NBA Draft 2012: Three Draft Steals and Potential Busts
Each and every draft there are surprises. Some players go lower than expected and some go higher. Teams make decisions based on the best player available, or the player they like the most.
That was no different this year.
With many people considering this to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, there were sure to be some head-scratchers. Trades were expected, and after No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, everyone knew it was a toss up.
Some teams got great value for their picks, while others left you wondering what the heck were they thinking. It seems that the worst picks weren't bad players, just players that went too high. The best picks were the ones where teams got good players who dropped lower in the draft than expected.
Here are the three best and worst picks of the 2012 NBA draft.
Third-Worst Selection: Dion Waiters to Cleveland
The 6'4", 215-pound shooter averaged 12.6 points per game, along with 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Coming off the bench, he played just over 24 minutes a game, shooting 48 percent from the field and 37 percent on three-pointers.
Waiters has the potential to be a good player in the NBA, but taking a sophomore who wasn't even a starter with the No. 4 overall pick seems a little crazy. With several teams showing interest in trying to trade into the top five picks, Cleveland could have traded down and gotten Waiters along with something else.
It was definitely an interesting gamble. Now all that is left is to see how he works with Kyrie Irving and the rest of the Cavaliers.
Third-Best Selection: Marquis Teague to Chicago
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
In his freshman year at Kentucky, Marquis Teague was the starting point guard. He averaged 9.4 points per game, 2.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Oh, and he won the national championship.
The problem is that he has spent a ton of time out of the lineup the past two seasons.
Teague was available at the No. 29 spot and Chicago rightly took him. He will be a solid backup for Rose, and being that he is so young and has shown a good deal of talent, his upside is high.
Teague was a perfect fit for Chicago and he fell right into where he needed to be—a place where he can learn from one of the best in the league.
Second-Worst Selection: Miles Plumlee to Indiana
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Miles Plumlee was an okay player at Duke. He averaged 6.6 points per game his senior year, along with 7.1 rebounds. He is athletic and a decent defender.
Yet as a big man, his scoring is limited and he isn't a shot-blocker.
Most experts had Plumlee going in the middle or late second round. Indiana already has Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough, who are playing well at the same position as Plumlee.
With respect to Plumlee and the Pacers, they spent the 26th pick on a player who isn't going to get much playing time. They could have gotten someone else and still picked Plumlee up later.
I'm not really sure what the Pacers were thinking, and it is going to hurt them in the long run.
Second-Best Selection: Terrence Jones to Houston
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Coming out of high school, Terrence Jones was considered one of the best players in the country from day one at Kentucky. Two years and a championship later, Jones was a steal for Houston at the No. 18 pick.
If Jones had come out after his freshman year, he would have been a top-10 pick, easily.
His numbers dropped a little this year, which lowered his value in this year's draft. But the dip in Jones' numbers were really due to him having a different role for Kentucky while John Calipari made room for Anthony Davis.
Jones still averaged 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. He is very athletic and will bring energy to the Rockets. Houston had a very active draft, and Jones was definitely a great pickup with their second pick of the first round (they also took Jeremy Lamb from UConn with the 12th pick).
Houston has shown they are serious about trying to improve, and Jones was a great pick to help them do that.
Worst Selection: Terrence Ross to Toronto
Terrence Ross was a good player at Washington. In his second year, he helped lead the Huskies to the Pac-12 title. Ross averaged 16.4 points a game, to go along with 6.4 rebounds.
Honestly, I would say that Plumlee was a worse pick, but at least it was the 26th pick. Toronto picked Ross with the No. 8 pick, when many people said he would have still been there at No. 18.
With teams ready to trade up, Toronto should have traded down, still gotten Ross and someone else. There were players like Austin Rivers and Jeremy Lamb still available at that point, both of whom would have been better selections.
Ross will be productive with Toronto, but he shouldn't have been a No. 8 pick. Toronto really reached to get him and it could hurt them down the road.
Best Selection: Perry Jones III to Oklahoma City
Perry Jones was expected to go much higher in this year's draft, but a report came out saying he had a knee issue, making teams a little bit wary about selecting him. Because of that, he fell all the way to the 28th pick and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jones averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds during his second year at Baylor. He has a lot of athletic ability and great upside heading into the NBA.
He is also a perfect fit for the Thunder, who have done a fantastic job in the draft in the last few years. His athletic ability at the power forward position will allow for him to jump right in to the fast-tempo offense that OKC likes to run.
With all their talent, and now the addition of Jones, look for the Thunder to pick up where they left off. Jones was the best value-pick by far in the draft, and it will be exciting to see how he plays the the young guns in OKC.