The 2012 NBA Draft will be a little different than past drafts. Whereas generally guys who are picked up towards the latter part of the first round are relegated to the bench and not really in a position to contribute, the depth of this class coupled with the needs of teams who are selecting in this portion of the proceedings will make the players taken a lot more impactful.
Thanks to a myriad of trades and transactions, two bad teams in the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will both be selecting during this part of the show. Beyond that, you have a number of elite or very good squads like the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies who will also be looking to patch up holes. And while the Thunder and Bulls are admittedly stacked and don’t really need much from this draft, even they can use some depth.
With all that being said, here are some interesting team-related storylines to watch for in this segment of the draft: do the Heat finally nab an impactful big man? Do the Thunder and Bulls simply go for best player available? Will the Pacers aim to add some depth for the frontcourt? What will the Grizzlies’ strategy be going in? How will the Warriors’ earlier moves impact their final pick of the first round?
And in terms of player-related storylines to watch: Festus Ezeli is widely regarded as a second round-caliber player, does a team in need of big man depth take a chance on him earlier than that? Fab Melo’s skills are extremely raw, will that scare off potential suitors? Dion Waiters has been projected to go everywhere from the early to mid 20s, to the early second round; where does he land? Will Draymond Green’s spectacular season earn him a low first round selection?