Redrafting the 2012 NBA Draft: Damian Lillard vs. Anthony Davis for No. 1, Draymond Green rises to top five

It’s been a big offseason for members of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Bradley Beal kicked off the fun by being traded from the Wizards to the Suns. Draymond Green and Khris Middleton then signed $100 million contracts in free agency, followed by Anthony Davis inking the richest annual extension in NBA history.

We’re still waiting to see what happens with Damian Lillard, but he’s hoping to be traded to the Heat to team up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

With how much the five of them have been in the news, two members of TSN’s staff — Scott Rafferty and Carlan Gay — put on their GM hats and redrafted the 2012 lottery. Gay won the coin toss for the first pick, giving him a difficult decision to make right off the bat.

MORE: Nikola Jokic rises to No. 1 from 2nd round in 2014 NBA Redraft

Redrafting the 2012 NBA Draft

1. Damian Lillard, Hornets

  • Original pick: Anthony Davis
  • Lillard’s original draft position: 6

Nothing against Anthony Davis here, but it’s Dame Time.

Lillard has proven to be more durable throughout his career and I believe his game will age slightly better than AD’s. The defense is a concern, but I’m confident a team can hide his weaknesses with the right role players around him. And even though Lillard is currently trying to get out of Portland, he’s shown over the course of his career that he won’t run from a tough situation.

I’ll have a low-maintenance, patient star on my hands — which is something every GM wishes they had. 

— Gay

2. Anthony Davis, Bobcats

  • Original pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Davis’ original draft position: 1

I would’ve gone with Davis over Lillard for the No. 1 pick.

He’s struggled to stay on the court for a good chunk of his career, but when healthy, Davis is one of the best two-way players in the game. He’s an elite shot blocker who can step out to the perimeter, a dynamic roll man who finishes at a high level around the basket and a capable, albeit inconsistent, shooter.

Davis had some success as a No. 1 option in New Orleans and has formed one of the best one-two punches in the NBA in Los Angeles with LeBron James, resulting in a championship. He’s more than lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 pick in this class.

— Rafferty

3. Draymond Green, Wizards

  • Original pick: Bradley Beal
  • Green’s original draft position: 35

While most picks are geared towards offense, defense and toughness headline this pick.

In Green, you have one of the smartest defenders in league history who can anchor your team’s defense for a decade plus. Offensively, he leaves a little bit to be desired, but he can pass the ball well and sets solid screens. Scoring isn’t everything on offense.

— Gay

4. Bradley Beal, Cavaliers

  • Original pick: Dion Waiters
  • Beal’s original draft position: 3

I gave real thought to Middleton with this pick. You can’t really go wrong with either, but I give Beal the slight edge.

Beal was part of some quality Wizards teams early in his career and has blossomed into one of the best scorers in the NBA. In 2019-20, he averaged 30.5 points per game. He nearly won the scoring title the following season, trailing only Stephen Curry (32.0) with a career-best 31.3 points per game.

Beal now has a big opportunity ahead of him, teaming up with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in Phoenix. He could create some distance from Middleton if the next few seasons go to plan for the Suns.

— Rafferty

5. Khris Middleton, Kings

  • Original pick: Thomas Robinson
  • Middleton’s original draft position: 39

You’d like to get a future franchise player in the top five, but getting a legit No. 2 option isn’t bad either. Middleton brings three-level scoring, defense and has shown he can be counted on to be a playmaker down the stretch of close games. 

There are many players in the NBA who can do one of those three things, let alone all three.

— Gay

Khris Middleton 042723

6. Harrison Barnes, Trail Blazers

  • Original pick: Damian Lillard
  • Barnes’ original draft position: 7

Barnes has had a fascinating career. In Golden State, his versatility on both ends helped unlock their famous small ball lineup. In Dallas, he became a nearly 20-point per-game scorer. Now in Sacramento, he’s been a perfect fit alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

A forward who can defend multiple positions, knock down 3s and create his own shot when needed, Barnes’ game has aged well.

— Rafferty

7. Jae Crowder, Warriors

  • Original pick: Harrison Barnes
  • Crowder’s original draft position: 34

Every championship team needs a version of Crowder, an everyday player who will consistently give you solid defense and respectable 3-point shooting. 

Crowder won’t ever lead a team to a championship, but he can be a key contributor to a contender. He is one of those guys who you hate to play against, but love to play with.

— Gay

8. Andre Drummond, Raptors

  • Original pick: Terrence Ross
  • Drummond’s original draft position: 9

Drummond fell off rather quickly, but he’s a two-time All-Star who is one of the most dominant rebounders of all time.

In addition to leading the league in rebounds four times, tying him with Kevin Garnett and Bill Russell for the fifth-most ever, Drummond has grabbed 24.8 percent of available rebounds while he’s been on the floor. That’s the highest rate in NBA history. 

Drummond will tell you he’s the best rebounder ever. I wouldn’t go that far, but he’s certainly up there.

— Rafferty

9. Evan Fournier, Pistons

  • Original pick: Andre Drummond
  • Fournier’s original draft position: 20

Don’t Google this pick. Seriously, you’ve been warned. 

All jokes aside, Fournier is a bucket when put in the right situation. I think his career would look different if he was a sixth man and allowed to be in total control of the second unit. Give him the green light for 15-18 minutes a night and let him do what he does best, which is score. 

— Gay

10. Will Barton, Hornets

  • Original pick: Austin Rivers
  • Barton’s original draft position: 40

Barton was one of the better bench scorers in the NBA during his prime. He averaged double-digit scoring in seven straight seasons, peaking in 2017-18 with 15.7 points per game.

— Rafferty

Will Barton

11. Terrence Ross, Trail Blazers

  • Original pick: Meyers Leonard
  • Ross’ original draft position: 8

Terrence Ross is a highlight reel-type player who often leaves fans with a moment to remember. You just hope it’s a good memory and not a bone-headed mistake.

— Gay

12. Austin Rivers, Rockets

  • Original pick: Jeremy Lamb
  • Rivers’ original draft position: 10

Rivers deserves to go in the lottery on the strength of his legendary high school mixtape alone. OK, maybe not, but he’s put together a solid NBA career. He played an important role on the Lob City Clippers for a couple of seasons and became a defensive specialist in Houston.

— Rafferty

13. Meyers Leonard, Suns

  • Original pick: Kendall Marshall
  • Leonard’s original draft position: 11

Let’s be honest, we’re reaching here. As you can tell, this draft class falls off pretty quickly, but Leonard is a solid big who became a respectable 3-point shooter. Just need him to up the volume of 3s, play a little better defense and we might have something.

— Gay

14. Kent Bazemore, Bucks

  • Original pick: John Henson
  • Bazemore’s original draft position: Undrafted

Bazemore didn’t hear his name called in the 2012 NBA Draft. While he bounced around, playing for five teams in 10 years, he had a few productive seasons in Atlanta as a starter on some good Hawks teams.

— Rafferty

Share with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get The Latest Sports News
Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.