As previously predicted, the NBA draft went pleasantly sideways last night as several trades threw multiple sized monkey wrenches into the spokes of my ever-spinning basketball tires.
Post-draft assessments are a bit boring usually, mostly due to the fact that no one really has a clue what kind of “motor” or “ignition switch” or “alternator” any of these teens can oil up for the duration of a 82-game NBA season, much less a career. For every example of a team nailing a pick (Donovan Mitchell), there’s 100 examples of picks that went off the rails or at the very least a tad bit eschew (Anthony Bennett, Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Robert Swift, Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Michael Olowokandi, 75% of all European-picked players).
Having said that, here’s a quick post-draft assessment:
- The Phoenix Suns got their guy, Ayton checks all the boxes for their limping franchise and he’s even a local kid. The land of the sun also scooped up a ready-to-play-now asset in Mikal Bridges after he was hijacked from his mother in Philly.
- Atlanta made a big move and added two sharp-shooting guards that they desperately needed: Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. In addition, they landed a stretch-four that may or may not contribute right away in Omari Spellman. Hey, now I can name three players on the Hawks roster! Seriously, who are these guys?
- San Antonio landed what I consider to be a diamond in the rough, the possible Donovan Mitchell break-out player in this draft. Lonnie Walker, an insanely versatile, explosive athlete with the greatest hair in the history of the draft.
- The LA Clippers pinned down two very athletic, scoring guards who can get up and down the floor. Jerome Robinson is one of the better natural scorers in the draft and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a great suit on draft night, so I’m all in on him in the city of angels.
See below for my prediction-accuracy, the red comments are my initial predictions and will ultimately tell you the true story of the NBA draft.
I regret nothing.
- Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, Arizona – GOT IT!
- Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III, Duke – GOT IT!
- Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic, Real Madrid (Traded to Mavericks) – SORTA!
- Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State – GOT IT!
- Dallas Mavericks: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Traded to Hawks) – I was close on this one.
- Orlando Magic: Mohamed Bamba, Texas – (Wendell Carter) To air is human.
- Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr., Duke – (Michael Porter Jr.) The wheels are falling off.
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton, Alabama – (Trae Young) The sky is falling.
- New York Knicks: Kevin Knox, Kentucky – (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) Dooooooh!
- Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges, Villanova (Traded to Suns) – (Kevin Knox) I’m terrible at this.
- Charlotte Hornets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky (Traded to Clippers) – (Mikal Bridges) Push me off a cliff.
- Los Angeles Clippers: Miles Bridges, Michigan State (Traded to Hornets) – (Collion Sexton) WTF!??!
- Los Angeles Clippers: Jerome Robinson, Boston College – (Robert Williams) Good thing I’m not a betting man.
- Denver Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr., Missouri – (Miles Bridges) Similar to how I feel about this Nuggets pick, I’m concerned for the future of my mental health.
- Washington Wizards: Troy Brown, Oregon – (Lonnie Walker) Not even close.
- Phoenix Suns: Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech (Traded to 76ers) – (Aaron Holiday) Similar to my drinking habits, it just keeps getting worse.
- Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova – (Jerome Robinson) I like this italian red-haired kid.
- San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker IV, Miami – (Kevin Huerter) Hey, I was only one pick off on this one.
- Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter, Maryland – (Zhaire Smith) He a terp.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech – (Donte DiVincenzo) This was supposed to be the italian Stallion. Good thing I only “predicted” the top 20.
- Utah Jazz: Grayson Allen, Duke
- Chicago Bulls: Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
- Indiana Pacers: Aaron Holiday, UCLA
- Portland Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons, IMG Academy
- Los Angeles Lakers: Moritz Wagner, Michigan
- Philadelphia 76ers: Landry Shamet, Wichita State
- Boston Celtics: Robert Williams III, Texas A&M
- Golden State Warriors: Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
- Brooklyn Nets: Džanan Musa, Cedevita
- Atlanta Hawks: Omari Spellman, Villanova