Now that the dust has settled from the NBA draft, how did teams do? With the 2018 NBA Draft complete, it’s time to decide who came out on top and who lost out.
There is a lot to like about this NBA Draft class. This class is clearly much better than the previous year. The potential in most players is outstanding and intriguing. However, did some teams reach on their picks and let others fall?
It will be hard to say on who won some of the draft day trades, but we will have to take our best guess at who will have a brighter future. What I will be grading these teams on is potential, impact, fit, reach or steal and NBA readiness, along with some other variables.
Picks: Trae Young (Pick No. 5, traded from Dallas), Kevin Huerter (Pick No. 19), Omari Spellman (Pick No. 30)
Trading down from the third pick was a smart choice, because the only real threat to draft Trae Young was the Orlando Magic at No. 6. However, passing on Luka Doncic may be something they regret in the future. Yet, Trae Young has enormous potential to be the next Steph Curry. His shooting range is much further than anyone else in the draft, and he has tremendous vision along with crafty handles. Young led the NCAA in points (27.4) and assists (8.7) this season and hopefully, for the Hawks, he can do that in the NBA. The downside with Young is that he is not athletically gifted. He is under 6’2” and had a wingspan of only 6’3”. He will be the point guard of the future for Atlanta, which shows that they now have a direction in their organization.
Kevin Huerter was a late riser in the draft from Maryland who is a lights-out shooter from three (41.7%). He does get knocked for not playing competitive defense as often as he should, which will show in the NBA. His fit next to Young may be a solid future for Atlanta. However, my biggest concern is that these two may get bullied by bigger and stronger guards in the NBA that do play defense. They will learn quickly on how the NBA will treat them.
Lastly, Omari Spellman may have been a bit of a reach, but I think the Hawks wanted a winner. Being from Villanova, Spellman will translate well to the NBA. He can spread the floor, which is always a plus but for being a projected power forward. However, his post-up game was weak in college. His overall production as an NBA player will depend on his defense. He is known for being a solid defender, but not one whose numbers will jump out to you. He doesn’t block many shots, but it’s his ability to change shots with his long arms and wide frame.
Pick: Robert Williams (Pick No. 27)
Potentially the steal of the NBA draft, and of course it fell to the Celtics. As if they needed more young talent to go with Brad Stevens. Robert Williams was projected to go as high as No. 12 to the Clippers. The reason to love this pick is that it gives the Celtics everything they don’t have in Al Horford. Williams is known to be a great rebounder and outstanding shot blocker. At Texas A&M, he averaged 10.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, and 2.6 bpg.
It has been reported that Williams fell in the draft due to some knee issues as well as some off-court habits. This is as good a situation for Boston as it is for Williams. He will go somewhere where he can thrive and get whatever off-court habits he has under control. Williams will likely see playing time often as rookie and most likely won’t disappoint. He was the best available at the No. 27 spot and filled the biggest need for the Celtics. Boston couldn’t have asked for a better draft.
Picks: Dzanan Musa (Pick No. 29), Rodions Kurucs (Pick No. 40)
The Bosnian, Dzanan Musa, is a pick for Brooklyn in the hopes that he can produce some scoring on the offensive end. Musa has been said to not be a solid defender by any means. He doesn’t have NBA athleticism or strength. Musa is an intriguing prospect and will get some playing time this season, but only time will tell on Musa. He is only 19 years old and has produced in every league he played in overseas.
Rodions Kurucs is a 6’10” power forward with enough quickness to potentially play the 3. He doesn’t have much of an NBA game, but the Nets are betting on his athleticism and quickness. His shooting stroke shows promise, but no one is quite sure how he will impact Brooklyn.
I’m going to rip Brooklyn here for going for gambles with both picks. There were better players available at each spot that could have helped right away or maybe even have more potential. Some players I thought could have been better in these spots were Khyri Thomas, Elie Okobo, Keita Bates-Diop and Shake Melton, to just name a few.
Picks: Miles Bridges (Pick No. 12, traded from L.A. Clippers), Devonte’ Graham (Pick No. 34, traded from Atlanta), Arnoldas Kulboka (Pick No. 55)
If you are a Hornets fan, I think you should have turned off TV on draft night with a smile on your face. I think no matter what happens to Kemba Walker, this is a solid draft. If they do decide to ship Walker out, they should hope to get a solid point guard or a lottery pick in return. The Hornets didn’t hit a home run with any of these picks, but they were all solid.
Miles Bridges fills a huge need at the forward position for the Hornets that they don’t currently have. He can spread the floor much more the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. This was a weak spot in the Hornets roster, and although Bridges may not be an outstanding NBA player, he will play for a long time. As long as he stays in shape and can continue to spread the floor, the Hornets will love him.
Devonte’ Graham brings a lot of help to this squad, because Michael Carter-Williams is an awful point guard on any team. Graham will spread the floor much better and has the ability to pass all over the floor with ease. He will need to improve his shooting inside the arc though (39.2% inside the arc).
Arnolds Kulboka is a project shooter that will hopefully bring some space to the team eventually. Bringing in two quality players and a project is exactly what the Hornets should have done. He may not play this season, but with time, hopefully he gets a solid enough NBA game to solidify a spot on this team.
Picks: Wendell Carter Jr. (Pick No. 7), Chandler Hutchison (Pick No. 22)
Almost as solid of a draft as you could have hoped as a Bulls fan. Wendell Carter Jr. has size, shooting, rebounding skills and does the little things well, which is why he was a top-10 pick. Carter Jr. may not be the flashiest pick, but he will do a lot for Chicago. His defense is what should scare Bulls fans the most. He isn’t a rim protector by any means and will have to rely on affecting shots rather than rejecting them. His athleticism isn’t that great either and most likely only has little room for improvement.
Chandler Hutchison was one of my favorite late first-rounders in this year’s draft. He shot well from three this past season at Boise State (36%). He can also score quickly in transition and isn’t afraid of contact. Despite his solid season from behind the arc, there are still many questions on if he can expand his range to the NBA three. Hutchison is also 22 years old, which is something most teams will dislike in prospects. However, Hutchison should be able to contribute right away to this Bulls team who was in need of a wing player.
Pick: Collin Sexton (Pick No. 8)
A little surprising that Michael Porter Jr. wasn’t taken by the Cavaliers here, but I think if Cleveland wants LeBron James to stay, Sexton was the right pick. All year the Cavaliers struggled to find their starting point guard, and one who could produce consistently at that. Isaiah Thomas, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, and even Jose Calderon were never going to be good enough for LeBron. Getting a young, athletic and hungry point guard in the draft is a huge first step to keeping LeBron, or even for a new future.
Collin Sexton has good size at 6’2” and a wingspan of 6’7”. He has shown he can carry a team at Alabama and has hit clutch shots in his career as well. The biggest issues for him are that he is a poor shooter. Under 34% from three at Alabama and under 45% from the field. Also important to mention is his low assist average (3.6 apg) and tunnel vision issue (2.8 tpg). Not much else Cleveland could have done in this position. I think the ideal situation would have been to trade down with the Clippers and get the No.12 and 13 picks.
Picks: Luka Doncic (Pick No. 3, traded from Atlanta), Jalen Brunson (Pick No. 33), Ray Spalding (Pick No. 56, traded from Philadelphia), Kostas Antetokounmpo (Pick No. 60, traded from Philadelphia)
Love this draft class! The Mavericks went up in the draft and got their guy in Luka Doncic to put next to DSJ in Dallas. This backcourt for Dallas now has the potential to be something very scary in the future. Donic is a future star in the league and I think this was as big of a home run as any team had in the entire draft.
Jalen Brunson, a 2x champion, Wooden Award winner, and Naismith Award winner who averaged 18.9 ppg and 4.6 apg. This pick is to add depth and maturity to the backcourt of Dallas. My favorite stat from Jalen Brunson though is that he shot 40.8% from three this past season. Look for him to have a role that Josh Hart had for the Lakers this season. The pro-style scheme of Villanova will be a big help for Brunson to make an immediate impact on the Mavericks.
Ray Spalding had the ability to put up a lot of numbers at Louisville, but I’m not exactly sure how he will transition to the NBA. His size and lack of offense is the biggest concern going forward. I like that Dallas went with a tall forward/small ball center here, but there were many options at this point in the draft for them to get someone of better quality.
Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, is by far one of the most intriguing prospects of the draft. Stories of Mark Cuban passing on Giannis in his draft class surfaced this past season, and Cuban wasn’t going to let this Antetokounmpo slip through his fingers once again. Kostas has the ability to make a defensive impact with his shot blocking ability. His offensive game is the biggest question mark. He had an impressive pro day shooting wise before the draft, but how consistent is it? His upside is there and another big man was the perfect move for Dallas.
Picks: Michael Porter Jr. (Pick No. 14), Jarred Vanderbilt (Pick No. 41, traded from Orlando), Thomas Welsh (Pick No. 58)
Steal of the draft? It seems that way right now. We heard all week that many teams in the top ten were becoming more and more intrigued with MPJ, yet he falls all the way to No. 14 to the Denver Nuggets. This is by far much more than what Denver was expecting to get at No. 14. The massive upside for Porter Jr. is impressive, but his body may not be ready for the NBA. It has already been said by the Denver staff that Porter Jr. could sit out his first season in the NBA, or most of it. The summer for MPJ will be intriguing. Can he get his body up to speed to help Denver makes the playoffs?
Jarred Vanderbilt was another interesting pick for Denver. Vanderbilt was constantly hurt at Kentucky and never showed a developed shot. He does pose defensive and offensive versatility, but that can only go so far with no shot. Perhaps his rebounding will be the key to him getting playing time in Denver.
Lastly, Thomas Welsh will try and bring some outside shooting to Denver, as he improved his range in his last season with UCLA. He won’t be the most surprising prospect in this draft, because of his lack of athleticism and quickness. If he sees any playing time, expect him to sit on the three line and wait for the ball.
Picks: Khyri Thomas (Pick No. 38, traded from Philadelphia), Bruce Brown (Pick No. 42)
First, Khryi Thomas, a great pick for Detroit who truly needed some outside shooting. Despite not having a first-round pick in this year’s draft, they managed to get a player who had first-round projections. Khyri Thomas has great upside to be a three-and-D player for Detroit. He may struggle against taller players, but his wingspan and strength should be key to him as a defender. Twice named Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East says something about his ceiling.
Bruce Brown, who also had a shot at a first-round selection, fell due to his inability to shoot, which is extremely interesting because that is one of Detroit’s biggest issues. To Brown’s credit, he does do everything else on the floor fairly well. Without a shot though, his NBA career may be shorter than the Pistons hope. His development will be interesting to watch.
Golden State Warriors
Pick: Jacob Evans (Pick No. 28)
It may be their only pick, but it was a smart pick at that. It has been a common theme with Golden State to draft the best available, and they did so here. Perhaps losing Patrick McCaw and Nick Young was the reason behind selecting a guard. He converted 39.4% of his threes in two seasons and did everything else very well for Cincinnati. This is an outstanding fit for Evans and will probably see his game elevated the most here than in any other system. A smart choice for Golden State with their only pick. They fill a potential need with one of the best available players.
Picks: De’Anthony Melton (Pick No. 46), Vincent Edwards (Pick No. 52, traded from Utah)
De’Anthony Melton was a prospect with a lot of concerns going into the draft. Not because he has trouble playing the game, but because he had to sit out this season at USC because of ineligibility. Many had Melton as a top-30 prospect because of what he had done in the past. Melton could do a little of everything, which will be greatly valued in Houston. His biggest weakness is his outside shot, but perhaps Houston will change that. Melton is best on the defensive end because of his motor, size, and pressure.
Also, Vincent Edwards has the ability to do a lot on the floor, but the glaring issue on his game is that he is about as inconsistent as they come. The reason why Houston takes him is that he shows signs of great things. His offense is great and he has a lot of defensive versatility as well. Edwards may see some limited playing time this season, but if he wants to be a continuous role player, he must become consistent.
Picks: Aaron Holiday (Pick No. 23), Alize Johnson (Pick No. 50)
Aaron Holiday was one of my favorite point guards in the draft. Indiana must have felt the same way and should be ecstatic that he is a Pacer. Holiday played exceptionally well at UCLA this past season. He can shoot from all over the court, create for others, and has some defensive upside. Indiana was in desperate need of a point guard, and this could be their future. Holiday must improve on his ball security and decision-making (3.8 turnovers per game) in the NBA, otherwise he will turn into a backup.
Alize Johnson. This was not an impressive pick by the Pacers. Johnson doesn’t have much of an NBA-ready offense or the physical tools to play the four in the NBA. He will be a bit of a tweener in his career. Usually, players that are such don’t necessarily succeed. A couple of decent players were still on the board here and I think the Pacers missed on this one.
Los Angeles Clippers
Picks: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Pick No. 11, traded from Charlotte), Jerome Robinson (Pick No. 13)
Two interesting picks for the Clippers, both in the late lottery. With the No. 11 pick, the Clippers got a rising point guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He has tremendous potential to be a unique and quality point in this league. His outside stroke needs a lot of work, otherwise teams will be able to game plan for him easier. The Clippers absolutely needed a point guard in this draft and this was a great selection for them.
Now, Jerome Robinson was an interesting pick here. Many figured Robinson would not be drafted until the early twenties. Yet, the Clippers took him No. 13 overall, and this was an absolute reach. The Clippers had an opportunity to draft a new potential face of the franchise in Michael Porter Jr. and didn’t. Reaching for a guy who would have been there ten picks later and passing on a player who could have been top-5 is a head-scratcher. I don’t mind Robinson at all though, he is a talented shooter and will hold his own.
I’m knocking the Clippers for not taking the chance on MPJ and instead of reaching for Robinson. Additionally, with the potential departure of DeAndre Jordan, why not take Robert Williams from Texas A&M? Seems to me the Clippers missed out on No. 13. If they wanted Robinson so bad, they should have traded down to get him and could have had another selection on the night. Clippers had potential to get an A+ in this draft and failed to do so.
Los Angeles Lakers
Picks: Moritz Wagner (Pick No. 25), Isaac Bonga (Pick No. 39, traded from Philadelphia), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pick No. 47)
Moritz Wagner is a good pick for the Lakers, because Brook Lopez will likely be out of L.A. This is a slight reach for Wagner, but the Lakers probably wouldn’t have gotten him at No. 39 if they waited. Getting Wagner to spread the floor and hopefully be a solid rebounder will be nice for this Lakers squad who struggled to rebound the ball. Defensively, Wagner needs to step up if he wants more playing time in the future. It would also be nice to see him spread the ball a little more from the post, as he averaged under one assist per game.
Isaac Bonga and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are two players that will most likely need to be stored overseas or will be put in the G-League. Laker fans were probably wondering why the team didn’t draft guys who could help right away, and it’s a good question to ask.
Picks: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Pick No. 4), Jevon Carter (Pick No. 32)
The Grizzlies got stuck in an odd situation by not being able to get the three best players and Mo Bamba asking not to be drafted by them. They don’t need Trae Young because they have Mike Conley. So with all of this, Memphis zeroed in on Jaren Jackson Jr. A solid pick and an athlete with a lot of potential to be great. My biggest concern with Jackson is that he struggles to create on his own as well as not being able to carry the load of scoring for his team. Luckily for him, Conley and Gasol can do that for him instead. Jackson is not even 19 years old yet, which also makes him an insane prospect.
Next, Javon Carter will be able to help this Grizzlies team right away with his ability to defend very well. Memphis will need to hope he can carve out a little bit of an offensive game, as his selection is much more about defense than anything else. Best case scenario for him is a 3-and-D type NBA player.
Miami could have really used some cost-friendly talent from this draft, as they have tons of contracts that they should try and get rid of. I would have liked to see Miami try and get someone late in the second round, but the front office must have opted not to do such a thing.
Pick: Donte DiVincenzo (Pick No. 17)
A very solid pick for Milwaukee, as they are desperate for outside shooting. Donte DiVincenzo will bring a lot to this Bucks roster. His ability to hit the open three, moving three, defensive motor, vision, and IQ will translate very well to Mike Budenholzer’s new offense and defense. Not to mention he was one of the most athletic players in the NBA combine. DiVencenzo has the potential to start on this Bucks team if needed. Tony Snell struggled towards the end of the season, and if the trend continues, look to DiVencenzo to make an impact.
Picks: Josh Okogie (Pick No. 20), Keita Bates-Diop (Pick No. 48)
A late riser in the draft and potentially a reach for the Wolves, Josh Okogie was the best player on a bad team in Georgia Tech. Okogie was a solid defender at Georgia Tech, which will bode well in Minnesota. A team that needs young talent and needs defenders as well, Minnesota got a nice piece here. Also, Okogie managed to shoot to shoot 38.2% from three over his career. He probably won’t be a stud player from this draft, but he will be exactly what he needs to be in Minnesota. A 3-and-D wing with a high motor was a great selection for the Timberwolves.
Another great pick by Minnesota was Keita Bates-Diop. Potential first-round talent and he fell all the way down to No. 48 in the hands of Minnesota. There is a lot to like about his game. First off, he can score from just about anywhere, he’s an able creator and can guard multiple positions. He will also improve the bench and defense, like Josh Okogie. Overall, absolutely solid draft by Minnesota. Basically got two first rounders and filled huge needs for them.
New Orleans Pelicans
Picks: Tony Carr (Pick No. 51)
Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they only had one draft pick and it was No. 51 overall. Not exactly the spot you want to be in to find your next young talent. Tony Carr has some positives, but also many negatives. Carr averaged 19.6 points, 5.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds, which sounds like a near first-round talent. He is also 6’5” and can play either guard position. The issues with Carr is that he is inefficient and struggled even against weak competition. He isn’t a natural defender and will take plays off many times in a game. Decision making and shot selection are also big question marks.
New Orleans didn’t have many options with this pick, but this certainly wasn’t the right choice. Shake Milton and Kostas Antetokounmpo would have been better selections here. Milton would give great bench depth and Kostas would give a defensive backup to Davis. Also, imagine if Kostas ends up being even half the player Giannis Antetokounmpo is. That’s such an intriguing thought that the Pelicans should have pounced on it.
New York Knicks
Picks: Kevin Knox (Pick No. 9), Mitchell Robinson (Pick No. 36)
First off, classic Knicks. With the ninth overall pick, they pass on a high potential player in Michael Porter Jr. and reach on Kevin Knox. He is a solid player, but the Knicks organization should really try to hit a home run with MPJ. Knox is not a homerun pick. Although I’m not a fan of passing on the higher prospect, Knicks did manage to grab a solid starter. Knox’s shooting and defensive potential are why the Knicks took him here. Also, his athleticism that he showed in team workouts was the reason he was a late draft night riser. Knox is a solid pick, but I’m not sure if he is a star.
Secondly, the Knicks get an intriguing prospect in Mitchell Robinson. The Knicks didn’t reach on him, but he didn’t slide either. Overall, a solid spot to take Robinson. He could fill a need since Kyle O’Quinn is a free agent now and Enes Kanter could be gone as well. Robinson’s biggest question marks will be his scoring ability and how can he defend the NBA’s centers. A potential project here, but I like the high risk, high reward pick.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Picks: Hamidou Diallo (Pick No. 45, traded from Charlotte), Devon Hall (Pick No. 53), Kevin Hervey (Pick No. 57)
Despite not having any picks before No. 45, the Thunder managed to bring in three new faces. All of these picks were interesting and could help the Thunder now and in the future. It’s all about potential with these guys. It’s important to note that none of these picks are a sure thing. There is a reason why these players were 15 of the last players selected.
First, Hamidou Diallo is an insane athlete who can be an annoying defender. With a solid offensive game, he can be something special. He must work on his outside shooting if he wants more playing time in the future. We will have to wait and see how the dynamic between him and Westbrook turns into.
Second, Devon Hall was a solid player for Virginia, which is nice to see because many Cavaliers turn into solid NBA players. Hall will hopefully boost the bench for the Thunder, but by how much? He didn’t average even 12ppg at Virginia, but was a 43.2% 3-point shooter and has plenty more assists than turnovers. Could be very useful for OKC.
Lastly, Kevin Hervey will hopefully be a stretch big for the Thunder and can be a bit more than what Patrick Patterson was. He does come with some medical issues, as he has torn his ACL in both knees, which is always a red flag. He’s also a decent scorer and rebounder, but the NBA will be different competition for him.
Picks: Mohamed Bamba (Pick No. 6), Melvin Frazier (Pick No. 35), Justin Jackson (Pick No. 43, traded from Denver)
Mohamed Bamba at No. 6, in my opinion, is a steal. Bamba could have easily gone top-4, and the fact that he didn’t means that the Magic hit an absolute grand slam with this selection. I think Mo Bamba will eventually be the player that everyone (especially Bucks fans) thought Thon Maker could be. Their young frontcourt of Johnathan Isaac and now Bamba will be a great start for this awful Magic team. They were missing a lot of pieces still, but they now have a face of a franchise on their roster. Perhaps they trade Nikola Vucevic to get better in the guard spots.
Melvin Frazier is a simple prospect. A hopeful 3-and-D type player but will most likely struggle on this Orlando squad because he cannot create his own shot very well. Also, the Magic don’t have a lot of playmakers to get him the ball consistently outside the arc. Frazier may struggle in Orlando. However, his impact on the defensive side of the ball will be noticed immediately.
Also, Justin Jackson is a gamble here that will hopefully develop into a solid two-way forward. Developing his decision making, outside shooting, and his defensive motor will be key for him to be successful. The Magic shouldn’t mind taking a risk on him after taking two solid players before him.
Picks: Zhaire Smith (Pick No. 16, traded from Phoenix), Landry Shamet (Pick No. 26), Shake Milton (Pick No. 54, traded from Dallas)
A player that scouts, GMs, and people all around the country really liked was Zhaire Smith. A great addition to an already talented and young core. Smith isn’t the best shooter, which makes him only an okay fit for Philly. He shot 45% from three but only shot 18-of-40 on the season. He will need to improve this if he wants to maximize his potential with the 76ers. Defensively, Smith can help immediately to an already stingy defense. It’s not the perfect fit, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure there will be some suitors looking at Smith in trades.
Both Landry Shamet and Shake Milton were drafted to spread the floor. A huge positive for the 76ers is that Shamet can play both guard positions, so when Simmons is on or off the court, Shamet can have an impact. Milton was a solid pick and could have gone much higher than No. 54 in the draft. He is a shooter and can be a creator as well. I like both of these second-round selections by Philadelphia.
Picks: Deandre Ayton (Pick No. 1), Mikal Bridges (Pick No. 10, traded from Philadelphia), Elie Okobo (Pick No. 31), George King (Pick No. 59)
Not much to say about Deandre Ayton. Phoenix has struggled to find their big man of the future with Alex Len and Dragan Bender. Ayton was so clearly the best prospect for Phoenix that it’s nice to see them not overthink this and go with a different prospect. Defense will be his downfall, but if Phoenix can tap into that even a little, he could be one of the best young stars in the league very quickly.
I love Mikal Bridges in Phoenix, but the cost of giving up a first-round pick for him might hurt in the future. Looking at Bridges, everyone can see a solid defensive player. He can also shoot the three ball and has a championship pedigree, which might help this young core. His fit between Ayton and Booker could be the most important aspect of this team. Phoenix has created something in this draft after years of failing to do so.
Elie Okobo was one of my favorite players of the second round. With Elfrid Payton now out of the picture in Phoenix, Okobo could be the point guard of the future for right now. He can spread the floor, is crafty offensively, and has solid potential as a creator and defender. I could have easily seen Okobo going early or mid 20’s in the first round.
Lastly, George King. He can spread the floor and can potentially guard multiple positions. Hopefully, he turns himself into a solid role player for the Suns. He was a role player in college, so his upside seems low at the moment. He’s an interesting guy to take one spot above Kostas Antetokounmpo, who has a very high ceiling and could bring defensive help right away.
Portland Trail Blazers
Picks: Anfernee Simons (Pick No. 24), Gary Trent Jr. (Pick No. 37, traded from Sacramento)
Not exactly sure what Portland was thinking here with Ed Davis and most likely Jusuf Nurkic leaving, they drafted two guards. I don’t mind either Anfernee Simons or Gary Trent Jr., they just were not the correct selections in my opinion.
Anferenee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. both have better offensive games than defensive. This is also odd because that is exactly what Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are. If they were going to go with guards, it should have been 3-and-D type players. This makes me question if the Blazers are seriously looking into moving McCollum. It just makes absolutely no sense unless they trade CJ McCollum for a couple of bigs and wing players.
Pick: Marvin Bagley III (Pick No. 2)
Despite his defensive game not really existing, Marvin Bagley III was a solid selection for Sacramento. The lackluster frontcourt of the Kings needed a player for other teams to fear. With Luka Doncic potentially saying he didn’t want to be a King, Sacramento had to adjust their game plan. With the Kings in dire need of a star, they got it here.
Bagley will definitely come with some negatives. As mentioned before, his defense is the biggest question, along with his inability to hit free throws (62.7% from the line) and whether or not he has enough offensive skill to dominate or if it is all explosiveness and easy buckets.
Many players were still available at this point, and although I do agree with not taking Doncic if he didn’t truly want to be there, I think Mo Bamba would have been a better selection. Jaren Jackson would have helped their wing position a lot more as well. Bagley will have a lot of expectations to meet in his rookie season. The Kings need this to be the right choice, otherwise they will be here again next year.
San Antonio Spurs
Picks: Lonnie Walker IV (Pick No. 18), Chimezie Metu (Pick No. 49)
Spurs got a steal with Lonnie Walker IV falling to No. 18 in the draft. They obviously didn’t think he would fall to them, because he never worked out for the Spurs. Walker should be a great addition to this team. Finding a solid two-guard to match with Dejounte Murray was a huge win for San Antonio. Walker has a lot to bring to the table: a defensive presence, decent outside stroke, athleticism, and more. Popovich will use him wisely and the Spurs have to thank the basketball gods for this one.
Chimezie Metu found a nice home in San Antonio, because he still needs a lot of work. He possesses good size and offensive ability, but inconsistency and lackluster defense may force him into the G-League or overseas for the time being.
It would have been interesting to see the Raptors move some pieces around in order to get some draft talent. However, this team is already very deep and may not need young pieces, but veterans instead.
Picks: Grayson Allen (Pick No. 21)
A solid pick by Utah here, because Allen can either come in when Donovan Mitchell sits or if Donovan ever plays the point. We saw that a lot in the playoffs when Rubio went down. Allen is a pesky defender with a sweet outside stroke. Utah will be able to maximize his potential, because they do everything that Allen is already good at. Grayson Allen is a guy who can handle some of the offense. Rudy Gobert should also enjoy this pick because it spread the floor a little more than before to give him some extra space.
Picks: Troy Brown (Pick No. 15), Issuf Sanon (Pick No. 44)
The last couple weeks before the draft, Troy Brown was a rising name for first-round selectors. Somehow he managed to get drafted at No. 15 overall. A bit of a reach, but the Wizards found a solid wing to help John Wall and Bradley Beal. Brown has an NBA ready body, athleticism, contribution on both ends, and high IQ. His outside shot is a big question at the moment and will be the biggest concern for the Wizards. It must be mentioned that the Wizards opted to take Brown instead of Lonnie Walker, Zhaire Smith, and Robert Williams. The Wizards must have really liked what they saw from Brown, because any of those players just listed may have a better impact. Only time will tell.
Lastly, Issuf Sanon is not really an impact now type player. He will need some time to develop into a functional combo guard. However, this could be a guy traded later on because of the Wizards awful payroll situation.