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You want a great NBA Draft? Wait until next year.

Jun 24, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

Washington v North Carolina Getty Images

This year’s NBA draft was a trade-a-palooza of fun. We were entertained.

But this wasn’t a great draft talent wise. It was a down year. No franchise cornerstone guys, and a lot of guys with high ceilings but serious questions about if they can ever get there.

Next year on the other hand…

The 2012 draft should be LOADED. That is the year your team can change its fortunes, and not just with the top overall pick. Guys from this year’s lottery stuck around and there is a whole new crop of deeper talent.

According to Chad Ford at ESPN, this could be the deepest class since 2003 (The LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh class… whatever happened to those guys?).

With a potential NBA lockout and other factors in play, an unusually high number of prominent college players passed on their opportunity to jump to the NBA. (North Carolina’s Harrison) Barnes might be the top pick in the (2012) draft, and he could be followed closely by Baylor’s Perry Jones, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, Kentucky’s Terrence Jones, Florida’s Patric Young, North Carolina’s John Henson, Kansas’ Thomas Robinson, Duke’s Mason Plumlee and UNC’s Tyler Zeller….

In 2012 we’re projecting nine freshmen as potential lottery picks: (Kentucky’s potential No. 1 overall Anthony) Davis, Kentucky’s Michael Gilchrist, Baylor’s Quincy Miller, Florida’s Bradley Beal, North Carolina’s James McAdoo, Duke’s Austin Rivers, Kentucky’s Marquis Teague, Texas’ Myck Kabongo and Memphis’ Adonis Thomas. It’s unlikely they all squeeze into the first 14 picks (if they decide to leave school), but the talent is there.

It’s a year of forwards, both small and power. There are a lot more guys next season who can step in and instantly contribute, then down the line really be a key to a franchise.

That’s going to make next year’s draft a lot more fun.

  1. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I predict next year the Wolves will again have the worst record and will again get screwed out of the top pick. Although it helped this year because Williams is a stud.

    • Justin - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Dude McHale already ensured us that we are screwed out of the top pick. We owe our pick to the Clippers because of the Marko Yaric trade. It is unprotected next year too so even if we get the first overall it isn’t ours.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        I forgot our conversation about the wonders of the Yaric trade last night. Still how many time have the Wolves had the worst record and not gotten the first pick. Going all the way back it has to be at least 3 times.

    • purdueman - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      royalsfan… before you read this, please make sure that there are no sharp objects or loaded guns anywhere nearby. I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but the T-Wolves traded away next years #1 draft pick…. back in 2005!!!!

      The T-Wolves did replace their own pick (well at least sort of), with one from Utah, but that’s top ten protected for the next several years (see below), and I don’t expect Utah to be a lottery team by the time that pick eventually becomes unprotected (that is I’m still alive by then).

      Here’s the crazy breakdown of the changes already in play for the first round of next years draft:

      First-Round Picks

      Boston Celtics: Receives 2012 first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder via the Kendrick Perkins trade on 2/24/11.

      Chicago Bulls: Receives 2012 first-round pick (lottery-protected in 2012, top-12 protected in 2013, top-10 in 2014, top-8 in 2015, unprotected in 2016) from the Charlotte Bobcats via the Tyrus Thomas trade on 2/18/10.

      Cleveland Cavaliers: Have option to swap first-round picks with Miami via the Le Bum James trade on 7/9/10.

      Houston Rockets: Receives 2012 first-round pick (top-5 protected) from New York via Tracy McGrady trade on 2/18/10.

      Los Angeles Clippers: Receives Minnesota’s 2012 first-round pick via Sam Cassell trade on 8/15/05.

      Minnesota Timberwolves: Receives Utah’s 2012 first-round pick (top-14 protected in 2012, top-12 protected in 2013, top-9 protected from right to swap in 2014, else 2014 second-round pick) via the Al Jefferson trade on 7/13/10.

      New Jersey Nets: Receives Houston’s 2012 first-round pick (lottery protected) via the Terrence Williams trade on 12/15/10.

      Oklahoma City Thunder: Receives L.A. Clippers’ 2012 first-round pick (top-10 protected through 2015, unprotected in 2016) via Eric Bledsoe trade on 6/24/10. Thunder receives less favorable of Clippers’ pick or Minnesota’s, if Minnesota’s 2011 first-round pick is not conveyed to the Clippers due to protection (see above).

      Utah Jazz: Receives Golden State’s 2012 first-round pick (top-7 protected in 2012 and 2013, top-6 protected in 2014, else 2014 and 2016 second-round picks) via Utah (from the Marcus Williams trade on 9/29/09) from the Deron Williams trade on 2/23/11.

      • purpleronin - Jul 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

        >Cleveland Cavaliers: Have option to swap first-round picks with Miami via the Le Bum James trade on 7/9/10.

        Didn’t LeBron sign w/Miami as a free agent? Tell me my memory isn’t that corrupt….

      • Kurt Helin - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:45 AM

        There was an after-the-announcement sign-and-trade, just so Cleveland could get the trade exception to use later.

  2. smitheye - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    You’re clearly an idiot. Because if you were smart, you would know the wolves don’t have a 1st round pick next year.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Out of left field with the insult! I like.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:24 PM

      yikes! little harsh there, eye!

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      Im also a veteran of the US Army that has served 2 tours in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. What have you done with your life?

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        Actually they do get houstons first round draft pick for next year, which is most likely a lottery pick

      • phintasm - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        While I think it’s a little douche-y to try and glamorize your own exploits in the Middle East, the people giving thumbs down to this dude’s comment have absolutely no class whatsoever.

      • georgeanderson2 - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Thanks for serving. But don’t throw that around like anyone else hasn’t done anything with their lives. That was your choice and you got paid tax free to do so.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      Just to rub it in a little the T-Wolves do have a first rounder next year. Not the one I was referring to, but still a lottery pick. You should check your sources before bad mouthing someone.

      http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/124456564.html

  3. onebadace - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I invited a time machine and went into the future and the Timberwolves still get screwed out of first round picks. I also cured cancer for fun. What have you done with your life?

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      I havent invited anything thats for sure.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        your mother’s a terrible cook!

  4. zblott - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Complete break down of next year’s lottery:
    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/6/15/were-about-to-have-a-great-draft-in-2012.html

  5. blueintown - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Harrison Barnes is the truth. John Henson, not so much..

    • mrklutch - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      If Henson can develop some what of an offensive game, someone will take the risk. He’s definitely a defensive standout first and foremost.

      • blueintown - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

        Blech..even if he somehow grows into something even semi-resembling an NBA body, it won’t make up for his biggest weakness: An absolute lack of any basketball skill sets. He is brutal.

  6. smitheye - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    I don’t even have a response for the stupidity that is going on here. You all have a wonderful day. I thank you for your service.

  7. bigtrav425 - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    This is what iv been saying all along for the Cavs.its all about next yrs draft

  8. patsforlife - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Isn’t also likely that, after the new CBA is done, the one year of college rule will no longer be in effect? If that is the case you’ll have all the great collegiate players and some of the top high school prospects.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:41 AM

      The one-and-done rule is going to be interesting. The players want it gone, some owners want it up to two years. That’s one of those things really up in the air.

  9. goforthanddie - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Next year’s draft might be the next basketball-related activity we get for a while :(

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