With the 2012 NBA Draft fast approaching, teams who couldn’t land in the postseason are now busily running through old college tapes – looking for that one missing piece that could potentially change their franchises for the better. If you’re picking in this portion of the draft, picks nos. 8-15, you’re either a team that almost made the playoffs or a team that hasn’t sniffed the first round in years. In other words, you need good players from this shindig.
Fortunately for all involved, this year’s draft is actually a lot deeper than people want to give it credit for being. Yes, as is usually the case – there are plenty of guys with question marks. But that’s standard operating procedure any time you’re dealing with kids trying to make the leap from college to the pros. This year’s batch of youngsters is ultra-talented, though, and everyone from the Toronto Raptors all the way down to the Philadelphia 76ers will likely be able to find a difference-maker if they pick with their heads and not their hearts.
A few interesting team-related storylines to watch for: will the Toronto Raptors aim to add a big or a point? Do the Detroit Pistons look shore up the frontcourt or add a wing? The New Orleans Hornets need a face for the franchise; will they nab that guy here or with their earlier selection? Given the instability in their front office, do the Portland Trail Blazers even know what direction they want to go in? Are the Phoenix Suns drafting a guy to play with Steve Nash or to replace Steve Nash? What sort of big do the Philadelphia 76ers want?
And here are the player-related storylines to keep an eye on: which point guard goes first, Kendall Marshall or Damian Lillard? Will personality questions keep Perry Jones out of the top 10? Do NBA teams consider Austin Rivers a top-tier prospect? Which big goes higher, Tyler Zeller or Meyers Leonard?