The NBA Draft is complete and the game’s top college and international stars have found a new home to continue their basketball journeys.
Let’s take a breakdown of the draft results and see what teams had a successful draft.
A break down on which teams could have had a better draft is to come later.
For a franchise that has not made a playoff appearance since 2004, left the 2017 NBA draft as the leagues biggest winner. The Twolves acquired star forward Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick (Justin Patton) in exchange for Kris Dunn (5th overall pick in 2016), Zach Lavine (18.9 ppg before blowing out his knee) and the 7th overall selection (Lauri Markannnen).
In Jimmy Butler, the Twolves get a star that is familiar with head coach Tom Thibodeau and add much needed star power to the core of Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns. Butler still has two years remaining on his contract with a player option for year three.
For a city that is craving for a return to the playoffs, a two year window has now opened up where Timberwolves basketball will be the talk of the town.
The Kings actually made smart, calculated decisions and came away with a solid draft. An impressive start for the new regime as they begin to build for the post Demarcus Cousins era.
The Kings had building blocks in Buddy Hield, Willy Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannas as players who showed promise during the final months of the season.
In the draft, the Kings added a dynamic point guard in De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall selection.
Fox has drawn high praise around the league and some believe may end up being the top point guard in the draft class. Fox has lightening quick speed and makes his teammates better. Fox was noted as being an excellent interviewer in the draft process and is a player of high character, something the Kings really need going forward.
With the 10th selection, the Kings decided to trade it and acquire the 15th and 20th selections from the Portland Trailblazers.
At 15, the Kings selected Justin Jackson from North Carolina who is coming off a season in which he won ACC player of the year and a NCAA championship. Jackson is one of the more talented offensive players in the draft possessing the best floater and in his junior season, he set a North Carolina record for most three point field goals made in a year.
At 20, the Kings took a flyer on Harry Giles and are banking on him possibly returning to form after suffering knee injury after knee injury. Reports are Giles looked better in the draft workouts than he did during his lone season at Duke. If Giles returns to form, it’s a home run pick. If he can’t and has a minimal impact, it’s not the end of the world and was a gamble worth taking with your third first round pick.
With their second pick, the Kings drafted Frank Mason III who just won the the player of the year award. Mason was clearly the best college basketball player this year and is another excellent addition as he is another high character guy. Mason has really improved his shot from distance and is a pesky defender who likes to set up his teammates as well. He can be an immediate contributor as a back up to Fox.
The Kings targeted players who played for winning teams and had high character reports. Believe it not, the Kings had a really good draft.
The Utah Jazz face a lot of uncertainty this off-season as Gordon Hayward and George Hill are impending free agents and both may depart.
The Jazz took precautionary measures and traded Trey Lyles and the 24th pick to the Denver Nuggets for the 13th overall pick. At 13, the Jazz selected Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell is a dynamic combo guard who is a terrific on ball defender and may be the drafts best athlete. He’s a perfect fit in Quin Snyder’s defense first schemes and should be able to contribute right away. Mitchell’s defense is an extremely attractive trait. Mitchell needs to improve his three point shooting and play making ability for teammates but that will come with time and proper coaching. Mitchell is a great selection for Utah.
The Jazz then traded up two spots from 30 to 28 to draft North Carolina center Tony Bradley. Tony Bradley is a long, skilled big man that did not see much run at North Carolina as he mostly came off the bench. Bradley is an excellent rebounder and is good at finishing around the basket. The Jazz have already made Rudy Gobert (late first round selection) into an All NBA center and there hoping Bradley has the same upside with proper development. Either way, Bradley can step in and play quality minutes off the bench right away which make for a great value at 28.
With the 55th pick, the Jazz selected Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. Williams-Goss had a terrific season at Gonzaga leading his team to a title game appearance. He is an old school point guard with limited range from deep but can be a player similar to Shaun Livingston. Williams – Goss has a chance to make the roster and play minutes which makes for a great pick this late in the draft.
Los Angeles Lakers:
Magic Johnson did well in his first go around as the Lakers president. Johnson took Lonzo Ball with the second pick and although widely expected, it was a smart decision as Lonzo is a pass first guard who makes his teammates better. Despite his fathers outrageous remarks, Lonzo is a gifted player who is selfless on the court. He’s the ideal guard to help a young team to develop.
The Lakers then took Kyle Kuzma who will be able step into the rotation from day 1. Kuzma as a first team all Pac-12 player and plays with much tenacity. He plays with assertiveness and aggressiveness that allows him to play bigger than his size. Kuzma is an excellent value pick at 27.
The Lakers at pick 30 pick national player of the year runner up in Josh Hart. Hart does everything on the basketball court and although he does not do something particularly great, he does everything well enough to be an immediate contributor. Hart can shoot from distance, defend multiple positions, rebound and pass the ball. He is a selfless player who does the winning things on the basketball court. A nice value pick for a team trying to change their identity.