As many of you know, the NBA Draft was held last week. There were a record number of foreign prospects who got their name called, including Chukwudiebere Maduabum, a lovely name that David Stern must have loved not having to pronounce during the first round. However, for every circus name, there was still a Kyrie Irving to identify with as a fan. Irving was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that now looks to be a key contender for everyone’s "which team should I rebuild?" franchise in NBA 2K12.
So now that we are living in a post-NBA-Draft-2011 world, here is a look at which teams have made themselves more marketable as a rebuilding team for next fall’s NBA 2K12.
Draft picks: Kyrie Irving (No. 1), Tristan Thompson (No. 4) and Milan Macvan (No. 54)
Irving and Thompson have been handed the tough job of replacing The Chosen One. Nevertheless, I believe many gamers will be ecstatic to get their hands on this team in 2K12. These draft picks signify the small light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavs, and they also stand for the beginnings of the foundation of the next playoff team in Cleveland.
Irving should be blessed with a solid overall rating, which could arguably make him the best player on the roster, but Thompson might be a little bit of a project with the possibility of rating in the high 50s to low 60s. Macvan was just the random third pick. Even if he comes overseas to play in Cleveland next year, I’m sure he’s going to be nothing more than a bench warmer or trade filler.
Draft picks: Derrick Williams (No. 2), Malcolm Lee (No. 43) and Targuy Ngombo (No. 57)
After a month full of trade rumors, the Timberwolves opted -- or had no other choice -- to keep the second overall pick. So Timberwolves general manager David Kahn ended up selecting Derrick Williams, the athletic forward from Arizona. Williams has a decent shot, and he is a very busy defender. The entirety of his offensive game might take a couple seasons to develop in 2K12, but on the other side of the court he will be a huge upgrade over Michael Beasley.
Speaking of Beasley, he will be a popular name in your rumor mill. With Beasley, Williams and Kevin Love all on the roster, one of them will have to go -- we all sort of assume it’s not Williams or Love. Plus, with Ricky Rubio finally making his way to the NBA, plenty of 2K ballers will love to run the alley-oop with Williams flying high.
Beyond Williams, Lee is a solid addition. Look at him to be a decent all-around player with no specialties. Ngombo is just another name you can stare really hard at and hope to pronounce it right.
Draft picks: Enes Kanter (No. 3) and Alec Burks (No. 12)
Looking for a solid frontcourt that should be the cornerstone of a rebuilding project? Well, look no further than the Utah Jazz. With Derrick Favors and Kanter solidified as the future down low for Utah, the Jazz will be a solid choice to rebuild in the post-Sloan era. Of course, the Jazz did not get a point guard of the future or the widely popular Jimmer Fredette, but that can always be fixed via trade if you feel like that's the better way to handle this team.
Kanter might be a bit of a project in real life, but he will be a solid player in the 2K universe. His defensive rebounding and shot blocking will be a perfect complement for the athletically gifted Favors. As for Burks, everyone but Golden State considered him the best shooting guard in the draft. He will have an opportunity to start at the two-guard position in your franchise, and he could eventually turn into your bonafide go-to guy. Who needs a point guard when you might have Kobe 2.0 on your hands?
...Okay, I know he’s not Kobe, but you could make him a virtual one at least.
Draft picks: Jan Vesely (No. 6), Chris Singleton (No. 18) and Shelvin Mack (No. 34)
Washington wanted athleticism and defense, and they most definitely got it in Vesely and Singleton. Vesely is going to be the best foreign player coming overseas this year, projecting to be one of the few high lottery picks to actually make the trip. He is a tall small forward who loves to run the floor and show off his quickness and hops. In other words, he sounds like the perfect match for John Wall.
Singleton was a draft-day steal at 18th overall. The Wizards need help on defense, especially at the shooting-guard spot where they have Nick Young throwing up shots left and right. The Florida State star might not be able to help you out with a scoring punch, but when you’re facing one of the many talented wings in the NBA, Singleton is sure to get the nod.
Last but not least, Shelvin Mack is not going to be anything more than a safety net if Wall goes down. He’ll get his 10-12 minutes on a nightly basis, but his goal will only be not to lose the game.
Draft picks: Bismack Biyombo (No. 7) and Kemba Walker (No. 9)
Charlotte is officially in a rebuilding mode. The Bobcats ditched Stephen Jackson and got another lottery pick out of it. They turned their two picks into the most interesting prospect (Biyombo) and the most exciting prospect (Walker). Biyombo may not be able to afford a buyout this season -- even if he does get bought out, it's hard to expect much from this raw talent in year one -- but Kemba should be able to step in and help from day one.
Walker should be able to fit the mold of a quick point guard who can score when needed, and I believe that is something all 2K players want on their squad. In fact, I won’t be surprised if Walker wins the Rookie of the Year award 80 percent of the time in NBA 2K12 franchises.
Draft picks: Jimmer Fredette (No. 10), Tyler Honeycutt (No. 35) and Isaiah Thomas (No. 60)
Sacramento hit the jackpot in this so called weak draft. The Kings traded their pick to move down three spots and obtain a scorer in John Salmons, and they still got The Jimmer at 10th overall. Jimmer is going to be one of the more exciting rookies in NBA 2K12. His overall rating might be a little low, but I can guarantee you this kid is going to be able to score.
Honeycutt and Thomas were very solid second-round selections. Honeycutt will be an insurance policy at the forward spot when injuries arise, and DeMarcus Cousins' weight makes him exhausted. Thomas was also a great value/need pick. A lot of people thought Sacramento wanted Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker, and they may have been right, but the cookie crumbled differently. So with the final pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the athletic explosion that is Thomas was staring the Kings directly in the face. He has the potential to eventually be the "insert city here’s" point guard of the future.
So you've read about what teams I think could be intriguing rebuilding projects in NBA 2K12. But who do you think will be one of the more attractive teams to rebuild in NBA 2K12?
Dustin Toms is a staff writer at Operation Sports, specializing in basketball games. Born and raised in Washington state, he has made it his life goal to personally see to David Stern's firing after the Seattle SuperSonics were relocated. Follow him on Twitter @DustinToms_OS.