The 2012 NBA Draft: Winners and Surprises

No surprise here: Anthony Davis was picked first overall by the New Orleans Hornets
(Photo by: Associated Press)

As expected, the New Orleans Hornets kept their first overall pick and selected PF/C Anthony "The Brow" Davis from the University of Kentucky. Davis has the potential to become a franchise player and he instantly converts the Hornets to a playoff team. The Hornets also had the #10 pick and they chose Austin Rivers from Duke. Rivers can play both guard positions and he is a very able scorer. The Hornets have considerably improved their team overnight and with Eric Gordon plus Al-Farouq Aminu, they will have a young core who can grow together, much like the blueprint of the OKC Thunder.

The Boston Celtics are a veteran team with older players in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. They are trying to rebuild and compete for championships at the same time. They had the #21 and #22 picks in the first round and they selected Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Fab Melo of Syracuse. The Celtics strengthened their front court immensely and they added youth to their team. Both rookies come from outstanding college programs and it's a blessing for them to learn playing big from Kevin Garnett. In Sullinger, the Celtics have the best offensive forward from college while Melo is a decent rebounder and shot blocker.

The Rockets had 3 picks in the first round and they made great work with all their selections. With the 12th pick, they selected Jeremy Lamb from University of Connecticut. Then with the 16th pick, they selected Royce White from Iowa State and their last pick at #18 became Terrence Jones of UK. The Rockets suddenly have a young team with holdovers: Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons and Goran Dragic (if he resigns with them). The Rockets are actively shopping Luis Scola and there are rumors that Kevin Martin could be on the trading block due to the addition of rookie guards in Lamb and White.

Big Surprise: Perry Jones III fell all the way to 28th
(Photo by: Associated Press)
A sure lottery pick player if he joined the draft last year, Perry Jones III of Baylor dropped all the way to 28th this year. Questions about his work ethic and desire already lowered his draft stock but additional reports about the health of his knees destroyed any chances of him being picked early. On the bright side, Jones still got picked in the first round and he was picked by the OKC Thunder. He appears to be a "perfect fit" for a team that boasts young and athletic players that can run and shoot at will. Jones III can learn to play like Kevin Durant since both of them carry the same 6'11 slender frame and long arms. 

Another Jones fell lower than expected. Terrence Jones of UK was picked #18 by the Houston Rockets. Most experts pegged Jones to be a lottery pick and maybe even a top 10 pick. Jones is a versatile forward who can score, rebound and defend. Some have compared him to Lamar Odom as being his potential while others have likened him to Paul Millsap. Jones' draft stock might have fallen due to teams putting more value towards the success of University of Kentucky as a team loaded with good players (Davis, MKG, Teague). Jones may have gotten his numbers due to his team being superior than others, not necessarily by his own skills. 

The Toronto Raptors had the 8th pick and they selected Terrence Ross from Washington. Ross is 6'7 and can play SG/SF with decent three-point shooting range. He averaged 8 points per game in his freshman year but he doubled his scoring during his sophomore season. Few analysts believed that Ross would be a lottery pick and he was projected in the early twenties. The Raptors took a gamble by selecting a less heralded, less-known player in Ross instead of going to a more popular and safer picks like Austin Rivers or Jeremy Lamb. Ross might end up being the "steal" of the draft or he could be the "bust". The Raptors hope and pray it's the former. 

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