Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Few Thoughts on the NBA Draft First Round

Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilcrist were the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the NBA Draft -

The first round of the NBA draft is in the books and now that the dreams have come true, it's time for reality to kick in.

And still the biggest takeaway is we know nothing and won't know anything until they take the court. We don't know if Dion Waiters jumping up to No. 4 is a good pick or if Perry Jones III, taken at No. 28 and has the talent of a lottery pick, was worth the drop.

Since I cannot see into the future, I don't do much predicting of who will shine, but instead hit you with the big takeaways from the first round, in case you missed it.

According to Plan: Just as I tell you we can't predict the future, the first round picks stayed pretty true to what the experts expected. Some jumped higher than thought and others dropped out of the lottery, but those worries were known heading into the night. Dion Waiters seemed high at No. 4, but other than that, the lottery picks weren't very surprising.

Watching Stocks Plummet: Based on the household-style of the names involved, it would be a shock to see how far in the draft Jared Sullinger, 21st pick, and Perry Jones III, 28th pick, if we were still judging them on the beginning of the college season. Injuries were the question marks for both guys, but both - Perry Jones III especially - have been placed in systems in which to succeed. Jones III had top-10 talent, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook should be able to get him to play like a star.

Seas of Blue: The players of the first round had two common themes; teammates traveled in packs and the blue bloods were prominent. For the first time in the modern draft era, two teams, Kentucky and North Carolina, had four players each selected in the first round. Throw in Austin Rivers of Duke and Thomas Robinson of Kansas and the powerhouses of college basketball were well represented.

First Round Winner: 
New Orleans: It's hard to not rule the team who has the No. 1 and No. 10 picks as a winner and nearly impossible when the two picks were Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. For all we know they could both be busts, but that's not likely. From a potential standpoint, those are two solid picks.

First Round Loser:
Cleveland: With a team still hurting from the loss of a talent like LeBron James, the Cavaliers selected two shooting guards (Dion Waiters and Jared Cunningham) both of which were taken with talent left on the board. Cunningham was projected as the No. 37 pick, while big men like Jones III and Festus Ezeli could have made solid backups for Jamison and Varejao.

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