After you get past the first few picks in the 2012 NBA draft, it is hard to find any true starters in the bunch. However, if you really dig deep, you can find some who should break through the blockade to be in their respective team’s starting five.
Unlike the NFL, where teams are under so much pressure to start their first-round picks right away, it doesn’t make a big difference if/when your picks start in the NBA, with a few obvious exceptions.
Here are the first-round selections who should be starting for their teams on opening night when the season starts.
Royce White, SF, Houston Rockets
If White had gone later in the draft, everyone would be talking about him as a steal. Since he went No. 16 overall, the fervor surrounding his NBA debut is going to be mild, to say the least.
Still, White was a lottery talent set back because of concerns about his social anxiety disorder. Considering how gifted he is with a basketball in his hands, I don’t see any reason to think he won’t become a good starter in the NBA.
Unless the Rockets have plans on moving their draft picks for something big, which doesn’t seem likely right now, White has to be a big part of their future. He can score from anywhere on the floor, and he’s physical enough to grab rebounds.
Part of this stems from Nicholson’s talent, but it is also fueled by the fact that the Magic have t be exploring all their options with Dwight Howard.
Nicholson isn’t a center in the NBA, though he could easily end up being the best big man the Magic have. He has good range with his shot; he just needs to work on showing it off during games more often.
The Magic have virtually no depth on their roster right now, so Nicholson should be given every opportunity to win a starting job out of the gate.
Admittedly, Teague’s inclusion on this list is a little too obvious. Derrick Rose is going to be out for the start of the 2012 season with a torn ACL, and the Bulls need a lot of help to stay afloat in the interim.
Given that Teague has a world of untapped talent, the Bulls would be wise to give him every opportunity to be the starter at the beginning of the year.
Teague is going to be a project and will need at least two years to showcase his full set of skills. But as of right now, he is capable of handling the point for this team. The fact he was still on the board when they picked was a surprise.
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