The second half of the 2012 NBA Draft is where you will start seeing teams pick slightly more based on promise than in the first half.
Obviously the whole draft process is essentially built on drafting based on promise, but in the first half you tend to see more proven guys getting selected. In the second half of the first round, though, you see more of the raw talents that are going to need some grooming and seasoning by quality coaches in order to succeed getting nabbed.
Fortunately for all the youngsters involved, the good coaches tend to reside in this segment of the draft. Doc Rivers, George Karl, Doug Collins – this is likely where all of those guys will be picking from come the offseason. And if they are able to pluck out the right talent and nourish it like they’ve done in years past, there are some real steals to be had in this year’s proceedings.
Also, whereas the first half of the draft will largely be dominated by players who did really well in the NCAA Tournament, the second have will be predominantly full of guys whose seasons ended early. What these youngsters’ inability to lead their teams far into the tourney (with the obvious exceptions) means in terms of their NBA prospects is left to individual interpretation, but it is interesting to take note of.
The last thing to keep an eye on in this portion of the draft is what happens with the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets. If the Nets land in the lottery, the Rockets will end up with their pick. If the Nets don’t land in the lottery, the Rockets won’t get their pick. We did this draft under the assumption that the Nets keep their pick, but that could change in later versions.
With all that in mind, here is how we envision picks 16-23 turning out.
*Team standings based on Week of March 25.
(Note: Tune in today to the Bottom Line Sports Show as they talk all things NBA and NCAA hoops, and also have one lucky Draft prospect on to discuss what the future holds.)