Brian Patrick

Draft Analysis

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NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Friday, June 23, 2017


The 2017 Draft wasn’t quite as chaotic as many expected, but it was eventful, starting with the news that Minnesota had acquired Jimmy Butler from Chicago for spare parts. On the whole, most teams seemed to do well, or at least avoided what seems right now to be a major misstep, but some stood out more than others. There were certainly a lot more winners than losers, but when the losers are two of the league’s major franchises, it is certainly magnified.

 

 

Winners

  

Philadelphia – The “Process” has done what Sam Hinkie had always hoped, and that was to gather a collection of young, potential stars, and they may have gotten their final piece in Markelle Fultz. Fultz is a versatile, polished scorer who can play either guard spot, with potential to be a pretty good defender. The question will be whether three ball-heavy players like Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid can exist and thrive. The Sixers also added a nice collection of foreign talent for the future in Anzejs Pasecniks, Jonah Bolden, and Matthias Lesort. Seems like another potentially strong draft for the Sixers.

 

 

Los Angeles Lakers – Lakers’ fans wanted Lonzo Ball, and the team obliged them, taking the point guard at number two, but it was the later part of the first round where the Lakers made their mark. Kyle Kuzma is a strong shooter and rebounder, with good size and a drive to improve, and Josh Hart, a shooting guard out of Villanova, can do a bit of everything for the team, and is the definition of a winner. The Lakers also added a big with potential to stretch the floor in Thomas Bryant, who is still a bit raw, but a good project behind Brook Lopez.

 

 

Sacramento – In probably the biggest upset of the night, the Kings seemed to do very well. They got their point guard of the future at five in De’Aaron Fox, plus traded down from ten for an extra first round pick from Portland, and got a strong wing scorer in Justin Jackson, plus the huge potential of Harry Giles, a great risk with the twentieth pick. On top of that, they added a second point guard in college basketball’s Player of the Year, Frank Mason out of Kansas. Mason may not have ideal size, but he makes plays when they are needed.

 

 

Minnesota – It’s a big night when you can add Jimmy Butler for just the seventh pick, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine, but they also got Chicago to give them the sixteenth pick, which they used on a young, athletic big, Justin Patton, who should fit in well down the road with Karl Towns and company.

 

 

Utah –With two first round picks, the Jazz came away with a high-energy scorer in Donovan Mitchell, and a young big man with a lot of potential on both ends of the floor in Tony Bradley. Both could be solid rotation players by next year. They also added Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss, a smart point guard with great leadership skills, the makings of a long career as a solid NBA back-up.

 

 

Golden State – The Warriors had no picks in this draft, but they added a potential game-changer on defense in Jordan Bell, who they bought from Chicago. Like Patrick McCaw last year, the Warriors find ways to keep improving while keeping their stars intact.

 

 

Charlotte– The Hornets added two elite athletes in Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon. Monk was one of college basketball’s best shooters, and will give the team some scoring pop off the bench right away. Bacon has the tools to be a strong scorer at the NBA level, but is inconsistent, and he will need to improve his defense, but a great risk in the second round.

 

 

Boston -  For the second straight year, bigger things were expected from Boston, like the deal Minnesota made for Jimmy Butler, but they still added some good talent. Jayson Tatum is as polished a scorer as you’ll find at his age, and should easily overtake Jaylen Brown in the rotation by mid-season. Semi Ojeleye was a steal in the second round, giving the Celtics a versatile scorer with good size and strength, plus the ability to be a hassle on defense. Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird were two nice throw-ins also towards the end of the draft.

 

 

Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers are another team who entered the draft with no picks, and came away with two potential steals in the second round with point guard Juwan Evans, a first-round talent, and SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell, a good shooter and lockdown defender at the two.

 

 

 

Losers

 


Chicago – I’m not really sure what was happening with the Bulls tonight, but it wasn’t good. First, they traded Jimmy Butler and the sixteenth pick for just the seventh pick, who ended up being seven-foot shooter Lauri Markkanen, who does have potential, plus Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, two young talent, but both with plenty of flaws. To make things worse, they drafted defensive standout Jordan Bell in the second round and sold him to Golden State. Bulls’ fans are not going to be very happy heading into next season.

 

  

New York – It wasn’t a huge surprise when the Knicks selected Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick, and his potential is as high as anyone in this lottery, but for fanbase whose patience is already wearing thin, drafting a point guard who likely won’t be a decent NBA player in the next couple of years, won’t win Phil Jackson back any fans. They snagged a strong scoring wing in Damyean Dotson in the second round, but the situation which led to his leaving Oregon still hangs over him, and it could be tough to get the New York City fans on his side.

 

 




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