Grading the NBA Draft is often an exercise in futility. Certain picks look good on paper now, while others can be classified as downright haphazard. However, the truth of the matter is we really will not know a thing until at least the end of the 2012-13 season and, in most cases, two to three years down the road.
With that in mind, let us take a look at how the 2012 draft played out and, also, grade all
30 NBA franchises on their draft day decision making, or lack thereof.
2012 NBA Draft Grades
Eastern Conference: Atlantic Division | Central Division | Southeast Division
Western Conference: Southwest Division | Northwest Division | Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
Draft Picks: Harrison Barnes (7) Festus Ezeli (30) Draymond Green (37) Ognjen Kuzmic (52)
Bay Area basketball fans had to be elated with how the Golden State Warriors fared in the 2012 draft. Rumored to be shopping the No.7 pick for a starting small forward, the Warriors’ brass were smart enough not to bite on a deal they did not like and eventually ended up with the draft’s best small forward and, perhaps, most NBA-ready player in Harrison Barnes from North Carolina. Barnes, a physical 6-foot-8 specimen, slides right alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to give Golden State one of the best up-and-coming perimeters in the game.
Armed with the 30th pick following the Richard Jefferson–Stephen Jackson swap with the San Antonio Spurs at the trade deadline, the Warriors again found great value in Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli. Golden State needed size, rebounding and toughness, and they got all of those things in the 6-foot-11, 270-pound big man, who can step in and give quality minutes off the bench from Day 1.
In the second round, Golden State unearthed another bargain and potential steal in Michigan State forward Draymond Green. A hard-working, hard-nosed player, Green’s do-a-little-bit-of-everything style will be a great asset for the team off the bench next season.
Los Angeles Clippers
Draft Picks: Furkan Aldemir (53)
The Los Angeles Clippers are playing for now and not later, which is one of the many reasons why the team opted to take Furkan Aldemir in the second round. Aldemir is a player that the Clippers can stash overseas and one that will not take up a roster spot.
Los Angeles Lakers
Draft Picks: Darius Johnson-Odom (55) Robert Sacre (60)
Having shipped its first round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Ramon Sessions at last season’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted in the bottom half of the second round. However, the Lakers came away with two solid, hard-nosed players in Marquette guard Darius Johnson-Odom and Gonzaga center Robert Sacre. It remains to be seen whether either player has a future with the team, but kudos to the Lakers for finding productive players that have a chance to stick rather than going the stash-a-prospect-overseas route.
Draft Picks: Kendall Marshall (13)
The Suns are a team in transition and, as Steve Nash rides into the sunset with the Los Angeles Lakers, the point guard position in Phoenix will not be in total disarray after the team landed perhaps the draft’s best play-maker in North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall.
Sure, the team could have used a power forward or scoring guard, and there were plenty still on the board when the Suns were on the clock at No. 13. However, Marshall, a dynamic 6-foot-4 passer, is the type of Andre Miller-esque throwback player, who can produce now and for many years to come.
Draft Picks: Thomas Robinson (5)
Like Golden State, Sacramento opted to sit back and see which high-profile prospect would fall into their lap at No. 5. And like the Warriors, the Kings were rewarded for their patience in the form of Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, a player who was generally rated as the second-best draft prospect behind Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
Robinson brings a tremendous amount of leadership and professionalism, not to mention talent, to a young Sacramento squad that sorely needs it, and the 6-foot-10 power forward will slide right into the starting lineup to form a dynamic frontcourt duo with center DeMarcus Cousins.
Had they not sold their high second-round pick for cash and a handful of magic beans, the Kings would have been in line for an A+ draft grade. However, the penny-pinching Maloofs will have to settle for just an A.
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© 2012 Neal J. Leitereg — All Rights Reserved