There were many selections from Thursday night’s draft that couldn’t be any more perfect. Too many to count. Many teams improved their team in a major way. This was the most talented draft pool in years, and it certainly shows how many teams walked away with another prospect with a bright future. Also, please note that I am not including the Minnesota Timberwolves. I wanted to make this article about the players drafted, not players traded for.
#5: UTAH JAZZ
Assets Acquired: Donovan Mitchell, Tony Bradley, Nigel Williams-Goss
Assets Traded: Trey Lyles, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant
The Jazz had a great draft. They moved up for one of the more underrated two-guards in this draft in Donovan Mitchell, and they also got two other great young players. Tony Bradley, while disappointing in college, still has great potential, and Williams-Goss was a tournament hero for the Bulldogs. They did, however, give up Trey Lyles to get this amazing draft class, so we shall see whether the move for Donovan was worth it or not.
#4: CHARLOTTE HORNETS
Assets Acquired: Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon
Assets Traded: Frank Jackson
The Hornets nabbed an absolute steal when they selected Monk with the 11th overall pick. Some have gone as far to call him the next CJ McCollum, however we should see soon if he lives up to the hype around his name. In the second round, they traded the 31st pick to the Pelicans for the 40th selection and cash considerations. With that pick, they selected Dwayne Bacon, a SG/SF combo, another high level scorer.
#3: LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Assets Acquired: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant
Assets Traded: Tony Bradley
The Lakers picked up their new face of the franchise in Ball, and also many potential role players in the second round. Nobody has the passing ability Lonzo has in this draft, and that is evident. Many point to his father as a distraction off-the-court, but that should be a non-factor in a few months. I love the pickup of Josh Hart, he was very underrated going into the draft process, averaging 18.7 points, 2.9 assists, and 6.4 rebounds this past season for Villanova.
#2: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
Assets Acquired: Markelle Fultz, Anzejs Pasecniks, Jonah Bolden, Mattias Lessort
Assets Traded: 2018 LAL First Round pick/SAC 2019 First Round pick, 2020 Philadelphia First Round Pick (Picks 1-20 Protected) or two future second round selections.
The 76ers finally completed the process when they selected Markelle Fultz with the first pick in the draft. They got a competitive scorer, good passer, and decent rebounder with that single pick. With the 25th pick they selected a decent center, however there were better players to be had. And finally, they had two second round selections. However, these selections do not have a very high ceiling, so the NBA may never see the likes of Jonah Bolden and Mattias Lessort.
#1: SACRAMENTO KINGS
Assets Acquired: De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason III
Assets Traded: Zach Collins
The Kings won the draft. Plain and simple. They selected a future star in Fox, drafted the most NBA-ready player in Jackson, and got the best player in the draft if he is able to live up to expectations and stay healthy. Also, do not sleep on Frank Mason, he was a star at Kansas, helping them advance in the NCAA Tournament even when Josh Jackson wouldn’t step up. Fox and Jackson should be able to start right away with Mason being a force off of the bench. However, knowing the Kings’ past history, will these players all turn out to be busts? Well, that remains to be seen.
All of this talk makes me ready for the NBA season, even though it literally just ended.