After all the talk of the Houston Rockets moving on up to get top 10 picks for Dwight Howard; After everyone wanted the Charlotte Bobcats’ number 2 pick; After the Boston Celtics wanted to reunite the Rivers family and the Lakers were shopping Paul Gasol, the 2012 NBA Draft didn’t have any real blockbuster kind of draft day trades, only some tweaking here and there.
Mavs – Cavs
The Dallas Mavericks took Tyler Zeller at number 17, but he wasn’t the impact player they hoped to find in a mid-first round pick, so they decided to go young, after being the oldest team in the NBA last year, showing it in the playoffs. Zeller, a Senior out of North Carolina, averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds during his senior year for the Tar Heels.
Zeller was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who used their second first round draft pick, Jared Cunningham out of Oregon State (17.9 points last season) along with the #33 (Bernard James, 27 year old!) and the #34 (Jae Crowder, Marquette) picks to get him. Mark Cuban said the goal was to get young, and he’s pleased with the guys they got.
Heat – Sixers
The Miami Heat knew they weren’t going to get a pick they wanted at number 27, so they used theirs to save some money, get some future draft rights and also save up a roster spot. Arnett Moultrie had a big Junior year with Mississippi State after transferring from Texas El-Paso, averaging 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds during his Junior year.
He was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future first round pick, which is lottery protected until 2015, but it might turn into two second round picks if the Heat do not get the pick by 2015. They also got the draft right to the second rounder Justin Hamilton out of LSU. They also saved about $2 million in payroll and salary taxes. For the Sixers it was about adding a big man (6’11, 235 lbs) to their rotation.
Smaller deals included the Kings selecting Orlando Johnson at 36 (UC Santa Barbara, 19.7 points) and sending him to the Indiana Pacers for cash considerations. The Nets were busy, getting Tyshawn Taylor, a Jersey native, also for cash considerations, after he was the 41st pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. Taylor averaged 16.6 points during his senior year with the Jayhawks.
The Nets also got Tonike Shengelia, a 20 year old out of Georgia, purchasing the 54th pick in the draft from the 76ers. The Lakers bought the next pick from the Dallas Mavericks, which got them Darius Johnson-Odom out of Marquette, who averaged 18.3 points last season.