needed a point guard and a center. They got two really good ones in Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard. Plus, in the second round, they picked Will Barton, who could be an impact player at shooting guard.
-The Warriors considered trading the No. 7 pick because they didn't think Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes would fall to them, but Barnes was there and was great value. A lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will be a very exciting young trio. And don't forget about the Warriors' other two picks, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green. Ezeli gives them a strong defensive player who can hit the boards down low. Green is a do-it-all combo forward who has a chance to be an Anthony Mason-type player.
-The Hornets really needed a point guard. Nobody was worth reaching for with Lillard off the board, so they went with Austin Rivers. He's not the perfect solution, but pairing Rivers with Eric Gordon will make an exciting young backcourt that can score at will. Defense and passing will be another issue, but at least this new Hornets squad will put fans in the seats. And they also picked up Darius Miller, who will be a terrific role player off the bench.
-The Rockets had a great draft. They made the most of what they had by drafting Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones. Lamb and Jones at one point were considered top-5 picks. White led his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. All three of those players have a chance to be long-term starters in the NBA. Lamb even has a chance to be a star.
-If the Suns didn't draft Kendall Marshall at No. 13, he may have slipped another 10 picks. But they needed a point guard to replace Steve Nash, and there wasn't anyone better out there to run a team.
-The Celtics needed size and strength down low, and they got it with Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Sullinger could be a better version of Glen Davis. Melo won't be a star, but he could be a solid defensive 7-footer for years to come.
-The Grizzlies made one of the better picks of the draft. Mike Conley can't be their point guard forever and he isn't getting any better. Tony Wroten has a ton of potential. He's a 19-year-old, 6-foot-6, athletic, flashy point guard who excels in the open court. He has a lot of work to do on his jumper, but he has a chance to be a great point guard to replace Conley at some point.