2012 NBA Draft Trades: Who Made the Boldest Moves of the Draft?
The Houston Rockets were on the move before the draft. They made two deals in attempt to eventually trade up to get a true difference-maker in the early part of the draft, according to the Houston Chronicle. While the big move didn't materialize, the Rockets were among the most aggressive teams leading up to the draft.
Other teams made significant moves in the draft, although none involved top-10 picks for the 2012 draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded up to get a center for the future. The Philadelphia 76ers did the same by adding a first-rounder.
Following is a ranking of the teams that had the biggest draft day trades.
4. Indiana Pacers
This might seem like a throw-in, but the Indiana Pacers found themselves a possible impact scorer for the future by acquiring the 36th pick in the draft from the Sacramento Kings for cash considerations, per CBSSports.com.
Orlando Johnson came into the draft as one of the most prolific offensive players. He averaged 19.7 points per game in 2011-12 for the University of California Santa Barbara. He's a fantastic shooter both inside and out, hitting 45.1 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from three-point range.
Johnson has mostly been a jump shooter, although his DraftExpress.com profile notes that his physical strength could make him a dynamic scorer at the basket. He's adept in catch-and-shoot opportunities.
The Pacers, which had the seventh best offensive rating this season with 106.7 points per 100 possessions, made their offensive attack even better by adding this early second-rounder. He'll be a great backcourt mate for Darren Collison and Danny Granger.
3. Houston Rockets
Based on the Rockets' goal in the draft, the team didn't come out as well as it should have.
Trading away Chase Budinger and Samuel Dalembert would have been fine if they had ended up acquiring a top-five or top-eight pick.
Instead of trading up to draft someone like Harrison Barnes or Thomas Robinson, they drafted Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones. That doesn't net the quality that Daryl Morey could have obtained if he had traded up.
Jon Leuer is the only player of the three whom the Rockets acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks along with the No. 12 pick who will turn into something. Leuer averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game while shooting 50.8 percent in 2011-12. His per 36 minute average was 14.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
In the Houston Chronicle article mentioned in the introduction slide, it's noted that Rockets officials like Leuer's potential.
The Rockets could end up finding out that the quantity of new players isn't nearly as good as quality.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
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The Philadelphia 76ers were keen to trade up to get Arnett Moultrie. He was a much-needed addition with all but two 76ers big men becoming free agents and Elton Brand possibly being amnestied, per Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.
Moultrie is a fine center all-around. He's a strong scorer and rebounder and will surely grow into being a physical specimen as he continues to add muscle. He's a dynamic offensive rebounder, having averaged 3.7 per game in 2011-12 for Mississippi State.
Moultrie will be great at finishing putbacks on shots that the Philadelphia backcourt players miss.
He might turn into the most valuable player in the 76ers frontcourt, even if they keep Spencer Hawes.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big move for the future by trading up to get Tyler Zeller on Thursday. By trading their Nos. 24, 34 and 34 picks and Kelenna Azubuike to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to Zeller, Cleveland landed just the type of player it needs for the future.
Anderson Varejao will turn 30 in September and hasn't been durable in the last couple years. The time was coming for the Cavaliers to find his replacement.
Fortunately, the opportunity to grab Zeller came along. The Cavaliers will have a serious inside scorer. The team would have badly missed Antawn Jamison's production if Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant hadn't found a replacement for him this offseason.
Kyrie Irving will certainly be pleased that he'll have Zeller to ease his scoring load. Irving's total package as a passer will be better used with Zeller's speed and scoring ability.
The Cavaliers will certainly be happy to have such an athletic center in Zeller, as well as one who gets to the line regularly and knocks down free-throw attempts. Zeller's 80.8 percent free-throw mark will be a plus for a team that was 28th in that category last year.