NBA Draft 2012: 5 Teams Destined to Make a Bad 1st-Round Selection
On June 28th, the 2012 NBA draft will take place. Right now, the entire league is on the clock.
The New Orleans Hornets have the first pick, but between now and the seemingly inevitable selection of Anthony Davis as the No. 1 overall pick, every team will be trying to figure out who to pick and who to avoid.
The NBA draft is an event with high stakes. Unlike other major professional sports, the NBA draft is just two rounds.
With so few selections, the pressure is on teams to get the few picks they have right. You can't make up for a missed selection in one round by accruing several more solid picks in the later rounds.
Some teams seem to respond better to this than others. When these teams make their first-round selections on June 28th, keep in mind their history. It hasn't been kind.
It's not easy grabbing talent in the later parts of the first round of the draft.
Atlanta's draft history has its ups and downs. Some hits, some misses. Most of the solid picks have come within the first 20 picks.
The Hawks have the No. 23 pick this time. Working against them is that they pick right after the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics have two picks back-to-back at No. 21 and No. 22. That means they can try and fill two needs, which could drain the remaining pool of talent from two different positions.
Meanwhile, the Hawks are likely to be wondering about the ultimate destination of arguably their best player.
You don't just grab another Josh Smith.
The Hawks will be picking in a part of the draft where it's easy to miss and not that easy to hit. The potential for major roster moves will only amp up the degree of difficulty.
The Boston Celtics have two picks back-to-back in the bottom third of the first round.
The 21st and 22nd picks will head to Boston to wear the green and white next season. Having two picks is great; the Celtics are desperately in need of an infusion of younger talent.
They'll get younger, that's inevitable. The part about the talent and the quality of the players is going to be trickier.
Nailing a first-round pick is never easy. It's hard to do when picking in the top 10, let along outside the top 20.
The Celtics draft history is OK. Although they didn't retain MarShon Brooks, it's hard to find fault with his selection at No. 25 last season. Avery Bradley at No. 19 in 2010 was a very nice selection as well.
When the Celtics made those picks, the team makeup was different. There wasn't as much pressure on the team to score big at the draft.
The team was going to be centered around Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. The draft? That was there to fill in some key spots off the bench, maybe grab a starter in the future.
With both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen hitting free agency, the Celtics don't need role players, they need studs. It's tough find studs at No. 21 and No. 22.
The odds of the Celtics ending up disappointed with one of their two picks seems somewhat high.
The Milwaukee Bucks don't have a terrible draft history. It's not anything worth bragging about, though.
The Bucks scored with the selection of Brandon Jennings at No. 10 in the 2009 draft. When the Bucks have had to make selections outside the top 10, things have been very dicey.
They've got the No. 12 pick this time.
That's a tough spot to make a selection, and the Bucks' process of figuring out who to take is made more difficult by the major roster moves the team made this past March.
In order to make a solid draft pick, you've got to have a solid idea of what type of player you want or need. That's not easy when major parts of your starting lineup are either headed for free agency or have only been on the team for a little more than a month.
The Bucks have a major part of their team in Ersan Ilyasova heading toward free agency. The teams' recent first-round selections have been less than stellar.
Do names like Larry Sanders (15th overall in 2010), Joe Alexander (eighth overall in 2008) or Yi Jianlian (sixth overall in 2007) inspire a ton of confidence?
At No. 12 this year, the Bucks will have plenty of players with talent to choose from, but will most likely just take the best-available player because of all of the question marks on their roster.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers own both the No. 6 and No. 11 picks in the first round.
The Blazers are a team in need of a center. Andre Drummond—a 6'11" athletic freak—might be available when Portland selects at the sixth slot.
Portland's history of selecting centers in the NBA draft is nothing to be proud of.
The team famously selected Sam Bowie at No. 2 in the 1984 draft instead of Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins or Charles Barkley.
Portland also chose Greg Oden as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. The left the Seattle Sonics to take Kevin Durant at No. 2.
Drummond is a player with a ton of potential; a terrifying word to those who spend their lives trying to scout players.
ESPN's Chad Ford already has Portland picking Drummond in his latest mock draft. Ford also has this to say about Drummond:
"Drummond doesn't always act like he wants to be a dominant player on either end. He can disappear for long stretches. He can shy away from the rough-and-tumble physical play in the paint. In short, he's maddeningly inconsistent." - Chad Ford ESPN
The stars seem to be aligning for the Blazers, but the future might not be so bright.
That's Anthony Davis in the picture, and barring something completely unexpected, he's not heading to Charlotte to play for the Bobcats.
Owners of a yet-to-be-snapped 23-game losing streak, the Bobcats needed more help than anyone in the 2012 draft.
They didn't get it.
The Bobcats needed that No. 1 pick but instead will have the second pick in the draft.
Charlotte could get a solid player, but they needed a franchise-changing player in this draft after last season.