The order for the 2012 NBA draft is now set after Wednesday night's lottery and several teams are locked into position to make themselves a whole lot better this year.
Here is a look at the three teams best positioned to improve themselves in this year's draft.
New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets were the big winners in Wednesday night's lottery, as they scored the top pick and also will have the 10th selection thanks to the Los Angeles Clippers passing it along as part of the Chris Paul trade.
With the first pick, the Hornets will undoubtedly select Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis, who is clearly the best player in this year's draft. After that, the team's biggest hole will be getting a point guard. At No. 10, they will likely have a choice between Weber State's Damian Lillard and North Carolina's Kendall Marshall. Either guy would be a great fit.
Adding two players of that caliber to a roster that already boasts some young talent in Trevor Ariza, Al-Farouq Aminu and Xavier Henry will make the Hornets fun to watch, at the very least. And that's not even counting Eric Gordon, who is a restricted free agent and could certainly be back.
In the 2011 draft, the Cavs landed Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson to start their post-LeBron rebuilding project. Irving was the NBA's top rookie this season and Thompson is slowly developing into a solid post player.
Now the Cavs own the fourth and 24th picks this year and could continue to quickly fill out their roster in the first round.
At No. 4, Cleveland will be in a perfect spot to grab a great wing player like North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. Barnes' slashing ability and developing perimeter game would fit perfectly with Irving and Thompson. At No. 24, the Cavs will be in position to take the best available player at either shooting guard or center, or they could opt to trade the pick for more assets.
Either way, Cleveland is in a great spot heading into this year's draft.
Last year, the Wizards walked away from the draft with international project Jan Vesely, defensive stopper Chris Singleton and reserve guard Shelvin Mack. This year, Washington landed the third pick in the draft and will almost certainly walk away with either Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal.
With the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, Washington took point guard John Wall, and now they need to get him some backcourt help. Pairing him with someone like Beal will create instant lightning in the backcourt and make the team a whole lot better immediately.
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