By Lamar Battle,
Every NBA draft has winners and losers that’s part of the fun, here are a few:
Micheal Porter Jr- We all watched while Micheal sat and sat waiting for a team to select him and it wasn’t until the 14th selection That the Denver Nuggets picked him. In fairness a number of teams backed away because of an uncertain medical future (Back surgery and problems with his hip) for Mr. Porter Jr.
Micheal Porter Jr- One clear advantage to falling in the draft is that better teams have a shot at selecting you. In Micheal Porter’s case the Nuggets have one of the better young up and coming teams in the league. Consequently, the Nuggets can afford to give Micheal all the time he needs to recover and if he ends up being as good as advertised Denver will have a great player. ( I’m rooting for him).
Chicago Bulls- After telling the world that they needed a small forward the Bulls then proceeded to pass on Micheal Porter Jr, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Knox, Miles Bridges and Zhaire Smith (SG with other-wordly athletic abilities) The Bulls decided to select Wendell Carter Jr (6-10 PF, Duke). and Chandler Hutchinson (6-7- SF Boise State)….Looks like the Bulls played it safe again. Case note: Carter may serve as a policeman against all those who would do harm (you know, guys like Draymond and ZaZa) to Bulls future star Lauri Markannen.
San Antonio Spurs – Looks like they’ve done it again, In Lonnie Walker ( 6-5 SG, Miami ) the Spurs have plucked the uber-athletic and skilled player they always manage to find. ( Remember Kahwi Leonard) ?
Dallas Mavericks – In Euro-league MVP Luka Doncic ( 6-7 SF Slovenia / Real Madrid) The Mavericks have a winner who can contribute right away to a winning culture especially under the tutelage of future Hall Of Fame inductee Dirk Nowitzki. Doncic will serve as the perfect compliment to Mavericks young star Dennis Smith Jr (6-3 PG…Think Steve Francis).
Atlanta Hawks – By selecting possibly the most polarizing player in the draft, Trae Young, 6-1 PG Oklahoma. ( Led nation / NCAA in points and assist). The Hawks accomplished the thing they hoped for, putting people in the seats ( In a football crazed state).
Trae will be a good one and it should be noted when one has that level of confidence it doesn’t matter much how big he is…..He has taken his share of criticism for being a poor defender but correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember a lot of defensive discussions when it came to John Stockton, Allen Iverson and Steve Nash. Well, what can he do ? You ask?…..The one thing that matters most, shoot the rock!
L.A. Lakers – Mo Wagner (6-10 C/F Michigan) If you couldn’t see the it” factor in this kid ( during the NCAA Tourney) then you were not paying attention.
Case note: The Lakers also deserve credit for signing LeBron James.( Oh, It’s gonna happen)!
The NBA free agency period begins July 1st……Let the games begin!