The Draft is over, the anticipation gone away. The anxiety of Knicks fans…not so much. Free agency starts on July first so their high on drafting RJ Barrett will die fast. Zion is the number one overall pick, Ja Morant number two. For two small franchises these are momentous steps to become powerhouses in the west. The draft is always exciting because there’s so many surprises. Trades, speculation, plus the best part of it all, comparing players and analyzing draft picks. Then there’s the winners and the losers of the draft.
Who cashed in big and won the draft? Who made questionable moves? Who couldn’t trade higher to get that top pick? Heres my opinion on the top three winners and losers in this draft.
#1 the New Orleans Pelicans.
Without a doubt the Pelicans won this draft before it began. Getting lucky enough toDraft Zion Williamson number one overall after having around a 6% chance of getting the number one overall pick. Then to get the number 4 pick from LAL to flip that into more picks was savvy. David Griffin has been an executive for the Pels for less than 6 months and he’s already building an exciting product down in the Big Easy. New Orleans is going to make a lot of noise this season and David Griffin is just getting started.
#2 The Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks made a great Draft trade to snatch Deandre Hunter at 4. Trading their picks of 8, 17, and 35 to New Orleans and keeping 10 to pick up Am Reddish who in my opinion is going to be the best player outside of the top 3. The Hawks have been sneaky in the past few drafts and now have a young core of Trey Young, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, Deandre Hunter, and John Collins. I smell death lineup…
Cam is a top 5 talent in this draft and could’ve gone #1 if he had the motor of Zion, and put down the pizza. Deandre Hunter is a great athlete and defender that can play multiple positions and potentially spread the floor. These are great picks and the only reason the Hawks aren’t #1 on my list is because of well…Zion.
#3 the Denver Nuggets
Surprise! Bol Bol fell to the second round and look who picked him up, the same team that took an chance on Michael Porter Jr a year ago. Denver is a sneaky team that has been drafting well for the past few years. Nikola Jokic was a second round pick in 2014, Jamaal Murray is having a better career than Brandon Ingram at this moment and he was 3 picks after him. Gary Harris is solid. Even though Bol has a scary knee injury for a big man he is a top 10 talent in this draft. A 7″2 guy who plays like a guard at times, if Bol can be healthy he can prove to be a very good young player for a very good team.
Now it’s time for the losers
#1 the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix disappoints yet again. Starting with the number 6 pick, they traded it away to get the #11 pick and Dario Saric. Saric is a good pick up, especially with a team in need of a power forward. However in a draft class filled with young point guards that can help a team in need, the Suns choose to trade away their early lottery pick for a later one. And choose Cam Johnson. This team is already loaded at small forward with Kelly Oubre and Josh Jackson. So why pick up another wing? Granted Johnson is a great shooter and may be a great one at the next level. But, they don’t have a point guard to pass to him. The suns desperately needed a point guard and could’ve easily traded up to get Darius Garland or drafted Coby White who went the the same college as Johnson. By the way, shoutout to White for giving his former teammate praise after finding out he got drafted. That’s real love.
On top of that the suns traded away Th Warren and their 32nd overall pick. Bad moves Phoenix. You claim the #1 spot. On this list
#2 Cleveland Cavaliers
Drafting Darius Garland was a mistake for the Cavs in my eyes. I can see the ” Draft the beat player available” mentality. However, the Cavs already had put their belief in Colin Sexton. So why draft Garland? They may be wanting to to a small backcourt line up but could the two of them have development stunts because of this move? Only time will tell, until then, this is a loss for Cleveland.
#3 everyone that passed on Cam Reddish
This is a complete bias, however I do believe that a lot of teams will regret Drafting Cam Reddish. Starting off his one season at Duke he was considered at top 5 talent. Some boards had him as high as top three or even 1. However he slipped due to an unimpressive season. He’s been quoted to credit that to unhealthy diet. However, Cam Reddish has an NBA body at 6’8 and a wing span well above 7’0. Plus he has great range from 15 and beyond. If he can pull his motivation together and get healthy, he’ll be known as a steal in the draft for years to come. To the teams that passed on him, be prepared to look at this draft as the one you should’ve chances on the Duke Star
These are my three winners and loser, what are yours? Feel free to send me your thoughts and thanks for reading.