The amount of depth in the 2012 NBA Draft almost makes you feel bad for GMs from prior drafts. This is why the NBA’s college player scavenger hunt is so much different than the NFL’s version. In football, generally speaking, there is enough depth to last multiple rounds. Not multiple sets of 10 picks like in basketball, but multiple rounds. The fact that most NBA drafts lack the sheer number of quality prospects that football boasts seemingly annually should tell you everything you need to know about why that draft always seems more impactful than this one.
This year, though, that changes. Whether you’re picking with the eighth selection or the eighteenth selection, you can still find a meaningful, talented contributor who can upgrade your squad in the immediate future. Now, obviously, a team needs to make the right call with their pick or else this whole depth conversion is moot – but that’s always the case.
Here are some of the more fascinating player-related storylines to watch for in this segment of the draft: Will teams sleep on John Henson because of how much star power North Carolina boasted last year? Did Doron Lamb’s showing in the NCAA Championship Game boost his stock at all? Who will be the first point guard off the board in this portion of the proceedings? Will a somewhat raw big man (read: Fab Melo) sneak into this part of the draft?
And in terms of team-related storylines: the Houston Rockets will undoubtedly pick up a big man with their first pick, how will that influence their next one if the best player available is also a big? How will the Dwight Howard mess impact the Orlando Magic’s selection process? The Boston Celtics need a youth infusion, what will they do with their two picks?
We analyze all that and more in our projections for picks Nos. 16-23.