To some teams, a top-five pick in the NBA Draft means raking in sure-fire talent. To others, it's difficult to make that right selection.
The top five picks of the 2012 NBA Draft were not the most shocking or interesting of any draft in recent memory, yet there were certainly those organizations that amped up their teams and others that failed to grab the right talent. Whether it was taking a talented guy that didn't fit on the team or taking the less talented player who filled a need, there were a plethora of scenarios going down in the top five.
These are the winners and losers of the top five in this year's intriguing NBA Draft, including the grades for their draft choices.
Sacramento Kings: A
With some skilled recruiting and good fortune, Thomas Robinson slipped to No. 5 and the Sacramento Kings were as thrilled as they could possibly be. There was no question when Robinson was the team's selection after falling as far down as he did.
What made this team's draft pick so special is that it completes a starting frontcourt expected to soon take the league by storm. Now the Kings boast both C DeMarcus Cousins and PF Robinson down low. In the backcourt, they team Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette and Francisco Garcia.
Undoubtedly, teams will show interest in Evans this offseason, and reportedly have already started to do so, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. It will be the job of GM Wayne Cooper to keep him in town. A lineup featuring Evans, Cousins, and Robinson would be especially difficult to match up with on both ends of the floor.
Not to mention, the team got an outright steal in Round 2 by taking Orlando Johnson. The scoring stud out of UC Santa Barbara averaged nearly 20 points per game last season.
Washington Wizards: B+
We don't necessarily know how good Bradley Beal will be at the next level, but it was a pick that looks fantastic on paper.
The Washington Wizards now have one of the more talented starting fives in the NBA. The team could now boast the following lineup:
PG - John Wall
SG- Bradley Beal
SF - Trevor Ariza
PF - Nene
C - Emeka Okafor
Talk about impressive.
If the Wizards put this lineup on the floor and help Beal, 19, develop into a top-notch NBA player, there is no telling just how far this team can go next season.
New Orleans Hornets: A+
Forget the Saints, these Hornets are now officially in the building.
They snagged the most prolific talent in the draft as well as arguably the best SG in college basketball with the first 10 picks, giving this team the outright best selections in the draft.
Both Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers are set to make a championship contending team out of the Hornets. Davis will bring relentless defensive effort as well as a solid offense to the table, while Rivers continue to prove the doubters wrong with this fearless, relentless play on the offensive end.
The Hornets now boast both Eric Gordon and Rivers in the backcourt and a front line with rebound guru Chris Kaman at the center spot.
Charlotte Bobcats: C+
As talented as Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is, he is not going to be a player that changes the dynamic in Charlotte.
He has top-notch athleticism and is as good a defender as there is at the SG and SF positions, but that isn't enough to make him an elite player in the league. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged just over 11 points and 7.4 rebounds last season in over 31 minutes per game.
Charlotte went with the player that was projected as a top-three selection, not necessarily the type of player that would best fit their needs or become a top player on his team. That is the problem.
Consider that Kris Joseph, taken late in the second round by the Boston Celtics, was a better scorer than Lillard last season. It was Joseph, Waiters' teammate with the Syracuse Orange, that led the team in scoring—not Waiters.
The Cavaliers need a big man and are iffy at the swing man spot, making the decision all the more horrid. Combine this with the fact that they already boast Kyrie Irving in the backcourt, and there were major problems with taking Waiters with that No. 4 pick.
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