NBA Draft 2012: Playoff Teams That Got Better with Smart Picks
Playoff teams that take the next step and become NBA champions are often built with mid-to-late first-round picks that can contribute right away in the pros, but also have the potential to keep improving.
Let's look at three playoff teams who got better in the 2012 NBA draft.
The Thunder were quite fortunate that Perry Jones III fell all the way to pick 28 where they could select the Baylor forward to bolster their frontcourt depth.
Jones has impressive athleticism and an all-around offensive game. Concerns over his focus and work ethic will not be an issue on a team like the Thunder that has a group of players who are gym rats. They love to play basketball and will make sure Jones puts in the time necessary to develop his fantastic skills.
If Jones turns out to be a solid pro, the decision to re-sign Serge Ibaka or James Harden might be a bit easier next year for OKC.
Which team improved the most?
If his injury concerns aren't a problem in the NBA, then Boston will have a solid rebounder that can add an interior presence to the roster next season.
The Celtics were not able to dominate teams in the paint last season, and addressed this concern by taking Sullinger at pick 21 and Syracuse seven-foot center Fab Melo with pick 22. Sullinger and Melo will give the Celtics the size they lacked in the playoffs last year.
Boston chose Syracuse forward Kris Joseph in the second round, and he should be able to make the roster next season with his all-around skill set. The Celtics have done very well in the second round since 2000.
The Nuggets added an impressive scorer in Evan Fournier with the 20th pick in the first round. Denver doesn't need the Frenchman to play in the NBA next season because of their depth in the backcourt, and can allow him to develop more in Europe for a year or two.
With their second-round pick, the Nuggets took Baylor forward Quincy Miller at pick 38. Denver got a lot of value with this pick since Miller has first-round talent. Miller will work hard and contribute offensively in the low-post.
Denver continued their development as a playoff-caliber team with a strong draft.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?