How Every 2012 NBA Lottery Draft Pick Will Fit with His Team
The 2012 NBA Draft is well in the rear-view mirror, but for NBA teams, they are just beginning to see what kind of talent they acquired.
While players like Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters and Thomas Robinson are exceptionally talented, the question is whether they will be able to fit into their team's rotations and lineups.
Fitting into a team is harder than just adjusting to the speed and power of the NBA. It's about figuring out how to maximize talent while also not trying to do more than you are capable of.
Ahead is a breakdown of how every 2012 NBA Draft lottery pick fits with with his team.
No. 14 John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks
Best Fit: Third string power forward/center
There's no doubting the fact that John Henson is a fundamentally sound player on the defensive side of the ball. He also happens to be a very mature player for his age.
But the Bucks are ridiculously deep in the frontcourt, and that means Henson will spend most of his rookie year on the bench.
He has Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Samuel Dalembert and Ekpe Udoh to compete with for time on the court, and with his raw level of offensive talent, there's no way he will beat out anyone except Udoh for minutes.
Henson will be a solid NBA player, but we won't see him reach his true potential for another year or two, simply because there are more developed and solidified players ahead of him on the depth chart.
No. 13 Kendall Marshall, Phoenix Suns
Best Fit: Backup point guard
If the Phoenix Suns hadn't signed Goran Dragic, there's no doubt that Kendall Marshall would've been their starting point guard for the 2012-13 season.
Having Dragic, a player who is very similar to Steve Nash, certainly complicates things for Marshall. It also means that he will certainly spend a majority of his rookie season on the bench.
Marshall is a true point guard. He looks for his teammates first and thinks of himself scoring as a second option. While that is great in theory, the NBA is moving in the opposite direction. Teams are looking for point guards who can score, and that's something that Marshall can't do right now.
Playing behind Dragic will be great for Marshall's development, and he's such a mature player that being on the bench won't hold him back at all.
No. 12 Jeremy Lamb, Houston Rockets
Best Fit: Backup shooting guard
Jeremy Lamb has a lot of work cut out for him. He's under-sized and a bit of a tweener, but he's also one of the most athletically gifted players that came out of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Unfortunately for Lamb, Kevin Martin and Toney Douglas are currently above him on the depth chart, and that's most likely where they will stay throughout the season because of their experience.
With that being said, the Rockets will be hurting for explosive offensive production, and Lamb is capable of bringing that on the wing.
He will definitely see time on the court during the 2012-13 season, it just won't be nearly as much as he's used to.
No. 11 Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers
Best Fit: Starting center
Meyers Leonard will be the Trail Blazers starting center when the 2012-13 season gets under way.
The reason for that is because the Blazers don't have anyone else on their team that can fill that position. Sure, LaMarcus Aldridge could move to the center position, and J.J. Hickson could be the starting power forward, but that would be a waste of Leonard's seven-foot frame.
Leonard is a raw talent, but even at his current talent level, he's still capable of making a difference on both sides of the court.
He is a tenacious rebounder and shot blocker, and he's competent in transition. With Damian Lillard at the point, Leonard's ability to get up and down the court with ease could be a real difference maker for the Blazers.
No. 10 Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets
Best Fit: Backup point guard
After watching Austin Rivers play in this year's Summer League, it's clear to see that he's not ready to be a starting point guard in the NBA.
It's somewhat shocking that Greivis Vasquez looks like a better point guard than Rivers, but that's just how much development Rivers truly needs.
Best-case scenario for Rivers is being the Hornets backup point guard for the entire season, but even that might be a stretch. Rivers clearly needs to work on his efficiency and shot selection, and until he does that, he won't be able to be a competent player in the NBA.
Rivers will show glimpses of greatness like he did at North Carolina, but unfortunately, there won't be much more out of him this season except turnovers and high amount of low-percentage shots.
No. 9 Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Best Fit: Starting power forward
The Detroit Pistons already have their franchise center in Greg Monroe.
They needed to find a power forward in the draft who could create a dynamic frontcourt alongside him, and they did just that by drafting Andre Drummond.
There's no doubting the fact that Drummond lacks a certain level of polish to his offensive game that he will need to reach that next level in the NBA, but Monroe will help him develop that polish quickly.
With some time and veteran mentoring, Drummond and Monroe could become one of the most dangerous frontcourt duos in the NBA. With that being said, Drummond also has a high bust potential. Becoming the Pistons starting power forward might be a bit of a stretch, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
No. 8 Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
Best Fit: Backup point guard and shooting guard
Terrence Ross was the first major stretch of the draft. The Raptors obviously see something in him that a lot of people didn't, and for the Raptors sake, I hope he pans out.
Ross is a prolific scorer, but at the same time, he brings a questionable level of efficiency to the court, and that could be a problem for a woefully average Raptors organization.
There is no way that Ross will find his way into the starting lineup for Toronto, mainly because Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan are much more developed players at both positions that Ross plays.
Ross will be utilized mainly in the second unit, and that will give him time to learn how to be a more disciplined and efficient player.
No. 7 Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
Best Fit: Sixth Man
Harrison Barnes was hands-down the most mature and most NBA-ready talent in the 2012 draft class. Grabbing him at No. 7 was an absolute steal for the Golden State Warriors.
The only problem is that their roster isn't set up to give him starter minutes right now.
Klay Thompson and Richard Jefferson are both going to start instead of him, and while Barnes certainly would want to start, coming off the bench might be a step forward in his development.
Barnes could have a rookie year similar to that of Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs this past season, and that would be good news for Barnes and great news for a faltering Warriors organization.
No. 6 Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Best Fit: Starting Point Guard
Damian Lillard was the most elite scorer in the 2012 NBA Draft, and he just so happens to be one of the most explosive athletes coming out as well.
While his lack of size will hurt him out of the gate, there's no doubt that his ability to slash into the paint and drain jumpers from the perimeter will help his transition to the speed of the NBA be that much easier.
There is absolutely no one on the Blazers roster keeping Lillard away from his starting role, and that's going to be great for his development as a young NBA player.
In time, Lillard could be a more efficient and more productive Rajon Rondo, and that's not a bad thing.
No. 5 Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings
Best Fit: Starting Power Forward
Thomas Robinson fell all the way to the No. 5 pick, and that's perfect for the Sacramento Kings.
Robinson fits in perfectly alongside DeMarcus Cousins, who is more than capable of holding his own in the paint.
The only person standing in the way of Robinson and a starting role for the Kings is Jason Thompson, and after a solid year last season, Robinson might start the year coming off the bench.
Robinson's physique and work ethic are two major reasons why he will be able to translate his skills from the NCAA to the NBA with a high level of ease.
No. 4 Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
Best Fit: Starting Shooting Guard
The Cleveland Cavaliers are extremely high on Dion Waiters, and he certainly has the tools he needs to live up to the lofty expectations they have for him.
He's an undersized shooting guard who just so happens to be equipped with the fundamental talents of a point guard.
With Kyrie Irving leading the way, the Cavaliers have two options for Waiters. They can bring him off the bench behind Irving, or they can try and create an offensively explosive tandem capable of dominating the Eastern Conference.
Waiters will have a lot of growing pains, but with time, he will certainly be a strong component of the future of the Cavaliers franchise.
No. 3 Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Best Fit: Starting Shooting Guard
Bradley Beal is arguably the best player coming out of the 2012 NBA Draft. He's athletic, agile and strong, and he can shoot the ball absolutely lights-out.
There's no doubt that Beal could be the steal of the draft, even at the No. 3 spot.
Beal fits in perfectly with the Wizards alongside star point guard John Wall. Sure, they are both young and lack experience, but with some chemistry among them, they could both develop into an incredibly dominant tandem.
With Beal, the Wizards have an exciting backcourt, and they have all the pieces they need to be a playoff-caliber team.
No. 2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats
Best Fit: Starting Small Forward
The Charlotte Bobcats need all the help they can get, and that's the main reason why Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is such a good fit for them.
They could have drafted anyone and been the winners of the draft, simply because they need so much help. The pressure will be on Kidd-Gilchrist to perform at a high level, but with the talent around him, I don't see him living up to lofty expectations.
Kidd-Gilchrist will be the Bobcats starting small forward, mainly because they don't have any other options. That is unless fellow-rookie Jeffery Taylor impresses the staff more than Kidd-Gilchrist.
He won't be an elite scorer because of his size, and he won't be a lock-down defender, but in time, he can be a competent member of the Bobcats rebuilding process. Expect Kidd-Gilchrist to put up production to the tune of six points, five rebounds and four assists per game.
No. 1 Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets
Best Fit: Starting Center
Anthony Davis is one of the most athletically gifted players to grace the game of basketball over the past 40 years. His 80-plus-inch wingspan is unbelievable, and it's a major reason why he's such a special player.
The good news for Davis is that he won't have to rebuild the Hornets franchise himself. He has Eric Gordon alongside him to do that, and that will make his transition into the NBA that much easier.
Davis isn't exactly physically suited to play at the center position, but with Ryan Anderson solidifying the power forward spot, Davis doesn't have any other option unless he wants to come off the bench.
With the talent the Hornets have, there's no reason why Davis can't average 15 points, 9.5 rebounds and two blocks per game. That kind of production would put him in the running for the 2013 Rookie of the Year award, which is something he will certainly have his sights set on.