Winners and Losers of the NBA Draft

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.

 

Winner: Timberwolves

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.

Loser: Bulls

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.

 

Winner: Kings

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.

 

Winner: Warriors

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.

 

Loser: Celtics

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.

 

Winner: Lakers

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 …Image result for markelle fultz instagram

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.

 

 

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NBA Mock Draft

*We are not predicting any trades. Some teams have multiples picks (Lakers, Blazers) and others may be looking to trade for a veteran player (Celtics).

 

1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz (PG, Washington)

After trading with the Celtics for this pick it is almost a given that the 76ers are going to take Fultz. Not much more to say for this pick besides: Processing …

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball (PG, UCLA)

After trading D’Angelo Russell to the Nets, the Point Guard position opens up for the Lakers. Lonzo has been connected to the Lakers since he announced he was entering the draft. LaVar (his asshole father) has said that the only team his son will play for is the Lakers.

3. Boston Celtics: Josh Jackson (SF, Kansas)

Originally I had the Celtics taking Fultz with the first pick and there is a strong possibility this pick is traded before the draft for a veteran player. However, I am not doing any trade predictions for this mock draft. Since they traded down they have been connected to both Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson. Many scouts believe Jackson has a chance to be the best player out of this draft. The Celtics are listening to that noise and decide to take him with the third pick.

4. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)

I think the Suns hold off for a bit on drafting a PG as they still have Eric Bledsoe under contract. Tatum was able to average 16.8 ppg and snag 7.3 rpg as a freshman at Duke. His 3-point shot is in question, but that is something that can develop over time. Being able to team Tatum up with Devin Booker and Dragan Bender can have people in Phoenix’s front office drooling at the potential.

5. Sacramento Kings: De’Aron Fox (PG, Kentucky)

The Kings are in need of a lot of help, but it starts with a man who can run the offense. They find that type of help by drafting De’Aron Fox. When Fox and Ball meet in the NCAA tournament, Fox torched Ball and showed how high his ceiling is. Being able to Pair up Fox’s ability to attack the basket with Buddy Hield’s lights out shooting will be too much for the Kings to pass up. The Kings are in desperate need of a floor general and Fox may be the best PG in the draft.

6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac (SF/PF, Florida State)

The biggest question in the Magic drafting Isaac is how he will pair up with Aaron Gordon. However, the potential of Isaac is too much for the Magic to pass up. They could take Dennis Smith here as they are in need for a PG who can score. Instead they will be happy taking Isaac at number six and hope for improvement in Elfrid Payton’s offensive game.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona)

The Timberwolves have a roster loaded with young talent and I believe they may trade this pick for a veteran player. A veteran player will take this young team to the next level and I think it would be the right move for them. However, we are not predicting trades in this mock draft. With the 7th pick the Timberwolves will take Markkanen as he can space the floor and may pair up nicely with Karl-Anthony Towns.

8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina (PG, France)

At only 18 years old, Ntilikina is the most intriguing prospect in this year’s draft. Most scouts are pleasantly shocked at how mature he is when it comes to running the point position. If he is able to do this at this age one can only imagine how much better he can get. Also viewed as one of the best defenders in the draft, Ntilikina has a freakish 7-foot wingspan. The Knicks are in desperate need of a PG and with Phil Jackson refusing to move away from the triangle I think Ntilikina is the perfect fit for the Knicks at the number 8 pick.

9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith (PG, North Carolina State)

The Mavericks need to get young and deep all across the board. Seth Curry was a solid player for them in the second half of the season. However, everyone in the NBA knows he is a bench player. The Mavericks have been trying to trade up to draft Ntilikina before the Knicks can snag him, but they are not successful in doing so in my eyes. Instead, Dennis Smith falls to the 9th pick and the Mavericks swipe him.

10. Sacramento Kings: Malik Monk (SG, Kentucky)

The Kings have Buddy Hield at the 2-Guard position after a trade with the Pelicans last year. However, when they see Monk fall to them at number 10 there is no way they can pass him up. Monk has crazy upside as a scorer and if they can find a way to play him and Hield together they will be deadly from deep as a team. Once Monk learns to use this athleticism to get to the basket, he may become an All-Star caliber player.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Luke Kennard (SG, Duke)

Kennard is one of the more underrated players in this draft class. He does not possess the athletic ability as some of the top picks and this is what pushes him down some draft boards. Right now the Hornets have Jeremy Lamb and MKG at the SG/SF position after the trade with the Atlanta Hawks. At 6’6” Kennard can play both of the positions and is an upgrade from Lamb. He also brings much more offense compared to Kidd-Gilchrist’s game. The Hornets will be happy taking one of the best shooters in this year’s class in Kennard.

12. Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell (SG, Louisville)

Donovan Mitchell is projected by many to be a lock-down defender as well as a solid scorer. He improved his 3-point shot this year and needs to continue to do so if he wants to reach his potential. Mitchell can also play the PG position and can spell Jackson when he needs a break.

13. Denver Nuggets: Justin Jackson (SF, North Carolina)

Being a three-year collegiate player, Justin Jackson can say he has something most players in this draft do not: EXPERIENCE. Something that is overlooked in the NBA nowadays, but still a valuable piece. Jackson can be an impact on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ball. He also boats a high basketball IQ. Gallinari is most likely set to hit the free agent market this offseason and the Nuggets may not be able to bring him back. Jackson can fill his hole and has a higher ceiling than Gallinari ever will.

14. Miami Heat: Zach Collins (C, Gonzaga)

Zach Collins was sniper from 3-point land last year as he shot 47.6 percent from deep. With Chris Bosh unlikely to ever play again, the Heat could use a Power Forward. Hassan Whiteside does not do much scoring besides inside the paint and I think Collins outside game can complement Whiteside well. Two 7-footers down low will be hard to contain.

15. Portland Trail Blazers: John Collins (PF, Wake Forest)

John Collins took a huge leap in his second year of college. He went from averaging 7.3 ppg on 54.7% shooting his first year to 19.2 ppg on 62.2% shooting his second year. These numbers speak wonders to how hard of worker Collins is. His offensive game outside of the paint can improve a bit as most of his scoring came inside the paint and on offensive rebounds. Collins was also one of the best rebounders in all of college last year.

16. Chicago Bulls: OG Anunoby (SF, Indiana)

Anunoby is a high-risk, high-reward gamble.  At this point in the draft there are no players who can have an immediate impact on the Bulls’ roster. Instead they decide to take the chance on Anunoby. The problem with Anunoby is his health. However, before he was injured he was viewed as one of the elite defenders and freak athletes in this year’s draft class. He is undersized to play the PF and does not possess the 3-point shot to play the SF. However, the Bulls can turn Anunoby into a project offensively and rely on his defense for now if he can stay on the court.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Jarrett Allen (C, Texas)

Allen has the physical measurements to be a dominating force in the paint on both ends of the court. However, his offensive skills need to be tuned up and it is said he does not use his big body enough. He will need to learn to use his body to his advantage in the point and improve from the free throw line. On the defensive end he provides the rim protecting ability that NBA teams look for in a Center and he is strong enough to dominate the boards. He fits well with this young Bucks team.

18. Indiana Pacers: TJ Leaf (PF, UCLA)

Leaf has the offensive skills to be a starting PF in today’s NBA. He passes the ball well for a big, he has good moves inside, and he can shoot from deep. The biggest questions are his defense and physicality. He will need to improve in those two areas if he wants to take his game to the next level. This late in the draft the Pacers are happy to take a guy who can have an immediate impact on offense.

19. Atlanta Hawks: Terrance Ferguson (SG, Australia)

Instead of taking his talents to the University of Arizona for one year he decided to head overseas and play pro ball in Australia. The Hawks traded Kyle Korver to the Cavs this season and can use that spot up shooting scoring that Korver provided. To many NBA scouts that is exactly what Ferguson projects to be. One of the top shooters in this class, Ferguson does not have much more of an offensive game besides that. If he can improve his defense he can become one of the better 3 and D players in the NBA.

20. Portland Trail Blazers: Harry Giles (PF, Duke)

The Trail Blazers can use some front court depth and Harry Giles may be the biggest high-risk, high-reward player in the draft. The Blazers have three first round picks and have the ability to take a gamble on a player like Giles. Giles has been compared to the great Kevin Garnett. However, the biggest question with Giles is his health. He already tore his ACL twice, but before doing so he was one of the top talents coming out of high school. The Blazers take the risk in picking Giles and hope he is worth the reward.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)

The Thunder can really use some guard depth. Russell Westbrook is certainly capable of playing almost 40 minutes every night. For him to be even more effective the Thunder need to find someone to give him a breather from time to time. Oladipo is not a true Point Guard and the only other Point Guard on the roster last season was Norris Cole once they traded away Cameron Payne. Evans was very productive last season as a passer and a scorer. The biggest question for him is his size.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Justin Patton (C, Creighton)

After trading Brook Lopez the Nets can look to Justin Patton as the future Center for the team and plug him in right away. The Brooklyn Nets need help up and down their roster. They are virtually the worst team in the NBA with no future at all. Patton is a great athlete for his size and has shown flashes of how good he can be. Some executives say he plays too “soft” at times and that he needs to get stronger. Those are both things that can be worked on and the Nets hope Patton can pan out.

23. Toronto Raptors: Bam Adebayo (PF/C, Kentucky)

The Raptors may lose both Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson to free agency this summer. It is a safe bet that they will take a big man with this pick. Bam Adebayo is a physical presence in the paint, but his offensive game needs some work. He may not have a huge impact for the Raptors right away. However, frontcourt depth may be a need for them if they lose both Ibaka and Patterson.

24. Utah Jazz: DJ Wilson (PF, Michigan)

With a disappointing season from Derrick Favors and uncertainty if Trey Lyles will continue to grow, the Jazz have been linked to drafting a Power Forward since draft talks began. Wilson was overlooked until the end of December, beginning of January. He is a solid rim protector and he can expand the floor with his 3-point shooting. Whether they bring him in the provide competition or they are looking to move on from what they have, they will be happy with what Wilson can bring to the table.

25. Orlando Magic: Ivan Rabb (PF, California)

The Magic need some inside depth. They did Isaac with their first pick, but he projects as more of a small forward instead of a big man. Rabb would have been a lottery pick if he entered the draft this year. However, he falls late into the first round in this year’s draft. Rabb does contain some upside and the Magic hope they can help him tap into it.

26. Portland Trail Blazers: Isaiah Hartenstein (PF, Germany)

With this being their third pick of the draft, the Blazers decide to go overseas for this one. Isaiah Hartenstein has been on the NBA radar for a while now. He possesses a strong offensive game and a very solid body frame. The biggest problem for Hartenstein is going to be adjusting to the speed of the NBA. If he can make that adjustment, the Blazers hope they have found a lefty Kristaps Porzingis.

27. Los Angeles Lakers: Wesley Iwundu (SG/SF, Kansas State)

With Nick Young opting out of his deal and becoming a free agent, the Lakers could use depth at the SG position. The Lakers could also use help on the defensive side of the ball. Iwundu fills both of those needs. Iwundu needs to improve from beyond the arc, but he is already a solid defender.

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA)

This is the third pick of the draft for the Lakers. I think with this pick they take a player who has potential, but needs some polishing. Anigbogu was injured to start the year for UCLA and only played 377 minutes in his college career. He showed he can be a very strong defender as he was able to protect the rim and switch onto guards. If Anigbogu can add an offensive game he can become a solid starting NBA center.

29. San Antonio Spurs: Josh Hart (SG, Villanova)

In two years at Villanova, Josh Hart proved that he is a leader. Hart will come in ready to contribute on both ends of the floor. With Manu Ginobili possibly retiring and the Spurs looking to move Danny Green, they will need to add SG depth. Josh Hart can step into a role for the Spurs right away and he just has the attitude of a Greg Popovich player.

30. Utah Jazz: Frank Jackson (PG/SG, Duke)

The Jazz may lose George Hill and other guards to free agency this summer. They will have to be looking to add some guard depth with one of their picks in this draft. Frank Jackson may not be a starter in the NBA, but this late in the draft there may not be any player left who is capable of being a starter. However, Jackson can provide some off-the-bench scoring. Bench scoring is always valuable (look at the Miami Heat). It also helps that Jackson is from Utah and may become a fan favorite.

Paul George To Cleveland Makes Too Much Sense

My Trade Prediction:

Cleveland receives Paul George

Indiana receives Kevin Love, two first round draft picks

Paul George announced he does not want to return to Indiana after his contract expires in 2018 and prefers to take his talents to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. It was then being reported that the Pacers were trying to move George to several teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Why does it make sense for the Pacers?

When Paul George announced he had his mind set on joining the Lakers in 2018 his trade value dropped a bunch. Many teams will be hesitant to give up valuable players or picks knowing that he will be a one-year rental. It is reported they are trying to move him to the Lakers, but the Lakers would be wise not to even bother giving up anything close to value as they can expect him to come over in a year. The Lakers are nowhere close to being a contender this year so they are better off waiting a year for George to hit free agency. Other teams will follow the Lakers’ path in hopes that they can snag him in free agency instead of giving up future pieces. The team that would give the most in return for PG13 would be the Cleveland Cavaliers who are in ultimate win-now mode. The Pacers would probably receive Kevin Love in love and at least one first round pick. Kevin Love alone would be more than they would receive from any other team. They will now retain a superstar that is under contract longer than Paul George. George is the better player of the two, but they will be able to stay competitive with Love and bring in ticket sales.

Why does it make sense for the Cavaliers?

Like I stated the Cavaliers are in ultimate win-now mode. They have the best player on the planet (Lebron James) and arguably the best Point Guard in the game (Kyrie Irving). Kevin Love had an abysmal finals performance. There were rumors before the playoffs that Love may be moved for another superstar and I think it finally gets done here. The Cavaliers overlook the fact that Paul George may jet after one season because they’re only looking at this upcoming season. They know they can return to the finals with a trio of James, Irving, and Love. Their biggest challenge throughout the playoffs was actually Paul George and the Pacers. If they swap Love for George and throw in a first round pick or two they know they have the firepower to beat the Warriors if they were to meet again in the finals. Lebron will push the front office to get this deal done and I would not be surprised if we see this trade completed before draft night.