NBA Draft Lottery 2012: Each Team's Realistic Wish List

Richard Scheuermann@@RJSureCorrespondent IMay 30, 2012

NBA Draft Lottery 2012: Each Team's Realistic Wish List

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    With the NBA Draft Lottery just a few short hours away, fans and GMs alike are hoping their team can move up higher than expected and land a franchise player.

    There's no doubt that draft positions will get shaken up in the lottery, leaving some teams jumping for joy and some cursing the NBA gods.

    As of right now, we're playing by the odds and taking a look at each team's current draft position and the player that they would love and have a shot of drafting.

1. Charlotte Bobcats

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky

    Actual Pick: Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky

    This one goes without saying.

    Davis will be the instant foundation of a rebuilding Charlotte Bobcats franchise. If the No. 1 ping pong ball goes Charlotte's way, Davis will be as much of a lock at the top spot as Andrew Luck was in the NFL Draft this past April.

    His size, athleticism and potential dominance are too apparent to pass up and he should make both an instant and long-term impact. Declaring Davis a prospective future NBA Hall of Famer doesn't seem out of the question, either.

    Davis is going number one no matter who has the pick.

2. Washington Wizards

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

    Actual Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

    Once Anthony Davis is off the board, MKG will be the next best player available. Washington already has a potential star in John Wall, whom was drafted first overall two years ago and showed he can distribute the ball well, even with a terrible offense.

    Kidd-Gilchrist can create his own offense off the dribble and will be a great cutting option for Wall's already phenomenal passing ability.

    MKG also provides great rebounding ability, as well as a defensive versatility from the small forward position.

    The combination of Wall and MKG will make for an exciting tandem in Washington.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

    Actual Pick: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

    The only real lock in this draft is Anthony Davis going first overall; from then on, there will certainly be some surprises.

    The Cavs would love to have the versatile Kidd-Gilchrist to complement their reigning Rookie of the Year in Kyrie Irving.

    Outside of point guard, the Cavaliers could use an upgrade at almost every position.

    Kidd-Gilchrist would bring his unrelenting motor and defensive tenacity to the struggling Cavaliers, and yet it's hard to think Cleveland would be upset with grabbing Bradley Beal should they land the No. 3 pick.

    Beal's crafty offensive game and solid rebounding ability as a 2-guard would make him a great starter from day one and could give Cleveland one of the best young backcourts in the league.

4. New Orleans Hornets

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

    Actual Pick: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

    As earlier expressed, this draft is far from predictable, so it wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that MKG will still be a potential option for the Hornets with the No. 4 selection.

    Trevor Ariza has been a solid small forward off the bench and Al Farouq-Aminu just hasn't lived up to his potential at the same position, so Kidd-Gilchrist would bring some immediate energy to a team that was lacking in the position for most of last season.

    That said, they could probably use just as much help at the power forward spot, and Thomas Robinson's big, athletic frame will give New Orleans an instant presence down low.

5. Sacramento Kings

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Andre Drummond, C, UCONN

    Actual Pick: Andre Drummond, C, UCONN

    The Kings have an extremely talented young nucleus that has provided Sacramento with a great offensive game, but there's just one problem: They can't play defense.

    Sacramento gave up an atrocious 104.4 points a game last season, demonstrating a severe inability to keep opposing teams out of the lane. That's exactly why Andre Drummond would be the ideal choice for the Kings at No. 5.

    Drummond's potential has caused many to suggest he may go as high as No. 2, but his inability to put everything together on the floor while in college has surrounded him with question marks.

    Don't expect Drummond to be a dominant center out of the gate for Sacramento, but if he is able to develop within a year or two he could rocket the Kings from one of the league's worst teams to one of the best.

6. Portland Trail Blazers

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

    Actual Pick: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

    The Blazers' wish-list selection of Beal isn't all that far-fetched, as he could really go as high as No. 2 or drop all the way to six or seven, but if the stars do align for Portland and Beal falls into the team's lap, expect the Trail Blazers to snatch the shooting guard up.

    Beal would bring significant offensive energy to the Trail Blazers squad and his rebounding ability would benefit a group that has practically no rebounding forces outside of its big men.

    If Beal is not available at this point, the Blazers will have the honor of drafting the most unknown lottery pick of 2012: Damian Lillard.

    Lillard's draft stock has been on the rise of late and he is considered by ESPN's Chad Ford to be the best available point guard in the draft.

    The Weber State guard is a dynamic scorer, averaging 24.5 a game last season, and with Raymond Felton entering free agency and the subsequent uncertainty looming over the point guard position, Lillard will be a great option at No. 6.

7. Golden State Warriors

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

    Actual Pick: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

    This will be an interesting pick if Golden State keeps its No. 7 selection (they must be in the top seven of the Lottery or the pick goes to Utah), as they'll have some tough decisions to make.

    Perry Jones III, who has tremendous upside but has been unable to consistently play at a high level, will likely be available.

    The smart decision seems to be with small forward Harrison Barnes.

    Barnes is a polished scorer and an above-average defender who has the athleticism to guard other talented small forwards.

    A Warriors starting five consisting of Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Barnes, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry could certainly push Golden State into playoff contention immediately if all starters are able to stay healthy.

8. Toronto Raptors

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UCONN

    Actual Pick: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UCONN

    Here's another team's wish-list pick falling right into its lap.

    Lamb helped carry UCONN to a national championship in his freshman season alongside Kemba Walker, and he continued that momentum into his second season.

    Averaging 17.7 points a game in his sophomore year, Lamb became one of the top scoring threats in the nation, but he is still a very "raw" player with an incredibly wide seven-foot wingspan.

    The bottom line: Toronto needs offense.

    If the Raptors can help shape Lamb into a more fluid, fundamentally sound player, he has the athleticism and defensive ability to become a perennial All-Star at the next level.

9. Detroit Pistons

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

    Actual Pick: Perry Jones III, SF/PF, Baylor

    The Pistons desperately need to add some offense to the wing position, and if Harrison Barnes just so happens to drop all the way to No. 9, he'd be the ideal pick.

    Perry Jones III may actually turn out to be the better pick, though.

    Jones III would have been regarded as a top five lock had he entered the 2011 NBA Draft, but his inconsistent play and questionable energy levels in his sophomore season, along with a deep, talented 2012 draft class have significantly lowered his stock.

    Jones still carries all the tools needed to become a prolific NBA wing-man who could potentially step up and play power forward when called upon.

10. New Orleans Hornets

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UCONN

    Actual Pick: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

    The Hornets can make some serious upgrades to their team with two top 10 selections in this year's draft, and grabbing an offensive-minded 2-guard would be a highly effective move. 

    Jeremy Lamb would be the perfect fit if he is still in the mix when the Hornets make their second selection, but New Orleans would be thrilled to draft Austin Rivers if Lamb is off the board.

    Rivers seems to have an NBA-ready offensive type of game and will be able to contribute for the Hornets right out of the gate. 

    Rivers does lack defensive ability and has a tendency to settle for poor shots, but these are things that he will be able to correct at the next level.

11. Portland Trail Blazers

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Perry Jones III, SF/PF, Baylor

    Actual Pick: John Henson, PF, North Carolina

    The Blazers are another team that can benefit tremendously from having two lottery picks in one of the deepest NBA drafts in years, especially with a bevy of free agents potentially out the door.

    Should Perry Jones III still be on the board, the Blazers could gain from his athletic frame and rebounding ability. There's a good chance Jones III will be available this late, but I believe Carolina's John Henson would be the more sound selection.

    With Henson, you know what you're getting. He's a big, talented power forward who could be a fantastic rebounding and defensive complement to LaMarcus Aldridge down low. Henson is a shot-blocking magician, but without gaining the right size he will get bullied at the NBA level.

    There will still be some work to do, but Henson would certainly be a great pickup for Portland.

12. Milwaukee Bucks

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

    Actual Pick: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

    I can't see Milwaukee wanting anybody other than Tyler Zeller with the No. 12 in this year's draft. 

    The Bucks are in serious need of a solid center on their roster, and Tyler Zeller fits the bill perfectly.

    Zeller brings true center size at 7'0" and 240 pounds, and should be able to win the starting position in his first year.

    Zeller has a fairly versatile offensive game for a big man, and has shown he can step out and hit jump shots when he needs to. He may not be the most physical center in the draft, but Zeller has great fundamentals and is athletic for his size, which should result in a productive NBA career.

13. Phoenix Suns

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    Realistic Wish-List Pick: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

    Actual Pick: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

    Steve Nash's future in Phoenix is uncertain, but I don't think the Suns can find their point guard of the future with the 13 pick, and I think we'll see Phoenix grab a facilitator in free agency should Nash exit.

    If Nash stays, he'll find another great offensive player to distribute the ball to in Terrence Ross.

    Ross has great shooting ability and can defend other athletic shooting guards well. He averaged over 16 points per in his sophomore season and seems to have an NBA-ready type of game, though he could improve on his off-the-dribble offensive game.

    Look for Phoenix to grab the Washington star with the final lottery pick.