The 2012 NBA Draft class features a long list of active NBA players. With five All-Star players, as well as 20 players with starting experience, this was a solid draft looking back.
When re-drafting the class, two All-Stars fell into the second round that will get a heavy bump up the list. Not to mention, Mr. Irreverent No. 60 will get a spot in the first round where he belongs. Let’s take a look at the updated 2012 NBA Draft class and how it should have gone down.
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Original Pick: Anthony Davis
Re-Draft Pick: Anthony Davis
Even though New Orleans never could accomplish their championship aspirations, Davis gave the city everything a superstar could give. Davis played at an MVP level for seven seasons, making the All-Star Game six times. Davis has since won a championship and signed a max contract with the Lakers. He will forever be remembered as one of the best to ever wear a Pelicans uniform.
2. Charlotte Hornets
Original Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Re-Draft Pick: Damian Lillard
In the draft that featured two Kentucky products going No. 1 and No. 2, the Hornets got the complete opposite of what Davis gave New Orleans. Lillard is on pace to become the all-time scorer in Portland. Had Charlotte drafted the multiple All-NBA First Team selection, Lillard might have given Charlotte playoff qualifications instead.
3. Washington Wizards
Original Pick: Bradley Beal
Re-Draft Pick: Bradley Beal
With Davis and Lillard off the board, the next best pick is Beal, the NBA scoring runner-up. The Wizards have received their money’s worth with Beal. Even though the highest the team has ever made in the playoffs is the second round, there is not much you can do about the rest of the roster. After averaging 31.0 points per game this season, Beal has grown into a top-notch scorer in the league.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: Dion Waiters
Re-Draft Pick: Khris Middleton
Middleton is a two-time All-Star with the Bucks and everything the Cavaliers wished they would have received in Waiters. At the time, LeBron James was not a member of the team and the Cavaliers were just a year off from drafting Kyrie Irving. Pairing Irving and Middleton could have helped jumpstart the team’s rebuild.
5. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Thomas Robinson
Re-Draft Pick: Draymond Green
The Cavaliers had Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson on the roster, so they weren’t going to draft Draymond Green even though he was on the board. That allows the Kings to swoop in and capture the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Green, a key contributor during the five-year Finals run with the Warriors, could have made a formidable frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Damian Lillard
Re-Draft Pick: Andre Drummond
The Trail Blazers drafted a center with the No. 11 pick, so they can replenish their need for a center with the best overall center on the board. With Lillard off the board, the Trail Blazers can snatch a two-time All-Star and rebounding leader in the NBA. Either way, the Trail Blazers would leave this draft with an All-Star.
7. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Harrison Barnes
Re-Draft Pick: Harrison Barnes
The Warriors picked a solid player at this spot and should continue to take Barnes at this spot. Barnes was a starter for the 2015 championship team, so why fix something that isn’t broken? He was a solid fit for that system and there is no reason for the team to choose a different player.
8. Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: Terrence Ross
Re-Draft Pick: Evan Fournier
It wasn’t until three years ago that Ross began to score close to 15 points per game. Fournier has averaged double-digit points seven straight seasons, including 19.7 points in his final season with the Magic. Fournier could have been the scoring small forward Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan needed.
9. Detroit Pistons
Original Pick: Andre Drummond
Re-Draft Pick: Jae Crowder
With Drummond off the board, the Pistons need a replacement to fill the middle. While Crowder is not a true center, he is one of the strongest forwards in the league that can guard just about anyone. He has also improved his three-point shooting over the years. There’s a reason that both the Heat (last year) and Suns (this year) have succeeded with him on the roster.
10. New Orleans Pelicans
Original Pick: Austin Rivers
Re-Draft Pick: Jeremy Lamb
The Pelicans were looking for a guard that could score. Rivers turned into a backup point guard at best. While there is nothing wrong with that, there are better backup players on the board. That includes Lamb, who has a career average of 10.4 points per game. Lamb’s best season came two years ago where he averaged 15.3 points and 5.5 rebounds with the Hornets.
11. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Meyers Leonard
Re-Draft Pick: Will Barton
With Lillard leaving early, and Drummond filling the need for a center, the Trail Blazers need to find a complementary player that can score from outside. The best three-point threat on the board is Barton, who owns a career average of 35.2%. While that is not sexy by any means, Barton has scored in double-figures in six straight seasons with the Nuggets.
12. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Jeremy Lamb
Re-Draft Pick: Terrence Ross
Ross is the next best option and is virtually a great value Jeremy Lamb. Ross and Lamb have similar numbers, but Lamb has scored in bigger quantities longer. The Rockers would pick up a player that owns a career average off-the-court off-the-court of 11.4 points. Not to mention, those numbers probably would have been higher under Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
13. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Kendall Marshall
Re-Draft Pick: Meyers Leonard
This might be a stretch, but Leonard could have been groomed to replace Marcin Gortat, who eventually left for the Wizards. Leonard never had flashy stats as a center, but he was a productive backup center.
14. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: John Henson
Re-Draft Pick: Maurice Harkless
John Henson has enjoyed a nice career in the NBA, but Harkless is the better overall forward. Harkless gave the Trail Blazers close to seven points and four rebounds off the bench. He was also an average defender. At this point, Harkless is a journeyman, having played for four teams in the last two years.
15. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Maurice Harkless
Re-Draft Pick: Kyle O’Quinn
Even though O’Quinn is not in the league anymore, and left for the Turkish League after 2020, he was close to the same player that 76ers drafted in a young Harkless. With O’Quinn on the board and the 76ers needing a forward, the team might as well break even at this point.
16. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Royce White
Re-Draft Pick: Austin Rivers
Watching Rivers drop to this point in the draft would maybe have lit a fire under his belt. Rivers came into the league with a lot of hype out of Duke, but that never materialized early. Rivers would have been perfect for D’Antoni’s offense. His early numbers probably would have been better too.
17. Dallas Mavericks
Original Pick: Tyler Zeller
Re-Draft Pick: John Henson
Henson owns career averages of 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. Those are some respectable numbers for a backup. With Tyler Zeller out of the league, Henson is the best available power forward on the board. Henson enjoyed a successful seven-year career with the Bucks and just recently played for the Pistons.
18. Houston Rockets
Original Pick: Terrence Jones
Re-Draft Pick: Dion Waiters
Waiters drop for a majority of reasons. Waiters once averaged 15.8 points per game, but don’t let that one season fool you. He faced off the court issues, never lived up to the hype of his No. 4 selection, and played just 10 games his final two seasons before fizzling out of the league in 2020. Waiters have potential, but that is how all picks at this point should be viewed.
19. Orlando Magic
Original Pick: Andrew Nicholson
Re-Draft Pick: Mike Scott
How about the longevity of Mike Scott? Scott played five seasons for the Hawks and remains an option off the bench for the No. 1 seeded 76ers. In his career, Scott has averaged 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds. The former No. 43 overall pick has overstayed his welcome.
20. Denver Nuggets
Original Pick: Evan Fournier
Re-Draft Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Even though Kidd-Gilchrist never lived up to No. 2 overall pick expectations, he did have a successful NBA career, so we should take that into account. With 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, some could say that he should move up this list. However, these are numbers we would expect from the No. 20 overall pick, so he can go to Denver.
21. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: Jared Sullinger
Re-Draft Pick: Festus Ezeli
How can Ezeli, who only played three seasons in the NBA, land at No. 21? For starters, Ezeli was a key bench piece for the 2015 championship team. The Warriors have three players from that championship team in this draft, making it one of the best drafts ever. At the time, the Celtics could have kept their veterans, not making a blockbuster with the Nets, and made another run at the championship.
22. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: Fab Melo
Re-Draft Pick: Tyler Zeller
Melo had so much hype coming out of Syracuse but never turned into a contributor for an NBA team. Zeller averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds from 2012 to 2019. Melo lasted just three seasons in the league.
23. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: John Jenkins
Re-Draft Pick: Miles Plumlee
Plumlee showed glimpses of his potential by averaging 8.1 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2013-2014. At this time, the Hawks were one year away from winning the No. 1 seed. Maybe Plumlee could have made that bench a tad better.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: Jared Cunningham
Re-Draft Pick: Darius Miller
Miller played in the league from 2012-2014 but then left for Germany from 2015-2017. He has since averaged over 23 minutes of playing time in two of the last three seasons with a career average of 5.9 points per game.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Tony Wroten
Re-Draft Pick: Tomas Satoransky
Satoransky was one of the first second-round picks from this draft but didn’t come to the league until 2016. He has since turned into one of the better backup point guards in the league.
26. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Miles Plumlee
Re-Draft Pick: Jared Sullinger
Sullinger fizzled out of the league in 2016 but owned two seasons of averaging 13.3 points per game. Three of Sullinger’s four seasons with the Celtics included double-digit points and rebound marks of 8.1, 7.6, and 8.3.
27. Miami Heat
Original Pick: Arnett Moultrie
Re-Draft Pick: Terrance Jones
Jones averaged 12.1 and 11.7 points in his second and third seasons in the league. Moultrie never averaged more than 3.7 points. At this stage, Jones would have quadrupled his production.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: Perry Jones
Re-Draft Pick: Acy Quincy
Quincy averaged 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game from 2012 to 2018. Jones fizzled out of the league in 2014.
29. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Marquis Teague
Re-Draft Pick: Andrew Nicholson
Teague is one of the “busts” that Bulls fans like to bring up during the Gar Forman era. Part of that is because Draymond Green was still on the board at this time. With that said, all of the great players are gone and are searching for a diamond in the rough. Nicholson averaged 7.8 points, a career-high, during his rookie season.
30. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Festus Ezeli
Re-Draft Pick: Robert Sacre
Sacre was the No. 60 overall pick and ended up playing four seasons for the Lakers. Since he defied all odds, he is rewarded with being the final pick of the first round.