David Stern is about to me busy shaking hands and calling out draft picks’ names…don’t expect him to give out 30 ‘bro hugs’ like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
I am keeping a running diary of the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft tonight. You should expect pick and trade analysis, fashion critiques of draft suits (I’m hoping for some hideous suits), and a lot of snarky comments throughout the night.
I’m expecting a lot of trades tonight with many teams owning multiple top 40 draft picks. Cleveland, Houston, and Boston could shake things up if they can unload their draft picks for a big return.
7:37: #1 pick – New Orleans Hornets select Anthony Davis – Kentucky
7:39: Anthony Davis’s Unibrow will be taken #2 and #3.
7:42: I’m just throwing it out there…but I think Davis got his unibrow from his mother’s side.
7:43: Jeff Van Gundy’s suit looks like he got it from the clearance rack at TJ Maxx.
7:45: #2 pick – Charlotte Bobcats select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Kentucky
7:47: Kidd-Gilchrist is crying because he was just drafted by the Bobcats.
7:49: #3 pick – Washington Wizards select Bradley Beal – Florida
7:51: Cleveland really wanted Beal…this has to sting. I’m not sure where Cleveland goes with the #4 pick. They could go in a few different directions.
7:53: It appears that “high character” is the buzzword that Jay Bilas will repeat for the next few hours. Also, Van Gundy just used the phrase “knucklehead factor”. I love that he is on the NBA Draft set. He is an upgrade over Stephen A. Smith.
7:55: #4 pick – Cleveland Cavaliers select Dion Waiters – Syracuse
7:56: I am shocked that Waiters goes this early. I assumed that Cleveland would take Harrison Barnes if they couldn’t trade up to get Beal. I watched a few Syracuse games this year and he didn’t impress me…although I would say the same thing about Harrison Barnes.
8:01: #5 pick – Sacramento Kings select Thomas Robinson – Kansas
8:02: Robinson will contribute right away and this is the smartest pick Sacramento has made. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are good players, but neither of them are a good fit on the Kings.
8:06: #6 pick – Portland Trail Blazers select Damian Lillard – Weber State
8:07: I am not going to pretend that I know a lot about Lillard…but he is the early favorite to win the ‘He May Regret Wearing That Suit In 10 Years’ award.
8:08: If you’re playing at home, it only took 38 minutes for tonight’s first Michael Ray Richardson reference.
8:11: #7 pick – Golden State Warriors select Harrison Barnes – North Carolina
8:12: I have watched 20+ North Carolina games over the last two seasons. I do not recall a single game in which Barnes stood out. The Warriors needed to replace Monta Ellis and this choice makes sense. I hope he is motivated by money and turns out to be a great pro.
8:17: #8 pick – Toronto Raptors select Terrence Ross – Washington
8:18: The Raptors actually drafted someone who played college basketball and doesn’t have 15 vowels in his last name?! I don’t understand the pick, but he’s wearing a green bow-tie…I’ll let is slide.
8:19: I want to give kudos to the Toronto Raptors for not drafting a player with 15 vowels in their last name.
8:24: #9 pick – Detroit Pistons select Andre Drummond – UConn
8:25: Drummond is a defensive specialist with raw offensive skills. He will be a nice bookend to place beside Greg Monroe. His free throw percentage is below 29% and a “Beat A Drummond” strategy could take place late in games.
8:30: #10 pick – New Orleans Hornets select Austin Rivers – Duke
8:32: Rivers was the #1 player going into the college season and he had a decent freshman year. He didn’t blow me away, but he will be a good pro. No matter what the Hornets do with the rest of their picks, they will get an A+ grade for this draft.
8:34: I am surprised the first ten picks happened without a trade. I guess all of the rumors weren’t correct…you’re shocked, right?
8:35: #11 pick – Portland Trail Blazers select Meyers Leonard – Illinois
8:36: I wouldn’t have predicted that Leonard would be drafted ahead of Tyler Zeller and John Henson. He has potential, but he has the risk of completely missing.
8:38: This site is called ‘America’s White Boy’…so I would be remiss to point out that Leonard was the first ‘whiteboy’ taken. He appears to be athletic and talented, a trait that most of us whiteboys lack.
8:42: #12 pick – Houston Rockets select Jeremy Lamb – UConn
8:43: I fell in love with Lamb during the 2011 season when UConn won the National Championship. He reminds me of a mix between Tayshaun Prince and Rudy Gay. The Rockets did well, but could have probably picked him at #14 without trading to move up two spots.
8:48: #13 pick – Phoenix Suns select Kendall Marshall – North Carolina
8:50: The Suns select a safety net in case Steve Nash signs with another team this offseason. Marshall impressed me more than any other player on North Carolina. He has a bright future ahead of him and he could mature into a Deron Williams clone.
8:53: #14 pick – Milwaukee Bucks select John Henson – North Carolina
8:54: I need to be consistent with my analysis of Henson. I have spent the last two seasons picking him apart. He is a mess on the offensive end, but he’s a good defender. He needs to add muscle if he wants to be a force on the defensive end in the NBA. He will thrown around for the first couple years if he doesn’t add muscle.
8:57: I’m having a discussion on Twitter about Marshall’s ceiling in the NBA. I say that Deron Williams would be his maxiumum ceiling and a friends said Mark Jackson. I think we’re both right to some extent.
8:59: #15 pick – Philadelphia 76ers select Maurice Harkless – St. John’s
9:00: I don’t have much of an opinion on Harkless. The Sixers are headed in the right direction and Harkless is a good player. On a side note, Philly will need to make a decision on Evan Turner. Is he a starter in the NBA? Does he even have a position?
9:05: #16 pick – Houston Rockets select Royce White – Iowa State
9:06: White was my choice as the most underrated player going into the 2012 NBA Draft. He has a really bad anxiety disorder and struggled with it during the season. Fred Hoiberg, his coach at Iowa State, was there for support. I read an article earlier this year about the process of what he had to do just to fly on an airplane.
9:10: #17 pick – Dallas Mavericks select Tyler Zeller – North Carolina
9:11: Before I give my two cents about this pick, I just want to point out that Zeller is from Indiana…my home state. Indiana guys know the fundamentals of the game and I like this pick. Dallas got a lot of value by picking him at #17. They needed a big man to fill the void Tyson Chandler left.
9:13: Zeller may want to put on some weight. He looks like Christian Bale in “The Machinist”…a role that he had to lost 50+ pounds to play.
9:17: #18 pick – Houston Rockets select Terrence Jones – Kentucky
9:18: Jones has a lot of talent and can fill the box score in a lot of areas. He can play three positions and is an excellent defender. This is a great pick…have I mentioned how much I love Houston’s draft so far? They are killing it.
9:20 TRADE: Dallas trades Tyler Zeller to Cleveland for #24, #33, and #34 overall picks.
9:21: We have our first trade of the night…finally! Zeller will be a nice fit to play beside Tristan Thompson and Dallas clearly needs to reload. Dallas has a lot of free agents leaving the team and they will be getting younger with these draft selections.
9:22: #19 pick – Orlando Magic select Andrew Nicholson – St. Bonaventure
9:23: A Canadian who chose basketball over hockey…rare specimen! He was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, A-10 First Team All-Defensive Team, and A-10 Tournament MVP. He can stroke it deep and plays both ends of the court. This could make J.J. Redick and Ryan Anderson expendable.
9:27: #20 pick – Denver Nuggets select Evan Fournier – France
9:28: He is a big guy who will play shooting guard in the NBA. I have watched some video of him playing on YouTube and he reminds me of Danilo Gallinari with range. He should play well with Gallinari and is a good fit for George Karl’s system.
9:34: ESPN’s NBA Draft crew just wasted five minutes talking about Ray Allen.
9:35: #21 pick – Boston Celtics select Jared Sullinger – Ohio State
9:36: This pick makes a lot of sense since he is a better version of Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis. He plays below the rim and he doesn’t run well, but he could be a nice bench guy for Boston. I’ve ran into him a couple times in Columbus and he’s a really nice guy with a good head on his shoulders. I hope he stays healthy and has a nice, long career.
9:40: #22 pick – Boston Celtics select Fab Melo – Syracuse
9:42: Boston has made two solid picks. Fab Melo is a better athlete than Greg Stiemsma, but his offensive skills are extremely raw. The Celtics are a great defensive team, probably the best in the NBA, but they struggled on offense. The only qualm I have with the Sullinger and Melo picks are that they didn’t address the offense. Sullinger was very good offensively in college, but I’m not sure how his offensive game translates to the NBA.
9:45: Here’s a segment with Tom Penn. He is the Todd McShay of the NBA Draft.
9:48: #23 pick – Atlanta Hawks select John Jenkins – Vanderbilt
9:49: Jenkins is a taller Stephen Curry. He can stroke the three from all over with a quick release. The Hawks is a team full of small forwards and Jenkins will help spread the floor and get them bigger lanes to drive. He will be a bench player to replace Joe Johnson when he needs a breather.
9:52 #24 pick – Cleveland Cavaliers select Jared Cunningham – Oregon State (pick will be going to Dallas Mavericks)
9:53: I mentioned Cunningham earlier today in a rumors post. I said that he was sneaking into the first round because of his elite defensive abilities. He’s a Thabo Sefolosha/ Iman Shumpert clone and will help Dallas on the defensive end, but can shoot the ball a little.
9:56: I can’t believe that Perry Jones III is still available…but this is 2012 and not 2011, so yes, I do believe that he’s still available.
9:58: #25 pick – Memphis Grizzlies select Tony Wroten Jr. – Washington
9:59: He’s a lefty with a lot of athleticism for a point guard. He gets a lot of Rajon Rondo comparisons because he’s a pass-first point guard with a broken jumper.
10:01: I have been informed that the Indiana Pacers will select Miles Plumlee with the next pick. I thought Indiana was slowly getting rid of their whiteboys? Hopefully he will be a better ‘whiteboy from Duke’ than Mike Dunleavy/Josh McRoberts was for the team.
10:04: #26 pick – Indiana Pacers select Miles Plumlee – Duke
10:04: …..dammit! I guess I will be forced to root for another whiteboy from Duke. I kind of like this pick because they need to replace the retired Jeff Foster, but c’mon!
10:08: #27 pick – Miami Heat select Arnett Moultire – Mississippi State
10:09: I am surprised that Perry Jones III was not taken here, but Moultire could turn into something. Chris Bosh could end up being the full-time center and Udonis Haslem is too short to be the starting power foward and Joel Anthony is Joel Anthony. If Moultrie can be a productive power forward, the Heat will be a lot better, which is scary.
10:13: It’s official ‘risk tolerance’ is a new Jay Bilas buzzword.
10:14: #28 pick – Oklahoma City Thunder select Perry Jones III – Baylor
10:16: The rich get richer. Perry Jones III dropped nearly twenty spots due to concerns about his knee. He could be the steal of the draft at this point and the risk is rather low by drafting him at #28. He is like Terrence Jones and can fill up the box score all over the place.
10:21: #29 pick – Chicago Bulls select Marquis Teague – Kentucky
10:22: The younger brother Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague isn’t as polished as Jeff coming out of college. Marquis needs to work on his jumper and the fundamentals of the point guard position. He may be thrown into a lot of minutes while Derrick Rose is out at the beginning of the season. Teague needs to learn fast if that is the case.
10:25: TRADE: The Miami Heat trade Arnett Moultire to the Philadelphia 76ers for 45th pick overall and a future first-round pick.
10:26: #30 pick – Golden State Warriors select Festus Ezeli – Vanderbilt
10:27: He’s a big man and he’s just a huge guy. He’s strong and has a filled out body, which isn’t the case with most of the power fowards and centers drafted earlier in the first round. The Warriors have done pretty well so far with Ezeli and Harrison Barnes. Mark Jackson should have an easier time next season, but they are still a few players away from a playoff team in Oakland.
Well, that’s the end of the first round. My draft coverage isn’t over with yet. I will be writing analysis for the second round, writing a post with every team’s draft grades, and listing players who went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.