Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Draft Week Review

You have to love the NBA offseason, which is almost its own sporting spectacle. A wild draft night saw a blockbuster trade go down and set records with 16 freshmen and just two seniors drafted in the 1st round, and that was after a few trades already went down earlier in the week! I'm here to run through all the details and review what it means for each team, in order of which of them acted first.
Congratulations to all the players fulfilling their dreams!

76ers trade results:
#1 pick

Celtics trade results:
#3 pick
2018 Lakers 1st round pick if it is #2-5, otherwise the better of the 2019 Kings or 76ers 1st round pick, protected for #1.

I already touched on this after the news broke, but the official press release on Monday revealed the detail about the possible 2019 pick being the better of Philadelphia's or Sacramento's, unless it moves to #1. That's interesting that Philly wanted to make sure in each draft they didn't risk losing the top overall pick, and Boston theoretically protected some value by making sure the pick isn't outside the top-5 for next year at least. Even if the Lakers and Nets both improve, the Celtics could have a decent chance between the two of them for Luka Doncic, Michael Porter Jr., DeAndre Ayton, or Mohamed Bamba, the current top prospects in the DraftExpress 2018 mock draft.

By pushing in one of their valuable trade chips to move up, the 76ers landed Washington combo guard Markelle Fultz, as expected. They also traded another future 1st they had from the Thunder via the Jerami Grant trade (top-20 protected two years after OKC conveys a 1st to Utah; if protected converts to 2022 and 2023 2nds) and an extra 2020 2nd for the #25 pick: Anzejs Pasecniks, Gran Canaria (Spain) C. In the 2nd round, they used #36 on Jonah Bolden, Radnicki Basket (Serbia) PF; then apparently sold #39 to the Clippers AND #46 to the Bucks; and finally used #50 on Mathias Lessort, Nanterre (France) PF/C. I already discussed Fultz and how he fits in so well with this team in my mock draft, and I do like them turning a future 1st that may become two 2nds into a pick now. Both Pasecniks and Bolden are really skilled bigs that can score from multiple areas, so even if they need to polish up their defensive tenacity among an already crowded front court, you can't deny their value as Euro-stashes at those spots, with Bolden a particular favorite of mine as a versatile athlete. However, it's frustrating that they simply gave away two picks in still valuable spots for straight cash, especially since one of them was the result of the Nerlens Noel trade since that "first rounder" was never going to convey. At least drafting Lessort provides someone who will play with a high motor and tough defense whenever he comes over, even if he is yet another big body. For now though, Fultz should combine well with point forward Ben Simmons to invigorate this offense and push for a winning record. They have a hoard of cap space to help that cause with some possible shooters, but they would be wise to be smart with only short term deals or a shrewd renegotiation and extension for Robert Covington as he's in the last year of his underpaid contract.

The Celtics ended up taking Duke forward Jayson Tatum, whom I also discussed for them in my mock and in looking at their options last month, and not pulling off any major trade after talks for Paul George stalled and they were reportedly unwilling to deal one of their premium picks for Jimmy Butler. They used all three of their 2nds on older experienced players: #37 Semi Ojeleye, SMU SF/PF; #53 Kadeem Allen, Arizona PG/SG; and #55 Jabari Bird, California SG. Like Tatum, Ojeleye can contribute at either forward spot and hit shots, although this former Duke player may be a stronger defender, at least initially, and I was surprised he didn't sneak into the end of the first. The latter two being drafted was somewhat surprising, although Allen has a niche as a tough as nails defender to go with his decent offense, and there's a chance that Bird could eventually help thanks to his sweet shooting and solid size on the wing. In the end, though, this draft will be judged on what they wind up with in the future pick and how Fultz compares to Tatum, whom they like enough to have picked him #1. They've maintained their flexibility, but the new estimated salary cap of $99 million means they still have some shuffling to do in order to clear around $3.5 million of cap room if they are bringing over both of their 1st rounders from last year and giving a max contract to Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin.

Lakers trade results:
Brook Lopez$22,642,350
#27 pick

Nets trade results:
Timofey Mozgov$15,280,000$16,000,000$16,720,000
D'Angelo Russell$5,562,360$7,019,698

This one was a stunner on Tuesday since the Mozgov contract didn't have to be moved right away for their 2018 free agency plans, and I thought they'd at least take a look at how Russell does at shooting guard next to UCLA PG Lonzo Ball, their pick at #2 last night that the whole world knew was coming. It does clear future salary to pave the way for them to sign Paul George outright next summer while also serving as the first step towards possibly opening up enough space for LeBron James (they'd still likely have to sacrifice either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson while clearing Luol Deng's contract). Lopez is a nice stopgap option at center in the meantime with his shot-blocking and newly discovered outside shooting meshing well with Randle's interior offense and rebounding, and if they miss out on next year's free agents, they could likely bring back the California native at a reasonable cost to continue to provide much needed spacing. Getting the #27 pick was a nice add on to pull the trigger now, and they did end up using it on rumored target Kyle Kuzma, Utah PF, who could still be a sleeper despite being almost 22 thanks to his developing perimeter game that, like Lopez, could make life a little easier for Ball. They also got great value by picking up #42 just to move down from #28 to #30, ending up with Josh Hart, Villanova SG/SF and Thomas Bryant, Indiana C. Despite his prolific college career, Hart profiles well as a hard worker willing to accept the supporting role he's limited to athletically and capable of making smart plays to help this young team develop good habits, possibly even as a Danny Green type. I thought Bryant was a little underrated given his youth, 7'6" wingspan, decent athleticism, and ability to knock down shots, so if can improve his defensive rebounding and overall mechanics on that end, he could be a solid rotation player.

I loved what the Nets did this week, even if it did cost them their second 1st round pick. Given that they have cap room flexibility and aren't going to be doing anything substantial for a while anyway, taking on bad salary in order upgrade assets is exactly what they should be doing like Sam Hinkie's Sixers did, and this is the second time they've done so this year, following the Bojan Bogdanovic/Andrew Nicholson swap that netted them the #22 pick. Russell just turned 21 and has shown flashes of what made him the #2 pick only two years ago, averaging 19.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per 36 minutes last season. He bumped up his assist ratio, hit more free throws, and launched more 3's without sacrificing efficiency, so if he can gain some consistency in an offense with more spacing around his pick and rolls and become at least a committed defender under coach Kenny Atkinson, I still see a potential star that will only be hitting restricted free agency in 2019 after next year's team option. It cost them the career scoring leader in franchise history coming off a strong first year in this system, but flipping the expiring deal of the 29 year old Lopez for such a talented back court mate for Jeremy Lin, who could also be an expiring contract if he opts out next summer, is a move you have to make. If Mozgov is fully healthy, he might not even be a total negative on his bloated contract, and now they can give as many minutes as they want to the player they chose as their center of the future in this strong class of bigs, Texas' Jarrett Allen. I'm a big fan of his upside with a 7'5.25" wingspan, good hands, and solid mobility, and if the signs of a possible jumper he showed at the Nike Hoop Summit become an actual weapon, he'll have the total package. That said, he does stand to improve his defensive fundamentals, including rebounding, and that's the same problem faced with their 2nd rounder, Alexander Vezenkov, FC Barcelona (Spain) SF/PF. He was taken at #57 to stash overseas but could be a useful bench piece down the line with impressive offensive skills as a stretch four.

Hawks trade results:
Miles Plumlee$12,500,000$12,500,000$12,500,000
Marco Belinelli$6,606,060
#41 pick

Hornets trade results:
Dwight Howard$23,500,000$23,819,725
#31 pick

The first transaction of new Hawks GM Travis Schlenk also came out of nowhere, and it wasn't the strongest of starts as an attempted salary dump. Yes, they saved nearly $4.4 million in cap space this year and over $11.3 million next year, but they took on Plumlee's $12,500,000 in the year Howard was coming off the books. It cost them moving down from the valuable #31 pick, which is about as good as a 1st but without any guaranteed money required, to #41, and it is likely a sign that they won't be bringing back 32 year old Paul Millsap on a max deal as they begin to retool. Going forward, Plumlee can give decent minutes as a backup center, at least, and Belinelli theoretically provides some cover if a ridiculous offer sheet comes in for Tim Hardaway Jr.

Their draft haul of #19 John Collins, Wake Forest PF/C, #41 Tyler Dorsey, Oregon SG, and #60 Alpha Kaba, Mega Bemax (Serbia) C is a lot easier to like. Collins' breakout sophomore year showed that along with his interior scoring, he has a capable mid-range jumper to play power forward since he's a bit undersized to play center full time at 6'9", 225 lbs with a 6'11" wingspan, so if he can become a more consistent defender without fouling, he could become a starter sooner rather than later. Although Dorsey lacks length as a shooting guard, he's demonstrated more than enough shooting and playmaking ability to be developed in the Hawks University for Wings, and at the end of the 2nd round, Kaba and his massive 7'5" wingspan is worth a Euro-stash to continue his development as the sixth player drafted in two years from the Serbian powerhouse formerly known as Mega Leks.

For the Hornets, moving up 10 spots in the 2nd and adding a still useful player made sense since they are already capped out over the next couple of seasons anyway, and they got out of their mistake of trading for Plumlee's contract. Coach Steve Clifford vouches for Howard from their time together in Orlando and L.A., so even if the Atlanta native's homecoming didn't work out due to locker room issues, he's worth the risk for just the next two seasons. Getting Kentucky sharpshooter Malik Monk at #11 was a steal, and this is probably the best situation for him as this team needs instant scoring off the bench to lighten the load on Kemba Walker. It'll be interesting to see if they try him out as a backup point guard at first since they'll likely decline the $6.27 million team option on Ramon Sessions in order to avoid the Luxury Tax. They ended up moving back down from #31 to #40 in order to pick up some cash that can offset these salaries, but they got another potential bench scorer in Dwayne Bacon, Florida State SG/SF. Although he is almost 22 and needs to commit more on the defensive end, his aggressive style can be effective with his strong 6'6", 222 lb frame and 6'10 wingspan.

Wizards trade results:
Tim Frazier$2,000,000

Pelicans trade results:
#52 pick

This was a sneakily solid move for Washington since they still have a need at backup point guard and their late 2nd wasn't likely to contribute to their playoff team right away. Frazier comes cheaply for a team that will be in the Tax once they re-sign Otto Porter and Bogdanovic and should be an improvement on outgoing free agents Brandon Jennings and Trey Burke, who was questionable to receive a qualifying offer anyway.

I'm a little surprised that New Orleans gave up someone who started 35 games for them when starting point guard Jrue Holiday is a free agent, and then they sold that late 2nd rounder, anyway. That cash was likely to offset what they paid to move up from #40 to #31 to take Duke combo guard Frank Jackson, who has solid size at over 6'3", 202 lbs, with a 6'7.5" wingspan. I don't think he's a good enough creator to play the point full time, but his strong shooting could give him a role as an efficient scorer off the bench. Trading Frazier also gives them a small $2.1 million Trade Exception to go along with the $3.5 million one they have from trading Buddy Hield, and those have a chance of coming in handy if they stay over the cap by re-signing Holiday, who has all the leverage in negotiations since they'd have less than $13 million in room to find a replacement if he left.

Timberwolves trade results:
Jimmy Butler$18,696,918$19,841,624$19,841,627
#16 pick

Bulls trade results:
Kris Dunn$4,046,760$4,221,000$5,348,007
Zach LaVine$3,202,218
#7 pick

When this news broke at the beginning of the draft, I couldn't believe it, especially when it came out that Minnesota was also picking up the #16 pick in the deal. The first trade by head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau was worth the yearlong wait as he was able to reunite with Butler, who developed into one of the best two-way players in the game under his tutelage in Chicago, at just the cost of moving down nine picks, a volatile high-flyer who tore his ACL in February, and last year's #5 pick who disappointed as a 22 year old backup point guard. Going on 28, Butler is six years older than core duo Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns but still just at the beginning of his prime on a great contract signed before the cap spike, securing him for two years before he can opt out. He provides a much stronger presence than LaVine on the wing next to Wiggins, who could live up to his defensive potential if he's more focused on shooting guards, and although neither of them are lights out shooters, they can keep defenses honest if they continue to hit 3's at a rate in the upper 30's.

I thought trading Dunn might end the Ricky Rubio trade rumors, but after thinking on it further, he is still likely to be replaced via free agency (Jrue Holiday, George Hill, or Patty Mills?) or trade (Pat Beverley?) since he's a tough fit as an inconsistent shooter next to ball-dominant wings. Although Gorgui Dieng is a solid big man next to Towns, they'd benefit from another shooter starting in that spot, whether it be internal candidate Nemanja Bjelica, someone they swap Rubio for, or a free agent like another former Bull under Thibs, Nikola Mirotic. With the Nikola Pekovic medical waiver, they could have about $12 million in cap space once they waive Jordan Hill's non-guaranteed deal and will likely have almost $19 million by letting Shabazz Muhammad walk, even with the bump from Butler's trade bonus. Lastly, it shouldn't be forgotten that they were still able to get an intriguing prospect at #16, Creighton center Justin Patton, who is a bouncy athlete at 6'11", 229 lbs with a 7'3" wingspan. It's questionable if his jumper can be counted on as an additional threat, but if he gets stronger as a rebounder, they won't have to worry about another big behind Towns for a while. As a random aside about 'Sota big men: KG's #21 is untouchable, so I wonder what number Butler will wear.
I think Chris Herring put it best for the Bulls: they made the right decision but the wrong trade. It has been long past time for them to rebuild rather than serve as first round fodder, but it's hard to imagine this was truly the best offer on the table for an All-NBA performer like Butler. Now is the best time to pull the trigger and maximize his value with two seasons left before his opt out, but they could have waited until the trade deadline if needed, especially since veteran Dwyane Wade already picked up his $23.8 million option for this season. Given the rumors a year ago of a trade for LaVine, the #5 pick that became Dunn, and possibly Dieng, it wasn't a surprise that they were the core of this package, but you'd think the price would have gone up much higher after the way this past season went. Having to give the #16 pick back for #7 to be added and not receiving any future picks is astounding, but I guess it's not shocking given their history of including extra picks like in the Cameron Payne and Derrick Rose trades.

Speaking of Payne, Dunn now joins him, Michael Carter-Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Jerian Grant as point guards they've brought in over the past year, so it's hard to see what their plan is here. Who knows if this means they'll let go of 31 year old Rondo, who only has $3 million of his nearly $14 million salary guaranteed, or some of their other free agents like Mirotic, who is restricted but has a similar skill set to their new draftee, Arizona PF/C Lauri Markkanen. I discussed how the sharpshooting big man is a good prospect who isn't without his flaws in my mock draft, so this deal largely hinges on Dunn developing in an expanded role and the health of LaVine, who can also add much needed shooting to this team but is entering the last year of his rookie contract before hitting restricted free agency himself barring an extension this summer. Oh, and their high 2nd rounder that Sacramento finally sent after the 1st round pick was top-10 protected for six years? They sold it to the Warriors for the maximum amount of $3.5 million rather than adding another young player to help the rebuild.

Suns draft results:
#4 Josh Jackson, Kansas SF
#32 Davon Reed, Miami SG/SF
#54 Alec Peters, Valparaiso PF

Chad Ford, Chris Haynes, and Michael Scotto reported before the draft that Phoenix had discussions around sending point guard Eric Bledsoe to Denver or Chicago for another 1st in order to take De'Aaron Fox at #4 (the jokes about them and UK guards will never end), but with both of those teams making other trades, they took the best player available in Jackson, whose fun fit I discussed with them in my mock draft. The Andre Iguodala comparison really caught on, and despite being a year old for his class (he's only about 3 months younger than his new wingman Devin Booker), I still believe in his upside thanks to his athleticism and well-rounded skill set, even if his hot shooting to end the year comes back down to earth. Coming into the draft, one might have thought Reed and Peters would've had their draft spots flipped, but in any case, both of these seniors could become useful role players early on thanks to their shooting despite limited athleticism. Well built at nearly 6'6", 206 lbs with a 7' wingspan, Reed competes enough defensively to be a 3-and-D, and Peters has a nice feel for the game after being Valpo's go-to guy.
Kings draft results:
#5 De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky PG
Traded #10 for #15 Justin Jackson, North Carolina SF and #20 Harry Giles, Duke PF/C
#34 Frank Mason, Kansas PG

Sacramento landed the guy everyone had in their mocks and overall brought in a nice mix of youth and experience from blue blood schools after getting good value for their trade down. They'll have an astonishing eight players on rookie contracts this season, and as of now, I'd guess that both Fox and Jackson are starting alongside second year shooting guard Buddy Hield. Giles could eventually start next to one of Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, and Georgios Papagiannis, and the risk/reward of taking the former top prospect in the class who has suffered ACL tears in both knees was a great choice as their third pick of the round. It's easy to see Labissiere as his his long-term partner with the skilled offensive game that flashed as a rookie meshing well with Giles' versatile defense and interior scoring. Mason might have been a slight reach as a small senior guard, but he is another high character guy to help change their culture and can become a steady backup to Fox faster than other prospects. Now it will be interesting to see what they do all their cap room this summer; after waiving the non-guaranteed portion of Arron Afflalo's deal, they have up to $53.5 million in space this summer depending on whether they try to keep Ben McLemore or Langston Galloway in restricted free agency.

Magic draft results:
#6 Jonathan Isaac, Florida State SF/PF
Traded #25 for a future Thunder 1st (two years after they convey a 1st to Utah, protected 1-20 and otherwise converting to 2022 and 2023 2nds) and the lesser of a 2020 Brooklyn or NY 2nd
#33 Wesley Iwundu, Kansas State SG/SF
Traded #35 for a 2019 Brooklyn 2nd

It turns out I should have followed a conventional mock draft and had them taking the best available player in Isaac, who forms a fascinating forward pairing with Aaron Gordon. Both of them are versatile defenders, and the rookie's rebounding and perimeter shooting will help provide cover for the soon to be fourth year player who is due an extension. The two of them starting with Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic makes sense on paper with Terrence Ross, Mario Hezonja, and Bismack Biyombo as their main bench contributors and up to around $14 million in cap space. I didn't love the value they got back in their trades, but I am a fan of the Iwundu pick up as a potential 3-and-D wing who can serve as a secondary facilitator. He's an older prospect who still needs to get stronger and just became a knockdown shooter this year, but at nearly 6'7", 193 lbs with a 7'1" wingspan, there's definite defensive upside.

Knicks draft results:
#8 Frank Ntilikina, Strasbourg (France) PG
#44 Damyean Dotson, Houston SG
#58 Ognjen Jaramaz, Mega Bemax (Serbia) PG

No matter how much he freaks out New York fans in the media Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors, Phil Jackson is still in charge, so I should have stuck with my instincts and mock drafted his typical big point guard that can shoot for the Triangle Offense. Between Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, and Mindaugas Kuzminkas, some of his best additions have been international players, so I'm glad the crowd didn't erroneously boo the pick like in 2015. Now the question is how much of an impact can the young Frenchman make as a rookie and whether that affects the decision to re-sign Derrick Rose or the direction of the team in a possible post-Carmelo Anthony world. Dotson, on the other hand, is a 23 year old ready to contribute as a shooter right away with potential on defense. Jaramaz is also on the older side at nearly 22, but he's might stay stashed at the aforementioned Mega Bemax as another long point guard for the Triangle.

Mavericks draft results:
#9 Dennis Smith, Jr., North Carolina State PG

Smith fell right into their laps as a high upside point guard of the future, and he may or may not rule them out as a destination for the top free agents at that position, which could have a cool market this summer with too high of a supply. With Nerlens Noel expected back in restricted free agency, they could have a nice mix of veterans and players on the rise with a lineup of him, Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews, and either Smith or Seth Curry. If coach Rick Carlisle can deal with his mistakes, especially on defense, I'd expect the dynamic rookie to take the reigns before long, and then Curry could play more off the ball with Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Dwight Powell on the second unit of this suddenly youthful team.
Trail Blazers draft results:
Traded #15 and #20 for #10 Zach Collins, Gonzaga PF/C
#26 Caleb Swanigan, Purdue PF/C

They may have overpaid a bit to move up, but considering that this team already has 12 guaranteed contracts, it made sense to package two of their three picks to move up and get someone with as high of an upside as Collins. Swanigan was another nice big man grab on the other end of the spectrum as a proven performer who seemingly lacks the tools of a star with limited athleticm at under 6'9", 246 lbs, although he does have a 7'3" wingspan. However, after seeing the development of his perimeter game as a sophomore, I like Swanigan as a sleeper if he can continue to work on his body to try and become a Paul Millsap type of player, even as an undersized center rather than power forward. With these two in the fold, they have some insurance if the strong play of Jusuf Nurkic over his 20 games with the team doesn't continue, or if he and Noah Vonleh cost too much in restricted free agency next summer.

Pistons draft results:
#12 Luke Kennard, Duke SG

Sorry to stereotype all white shooters from Duke, but I was a little surprised by this pick since coach Stan Van Gundy only played J.J. Redick 21 minutes a game with only 41 starts during their five years together in Orlando. Kennard has a little more versatility to his game with the ability to score in a variety of ways, but I think he has the same defensive limitations that Redick at least initially had. Although he's bigger at over 6'5", 196 lbs, his wingspan is barely over 6'5" to go along with average athleticism at best, so this pick should be no indication that they're ready to let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope walk in restricted free agency. All that being said, Kennard's scoring should translate in a bench role, especially if his pick and roll game continues to improve like this past season, so this could be a fine pick.
Nuggets draft results:
Traded #13 for Trey Lyles and #24 Tyler Lydon, Syracuse SF/PF
#49 Vlatko Cancar, Mega Bemax (Serbia) SF/PF
#51 Monte Morris, Iowa State PG
Trey Lyles$2,441,400$3,364,249

Picking up Lyles, who will turn just 22 when the season starts, is solid value for moving down, but it is interesting that he, Lydon, and Cancar are all to certain extents combo forwards that can hit shots and won't kill you defensively. Although it's a good fit with Nikola Jokic as their centerpiece, Juan Hernangomez was drafted last year for a similar role and showed well in his limited minutes, so now it seems they are as crowded at forward as they are at shooting guard. At least Morris provides more of a traditional point guard presence after being renowned for his ridiculous assist to turnover ratio, and with a solid shooting stroke and decent size at 6'2", 175 lbs, and a 6'4" wingspan, he should be a more than capable backup.

Jazz draft results:
Traded #24 and Trey Lyles for #13 Donovan Mitchell, Louisville SG
Traded #30 and #42 for #28 Tony Bradley, North Carolina C
#55 Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga PG

With the new dimension Joe Johnson added as a stretch four last year, Derrick Favors still in tow, and his lost spot in the rotation at the end of year, it's not the biggest surprise that Lyles was moved, although it could be a risk given his youth and the uncertainty surrounding this team in free agency. I wonder if they moved up for Mitchell to replace free agent George Hill (who could be sneakily huge in Hayward's decision) as a 3-and-D combo guard, or if he just may be taking the minutes of Dante Exum due to inconsistency. Giving up #42 was a high price to move up just two spots for Bradley, but he is a great rebounder with good hands and mobility that makes him a potential impact defender. At 6'10", 249 lbs, with a 7'5" wingspan, they'll be replacing size with size as he backs up Rudy Gobert. Williams-Goss will likely be limited to backup duties due to a lack of explosiveness but provides a steady hand and solid shooting at point guard, and he has good size at 6'3" with a 6'7" wingspan.

Heat draft results:
#14 Bam Adebayo, Kentucky C

I thought in my mock draft that they might try and get a good backup for Hassan Whiteside, but this feels like a bit of a reach unless they really believe he can develop a jumper to help his offensive game. Built like a tank at 243 lbs, his near 7'3" wingspan helps make up for the fact that he's under 6'10", but he needs to become as good on the defensive glass as he is on the offensive end. Maybe playing limited minutes will help him bring more energy as a defender, and if so, his athleticism will make him an asset there.

Bucks draft results:
#17 D.J. Wilson, Michigan PF. Missed out on Bam
Bought #46 Sterling Brown, SMU SG/SF
Traded #48 for financial considerations

After apparently missing out on Adebayo, they reached a little bit for another rangy forward that can make plays from multiple areas to add to their positionless team. The late rise of Wilson is intriguing thanks to his efficient scoring, perimeter skills, and shot-blocking, but he needs to get a lot better as a rebounder. Exchanging some cash to move a couple of spots for Sterling Brown should be worth it as he's one of my favorite sleepers and is another prospect with good size at 6'5", 225 lbs, and a 6'9.5" wingspan. He should be ready for a 3-and-D role right away after shooting 45.1% on 284 3's in his career and taking on the top opposing threat regularly.

Pacers draft results:
#18 T.J. Leaf, UCLA PF
#47 Ike Anigbogu, UCLA C
Bought #52 Edmond Sumner, PG

Leaf went a little higher than I expected with him being a bit older for a freshman and limited to only guarding power forwards, but he is a really solid player who should fit well next to Myles Turner. At 6'10", 222 lbs, and a 6'11" wingspan, he doesn't have the physicality to battle true bigs inside or the quickness to cover on the perimeter, but he can hold his own against similar sized players and will still block a shot here or there. Offensively is where he stands out thanks to a soft touch both around the rim and from the perimeter, with range that should eventually translate to NBA 3's, and he's a good passer to boot. Getting his UCLA teammate Anigbogu was a steal after he fell over concerns about his knees because he is the youngest player in the draft, has a ridiculous 7'6" wingspan, put up great per-minute block numbers, and is an explosive lob threat. The two of them and Turner could eventually each pair together at times if their skills continue to develop as expected, and that's a solid start to a rebuild if they can get a good package for Paul George in the last year of his contract. Lastly, I love them buying a late pick for the upside of Sumner, who suffered a gruesome torn ACL in January but is 6'5" and has a 6'9" wingspan to go along with impressive athleticism that made him a dynamic pick and roll guard. The injury history is a concern, but if he can get back healthy, he should be well worth the financial investment.

Thunder draft results:
#21 Terrance Ferguson, Adelaide (Australia) SG/SF

He might remind you of Terrence Ross with the same wiry 6'7", 184 lb frame, high-flying athleticism, and microwave shooting, but there are some differences between them besides the spelling of their names. Ferguson has a longer wingspan at nearly 6'9" and is a more committed defender for the most part, and he likely has a higher ceiling as a 19 year old who already received some professional experience in Australia last year after facing academic eligibility questions for Arizona due to attending Prime Prep in Texas. He's something of a risk but could finally provide a legit two-way player for Russell Westbrook next year, and they might need him to contribute sooner than expected due to Tax concerns while filling out the roster.
Raptors draft results:
#23 OG Anunoby, Indiana SF/PF

This could wind up being the steal of the draft if his outside shot is for real and he recovers well from what was apparently a torn ACL suffered in January. He could eventually take the role that DeMarre Carroll was supposed to fill as a forward who can defend across multiple positions, and this could impact whether they re-sign P.J. Tucker or Patrick Patterson as they face the Tax. With Serge Ibaka expected back and Pascal Siakam also a contributor after a solid rookie year, there may not be a ton of forward minutes required from those two.

Spurs draft results:
#29 Derrick White, Colorado PG/SG
#59 Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson SF/PF

Chalk this one up as another savvy late San Antonio pick in the George Hill/Cory Joseph/Dejounte Murray mold as a long combo guard (6'4", 190 lbs, 6'7.5" wingspan) who can shoot, facilitate, and defend. White is a late bloomer at 23 who initially only had an offer at a culinary school in Colorado, amazingly enough, but it shouldn't take him long to earn a role as at least a 3-and-D guard who can operate a secondary pick and roll. Nearly 24 already, Blossomgame might not have upside as he's caught between positions at under 6'7", 219 lbs, with a 6'10" wingspan and a limited perimeter game, but he had a productive college career and has a high motor.

Grizzlies draft results:
Traded a 2019 Nets 2nd for #35 Ivan Rabb, California PF/C
Traded a 2018 2nd (the worst of theirs, Charlotte's, or Miami's) for #45 Dillon Brooks, Oregon SF

After entering the draft with no draft picks, they emerged with two of the best players from the Pac-12 at fair cost. Lacking a reliable jumper, Rabb still needs to get stronger to play his ideal position of center at 6'10", 220 lbs, with a 7'1.5" wingspan, but he has good mobility, impressive skills around the rim, and great rebounding fundamentals. Meanwhile, Brooks is a well put together 6'6", 220 lbs but only has a 6'6" wingspan, and his average athleticism limits him on the perimeter despite his solid shooting and passing.

Warriors draft results:
Bought #38 Jordan Bell, Oregon PF/C

Just like last year with Patrick McCaw, they bought the 38th pick for a potential immediate contributor, but it cost them the full $3.5 million amount allowed this time. It's easy to see the fit of the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year on one of the best defenses in the league with his versatility: capable of switching onto smalls and averaging over 2.3 blocks per game despite measuring under 6'9", 224 lbs with a wingspan under 7'. Although he needs to box out more on the defensive glass rather than relying on the tremendous athleticism that makes him such a weapon as an offensive rebounder and finisher inside, he can carve out a Tristan Thompson type role in a best case scenario. Not knowing the full extent of the medicals, the upside of Anigbogu held appeal here, but Bell should be able to get on the floor pretty quickly in James McAdoo's role as an energy big capable of defending in space. On another note, they acted immediately after the draft to come to terms with another Oregon big man, Chris Boucher, who offers appeal as a long (7'4" wingspan) shot-blocker that can also hit a 3 but tore his ACL in March, on the first two-way contract officially signed to my knowledge.
Clippers draft results:
Bought #39 Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State PG
Bought #48 Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina SG/SF

Using Steve Ballmer's money to add two proven college players is good business, and if Doc Rivers would ever develop their young players, they could have an electric backup point guard and a tough 3-and-D wing. Although limited athletically and by his sub-6' height, Evans could develop into an eventual starter with his 6'5.5" wingspan, workman like defense, and strong shooting. Thornwell, on the other hand, is physically imposing as a near 23 years old, standing almost 6'5", 212 lbs with a 6'10" wingspan, and although he can be a streaky shooter, he knocked down some big shots for the best defensive team in the NCAA Tournament.

Rockets draft results:
#43 Isaiah Hartenstein, Zalgiris (Lithuania) PF/C 
Traded #45 for a 2018 2nd (the worst of Charlotte's, Memphis', or Miami's)

It's ironic that they landed a good value after Hartenstein suddenly dropped due to a possible back condition since at the Hoop Summit he reminded me of Donatas Motiejunas, who of course failed a trade physical last year and went through a whole contract ordeal because of it. Their new big man has good perimeter skills for someone who is 7'1", 250 lbs with a 7'2" wingspan but could struggle with the speed of the game defensively. Like fellow lefty big man Motiejunas, his outside shot is more theoretical than reliable right now, but he could become a nice bench scorer if his back checks out. The trade they pulled off is a nice value for a mid 2nd as they will now hold the two best 2nds out of the four available between them and Memphis.

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