NBA Draft

NBA Draft 2012: Teams That Must Take Pure Talent over Specific Needs

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Perry Jones III #1 of the Baylor Bears celebrates in the first half against the Xavier Musketeers during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 7, 2012

When the NBA draft rolls around in June, several teams will fill specific needs, especially at the top of the draft.

While some teams always draft for need, other teams prefer the route of taking the best player on the board, regardless of position. Rolling the dice on future success rather than an immediate impact can lead to quite the gamble, but it's a risk certain teams need to take.

Sometimes, taking the most talented player on the board is the route to go. Here's a look at a few teams that need to lean towards talent over specific needs.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

The lottery will likely change things, but as it stands now, the Blazers would pick at No. 6 and No. 11 in the first round wtih a need for a big man and a quality point guard. At either spot, they would be reaching at either position.

Instead, taking the most talented player on the board would make much more sense. While they could be reaching for the likes of a Damian Lillard and a Tyler Zeller-type big man, they could end up with a talent like Perry Jones III and an Austin Rivers-type of guard.

The Blazers can stand to get more athletic, and here's a chance to do so regardless of need. They have cap room to fill out the rest of their roster during the offseason.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Pretty much all season, I've had Florida's Bradley Beal tied to the Cavs in my mock drafts, but hat's based out of need for a competent 2-guard. 

But they could go a different route altogether. Cleveland is on the right path to rebuilding, and with their two first-round picks, they must get more athletic. The Cavs also could stand to get bigger, so while passing on a guy like Beal could look bad immediately, rolling the dice on an athletic big like Andre Drummond wouldn't be a bad long-term pick.

 

New Orleans Hornets

Quite simply, a team like the Hornets have many needs. So, for now, they can forget about needs and take the best player on the board with both of their first-round picks, which will probably both be in the top 10.

Taking the two best players available at the time will likely fill needs anyway.

 

Houston Rockets

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06:  Moe Harkless #4 of the St. John's Red Storm in action against the Pittsburgh Panthers during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City.  (Ph
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Houston has a pair of first-round picks in the middle of the draft and while they need backcourt depth and a legitimate big man, they are another team that should draft for talent instead of need.

They likely will fill the backcourt need this way, but if there isn't a quality big man available by the time they select, there's no point on reaching for one. Even though the Rockets have a ton of wing players under contract, an athlete along the lines of a Quincy Miller or Moe Harkless who has upside could make more sense than a big man who may not have the same type of ceiling.

 

Boston Celtics

The Celtics right now have picks No. 21 and No. 22. While many feel that their needs include a big man and a shooting guard, Danny Ainge should just draft talent here.

Boston needs to get younger, and they need depth. Most of the top shooting guards project to be gone by the time they draft, and instead of reaching, Ainge should just take the top two guys on his board.

Don't forget the fact that the Celtics will have money to spend the next two offseasons, so they can look to fill those needs in free agency instead of the draft.

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