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After the dust has settled, 25 observations from the NBA draft

Jun 30, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

2012 NBA Draft Getty Images

25 thoughts, observations, and wisecracks about the 2012 NBA Draft, now that there’s been some time to see the whole board.


1. I spent two months talking myself into the idea that Tyshawn Taylor was a first round pick because I was worried I was being overly harsh on his decision making late in games. Then it turned out I was giving him too much credit.

2. Harrison Barnes was essentially overrated in evaluations for two years, all the way up until Thursday at 7:00 EST. Then he was adequately rated by the draft process. Waiters may have been a reach by Cleveland, but Barnes going seventh was representative of where he should go overall. Enough of a risk to not go top five, enough of a talent to go top ten.

3. The bust likelihood on Anthony Davis is the basement. It’s sub-arctic. That’s such a luxury for the Hornets. Even if his offensive game never flourishes, defensively, he’s a franchise player. His ceiling is mega-star, his basement is franchise power forward. So that works out well for them.

4. I was vehemently opposed to the idea of Harrison Barnes going top four. But he would have been a better choice for Cleveland than Waiters. It’s not that Waiters doesn’t fill the need or won’t be a good player. He does and he will. It’s just such a reach. The Cavaliers spent all that time efforting to move up to No. 2, why not spend a little time moving back to get Waiters and pick up something else? It wasn’t a huge reach, it was a small reach, but it was still a reach.

5. But Sacramento reaps the benefits. All of your rebounds? They belong to the Kings. All of them. In two years, that’s the single nastiest frontcourt in the NBA. Just nasty. Cousins and Robinson are going to flat out beat up on other frontcourts.

6. How about Portland showing common sense? Addressing need while taking arguably the two best players at their positions? Some common sense in a rare showing.

7. I love John Henson as a draft prospect, I hate him as a Milwaukee Buck. Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, Samuel Dalembert… why do you need to add John Henson to that mix? What does he do for you in Skiles’ system?

8. Detroit couldn’t get away from Drummond’s hypnotic effect. No matter what they did, they just landed back there. Unfortunate, really. (File this under: things to throw back in my face if Drummond reaches his potential and shows that every single piece of evidence about his mental approach is flawed.)

9. The only thing, the only thing that gives me pause on Royce White is the fact that he said he might rather play music than play basketball. It’s a totally fair position. A lot of people would rather do other things than what they do. It’s just that so few NBA players are truly great with that mindset.

10. I had all these wonderful words prepared for whoever took Terrence Ross in spots 13-18, and then the Raptors went and reached for the sky on him and now I don’t like the pick at all. That’s just aggravating. He was best available at the position, but it’s such a “competent role player with a top-10 pick” feel.

11. “Philly drafts Moe Harkless so surely they’re going to trade Andre Iguodala!” #thingswehavethoughtforthepastfiveyears

12. Houston managed to get three great players in the draft and still come out a loser because they yet again whiffed on the big pitch. Graded. On. A curve.

13. I want you to imagine a frontcourt of Glen Davis and Andrew Nicholson. Rolly, polly, big, and aggressive as everything holy.

14. You know, if you combine both of Boston’s picks into one player, you really start to have something.

15. Oh, what’s that, you can’t do that due to NBA regulations and basic laws of science? Oh, then that’s a terrible 1-2 set. Great for value where they were at, though, even if Melo was a bit of a reach.

16. OK, Dallas. Whatever.

17. Very excited to attend the Grand Opening of the Denver Nuggets new department store: “Versatile Wings Outlet Store,” since they can open it now by owning approximately 1,100 of them.

18. Perry Jones III went from being that pick that you were anxiously dreading a team taking too high to that kid you felt sorry for dropping so low. The draft, she is a cruel mistress.

19. Kendall Marshall to the Suns makes so much sense and you nod along and nod along and then you look at the draft board and go “Wait, Marshall went No. 13? That high? Really?”

20. The Ben Gordon trade helps my “MKG is going to have too many expectations to do things he can’t even though he’s a phenomenal player and a great kid” blood pressure stay down. That’s one of the weirdest sentences ever written.

21. Washington: Daring the fates and skating by since… 2012. But still!

22. An Austin RiversEric Gordon backcourt should just be called The Hunger Games.

23. Teague may have been the slightly better, maybe safer pick for Memphis, but based off their need for a combo guard, he fits well. They still will not be able to shoot. At all.

24. Philadelphia really sneakily managed their way into a tremendous draft.

25. Robbie Hummel getting drafted is just a good thing for this world. Congrats to that kid.

  1. bjk795 - Jun 30, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    about the cavs comment…”it’s just such a reach” later in same paragraph “it’s not a huge reach. it’s a small reach” if your going to contradict yourself at least wait til the next paragraph haha

  2. aaronp2098 - Jun 30, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Teague went to Chicago… Part about team still not being able to shoot–Still correct for both teams

  3. blueintown - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Austin Rivers is not a point guard. You can say it all you want, and they can say how they want to experiment and tinker with the idea, but he is not a point guard. He never has been a point guard. He never will be a point guard. He is a shooting guard.

  4. drewzducks - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    KG back in green…reported 3 years/$34M

  5. 1historian - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    I’ve never liked that phrase “drafted too high”. It makes no sense.

    You have the #8 pick, there is a guy who is not rated in the top 10 (by whom?) but you like him – you think he’ll fit on your team, he fulfills a need – so you take him. What’s the problem?

    You take the 8th ranked guy even though he’s not the guy you want? It makes no sense.

    This whole column was pretty dumb

    • dgbk - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      I agree Everyone I guess think it’s like the NFL Draft where you can trade down and pick up an extra 4th rounder.That’s why guys are drafted to high I find it silly because if you do like some1 you take em ie suns taking Marshall @ 13.

    • TheJStyles - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      I’m sick and tired of this “The Cavs could of got Waiters later” crap.

      Let’s just assume there was someone willing to trade up and give you value for it…

      Then when someone takes Waiters ahead of you, well then, you should of stayed where you were…

      It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if EVERY SINGLE column they put out didn’t say it over and over…

    • rooney24 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      I couldn’t agree with this more. I think it also sounds like a rube when anyone says, “Why didn’t they trade down to get another pick?”. Well, trading down requires some other team that wants to move up. If no one wants to move up, how can you move down? And, in most cases, it isn’t like someone is taking 2nd round talent early the first round. They are quibbling about whether someone was take 3 or 4 picks too high. Well, the team usually only has one pick in that range, and if they want that guy, that is where they need to take him.

  6. sguy2130 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Matt, you make it sound like its easy to just trade down a couple spots and still get your guy. It might work that way in Candyland, but a real NBA GM has to decide whether or not its worth risking losing a guy they highly covet by being cute and picking up some extra table scraps..or just take their guy. It’s easy to write about this from the sidelines, but much harder on draft day with the clock ticking..

    Waiters could have easily been gone at pick 5 or 7. Waiters is still considered a reach by most in the media no doubt, but lets not over blow this to make it look worse than it was. We won’t truly know for three years…

  7. doubledown44 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    The Cavs had Waiters in their top 4 and many other teams coveted him. What would have been the right assets to get back for the Cavs to move down and how many spots? I just don’t see how it would have been worth it for them to lose the guy they really wanted just to get like an extra second-rounder or something along those lines. Mock drafts are fun and all, but that’s all they really are. If you see the guy you believe is the right guy for your team, sometimes it’s just best to pull the trigger.

    As for the Celtics, I like what they did. For drafting that low, I think they did really well for themselves — especially with KG coming back.

  8. samwade611 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Cousins and Robinson in 2 years?? Cousins wont last. prob arrested for some anger mngt issue or traded away. but im sure you couldnt tell that unless you WATCHED them play Moore…

  9. jjthesportsguy - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    You pretty much nailed the John Henson eval. Not sure what the Bucks were thinking…but then again, is anyone ever sure of what they are thinking?

  10. jshawaii22 - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    A few years ago Russell Westbrook was headscratcher. Next year was James Harden’s turn. No one knows right now. Teams draft for their needs not because a talking head says so.

  11. mrpowers88 - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I see how people can be high on henson, but then I see that after the 3 years he was prepping for the NBA at UNC, he still came out at 216 pounds. I could accept that after 1 year, but 3?

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