Thursday, June 28, 2012

NBA DRAFT 2012: 5 KEY QUESTIONS FOR TONIGHT'S DRAFT

1. What will Charlotte do? They want to trade down, will they be able and who will they draft if they can't trade down? 
ANSWER: The Bobcats went with youth, taking 18 year old UK Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  Michael Jordan must have seen a lot of himself in MKG.  Both Jordan and MKG won National Titles as Freshman in college. Like MJ, MKG is an intense competitor that will only get better as he gets older.  His shot needs work, but you can fix mechanics.  You can't teach the attributes that MKG has, heart, work ethic and passion.  The Bobcats drafted Vandy F/G Jeffery Taylor.  Taylor's game is very similar to MKG.  They will both receive a lot of playing time in Charlotte as the Bobcats will still struggle.  Charlotte will have a top five next year and they'll likely draft PF-Cody Zeller, C-Nerlens Noel, SG-Shabazz Muhammad or PF-James McAdoo.   


2. Both New Orleans and Portland have two first round picks and both need a center, will they go big man at picks #10 and #11 respectively or will they go for the best player available? 
Answer: New Orleans went the best player available route getting scoring guard Austin Rivers at #10 after drafting Anthony Davis #1. Portland filled their two biggest needs taking point guard Damian Lillard at #6 and big man Myers Leonard at #11. Both teams drafted a solid rotational player in the second round as well.  New Orleans took Davis' college teammate, defensive specialist Darius Miller at #36.  Portland drafted slasher Will Barton at #40.  Both second round picks will have an opportunity to play right away.  


3. After Bradley Beal, where will the next four shooting guards (Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters, Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Ross) be selected? 
Answer: Cleveland shook up the draft by taking Waiters #4, Toronto took Ross at #8, New Orleans took Rivers at #10 and Lamb went #12 to Houston.  That means five of the first twelve picks were shooting guards.  This is the best class for shooting guards in a very long time.  The teams that drafted these guys will hoe that they can turn into the next James Harden or at the very least become a specialty scorer in the mold of JR Smith or Marcus Thornton. 


4. Which forward with lottery talent will slip the farthest, Perry Jones III, Royce White, Terrence Jones or Jared Sullinger?  
Answer: Perry Jones III slipped the farthest dropping all the way to OKC at #28.  His slide was very similar to the player he reminds me most of, Rashard Lewis.  Lewis fell all the way into the second round in 1998 as high school prospect coming out of Texas.  Sullinger fell to Boston at #21.  Both Royce White and Terrence Jones were drafted by Houston at #16 and #18 respectively.  PJ III could be a steal and should provide good offense off the bench for OKC.  The same could be said for Sullinger in Boston, as he will backup KG and free agent Brandon Bass.  White and T. Jones may stay in Houston or they may be part of a trade package to Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers or Atlanta.  I think that White could be the biggest steal of this draft.    


5. Will a contender trade up to get a young impact player similar to what the Spurs did last year with Kawhi Leonard?  
Answer: NO. There were no trades involving contenders and no major trades at all.  The biggest trade of the night was Cleveland trading up from #24 to #17 to get Tyler Zeller. Pretty weak draft as far as trades are concerned

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