Continuing the NBA redraft series one thing has stood out to me, hindsight is always 20/20. With this installment, we take a look at the 2012 NBA Draft and once again fix huge screw ups by NBA front offices.
1. New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans)Select Anthony Davis
Congratulations to New Orleans for not screwing up and passing on a generational talent like Anthony Davis. At the time Anthony Davis was viewed as the best player in this draft class and that thought remains unchanged. Though the Pelicans failed to build a winning team around him, Davis proved to be worthy of the number one pick.
During his 7 years in New Orleans, Davis averaged 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 steals. Davis was an All-Star every season except his rookie year, and put the city back on the map after Chris Paul left for Los Angeles.
2. Charlotte Bobcats Select Damian Lillard
As bad of a pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist turned out to be, at the time it kind of made sense for the Bobcats. The Bobcats roster featured rookie point guard Kemba Walker and center Bismack Biyombo. So drafting an athletic defensive wing was not a bad thought process. However the problem lies in the fact that MKG never developed into anything.
The Bobcats also were coming off a season in which they won 7 games. So screwing up the 2nd overall pick, after getting screwed out of getting the 1st pick, set this franchise back decades.
In this redraft we are righting the ship and drafting the best available talent in Damian Lillard. Lillard, like Walker, is an offensive minded point guard, so it is not the best fit. However in hindsight, knowing what Lillard could do with CJ McCollum, I think this pairing with Walker would work.
3. Washington Wizards Select Bradley Beal
The Wizards have long been a dysfunctional franchise, but they nailed it drafting Bradley Beal in the 2012 draft. Prior to John Wall’s career getting derailed by injuries, the Washington Wizards were a young team on the rise. The Wall and Beal duo had the Wizards constantly in the 2nd round of the playoffs. With a better coach, maybe they break through to a Conference Finals.
Since Wall has been sidelined, Beal has proved capable of being the face of the franchise. He has ascended to an all star level, and continues to get better year in and year out.
Nothing changes with this selection, the Wizards nailed it.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers Select Khris Middelton
Coming off a draft where they selected Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the logical thing to do would focus on obtaining a Wing player. They kind of attempted that when they originally drafted Dion Waiters in this position, but nothing ever materialized.
This time around, the Cavs select Khris Middleton. He would fit perfectly as a second scorer to Irving, and fill a vacancy LeBron left at the SF position. Also if and when LeBron does return down the line, Middleton can co-exist as a knock down shooter and defender.
All around this is the easy selection for the Cavs.
5. Sacramento Kings Select Draymond Green
Welcome to the second abysmal selection of the 2012 draft as the Kings originally selected Thomas Robinson. Yeah I don’t blame you for not knowing the name. He accomplished nothing at the NBA level. This time around we are going to get DeMarcus Cousins some help by drafting Draymond Green.
Green was not expected to develop into what he did, so I can’t bash any front offices that passed on him. He was not in great shape and excelled at nothing, but could do a little of everything. Does Green develop without the guidance of Make Jackson and Steve Kerr, most likely not to the extent he did. But under the presumption of what he became, this is a fair place to draft him.
His defense and demeanor worked well alongside Boogie during their time as teammates in Golden State so I think they would work in Sacramento.
6. Portland Trailblazers Select Andre Drummond
Obviously the Portland Trailblazers were one of the winners of this draft when they landed Damian Lillard. However with Lillard off the board in this re-draft, I have them selecting the best available player Center Andre Drummond.
Drummond would provide rim protection and rebounding while playing alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.
7. Golden State Warriors Select Harrison Barnes
Since his 2016 Finals meltdown where he could not knock down a single open shot, Harrison Barnes reputation has taken a huge hit. But we can’t let that blur our vision on what he brought to the table.
Barnes was the starting SF for the Warriors 2015 Championship team and was a consistent player during his first 3 seasons. Looking at the players left on the board, it is hard to imagine any of them filling the shoes of what Barnes did for the Warriors. So I have the pick staying the same in this re-draft.
8. Toronto Raptors Select Jae Crowder
The Summer of 2012 was huge for the development of the Toronto Raptors. They traded for their franchise PG Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas was coming to the U.S a year after being drafted. They also drafted Terrance Ross with the 8th pick that year, but he never developed into what they wanted him to be.
This time around we are getting the Raptors a more consistent player in Jae Crowder. Crowder is a prototypical three-and-D role player and would have fit well alongside the Raptors scoring trio of Lowry, Derozan and Valanciunas.
9. Detroit Pistons Select Will Barton
Originally taking Andre Drummond with this pick, the Pistons actually made the right selection for the only time this decade. But with Drummond off the board, they turn their attention to an athletic wing who can score and facilitate, Will Barton.
Barton was a slow developer, just reaching his peak this season with the Denver Nuggets. However in the Pistons lineup that lacked talent, Barton would have got starting minutes and a heavy work load early on. I think he would develop earlier and be a solid pick at 9.
10. New Orleans Hornets Select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
With their second top 10 pick of the draft, the Hornets land Michael Kidd Gilchrist. We talked about how he originally went second overall to the Bobcats, placing tons of pressure to perform immediately.
In this scenario the pressure would be off as the rookie everyone focuses on would be Anthony Davis, his former teammate from Kentucky. I think he would thrive playing alongside Davis because he would be able to focus on simply playing defense and attempting open looks. Despite his weak showing as a Bobcat, I think in the right situation like this, he would prove to be a quality role player.