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NBA Draft 2012: Teams That Failed Miserably on Draft Day

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 29, 2012

Speculating on whether professional sports teams failed or achieved greatness hours after a draft is one of the most exciting things to ponder. 

Let's have some fun. 

Now that the 2012 NBA draft is done and over with, let's take a look at some teams who failed miserably on draft day.

 

Boston Celtics

You get two picks in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft and you choose Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superd
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Why not John Jenkins, who went No. 23? Why not Arnett Moultrie, who went No. 27? Jenkins would have given Boston a legitimate scoring threat from the perimeter just in case Ray Allen decides to leave Boston.

Sullinger's injury history is evident. His back has been an issue, he struggled against bigger defenders and he isn't effective if he can't get position on the block.

I'm not a fan of Sullinger with Boston's first pick. He's a good player, not a great player. Maybe his ceiling would be like Glen Davis, but that's it. Is that worth the No. 21 pick? I don't think so.

Melo makes more sense from a need perspective as he brings size. Boston needs size. However, Moultrie is NBA ready, and if you can get a guy with good size, solid rebounding and NBA moves on the block with the No. 22 pick, I think you take it. 

Boston should have gone in another direction. Only time will tell if this works out, but I think they could have done a lot better.

 

Toronto Raptors

Toronto was No. 28 in points per game this past season. They have Austin Rivers on the board, a guy who will work his tail off to get better, a leader at Duke despite being a freshman, and they decide to reach for Terrence Ross.

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Terrence Ross (R) of the Washington Huskies walks off stage after he was selected number eight overall by the Toronto Raptors during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.
Elsa/Getty Images

I like Ross as a player, but I had Rivers much higher on my board. 

Rivers would have given a buzz to Toronto that they haven't had since Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. He would have provided tickets, a reason to go to the arena and a decent chance to make the postseason next year.

Rivers is a guy who was asked to facilitate, score, run the show and shoot the last-second shot. He was just a freshman.

When was the last time you could say that about a player from Duke?

His worth is tremendous, and he has star quality written all over him. Toronto made a big mistake by passing on Rivers.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland failing in the first round has all to do with not selecting Harrison Barnes. I love Barnes as a player and as a person. He wants to get better despite knowing his talent level translates to the NBA level.

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Dion Waiters of Syracuse greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number four overall by the the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark,
Elsa/Getty Images

Barnes' ability in the mid-range was the best in the draft class. He averaged 17 points per game this past season at North Carolina, displaying numerous moves in the post.

If he can get stronger and change his mindset to attacking the rim more, Barnes could be an All-Star in the NBA.

Instead, Cleveland reached out and grabbed Syracuse guard Dion Waiters with the No. 4 pick. I like Waiters' offensive ability, but I don't think he should have been drafted that high.

He played in a 2-3 zone, so his defensive ability is in question. Will he be able to defend his position at the next level?

That's something we will find out relatively quickly. 

With the No. 24 pick, Cleveland went with another guard—Jared Cunningham. The 6'5" shooting guard from Oregon State has a high ceiling, but who knows if he will ever reach it.

Cleveland could have gone with a multiple of other options with this pick. 

 

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