NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Detroit Pistons and Teams That Got Lucky
If it really is better to be lucky than good, then these three teams hit the jackpot at the draft because of the players that fell to them.
Let’s take a look at the great draft each of these teams had and break down what the picks should bring to the team in the future.
Considering what the Pistons need at this point in their rebuilding process, having a player like Andre Drummond fall to them at No. 9 overall was the best-case scenario. All Joe Dumars and company had to do was make the pick, smile and think about the future.
The Pistons need a big center they can put at the 5 next to Greg Monroe and Drummond fits the bill perfectly. He’s 6’10”, 270 pounds, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he continued to develop, as he’s only 18 years old. He didn’t have the best year at UConn—scoring only 10.2 points per game and grabbing only 7.7 rebounds per game—but he’s athletic, has great size and he has the potential to be a franchise center for Detroit.
If he develops according to plan, this would allow Monroe more freedom in the paint offensively and it would provide him with much-needed help-side defense near the rim.
In the second round, Detroit came away with Texas A&M forward Khris Middleton—13.2 points, 5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in 2011—and Missouri guard Kim English, who scored 14.9 points and notched 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
The Pistons potentially drafted their franchise center and got two talented young players in Round 2.
They may have gotten a bit lucky with Drummond falling to them, but either way, they snagged a top-notch draft grade.
The Boston Celtics are at the start of their own retooling phase and they got extremely lucky with the two players that fell to them late in the first round.
Kevin Garnett doesn’t have many years left in his career (even though a report just came out saying that he’s returning) and the importance of building from down low can’t be overstated. Celtics fans have to be ecstatic that their team was able to snag both Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo.
While Sullinger did come with a red flag, he also possesses a ton of potential to be a solid 4 in the right system. I dare say the Celtics have a good system and coach in place to lead him to success, so the C’s are lucky they were able to steal him at No. 21.
They could say the same for Melo, who they snagged just a pick later. He’s 7’0”, 255 pounds, and we all know that you cannot teach size in the NBA. Considering the Celtics are looking to retool instead of rebuild, getting a young big man like Fab Melo makes them incredibly lucky.
Add in fellow Syracuse Orange Kris Joseph—who notched 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 2011—at pick 21 in the second round and it’s easy to say the Celtics passed this draft with playing colors.
There’s no doubting Golden State has a lot of needs. There’s also no doubting that it may be the luckiest team in the draft.
North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes fell to the Warriors at No. 7. He’s an extremely talented player that notched 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Tar Heels in 2011, and I had him going a few picks higher in my mock.
He’s a top-five pick in my book, so the Warriors were extremely lucky that the draft played out the way it did. Barnes is a guy who can be effective down low, but he can also be dangerous on the wings with his athleticism. He’ll be an effective starter in this league and could be a star for the Warriors.
Golden State continued its good luck with post players with the last pick of Round 1 by picking up Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli, who comes in at 6’11″, 255 pounds. With pick No. 22 in Round 2, 7’0” center from Bosnia, Ognjen Kuzmic.
The Warriors may have really stolen the show with their fifth pick in the draft, though, where they were extremely lucky to draft Michigan State small forward Draymond Green. Green was a borderline first-round player heading into the draft and there’s no doubting that he has the intangibles every growing team looks for.
At 6’7”, 230 pounds, he’s big enough to go down low, but he has the talent to be a perimeter player and can handle the ball. This makes him quite the mismatch if utilized well, and he was also the leader of a very talented Michigan State team. He can be a leader and a very dangerous player coming off the Warriors bench, so they were lucky to snag him in Round 2.
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