2012 NBA Draft Order: Dropping out of Top 3 Won't Hurt Cleveland Cavaliers

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterMay 31, 2012

So much for Nick Gilbert's career prospects as a human good-luck charm.

Those went out the window when the Cleveland Cavaliers not only failed to move up in the 2012 NBA Draft order, but were actually dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 by the lottery.

Fate's a cruel mistress, ain't she? Certainly cruel enough to spur Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to scribe another nasty letter in Comic Sans to the commissioner's office.

Not that Cleveland is necessarily all that worse off now than they were before the ping pong balls didn't bounce their way. The Cavs have enough holes on their current roster that they should be able to fill one of them with a solid prospect at No. 4 overall.

Assuming Anthony Davis is off the board at No. 1 overall, the Cavs should have one of a handful primo youngsters—between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond and Thomas Robinson—fall right into their lap.

Kidd-Gilchrist is a scrappy, athletic wing with oodles of upside and all the intangibles. He should fit in nicely at small forward, where Cleveland will have only Omri Casspi and (gulp) Luke Walton of whom to speak.

To many, though, Kidd-Gilchrist is the second-best prospect in this draft and may well be gone by the time the Cavs have their turn at the podium.

The same, though, could be said of Beal. Cleveland's situation at shooting guard is equally dire and Beal's by far the best of the bunch at that spot in this draft. His ability to shoot and slash, along with his athleticism on the break, would make him a perfect backcourt companion for Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.

Should Beal be off the board as well, the Cavs could throw their lot in with Drummond. The UConn kid comes with plenty of questions about his heart and desire, but there's no doubting his size, skill and athleticism at a position (center) where the talent is so thinly spread. If the Cavs play their cards right with him, they could wind up with a dominant force in the middle along with the leeway to move rookie Tristan Thompson to power forward full time.

And, if all else fails, they could go for the "safe" pick with Thomas Robinson, a late bloomer with the strength and leaping ability to battle on the boards and the upside to grow into something better.

Realistically, then, the Cavs should come up with a productive player at No. 4, at the very least.

The only difference? The pool of prospects from which they'll have the freedom to choose will be one kid smaller. 

Maybe Nick will get a mulligan on the whole lucky charm thing.

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