As we get closer and closer to the 2012 NBA Draft, we also drift further and further away from March Madness.
In the aftermath of college basketball’s biggest and most high profile tournament, a lot of players that performed well inevitably got overrated in some people’s eyes, and a lot of players that didn’t perform to expectations got underrated in other people’s eyes. Now that folks have had some time to cool off and develop a slightly more “big picture” perspective on the year that was, everyone can more accurately gauge who should go where in this year’s deep, loaded draft.
The only thing we know for certain heading into this year’s proceedings is that Anthony Davis will go at No. 1. Amazingly, after only one year in college, the talented, lengthy big man is already drawing comparisons to guys like Bill Russell. Whether or not Davis will actually become the next Bill Russell remains to be seen, but his ability to impact the game without even scoring is invaluable to pro scouts. He’ll be the first overall pick, without a doubt.
After that, however, things get interesting. Depending on who you talk to, the possibilities for who will go at No. 2 vary. Some people love the size and raw talent of Andre Drummond. Others love the stability and leadership of Michael-Kidd Gilchrist. Thomas Robinson’s versatility and heart won him a lot of fans during March Madness. Then again, given how long we have until the draft actually occurs, it’s possible that someone else will spring up the charts and sneak into that second pick before all is said and done.
Which teams end up choosing where will also play a pretty huge role at the top of the draft. Whereas the Charlotte Bobcats will take best player available and the Washington Wizards will take best non-point guard player available, teams further down the line who will land in the lottery may have more specific team needs. And while Drummond -- a big seven-footer with all of the potential in the world --may get picked up no matter what because everyone needs a massive center, guys like Kidd-Gilchrist and Robinson could end up dropping if the teams at the top of the draft are already set in the front court.
As is typically the case, this draft is low on quality centers. The ones available all have notable deficiencies starting with lacking offensive games and ending with less-than-stellar defensive abilities. A lack of length and/or bulk will also hurt some guys. That being said, you can’t teach tall, and so long as certain guys are noticeably bigger than their counterparts, they will get their shot to succeed at the next level. What they ultimately do with that shot is on them, though.
With all that in mind, here is how we see the entire 2012 NBA Draft turning out:
*Team standings based on Week of March 25.
Note: Tune in today to the Bottom Line Sports Show as Chris Rock joins the crew to join all things hoops.