NBA Draft 2012: Which First-Round Teams Made Smartest Choices?
Some general managers just get it.
While most of the picks in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft made sense for the teams making them, some were head-scratchers, some were obvious and took no thought whatsoever, while others were brilliant moves that no one saw coming.
Here is a look at the best first-round picks that no one was prepared for.
Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall
While most mock drafts had Kendall Marshall falling out of the lottery, the Suns did well to grab him with the 13th overall pick.
Steve Nash's future in Phoenix is uncertain, and Marshall is perfect insurance for the Hall of Fame point guard.
Marshall is about as pure as it gets at point guard. He isn't the best defender or shooter, but he can run an NBA offense right away. He's an elite passer and he'll make everyone around him better.
Just look at the roller coaster that was Harrison Barnes for proof.
Even if Nash returns to Phoenix, which is unlikely, Marshall will be able to learn from one of the greatest passers ever. In turn, he'll be even better once he eventually gets his turn to start.
This is a very smart choice by the Suns.
Houston Rockets: Royce White
I'm not exactly sure where White will fit in with Houston, especially with Chandler Parsons having such a great rookie year, but I love this pick all the same.
It would have been a joke for White to fall to Boston at No. 21. For that reason, I'm glad the Rockets picked the talented former Cyclone where he deserved to go.
White is the prototypical point-forward. He has lots of size at 6'9" and 260 pounds, but he's a tremendous ball-handler, passer and rebounder as well.
Just like he did at Iowa State, White will fill up the box-score, even if he needs to improve his shooting. The Rockets got three tremendous role players, and White will crack the starting lineup for this playoff team sooner rather than later.
Great pick and nice overall job by Houston.
After a questionable pick at No. 15 in Maurice Harkless (the fit, not the player), the 76ers totally redeemed themselves by trading with Miami to get Moultrie all the way down at No. 27.
Which pick was the best?
Moultrie is a unique talent. He has the size of a power forward or center, but his game is more like a small forward. He can shoot the three from NBA range, he’s a good face-up scorer in the post and he has crazy athleticism.
What’s more, Moultrie may play like a small forward, but he’s still not afraid to bang inside and rebound.
Getting a top-15 talent at No. 27 is tremendous news for the 76ers, even though everyone else was passing on him.
The Oklahoma City Thunder did a similarly great job by not being scared off by Perry Jones, who fell to them at No. 28, but looks to be a major steal.
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