With the NBA Draft less than 32 hours away, the rumor mill is starting to heat up.
Teams within the NBA’s draft lottery always believe a solid selection will make up for a disappointing and horrendous season.
Many lottery teams are in for the long rebuilding process, and others have a chance to really impact their roster.
Entering the future of your NBA franchise is a college kid with some lofty expectations set in-front of him.
With those expectations comes hope and pressure. With that pressure comes a ceiling the prospect is expected to reach. Not all of the lottery selections are going to be able to deal with those expectations and achieve the excellence that is expected from them.
So let’s now take a look at the lottery teams that cannot afford to miss in the 2012 NBA Draft.
To say the Charlotte franchise and its fans were disappointed when the New Orleans Hornets obtained the rights to the No. 1 overall draft pick might be the biggest understatement about the entire NBA Draft.
Ending up with No. 2 pick, the Michael Jordan lead Bobcats missed out on the only true superstar prospect in Anthony Davis.
That's not a promising start to the lottery for the team that set the NBA record for the worst season in NBA history.
One thought about the Bobcats at No. 2 is that they can take any player. This thought process is rationalizing that they are so void of talent at every position that any prospect can help them as they move toward the future.
But this pick has to go even further. This pick will have to deal with career long comparisons to Anthony Davis.
This pick has to immediately signal the direction and future of this franchise. The player that is picked here has to instantly become the face of the franchise and the cornerstone that the Bobcats build around for the future.
Those are just the expectations for a prospect that is walking into a franchise that finished last season on a 23-game losing streak and ended the season with a 7-59 record.
The Bobcats realize these demands may be too much for one prospect to handle and are rumored to be shopping the second overall pick.
No matter where the Bobcats ultimately draft, the Bobcats above all the other teams cannot afford to blow their choice in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Bobcats are looking for a direction and a face of their future franchise. Anything below those expectations being achieved should be a disappointment and a terrible selection in the eyes of the Charlotte faithful.
With the promising development of Kyrie Irving as a NBA superstar, the Cavaliers must continue to take advantage of the picks they have and acquire talent in the NBA Draft.
Cavs fans have already experienced the days of Danny Ferry. He was the GM who believed he should place as many aging veteran NBA players around his one young superstar in LeBron James. This theory did not work out well for the Cavaliers or LeBron’s future with the team.
This is the exact reason why the Cavs cannot squander away the fourth overall draft choice.
The Cavs still have a lot of holes to fill on their roster, with the need for more size at the center position as well as two young well-rounded athletes who can start at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Part of this equation for the Cavaliers is also not overpaying for a potential trade to get the player they covet. Much like the Bobcats, the Cavaliers are not one player away from winning an NBA title. In turn, the Cavs cannot mortgage their future and the potential of creating a deep well-rounded team for one player to pair with Kyrie Irving.
The Cavaliers can still go in some different directions with the No. 4 overall draft choice. But the Cavaliers need to look toward the future of the franchise as much as they want short term success.
No matter what direction the Cavs choose to go, this pick needs to be an epic success if the team wants to continue to put pieces in place for this franchise to keep on growing and developing.
Portland is always an interesting team when talking about the NBA Draft. They went from being known as the “Jail Blazers” to being one of the youngest and deepest squads under the leadership of former GM Kevin Pritchard.
The Blazers also have the illustrious honor of drafting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan and Greg Oden over Kevin Durant.
Even with that draft history, the Blazers have a real opportunity to positively affect their roster this offseason. The Blazers hold the rights to two draft choices within the lottery. The two picks being the sixth overall choice and the eleventh overall choice.
Portland must hit on both of these lottery selections. For years now, many believed the Trail Blazers are just one player away from contending, and it is time for the Blazers to prove that this is the case.
Adding depth to their frontcourt and a true point guard should help the Blazers’ roster at once.
With two lottery choices, the spotlight will be firmly shining on the Trail Blazers. If they do not draft well, the talented Blazers will continue to be an enigma and not transcend to that next level.
Holding onto the third pick in any draft always brings expectations of success. Much like the previously mentioned Cavaliers, the Wizards are a team looking for a prospect that can both contribute right away and continue to grow and develop with their young point guard John Wall.
The spotlight will be shining on whichever prospect the Wizards choose to select.
The Wizards have been one of the most aggressive teams in the league in regards to reshaping their roster over the past couple of months. The Wizards added Nene at the trading deadline this past season. Also one week ago, the Wizards acquired Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets.
These moves placed a ton of pressure on the future draft choice of the Wizards. He will be expected to step into his new role in the NBA and contribute right away for the team.
A playoff run is going to be expected of the Washington Wizards this upcoming season. If the Wizards fail to achieve these lofty standards, the third overall pick will be deemed an early career disappointment.