Re-Drafting The 2012 NBA Draft: Charlotte Hornets Would Select Damian Lillard As Their Franchise Player

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Re-Drafting The 2012 NBA Draft: Charlotte Hornets Would Select Damian Lillard As Their Franchise Player

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.