NBA Draft: Winners, Losers, & Confusers

Draft Winners:

-Bucks: Tobias Harris(19 via Bobcats), Beno Udrih(trade via Kings), Stephen Jackson(trade via Bobcats), Shaun Livingston(trade via Bobcats), Jon Leuer(40)

*Bucks got rid of two terrible contracts (Corey Maggette & John Salmons). They brought in a guy that averages 20.0 ppg, even though he has attitude problems & a criminal record. They’re also able to swing Udrih, giving them one of the best backup Pgs in the NBA. They trade down in the draft to snatch up Tobias Harris, who at only 18 years old, can be molded into whatever type of player that fits the Bucks need. I’m not big on the Jon Leuer pick, but like a lot of people have already stated, it seems like a public relations stunt. Draft a kid from the area, to get fans in the seat. Sounds about right.

-Nuggets:Andre Miller(trade via Trailblazers), Jordan Hamilton(26 via Trailblazers via Mavericks), & a future 2nd round pick(trade via Trailblazers), Chukwudiebere Maduabum(56 via Lakers), Kenneth Faried(22)

*I don’t think that the Nuggets got enough respect for their draft. After trading Carmelo Anthony last year, they somehow got better. However, now it’s George Karl’s job to teach this melting pot of young, raw players how to fit together. For the last 7 years, the Nuggets identity was Anthony, so now Karl has to set their new personality for the future. They traded unhappy backup PG Raymond Felton to the Trailblazers & acquired weathered veteran Andre Miller. Miller’s the perfect option to come in & play 15 to 20 minutes a game, while helping Ty Lawson tweak & improve his game. Nuggets also were able to snatch up the best rebounder in this draft at #22 in Kenneth Faried. One of my favorite college players of the past couple years. Anytime you draw comparisons to both Dennis Rodman & Tim Duncan, then you know that you’re doing something right. Nuggets somehow swung SF/SG Jordan Hamilton in that trade, as well. Another player that will fit perfectly in Karl’s system. You can never have enough talent & Hamilton is definitely one of the ten or so most talented players in this draft.

-Wizards:Jan Vesely(6), Chris Singleton(18), Shelvin Mack(34)

*Wizards are on everybody’s winner’s list & it’s easy to see why. Jan Vesely is the wingman that John Wall needed. I think Vesely has the most promise of any of the foreign prospects in this draft. He’s been compared favorable to Dirk Nowitzki. Excuse me, NBA Champion, Dirk Nowitzki. Question is: Who’s a better dunker? Jan Vesely or JaVale McGee? Hmm. The steal of the draft comes in the form of Florida State’s Chris Singleton at #18. Singleton is by far the best defensive player in this draft. Hard worker, he grinds out every possession, & is an all out baller. If I had to make a list of players that could translate their college game to the pros seamlessly, then Singleton would be a top of that list. Brilliant pick. Not to mention, Wizards got Shelvin Mack with their 2nd round pick. A SG reminiscent of Shannon Brown & touted as many as a late 1st round pick. Anyone that’s watched the past two NCAA National Championship games, knows how well Mack can take over a game, when he’s hot.

-Jazz:Enes Kanter(3), Alec Burks(12)

*Jazz make this list, although they only had two transactions. Sometimes a simple draft, is the best draft. I’ve always been one to draft the best player, unless a player falls to you that fits your needs perfectly. Jazz were able to snatch up the self-proclaimed “best player in the draft”, at #3 in the form of Turkey’s own, Enes Kanter. Five years from now, we could look back & wonder why he didn’t go #1. At #12, Jazz were able to get Alec Burks, who was touted by many as the best SG in this draft. I personally think it’s a coinflip between him & Klay Thompson, but only time will tell before we see for sure. The only downfall of Jazz’s draft, was that they didn’t get a PG. Jazz has been looking for a replacement for Devin Harris for awhile & in a draft that was stacked with quality PGs, I was shocked to find out that they didn’t make a move for one.

Notable Winner Snubs:

-Warriors: Drafted two great players that will help them & traded for a center with a lot of potential.

-Kings: They got their PG of the future, traded for some veteran experience, & got two great 2nd round sleepers that will both make NBA rosters at some point.

-Cavaliers: Got two players with a lot of potential & talent, which is to be expected when you’re giving two top four picks. They also acquired two future 2nd round picks. However, I think Justin Harper could be a star in this league, so them giving him up, may come back to bite them.

-Hawks: While they only had one pick in this draft, they were able to acquire one of my favorite centers from college. I think Keith Benson can be an elite center in this league, if he can bulk up, refine his skill set & tighten up defensively.

-Pistons: They got Brandon Knight at #8. I think Knight has the best NBA career of any PG in this draft, so that was a steal for them. They also got Kyle Singler, who if he fits his role, draws comparisons to Andres Nocioni, who is always a good fit for teams like the Pistons.

-Bobcats: Kemba Walker was my favorite player in college last season. Something about him has always conveyed greatness. He’s meant to be a winner & achieve great things. While, the Biyombo pick may come back to haunt the Bobcats, I think drafting Walker was a goldmine pick.

Draft Losers:

-Knicks: Iman Shumpert(17), Josh Harrellson(45 via Hornets)

*It wouldn’t be an NBA Draft day without the moans & groans of the New York faithful. It doesn’t take an inept basketball connoisseur, to tell you that the Knicks messed up. Over the past couple weeks, Iman Shumpert has been sliding up draft boards. He was very impressive during most of his workouts & teams saw a lot of promise in him. However, Knicks should’ve taken a safer pick in this situation. I understand that they wanted a PG & Shumpert may have been the best PG available when they got to pick at #17, but I’m not sure how well it will pan out long term. The Knicks passed on the likes of Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton, Chris Singleton, & Marson Brooks, just so that they could get a PG. When they interviewed Spike Lee, you could tell how aggravated he was by the way that he collected his sighs & emphasized the “we need defense” card. He obviously wanted Walsh to take either Newark’s own Faried or defensive specialist Singleton, who went one pick later to Washington. Knicks only had one pick & didn’t make any groundbreaking trade. However, they had the Hornets select Kentucky’s Josh Harrellson at #45 & they acquired him for cash considerations. I had Harrellson as undrafted on my draft board, as did many people. He first started getting noticed, during Kentucky’s run to the Final Four. He has a big heart & was fun to watch play, but I’m not exactly sure how his game will adapt to the pros, if he even makes a roster. Disappointing draft for Knicks fans everywhere.

-Suns: Markieff Morris(13)

*Suns have a lot of needs & taking the worse Morris brother, wasn’t the answer. I’m beginning to think that their front office is drafting these players as a joke. Taylor Griffin, Robin Lopez, & now Markieff Morris. Their brothers become stars elsewhere & the Suns are stuck with them. Suns had so many great players they could’ve taken here, but opted for one of the few busts for this lottery pick. Suns are in a rebuild mode. If I was them I would’ve drafted: Marshon Brooks, Marcus Morris, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Singleton, Kenneth Faried or Jordan Hamilton. Definitely not Markieff Morris. The pick definitely surprised everyone, including me, mainly because it was a bad pick.

Notable Loser Snubs:

-The Fans: For the past few weeks, the rumor mill had been spinning, but when draft day hit, it was all pretty anti-climactic. A lot of draft pick trading happened, because there’s a lot of parody with the talent pool in this draft class, but no big names were traded. Andre Miller, Raymond Felton, & Stephen Jackson were the biggest names on the move, yesterday. Definitely not superstar level talent, dawning new colors.

Draft Confusers:

-Timberwolves:Derrick Williams(2), Brad Miller(trade via Rockets), a future 1st round pick(trade via Rockets), Malcolm Lee(43 via Bulls), a future 2nd round pick(trade via Heat), & cash considerations(trade via Heat), 2013 2nd rounder(trade via Nets) & cash considerations(trade via Nets), Tanguy Ngombo(57 via Mavericks)

*It’s no surprise, that Timberwolves’ GM David Kahn is always able to shock & astound us all on draft days. I mean, to be as bad as the Timberwolves have been in recent history, Kahn’s had to have taken a lot of terrible moves. I could barely figure out what moves the Timberwolves had made, before they made another one. Timberwolves opted to keep the #2 overall pick & select Arizona’s Derrick Williams. In my opinion, Williams becomes the best pro from this draft class. Smart move. However, Timberwolves already have too much log jam at the 3 & 4. So how will they find enough playing time for every small forward & power forward in their rotation? More trades will hopefully be on the way. Malcolm Lee is a very good 2nd round pick. Ben Howland is always able to churn out quality, NBA ready guards, at UCLA. Timberwolves also acquired Brad Miller from the Rockets, who in my opinion should be their starting center from day 1, unless they move Love to the 5, Beasley to the 4 & start Williams at the 3, ala their positions in college. In acquiring Miller, Kahn was able to un-jam the PG situation & finally made room for Rubio.

Notable Confuser Snubs:

-Spurs: I knew a Spurs’ PG would be on the move on draft day, but I assumed it’d be Tony Parker. George Hill should definitely be an upgrade over Darren Collison, who struggled to come into his own in his first year as a Pacer. However for the Spurs, they got in my opinion, the best all around SF in this draft, in Kawhi Leonard. He led San Diego State from obscurity to the big stage, last season. Also, the Spurs acquired Davis Bertans, who is considered by many, the best all around shooter in this draft class. Although, Bertans is a project & won’t come over to the NBA right away. Spurs shocked everyone win they drafted Cory Joseph with their 1st round pick. Maybe they know something we don’t know. I thought Joseph would be a late 2nd rounder to maybe undrafted. He’s undersized, doesn’t have great court vision, isn’t a leader, & not a great shooter. Spurs scouts must have seen something when he worked out for them, because I didn’t see it during all the Texas’ games that I watched this year. Definitely an overall confusing draft day for the Spurs. If the Cory Joseph pick pans out for them, then a few years from now we’ll probably consider them draft day winners, since they turned 1 pick & one player into three potential goldmines.

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