2012 NBA Draft Grades: Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers lead the way for New Orleans

The 2012 NBA Draft started how everyone expected it to and then gave us a few surprises. There was a ton of trade talk leading up to it and then a pretty low amount of deals actually getting done.

Here are draft grades for every team:

New Orleans Hornets
No. 1 overall – Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
No. 10 overall – Austin Rivers, G, Duke
No. 46 overall – Darius Miller, G/F, Kentucky

The Hornets really couldn’t go wrong possessing the first overall pick in the draft and chance to take Anthony Davis. Davis has a chance to be a franchise changer and playing alongside Eric Gordon in New Orleans is a good start. The Hornets took Rivers 10th overall which is what they wanted to do. The Hornets believe Rivers can play some point for them although he is a scoring guard at heart. Gordon is a good playmaker himself though so the two may be able to share ball handling duties a la Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. The Darius Miller pick is nice too. He is an athlete that could make it in the NBA and was a teammate of Davis’ at Kentucky.

Grade: A+

Oklahoma City Thunder
No. 28 overall – Perry Jones, III, F, Baylor

To win a championship, sometimes it takes a little luck. The Thunder got the steal of the 2012 NBA Draft with the No. 28 pick. Perry Jones III we knew was going to fall because of concerns mainly surrounding his knee but sliding this far to a franchise that is perfect for him just seems unfair to the rest of the league. It was a Spurs-like snag for OKC and they know it already. Jones III has lottery talent and top-5 pick potential. One knock on him is that he never really stepped up and dominated and was more of a supporting role type of mindset and player. Well, come on down to OKC that sounds just fine!

Grade: A+

Charlotte Bobcats
No. 2 overall – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
No. 31 overall – Jeffrey Taylor, G/F, Vanderbilt

The Bobcats were supposed to either trade the No. 2 pick or take Thomas Robinson if they couldn’t. Instead, they shocked everyone selecting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second overall. MKG is a player that will shine no matter where he plays, even in Charlotte. He has the potential to be the second best player in this draft class and it was a wise choice to make here by Michael Jordan. Jeffrey Taylor is a good pick too in the second round. Taylor was projected to go a little earlier in the draft and is a nice value find at 31.

Grade: A

Washington Wizards
No. 3 overall – Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
No. 32 overall – Tomas Satoransky, G, Czech Republic

The Wizards got the man they wanted at No. 3 but had to hold their breath and pray before doing so. As the Bobcats were shopping the No. 2 pick, any team that may have gotten it was probably going to take Bradley Beal second overall. The Wizards desperately wanted an elite shooter and wing to place alongside John Wall and they believe Beal is that guy. Beal measured just under 6-foot-5 so he’s not huge but he is physical and can do a lot of things on a basketball court. Tomas Satoranksy in the second round apparently is friends with Jan Vesely which makes that pick awesome too.

Grade: A

Sacramento Kings
No. 5 overall – Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

It was impossible not to fall in love with Thomas Robinson watching him break down after being selected fifth overall by the Kings. He won over a lot of fans with that reaction. Robinson is touted as one of the surest things at the top of this draft. The Kings wanted him bad too at No. 5, more than anybody else. Sacramento was going to pull off a trade with this pick with Houston if Robinson was off the board but obviously that didn’t happen. Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins are going to be able to get a lot of rebounds playing together.

Grade: A

Detroit Pistons
No. 9 overall – Andre Drummond, PF/C, Connecticut
No. 39 overall – Khris Middleton, SF, Texas A&M

The Pistons are extremely happy that Andre Drummond fell to them. Before the draft, they were hoping for this but planning to settle on John Henson. Drummond has as much upside as anyone in this draft. There are questions surrounding him but he is very young. It was the right pick here for Detroit without question. Khris Middleton isn’t someone that jumps out as a great pick here but at No. 39, there’s not a lot to expect.

Grade: A

Milwaukee Bucks
No. 14 overall – John Henson, PF, North Carolina
No. 42 overall – Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

The Bucks were pretty happy to see John Henson at No. 14 especially after trading down from 12 with Houston. Henson is the kind of guy Milwaukee wanted and someone who will block a lot of shots and grab some rebounds but really needs to put on some weight first. Doron Lamb is another player they were happy to see at No. 42. He could have gone in the first round and is an irrational confidence guy who can shoot and play some D too.

Grade: B+

Cleveland Cavaliers
No. 4 overall – Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
No. 17 overall – Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

It wasn’t a huge shocker that Cleveland took Dion Waiters No. 4. They were planning on possibly doing so and after being unable to trade up to No. 2 and take Beal, Waiters was the next guy on their list, probably just ahead of Harrison Barnes. It wasn’t an overly popular pick but Waiters has an NBA-ready body and next to Kyrie Irving should do well. With Tyler Zeller sliding in the draft, the Cavaliers pulled the trigger on a trade with Dallas to get to No. 17 and take the North Carolina center. They gave up three picks for Zeller so they must really like him. Now with a core of Irving, Waiters, Thompson and Zeller, Cleveland’s future looks kind of alright.

Grade: B

Portland Trailblazers
No. 6 overall – Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
No. 11 overall – Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
No. 40 overall – Will Barton, SG, Memphis

Before the Draft, Portland was intent on keeping their 6th and 11th picks and they also loved Damian Lillard. Six may sound high for Lillard but Portland did something smart: picking their favorite guy and not caring where they did it. They then filled a need at 11 with Meyers Leonard, the center from Illinois. Portland was projected in some mocks to take Andre Drummond and either Austin Rivers or Jeremy Lamb. That sounds a little better than what they ended up with. They get Will Barton at No. 40 which is another solid value pick as he was projected late-first by many.

Grade: B

Golden State Warriors
No. 7 overall – Harrison Barnes, G/F, North Carolina
No. 30 overall – Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
No. 35 overall – Draymond Green, F, Michigan State
No. 52 overall – Ognjen Kuzmic, C, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Despite his overall disappointing feeling, many still feel Harrison Barnes can be an All-Star in the NBA. Getting him at No. 7 was a pretty solid pick for the Warriors, who are starting new next year post-Monta Ellis and with Andrew Bogut. Festus Ezeli with the last pick of the first round is understandable too and he is a high-character guy who will work hard for them. Draymond Green is another good pick to get in the second round. The Warriors didn’t have a flashy draft but they made some value picks and that’s always a good strategy.

Grade: B

Houston Rockets
No. 12 overall – Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
No. 16 overall – Royce White, F, Iowa State
No. 18 overall – Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

The Rockets were stockpiling draft picks with one thing on their mind: Dwight Howard. That hasn’t happened yet and now feels like it won’t. They were hoping to move up to No. 5 to take Andre Drummond but since Thomas Robinson fell to the Kings there, they weren’t trading that pick. The Rockets will settle for three pretty solid players starting with Jeremy Lamb at No. 12 who has a lot of pro potential as a scorer. When they took Royce White at No. 16, you knew they weren’t trading their picks anymore. White has gotten a lot of buzz this draft as a more athletic Boris Diaw who plays a little like Charles Barkley too. Terrence Jones two picks later is another talented forward that can do a variety of things. You always feel players Daryl Morey drafts are guys who can find a spot in the NBA. The Rockets just had bigger sights for this draft than this.

Grade: B

Phoenix Suns
No. 13 overall – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

It’s just about official now that Steve Nash is on his way out in Phoenix. Kendall Marshall is their point guard of the future. Marshall was one of the best assists men in college the past two seasons and has drawn comparisons to Mark Jackson and Andre Miller so yeah, he’s not quick. He’s fun to play with and will make the players around him better. They like that in Phoenix.

Grade: B

Chicago Bulls
No. 29 overall – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

The Bulls were either going backup point here or combo-guard shooter. Marquis Teague is a talented player with this pick and someone who may be able to play alongside Derrick Rose some. It’s nothing special for the Bulls but a good pick nonetheless. Bulls fans were dying for Perry Jones III to slip one more pick into their laps.

Grade: B

Toronto Raptors
No. 8 overall – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
No. 37 overall – Quincy Acy, PF, Baylor
No. 56 overall – Tomislav Zubcic, PF, Croatia

The Raptors would have loved to see Harrison Barnes fall one more pick into their laps. They would have loved even more to move up and snag Dion Waiters. They settle for Terrence Ross who can do things that will make him have a solid NBA career: shoot threes and defend. Quincy Acy in Round 2 could be a Reggie Evans type which is something this franchise has experience with. Tomislav Zubcic will not come over right away. If Toronto gets Steve Nash, a lot of their problems will appear solved.

Grade: C+

Orlando Magic
No. 19 overall – Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
No. 49 overall – Kyle O’Quinn, C, Norfolk State

The Magic are in a weird situation and have been ever since Dwight Howard started pouting. Howard ran their head coach and GM out of town and still wants out himself. He hasn’t gotten it yet but it’s really only a matter of time. Orlando’s picks of Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn may have been logical, but they won’t make their fans feel better yet

Grade: C+

Boston Celtics
No. 21 overall – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
No. 22 overall – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
No. 51 overall – Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse

We knew Jared Sullinger would drop, we just didn’t know how far. The Celtics are in a rebuilding stage now and looking to bulk up their front court with Sullinger and Fab Melo. The Celtics were hoping for Royce White here or to trade up and take Doc Rivers’ son Austin Rivers in the lottery. The best case scenario for Kris Joseph (taken No. 51 overall) is Gary Forbes, according to DraftExpress.

Grade: C+

Philadelphia 76ers
No. 15 overall – Maurice Harkless, SF, St. John’s
No. 27 overall – Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi State

Philadelphia fans are not happy with the decision to take Maurice “don’t call me Moe” Harkless 15th overall. When you draft a guy who plays the same position as your best player at No. 15, it never feels like it makes sense. Harkless came out after just one year at St. John’s and is said to have some pro potential but he’s nothing special. The 76ers traded up with Miami to get Arnett Moultrie at No. 27. It’s just another lateral move here for Philly. Their fans want more than that.

Grade: C

Denver Nuggets
No. 20 overall – Evan Fournier, SG, France
No. 38 overall – Quincy Miller, G/F, Baylor
No. 50 overall – Izzet Turkyilmaz, PF, Turkey

The Nuggets surprisingly went with Evan Fournier at No. 20 despite some talent sitting on the board. Fournier will not come over to the NBA next season but was the highest rated international prospect of the draft. The Nuggets clearly weren’t looking to try and strike gold with late first round picks this year. They’ve already accomplished that with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried. Their pick at No. 38 felt a little better. Some fans wanted Quincy Miller with the 20th pick so getting him this late is a win in that sense. Miller is young with a ton of potential but has the usual question marks. Denver went with another international product late in the second round that we won’t see in the NBA right away.

Grade: C

Atlanta Hawks
No. 23 overall – John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
No. 43 overall – Mike Scott, F, Virginia

Nothing special here for Atlanta. John Jenkins could be decent but he won’t turn any heads. He can really shoot it though and might get some run for the Hawks where Josh Smith is on the way out. It would have been great if Atlanta had decided to draft Marquis Teague here and run an all-Teague backcourt with his brother Jeff. Love the Mike Scott pick.

Grade: C

Dallas Mavericks
No. 24 overall – Jared Cunningham, G, Oregon State
No. 33 overall – Bernard James, C, Florida State
No. 34 overall – Jae Crowder, F, Marquette

It doesn’t seem like Dallas was trying to do a ton in this draft. They dealt their 17th overall pick to Cleveland probably because there was no one they were in love with. They got three picks back for it and didn’t do anything crazy with them. One of the cooler moments in the draft though was Bernard James having his name called and walking to the podium. The crowd started chanting “U-S-A” because James served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dallas’ main priority this offseason is wooing Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard.

Grade: C

Memphis Grizzlies
No. 25 overall – Tony Wroten, Jr., PG, Washington

The Grizzlies wanted a point guard and a lot of mocks had them going with Marquis Teague but they choose Tony Wroten, Jr. instead. Jay Bilas calls Wroten, Jr. a taller Rajon Rondo. That means he’s a good passer and can’t shoot a lick. Maybe it’s what Memphis needs and there is some upside there.

Grade: C

Utah Jazz
No. 47 overall – Kevin Murphy, SG, Tennessee Tech

Utah has enough young players from the last few drafts that they didn’t care too much about this year. Kevin Murphy is the only player from this draft to score 50 or more points in game last year in college. Why not?

Grade: C

Miami Heat
No. 45 overall – Justin Hamilton, C, LSU

Miami could have had Perry Jones III at No. 27 and it would have been just as scary as OKC getting him if not more so. They just didn’t want to have to pay a first rounder this year. Their cap space will be tight the next few seasons. They trade down here and get a 7-footer which they need. Something tells me we won’t see a ton of Justin Hamilton playing for the defending champs.

Grade: C

San Antonio Spurs
No. 59 overall – Marcus Denmon, G, Missouri

The Spurs drafted him so he’ll be an All-Star in four years. Marcus Denmon feels a little Patty Mills/James Anderson. The Spurs probably aren’t expecting too much from Denmon though.

Grade: C

New York Knicks
No. 48 overall – Kostas Papanikolaou, F, Greece

Not doing anything here. The home crowd really loved this pick at least.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Clippers
No. 53 overall – Furkan Aldemir, PF, Turkey

Love this pick. He may never play in the NBA but he is a great rebounder and can only score on putbacks, according to Fran Fraschilla. What’s not to love?

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Lakers
No. 55 overall – Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, Marquette
No. 60 overall – Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga

Darius Johnson-Odom plays the wrong sport. He’d be an awesome football player and used that to his advantage in college for Marquette. He will look a lot smaller in the NBA. If Robert Sacre is playing for the Lakers next season, it won’t be a good thing.

Grade: C-

Brooklyn Nets
No. 41 overall – Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas
No. 54 overall – Tornike Shengelia, PF, Georgia
No. 57 overall – Ilkan Karaman, PF, Turkey

Brooklyn not trying to go crazy here. They are just praying for Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to hookup in their new city. Tyshawn Taylor might make it as a backup point in this league but nothing more. Tornike Shengelia goes by “Toko” and is a 6-foot-9 scorer who is good at attacking and can score around the rim well but has no jumper. Ilkan Karamen has a ton of tattoos and may “never play in the NBA” according to Fran Fraschilla.

Grade: C-

Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 58 overall – Robbie Hummel, SF, Purdue

Kevin Love, Chase Budinger and now Robbie Hummel. Good luck rest of league.

Grade: C-

Indiana Pacers
No. 26 overall – Miles Plumlee, PF, Duke
No. 36 overall – Orlando Johnson, SG, UCSB

This may have been the worst draft pick ever, worse than Sam Bowie. With names like Perry Jones III, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli on the board, Indiana elects to take the worst Plumlee brother, Miles. If they weren’t Indiana and known for their white hoopsters, this would be an even worse pick. It’s still so horrible though words can’t describe it. There’s nothing that could make this pick ever make sense. They get Orlando Johnson from UCSB in the second round who was a 20-point scorer last year and might do something for them.

Grade: F

Topics: Andre Drummond, Andrew Nicholson, Anthony Davis, Arnett Moultrie, Atlanta Hawks, Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Bradley Beal, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Dion Waiters, Evan Fournier, Fab Melo, Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors, Harrison Barnes, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Jared Cunningham, Jared Sullinger, Jeremy Lamb, John Henson, John Jenkins, Jr., Kendall Marshall, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Marquis Teague, Maurice Harkless, Memphis Grizzlies, Meyers Leonard, Miami Heat, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Miles Plumlee, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA Draft, NBA Draft Grades, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Perry Jones III, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Royce White, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Terrence Jones, Terrence Ross, Thomas Robinson, Tony Wroten, Toronto Raptors, Tyler Zeller, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

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  • http://fansided.com Zach

    Not sure what the Pacers were thinking. You take a player that will be a career backup instead of going after a chance for a starter. They drafted like this was last years draft class.

    • akennedy13

      Really just made me laugh out loud when that pick was made.

      • http://fansided.com Zach

        Did Donnie Walsh let Isiah call in a pick?