The 2012 NBA Draft was last night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and the league’s members hoped to fill in the missing piece or pieces to their club. Kentucky freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist became the first teammates to go first and second in the same draft; Kentucky tied a record by having six players selected in the draft with four of those coming in the first round.
Let’s take a look at which teams were the biggest winners and losers on draft night.
New Orleans Hornets: As expected, the Hornets selected Davis with their top pick, a move that immediately will bolster their frontcourt. With the tenth overall selection, the Hornets added Austin Rivers, a tenacious guard who can handle the point. The addition of Davis and Rivers gives viable threats to complement shooting guard Eric Gordon, who was the focal point of the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers last season.
Boston Celtics: The Celtics took the Heat to Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals before succumbing despite the fact that they lacked depth in the frontcourt and three of their top four players were in the twilight of their careers. Boston addressed the depth issue with Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo with back-to-back selections at 21 and 22. Sullinger’s back issue may shorten his career but he should have no issue contributing right now.
Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers didn’t trade Andre Iguodala but they added a solid small forward in Moe Harkless. They also grabbed Arnett Moultrie from the Heat in a deal. The move gives them a legitimate big man to pair with Spencer Hawes.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Holding the fourth pick in the draft with Thomas Robinson on the board, the Cavaliers instead went out and drafted shooting guard Dion Waiters from Syracuse. Walters is a decent scorer but he played two seasons at Syracuse and averaged 12.6 points per game last season while playing 24.1 minutes. The Cavaliers had a chance to add a dominant inside presence here and went with a player that won’t help Kyrie Irving much in the long run. Adding Tyler Zeller in a deal with Dallas was a nice move but doesn’t take the bad taste out of your mouth.
Houston Rockets: There was no team with bigger aspirations on draft night than the Rockets. Houston had three first round selections and looked to package them in a deal that might move them up to the second or fifth pick in the draft. Failing that, they looked at acquiring Lakers forward Pau Gasol or taking a run at Orlando center Dwight Howard. In the end, none of that took place and they ended up with three good, but not great, players. The trio of Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terence Jones gives the Rockets three incomplete, flawed players that don’t necessarily address the issues they currently have on the roster.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors missed on Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes and passed on Andre Drummond and Austin Rivers to reach for Terrence Ross. He’s light (197 pounds) and not a tremendous shooter. Toronto could have done much better with their pick.
Who did you think were the biggest winners and losers on draft night?