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2012 NBA Draft Grades: 76ers, Celtics, Knicks, Nets, Raptors (Fan Version)
Boston Celtics: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State (21), Fab Melo, C, Syracuse (22), Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse (51)
I like the pick of Jared Sullinger. Sullinger is reminiscent of former Celtic Glen Davis, but a better rebounder and much less annoying. There are questions about his back, but with the 21st pick, you’re just looking for a rotation player, so it’s easily worth the risk.
I’m not a fan of the Melo pick. Though Melo is a sophomore, he’s old for his class at 22. He’s not much of an offensive player and among centers drafted in 2012 out of college, he had the least rebounds per minute. Defensively, while a great shot-blocker, he’ll need to learn how to play defense, having just wasted 2 years of potential development in Syracuse’s zone. I just think the 22nd pick, in a pretty deep draft, might be a little high for Joel Anthony Jr.
I don’t think Kris Joseph is an NBA player, but with the 51st pick, it’s not that big of a deal.
Brooklyn Nets: Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas (41), Tornike Shengalia, F, Georgia (54), Ilkan Karaman, F, Turkey (57)
Brooklyn gets a low mark due to their trade this past season of their first round pick for Gerald Wallace. Wallace is a very good player, now, but he turns 30 this month and the Nets had to give him a 4 year, $40 million contract to keep him. Conversely, had they kept the pick, they could’ve had Andre Drummond or Harrison Barnes on a 4 year contract for less than a third of that.
I do, however, love the pick of Tyshawn Taylor. In my opinion, Taylor is a first round talent. He’s an athletic 6’4″ PG who made over 38% of his three point attempts over his last two seasons at Kansas. He has the potential to be a starting point guard in the NBA.
Their last 2 picks are internationals Tornike Shengalia and Ilkan Karaman. It appears that Shengalia will come over immediately and may contribute as a combo forward off the bench. Karaman has a neck tattoo. And men with neck tattoos are not to be trifled with.
New York Knicks: Kostas Papanikolaou (48)
The Knicks used their first round pick for this year in 2010 in an effort to clear cap space for the 2010 offseason, with LeBron/Wade/Bosh/Boozer/Amar’e/Joe Johnson all as free agents. They ended up with Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton. Win some, lose some.
Papanikolaou is good value this late in the second round. The Greek has very good size and strength for the small forward position, as well as a solid all-around skill level. He could become a valuable role player.
Philadelphia 76ers: Maurice Harkless, SF, St. John’s (15), Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State (27)
While many expected Philadelphia to take a big man with 15, they surprised the world with the young wing out of St. John’s. Harkless is similar as a prospect to Paul George coming out of Fresno State in 2010. The differences being age (Harkless is a year younger than George was) and shooting ability. Additionally, Harkless had more rebounds and less assists, but I think that had more to do with the role he was required to play the undermanned Johnnies. Harkless could, like George, end up being a steal.
Trading up for Moultrie was a great move, as I’ll discuss further when grading Miami. With his size, athleticism, rebounding, and shooting ability, he’s exactly the kind of player the Sixers love.
Toronto Raptors: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington (8), Quincy Acy, PF, Baylor (37), Tomislav Zubcic, PF, (56)
Terrence Ross was an obvious reach and a bad pick. With a guy like Andre Drummond on the board as well as Jeremy Lamb, a better player at the same position, you can’t justify taking Ross. Not that Ross can’t be a valuable player, but I don’t see him being as valuable as Drummond or Lamb.
I also don’t like the Acy pick. Acy is a very good athlete and he’ll make some highlight reel dunks, but he doesn’t bring much else to the table. I don’t see him as an NBA player. Same goes for the formerly intriguing Zubcic who hasn’t progressed in years.. To paraphrase Jay-Z, he had a spark when he started, but now he’s just garbage.