Questions And Observations From The NBA Draft

Before we enter into the chaos that is free agency, lets go back and recap the NBA Draft in seven quick topics and questions.

The Celtics did all they could do, which may be good or bad

The Celtics called half the league back at the trade deadline trying to get something done, and ended up with the same team heading into the postseason.  Pre-draft, they did the same thing.  The Celtics were working on trades with Chicago and Philadelphia, both involving the No.3 pick.  Neither went through, and only one were giving them a guaranteed star.  So, the Celtics kept the pick, but stunned everyone in taking Jaylen Brown when they were reportedly enamored with Kris Dunn, as many were.

And since the Celtics have an already full roster, a ton of assets, and eight picks in the draft, they had to wiggle their way through.  Boston took three draft-and-stash guys.  It was upsetting to fans, understandingly, but also has its pros.  The Celtics are eventually going to cash in these assets for one or two true impact guys.  Trading in those assets is going to take away many players.  The draft-and-stash guys can then be used as the bench for a very good team in a couple years.

Sure, this draft may be frustrating to some Celtics fans, but the reason for it is because of the future of the current team.  And its a bright one.

The Serge Ibaka trade is a win-win

Many people don’t like this trade for Orlando.  It makes sense.  They clearly gave up on Victor Olidipo, and shipped him to Oklahoma City where he will probably take over the starting shooting guard position.  This trade is awesome for OKC.  A backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Olidipo is scary good all the sudden, much better than any backcourt they played this season.  Oklahoma City also gets Domantas Sabonis, a guy who I don’t know a ton about, but went No.12 in the draft and is going to a place that is very good at developing.

Sure, Orlando gave up a lot, but they will use Serge Ibaka right.  This team has a ways to go with development, so Ibaka’s veteran presence should boost them ahead.  Orlando is taking a risk in hoping Aaron Gordon can play the 3-spot, but Ibaka is now their best player and will definitely make a impact.

The Suns made me mad but in the end left me happy

I hated the Dragan Bender pick at No.4.  He was the one guy I was really unhappy with in this draft.  I didn’t like the uncertainty when it comes to what he is.  I was really upset until No.8 overall, when the Kings traded Marquese Chriss to the Suns.

I was totally confused as to why the Kings traded back.  It was basically a seven player draft, when it comes to the first talent drop-off, and the 7th guy got moved to eight since the Celtics took Jaylen Brown.  Chriss was there as the hometown guy and they passed.

I’m pumped to add Chriss.  He can play three positions and is insanely athletic.  He’s just another young piece to add to an already very talented team.  The key for next season will be figuring the rotation and playing lineups that make sense.

I loved the Tyler Ulis pick at No.34.  Its great value, and Ulis can play.  I just hope he sees time.  We already have a ton of guards like Boston.

The Bender pick was a rough start to the night, but it only got better later on.

The Timberwolves are unfairly good

The second surprise of the night was Kris Dunn falling all the way to No.5.  The Celtics and Suns were the first two teams that had a crack at him, and both somehow passed.

With the talent Minnesota already has, it was smart to take the best player available.  Thats the way every team should go about things: Take the best player and figure out the rest later.  The Timberwolves did that, and now begins the figuring out period.

Whats gonna happen during that period?  Hopefully its a Ricky Rubio trade.  I’m sure many Timberwolves fans feel that way.

Minnesota was reportedly in talks with Phoenix and Philadelphia during the draft about Rubio (If the Suns ended up with Dragan Bender and Ricky Rubio in the same night, I might have cried myself to sleep.).  However, the market for Rubio has cooled.  The teams that were looking to move players during the draft aren’t now.  The draft is partly about gauging guys’ value, and a lot of teams did that on draft night.  I’m not saying Minnesota did with Rubio, but what I am saying is that teams would have been more open to make a trade that night rather than now.

When I was playing with Ricky Rubio trades during the season, there were a lot of options.  Philadelphia, New York, Indiana, Utah.  Only one of those teams is still in need: The 76ers.  The other teams solved their issues through trades or the draft.

I don’t think Kris Dunn and Rubio can play together, and playing them together puts a more talented player (than Rubio) on the bench.  I don’t wanna see Dunn’s career start like this.

Minnesota fans should root for a Ricky Rubio trade, but no matter what, I think you all will be okay.

Do the Bucks know what they’re doing?

The Bucks have a ton of talent on their team.  They have been and will be one of my favorite teams to watch.  But their talent isn’t spread out, well, kinda.

Their talent is certainly spread out when it comes to the wingspans on this team.  But thats the issue.  The only talent is in these long athletic guys who can defend.  There’s not a ton of true playmaking yet.  Sure, its flashy, but we need some good ole’ get-to-the-basket/physical type play with this team.

The pick of Thon Maker at No.10 was ambitious.  I like the potential (Story of this draft), but there’s too much to be unsure of.  And he’s practically the same player as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, just rawer and displays all the skills.  They have a ton of the same player, and meanwhile don’t have a good enough point guard, and need to get rid of crappy front court players (Cough, Greg Monroe).

This roster is almost there, but the Bucks have to hope that the developmental stage goes right and that needs are addressed.

The 76ers use old tactics, expectedly and unexpectedly

The pick of Ben Simmons at No.1 was a no-brainer.  But are we sure Sam Hinkie would have made the pick?

He probably would have, but a Hinkie stereo-type would have suggested he’d take Dragan Bender.  If that would have happened, the first criticism of Hinkie from me would have came.

Selecting Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz with their two other first round picks was definitely Hinkie-style.  You’d think, since the Colangelos are running this team, that they’d go with bigger names who’d have more of an immediate impact.  Perhaps this is a progression of thought from the 76ers, which is good news for those who didn’t agree with Hinkie’s exit.

I’ve really fell in love with Luwawu since he was picked.  He’s a scorer and Philly needs as many of those as they can get.  Plus, the guy is sick.  I mean, look at him.  He’s awesome.

How did these guys go undrafted?

  • Alex Poythress
  • Fred VanVleet
  • Gary Payton ll
  • Kaleb Tarczewski
  • Perry Ellis
  • Wayne Selden
  • Ryan Archidianco

Some of these guys have signed already, but these are all big-name college players who somehow weren’t drafted last Thursday.  Its a great group that has a ton of potential.