The NBA Draft has come and gone, and some teams came out swinging, while others came outreaching.
Below are our biggest Winners and Losers from the NBA Draft:
New York Knicks:
Never in anyone’s wildest imagination would you ever think you’d be saying the Knicks drafted well. That changed last night, drafting the best player in the draft -- Obi Toppin, as he fell in their lap at 8. A dream result for this struggling franchise.
Another situation where the next best player fell to them at 9, with Deni Avdija (projected 4-5) was presented to this team on a platter looking to re-build with a young Euro star.
Tyrese Haliburton got to them at 12, someone the Knicks needed but had no option but to draft the best player in Toppin, so Sacramento get their dynamic guard who can play off the ball with Fox or be the perfect back up in a 6th man role.
Starting with Chicago Bulls. Drafting Patrick Williams with everyone that was still available is a head-scratcher. Chicago could’ve traded down to get Williams. Reach!
Yesterday’s NBA Draft was almost overlooked, with the devastating news that Klay Thompson had torn his Achilles. What a blow to a franchise that was without both of their Splash Brothers for the majority of last season, and was ready to go this year, reminding everyone that they were still elite in the Western Conference.
Golden State can’t afford to sit on their hands, and waste a year of Steph Curry’s prime, they need to win now and go out and make a move.
There’s potential for a Bradley Beal trade, and if you offered them the likes of Wiggins and Wiseman (whom they just drafted) among other picks, Washington may very well pull the trigger and accept this deal, starting their rebuild early with Wiseman, as well as getting another piece in Andrew Wiggins (who still has a chance to reach those heights everyone once projected for him).
If a trade for Beal can’t be made, Avery Bradley is on the market and wouldn’t be the worst move considering the year he just had with the Lakers. It’s just been announced they’ve made a move for Kelly Oubre. That’s a start...
Milwaukee went out and made a big splash, dealing Bledsoe and George Hill (with picks) to the Pelicans for Jrue Holiday. This was a huge move for them to keep Giannis in Milwaukee, as a big 3 of Giannis, Middleton, and Holiday will have this team humming come playoff time.
Holiday also gives them a defensive presence, known to lock some of the best guards in the league up, as well as providing them with 18-20 a night (a very good 3rd option to have). They also made a move for Bogdan Bogdanovic, but the deal has since fallen through, with the young Sacramento guard now entering unrestricted free agency.
Why Bogdanovic would want to do this is confusing, given the number of open looks he’d get on this team, and not wanting to be on a team competing for a championship is baffling.
The two biggest names that are on everyone’s lips during this impending Free Agency/Trade period, are James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Harden hasn’t been quiet over the last few days, making it known he wants to land in Brooklyn.
Harden declined his option (losing out on being the first 50Mill+ player), putting his chips all-in on becoming a Brooklyn Net. It would be a huge move for this Houston team, losing their superstar, and now look to rebuild through the likes of LeVert and Dinwiddie (among others).
Houston may want too much from the deal, and the Nets may not want to part ways with guys who will be the perfect sidekicks for the likes of KD and Kyrie. There’s also only one Basketball to go round, and all three of these guys would want shots.
It worked out in Golden State with Steph and Klay taking a back seat for KD, as well as having the perfect glue guy in Draymond Green keeping the team together. Whether that works in Brooklyn with those 3 guys if a deal is struck remains to be seen.
Russell Westbrook is the next name on the list. It had been rumoured Charlotte were interested, but after drafting LaMelo Ball (after already having Graham and Rozier), that seems off the table.
Enter the New York Knicks. New York just drafted Obi Toppin, after having the option to draft Tyrese Haliburton, they’re clearly making a move for Russ, and get their superstar Point Guard the city of New York has longed for.
They’ve also just dumped a whole lot of salary, declining Bobby Portis player option (15mill), along with waiving Taj Gibson and Elfrid Payton (saving another 18mill). This frees up a move to swallow up Westbrook’s salary, as well as moving on someone like Julius Randle and pieces (Kevin Knox?) for Westbrook, building around RJ Barrett and the newly acquired Obi Toppin.
What a crazy period this is going to be!