One of the biggest nights of the NBA occurred Thursday night, and in this article, i’m going to give my top 5 favorite picks and top 5 picks that i disliked the most, let’s get started!
Picks I loved: Josh Giddey to the OKC Thunder
Starting off with a team that many believed would snag a top 3 pick, only to end up out of the top 5 altogether, they sure did make the make the best of an inadequate situation. Josh Giddey was one of my favorite prospects leading to the draft, sure he had his weaknesses, not the best defender for someone his size, his shooting woes, and ball handling issues. But his playmaking and passing is what really grabbed by attention, as it was obvious to see how easy the game of basketball came to him while playing in Australia. While the Thunder would’ve definitely loved to have a chance to grab Cade Cunningham or Evan Mobley, they were still able to grab a prospect with a high ceiling in Giddey, who can form quite the talented backcourt with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Picks I didn’t love: Scottie Barnes to the Toronto Raptors
First on the picks I didn’t like, Scottie Barnes. Now this isn’t anything against Barnes, i don’t believe he is a bad player and I don’t believe he will be a bust in the future, i didn’t love this pick because of the fit. The Raptors have quite the defensive heavy team but are lacking severely on the offensive end, especially with the loss of Kyle Lowry this off-season on the horizon. They needed a playmaker and two of the best playmakers in the draft were sitting right there for them at 4, Jalen Suggs and Josh Giddey, yet they selected Scottie Barnes, another defensive specialist for a team that already has OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. This team has a top 5 defense in the NBA, while consequently having probably the worst defense in the NBA.
Picks I loved: Kai Jones to the Knicks (traded to the Hornets)
Kai Jones is a prospect I got to watch quite a bit as he played for my Texas Longhorns, so I knew first hand of the potential this young man had. He came to Texas as a rotational player and improved every year all the way to arguably the best player on a Texas team that won the big 12 tournament title. He’s the ideal big that you want in this day and age of basketball. Can guard both the rim and the perimeter, step out and hit the 3 and space the floor, can create his own offense, and finishes at a high rate as well. Sure, his offensive game is still raw but i really saw him as a top 10-15 prospect heading into the draft this year which is why I was all the more surprised when I saw him fall to 19 before the Hornets scooped him up via a trade with the Knicks. Not only is this a great value pick but it’s also a great fit pick. Kai is going to look great in PnRs with reigning rookie of the year, Lamelo Ball. On the defensive end, in due time he’ll be anchoring the Hornets offense, the same way he anchored the Longhorns offense in Austin, the Hornets are building quiet the young core down in Charlotte.
Picks I don’t love: Jonathan Kuminga to the Golden State Warriors
Jonathan Kuminga has had quite the fall, going from a top 4 prospect to fringe top 10. His performance in the g league definitely did not help his stock, as he had poor shooting spilts, going 39-25-63 in the G league which is far from impressive. He’s a talented player, but he’s in need of a lot of development to reach the player he has the potential to come. Now add him on to a Golden State team who’s in win now with their 3 best players all being over the age of 30, and you have a bad fit. The Warriors took a chance already on a project last year when they selected James Wiseman at No. 2 overall. That did not pay off to say the least, now they selected another project who is nowhere near ready to play big minutes in the regular season, much less the playoffs. Yet they selected the same type of player this year, which makes no sense and is a huge slap in the face to Stephen Curry, the best player in franchise history. Golden State would’ve been better off going for a player that could’ve helped them right now or even trading the pick for a player.
Picks I loved: Jaden Springer to the Philadelphia 76ers
Ending my picks I loved with a prospect I can’t believe made it out of the lottery, Jaden Springer. Jaden Springer was a prospect I truly though had top 10 potential, as he was an intriguing two way prospect coming out of Tennessee. Although he didn’t shoot many 3’s, he made them at an efficient rate while also being one of the best guard defenders of his class. While his decision making and shot selection can improve, this is a player who can come into Philly and help them now. Standing at 6’4 with a 6’7 wingspan, he can play both the one and two spot in the backcourt for the sixers, and his skill set will thrive playing next to philly franchise cornerstone, Joel Embiid. His good off ball defense and his quickness and sharpness on rotations will only add to a strong defensive unit in philly.
Picks I did not love: Davion Mitchell to the Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings entered the draft with many weaknesses but one of those were not star caliber guards. With DeAaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, they had a formidable backcourt that could end up being one of the best backcourts in the NBA in a few years. With that being said, you could see why I was so shocked a disappointed when they used their top-10 first round pick on GUARD Davion Mitchell out of Baylor. Not only was this a pick that wasn’t a need but it was also a reach value wise as Mitchell has a clear cap on his ceiling. In fact, without his strong NCAA tournament run, Davion Mitchell probably isn’t even a lottery pick and you can even make the case that he wasn’t even the best player on his team ( that honor could be given to his backcourt mate, Jared Butler who wouldn’t even be selected until the second round!). Sacramento would’ve been better off addressing their weakness on the wing and in the front-court instead of reaching for a guard with a low ceiling.