April 19, 2014

NBA Draft: NBA GM’s Souring on 2012 Draft Class

The 2011 NBA Draft was supposed to be one of the weakest in recent memory with the subsequent selection session being dubbed one of the most anticipated. With several would-be lottery picks returning to school and the 2011 variety being littered with European players, this coming April was supposed to yield the next wave of professional basketball stardom. Until it wasn’t.

Per ESPN’s Chad Ford, league general managers are anything but impressed with the way the returning players and highly touted freshmen have performed to date.

“Everyone talks about how great this draft is,” one NBA GM told ESPN.com. “On paper in July, it really looked that way. On the ground in February, I’m not that impressed. Anthony Davis is great. But after that, there are a lot of question marks and a surprising lack of depth. I’m not sure that the 2012 draft will be better than the 2011 one.”

Cleveland’s Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant worked a trade that ultimately netted them the league’s top rookie point guard as well as a power forward who is among the best in his class with regard to rebounds and blocked shots per game. The 2012 class was supposed to provide Cleveland with an upgrade at either wing positions with several options likely to be available in the offseason.

The question marks could potentially be where a general manager thrives or folds, separating the talent from the mirage. As Grant stated last season, there are great players in every draft. The secret sauce exists in is finding them.

[Related: WFNY’s 2012 NBA Draft Not-so-Big Board 2.0]

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This is actually what I’ve been saying all along, so I’m going to pat myself on the back vigorously (and yes, pun intended).  Except that this statement about GMs doesn’t really prove anything either… shoot.  At any rate, there is no one in this draft who I feel certain about being able to put up big points in the NBA.  Certainly someone will, but it just seems really tough to me to be able to tell which guy projects the best as an elite scorer.  My favorite right now is Brad Beal, but I like Kidd-Gilchrist as well (I think he needs 3 years in the NBA to work on his jump shot before becoming an elite scorer).  I like Harrison Barnes at shooting guard more than small forward, but worried that he hasn’t shown much ability to create his own shot.

  • mgbode

    Robinson should be a pretty elite scorer, but from a non-rare position (PF).

    whether you like Barnes, Beal, or MKG (and don’t forget J.Lamb) will depend on what type of scorer you want on your team:

    1. Barnes – such a silky stroke and ability to move off the ball.  if you think he can move to SG and you don’t require your SG to handle the ball much, then he has a very high floor.

    2. MKG – if you like Gerald Wallace, Andre Iguodala and that type of hard-crashing, always in high gear SF, then you love MKG.   I am guilty as charged.  His jump shot probably never gets to where the other guys here are at, but he will play great defense and he’ll get alot more easy buckets compared to them too.

    3. Beal – I am flustered with him.  Is Florida just using him all wrong?  I haven’t been impressed when I have seen him, but he also looks like he should be good when he plays (good form, good movement – just not quite clicking for whatever reason).

    4. J. Lamb – actually 3rd on my list as I’m fairly certain UConn is killing his value right now.  he works best off the ball moving around screens and getting assisted shots.  so, of course, they are requiring him to try to pull off a Kemba impression.  He’s not a Kemba-type player that requires the ball in his hands (and we have Irving, so we don’t need him to be).

    but, with Moultrie, Sullinger, Drummond(risky), Perry Jones (ultra-risky), Zeller, Henson, T.Jones, T.Ross, and D.Lamb all expected to jump, I don’t see how this draft isn’t at least “deep” with decent talent.   Yeah, they all have risks and moreso than previously believed.  But, there’s a ton of talent to be had if you have good scouting (and coaching)

  • LMTShawn

    Sounds to me like a GM (ahem, Chris Grant) trying to move a player (Ramon Sessions) for a pick in the 15-20 range.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I don’t think Chad Ford, or ESPN for that matter, knows that Chris Grant is a person.

  • mgbode

    i thought he was a statistical modeling program.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I respect your opinion, and could see those guys panning out in the ways you described… especially with Jeremy Lamb.  He’s a little weaker than I’d like in a shooting guard and I don’t think his frame will take much muscle, but agree that he doesn’t get used correctly at UCONN.  Here’s how I see the others: I like Robinson as a rebounder at the next level, but not as much as a scorer.  I don’t see enough finesse in his offensive game to translate to the next level.  He’s also not really the rim-protector/shot-blocker type.  So in my mind, he’s overvalued at his current projected spot.  We’ve talked about Barnes before and we just see him panning out differently.  I see him becoming like Dorell Wright, with better percentages in his prime.  I like Kidd-Gilchrist much more for the reasons you outlined… he plays harder, he gets foul shots and gets to the rim, etc.  You can teach a jump shot (to varying degrees of success), it’s much harder to teach an attacking mentality and physical prowess.  I’m taking Beal down a few pegs as well… I hadn’t looked at him much after the non-conference slate and I’m seeing now that he’s been more ineffective in that time (confirmed by both numbers and video… too bad).  I think MKG is back to being my favorite in this draft class besides Anthony Davis.

  • mgbode

    yep, I respect your opinions as well.  and even with how I view Barnes, I also do add that he has more risk than I’d really want in a top3 pick (lack of assertiveness, unsure if he can handle SGs on defense).    i’m a sucker for the MKG type player, so I am glad that I am not alone in that assessment.   the good thing about Robinson is that there’s virtually no chance the Cavs will take him (or Sullinger), so we don’t have to worry about them much.  If they are high enough to take him, well then they are in the range of the wing players we need more.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    MKG all the way you need players who can create for themselves not guys who are dependent on a pass.  The Cavaliers had plenty of that when James was here and it killed them.  I’m confused on Barnes he looks like the guy then disappears.  I liked Lamb but Kemba Walker created alot for him.