2012 NBA Draft Grades: Final Draft Results Report Card

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IJune 29, 2012

2012 NBA Draft Grades: Final Draft Results Report Card

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    The 2012 NBA draft produced some of the widest talent from the first pick to the last of any in recent memory. From Anthony Davis to Robert Sacre, this draft was full of new talent and a new guard in the NBA.

    Will we see these guys as the formation of a new regime in just a short time? Only time will tell, but until then, here's a look at every pick from the draft, a grade and some analysis on why your team went after what they did.

No. 1: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets

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    The Grade: A+

    This was a no-brainer for the Hornets. They got the first overall pick and then were able to get the highest rated player in one of the easiest first overall selections in recent memory.

    If the Hornets can re-sign Eric Gordon and add some existing talent in the next couple years, then face-of-the-franchise Davis might have something to work with. He'll certainly go through growing pains, need to add weight and develop more offensively, but Davis is one of the more exciting players to enter the league as a teenager.

No. 2: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Grade: A

    It's hard to give the Bobcats an A here because it was almost a travesty that they didn't get the rights to the No. 1 overall selection. But MKG is a good player, and with so many holes, Michael Jordan had to take the best available. He'll be a good fit in Charlotte.

No. 3: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

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    Grade: A+

    Beal makes Washington's backcourt one of the most athletic in the Eastern Conference. John Wall and Beal running the fast break, combined with Nene and some of Washington's other complimentary pieces make you think the Wizards won't be nearly as bad as they were last season.

No. 4: Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Grade: B+

    Waiters shook up the draft lottery by ending up at No. 4, and while it's a bit of a stretch in terms of best available by most regards, there are some that believe that Waiters has the highest star potential behind Anthony Davis.

    Pairing him with Kyrie Irving in the Cavs' backcourt makes for a dangerous offensive group.

No. 5: Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings

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    Grade: A-

    Sacramento was likely ecstatic to get Robinson at No. 5, especially since he wasn't supposed to be around past No. 4. 

    If you look at the Kings' frontcourt, a pairing of DeMarcus Cousins and Robinson should garner 20+ rebounds per night. Undersized or not, Robinson is a winner and a hard worker, and might rub off on Cousins.

No. 6: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Grade: A+

    Portland hasn't had consistent guard play during the LaMarcus Aldridge era. Now, they have a guy with athleticism, defensive potential and the ability to play pick-and-roll with one of the best power forwards in the game. Slam dunk here for the Blazers.

No. 7: Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

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    Grade: A

    The first of three solid picks for the new-look Warriors. With two young guards, two established frontcourt guys and Barnes, this is suddenly a different team in Golden State.

No. 8: Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors

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    Grade: B

    With Jeremy Lamb, Austin Rivers and some other guards still on the board, Toronto elected to go with a lower-rated prospect in Ross. Whether it pans out remains to be seen, but he and DeMar DeRozan are both athletic and young wings to work with, especially in the pursuit of a PG like Steve Nash.

    Little bit of a stretch, but Toronto saw something that the "experts" didn't.

No. 9: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

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    Grade: A+

    Much like the Kings at No. 5, the Pistons were praying that Drummond was falling like Robinson did. Adding another teenager who is still growing both on the court and in his body is a major win for Detroit. It allows Greg Monroe to slide to the power forward slot, which is likely more of his natural position.

No. 10: Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets

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    Grade: A-

    With two top-10 picks, it was going to be hard for the Hornets to mess this one up. Rivers is going to be a great addition in New Orleans, and it remains to be seen if the Hornets have a new Big Three to contend in a few years.

    He's going to add scoring, toughness and a winning mentality, something coach Monty Williams needs to help turn this ship around.

No. 11: Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Grade: B+

    Leonard filled a need for the Blazers, and he's got some of the best athleticism at his position. He's raw offensively, but he's also got plenty of room to grow, and he's exactly the kind of young center Aldridge needs to keep up in the West.

No. 12: Jeremy Lamb, Houston Rockets

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    Grade: A

    After shedding Chase Budinger and Samuel Dalembert over the past week to gain two slots from No. 14 to No. 12, and an additional one at No. 18, the Rockets struck gold with Lamb, who makes Kevin Martin expendable with a Kyle Lowry trade imminent.

No. 13: Kendall Marshall, Phoenix Suns

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    Grade: B+

    Marshall is the Steve Nash replacement in Phoenix, and with only one pick in the draft, the Suns did right by selecting the best guard available at No. 13. Whether Nash returns or not, getting Marshall is a step in the right direction, even if his ceiling is less than others in this draft.

No. 14: John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Grade: B+

    The Bucks now have three shot-blockers to protect the rim when Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings get beat, and adding Dalembert and Henson for two slots has to be a win for the Bucks. He'll be a nice addition defensively and is an underrated offensive player.

No. 15: Moe Harkless, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Grade: C-

    With so much tweener talent on the roster in Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Thad Young and Andre Iguodala, the selection of Harkless was a head-scratcher at this point.

    He's a talented player around the rim and shows promise in the mid-range game, but the 76ers have two guys in Thad Young and Iguodala who basically have the same skill set.

    The pick should tell Sixers fans that AI could be on his way out in Philly, so look for that in the coming weeks.

No. 16: Royce White, Houston Rockets

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    Grade: A

    Love this pick for the Rockets. White is a versatile offensive player, can guard anywhere from the small forward to center and fits right in with Kevin McHale. Two-for-two for the Rockets after pick No. 16

No. 17: Tyler Zeller (TRADE) Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Grade: B

    The Cavs gave up three picks to get Zeller, but with so much youth already on the squad it can be understood that Cleveland might not want too much youth on a team looking to rise up and add some veteran help.

    You know what you're getting with Zeller, and the Cavs got a quality big man who can play 20 minutes a night and mix it up right away.

No. 18: Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

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    Grade: A

    The Rockets added three wing/forward players. Whether they are to pursue Dwight Howard/Pau Gasol remains to be seen, but even if they aren't, they took some of the most athletic players in the draft, something they've missed over the past several seasons.

    Jones is no exception, and he'll be able to upstart the Houston fast break from the day he first gets there.

No. 19: Andrew Nicholson, Orlando Magic

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    Grade: B-

    Nicholson can score the ball, that's for sure, but is he basically Ryan Anderson? It doesn't help the Magic much if he turns into that, but if he is a replacement for Dwight Howard, then I guess it makes more sense from the Magic's end, since they haven't had quality big men on the bench for quite some time.

No. 20: Evan Fournier, Denver Nuggets

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    Grade: B+

    The Nuggets know how to add talent, and their international department is doing a great job these days. Already with Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov on the team, adding Fournier to keep developing and eventually joining as a shooting guard with size, they hit it nicely with this pick.

    If Fournier takes time to develop, they don't lose much, but that's why they aren't in the As with this pick.

No. 21: Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics

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    Grade: B+

    Sullinger fell to the Celtics at No. 21, and he is a great pick for them, assuming he can stay healthy and put doubters aside about his size and ability to score against bigger defenders. But Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge didn't have to move up to get him, and for that they get a B+.

No. 22: Fab Melo, Boston Celtics

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    Grade: B-

    Although he filled a need at center for the Celts, he's a problem off the court, or at least he was at Syracuse. That won't mesh well in Boston, where he'll be kicked to the curb if he can't pick up the NBA game quickly and figure out how play man-to-man defense.

No. 23: John Jenkins, Atlanta Hawks

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    Grade: B

    Jenkins is a great shooter, maybe even more so than Bradley Beal. But he does little else very well, so he'll need to develop more on the offensive end in Atlanta. As a bench player, he'll be a nice addition as a shooter for a team that desperately needs some help when Joe Johnson and Josh Smith aren't in the game.

No. 24: Jared Cunningham (TRADE) Dallas Mavericks

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    Grade: C+

    Cunningham was a better choice than Zeller, but was it better than Perry Jones or Arnett Moultrie, both targets of the team? Cunningham is a scoring threat, he's young and he led the Pac-12 in steals, which is a great sign. But he's not a flashy pick, and who knows if he'll help Deron Williams make a decision.

No. 25: Tony Wroten Jr., Memphis Grizzlies

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    Grade: A+

    Wroten filled a need, he's athletic and in a weird twist the Grizzlies now have two left-handed point guards. The biggest weakness from a youthful squad is now filled, and it's time for the Grizzlies to try and stay healthy to make a run.

No. 26: Miles Plumlee, Indiana Pacers

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    Grade: C-

    It's a need, he's a solid player and will likely be a good pro, but with Moultrie still available and Festus Ezeli lurking, it's hard to see what Bird was thinking on his way out the door with this one.

No. 27: Arnett Moultrie (TRADE), Philadelphia 76ers

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    Grade: B+

    Other than giving up a future first round pick to get him, I love this pick from the Sixers. It's practical, it fills a need if they can shed Elton Brand or lose Spencer Hawes, and he's one of the fastest rising prospects in the league.

No. 28: Perry Jones III, OKC Thunder

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    Grade: A+

    To add a guy like Jones this late in the first round is unheard of. Sure, there are concerns about his motor and his knee, but to get this guy to add with the current squad creates even more matchup problems for opposing teams.

    No matter what the risks are health-wise or from a competitive standpoint, Jones was the easy call here, and the rich get richer in the West.

No. 29: Marquis Teague, Chicago Bulls

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    Grade: B-

    I understand why Teague was picked, but with C.J. Watson and a solid John Lucas III, it's hard to fathom how another point guard helps here. With Rose out, Teague could end up being the starter. With Rose, it's hard to see him fitting in a traditional lineup.

No. 30: Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors

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    Grade: A-

    Ezeli is a quality big who was hampered by injuries during the early part of his last season in college. When he's healthy, he's a beast, and he even helped Vanderbilt slow down Kentucky and Anthony Davis. He'll be a quality backup center to Andrew Bogut, and a nice insurance policy.

No. 31: Jeffery Taylor, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Grade: B

    Taylor is a quality defender and shooter. Like the MKG pick, it's all about talent, so Taylor certainly is an NBA-ready guy who can contribute. He and MKG play the same position, so that's a bit of a concern, but talent trumps all in Charlotte these days.

No. 32: Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards

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    Grade: B+

    Whether he plays soon or not is non-sequential; he's a friend of Jan Vessly and the Wizards are stockpiling athletic players to run with John Wall in the open court. This guy is an intriguing prospect.

No. 33: Bernard James, (TRADE) Dallas Mavericks

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    Grade: C

    The pick was a great one for the heartwarmers, and James got a standing ovation amid chants of "U.S.A." as he went to the stage. He's an undersized center, but at 27 and with a military background, he's exactly the kind of tough center Dallas wants after losing Tyson Chandler in free agency.

No. 34: Jae Crowder (TRADE) Dallas Mavericks

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    Grade: B

    Dallas got an additional two picks by trading down, and Crowder is the high-energy type that you expect to succeed in the NBA. He's got some Kenneth Faried in him (dreads aside), and he is the hardest worker on the court when he's out there. With Quincy Miller still on the board, interesting pick for Dallas.

No. 35: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

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    Grade: A-

    Multiple NCAA tournament triple-doubles? Just look up Robertson, Oscar. Then search Johnson, Earvin. Then find Green, Draymond. That's right. That kind of versatility shouldn't go unnoticed, and it's a solid pick for value and Green should help right away.

No. 36: Orlando Johnson, (TRADE) Indiana Pacers

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    Grade: C+

    Johnson rounds out an interesting draft for the Pacers, who left some quality players on the board for ones they thought were better. Time will tell, and Johnson is a good scorer at a smaller school.

No. 37: Quincy Acy, Toronto Raptors

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    Grade: C+

    Maybe a little early on for Acy to go, but he's a workhorse who coach Dwane Casey will love in Toronto. No one jumps higher than this guy, who tries to stick his shoe in the rim every time he throws down a dunk.

No. 38: Quincy Miller, Denver Nuggets

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    Grade: A-

    Miller fell out of the first round and into the lap of Denver here, who swallowed this pick up without much hesitation. Miller could be a rotation guy in year one.

No. 39: Khris Middleton, Detroit Pistons

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    Grade: B-

    Middleton is a Kevin Durant clone, yet only not as explosive or as high-volume of a shooter. Some of the same skills are there, and hopefully he can continue to develop in Detroit with a good point guard in Brandon Knight.

No. 40: Will Barton, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Grade: C+

    Memphis continues to put out great guards, and this guy is no exception. Barton joins Lillard and Nolan Smith as young guys trying to prove themselves for the Blazers, but it remains to be seen if it's for real playing time.

No. 41: Tyshawn Taylor (TRADE) Brooklyn Nets

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    Grade: B-

    The Nets managed to salvage some dignity by selecting Taylor, who will come in and contribute day one after spending four years in college. A good defender and director of the offense, he'll have a chance to start if Deron Williams hops town for Dallas.

No. 42: Doron Lamb, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Grade: B

    Love that the Bucks got high-quality talent in the middle of Round 2, but he's somewhat of an undersized shooting guard to pair with combo guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Still, a wild card off the bench who quietly averaged 13 points on the championship Kentucky squad.

No. 43: Mike Scott, Atlanta Hawks

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    Grade: C

    Scott is an athletic forward, something Atlanta has in Josh Smith, but nothing like Smith is on the bench for coach Larry Drew. Look for him to take some time to adjust to the NBA game.

No. 44: Kim English, Detroit Pistons

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    Grade: C+

    English thrived in the four-guard at Mizzou, but he'll have to adjust to create a role for himself in Detroit. It won't be easy with Austin Daye and now Khris Middleton, but English is a tough player with something to prove.

No. 45: Justin Hamilton (TRADE) Miami Heat

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    Grade: C+

    It looks like the Heat will keep drafting centers until one pans out. This one, Hamilton, has some Chris Kaman in him and could be a nice player in a couple seasons.

No. 46: Darius Miller, New Orleans Hornets

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    Grade: B

    The Hornets got three guys who want to win more than anything, and that's exactly what they got when they took Miller. He's the most underrated player in the country, and as a complimentary piece on a team with Davis and Rivers, he'll fit right in.

No. 47: Kevin Murphy

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    Grade: B-

    The scoring machine from the mid-major conference is a nice piece for the Jazz, who keep getting younger on the wings to go with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. We'll see if this kid can play with the NBA talent real soon.

No. 48: Kostas Papanikolaou, New York Knicks

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    Grade: B-

    Of course, New York fans weren't going to like this one, but he's a quality player with a chance to come over in two years and really make a splash. Without a first-round pick, what can you expect, Knicks fans?

No. 49: Kyle O'Quinn, Orlando Magic

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    Grade: B-

    O'Quinn has a nose for the ball and is an extremely hard worker. Those traits can't be overlooked, and he'll succeed as a player if he plays like he did against Missouri in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Possible D12 replacement.

No. 50: Izzet Turkyilmaz, Denver Nuggets

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    Grade: D+

    It's all about potential here. Low-risk prospect who is over seven feet tall but has the skill set of a wing player. If he ever comes over, look out, but if not, it's not going to cost the Nuggets anything.

No. 51: Kris Joseph, Boston Celtics

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    Grade: B

    Nice pick from Boston, who reunites Melo and Joseph and also adds some scoring punch on the wing off the bench behind Paul Pierce. Good three-point shooter who is as solid as they come.

No. 52: Ognjen Kuzmic, Golden State

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    Grade: C-

    The center is a project guy, but after taking Ezeli and getting Bogut in the trade, it's almost a certainty that you won't need him for several years. Another quality pick by the Warriors.

No. 53: Furkan Aldemir, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Grade: C

    Aldemir will stay in Europe for another season, maybe two, but scouts are high on his ability to contribute in the right situation.

No. 54: Tornike Shengelia, (TRADE) Brooklyn Nets

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    Grade: C-

    This guy knows how to get to the rim based on his highlights. He isn't a great shooter and won't be over for a while, but he could crack a rotation if given the chance very soon.

No. 55: Darius Johnson-Odom (TRADE), Los Angeles Lakers

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    Grade: C

    The Mavericks flipped DJO to the Lakers for cash, and he adds to the growing collection of LA guards that probably won't get off the bench. Nice toughness and strength, but undersized at the 2, much like Dominique Jones in Dallas.

No. 56: Tomislav Zubcic, Toronto Raptors

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    Grade: C

    The 6'10" prospect won't be over for a few seasons, but it can't hurt to stockpile talent and height at this point in the direction of the Toronto franchise.

No. 57: Ilkan Karaman, Brooklyn Nets

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    Grade: D

    The Nets again took an international player that needs time to develop and get better, and we likely won't see him for a while. Look for the Nets to make free agency their only priority in the coming weeks.

No. 58: Robbie Hummel, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Grade: B-

    Hummel is the kind of guy you want on your team. Hard-working, solid shooter and all the tools to be a great pro. The knee injuries make him less flashy or desirable for a long career, but he'll contribute in Minnesota and help these young guys get better.

No. 59: Marcus Denmon, San Antonio Spurs

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    Grade: C

    You usually can't argue with Spurs draft picks, and after taking some Big 12 scorers in both Denmon and James Anderson the past couple years, you'd have to think they'll be ready to go when Manu Ginobili isn't anymore.

No. 60: Robert Sacre, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Grade: B

    Sacre is a tough, gritty guy from Gonzaga that helped the Zags maintain their steady pace of being one of the best mid-major teams in the country. As a backup to Andrew Bynum, he's a solid pick as the last one of the second round, but it remains to be seen what he brings in summer league and training camp.


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