NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Which Teams Aced the Year's Biggest Test?

Ehran Khan@@ekhansworldContributor IIIJune 29, 2012

NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Which Teams Aced the Year's Biggest Test?

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    Now that the 2012 NBA draft is in the books, we can look back and see which front offices aced their most important night of the year.

    According to my calculations, only about a quarter of the league did a good enough job to receive a grade of A- or higher.

    Here's a look at what those eight teams accomplished on Thursday.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    The Grade: A-

    The Picks: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2), Jeffery Taylor (31)

    The Takeaways: After failing to do anything right over the past couple seasons, it seems like Michael Jordan is finally learning how to run a team.

    Or maybe he did the smart thing and let GM Rich Cho handle things.

    The selection of MKG was a wise decision. No player in the draft has a higher motor or will have a bigger impact on a team without constantly needing the ball in his hands. Jeff Taylor is a similar type of player.

    It appears the Bobcats really are trying to change the culture in their locker room.

Chicago Bulls

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    The Grade: A

    The Pick: Marquis Teague (29)

    The Takeaways: Chicago hit a home run snagging one of the best talents in the draft with the second-to-last pick in the first round.

    Had Teague stayed in school another year, he probably would have gone in the top 10 next year.

    Instead, the Bulls made a smart investment and filled a need at point guard while Derrick Rose sits out due to injury.

    When Rose returns, Teague will make an excellent trade chip for Chicago as well.

Golden State Warriors

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    The Grade: A

    The Picks: Harrison Barnes (7), Festus Ezeli (30), Draymond Green (35), Ognjen Kuzmic (52)

    The Takeaways: With the emergence of Klay Thompson late last season and the trade for Andrew Bogut, Golden State's one hole in the starting lineup was at small forward.

    The team filled that hole with Barnes. They got great value for a player who was the best prospect from the high school class of 2010. Though he didn't quite live up to expectations at UNC, Barnes projects to be a better pro than collegian.

    Golden State also added a pair of players who can come in and help right away. Festus Ezeli can man the middle off the bench, and Draymond Green can chip in a little everywhere.

    Overall, it was a great haul for the Warriors.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    The Grade: A

    The Pick: Tony Wroten (25)

    The Takeaways: Although they had only one pick in the draft, the Memphis Grizzlies could not have been happier with the way it turned out. 

    In Wroten, the Grizzlies have one of the five best talents in the draft. Though he needs to figure out some things to realize his potential, Wroten will have all the time he needs to do so playing behind Mike Conley.

    It's a great situation for both parties, and the Grizzlies may have gotten the steal of the draft.

New Orleans Hornets

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    The Grade: A-

    The Picks: Anthony Davis (1), Austin Rivers (10), Darius Miller (46)

    The Takeaways: Yes, Anthony Davis was a no-brainer at No. 1. But still, when you come away with the best player in the draft, you did okay.

    I'm not as enamored with the Rivers selection. I don't see him ever transitioning into an NBA point guard, and Eric Gordon is a better option at the 2. Maybe they can use him as trade bait to fill a need at another position.

    As for Miller, he may turn into a decent rotational player off the bench, which is not bad for the 46th pick.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Grade: A

    The Pick: Perry Jones (28)

    The Takeaways: Based on his talent, Jones could have easily been a top-eight selection. At No. 28, I don't care what kind of questions surround him—he's an absolute steal.

    Oklahoma City now has yet another talented youngster to add to its burgeoning nucleus.

Sacramento Kings

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    The Grade: A

    The Pick: Thomas Robinson (5)

    The Takeaways: Finally, the Kings have a player who puts more stock into effort than touches. Robinson is an excellent complement next to DeMarcus Cousins on the front line, and Sacramento should be one of the best rebounding teams in the league as long as those two are paired together.

Washington Wizards

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    The Grade: A-

    The Picks: Bradley Beal (3), Tomas Satoransky (32)

    The Takeaways: Washington got exactly what it needed in Beal: namely, a shooting guard who can stroke it from deep and is willing to defend.

    The Wizards actually have a respectable starting lineup heading into next season, and with Beal sliding in at the 2, it pushes Jordan Crawford back into his natural role as a microwave scorer off the bench.

    The Satoransky pick left something to be desired, with more immediate help and better fits still on the board, but the selection of Beal—who may be the second-best player in this draft—is enough to give the Wizards the stamp of approval.