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]