NBFeature image: @Sixers
The one thing I forget about draft night is how long it takes. With teams, most of the time, using all of the five minutes given to them to make their selection, the first round takes an eternity to go by. So, unfortunately, I checked out at the conclusion of the first round near 4 a.m.
Anyways, the NBA Draft did eventually finish, and here’s who I thought did really well for themselves on Draft Night.
Fairly easy one here. Philly did what they needed to do and that was add a quality point guard to their cause and they did so in the form of Markelle Fultz. Fultz will come in and, I think straightaway, will contribute and I think that core of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and now Markelle Fultz — if healthy — could make a run at a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Process is sure looking good right now.
The Lakers drafted LaVa… I mean, Lonzo Ball last night with the second pick. Despite all the buzz that comes from LaVar’s mouth, Lonzo can straight up play and the fans will love him. The ‘Showtime’ Lakers are long gone but Lonzo will rekindle some memories of those days when he takes to the court.
The Lakers were also busy working the phones and did a nice little deal with Utah (who apparently really wanted Tony Bradley) to fall from 28 to 30 where they selected Josh Hart, who looks like a great pick at 30. He was a player who I loved straightaway when I watched some clips and analysis of him. The Lakers also selected Kyle Kuzma at 28 and that’s also a nice little pick up for the Lakers, whose future is suddenly looking bright indeed.
This has to be a mistake, right? Right? Wrong!
The Kings actually had a great draft, hitting a home run when they selected De’Aaron Fox and did a good deal with Portland to move out of the 10th selection to move down to 15 and 20 where they took Justin Jackson and Harry Giles.
Fox has the potential to be a great point guard in this league, and I love his attitude and character. Jackson is a nice pick since Rudy Gay is about to hit the free agency market and now the Kings aren’t under any pressure to pay him/re-sign him (not that Rudy was going probably going to re-sign there anyways). And with Harry Giles, why not? Why not take a low value risk on the injury stricken Giles? He could turn out to be great value at 20.
The future doesn’t necessarily get much easier for the Kings, at least immediately, but they made good progress thanks to their good work last night.
The clear-cut winners from Thursday and it’s not about who they drafted but who they acquired. Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler is headed to Minnesota, who gave up Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the 7th overall pick to land the three-time All-Star. Added to this, the Wolves received also Chicago’s 16th overall pick!!
What a steal.
Forget that they drafted a center into their logjam (Justin Patton), they netted Jimmy Butler and get to pair him up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Wow. Surely a first playoff appearance since 2004 beckons…
Shout out to the Spurs for selecting Derrick White in a typical Spurs move near the end of the first round, the Mavericks for selecting a solid point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., the Nets for landing Jarret Allen at 22 and the Indiana Pacers for stealing Ike Anigbogu at 47, who was a sure lock for the first round.
A lot of teams generally did a good job, so there’s only one clear-cut loser to mention.
Flip me… Why?? Why??
The Bulls got absolutely hosed in this trade…they didn’t receive any sort of star in return for a top-20 player in the league. It truly was unbelievable.
Zach LaVine was having a great season before he tore his ACL…he tore his ACL. Who knows how he’s going to respond to that? That a serious injury from which some players never properly recover from. Kris Dunn proved very little in his first season that he could be possibly be a starting point guard in this league.
With the Wolves’ 7th pick, the Bulls selected Lauri Markkenen, which was a good pick since it means that you don’t have to pay restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic, but then to throw the 16th pick back to Minnesota??? Why??
Gar Forman and John Paxson might be even more unpopular than Phil Jackson right now… Do you know how hard that is to do?