The 2012 NBA Draft has come and gone like Maybach Music Group’s Self Made 2 drop earlier this week. Billed as one of best drafts in recent memory, it didn’t provide the same kind of trade activity that all the pre-draft talk suggested. Nevertheless, the lack of major moves impacted the way the draft played out. Hell, David Stern, Adam Silver and the entire ESPN broadcast couldn’t even keep up with the rate Twitter was disseminating the picks at warp speed. Now GMs, teams, and players have no time before they’re notified of how great or how poor their evening went. We documented each selection as it unfolded; and here’s our list of the top ten winners and losers of the draft.
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10. UNDRAFTED PLAYERS
Every kid wants to hear their name called come draft night. However, there are a lot of cats that misplay their hand for various reasons and go undrafted as a result. While there are some guys that surely made a strong case for themselves this past season — like Casper Ware, Scott Machado and Drew Gordon — it’s often in their best interests to become free agents and control their destination. There are plenty of players in the league who have made fine career for themselves after going ahead with the undrafted process. Wes Matthews and Jeremy Lin are two recent examples of the kind of hard work that’s necessary to be a player who sticks.
9. EKPE UDOH & LARRY SANDERS
The Milwaukee Bucks draft strategy must have been to pick the best player available. They drafted John Henson despite having similar players in Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders on the roster. It’s funny how former lottery picks like those two can suddenly be on thin ice to stay in the league. Udoh and Sanders must prove their worth and not let Henson take their playing time when training camp begins.
8. RENARDO SIDNEY
Renardo Sidney had no chance on being drafted, and that’s really unfortunate. According to DraftExpress.com, he was the fattest kid to attend a New Jersey Nets combine back in May, weighing in at a massive 304 pounds, and his body fat ranks as the second-highest in their records, ahead of only Oliver Miller. This day is a sad realization and example of how talent alone won’t guarantee a future in the NBA. He was once considered one of best prospects in the nation; his game drew comparisons to a young Chris Webber. Now, Sidney is the latest poster boy of the cautionary tales of wasted potential and talent.
7. FUTURE AMERICAN PLAYERS
Check back to number eight on the winners list. If that many international players were picked on a supposedly down year for them, who is to say that future draft classes won’t consist of more?
6. JOHN CALIPARI
How can John Calipari be a loser on draft night when all six of his Wildcats got selected? He’s a loser because he and Big Blue Nation had grandeur expectations of these draftees after winning their first national championship in a cool minute. In classic Calipari fashion, he arrogantly believed that all six of these guys should be first-round picks. He wants to outperform and brag about how many recruits he can get into the first round mix every year. These draftees couldn’t even match the five Wildcats that were headlined by John Wall in 2010. Calipari should always be held to a higher standard than the rest of his collegiate coaching peers because of his personality and bravado.