NBA Draft 2012: Separating "Needy" Teams from "Best Available" Teams

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NBA Draft 2012: Separating
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
No team would pass up on Anthony Davis, but other picks don't hold the same certainty.

In general, NBA teams draft players based on one of two factors: need or talent.

Need is when a team needs a specific position filled. For example, there are a ton of options for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pick No. 5 this Thursday night.

Maybe they'll pick a player, or they could trade the pick. The one thing we know they won't do is draft a point guard. That's because that position is filled by the reigning NBA Rookie of The Year, and former No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving.

Then there's talent. If you were to look at's draft page right now, you'd see two lists prominently featured.

One is a Top 100. This is a list 100 players, 60 of whom are highly likely to make up the bulk of the 60 players selected in two rounds at the draft this Thursday. The players are ranked by projected NBA talent. 

The other is a "Mock Draft." This is, of course, a prediction for all the picks in the two rounds of the NBA draft. The lists share some common ground, but they also reveal plenty of differences. 

That's because every team doesn't automatically pick the most talented player available.

Some teams will be picking for a specific need this Thursday night, and some won't: They'll simply look at who's available and pick the guy they feel has the best chance to make it as an NBA player.

Who's who? Which teams are fishing for a specific position or player, and which ones are more likely to grab the best player available?  

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