The 2017 NBA Draft was last night. We take a second to recap some of the winners and losers of the night. The NBA Award Show is coming up on Monday the 26th so make sure you check it out! Stay tuned as we will have our NBA Award predictions coming up this weekend.
The Timberwolves have been building up a young roster for a while now. Last year it became obvious that they were in need of a veteran superstar to take this team to the next level. The Timberwolves pulled ROBBERY on the Chicago Bulls last night. They acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton (16th pick) in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and Lauri Markkanen (7th pick). Now the Timberwolves can throw out a starting lineup that contains Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, and Karl-Anthony Towns. All four of these players are 27 years or younger. The Timberwolves might be looking to upgrade at the Point Guard position as well, but for right now they are going to be a force for years to come.
Not always do both teams “win” in a trade. Jimmy Butler was under contract until 2019-2020 when he had a player option, Dwayne Wade said he was going to opt-into his player option for this upcoming season, and Rajon Rondo looked well like Rajon Rondo in the playoffs. Instead of seeing how the season played out and maybe trying to add another piece, the Bulls look like they’re blowing the team up. They received a lot less in return for Butler than what many would have expected. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are talented, but are inexperienced and come with a lot of question marks. Zach Lavine looked like he was taking the right strides last year, but then he tore his ACL. On top of it they gave up their first round pick in the trade as well. As of right now it looks like the Bulls got robbed.
The Kings finally succeed on draft night. They have been shaky over the past couple of years when it has come to the draft, but last night they seemed to hit it on the nose. Reports had it they were eyeing De’Aaron Fox with the 5th pick and they were able to snag him. They then traded the 10th pick to the Blazers in exchange for the 15th and 20th picks. With the 15th pick they selected Justin Jackson who comes into the NBA with more experience than most of the other players drafted and may translate into a lights out shooter. With the 20th pick they took the biggest high-risk, high-reward player of the draft, Harry Giles. Giles came out of high school the number one recruit in the country. Many early projections had him going number one in the draft before he started his college career, but he has been slow to recover from injuries. If he can stay healthy he will be the steal of the night. The Kings are rebuilding and they are doing it the right way.
Loser: Trail Blazers
The Blazers came into this draft with three first round picks and needing to add wing players. Instead they traded two of those picks away to move up to the 10 spot to add Zach Collins from Gonzaga. Then they acquired the 26th pick to select Caleb Swanigan. So what is the problem you ask? Both of these players are big men! They did not draft for a need and in my opinion did not go with the best player available tactic either. They already had Jusuf Nurkic and Meyers Leonard at the Center position and now they add two more to create a logjam. I’m not sure what their strategy is, but we shall see if it pans out.
As if winning the NBA Championship was not enough for them. Coming into the draft the Warriors did not have a draft pick. They also have a lot of contracts coming off the books and they are not sure whom they will resign. Well they just made it a whole lot easier on themselves. Andre Iguodala is reportedly seeking close to $20M a year in free agency this year and the Warriors may no longer have to pay him. Instead they paid $3.5M to acquire Jordan Bell out of Oregon. Yes, Iguodala has been a vital part of the Warriors’ success. However, he is not worth $20M a year in my eyes. If Jordan Bell can improve his three point shooting, I think he can fill the role Iguodala played and for $17 less. Bell is already a very good defender with a high motor. I think the Warriors had one of the steals of the night and they will be happy they paid a hefty price for Bell.
The Celtics came into the night with the third overall pick and a lot of trade rumors. They were linked to Kristaps Porzingis, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler. Many were expecting them to package the third pick for a superstar player. Instead they made no trade and took Jayson Tatum with the third pick. Don’t get me wrong; I think Tatum will wind up being a very good player. However, they had the chance to bring in a proven superstar then possibly signing Gordon Hayward in free agency. Now that would be a team I would say is the favorite to win the East. Now they will lose to Lebron and the Cavs in the Conference Finals again unless they in fact trade for a superstar.
The biggest win wasn’t their draft picks; rather it was not trading for Paul George. Paul George admitted that he wants to take his talents to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer. The Lakers are nowhere close to winning a championship. So why give up players who can be a part of your future for a player that said he will come to you next year? YOU DON’T! Good job Magic. They can now let the young guys play and grow, while having a whole lot of money to spend in upcoming free agency. To add onto this they had a solid draft. They picked Lonzo Ball with the 2nd pick, Kyle Kuzma with the 27th, Thomas Bryant with the 42nd, and with one of the best moves of the draft they traded up to 30th to select Josh Hart. Hart was one of the more underappreciated players coming in and he dropped to the end of the first round where the Lakers took him.
Loser: Markelle Fultz
Markelle, oh Markelle. You were the number one overall pick and on your high horse. Then you made a little social media mistake …
Someone forgot to edit the caption that Tissot gave him to use! In reality it is not a big deal. However, it is funny to poke a little fun at the kid. He was probably all amped and excited after going first overall. Remembered he had to post this for Tissot and just copy and pasted the caption. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can say they’re making millions at 19 years old. I think he’ll be just fine.
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.