The NBA draft was held on June 20th at the Barclay Center in New York to select who they think is the best player for their team. The NBA draft only has two rounds and the players come anywhere from college to overseas. I’ll tell you which teams were the biggest Winners and Losers from the draft. I do hope the selections I say are losers prove me wrong and become stars because they have a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m just going off what I have seen from these players in college and overseas. The NBA draft is more than the Zion show even though ESPN and every other sports network just focused on Zion’s big nights. Another thing about the NBA draft is since the draft is before NBA free agency, the trades that happen on draft night aren’t official so guys get drafted to teams that they won’t play for. NBA needs to address this in the summer meetings and allow teams that are actually getting the players to draft them.
Pelicans- Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Pelicans are building for the future after trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers and are doing a great job with the pieces in return. Pelicans got Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram who all are very talented players and could use a fresh start. Pelicans also landed the number 1 pick and selected Zion Williamson; the Duke phenom been the most talk about player since Lebron James out of high school. Zion 6’7 285 lbs post that makes the most incredible plays imageable. Zion will have all eyes on him this season in New Orleans and the Pelicans have the young pieces around him to grow into a yearly contender. The Pelicans received the 4th pick from the Lakers as well and used it to trade back to the 8th pick for more picks, as well as dumping Solomon Hill bad contract. They selected Jaxson Hayes the best center in the draft from Texas. Hayes only played one year of Varsity basketball before Texas but the 7 footer is an efficient scorer in the paint and a great shot-blocker. Hayes will need to develop the strength to have his defense and rebounding but will become a great player next to Zion. The Pelicans last pick was Nickeil Alexander-Walker guard from Virginia Tech. Alexander-Walker is a talented shooter who needs to develop as a ball-handler, which it will be able to with Lonzo and Jrue Holiday being the starting guards. The Pelicans avoided losing Davis in free agency and got plenty of young pieces in return to build for the future.
Hawks- Deandre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Bruno Fernando
The Atlanta Hawks are another young team that added some key players to help them grow into a playoff contender. Last year draft picks, Trae Young (Rookie of the Year nominee) and Kevin Huerter put up great numbers and look ready to continue to grow in year 2. Hawks moved up to draft Deandre Hunter post player from Virginia who help his team win the National Championships this season. Hunter can shoot 3, decent on defense and maturity being one of the oldest players in the draft. Hunter can step in next to Collins and help grow with this young team. Hawks second pick in the lottery was used on Duke star Cam Reddish, who been viewed with the biggest question mark since being ranked 4th overall out of high school. Reddish took a backseat to Zion and RJ at duke and many people question his ability to lead in crunch time. Reddish is a great shooter and will be able to grow in the NBA next to Trae Young. Bruno Fernando is a center from Maryland who fell into the second round since he a traditional center that can’t shoot 3s. Bruno has great size and will develop into a key player for the Hawks off the bench. The Hawks young lineup with Young, Huerter, Reddish, Hunter, Collins will makes them fun to watch then next few seasons.
Celtics- Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters
Celtics are in trouble since, Hayward bad contract, Tatum sophomore slump, Kyrie and Horford are gone. Celtics have plenty of picks in the coming year and used them for key players this season. Celtics first took Romeo Langford, a talented wing from Indiana who struggled his freshman season playing with an injury. Romeo has the talent to be a star next to Tatum, as well as take some of the pressure off of Tatum. Their second pick on Grant Williams, who was a star for Tennessee and was on the reason why I picked them to go to the Final 4. Williams will help fill the Horford hole and can grow with the Celtics rebuild. Then in the second round, the Celtics took some guards to help with Kyrie leaving as well as maybe Terry Rozier. First was Purdue great Carsen Edwards who took over March Madness with his shooting ability and his confidence to led. They also took Waters a small guard from LSU could also grow in the G-league and one day become a key piece for the Celtics. The Celtics used this draft to grow there bench and help fill some important holes.
Nuggets- Bol Bol
Bol Bol a 7’2 center with a 7’6 wingspan from Oregon fell from being the 14th overall player and 2nd overall center all the way to the 44th pick. Bol Bol, son of NBA player Manute Bol fell more than any player ever invited to the NBA draft. The Nuggets only had one pick all night and used it for a rehab piece. Bol Bol only played 9 games due to a foot injury and question marks about his health, as well as “off-court” issues allowed him to fell from being a lottery pick. The Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. last year who had a back-problem if both Porter and Bol get healthy the Nuggets who was the second seed in the West last year will have two more great players to use. The NBA draft is full of hit-and-miss players and I can’t believe how many teams passed on a 7’2 center that can shoot 3s whose father played in the NBA. Bol Bol could be the biggest steal of the draft, Kevin Porter Jr. selected with the 30th pick from the Cavs also has plenty of potential but fell because of his character at USC.
Suns- Cam Johnson, Ty Jerome
The Suns were very active on draft night and made many moves while only picking up two draft picks both weren’t very smart moves. Suns moved down from 6 to 11 and only got Dario Saric, Then the Suns selected Cam Johnson from North Carolina who is a great player that can shoot the ball. Johnson is the oldest player of the draft and is currently older than Devin Booker who is entering his 5th season. The Suns a team looking to build around Booker and last year number 1 pick Ayton, it is not ideal to draft the oldest player. Suns needing a point guard selected national champion Ty Jerome late in the 1st. Jerome can shoot as well as he and Johnson have plenty of experience. I only see Jerome as a back-up so the Suns will need to add a veteran in free agency. I don’t like the Suns moving down for an old wing instead of drafting Coby White at 6, even though it helps out Minnesota.
Wizards- Rui Hachimura, Admiral Schofield
The Wizards are a mess right now with John Wall tore achilles, Dwight Howard contract, trying to trade Beal, and having no cap for free agency. With that the Wizards took 21 year old Rui Hachimura from Gonzaga. Rui is great on offense but can struggle on defense and being 21 with a team that needs production immediately from their new players. I like Admiral Schofield another post from Tennessee both he will need time to develop into a role player and the Wizards don’t have time for that.
Magic- Chuma Okeke
Chuma Okeke a post from Auburn who can shoot the 3, has a big frame, and defensive player helped Auburn reach the Final 4 before he tore his ACL. Chuma was ranked 33 overall since tearing his ACL he will likely miss all of next season, and selected with the 16th pick. I like Chuma game but I think its a big gamble by Orlando at 16 to take a guy who was ranked at the end of round 1 before his injury. Hopefully, Chuma can get healthy and last year 1st round pick Mo Bamba can continue to develop to help Orlando stay in the playoff picture.