NBA Draft 2012: 5 Teams That Had a Terrible Night
For many teams, just about everything went right in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Hornets found two cornerstone prospects, the Wizards snagged touted guard Bradley Beal and the Oklahoma City Thunder rescued forward Perry Jones III from the brink of the first round.
For other teams, well, not so much.
Thursday's draft was a busy one, and while it's tough to judge now, not everyone came out a winner. Check out five teams that had a rough time at the 2012 NBA Draft.
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Orlando was the subject of unrelenting draft night trade talk, but wound up staying put with the No. 19 pick. Center Dwight Howard remains in blue and white for another day.
Regardless, the selection of St. Bonaventure power forward Andrew Nicholson (pictured) is a bit of a head-scratcher here.
Nicholson has the skill set to be a successful NBA 4, but he enters a stuffed Magic frontcourt that includes incumbent Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis. Anderson received a qualifying offer just a few hours prior to the draft, according to The Associated Press (h/t SI.com).
Standing at just 6'9", Nicholson is too small to play the role of a Howard replacement, and after looking to extend Anderson, where exactly does he fit?
With the murky fate of Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, Orlando could have used Thursday night to sure up their backcourt. Instead, new general manager Rob Hennigan went with another power forward.
Their second selection, Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn, has good value but is simply not the right fit for a Magic team stockpiled with bigs.
All in all, Orlando had a pretty rough night. They weren't able to leverage Howard, and they made a few puzzling picks.
New York Knicks
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Another Dolanian draft for New York.
The Knicks had their work cut out for them, clinging to just one second-round selection. They wound up using it on a player who won't even take the floor next season, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
Behind center Tyson Chandler and forwards Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks boast a formidable frontcourt. What they needed was a stronger option at either guard spot.
With guards Darius Johnson-Odom and Scott Machado available at No. 48, going with the 6'8" Kostas Papanikolaou was a bit questionable.
Foreign imports are always dicey in the draft, and Papanikolaou is no exception. He remains under contract in Greece for two more seasons and will naturally require a bit of transition at the NBA level.
When it's all said and done, he could be a big-time steal, but for now, the Knicks take the L on draft night.
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The Nets did save face a bit by trading for Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor (pictured) at No. 41. Still, there's no sleep for Brooklyn, at least until someone finds a way to keep point guard Deron Williams in town.
The Nets were inundated with trade speculation all week but couldn't crack their way into the first round. Taylor is a high-energy defender and an explosive athlete, but he likely won't be a major selling point for "D-Will."
Brooklyn subsequently acquired Belgian forward Tornike Shengelia, who averaged just a notch over eight points a game last year. Overseas players are hit-or-miss, and Shengelia doesn't seem to offer much outside of pure athleticism and hustle.
Watching Portland snag point guard Damian Lillard with the Nets' No. 6 pick made draft night in Brooklyn a tough one.
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Dallas didn't land Deron Williams on draft night, but they sure stayed busy.
The Mavs accumulated a throng of picks after shipping No. 17 Tyler Zeller to Cleveland for the No. 24, 33 and 34 selections.
How they used those selections, however, is suspect.
The Mavericks made Oregon State combo guard Jared Cunningham (pictured) their first-rounder. Cunningham's penchant for points is undeniable, but CBS Sports' Matt Moore questions if Cunningham's talents can translate to the pros.
Passing on touted prospects like Baylor's Quincy Miller and high-school phenom Perry Jones III, Dallas has to be doubted here. Kevin Hampton of the Corvallis Gazette-Times reports that Cunningham was projected as a late second-rounder in some mocks and left off entirely on others.
It's a reach the depleted Mavs couldn't afford.
Mark Cuban's club used their second-round picks on bigs Bernard James and Jae Crowder. Both will be welcomed as scrappy additions to an aging roster, but one has to wonder if Zeller's value outweighs the two of them combined.
We'll see how it pans out, but the Mavs may have dropped the ball on this one.
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The Pacers are the clear-cut losers of Thursday's draft after a controversial selection of Duke center Miles Plumlee (pictured) at No. 26.
Plumlee's semblance to current Pacer Tyler Hansboro is maddening, and Indiana could have scoured the board for a more promising talent, like Perry Jones III or Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie. Already established in the paint, the Pacers chose to snag a prospect that CBS Sports calls a potential "serviceable backup center."
Indiana then traded for Sacramento's newly-drafted Orlando Johnson. At UC Santa Barbara, Johnson averaged 19.7 points a night, and he flaunts far more upside than Plumlee does.
The acquisition of Johnson salvaged some of draft night for the Pacers, but until the verdict is out on Plumlee, they stand as Thursday's losers.