Saturday 27 June 2015

2015 NBA Draft

Another NBA draft has passed so it time to share a few thoughts. Outside of a few players that slipped a couple of spots and perhaps one or two taken a little early it was a relatively quiet draft...No league altering trades, no completely out of the blue selections! A lot can happen during free agency but the actual draft day was relatively uneventful.

Below are a few of my thoughts of teams I think did well and a few I'm not quite sure about just yet...Since none of these guys have played a second in the NBA yet I don't think its fair to say who the 'winners' and 'losers' were! But just a few of the thoughts I had while watching.

Teams who did well

The top 3

The T-wolves got their man with Karl Anthony Towns! A versatile, skilled and athletic big man! Will fit in well with up tempo players like Andrew Wiggins, Zack LeVine and Ricky Rubio! He isn't Anthony Davis obviously but like Davis he has good offensive skills, has good mobility, can play defence and protect the rim! I think its a fair to say he could become a poor mans Anthony Davis type of player. The Wolves also got Tyus Jones via trade with Cleveland. He is a little undersized but has great passing ability, leadership skills and will be a great back up to Rubio.

The first surprise of the night was the Lakers selecting D'Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor...But you can't blame them for selecting a possible all-star guard with Kobe's imminent retirement. Having a good PG is pretty crucial to success in the NBA, especially in the West. The Lakers are looking to make some noise in free agency with Kevin Love, LeMarcus Aldridge being two of their main targets along with trade rumours surrounding DeMarcus Cousins. Most people were expecting Okafor but this is a great pick.

Lastly the 76ers. Though they have drafted Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid over the last few year they had to pick Okafor, when you have the third pick and a player with no1 pick talent is on the board you can't pass him up! Sometimes you have to take the best available player rather than selecting based off of team needs...What does this mean for the future of Noel and/or Embiid in Philly? Only time will tell, but getting a player who has been in number one pick discussions since high school third overall is obviously a great pick up.

Miami Heat

Getting Justise Winslow out of national championship winning Duke is a steal at no10 for the Miami Heat! Expected to be taken around the 5-6th pick he fell right into Pat Riley's arms. Though spending just one season at Duke he is incredibly strong and tough and is ready to play in the NBA! One of my favourite draft websites compares him to James Harden! He probably won't be that lethal offensively, his offensive game combined with good defensive ability and his size reminds me of Jimmy Butler of the Bulls...Excellent value at 10 if he can get to Butler's level.

Kentucky Wildcats

The aren't in the NBA obviously but having six players drafted, four in the lottery, is a pretty solid effort! Hopefully in the next few years our own Tai Wynyard will be amongst the list of Kentucky players who make it to the big time.


Sacramento Kings

I like Willie Caulie-Stiens game but can't help but think the Kings reached just a little bit here for a defensive specialist sixth overall. He has remarkable athleticism and mobility for a seven footer and has the ability to guard pretty much anyone but I think there were a few better options on the board! Jay Bilas said during the draft that to justify being picked this high he would have to be a multiple time all-defensive player and DPOY candidate and I agree with him there! If he becomes a Tyson Chandler type of player he would be worth the pick but if he doesn't and makes a career off of being an energy guy sixth overall might have been a bit of a reach by the Kings.

New York Knicks

Knicks fans the world over were praying Jahlil Okafor would slip just one more, but it wasn't meant to be. Kristaps Porzingis is probably the biggest 'high risk high reward' player that was selected! He could be the next Dirk Nowitzki or he could be the next Darko Milicic or Nikoloz Tskitishvili (google him). Its pretty hard to pass judgement since he is a relative unknown...Based on the 30 seconds of individual workout video we saw after he was selected he seems to have a great shooting stroke and be a pretty good athlete for a 7'1'' guy...but only time will tell if this is a good pick or not.

Charlotte Hornets

This isn't a knock on Frank 'the tank' Kaminsky at all, but this choice was a little confusing only because the Hornets recently picked up Spencer Hawes, a player with very similar abilities to Kaminsky, in the trade that sent Lance Stephenson to the Clippers...Maybe a trade or some type of deal is in the pipeline? Who knows, but it seemed strange to select someone who is almost a carbon copy of someone you already have with such a high pick.

Those were just a few of the thoughts that were running though my head while watching yesterday!

*rant alert* One thing that I found absolutely stupid while watching was the stat they pulled out giving a percentage on a players chances of being a star or a when after D'Angelo Russell was selected some stats guy said he had a '41% chance of being a bust' I would love to know how he possibly came to that conclusion! Im not a Charles Barkley type who thinks advanced stats are worthless and serve no purpose because they do...However I found it stupid how someone ,somehow, calculated a 41% chance of him being a bust! The guy hasn't even stepped on an NBA court yet!!


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