Let the Speculation and Comparisons Begin for the Future of the NBA
This 2012 draft was full of potential but lacked the star power believed to be the first draft without 2 legitimate stars since 2006.Outside of the consensus number 1 pick Anthony Davis the field was plentiful but there was no consensus number 2 pick that stood above the rest of the field. There were 3 guys that most draft “experts” ( I use the word lightly because these are the same guys that loved Kwame Brown and Michael Beasley) the three guys were Michael Kidd Gilchrist from Kentucky, Bradley Beal from Florida, and the old man of the group Thomas Robinson from Kansas.
After seeing how the draft played out speculation from everyone is a plenty. The Bobcats decided to take Michael Kidd Gilchrist out of Kentucky a rangy swingman that is as close to a two way player that this draft offered at the swingman position. A surprising pick well not really just add it to the list of terrible decisions that MJ has made since being in charge. Only a surprising pick because most thought Charlotte would want some immediate help in the form of an offensively gifted player. Kidd-Gilchrist can play defense he can also excel on the defensive side of the ball. His offensive game is dominated by his highlight reel dunks and getting to the lane with his right hand. His jump shot from 3 and mid-range must improve to be more effective in the NBA as Charlotte does not have the supporting cast he had while at Kentucky. I expected Beal or Robinson here because of the offensive game. Since we all love to compare the young players with established NBA veterans the comparison is to Trevor Ariza or Tony Allen
With the Third Pick the Washington Wizards select Bradley Beal G from Florida. The Wizards lucked into the pick by having the Bobcats pass on Beal. Beal will immediately impact the Wizards offense because pairing John Wall with a solid 2 guard will give John Wall something he never had consistently because Nick Young was a 1 night on 2 night off kind of guy. Offensively Beal does not rely on one facet of his game; he can slash to the hole and finish with his athleticism Beal also boasts a perimeter game some nights and a solid mid range game. Defensively Beal is not a stopper by any means, but not a liability either, and Beal is an above average rebounder for a shooting guard. To improve his game Beal must work to gain some consistency in his outside shot to help the Wizards dig themselves out of the cellar. The comparison for Beal’s raw ability to score draws closely to Ray Allen (if he can get some consistency to his perimeter shot obviously) and Eric Gordon a young athletic two guard that can score for his team.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have selected Dion Waiters wait WHAT! Why the Cleveland Cavaliers selected off guard Dion Waiters out of Syracuse with the number 4 pick is questionable. While it is no secret that Dan Gilbert makes curious decisions this one will have to go down as one of the why moments. It was no secret coming into the draft that Cleveland needed to improve their shooting guard position, but drafting at 4 you are supposed to draft the best available not for need. At least they could have traded down a few spots and scooped up Waiters. Waiters’ offensive game is all about athleticism and slashing through defenses and finishing at the rim with either hand. His mid-range game is passable most nights, but his perimeter game needs some improving if he wants to be successful in the NBA. It is hard to judge Waiters on his defensive ability because he comes from the Boeheim school of the 2-3 zone. Waiters compares favorably to Rodney Stuckey and Eric Bledsoe.
With the 5th pick in the 2012 NBA draft the Sacramento Kings select Thomas Robinson from Kansas. This was a good value pick for the Kings because the projection for Robinson was from 2-4. Thomas Robinson had a very emotionally tumultuous college career dealing with the loss of his mother and grandmother within days of each other. He really blossomed into a solid player once the Morris twins left Lawrence and he started consistently for the Jayhawks. His last season at Kansas Robinson led the Big 12 in rebounding at 11.9 per game and was second in the conference behind undrafted J’Covan Brown at 17.7 a game. Robinson also showed the maturity to lead the Jayhawks to the National Championship game. Robinson has the intangibles and the NBA ready body to be an effective big man for the Kings. Robinson can make all the athletic plays such as ally oops and show-time dunks, but has more to his repertoire. Robinson offensively on the block he can create a shot with a post up move or step back and hit a mid range jumper, and defensively he has the athleticism to keep up with most power forwards in a man to man set. To improve his game he needs to improve the mid range game and free throw shooting sound similar to another Big 12 power forward that plays in Los Angeles. The NBA comparison for Robinson is Udonis Haslem or Patrick Patterson solid big men that don’t wow you like Blake Griffin but get the job done on a nightly basis. If nothing else maybe Robinson can help Cousins mature a little bit.