24 January 2021

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Redrafting the 2012 NBA Lottery

The 2012 NBA draft had a lot of surprises. This draft class had one of the best second rounds in NBA history with two all-stars being selected there. They also had six all-stars in total in this class and several great rotational players. Many of these players were drafted much later than expected, so without further ado: here is a redraft of the 2012 lottery.

1. New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans)

With the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select: Anthony Davis

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anthony davis draft
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The Pelicans did a great job with this selection, like in the real draft, Anthony Davis ends up in New Orleans. Davis has seven all-stars appearances and hasn’t had less than 20 points per game since his rookie season. He spent seven seasons with New Orleans, but then forced himself out of New Orleans and teamed up with LeBron in Los Angeles.

2. Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets)

With the second pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets select: Bradley Beal

bradley beal draft
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Bradley Beal was originally drafted third overall by the Washington Wizards. Beal is arguably the best Shooting Guard in the Eastern Conference right now. He’s on a struggling Wizards team averaging 30.5 points per game. Despite his career year, the Wizards are one of the biggest jokes in the NBA. It would’ve been very interesting to see how Bradley would’ve turned out with Kemba Walker.

The Hornets had originally selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with this pick. Gilchrist wasn’t a bust, but he was definitely a disappointment for the second-overall pick. He actually had a pretty solid rookie season with averages of 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds and earned himself All-Rookie Second-Team honors. Although his averages would improve in his first four seasons, injuries would derail his career and cement his legacy as a disappointment.

Bradley Beal being drafted by the Hornets would’ve been a very interesting duo. Instead of Beal teaming up with Wall he’d team up with the much less injury-prone Kemba Walker. Beal would replace Gerald Henderson who they could trade for a solid Center. This backcourt duo would change the course of history as these two all-stars could tear up the East and would be one piece away from becoming legit contenders.

3. Washington Wizards

With the third pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select: Andre Drummond

andre drummond
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Andre Drummond was originally drafted ninth overall by the Detroit Pistons. Drummond has been the best rebounding Center in the league for several years. His rebounding alone is enough to get him into the lottery, but his talent in the pick-and-roll and solid defense boost him up to third.

The Wizards had originally drafted Bradley Beal with this pick, but he was scooped up by the Hornets with the second pick.

Drummond on the Wizards would give Wall the Point Guard he’s never had even to this day. The Wizards tried players like Dwight Howard and Javale Mcgee, but it just didn’t work. Drummond and Wall would be one of the best fits between two old-school players. Drummond would be in a system he’d fit in was Wall and Drummond would kill the pick-and-roll. Although Beal is the better individual player, it would be a very interesting fit that could bring the Wizards past the second round.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

With the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select: Khris Middleton

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 07:   Khris Middleton #22 of the Texas A&M Aggies handles the ball during a game against Oklahoma Sooners the first round of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament March 07, 2011 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Middleton was originally drafted 39th overall by the Detroit Pistons. Middleton has more than just outplayed that position, he made it clear he should’ve been a top-five pick in this draft. Middleton is an excellent scorer who thrived after being traded to Milwaukee in his second year. He continued to improve and joined a young man named Giannis Antetokounmpo, becoming the second option on a championship team and a two-time all-star.

The Cavaliers had originally selected Dion Waiters with this pick. For the first two seasons, this seemed to be the perfect choice. Waiters had averaged 14.7 and 15.9 points respectively and there was talk of him becoming an all-star. Unfortunately, he’d hit a wall after his second season and became an above-average role-player and nothing more.

With the selection of Middleton, they give Irving a second star to play with before the return of LeBron. This means that instead of Love, the big three in Cleveland ends up with James, Irving, and Middleton. James would likely play at the four and the three of these players would make an interesting trio and they’d have a young star to work with after Irving and James both leave.

5. Sacramento Kings

With the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings select: Draymond Green

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 11:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans brings the ball up court against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Final Game of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Conference Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 11, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Draymond Green was the other second-round all-star that came out of this draft. He was originally drafted 35th overall by the Golden State Warriors. He blossomed into a three-time all-star and three-time champion. He was a vital piece to Golden State’s energy and chemistry before Kevin Durant showed up. He is still on the Warriors, but he is having the worst season of his career since he broke out.

The Kings had originally drafted Thomas Robinson. Robinson would be a huge disappointment and would be traded in his rookie season. Robinson would be out of the NBA by 2017.

Green on the Kings would be a great player to add to Sacramento’s roster. He’d join Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, and DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings would become a real playoff team in the West. The chemistry between Cousins and Green would be a very dangerous duo for chemistry, but on a talent basis, this team would have a sky-high ceiling.

6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn)

With the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select: Damian Lillard

damian lillard draft
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Ok, so I know many of you are wondering how the hell Damian Lillard ends up at six with Portland, but you’ve got to understand, all these teams already have Point Guards. The Hornets/Pelicans drafted Anthony Davis, which is understandable, then the Bobcats/Hornets have Kemba Walker, the Wizards have Wall, the Cavaliers have Irving, and the Kings have Thomas. No one had a need for a Point Guard which is why he fell in the first place.

This brings Lillard to sixth, not because of his talent, but because these teams have some of the best young Point Guards in the NBA. This drops Lillard to sixth where he would end up being for his career to this date.

7. Golden State Warriors

With the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select: Harrison Barnes

harrison barnes
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Like in the original draft, Harrison Barnes ends up in the Golden State. The only difference this time is just that now he really is the best player left. He’s also just the perfect fit for the Warriors as he is a Swing-Forward who can play a lot of Power Forward alongside Curry and Klay. When Barnes was traded from Golden State after three seasons, he became an incredible scorer grabbing 19.2 points per game and is the perfect player to replace Draymond.

8. Toronto Raptors

With the eighth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors select: Evan Fournier

Source: DraftExpress
Source: DraftExpress

Evan Fournier was originally selected 20th overall by the Denver Nuggets; The first in a string of incredible non-lottery picks by that franchise. Fournier wouldn’t thrive, though, until he was traded to Orlando in his third season where he would establish himself as an incredible scorer. He’d average more than 17 points per game in three of his seasons in just over 30 minutes.

The Raptors had originally selected Terrence Ross with this pick. Ross is a solid scorer that boosts anyone’s bench. He’s currently in Orlando and is making a dark-horse case for Sixth Man of the Year.

Fournier basically plays the same role that Ross does, but he is slightly better at it. His scoring would be huge for Toronto’s bench as he’d provide crucial minutes behind Lowry and DeRozan. He’d give the Raptors a shot at the East as he’d improve with the two of them and would be a key Sixth Man for the young franchise.

9. Detroit Pistons

With the ninth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select: Dion Waiters

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Dion Waiters of Syracuse greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number four overall by the the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Dion Waiters was originally drafted fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but with hindsight, the Cavaliers know of several all-stars and select Khris Middleton instead. Waiters falls from fourth to ninth where the Pistons finally pick him up.

The Pistons had originally drafted Andre Drummond with this pick, but Drummond had already been drafted by the Wizards with the third pick.

Waiters is obviously not as good as Drummond, but he’s also not a bad consolation. Drummond was barely an all-star and that’s only because his stats were inflated on a terrible Detroit team. Waiters would be a solid player for the Pistons and they’d rely on him for scoring along with Greg Monroe. The Pistons’ course of history would be drastically changed as they wouldn’t spend the next decade building around Drummond and would just have another O.K. piece.

10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota)

With the tenth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select: Jae Crowder

Marquette's Jae Crowder signals his three point basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) Photo: AP
Marquette’s Jae Crowder signals his three point basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) Photo: AP
 

Crowder was originally drafted 34th overall by the Dallas Mavericks. Like Draymond, he was an undersized forward who was more of a defensive specialist that grew into an all-around player. Crowder made a name for himself on defense but is currently helping Miami contend for a championship if the suspension ever ends.

The Hornets/Pelicans had originally selected Austin Rivers. Rivers was an injury-prone Point Guard who really only had one productive season. He is know stuck behind Westbrook in Houston and will never live up to his full potential. Crowder is a serviceable player who will help the struggling Hornets/Pelicans gain as many young assets as possible in order to become a real team.

11. Portland Trail Blazers

With the 11th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select: Terrence Ross

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Terrence Ross (R) of the Washington Huskies greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number eight overall by the Toronto Raptors during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Ross was originally selected with the eighth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors. In this redraft, he falls a bit because outside of scoring, he’s not that great of a player. Scoring is the only thing that Ross excels in. He’s a below-average defender and averages just 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists for his career. With that said, he is a truly exceptional scorer who is a great addition to any bench.

The Trail Blazers had originally selected Meyers Leonard with this pick. Leonard as a back-end rotational player at best. He is capable of stretching the floor and is tall, but that’s about all he has going for him. Like Ross, Leonard is only a viable option on offense, only he’s not a great offensive player either unless he’s outside the arc. He is currently in Miami, starting alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as he and the Heat are Dark-Horse contenders.

Ross on the Blazers gives the team another scoring option when their starters are sitting. While Aldridge and Lillard are out, Ross would take over as the #1 scorer off the bench and they’d look to him throughout each game. He’d be a key piece that would push them further into the playoffs as the team progresses.

12. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee)

With the 12th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets select: Jeremy Lamb

Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb pushes past Harvard's Wesley Saunders during the second half of an NCAA  college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. UConn defeated Harvard 67-53.
Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb pushes past Harvard’s Wesley Saunders during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. UConn defeated Harvard 67-53.Photo: AP

Like in the original draft, the Rockets select Lamb with the 12th pick, only this time, they keep him. Lamb grew into a solid but injury-prone player who’s best known for his scoring. He was traded on draft night to the Thunder, but it wouldn’t be until his time with the Hornets that his talents would be recognized. He’d make a great bench piece for the Rockets, a team that struggles with depth having Austin Rivers as their most credible backup.

13. Phoenix Suns

With the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Of St. Patrick High School Goes No. 2 ...
St. Patrick High School product Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, seen here with Commissioner David Stern, went No. 2 overall to the Charlotte Bobcats at the NBA Draft on June 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was originally drafted second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. Although he was a disappointment, especially for the position he was drafted in, he was nowhere near a bust. In his first six seasons, he had five quite productive ones, the other one having only played seven games. Although his career is on the downfall in Dallas right now, Gilchrist will likely be able to get one last chance to prove himself on a veteran minimum next year.

The Suns originally selected Kendall Marshall with this pick. Marshall had some talent going into the league, but didn’t show teams that when he entered the NBA. He spent four seasons on four different teams and didn’t have a season where he played more than 54 games. By 2016, he was out of the league.

Kidd-Gilchrist would actually be a serviceable player in Phoenix. He fills the hole at Small Forward that is currently being played by a PJ Tucker who hasn’t found himself yet. The Suns wouldn’t go anywhere with him, but he’d help the team pull a few more wins each season.

14. Milwaukee Bucks (via Houston)

With the 14th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select: Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers is the second Duke player in the last two years to leave for the NBA draft after completing just one semester of school.
Austin Rivers is the second Duke player in the last two years to leave for the NBA draft after completing just one semester of school.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Austin Rivers was originally tenth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. As a serviceable player, he falls out of the top ten as teams now know that he will not reach the potential that he showed in college. With that said, he’s still a good depth piece for any team to have and boosts any team’s bench.

The Bucks had originally selected John Henson with this pick. Henson actually played pretty well for the Bucks, but he’d only play half the season and it’s not worth spending a lottery pick on. Henson is currently reviving his career with the Pistons as he is playing the most consistent basketball he had played before the suspension took place.
Austin Rivers would play a crucial role on Milwaukee’s bench. The Bucks already had a solid squad so they would just need to go with the best available which is why they chose Rivers. He’d play behind Jennings and Ellis in his first season and would get some valuable playoff experience with the Bucks until Giannis Antetokounmpo would arrive (assuming the future is the same with the draft).

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