The seismic uncertainty of draft boards combined with the NBA draft lottery spawns a dynamic for some fans consisting of tension between a need to impose order on the chaos and a terminal lack of faith in the real decision-makers. This dynamic tends to manifest itself in such comments as 'I am most comfortable if my team is drafting at spot X.' As fans, as people I suppose, we want to have faith that the thing we care about is being taken care of, looked after by the right people. That if the state of the thing isn't optimal, measures are being taken to restore the state of excellence/competitiveness that we consider a natural right. Maybe it's an American thing. In any case, it's some conceptual facet of league parity.
But no matter the nuts and bolts of that tension, those fans face a difficult proposition in projecting this draft:
- Anthony Davis is the undisputed #1 pick in the draft, Perry Jones III's potential notwithstanding, and after that there is a lot of uncertainty.
- Harrison Barnes' stock has stabilized far short of projections coming out of high school. More realistic expectations will be to his benefit, much as they were for Roy Hibbert.
- Following the NCAA tournament, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seemed a near lock for Top 2 status. He very well may be, although there are whispers of the Cavaliers being enchanted with Bradley Beal.
- Beal himself is mentioned everywhere from Top 2 to the mid-lottery.
- Some assume Thomas Robinson is out of the running by simple virtue of a comparatively stacked Wizards frontcourt unless both DC should fall in the lottery and TRob fall in the draft. With a 55% chance the Wiz draft Top 3 and Robinson being the top big man in the draft after Anthony Davis, if the preceding train of thought holds sway, drafting the Jayhawks forward becomes improbable.
- If you're a Bullets Forever regular, Rook made certain Perry Jones III was on your radar a year and half ago as a player with All-Star potential who was a boom/bust prospect like no other pick in the draft. The question was one of basketball IQ and desire to put in work. Looks like desire won't be an issue...that or he's got an agent who knows what's what:
- However, this year's honor for biggest boom/bust prospect goes to Mr. Andre Drummond. As Jonathan Tjarks put it, Drummond's potential is supreme. Of course, there are question marks surrounding everything from his work ethic to his love (or lack thereof) of basketball itself such that "Andray Drummond" will no doubt replace the bogeyman in many a fan's draft nightmares.
- UConn teammate Jeremy Lamb is a shooting guard with prototypical size, excellent shooting form who occasionaly gets a case of the dribbles. Add in man defense that outstrips his team defense and a guy could start to sound like Nick Young. Not saying that's a bad thing, and he's definitely a better ball-handler. The Wizards have a need for a shooting guard, but Lamb's inconsistent energy playing off the ball means he's a mid to late-lottery selection.
- Jared Sullinger is an undersized, tough as nails power forward who, unlike Trevor Booker, is a polished low post scorer and strong defensive rebounder. An absolute load down low, he improved his face-up game this year, as well. He won't blow you away laterally, which could lead to his getting exploited in the pick and roll game and relatively average athleticism feed pretty justified fears about his shot getting blocked at the pro level.
"I want to be an All-Star at the end of the day. Not just be a player who plays a couple of years or a could've been, should've been. I want to be an All-Star."
Once the lottery order is set we can rough things out a bit better, but for now ...there's reason at almost every position in the lottery for players to rise and fall come draft day, and fans who find it difficult to trust their organizations' respective scouting talent are going to find themselves in a position they loathe; putting all their stock in faith. Just as there are players every fan wants, there are players no fan wants, or others (seemingly) begging for a reach. To this end, some fans end up rooting for a specific spot if they can't have that can't miss player.
The 2012 NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 30th. T minus 2 Days, and counting.