Re-Drafting the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery: Where Do Harkless, Nicholson Rank?

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Apr 15, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic small forward Maurice Harkless (21) dunks the ball during the fourth quarter at Amway Center. Chicago defeated Orlando 102-84. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 draft class was not one replete with talent, but there were a number of rookies who made significant impacts last season. Damian Lillard ran away with the Rookie of the Year award and looks to be a player with franchise potential.

Beyond Lillard, No.1 overall pick Anthony Davis compiled a nice season though a series of injuries. Harrison Barnes started on a playoff Warriors team. Andre Drummond showed he had the talent which once had him projected as the best player in the class.

But, as usual, there are a number of potential busts. Thomas Robinson is already on his third team after the Rockets parted ways with him after acquiring him mid-season. Bradley Beal started off cold, but appears to be a legitimate starter at least, as he came on strong in the second half of the season. Let’s take a look at how the draft class may shake out if the teams redrafted today.

1) Damian Lillard, taken 6th

Apr 14, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

May be as good as Isiah. Lillard is a player capable of taking over games and knows how to lead a team and he is easily the best talent in this draft class.  He’s making all GMs more closely evaluate mid-major prospects, as evidenced by C.J. McCollum’s prospects in last year’s draft.

2) Anthony Davis, taken 1st

The hope is that both Davis can stay health, and that he can model his career after another former John Calipari player in Marcus Camby. Davis’ best chance to become a game changer is to maximize his defensive talents and let the offense come as it does. He’s still woefully thin, but Davis projects to be a 5 man eventually.

3) Andre Drummond, taken 9th

Andre Drummond is really a man-child. He is built strong, a great leaper, and athletically he just has that freakish blend of speed and size that reminds of Dwight Howard. He flopped his freshman year at UConn and that really hurt his draft prospects, as he was projected to be the first overall pick early in the 2012 season. He’s showing that being physically gifted can make up for a multitude of other inadequacies.

4) Harrison Barnes, taken 7th

Harrison Barnes showed a lot of maturity in playing big minutes on a competitive team last season, and his role was thrust upon him due to injuries to other Warriors players and a lack of depth at the swingman positions. Barnes made the most of it and has a game eerily reminiscent of Jamal Mashburn, a strong, yet lithe power/small forward whose lack of position matters not at all due to skill.

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