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Ranking the 5 Most Exciting Teams After 2012 NBA Draft

Devin NoonanCorrespondent IIIJune 29, 2012

Ranking the 5 Most Exciting Teams After 2012 NBA Draft

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    Many teams left the 2012 NBA draft with a new look and new hope.

    Some young stars are now going to be the focal points for NBA teams next season, while some other teams, like the New York Knicks, eagerly await free agency to enhance their 2012-13 roster.

    There is no exact science to predicting who will be successful at the next level and which teams will thrive due to their new talent.

    With the 2012-13 season not too far in the distance, let's check out the teams we should look forward to seeing come tip-off time.

5. Golden State Warriors

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    Harrison Barnes was a projected Top 5 pick for months leading up to the NBA draft. With the No. 7 overall pick, the Golden State Warriors could not ask for much more than what they received in Barnes.

    He's a solid perimeter shooter who will complement Stephen Curry in the backcourt nicely next season. 

    After that, it was no secret the Warriors needed some help for Andrew Bogut down low. That is precisely why Festus Ezeli out of Vanderbilt was a quality selection with the last pick of the first round.

    The 22-year-old center averaged over 10.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.0 BPG his last two seasons in school. He won't be a game changer, but he offers some assistance to the Warriors very weak frontcourt.

    Draymond Green, the All-American out of Michigan State, was then selected in the second round with the 35th overall pick. This is a guy who I absolutely love.

    Green may not be the best player in any aspect of the game, but he plays hard and his desire to win goes unmatched.

    He'll be a staple-point in the league as a solid role-player for quite some time, mark my words.

    With their last selection at No. 52, the Warriors took a chance on Ognjen Kuzmic, the 7'1" center from Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

    He most recently played in Spain and likely will not make the leap to the NBA for at least another couple of years. That is, if he's ever actually ready to make the leap.

4. Boston Celtics

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    Coach Doc Rivers may not have been able to bring his son to Boston, but the team wound up drafting a bunch of talented young stars who could make a major contribution in 2012-13.

    With the back-to-back picks at No. 21 and No. 22, the Celtics found themselves in a great position to take a risk that many teams were fearful of.

    The 21st overall selection was Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, a sophomore who was a two-time All-American, recently red flagged by injury concerns regarding his back.

    At No. 22 overall, the big Brazilian Fab Melo out of Syracuse was taken in hope of adding some size and presence under the basket to assist Kevin Garnett down the stretch next season.

    Those two picks alone would have been exciting enough, but the team didn't stop there.

    With the 51st overall pick, they brought in another Syracuse standout in Kris Joseph.

    Joseph can pull up from the perimeter and can also attack the basket with his quickness. The biggest asset of acquiring Joseph, however, may be his ability to help teammate Fab Melo transition to the NBA comfortably.

    It'll be interesting to see if this infusion of youth can rejuvenate the older Boston Celtics core.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder only had one pick in the 2012 NBA draft, and they certainly made the best of it.

    At No. 28 overall, the Thunder had no choice but to take a stab at Baylor's Perry Jones III

    Jones was considered to be a Top 10 talent last year, but his draft day appeal dropped significantly after rumors about a possible knee injury began to surface.

    He averaged 13.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG last season as a sophomore at Baylor.

    The Thunder hope he can provide a spark off the bench next season and possibly offer some of the defense they were lacking as they faltered in the NBA Championship.

    No one knows how this young man's career will turn out, but he has a ton of potential.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers walked away from this draft with two prospects who could make an immediate impact for their team next season.

    At No. 4 overall, they surprisingly took a shot on Dion Waiters out of Syracuse.

    Waiters was the Big East Sixth Man of the Year last season whose draft stock rapidly rose after his workouts.

    He may be the first bench player to be selected in the Top Five picks of a draft, but he has all the potential in the world to be an NBA star in the future.

    The next big move for the Cavs was trading their three remaining draft picks at No. 24, No. 33, and No. 34 overall to the Dallas Mavericks for the 17th pick of the draft, Tyler Zeller.

    Zeller was the ACC Player of the Year last season for UNC, averaging 16.3 PPG and 9.6 RPG.

    The 7'0" big man may not have the most upside but was considered to be the most polished center in the draft. 

    These two young talents will be nice additions to Kyrie Irving next season. There will certainly be some buzz going around Cleveland this year.

1. New Orleans Hornets

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    The most anticipated player from the NBA draft to take the court next season will be Anthony Davis, hands down.

    Throw Duke's Austin Rivers and Kentucky's Darius Miller in the mix, and suddenly you have one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA.

    Assuming the Hornets are able to re-sign Eric Gordon, this team will be one or two players away from being able to make a serious run at the playoffs.

    In a couple of years, don't be surprised if the New Orleans Hornets are one of the better teams coming out of the very competitive Western Conference.

    Anthony Davis will likely have his first opportunity to live up to the hype on the "World's Biggest Stage" in London at the Olympics this summer.

    After that, he's going to need to prove himself on US soil, this time in the NBA.

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