NBA Draft Grades 2012: Teams That Aced Second-Round Selections

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 17:  Darius Miller #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The NBA draft's first-round picks are the easy choices. Second-round picks are usually a crap shoot, and only the league's most astute general managers pluck the right talent from the dwindling pool of players. 

This year's NBA draft class was one of the deepest we have seen in years. That doesn't mean an NBA team was going to find the next cornerstone of their franchise, but talented players were still on the board after the draft's first 30 selections. 

Some teams nailed their second-round selections and set themselves apart from other NBA draft hauls.

Let's see who did their homework this year.


Detroit Pistons

The Pistons had an excellent draft overall. They snatched Andre Drummond in the first round, filling their biggest need and doing so at a great value. 

In the second round, their success continued. Bringing two shooters, Khris Middleton and Kim English, into next season's rotation was very smart. If they are going to base their franchise around Brandon Knight's penetration and the abilities of Drummond and Greg Monroe in the paint, they are going to need shooters to spread the floor. 

English is a bit one-dimensional, but he's a potential "instant offense" candidate. He's 6'6'' and shot nearly 46 percent from three-point range last season. He's experienced and will provide leadership in Detroit's locker room from the first day. 

Middleton isn't as experienced, but he has more upside. He's a lankly face-up forward with above-average range. He suffered through an injury-riddled career at Texas A&M, but his potential makes him a worthy second-round risk. 

The Pistons had one of this year's best hauls. Drummond was an obvious first-round choice, but their second-round selections set them apart.


New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets only made one second-round selection, but it was picture perfect. Adding Anthony Davis' Kentucky teammate Darius Miller to the fold was a brilliant choice.

Not only is Miller a winner, but he's talented. He could fill in for Trevor Ariza right away, but I see him as a future "super-sub." He's a gritty player on both ends, and he's willing to do the little things to win games. His familiarity with Davis is just an added bonus.

Miller averaged just over nine points per game as Kentucky's best substitute last season. He shot nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc, and his 6'8'' frame will allow him to get shots off in the NBA as well. He's not a major threat on the glass, or as a passer, but his scoring ability will translate well to the Hornets' bench.

The Hornets will love Miller's will to win and defensive intensity. He's the typical "glue guy," and those players are vital to any rebuilding effort.


Utah Jazz

Kevin Murphy is a name you want to learn. He will be a high-volume scorer in the NBA for years to come. He may hail from Tennessee Tech, but his 20-plus points per game last season are not a misnomer. 

Murphy is long (6'6''), athletic and a versatile offensive player. His size will make his NBA transition much easier as will his three-point marksmanship (42 percent last year). 

He reminds me a lot of MarShon Brooks. He didn't face Big East competition in college like Brooks did at Providence, but he has a similar build and shooting stroke. 

Murphy's explosive first step and ability to play off the bounce will allow him to contribute off the Utah bench immediately. The Jazz frontcourt is one of the NBA's best and the addition of this sharpshooter will only enhance their space in the paint. 

Utah desperately lacked scoring on the wing last season. Murphy can play multiple positions, but his NBA role is set in stone. 

He will score, and he will score often.