NBA Draft Winners/ Losers
This NBA Draft class had been widely regarded as one of the worst we’ve had in a while and that came with good reason with it not having much quality depth outside of the Top-3, yet it still lent itself to complete craziness with so many moving parts going in either direction. With each NBA Draft, there come winners and losers whether it be from the teams or fans perspective. To react to this NBA Draft, I will be breaking down a few of these from each teams perspective and giving my opinion on each of the items.
Winner: Zion Williamson
The NBA Draft’s biggest winner is Zion Williamson as he is heading to an organization that now has real buzz surrounding his arrival. This team has built around him well and looks capable of actually contending for a Playoff spot pithing the next few years. He also cried on National Television when reflecting upon his journey to get to the NBA and while some people will continue to hate on him, he likely won over a lot of fans by doing that which is really good for his brand.
Loser: Phoenix Suns
The Suns absolutely sucked this year, losing the second most games this season and yet all they got out of this NBA Draft at the top was Cam Johnson and Dario Saric. Johnson is a great shooter but has limited upside as he is 24 years old, while the Timberwolves got rid of Saric. I get the tendency in this draft is to move down but you have to know the actual value of your players and simply put Cam Johnson was not worth the 11th pick in the draft. The Suns should have either A.Trade further down for better assets and take Johnson with that pick or B.Picked someone else that is a 10-20ish range player.
Winner: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are my big winner of the night as they get the two pieces that they wanted in this years NBA Draft. First they trade up to get De’Andre Hunter, who fits in perfectly as a 3 and D wing that can guard everyone 1-5, then they get Cam Reddish who they considered with the fourth pick but got at 10. The Hawks now will have five legitimate NBA players from just the last three NBA Drafts and they look poised to be near or in the playoffs next season.
Loser: Chauncey Billups
I get that Chauncey Billups covers the NBA and does not have a chance to watch these prospects all that often but that should be no excuse for comparing Rui Hachimura to Kawhi Leonard. Those two play basketball but that’s about it, Leonard is a way better shooter and defender while Rui struggles to shoot and gets beat often times on defense. There were some other bad comparisons in there but that by far is the worst.
Winner: New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans came into this NBA Draft with a pretty clear idea of what they wanted to do and that was to build around Zion. So what did they do, they got a long rim-running dive man who can help Zion inside in Jaxson Hayes, they picked a good off-ball shooter in Nickeil Alexander-Walker who has the ability to play both the 1 and the 2, they also in the meantime picked up more draft picks. David Griffin has a plan right now and the Pelicans are looking like maybe the best up and coming team in the sport.
Loser: Boston Celtics
The Celtics made some questionable decisions given their future roster in this draft, especially in the first round. They took Romeo Langford, a 2 guard that plays good defense and can handle the ball and Grant Williams, a 4 man who can pass the ball at a high level. Both of those players are good but neither address their needs in this Draft. They got rid of Aron Baynes who was probably their only good option at center and while I like the Carsen Edwards pick, he may have to play the point next season. I think it is right to give the Celtics the benefit of the doubt but right now I am not at all impressed with their roster heading into next season.
Winner: Portland Trailblazers
Imagine addressing one of your biggest needs in this draft with a Top-15 projected pick, now imagine doing that at 25 like the Trailblazers did with Nassir Little. Little is a 6’7” wing who can play both the three and the four, while he looked bad at North Carolina last season, he still has shown flashes of greatness at the high school level with a game that translates well to the NBA. If he can come back to that McDonalds All-American game form, he could be the third guy the Trailblazers need to carry them over the top.
Loser: Bol Bol
Coming into the season Bol Bol was a for sure lottery pick, however, with some lacking hustle, defense, plus an injury teams passed on him not only throughout the first round but also in the second. He will end up in Denver, which means if he does play he’ll do it as a backup to Nikola Jokic. The questions are valid but you do have to feel bad for a guy that dropped from lottery pick to second rounder in a season.
Winner: Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies got their point guard of the future in Ja Morant which is something that they really looked forward to so much that they gave away Mike Conley. They also added the perfect fit next to Jaren Jackson Jr in Brandon Clarke, who is a great rim-protector and athletic freak. Their frontcourt should be the best defensive front court for years to come with those two players leading the way.
Loser: Golden State Warriors
When looking at teams that should be regarded as losers you have to identify the teams that reached for players and that is especially the case with Jordan Poole. Poole is a good shooter but he’s not really a guy that can play right away for a Warriors team that is looking to win a title on a yearly basis. They could have drafted Poole in the second round and no one would talk about it but the fact they drafted him over players like Keldon Johnson and KZ Okpala who can play right away and be effective or even Kevin Porter Jr, who has a lot of upside, just shows that this team was way out of touch with what the board was.