In what was billed as a “wheel and deal,” draft, it took 10 picks for the first player to be traded. Even though several teams got NBA Odds changing players, we don’t yet know which teams got franchise changing guys.
Rich getting richer
After everyone was convinced this time last year that Andrew Wiggins would be the #1 overall pick, he ends up coming away in slot #1 thanks to the injury to Joel Embiid. After Jabari Parker predictably went to Milwaukee at #2, Wiggins’ Kansas teammate Embiid went #3 to the Sixers. The first round followed pretty close to predictions for a while after that. There were no blockbuster trades of non-lottery teams moving up until #11, where the Bulls traded their #16 and #19 picks to pick up Doug McDermott.
This could end up being a good move for Chicago if “McBuckets” can translate his amazing scoring ability from college to the pros. The Adam Morrison comparisons are completely unwarranted also. McDermott is taller, more athletic, and shot the ball consistently throughout his final three years in college. Even if the Bulls don’t land one of the big fish in free agency, their future looks bright.
Some other teams that seem to have gotten a lot better through the draft are the Celtics and Lakers. Boston got Marcus Smart to eventually take the job of Rajon Rondo. Although I don’t think it will happen immediately, Smart can learn a lot under Rondo. Boston also grabbed Kentucky swingman James Young, who projects to become a really good shooter. All in all, the Celtics may have just secured their future starting backcourt in one draft. The Lakers got one of the most NBA ready players in Julius Randle, and even though they still only have about four guys under contract, Randle should become a solid starter for the Lakers in the future.
I think every team in the top seven picks had very good drafts just because of who they picked in the first round. However it seems if you are a small market team outside of the Top 7, you might not have had a great draft. I think there are people still questioning why the Kings took Nik Stauskas, why the Wolves drafted traded for Zach Levine and did the Nuggets get enough for the #11 pick McDermott?
Not counting the Top three teams, if Dante Exum flops in Utah, and Aaron Gordon doesn’t live up to the hype in Orlando, this draft will ultimately be remembered for the big market teams winning big. Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and even the Heat at the end of the draft had very good nights.
Even though the night didn’t live up to the expectations on how crazy and unexpected it could have been, there was one shocker on the evening at pick #20. The Raptors looked like they were going to go after a point guard in this draft, but after Canadian native, Tyler Ennis went two spots ahead to the Suns, it looks as if the Raptors might have panicked. They took the youngest prospect in the draft, who no one knows anything about, and who also was graded out to be a second round pick. “The Brazilian Kevin Durant,” Bruno Cabocolo was the pick, and soon after, the Twitter-verse exploded into the land of the question mark. Highly touted prospects like Shabazz Napier and Rodney Hood were still on the board, and both seemed to fit a need for the Raptors. No one even knows if Cabocolo will even be in the NBA this upcoming season, but in a draft that lacked surprises up until that point, the Raptors pretty much made up for it with one pick.
Overall, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to think that over half of the picks in the first round have starting potential, and out of those 15-16 guys, at least four or five of them are going to turn into stars in this league. Once updated NBA Odds are out, we will be able to get a better look at which teams are now under and overvalued because of their draft selections.