NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Which GMs Should Be Embarrassed?
There is an art to building through the NBA Draft. Some teams are exceptionally skilled at it (Oklahoma City, San Antonio), while others have yet to figure out the correct formula for success.
But while there are franchises that are perennially bad at selecting from the designated talent pool each June, even some of the league's better teams make decisions on draft night that are questionable at best.
The 2012 NBA Draft was no exception: Here's a look at five teams whose general managers should be embarrassed by their team's haul on Thursday night.
The Brooklyn Nets need warm bodies in the worst way, and they had three chances to land someone who could contribute next season, yet they only picked one player (Tyshawn Taylor) who will suit up in Brooklyn when the Barclays Center opens up this fall.
Then again, this is the same franchise that traded the No. 7 pick for what could wind up being a two-month rental of small forward Gerald Wallace, so there's that.
Tornike Shengelia and Ilkan Karaman may be fine players down the road, but Nets' GM Billy King has to be more cognizant of his team's weaknesses before taking gambles on international players who may never step foot in New York City.
New York Knicks
The No. 48 pick was the New York Knicks' only selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, and the team—led by general manager Glen Grunwald—had ample opportunity to pick a player who could instantly step into the team's rotation.
When Kostas Papanikolaou's name was announced in the Prudential Center by NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, a series of Bronx cheers quickly followed. Papanikolaou is committed to his current team (Olympiakos) at least through next season, giving Knicks fans 12 months to wonder how their beloved franchise could have better used the pick.
Duke center Miles Plumlee was an extreme reach with the 26th overall pick: Indiana could have easily traded into the second round to select him and stockpile an asset or two in return.
Later, the Pacers bought the 36th pick from the Sacramento Kings and used it on Orlando Johnson, a shooting guard who could easily get lost in the Pacers' backcourt shuffle depending on what happens with free agent George Hill this summer. It doesn't make a lot of sense to pay for a player that will struggle to make the active roster, but perhaps newly-installed Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard has big plans for the 6'5" Johnson.
When Pat Riley and the Miami Heat drafted Arnett Moultrie with the 27th overall pick, it made perfect sense. It made much less sense when they traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future lottery-protected pick.
If the Sixers make the playoffs next year, then Miami will get a late first-round selection in a draft that isn't nearly as deep as the most recent class. Keeping Moultrie would have been a smart move for a team that struggled to defend in the interior.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers bought a pick late in the second round (No. 55) and used it on undersized shooting guard Darius Johnson-Odom. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak then used the No. 60 pick to draft Gonzaga's Robert Sacre.
One of the two may make the Lakers this season, but the odds of either of them having an impact are extremely slim.
It's hard to knock a team that didn't even do anything on draft night until 54 players were off of the board, but it's easy to criticize when that same franchise takes borderline NBA talents when better options were still on the board.