NBA Draft 2012: Teams Whose Fortunes Will Change Entirely in This Year's Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  (L-R) Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA draft features a very deep talent pool. The kind of talent pool that can drastically alter franchises for years to come.

The draft is the great equalizer. Many teams can't afford to get into a bidding war for the hottest free agents in a given year. Most teams don't have the assets to swing a blockbuster deal for a cornerstone player, either. In the draft, the chance to land that impact player is the greatest.

Through the lottery, the bottom portion of the league is given a fair shake at turning their franchise around. This year's draft will be no different as some team's find themselves in prime position to turn their fortunes around.

Charlotte Bobcats

After the worst season in NBA history, the Bobcats really have nowhere to go but up. It's an obvious choice that the team with the No. 1 pick will be vastly improved, but the Bobcats are landing a really special player in Anthony Davis.

Davis has the ability to be an All-NBA talent in the post. The best thing about him is that he is a defensive player first with the complete package. Unlike many first-pick prospects, Davis is all substance and little flash.

As evidenced by his run with Kentucky, he knows how to win. In the national championship game against Kansas, Davis struggled from the field and scored only six points. Whereas many young players would have been frustrated and become a non-factor, Davis thrived as a rebounder and defender. His 16 rebounds and six blocks really made him stand out as a special player.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts alongside Kevin Young #40 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Be
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With Davis patrolling the paint and young point guard Kemba Walker maturing, the Bobcats may not make a playoff push, but they should at least be markedly improved from 2011.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs find themselves in a very promising position as the team with the third-most ping pong balls in the hopper for the NBA lottery.

The Cavs showed some serious potential with the excellent play of 2011 top pick Kyrie Irving but struggled to win games when Irving went down with a shoulder injury. Irving is clearly the future of the franchise and could develop into an elite NBA point guard.

Irving's injury may have been a blessing in disguise. Because of the drastic swoon the Cavs experienced in the second half of the 2011 season, they now find themselves in a great position to land a great complement to Irving on the wing.

If the Cavs select third (their most likely pick) they should have the opportunity to grab either Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Florida's Bradley Beal. The Cavs can't go wrong with either prospect as they desperately need help on the wing.

In addition to the potential No. 3 selection in the draft, the Cavs also have the No. 24 selection. If used properly, the Cavs could find themselves a role player in that spot that will offer some much needed depth to the team's rotation.

With Irving's stellar play and a new sidekick added to the fold, the Cavs could easily go from lottery team to bonafide playoff team in just one year.

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 18: Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators looks for an opening in the Norfolk State Spartans during the second round of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center March 18, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers 2011 season was steeped in mediocrity and was rather forgettable. The team went 28-38 and failed to make the playoffs.

However, they made one shrewd move during the season that could pay big dividends come draft time. They turned small forward Gerald Wallace into the Nets first round draft pick in the 2012 draft. If the ping pong balls play out in the most likely way, the Trail Blazers will own the No. 6 and No. 11 selections.

For a team that has one of the most underrated big men in the game—LaMarcus Aldridge, adding two promising prospects could be quite the coup for Portland. Aldridge is coming off a great year in which he posted over 20 points and eight rebounds per game.

The Trail Blazers already have some promising pieces that are coming together to surround their big man with—potentially adding two Top 10 picks to the mix will only make the Blazers that much more exciting going into the 2012 season.