2012 NBA Draft Report Card!

Posted on June 29, 2012 | 14 Comments

THE PERSONAL TRAGEDY EDITION

Was it just me or did more players in the lottery have more personal tragedies that usual. I almost teared up when Thomas Robinson started crying. In fact, I don’t think I have seen so many players emotionally overwhelmed as I did this year. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond had very heartfelt and touching reactions to being drafted. It was actually nice to see.

And I have to say I was absolutely shocked to see (as I write this) no major deals going down. I kept waiting for them to happen and nothing did. I’m still not convinced that’s going to be it. Something GOT TO happen, doesn’t it?

A quick explanation of the grades. As usual, I’ve taken a cue from my kid’s report cards eschewing letter grades which I’ve always found a little arbitrary. The grades are based on not just the quality of the player picked, but on where they were picked, their fit on the team and who else was available. Basically, I’m grading the GM and whether or not he did a good job.

Anyway, without further ado here are the grades…

TORONTO: Needs Improvement

8. Terrence Ross

37. Quincy Acy

I like Ross. I said so in my last couple of posts. He was one of my safe picks and sleepers, as well as a guy I wanted the Raptors to go after should they pick up a second first rounder. That’s why I have mixed feelings about the pick. I think he’s going to be a good player. He’s an excellent shooter, a good defender and a safe pick. The problem is, as I’ve said, ad nauseum, the last thing the Raptors needed was a safe pick.

The fact that Andre Drummond was available and the Raptors didn’t select him is disappointing. And the fact of the matter is that Jeremy Lamb would probably have been a better pick, with more upside. Ironically, I now think the Raptors could have done better if they had traded down with Houston and grabbed who they did, Lamb and Royce White.

The Raptors had a chance to pick up one of the guys I had on my watch list for a second first rounder with their second round pick. Quincy Miller was a high reward player who, at 37, was a low risk pick. Instead they chose another Quincy from Baylor, Quincy Acy, an undersized power forward who doesn’t have very good defensive skills and is a mediocre rebounder, but he does hustle. It was a startlingly perplexing pick. Not only was Quincy Miller available, but so was Will Barton, Tyshawn Taylor, Darius Miller and Deron Lamb, who all were better options.

The most disappointing thing about the Raptors in this draft, however, was their inability to move up. I seriously think Toronto had the pieces to move up to either 2 or 3 (both of which, apparently, were in play), but have a feeling Colangelo didn’t feel it was worth parting with any of his main assets (Bargnani, Davis or DeRozan) and wouldn’t take back a bad contract (Tyrus Thomas, Andray Blatche) in order to do it. I think he made a huge mistake. The Raptors desperately needed a player like Bradley Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and instead settled for a good, but unspectacular player in Ross.

After this draft, unless a deal is made, then I’m officially on the fire-Colangelo bandwagon. He needed to hit a home run to prevent the Raptors from getting on the mediocrity treadmill, and he didn’t even try. In basketball terms, Colangelo needed to hit a three to tie with just seconds left and, instead, he passed up an open three and drove to the hoop for a layup. He got two points, but he lost the game.

Now, keep in mind, I was one of the few who loved last year’s pick immediately and even felt I had to defend my position on him, so it’s not as if I’ve had a history of bashing Colangelo’s draft picks. In fact, the only draft pick of his I haven’t applauded was Bargnani. So my disapproval of this draft, I think, should not be taken lightly.

Houston: Exceeds  Expectations

12. Jeremy Lamb

16. Royce White

18. Terrence Jones

I’ve been a critic of Houston GM, Daryl Morey, on many occasions and never understand why he’s had such a high standing among fans. Well, he hit it out of the park, this time. He was able to draft three guys with the potential, at least, to be lottery picks, but without a pick above 12. Lamb was talked about as a top 5 pick at one point late in the season and I’m not exactly sure why his stock fell as far as it did. I think he’s certainly got questions, but he’s also got a ton of talent.

White as one of my sleepers and is a unique talent. He’s a guy you can run the offense through and he’ll make his teammates better. If he and Jones can play together, they could have drafted 3 starters. All three of these guys could end on the All Rookie first or second team, if they get enough minutes.

Oklahoma City: Exceeds Expectations

29. Perry Jones

And the rich get richer. Jones would have been a top 10 pick last year, and free fell to 29th. While he underwhelmed this season, that’s mostly because of expectations. The guy has the talent and physical tools to be an excellent player. And now he’s going into a situation that will allow him to succeed.

Jones dropping to then is unbelievably fortuitous. Oklahoma’s biggest weakness is lack of inside scoring and while Jones is no Jared Sullinger, he’s a tall, athletic big man who can score inside and out. If you’re going to free fall in the draft, you couldn’t ask to be put into a better situation.

Boston: Exceeds Expectations

21. Jared Sullinger

22. Fab Melo

51. Kris Joseph

With an aging frontline that struggled to replace Kendrick Perkins, Boston desperately needed to reload and did so by grabbing two guys who should compliment each other well. Sullinger, as long as his back allows, should make teams regret passing on him after having similar circumstances at DeJuan Blair did a few years ago.

Melo has the physical skills and should, at the very least, be a good defensive center.

Joseph is a Canadian who never lived up to his potential.

Golden State: Exceeds Expectations

7. Harrison Barnes

30. Festus Ezeli

35. Draymond Green

52. Ognjen Kuzmic 

Wow do they have a horseshoe up their proverbial ass. First, they win the coinflip with Toronto that allows them to keep the pick rather than having it conveyed to Utah in a prior deal (the pick was top 7 protected). Then Barnes, who at one point was projected as a top 3 player, and most recently was still a top 5 pick, drops to 7 where they snatch him up. Now, while I question Barnes’ upside, he definitely got talent and should have a long, prosperous career. And while’s he probably not the best fit for the Warriors (they already have good shooters who aren’t great defensive players), you don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth when being given a present.

Ezeli was a guy who I followed a little mostly because I loved his name. He’s also got some game, being a center with impressive physical tools. He’s a good pick.

Green is a perfect example of a pretty good college player who really has little chance of making it in the NBA. He’s a too small PF that can’t defend any position.

I know absolutely nothing about Kuzmic except he’s obviously not from around here.

Detroit: Exceeds Expectations

9. Andre Drummond

39. Khris Middleton

44. Kim English

I don’t think Detroit could have done better with their 9th pick. Drummond has as much potential as anyone in the draft, and even if he doesn’t fulfill it, will be a very athletic 7 footer who can rebound and play defense. And he’s the perfect guy to play beside Greg Munroe, who is more offensive minded. They now have, potentially, one of the best frontcourts in the NBA in a few years.

Detroit passed on better players who have a much better chance of sticking than Middleton, but English, while undersized for the SG position and without great athleticism, is a very good 3 point shooter who could find a niche.

With the addition of Drummond, Detroit is really starting to build a nice team. They still lack a true star, but they’ve done extremely well without having a top 5 pick.

Phoenix: Exceeds Expectations

13. Kendall Marshall

While Phoenix did hit a home run, Marshall is a very good pick who is the perfect replacement for Steve Nash, should he leave. He was on my list of sleepers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up being on of the top ten players from this draft.

Orlando: Exceeds Expectations

19. Andrew Nicholson

49. Kyle O’Quinn

At 19, Orlando not only got a guy who should immediately help the team, he’s a perfect guy to play alongside Dwight Howard, should he stay, and a good replacement for Ryan Anderson, should he leave. Nicholson is the type of guy who is a good, if unspectacular, player who falls farther than he should because he lacks upside.

O’Quinn was expected to go a little higher, but at 49, you really have no expectations he’s going to do anything, anyway.

Washington: Meets Expectations

3. Bradley Beal

10. Tomas Satoransky

Beal is the perfect player for the Wizards. Up until now, the Wizards have been awful at surrounding John Wall with the right players. Guys like Jan Vesley and Chris Singleton are athletes, sure, but neither can hit a jumpshot, which you’d think would be a requirement to play with a guy like Wall. With Beal, they get an all around good shooting guard who will benefit from Wall and visa-versa.

Satoransky is a big PG who I know nothing about. They could have selected some guys who will probably end up being better players, but since I know nothing about Satoransky, it’s hard for me to say one way or the other.

Sacramento: Meets Expectations

5. Thomas Robinson

36. Orlando Johnson

Traded Johnson to Indiana for cash considerations.

Robinson is a good pick for Sacramento, and he and DeMarcus Cousins have the potential to be a great front line. Robinson probably won’t ever be an All Star, but playing beside Cousins he won’t need to be to help Sacramento. More importantly, he’s a good character guy who doesn’t need the ball, and the Kings need more guys like that.

Johnson was traded for cash, which is never a good thing, but most second round picks don’t work out.

Charlotte: Meets Expectations

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

31. Jeffery Taylor

Picking Kidd-Gilchrist was the first surprise, since most thought either Robinson or Beal would be picked second. That said, I had a feeling that Michael Jordan would want Kidd-Gilchrist, a guy cut from the same cloth. Kidd-Gilchrist will never be the scorer that Jordan was, but his competitive spirit and drive will be contagious. With he and Byombo, the Bobcats have the makings of a very good defensive team. What he doesn’t have, and what Charlotte needs, is shooting and scoring. Beal might have been a better fit, but I doubt they’ll ever regret making this pick.

Taylor was expected to be picked in the first round, so getting him in the second is great for Charlotte. Rich Cho has two good drafts in a row.

Philadelphia: Meets Expectations

15. Moe Harkness

27. Arnett Moultrie

Philadelphia got two very good athletes who they might have to wait on a little. Harkness might one day end up being one of the ten best selected in the draft, but he’ll need time and help to develop. Moultrie fell farther than expected, but probably for good reason. He’s a big man who struggles with consistency and on the defensive end.

Memphis: Meets Expectations

25. Tony Wroten

I’m not a big fan of Wroten, but I think he could carve out a niche for himself as a 3rd guard in the league. Perry Jones might have made more sense, but it’s not a bad pick.

Atlanta: Meets Expectations

23. John Jenkins

43. Mike Scott

Jenkins is an excellent outside shooter who should be a decent role player. Scott was probably not the best player available.

Lakers: Meets Expectations

55. Darius Johnson-Odom

60. Robert Sacre

Yay! A Canadian!

And at least the Lakers have an Odom, again. Maybe one of the Kardashians can marry him.

Chicago: Meets Expectations

29. Marquis Teague

Teague struggled to find his role at Kentucky, but helped then in their title run with a couple of big games. With Rose out for much of next season, they desperately need a PG to fill in and keep them in the playoff hunt. It’s a hell of a lot to ask a 29th pick, though. He’ll certainly get a better chance to succeed than most 29th picks.

Utah: Meets Expectations

47. Kevin Murphy

With only one late-ish second round pick, Utah picked a guy who has a chance to stick around. You can’t ask for more than that.

Minnesota: Meets Expectations

58. Robbie Hummel

He’s the third last pick and his name is Robbie. What more do you want me to say?

New Orleans: Approaching Expectations

1. Anthony Davis

10. Austin Rivers

46. Darius Miller

Yes, they draftEd Davis, but that was a no brainer and you knew that was coming. The Rivers selection, though, doesn’t make sense to be. And not just because I’m not a fan of his game. Unless he’s insurance in case Eric Gordon leaves, Rivers isn’t a PG, so playing them together doesn’t seem viable to me.

To me, the obvious pick would have been Kendall Marshall, a pass first PG who would have been a perfect guy to play with Davis and Gordon and run their offense. And with Davis behind him, his defense would not be as much of a problem.

Miller should be a nice role player who already knows how to play with Davis. I always felt he should have been rated higher.

Cleveland: Approaching Expectations

4. Dion Waiters

17. Tyler Zeller

I still can’t believe Waiters went from a mid-first round pick to #4 based solely on workouts. I’ve never understood how much weight workouts seem to have. I’ve already talked about why am not a fan of Waiters. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong about him, but if I’m not, then this is the second year in a row they’ve made a major misstep by taking a flier on a guy who no one expected to go that high, and bypassing better players to do it.

While I think they made a mistake drafting Waiters so high, they were able to trade up in the draft with Dallas to select Zeller, utilizing some of their second round picks to do it. I give them high marks for this. For some reason, Zeller is a guy I’ve constantly overlooked, even forgetting to include him on my list of Safe Picks. He’s a good, solid 7 footer who should make a good, solid pairing with Tristan Thompson.

Portland: Approaching Expectations

6. Damian Lillard

11. Meyers Leonard

40. Will Barton

41. Tyshawn Taylor 

Traded Taylor to Brooklyn for cash.

Lillard was another guy who moved up after the college season ended, so it shouldn’t be a surprise I’m not a big fan of the pick. Making matters worse, for me, is that he’s a PG who scores far better than he distributes. It was just four years ago that  Portland acquired another shoot first PG and that didn’t work out very well then. With Drummond available, he would have been a good guy to move on from the whole Greg Oden thing. And the perfect guy to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge.

Leonard has a chance to be a good center. He’s got the physical tools to be a dominant defensive center. Of course that doesn’t mean he’s going to be, but Portland might not be questioned about passing on Drummond if Meyers pans out.

Barton had great advanced stats and was a very good pick and Taylor, who would also have been a good pick had they kept him, was sold for cash.

Milwaukee: Approaching Expectations

14. John Henson

42. Deron Lamb

The day before the draft, the Bucks traded some useless players and their 12th pick for Samuel Dalembert and the 14th pick. They missed out on Jeremy Lamb, who would have been a bit of a steal at 12, but drafted Henson, who should be a good defensive player if he ever gains 20 pounds. The problem is the Bucks already have a young, athletic, too skinny shotblocking PF in Larry Sanders.

Lamb, while without a lot of upside, is a guy who I think will have a decent career. He’s a good shooter and role player.

San Antonio: Approaching Expectations

59. Marcus Denmon

For the first time in memory, San Antonio doesn’t get an Exceeds Expectations. Denmon is a SG with the size of a PG and doubt he catches on.

Indiana: Approaching Expectations

26. Miles Plumee

With their only draft pick, the Pacers selected an athletic 7 footer who can defender and rebound, but is raw offensively. Sound like another former Pacer who recently retired? Doubtful, though. Plumee will be 24 by the time the season starts and I would tend to stay away from raw 24 year olds.

Dallas: Needs Improvement

23. Jared Cunningham

33. Bernard James

34. Jae Crowder

The Mavericks traded down with Cleveland, which I’ve never been a fan of, and ended up downgrading in quality, quite frankly. at 17, where they were originally picking. There were several good players available at 17 that I think they’ll end up regretting they did not draft.

It’s not that I think they did a poor job of picking in the spots they did, but I’d much rather have one of Tyler Zeller, Andrew Nicholson, Terrence Jones or Jared Sullinger than all three guys they ended up selecting.

Clippers: Incomplete

53. Felkin Aldemir

Not a clue who this guy is.

Brooklyn: Incomplete

54. Tornike Shengelia

57. Ikan Karaman

Shocking! The Nets drafted two international players I’ve never heard of before.

 

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Join the discussion: 14 Comments

Comments

  • sleepz

    Welcome aboard Tim!

    Once they sign Nash I anticipate there will be even more ready to jump on the wagon.

    I don’t mind the Ross selection but I think Colangelo thinks his “core” is better than it actually is.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    I think a lot of fans, especially casual ones, would like the signing of Nash because they think he’ll make them competitive. I find most fans don’t look very far ahead, hence why most don’t have the patience for a real rebuild.

    And I completely agree about Colangelo overvaluing his “core”. It’s his achilles heal. Well, one of them.

  • Tinman

    I like the pick. Doesn’t necessarily leave us out of next years lottery, if that’s the route chosen. But you know, some of us “casual fans” thinks/ hopes BC has other plans.
    Its funny, now that you state that Raptors have played themselves out of the lottery(on RHQ)for next few seasons and will be stuck in Pacerville, what is the next step? To get us out of this perpetual mediocrity? Like it or not the best option has to be the FA route.
    Whats would be wrong with signing Nash for the next 3 years? He would be a pretty good mentor for our yet to be drafted/signed future PG. His age is not a concern of mine. Maybe he can make our players better. Could be the best investment for the future of the club.
    I wasn’t in the war room so I find it hard to fault BC on conjecture about possible trade scenarios that either arose or didn’t. Or the loss of a coin toss. Or that other teams tanked better than us. Yet your opinion to fire him is certainly understandable, yet to clarify, it is because he did not make the team worse. Surely since you kept him around for the draft shouldn’t you give it a chance to play out? But what would you judge as a success? Top 4 finish? Bottom 4? Tim, I’m getting dizzy.
    From a different perspective, if we get the FA activity that I am hoping for yet still do not move up significantly in the standings I would fire the guy myself.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    I like the pick, just not the circumstances of the pick. And I would LOVE for the Raptors to be in next year’s lottery, but I guarantee Colangelo has other plans. In fact he’s pretty much said so.

    The problem with getting off the mediocrity treadmill is that you need a star (or two) to do it. Let’s say Valanciunas becomes a star to give the Raptors a grand total of one. Toronto has already gone the “one-star” route and it lead to the exact circumstances I want to avoid this time. A mediocre team whose ceiling was 47 wins and a first round exit.

    Toronto has NEVER been able to sign a star as a free agent (most teams don’t), so the best route to find one is through the draft. Unfortunately, as a mediocre team, you’re not going to get high enough draft picks to have a good chance at finding one.

    As for Nash, I fail to see how he will improve the long term prospects of the team. The “mentoring” thing is pretty bogus, quite frankly. Why not use the money to sign someone with more long term prospects (like Nicolas Batum, for example) and use Calderon as the “mentor”? That makes a hell of a lot more sense.

    And Nash’s age SHOULD concern you, because he’s probably only good for another 2 or 3 years. What happens when he declines? What do the Raptors do then? Do you want the team taking a step back in two or three years, when Valanciunas might be coming into his own? That’s the absolute WORST time for that to happen.

    And no, I’m not suggesting firing Colangelo for not making the team worse. I’m suggesting firing him because he has not done a good job of rebuilding or building.

    If I hire a contractor to renovate my house, and all he does is patch up the walls and tries to make do with what is already there, when what needs to be done is to gut the place, I’m not going to be happy.

  • statement

    “So my disapproval of this draft, I think, should not be taken lightly.”

    Tim, I like to read your blog, but this is pretty arrogant/ludicrous.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    Maybe, but it might be just my choice of words. My point is that it shouldn’t be disregarded as the ranting of an anti-Colangelo blowhard.

  • Tinman

    But you have to play the cards you are dealt.
    Nash will be around 3 years. Gives us time to get that future PG and tinker with the pieces we have.
    I’m realistic – we ain’t winning a championship in the next 3 years. But why not bring Nash in, compete for possibly homecourt. Let this new batch of youth develope with one of the alltime greatest teammates. His money comes off the books right when we might be in a position to make a push.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    I have a post coming talking more in depth about my opinion on this. In short, there are some very good reasons, in my opinion, NOT to sign Nash.

  • Tinman

    yes there are. I think the good outweighs the bad in this scenario.
    And for the record, if I were Nash I’d explore other options.
    But if I’m BC, I make my pitch.

  • Rex

    Houston exceeds expectations? I understand they got a good haul, but come on man, if the Raps got those 3 guys you’d be complaining about how they still haven’t drafted that “elite” player and be destined for mediocrity, which, by the way, the Houston Rockets are.

  • Stephen Waugh

    Didn’t know what to make of the Terrence Ross pick (still don’t).

    I was arguably more disappointed with our second round activity. I wanted Scott Machado, Dee Bost, or Tu Holloway and was scared that Machado would be gone quickly after we passed on him at #37. And like you said, I would have much preferred Darius Miller instead.

  • Stephen Waugh

    You didn’t talk about Tomislav Zubčić.

  • rich

    Chris Singleton hit 35% of 3s..had some rough patches..Not an awful shooter though. Think he was over 40% the last 6 weeks of the season or so.

    Vesely is like my favorite player ever now.. but yeah, awful shooter.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    @Tinman

    I think Nash is a marketing move, and, as a fan, I couldn’t give a crap about marketing. He’s a temporary solution to a problem that needs a long term one.

    @Rex

    For what they had, I definitely think Houston did well. They had three first round picks, tried to trade up, but couldn’t, and ended up getting top 10-ish talent with the 12th, 16th and 18th pick. And they got three guys who all have a fair amount of upside.

    @Stephen Waugh

    I was definitely more disappointed with the second round pick, considering what was available (Quincy Miller would have been my choice, especially with Colangelo playing it safe with Ross). I would have liked Colangelo to select Drummond, yes, but I’m most disappointed he didn’t (from the sounds of it) try and move up. As I said, I like Ross and am happy the Raptors drafted him. I just wish it was with a second first round pick.

    And, no, I didn’t talk about Tomislav Zubčić partly because I know very little about it, but also the chances of a 56th pick making it in the NBA, let alone doing anything of substance, is slim to none.

    @Rich

    I didn’t realize Singleton hit that well from beyond the arc this year. That surprises me considering he was not a great shooter coming in. And I have nothing against either he or Vesley, but I think they’re horrible players to play beside Wall. I think the idea is that they could run the fast break with him, but the problem is that there are far more half court sets during a game that fast breaks.

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