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NBA Draft recap: Three winners. Three losers.

Jun 29, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

NBA prospect Davis from the University of Kentucky tries on his cap after being selected by the Hornets as the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft in Newark Reuters

Let’s be honest — we don’t know who the winners and losers from this draft are. We will not know for a three to five years. We should be rating the 2009 NBA Draft now (Clippers and Thunder are your winners, the Grizzlies and Hasheem Thabeet are your losers) not the one that happened last night.

But that’s not how it works in our instant gratification world.

So here are three winners and three losers from the 2012 Draft as we see it now. You can decide in 2015 if we were right.


New Orleans Hornets. Sure, it’s not like it was a challenge to take Anthony Davis with the top pick, but that doesn’t mean they are not still the night’s big winners. They have a franchise anchor player, one they can build a title contender around. Austin Rivers gives then a good ball handling, aggressive, scoring guard to pair with Eric Gordon. Those are some strong cornerstones.

Detroit Pistons. They are not here because I love Andre Drummond — I wouldn’t have taken him personally, I don’t want my team to take guys who coasted in college — but because of where they got him. At No. 9 he is a good gamble, one that they took Khris Middleton in the second round, another good gamble.

Oklahoma City Thunder. Baylor’s Perry Jones III fell all the way to 28 and into their laps, but what a great pick for them. He’s got fantastic talent, a guy who could be the second best pick in this draft in terms of talent if his head is screwed on and he plays hard. This is a locker room that will make sure his head is screwed on right, one of the most professional locker rooms in the league. This was a steal.

Honorable mention here: Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards.


Brooklyn Nets. Not because of their picks — I like getting Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia in the second round — but for what they did at the trade deadline. They gave up their first rounder to Portland to rent Gerald Wallace, who is leaving right now as a free agent. That No. 6 pick would have helped way more than Wallace.

Cleveland Cavaliers. Some people love the gamble they took, I’m not as sold. It really comes down to this — how good is Dion Waiters in a few years? If he pans out, I’m wrong and this is a great pick. But I think they picked for need over the best player available. I will give them this, adding Tyler Zeller via trade a solid move.

Houston Rockets. Again it’s not that they made bad picks, but they made a lot of moves the last week to get into the top 10 at least and they fell short. They dreamed big but couldn’t pull it all off, so they are still stuck in the middle. I will say the Royce White pick could end up being what saves this draft for them.

  1. thebigkahuna23 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    The trail blazers couldn’t even get an honorable mention? I’m not a fan of their or anything but, objectively, they had a great draft. They got the best point guard in the nation and arguable the second best center in the draft. If you’re grading teams on needs filled I think you have to show Portland a little bit more love.

    • kopy - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      One would think that if the Nets can be a loser for trading away their No. 6 pick for little value at the deadline, Portland could be a winner for acquiring the No. 6 pick for little value at the deadline.

  2. sguy2130 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Well…I wasn’t necessarily thrilled about Dion Waiters at #4 overall, being that MKG & Beal were off the board. I have been warming up to it as I get more info on him. Seems like he will really fit into Byron Scott’s system.

    And…now that Kurt doesn’t like it I feel even better about it. Go Cavs!

  3. fiyeaglesfiy - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Personally if I were a Golden State fan, I’d be pretty happy. They de-activate their players and tank the end of the season (whether intentional of unintentional), they lose just enough to land in the top 7 and keep their protected pick this year, and then Harrison Barnes falls to them at a great value when they’ve been rumored to be trying to trade this pick for a wing. Festus Ezeli looks like he could be a nice rotation player as well.

    …and how about Boston? Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Talk about jump starting the rebuilding process. Don’t agree with the Perkins trade a year or two ago that gave them the extra pick in this draft, they may have one more trophy in their case if they kept him…but if they plan was looking long-term, they made out alright with those two guys.

  4. chiadam - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Losers: those uber-absurd hats. Flat brims are bad enough as is, but you could serve drinks off the brims of those hats.

    Winner: me, for not missing the moment when the absurd hat was handed to a white guy who immediately bent the brim. Hilarious. We white guys just can’t pull that look off.

    Losers: our ears every time Shecky Van Gundy talked.

    Winner: our ears every time Shecky Van Gundy stopped talking.

    And my biggest winner of the night: Austin Rivers, because he has a porno name.

  5. zblott - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Orlando is not getting the credit they deserve for doing a great job finding future replacements at center, and Charlotte really could have crapped the bed with #2 and didn’t (Kidd-Gilchrist) while getting great value in Jeffery Taylor at #31.

    Portland totally whiffed (their PG of the future had trouble with Montana for years…yeah), and Denver took terrible reach after terrible reach. Detroit wasn’t far behind Denver in that regard.

    More draft observations (best second round picks, worst lottery picks, etc):

  6. djigel - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    My biggest question: if the Bobcats coveted Kidd-Gilchrist and knew the Cavs wanted Beal, how did they not work out a deal to slide down two picks? They still would have gotten their guy and likely gained the 24th pick… It was unlikely the Wizards would have taken him with better talent on the board…They would have saved some money and added depth through another pick…. Makes no sense to me.

  7. dexterismyhero - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Miles Plumlee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. jjordannba - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM


  9. riccismiles - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    The THUNDER need a BIG that can move or at least TWO bigs that can kinda move. ANY team planning on meeting the HEAT in the finals needs to find someone who can truly handle covering the POINT FORWARD GUARD position that Lebron and the HEAT just created. OKC only need that piece and it doesnt sound like they got it.

  10. florida727 - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    DFW (Dion Freaking Waiters, not the airport in Texas)? Seriously?

    What do you expect from an owner (Gilbert) whose pitch to LeBron James to try and keep him in Cleveland during his free agent period consisted of a cartoon with his friends in it? The most ardent Cavs fan should boycott games until Gilbert sells the team to someone with something that resembles a basketball IQ.

    • TheJStyles - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Chris Grant is very confused by your post.

  11. rc33 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    The Celtics did a lot to help their team. Thought they should’ve taken Perry Jones instead of Melo but if Melo works out on the defensive end alone, he’ll be worth well more than the # 22 pick. Tough finding NBA Centers that aren’t constantly yearning to become Power Forwards. The good news for Boston is Fab enjoys playing the game with 5 feet of the rim.

  12. cmdrsmooth - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Nets front office should be fired for that stupid move. Embarrassing.

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