Last night was the NBA Draft. For some clubs, their fortunes may have changed and for others a minor set back. No pick can ruin a team but it sure can change a franchise. With good scouting and a little luck, teams are able to find the potential missing piece for a championship. Take the Spurs for example. They use the draft to reload their bench and add future potential starters. For most teams, they’re not going to get a return on their investment for at least a couple years, if any. It’s like buying real estate. You buy some property and hope you can make money it down the road. Well last night, teams bought the property and now will see what the return on investment is going to be. There was some history made as well. For the first time, teammates were taken number one and number two and Michael Jordan didn’t make the worst pick of the night.
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis, Forward.
This was a good pick for the Hornets. They made the right choice. As soon as they won the number one pick, everyone knew they were going to choose Davis, so there was no surprise. Davis will make an impact right away for them, as he will improve their defensive stature as soon as he steps onto the court. I don’t think he will be a major game changer like a LeBron James or Tim Duncan, but he will be a nice player who makes a few All-Star teams, and he will be your defensive anchor for years to come.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Forward.
All day we heard trade rumors for this pick but Jordan said no to all and took Kidd-Gilchrist. The thing I worry about is Jordan, who is known for having terrible drafts, drafted him. I do, however, think Kidd-Gilchrist is a hard worker and will bring that mentality to the Bobcats.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal, Guard.
This kid could become a great shooter at the NBA level. A lot of teams were trying to move up so they could draft him. I’ve noticed, however, that Florida guards have not done that well in the NBA in recent years.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Dion Waiters, Guard.
This was a reach for the Cavs. They could have traded down and gotten him later in the draft. Waiters was not a full-time starter at Syracuse and will now have to adjust to that in the NBA. Good luck. This pick has bust written all over it.
5. Sacramento Kings – Thomas Robinson, Forward.
Robinson is definitely the feel-good story of the draft. I think anyone with a heart will be rooting for this kid to succeed. He’s a hard worker who can rebound. The thing to worry about is his ability to score at the next level. He’ll never be superstar but will have nice career in the NBA.
6. Portland Trailblazers – Damian Lillard, Guard.
With his speed and athleticism, Lillard has a chance to be a solid player. He’ll most likely be a poor man’s Tony Parker which isn’t bad by any means.
7. Golden State Warriors – Harrison Barnes, Forward.
This kid has bust written all over him. He is the next potential UNC miss that seems to becoming a trend in recent years. Every year UNC kids are highly touted but never amount to much in the NBA. Well, Barnes is the next one.
8. Toronto Raptors – Terrence Ross, Guard.
This was another stretch pick. Ross is considered a shooter yet hit less than 38% of his three-point attempts. I’m calling a bust on this guy.
9. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond, Center.
He’s an athletic freak if you listen to Jay Bilas. He still young and will take a few years to fully develop into a solid center. He has a high ceiling. If he reaches his potential, he could be a great pick for the Pistons. I see him as just a solid starter who never really dominates.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Rivers, Guard.
All we’ve heard about Rivers is he has an ego and is selfish. Maybe so but who isn’t in the NBA. You need selfishness if you want to a star in this league. I see Rivers as a Darren Collison type. Can create his own shot, drive to the basket, and sometimes score at will. He’ll be a solid player for years to come.
11. Portland Trailblazers – Meyers Leonard, Center.
Bust. Bust. Bust. Bust. Do I need to say more? He never had that “Wow!” factor at Illinois. He was just an okay player. I’m not even going to mention the “Trailblazers drafting centers in the 1st round” curse, but we all know how this will go.
12. Houston Rockets – Jeremy Lamb, Guard.
Lamb is going to have to develop into a Ray Allen type due to his lack of muscle and athleticism. He’ll have to be a jump shooter cause he won’t want to get into the painted area.
13. Phoenix Suns – Kendall Marshall, Guard.
Another UNC player I would worry about. Like the others over the years, he has potential but will most likely never fully reach it and be just another guy in the NBA.
14. Milwaukee Bucks – John Henson, Forward.
Back-to-back UNC players taken in the draft. Back-to-back busts too. He’ll be solid on defense but will struggle offensively. Can you say backup?
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Maurice Harkless, Forward.
Another stretch here. Harkless has all the potential to be a bust more so than the steal of the draft.
16. Houston Rockets – Royce White, Forward.
White can be a solid player. He will never be a superstar but if he wants to start he’s going to have to work on his ability to shoot. He struggles in this department.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Tyler Zeller, Center.
Zeller will be nice reserve who can come into games to give some relief to the starter. He’s a Jeff Foster type who will give you everything he has for the time he’s on the court. He may one day even start for some team for a time but he will never be a consistent full-time starter.
18. Houston Rockets – Terrence Jones, Forward.
This is the Rockets third pick in the 1st round. They may have selected three really good bench players. I don’t see any of these guys being the difference for them. They’re turning into the Pacers. Solid starters and bench but no superstar. Jones has to make sure not to get to down on himself. Stay positive young man.
19. Orlando Magic – Andrew Nicholson, Forward.
Hello Mr. Pine. It’s nice to meet you. I look forward to riding you for most of my career. Little athleticism = bad NBA player.
20. Denver Nuggets – Evan Fournier, Guard.
This pick won’t even matter for at least another year or two if he’s like every other European player. He’ll probably stay in France and then the Nuggets will trade his rights, and we’ll never hear about this kid again.
21. Boston Celtics – Jared Sullinger, Forward.
Sullinger is a hard worker and will be a solid reserve for the Celtics. The thing you have worry about is his back. Will it stay healthy enough for him to have a long NBA career?
22. Boston Celtics – Fab Melo, Center.
This is an experiment. If it works out, they found their center of the future. If not, they wasted a pick. The upside far out ways the downside.
23. Atlanta Hawks – John Jenkins, Guard.
The Hawks needed another shooter and they found one in Jenkins. He’s a good three-point shooter and will help Atlanta in the near future.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jared Cunningham, Guard.
The Cavs draft was not so good this year. They’re selecting a point guard who doesn’t pass and doesn’t shoot that well. Really? Why not just pick up Jamaal Tinsley?
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Tony Wroten, Jr., Guard.
Bad pick by the Grizzlies. Poor defender and a poor shooter, but he can rebound.
26. Indiana Pacers – Miles Plumlee, Forward.
Miles Plumlee? Really? Come on. Apparently the Pacers are sinking themselves into free agency to help improve the team. He’s a 2nd round pick taken in the 1st round. Wasted pick.
27. Miami Heat – Arnett Moultrie, Forward.
He’s an athletic wing who can run up and down the floor, which is exactly what the Heat so he should fit in pretty well. He needs to work on his jump shot if he wants to play many minutes for them.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Perry Jones, Forward.
This is a project for the Thunder. If it works out, they have the steal of the draft. Hands down. If not, it won’t hurt them.
29. Chicago Bulls – Marquis Teague, Guard.
Well the Bulls definitely expect Derek Rose to be out for a while. Teague can be a solid backup to C.J. Watson who should be the starter going into next season. Nice pickup by the Bulls.
30. Golden State Warriors – Festus Ezeli
He’s big. That’s about it. He’ll be used just to clog up the paint as he has no post-up moves, face-up game, or even a real ability to rebound.