The NBA held their annual NBA Draft and the 2018 class was one of the deepest classes we have seen in a while. Here are three draft winners and three draft losers from the 2018 NBA Draft:
For the first time in the 50-year history of the Phoenix Suns, they were able to land the number one overall pick. They selected Arizona big man Deandre Ayton. The 7-1 260-pound center fills a need that the Suns have been lacking for years. In his only year for Arizona, Ayton averaged 20.1 points per game 11.6 rebounds per game.
The Suns were also able to make a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire the 10th overall pick in Mikal Bridges. Bridges could see some action at the stretch four position as well as at small forward as well. In need of a backup point guard, they selected Eli Okobo from France who has upside as a shooter. He might need to spend time in the G-League.
Making a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for a 2019 pick and Trae Young, the Mavs got Slovenian shooting guard Luka Doncic, one of the best players in the draft. The 2018 Euroleague MVP has the combination of NBA readiness and the possibility of major upside to be an NBA star.
In the second round, the Mavs were able to select Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson looks like he is the most polished and most accomplished point guard in this year’s class. Brunson’s shooting and post-game make him an interesting player to watch. Brunson, Dennis Smith Jr.and Doncic could make for a nice core of players moving forward for the Mavericks.
The Nuggets had a gift land in their lap on draft night. That gift’s name was Michael Porter Jr. Due to a serious back injury and health questions surrounding him. Porter slipped in the draft a top-three talent and lots of upside steps into an offense that is already very talented with Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic. Porter if he plays in 2018 will look to battle Wilson Chandler and Juan Hernangomez for starting small forward position for the Nuggets.
With a lot of turmoil around the organization due to the Bryan Colangelo burner account fiasco and a draft night trade of hometown kid Mikal Bridges, this makes the Sixers one loser.
The 76ers were able to get Texas Tech small forward Zhaire Smith from the Suns. They were also able to land a 2021 first round draft pick from the Suns.
Los Angeles Clippers
The swapped picks with the Charlotte Hornets. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went to the Clippers and Miles Bridges went to the Hornets. SGA is a nice point guard and figures to start or assume a prominent role off the bench.
The true head-scratcher or surprise pick that might just have landed the Clips on the Losers list is the pick of Jerome Robinson the shooting guard from Boston College. He could pair nicely with Alexander in the backcourt.
However, there were other top players on the board at the time in Porter Jr., Donte DiVincenzo, and Lonnie Walker IV. All of these players have much more upside than Robinson and only time will tell if the Clippers got it right with this pick.
The pick of shooting guard Troy Brown Jr. from Oregon might be an interesting fit, to say the least. He can play both guard spots. He is not the greatest shooter and could be a long-term project for the Wizards. If they were looking for off guards at the time of the pick, they could have gone with either Walker IV or DiVincenzo possibly players with more proven upside than Brown.
The second round pick of Issuf Sanon from Ukraine might make little sense now with the trade of Austin Rivers. Sanon might just be a draft and stash player for the time being with Rivers and Wall on roster operating the point guard position.
At this point, it is hard to gauge the true talent of the draft pick. Only time will tell if the surprising moves or the bold moves that were made will pay off for these teams. It should be fun to see how it all breaks down entering the 2018-2019 NBA season.