Well, finally, after weeks of anticipation, the night had finally came and gone before I knew it. As I said earlier in my First Mock Draft, I would come out with my final thoughts and opinions about the draft. So, those will follow.
But as far as my Second Mock Draft, I think I did pretty well in some of my picks. The biggest hurdle was finding out what Charlotte was going to be doing with their 2nd pick, but after that, there weren’t really any major trades other than the Mavs-Cavs swap of 17 for 24, 33, 34.
So here we have it. If there actually is anyone out there who reads this, here are my thoughts on the 2012 NBA Draft. My three top picks of the night, favourite first round picks, least favourite first round picks, as well as potential second round steals.
The 3 Best Picks
1. Andre Drummond. At 9th. Seriously, at 9th. Now if someone told me in December, or even a month ago that Drummond would slip down to 9th, I would think they were crazy. Simply put, Drummond is in the perfect situation for the Pistons.
Not only do the Pistons now have a fantastic front-line in Monroe-Drummond, but they now don’t even need Drummond to be a great offensive player with Monroe either. He just has to defend the middle and clean up the glass for Monroe. I see this pick as a pick that really cannot fail. Worst case scenario is that Drummond remains as a defensive specialist to protect the rim, which isn’t a bad case at all, really.
2. Kendall Marshall. Face it Suns fans, Steve Nash is leaving Phoenix. But things are definitely heating up already in the desert now that you have a new, younger, pass first point guard to build around. Marshall is in the perfect run-and-gun system which I think is almost sure to have him on multiple all-star teams.
The problem for Marshall, though, is who does he pass too? Steve Nash made it work, because he’s, well, Steve Nash. But expecting a rookie Kendall Marshall to come in and put up Steve Nash assist numbers is a little much. But I still expect a strong ROY type season for the rookie point guard, even if he isn’t the “best” rookie next season.
3. Perry Jones III. Will almost certainly be a bench player for the Thunder, as long as they have Ibaka and Perkins on the roster. But the Thunder got a lottery talent, potentially a top-5 talent at #28. If that isn’t a steal, then please, tell me what is.
Regardless of Jones’ reported knee issues which caused him to drop so far, the fact that they got him at 28th is a pretty nice pick. There is no risk with this pick, only upside.
My Favourite First Round Picks
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- after all the speculation of trading the #2 pick down in order to draft Barnes, the Bobcats played it safe and drafted MKG instead. This will end up being a really good pick for the Bobcats, who now have a really nice nucleus of young players in Walker, Henderson, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Biyombo to build on.
3. Bradley Beal- the Wizards have now formed a really good back court with Wall and Beal. They got the guy that they wanted all along, and have now formed a very nice team to compliment Wall in the future. Expect a huge improvement for the Wizards next season.
9. Andre Drummond- The Pistons lucked out with Monroe in 2010, Knight last year, and now Drummond. The Pistons may have come out with what could be the steal of the draft for the 3rd year in a row. At least I think so.
13. Kendall Marshall- There was no better person to take over for the Steve Nash-led Suns than the best passer in the draft, Kendall Marshall. He should have no problem in Gentry’s run-and-gun system, and I am predicting now that he will be one of the top rookies next season, even if Phoenix has a poor record.
23. John Jenkins- Could be either a 6th man, or a starter next season for the Hawks, which puts him in a perfect position to make an immediate impact for a likely playoff team. As a sixth man, he basically plays the old Jamaal Crawford scoring role off the bench, and could be one of the top rookies, and even top 6th men next season. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to even see him get some 6th man nominations next season.
22. Fab Melo- If the Celtics Big-4 decide to come back for another season, they will have found their center in order to protect the rim. This also allows KG to be moved back to PF, even though he played extremely well at center at the end of last season and into the playoffs. This is a pick that will help one last run.
28. Perry Jones III- Due to recent knee issues, his draft stock plummeted. But this is a very low risk (if any), high reward move for the Thunder. Whether he plays alongside Durant at PF, or off the bench as a combo-forward, this is a very good pick for the Thunder considering he was a projected top pick two years ago, and at his worst considered a high lottery pick shortly before his knee issues arose before the draft.
Least Favourite First Round Picks
Well, to be honest, it was a draft where I felt that a lot of teams made moves that actually improved their teams, based on their roster, based on their spot in the draft, and based on who was available at that pick. There were, however, some picks that stood out to me more than the rest.
8. Terrence Ross- Well, after months of anticipation and trade rumours, to say I was a little disappointed with the Raptors selection would be an understatement.
However, in spite of that, I am actually happy that the Raptors took Ross instead of going after the other shooting guards Lamb and Rivers. As stated in my earlier Draft Preview, they were in my “Players to Avoid” list. So I was at least happy to see that.
But at the same time, if the Raptors knew that that wanted Ross all along, why not try and move down to take him, while potentially acquiring another first round pick in the process.
Now, with respect to Terrence Ross, this is not an attempt to try and take anything away from him. It’s not that it’s a bad pick because I don’t like him or don’t believe he’s going to be a good player. Ross, I think is a going to be a good pro player, and will have a long NBA career. So I will point that out and make one thing clear. It’s just that when you have a potential franchise-changer in Andre Drummond fall into your lap at 8th, you have to roll the dice with him. High bust potential or not, the ability to be the next Dwight Howard is an opportunity you just DO NOT pass up.
So, long story short, if Drummond wasn’t available at the time, I would have rated this as a very good pick for the Raptors.
But this is also one pick that really could hurt the future of the Raptors.
10. Austin Rivers- I’m wondering a few things with this pick. One, how Austin Rivers is going to play point guard. Two, how will Gordon and Rivers co-exist in the backcourt, both being scoring guards. Three, and most importantly, how is Anthony Davis ever going to get any shots. The perfect pick here for New Orleans, as I said in my last mock draft, would have been a pass-first point guard Kendall Marshall to get everyone else easy looks.
Now, I’m not sure if that can happen with a guy like Rivers. I would also hate to see Davis’ potential stalled because of team mates with high egos.
15. Moe Harkless- I don’t like this pick for the Sixers as long as they have Iguodala. If, however, they end up trading him, as many believe, this will end up being a good pick.
29.Marquis Teague- I think C.J. Watson did a really good job for the Bulls with Rose out. Now, I know that the Bulls need a temporary replacement for Rose while he misses the first part of the season, but what they needed was players to put around Rose. I would have liked to see Kentucky’s Doron Lamb here instead. A player who can spread the floor for Rose, and knock down 3’s consistently would have been perfect for the Bulls.
Potential Second-Round Steals
34. Jae Crowder- traded to the Mavericks. High energy player to go behind Shawn Marion, if he ends up staying in Dallas. I can see him getting a lot of minutes next season because the Mavs really lack SF’s. He may find himself getting regular minutes behind Marion. Or dare I say, alongside Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki?
35. Draymond Green- I honestly still don’t know whether or not he will be a PF, or a SF, or both. But, nonetheless, I like this pick for the Warriors who have added a player who can come in right away and help them make a playoff push for next season.
37. Quincy Acy- I think that this was a really nice pick for the Raptors. Immediately, I start thinking Reggie Evans 2.0, and that, is music to my ears. One of the best players physically in the draft, and is a guy that will back down to no one when trying to dunk or grab rebounds. That is something that should fit in well with Casey, if, he manages to find minutes behind Bargnani, Johnson, and Davis. I really hope he’s a long-term keeper in Toronto, because if he’s anything like the guy I watched at Baylor, he will be a fan favourite in Toronto for quite some time.
40. Will Barton- One of the more underrated players in the draft, in my opinion. But even for a guy playing in the Conference-USA (I’m not a big fan of small-conference players) I think he could make an immediate impact for the Blazers next season, if not as a starter, then definitely as a regular player in the rotation.
41. Tyshawn Taylor- May even be a starter next season if Deron Williams leaves for Dallas. If that’s the case, Taylor should have the floor to himself to create and score, just like he did all of this season at Kansas. For that reason, he may be a blessing in disguise for the Nets.
42. Doron Lamb- It’ll be hard for him to get his shots with both Ellis and Jennings in the back court, but he’s gotten use to playing the lesser role while at Kentucky for two years, and he actually played it to perfection. Lamb should be able to step in immediately for the Bucks next season as their backup SG with guard oriented coach Scott Skiles.
51. Kris Joseph- I like Joseph here because of the lack of depth for the Celtics behind Pierce. An athletic wing player, who may even be able to step in and play the SG position when called upon. Assuming that the Celtics keep their team intact, I see him as a rotational player who will be useful for rest days, or days when there’s foul trouble for the Celtics’ starters.
With that said, congratulations to all the new faces in the NBA. As always, I look forward to watching them all next season.
Well, that’s it for my draft recap. Now, my excitement lies on October for training camp and the start the NBA and NCAA season once again.