NBA Draft 2012: Teams That Will Climb out of the Cellar with a Quality Draft
The NBA draft is the most pivotal time for a team to begin its rebuilding process.
Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats didn't win the NBA lottery, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they're not playing in Charlotte by the year 2020 if things don't miraculously turn around. Their inability to land the No. 1 pick and Anthony Davis could prove to be a debilitating course of events for an already struggling franchise.
There are other teams that finished near the bottom of the barrel last season that can climb out of the doldrums of the NBA if they make some smart picks.
Here are three of those teams.
Golden State Warriors
If Harrison Barnes falls to the Warriors at No. 7, we could be looking at one of the better teams in the Western Conference in a few years.
There's an imminent changing of the guard on the horizon in the West.
The San Antonio Spurs are so old despite their magical run this year, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be in the decline in the next couple of years and the Dallas Mavericks look like they're already done.
Father Time has opened the door for the Warriors, and they'd be foolish not to walk through that door by drafting Barnes at No. 7.
Picture a starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut.
That's a pretty darn good lineup if Curry and Bogut can get and stay healthy. Erring on the side of caution, they could grab a big man at No. 30 as an insurance pick for Bogut.
In that lineup, you have guys who can shoot, drive, rebound and defend the post and perimeter. There's not much else you need from your starting five.
Don't forget about Dorell Wright, Brandon Rush and Jeremy Tyler coming off the bench.
The Kings have to go with Andre Drummond at No. 5, and he's likely to still be on the board at that time.
Drummond is the rawest prospect in the draft, but he has the highest upside of any player. The physical tools he has been afforded will leave you in awe.
He's 6'11", 275 pounds, but he has the quickness and explosiveness of a small forward. He's shown flashes of dominance in the post despite his lack of a refined post move.
While he polishes his offensive game, he can be a force on the glass and a stalwart in the paint. His size will let him play defense against the big men of the league with ease.
Imagine Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins protecting the paint together. Well, Cousins would have to make a commitment to defense, but if we can put a man on the moon, Mark Jackson can convince "Boogie" Cousins to body somebody.
New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they were awarded the first pick of the 2012 NBA draft, thereby obtaining the rights to the consensus best player, Anthony Davis.
They also have a pick at No. 10, which they have talked about trading. I can't understand for the life of me why they would do that because if they don't, they'll be set up for the foreseeable future.
Let's focus on Davis first. He can do everything a coach could possibly want a big man to do on a basketball court. He can block shots down low, defend the perimeter, get to the hoop, beat his man in the post, run the floor, shoot the ball and more.
Which of these three teams will have the best record next season?
Whatever this young man needs to do, he can do.
New Orleans could either add a point guard or a power forward to their roster at No. 10. Damian Lillard will probably be gone by that time, so we might be looking at Kendall Marshall or Jared Sullinger.
Marshall would make Davis into an offensive force with his pass-first style of play. Jared Sullinger would make Davis better, as he would take the attention off of him on the offensive end with his versatility.
The choice is between a starting five of Marshall, Eric Gordon (if he returns), Al-Farouq Aminu, Jason Smith and Davis, or Greivis Vasquez, Gordon, Aminu, Sullinger and Davis.
You can't go wrong either way.
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