NBA Draft 2012: Finding the Best Fits for the 6 Kentucky Wildcats Stars
Six Kentucky stars will be drafted in the 2012 NBA draft this June. Two are guaranteed lottery picks, and we could see all six land in the first round.
Of course, there are teams that would be a "better fit" for these young studs than others. For example, Marquis Teague shouldn't be joining the Minnesota Timberwolves because they have three point guards already.
All six players may not succeed in the NBA. They'll need to fall into the right situation, avoid injury and play up to their potential to "make it." Luck plays a factor for lottery-bound Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. How the teams stack up will determine where they are picked, and by whom.
In this article, we'll take a look at the best-case scenarios for these six players.
Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft. But which team will land his services?
Charlotte has the best chance and the most need. They are clearly the worst team in the league and need help across the board.
However, I think Davis is a better fit in Washington. The Wizards have the second-best odds of landing the No. 1 pick. Davis would fit perfectly beside Nene in the Washington frontcourt. Nene passes well in the lane and isn't the best shot-blocking center in the league.
Davis could join John Wall and form one of the best one-and-done duos in the NBA.
To be honest, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could instantly contribute for any team. His defense and work ethic will make him a leader in the locker room from day one.
Many mock drafts have MKG going second, and it seems impossible that he'd slip out of the top five because of his aforementioned qualities. He'll need to join a team where he wouldn't have to be a go-to scorer or primary ball-handler.
Sacramento fits the bill here. They have volume shooters across the board (DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette) but are an abysmal defensive team.
Drafting MKG would allow Sacramento more flexibility with their franchise-player-to-be Evans, particularly on defense.
Both Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can enter almost any situation and succeed. The same can't be said for Terrence Jones.
Jones will need to be groomed if a team expects him to reach his full potential. He needs a strong locker-room presence to keep him on track, maybe even a veteran to learn from.
Philadelphia and Dallas fit the bill. Jones may not fall out of the lottery (the 76ers pick 15th and the Mavericks pick 17th), but both teams have veterans (Elton Brand and Shawn Marion, respectively) that can show Jones the ropes.
An intriguing scenario would send Jones to Golden State. Veterans David Lee and Richard Jefferson would keep Jones on track. But Golden State needs depth in the backcourt, not down low or on the wing.
Doron Lamb is interesting. He excelled in Lexington as a spot-up shooter, and there is no reason to believe he won't be able to play the same role in the NBA.
And, of course, there are plenty of teams that need guys like Lamb. He's a late-first, early-second-round pick, so almost any team could select him.
If Cleveland doesn't address their shooting guard need in their first pick, they could very well select Lamb late. Boston could use additional scoring on their bench, and Lamb would benefit from learning behind (or replacing) Ray Allen.
I'd like to see Oklahoma City or Chicago draft Lamb late in the first round. Both teams have a prime-time point guard and could use a cold-blooded shooter like Lamb. I'd give Chicago the slight edge because they can't seem to find a shooting guard.
It is tough to gauge how much Darius Miller could contribute in the NBA. He's never been a go-to scorer for Kentucky—nor was he called to be. Chances are, he won't be "the guy" for any NBA team.
However, I do think Miller can be a great bench scorer for an NBA team. He'll be an instantly reliable option at small forward, on both sides of the ball.
Teams that lack depth at small forward, like Indiana or Miami, would be perfect fits for Miller.
I like the Miami option because he would give the Heat a youthful option behind LeBron James. Mike Miller and Shane Battier are veterans that have seen better days, and Darius Miller would be a more long-term option.
In a weak point guard class, Marquis Teague may be looked back on as one of the best from the 2012 NBA draft. His potential is why one team will draft him in the first round.
Teague had the most to gain in coming back to Lexington for another season. Another year under John Calipari would allow Teague to hone his decision-making skills and jump shot.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Teague have another rough transition his rookie year in the NBA. He'll have more growing pains compared to the rest of his Kentucky classmates, which makes a "perfect fit" more difficult to find.
In reality, Teague should join a team as a backup for at least two years. Plenty of teams need a point guard now and won't have the luxury of sitting Teague if they draft him in the first round.
Dallas, Orlando and Portland all have aging point guards and could use a spark off the bench like Teague. Indiana is an intriguing option because it would be a homecoming of sorts for Teague, and it would allow Frank Vogel to move George Hill back to his natural position at shooting guard.