The draft winners and losers are headlined by the Minnesota Timberwolves who acquire small forward, Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls.
Malik Monk sat for a bit longer than most thought, while the Sacramento Kings traded their 10th overall pick for the 15th and 20th picks respectively.
Some guys climbed to the first round while others fell to the second.
Here are my draft winners and losers
They added a superstar in Jimmy Butler who will help their young core get to the next level. Karl Anthony-Towns is one of the best bigs in the league while Andrew Wiggins is still looking to take that next step in his career. They also have a solid point guard in Ricky Rubio who is one of the better distributors in the league. If Justin Patton, their first round pick, can give them positive minutes off the bench in his rookie season then this T-Wolves team will be one to watch.
The Kings took De’Aaron Fox 5th overall and then turned the 10th overall pick into 15 and 20. The Kings selected Justin Jackson 15th and with their current situation at small forward, he could very well be starter come opening night. At 20, the Kings gambled on Duke big man Harry Giles, but if he stays healthy and the Kings ease him in, he could potentially be one of the steals in this draft. In the second round, 34th overall, the Kings added Kansas point guard Frank Mason who is one of the toughest and most competitive guys in this draft. It was a great night for the Sacramento Kings organization.
Malik Monk fell to them at 12 and I do not think they could be any happier when you consider the Hornets were 18th in free point percentage and 16th in points scored. Whether Monk starts or not, he is an important addition to this Hornets team. In the second round, the Hornets took Dwayne Bacon and being rather thin at the small forward position, Bacon could see consistent playing time early in the 2017-2018 season.
Tyler Lydon can stretch the floor which will be important for a Denver team that loves shooting the three. The inside and out game with Lydon and Jokic will be something to watch for next season. In the second round, the Nuggets selected Iowa State point guard, Monte Morris. Morris is one of the better passers and ball handlers in this league. With Mudiay seemingly in the dog house, Morris could be the back-up come opening night.
They chose Jarrett Allen in the first round when they could have gone with players such as: Kyle Kuzma, Tyler Lydon, or even Ivan Rabb. Allen is a low post centre who will need to work on his jump shot because he will need to do more than just rebound at the next level. He does, however, have the ability to run the floor pretty well for a big man.
New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina was their selection with the 8th overall pick, but he will be a work in progress no doubt. I had the Knicks taking Dennis Smith in my mock draft. He would help the Knicks right away and his athleticism and his ball handing is up there with any point guard in this year’s draft. Damyean Dotson was one of the two second round picks. If Dotson can knock that jumper down consistently, he could be a rotation player next season. Ognjen Jaramaz was taken 58th overall, but will he ever come over to the NBA?
I think they got some solid pieces back in the Jimmy Butler trade, but they should have gone in a different direction when it came to their draft choice. Markkanen might have a good NBA career; however, the Bulls already have Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis who can both play the power forward position. Bulls were in a tough spot with the 7th pick because selecting a small forward here would have been quite the reach.
Portland Trail Blazers
Zach Collins was a personal foul machine last season at Gonzaga as he fouled out seven times in just 17 minutes of playing time per game. He does have a good upside, but big, strong and athletic big men will be too much for him to deal with at the NBA level. Caleb Swanigan was second in the nation in rebounds per game, yet his lack of quickness and versatility could cost him in the NBA. Portland already has Jusuf Nurkic, Meyers Leonard and Festus Ezeli as their bigs. Selecting a point guard with their second pick would have been a better choice.
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.