I’m a big fan of the NBA, but I love the NBA offseason even better. The movement of players and the impact a single player can have is so unique, meaning the best time for entertainment is once the season ends. With the NBA Draft last night, it was the official tip-off of the offseason, and teams and their GMs knew that it was open season. We got a snippet of what was to come when the Nets unloaded Timofey Mozgov’s contract onto the Hornets, and the Hornets in return got rid of Dwight Howard’s presence. But when Adam Silver stepped up to the podium to announce names that Woj and Shams tweeted out minutes before, that’s when the real fun began.
It turns out that the Suns listened to our very own Michael Ribeiro and picked DeAndre Ayton with the 1st overall pick in the draft. There’s a lot of pressure on teams picking first, because they have the best opportunity to walk away with the best player in the draft. If they mess that up, then they look like idiots for the rest of time (Exhibit A- Portland 1984; Exhibit B- Portland 2007). However this one seemed like a no brainer. With skilled young wings in Booker and Jackson, there was no real need for someone like Doncic. DeAndre Ayton gives them a huge physical presence down low that should help space out the floor a little better. They could even just have him stand there on the block and his 7’1” frame should be enough to scare other teams. He’s been drawing comparisons to another high draft pick from 2014, though he’ll tell you otherwise.
There were a few trades in the first round, but they all involved draft picks or players already drafted. Kawhi stayed put, AD stayed put, and like it or not Kyrie and Hayward stayed put as well. However, there was a trade that involved some pretty high lottery picks that made my eyes wide when I saw it. Pretty much as expected, the Hawks took Spanish star Luka Doncic with the 3rd overall pick, however they didn’t hold onto him long. The Mavericks chose Trae Young at number 5, and immediately shipped him and a Miami 2021 1st round pick (which is so far in the future I’m surprised they even bothered with it but whatever) to Atlanta for Luka. Atlanta now has a sharpshooter to provide them with some much needed scoring. Meanwhile, Dallas has their backcourt of the future in Dennis Smith, Jr. and now Luka Doncic. Not gonna lie, that is going to terrorize teams for years to come. If the Mavs can find a big man to takeover for the real GOAT Dirk, then that team may surprisingly take down another super team in the coming years.
Worst Most Interesting Pick
I was gonna say worst for this section, but that doesn’t really fit considering we don’t know jack about how these guys are going to play in the NBA. For all we know Ayton was the worst pick. However, Most Interesting fits a little better, and I’m, of course, talking about the Jazz taking Grayson Allen with the 21st pick. I’ve seen mock drafts that had Grayson Allen way in the late 1st, and some even saying that he could be an early 2nd round pick. I guess the Jazz didn’t want to wait around and find out, opting to take the mouthy, trip-happy shooting guard to join Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. For the record, I never said this was bad, I just said it was interesting and I am very curious to see how it plays out. The best of luck to you, Utah.
Steal of the Draft
Go ahead, call be biased, but everyone is saying it. The Boston Celtics got the steal of the draft when they took Texas A&M C/F Robert Williams with the 27th pick in the draft. CBS Sports had him going 12th to the Clippers in their final mock draft, which they made hours before the actual draft began. Maybe it was his attitude, or that he never really fit in A&M’s scheme, or perhaps it was good ol’ Danny Ainge Jedi mind tricks, but Williams fell into the Celtics’ lap all the way at 27. Don’t take it from me, take it from NBA guru Adrian Wojnarowski.
Dubs has been huge on Clint Capela all season, and for good reason. His rebounding and rim protection allowed Paul and Harden to do what they could do. If the Celtics do in fact have the next Capela, then man oh man are they going to fun to watch for years and years.
Who else? Knicks fans are kinda dumb and they don’t really ever know what’s good for them. I’m not saying Kevin Knox is definitely going to be that franchise’s saving grace, but Knicks fans were booing because Michael Porter, Jr. was still on the board. If New York fans thought their team was dumb, then they must think that the Suns, Clippers, Hornets, and then the Clippers again, are the epitome of stupid, because they passed on him as well. Not only was Porter not the obvious choice at number 8, he wasn’t even the next best small forward, as Mikal and Miles Bridges (not related) both went before Porter was eventually picked by Denver. Although, maybe the Knicks fans were right to boo, because as evidenced by Porzingis, maybe it jinxes these so-so prospects into All-Stars immediately. Who knows?
There were a lot of good options here, especially in the 2nd round, so I’ll run off some honorable mentions real quick: we have Mo Bamba, which gives Magic fans the easy “Mo Bamba Mo’ _____” phrase to work with. Džanan Musa who went to Brooklyn, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk of the Ukraine, Arnoldas Kulboka of Lithuania, the challenger to LeBron’s throne in George King, and the Greek Freak’s brother, Kostas Antetokounmpo. However, I have to give it to the 56th overall pick and new member of the Dallas Mavericks, Ray Spalding. A little tamer than some of the other names, yes, but think about it: his name is on every basketball in the NBA.
The only other guy who can say that is Commissioner Silver, and here is a late second round choice with as much influence. Hopefully the NBA doesn’t switch to Nike or anything, cause this is all Spalding has going for them, both the company and the dude.
Noticeable Undrafted Prospects
There’s only one undrafted prospect that people should truly care about, and that is Emerson SG Jared Colbert. A real shame that he fell all the way from the Top 10 to being undrafted, and all 30 teams are gonna be kicking themselves over this for a while. Anyway, while #DraftColbert may have ended, #SignColbert has just begun.
That’s it for the draft recap, at least that’s all the super important stuff anyways. If you really cared about who each pick was just google it, or scroll through Woj’s twitter feed or something.