NBA Draft 2012: Best Possible Fit for Every Projected Lottery Pick
The NBA Draft is perhaps the most exciting event on the NBA calendar. The night when the league's future stars find out what teams are taking the chance on unproven talent.
The night can turn a failing franchise into a playoff regular.
This year proves no different. The 2012 Draft Class looks exceptionally deep, with any of the players from third down to eighth capable of leaping to that top three pick.
Each team has it's own specific needs and wants that they will attempt to address, and there is always someone on the board who can do just that.
No. 1: Anthony Davis
For the purposes of this article, I will be placing each team in the lottery by its odds to win the first overall pick.
Best fit: Charlotte Bobcats
Anthony Davis would fit on any team that doesn't have one of the NBA's top big men on its roster.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a 25 percent chance at the first overall pick, and Davis is currently the consensus first pick.
Davis provides scoring from all areas on the court. He can handle the ball like a guard, he can run the floor, defend, rebound and block shots in high quantities.
He is the perfect modern big man.
Charlotte just needs something to get the fans excited and to finally start notching up some numbers in the win column after losing 59 of 66 games this season.
Pairing Davis with Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte's 2011 first-round pick, could be a partnership that flourishes as a shot-blocking defensive menace.
No. 2: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Best fit: Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are badly needing a player with a great attitude and the right work ethic to help stabilize a locker room that is not a good place to be in.
John Wall has spent two years with various poor personalities like JaVale McGee, Gilbert Arenas and Andrey Blatche. He needs to have a player with the ability to lead the team through practices and show others how to apply themselves.
Not only that, Kidd-Gilchrist brings scoring as well.
No. 3: Bradley Beal
Best fit: Cleveland Cavaliers
There may not be a better match in the draft. Bradley Beal brings scoring from range and an ability to get past his man and finish at the rim.
The Cavaliers have Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving at point guard, and this would let them pair another promising young player with him at shooting guard.
Two Top Three picks as the starting backcourt?
I'm kidding, but this would set Cleveland up for a step back towards the playoffs.
No. 4: Thomas Robinson
Best fit: New Orleans Hornets
The New Orleans Hornets may lose current leading big man Chris Kaman this summer. This will likely lead them to drafting Thomas Robinson to fill the void.
The Kansas big man may not be the sexy choice like Andre Drummond, but he is the safe choice. The draft is primarily about making sure you get things right, as there are no do overs.
No. 5: Andre Drummond
Best fit: Sacramento Kings
The sexy pick, Andre Drummond, will likely wind up with the Sacramento Kings in the draft.
This represents the best fit for him, pairing him with another talented big man, DeMarcus Cousins.
The issues with Drummond are over how raw he is and how he failed to put together a convincing run of dominant performances in college, despite his overwhelming physique.
If Drummond can grow into the player his sporadic outbursts suggests he can be, this is a no-brainer for Sacramento.
No. 6: Harrison Barnes
Best fit: Portland Trail Blazers
Anyone with an upside and talent would be a good fit for Portland.
They finally signaled the end of an era as Brandon Roy retired before the season began with degenerative knee injuries and Greg Oden was released having played 82 games in the past three years, facing at least another eight months on the sidelines.
LaMarcus Aldridge is the sole survivor of the Trail Blazers' "big three" project.
Barnes can come in, excite the crowds and begin the slow job of rebuilding the franchise.
No. 7: Perry Jones III
Best fit: Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors need a small forward. Perry Jones III played mostly power forward with Baylor, but will be a small forward in the bigger world of the NBA.
Some mock drafts have had him as high as the top three, so getting him seventh could prove to be a real steal for the Warriors if he ever lives up to that potential.
No. 8: Damian Lillard
Best fit: Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are facing a logjam at point guard next season. Lillard is an exciting prospect, though the Raptors have Jose Calderon with one year left on his contract and Jerryd Bayless, another exciting young point man coming off the bench.
Drafting Lillard will probably mean moving one of the two to another team; probably Calderon as he is on a short contract.
No. 9: Jared Sullinger
Best Fit: Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are another team that could improve by picking one of the top players in this draft. Jared Sullinger may be the best player left on the board at this stage.
Sullinger can provide the Pistons with some much needed energy, scoring and rebounding from the power forward position.
No. 10: Jeremy Lamb
Best fit: New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets will be looking for a big man and a point guard from this draft. Having already selected a big man in this mock draft, a point guard becomes top priority.
Jeremy Lamb played well in spurts for Connecticut, leading to some mock drafts placing him in the top eight. Others let him slide as far as 17th to the Dallas Mavericks.
I think he'll slide a little from that eighth place, but not outside the Top 10.
No. 11: Tyler Zeller
Best fit: Portland Trail Blazers
Tyler Zeller is a big man who can run the floor, a talent only shared by Joakim Noah among big guys in the NBA.
This will place him in good standing with many teams, none more so than the Trail Blazers. The team needs a big man to continue the rebuilding job, now that the wait for Greg Oden has officially ended.
Anyone who can contribute rebounding and scoring can have a big impact on their team's fortunes.
No. 12: Meyers Leonard
Best fit: Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have a core built. They have Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in the backcourt; two great scorers to lead the team.
The big question lies in the future of breakthrough forward Ersan Ilyasova. If the Bucks can somehow afford to keep him, they have a starting five capable of challenging for the playoffs.
Even if he leaves, Meyers Leonard can pick up some of the slack and hopefully play well enough to help the Bucks contend for a spot in postseason entertainment once again.
No. 13: Austin Rivers
Best fit: Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are facing losing their franchise player Steve Nash to a contender this summer.
In that case, the team will have to replace his scoring and his excitement factor. Austin Rivers, however streaky, can certainly provide both.
His shot selection was questionable at times, but, if he can iron out that issue, he can become the perfect piece to start the rebuilding in Arizona.
No. 14: John Henson
Best fit: Houston Rockets
John Henson is a defense-first big man.
A shot-blocking menace and a rebounding machine would be a welcome addition to the Houston Rockets, a team that narrowly missed out on the playoffs this season.
This pick is a good one, no matter the offseason moves Houston makes. Luis Scola was nearly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol and, if a similar trade happens, Henson can help pick up the slack if Scola departs.
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