By: Matt Burt
No player with the last name ball was picked. No blockbuster trades. At least not yet. No this is not anything fanduel relevant but NBA related because I just want to expand my article game beyond the usual FanDuel. The west is just getting better that is my first reaction.
Specifically the Pacific division. DeAndre Ayton is an animal, he has superior size out of college, outstanding footwork, high IQ, blocking shots with ease and is deserving of the 1st pick. Phoenix got a franchise player in Ayton. Then the Kings go and get Marvin Bagley III. Who literally after Ayton was picked, made a face, similar to one where your worst enemy gets an award, you think you deserve. That face. He wanted to play for the Suns, he is also from Phoenix area like Ayton. This will make an interesting matchup next year. Bagley has all the tools to be a successful pro. A tenacious rebounder, possessing excellent finishing ability, expands the floor for pick and rolls, not forgetting the ability to play multiple positions. Surround him with this young talented core, the Kings might have something cooking and I'm smelling a rivalry between the two teams for years to come. You couldn't go wrong with either or and I think both went to where they are the best fit. Suns need a center and Kings need a power forward.
Then the Clippers went out and got one of my favorite players in the draft. Point Guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 6'6" with a 6'11" wingspan, out of Kentucky. He can play both guard positions and stretch out to play the small forward. I mean he has some length, in an NBA, where wingspan is becoming a relevant measure. I think they reached out to grab Boston College guard Jerome Robinson who I could see going later regardless an excellent scorer to fill a void for the Clippers. I'm wondering why not Walker IV out of Miami? but still excellent. Well done Clips.
The Lakers went out and got big Mo Wagner, giving them another perimeter threat. That was a great pick for them. Magic loves him some Wagner at the draft workouts. Warriors add to their strength in numbers philosophy with Jacob Evans III, a wing players who tremendous defensive skills will help fill a future void left by future roster moves. Realistically They won't be able to match contract Patrick McCaw, letting him find another home. He helps them maybe not immediately but in the long term could be a sustainable option off the bench. Under the mentorship of Iguodala, this is a great pick for the Champs.
What about the trade of Luca Doninic for Trae Young? One thing is for sure, I don't think Dennis Shrouder will be in a Hawks uniform next year. Trae Young is a legit scorer but to me, he is in another Oklahoma situation. He literally will not have a great supporting cast around him. Just like in college he doesn't handle double teams well. Who is his help? Tauren Prince? John Collins? Kent Bazemore? More like "Bueler..Bueler...". I think Donicic is in the right place for him for him to make an immediate impact. Freeing up Dennis Smith Jr. to use his speed to the basket off of cuts. having an international legend in Dirk to mentor him. This was excellent for them.
Also, we won't be seeing Vuviec in a Magic uniform after the Mo Bamba pick. Mo Bamba is a force to be reckoned with. This move makes Aaron Gordon better, that is for sure but still who is going to handle the ball? Why not a guard magic? But still, the result is that Mo Bamba is a serious defensive presence.
Collin Sexton to the Cavs is a Sexy pick. He gets to the rim as good as anyone else in the draft so, does this make LeBron want to stay? What a dumb question, he gives them future needed for a passionate fan base. Well done, considering they couldn't go wrong between him or Micheal Poter Jr.
Speaking of Porter Jr. what a steal for the Nuggets to get him at the 14th pick. I love his scoring ability and ability to move for his height. You have to take gambles on the upside and the Nuggets could pay off in solid gold. I'm in disbelief that he slipped that far and honestly, the Nuggets are going to be a scary team if this pays off.
Jazz get Grayson Allen and what a trips me up, is, that he literally was in the crowd waiting to be picked. He had to walk down 20+ rows to get to the stage. I like the pick though, he is an amazing shooter and a clutch one too. I think the jazz get a gritty player which kind of represents how their team plays; Great pick.
Walker Vi is a great pick for the Spurs system. That will reap benefits in the future. He is a player I liked coming into the draft and one that I would like to have a philosophical conversation with. Pop has to be happy with his draft tonight.
Anything else? Oh ya, Donte DiVincenzo, help your mom down the stairs when she is in heels, SHEESH! To think about all the pasta she made you over the years, you need to make sure she doesn't trip, you got lucky this time. That's all I got for what was a draft class for the ages.