Some teams were just put in tough spots during the 2012 NBA draft.
Some just made bad choices.
It's not that the players taken in 2012 were bad. They just may not offer the value that's expected out of their draft position. The following teams didn't necessarily choose poorly, they just might have done better given different options to pick from.
There's nothing wrong with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a player. In fact, he's already the Bobcats' most effective defender, and has helped them win games early in the season.
But with the second overall pick in the draft, you want someone who can come in and make a difference offensively too.
He took the forth most shots on the team in his freshman year at Kentucky, which can be attributed to that fact that he's not great at creating them. Kidd-Gilchrist is more of a complementary piece, which every good team needs. But you can get those type of guys later.
There wasn't much star power in the 2012 NBA draft, so the selection wasn't a poor one. But if Charlotte had the choice between the second pick in the 2012 draft and the second pick in the 2013 draft, I don't even think it's even a question.
Cody Zeller, Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel all potentially have a higher ceiling than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. When looking to find the centerpiece of your franchise, a high-end role player isn't the most ideal option.
I like Thomas Robinson. I think he'll find a way to become a good player over time. But not in Sacramento.
In terms of a fit, I'm not sure there's a better one than North Carolina's James McAdoo, who can defend, rebound and score without ever using a dribble. With Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento has a number of players who rely on dribbling.
Isaiah Austin, who can play both inside and out, could also be targeted.
The Kings were put in a tough spot; they have too many average guards and not enough difference-makers.
Bradley Beal was a safe pick, but his ceiling doesn't reflect typical third pick overall value.
A guy like Noel could eventually change a team's defensive culture, which wouldn't be such a bad idea for the Washington Wizards. Zeller or Muhammad would also have been higher-class options.
There's no doubt Beal will have a productive NBA career, but you want a game-changer at the No. 3 spot. In a 2013 top-heavy draft, Washington's choices would have been slightly more appetizing.
That movie Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise made more sense than the Suns' 2012 draft pick. Phoenix selected risky point guard Kendall Marshall and then signed Goran Dragic to a $34 million deal.
Phoenix clearly has other needs to address than a backup point guard, and it could have at least had some different options with the 2013 class.
Phoenix's current crop of shooting guards consists of Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley. Kentucky's Archie Goodwin sounds good to me. How about Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Lehigh's C.J. McCollum?
Any of those guys would be an upgrade, and they all offer ceilings that Phoenix's guards couldn't get to with a helicopter.
The Raptors needed an impact player to get them over the hump.
Terrence Ross is a low-percentage scorer, and he joins a whole bunch of low-percentage scorers in Toronto. They could probably end up with a Ross-type player in a worst-case scenario with the 2013 draft class.
How about a guy like North Texas' Tony Mitchell, who could give them some toughness and athleticism on both sides of the ball. The combination of Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas combine for 14 feet and less than 10 rebounds per game.
Wrap your mind around that one.
I only mention the Pacers because they took Miles Plumlee over Perry Jones 26 picks deep into the draft.
They could do better than the weaker of the two Plumlees as a first-round pick. Indiana could use some depth at the wing, especially considering Danny Granger's knee issues and Lance Stephenson being the guy on deck.
Adonis Thomas, C.J. Fair and Doug McDermott are all wings who could fit by providing shot-making or athleticism. Plumlee won't play for three years, and he probably won't produce much when he does.