NBA Draft 2012 re-boot

June 26, 2017. ...Those who want to judge the 2017 NBA Draft are free to do so. But the truth is, we won't know anything definitive for several years. We have made a habit of grading NBA Drafts five years after they take place.

The 2012 NBA Draft produced four players that have become NBA All-Stars, and four players who never played a minute in the Association. The four All-Stars: Anthony Davis (pick 1), Damian Lillard (pick 6), Andre Drummond (pick 9), and Draymond Green (pick 35). The four selections that never sniffed the show were selected at positions 50, 56, 57, and 59.

(Davis was the right pick with number one)

What about the rest of the 2012 NBA Draft? We can re-boot the Draft for the sake of giggles. Understand that this exercise is highly subjective. Here is how we feel it should have gone based on production up to this point...

  1. Anthony Davis - The New Orleans Hornets (their name at the time), made the correct call by selecting Davis with the first pick.
  2. Damian Lillard - Portland gets a "plus 4" on our value scale for selecting Lillard sixth. Hindsight has him as the player who should have been picked second.
  3. Andre Drummond - The Pistons have one of the best defensive Centers in the NBA in Drummond. He was selected ninth.
  4. Draymond Green - Without debate, the single best selection in the 2012 NBA Draft was the Warriors picking Draymond Green 35th.
  5. Bradley Beal - Washington has a fine player in Beal. He may still make an All-Star team someday. He was taken third in 2012.
  6. Harrison Barnes - Barnes was taken seventh by the Warriors. He has since moved to the Mavericks and remains as a player with upside five years after the draft.
  7. Jae Crowder - A top-three VALUE pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was Jae Crowder. He was taken 34th. Crowder played for Dallas until being traded to Boston. He also spent time in the D-League.
  8. Jared Sullinger - The big man broke his foot in the 2016 preseason and never played any meaningful minutes this past season. He had four good seasons in Boston, peaking as a second-year player in 2013-14.
  9. Michael Kidd Gilchrist - "MKG" was the second pick in the 2012 Draft. In hindsight, that was obviously a pretty big blunder by the Charlotte Bobcats (their name at the time.)
  10. John Henson - Milwaukee did a solid job by grabbing Henson 14th. He is an effective bench BIG in the NBA.
  11. Dion Waiters - He's on his third team in five seasons. The fourth pick in 2012 should have been eleventh in our opinion.
  12. Evan Fournier - Fournier still has upside. He has improved his scoring average every season, going from 5.3 ppg in Denver as a rookie to 17.3 ppg in Orlando this season past. He was taken 20th.
  13. Terrence Ross - Ross was selected eighth by Toronto. He too, still has potential for growth in his game. Ross is coming off his best scoring average season at 11.0 ppg.
  14. Maurice Harkless - He was drafted 15th in 2012. Harkless is another player still ascending. He scored more in 2016-17 than he had in any prior season.
  15. Tyler Zeller - He was taken 17th in 2012.
  16. Terrence Jones - Jones was selected 18th in 2012. He was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans this season but he caught on with Milwaukee.
  17. Will Barton - One of the best picks in the 2012 Draft was made by Portland grabbing Barton 40th overall. After two and a half season of little opportunity as a Blazer, Barton was traded to Denver where he now thrives.
  18. Kyle O'Quinn - Another excellent selection was Kyle O'Quinn. He was drafted 49th by Orlando.
  19. Kent Bazemore - He was undrafted in 2012. As it turns out, he should have been drafted in the top-20! Kudos to the Warriors for snatching him up first.
  20. Austin Rivers - Rivers is still ascending. 2016-17 saw him post his highest scoring average to date, at 12.0 ppg.
  21. Jeremy Lamb - Lamb is yet another player who could move much higher on this ranking in another couple years. He just had his best scoring season in the NBA.
  22. Meyers Leonard - Portland missed on this pick. Leonard was the eleventh player taken.
  23. Miles Plumlee - He's still bouncing around the league as a journeyman BIG. He was taken 26th by the Pacers.
  24. Thomas Robinson - He wasn't the worst pick in 2012, but Sacramento certainly struck out by taking him fifth.
  25. Hollis Thompson - Thompson was not drafted. The Sixers were the first team to give him a shot.
  26. Mike Scott - Scott seems to always leave us wanting more. He was taken 34th.
  27. JaMychal Green - Green was an NBA starter last season despite non being drafted. He is a D-League success story, that was first picked up by San Antonio, although they ultimately waived him. He caught on with Memphis after signing a ten-day contract in in February 2015.
  28. Andrew Nicholson - On his third team, Nicholson is under contract in Brooklyn through 2020. He was the 19th pick in 2012.
  29. Quincy Acy - Acy was the 37th pick in 2012.
  30. Festus Ezeli - Big Festus would certainly rate higher had he not been injured and missed the entire 2016-17 season. He was the last pick of the first round, as he should have been.

There are two players outside our top-30 that appear to have their best days still in their future. Jonathon Simmons, a 2017 free-agent, appears to be a player that will crack the top 30 before his playing days are done. His total production to date placed him 34th on our rankings. He was undrafted. ...Tomas Satoransky just came to the NBA in 2016-17, playing his first season with the Wizards. He was 44th in our total production rankings for the 2012 NBA Draft. Satoransky was drafted 32nd.

In hindsight, the clear worst pick was made by the Houston Rockets who reached for Royce White with the 16th selection. White played a total of nine minutes in the league.