2018 NBA Draft: The Ramblings of an Outsider
By the time you read this, the 2018 NBA Draft will be over. 60 players will hear their names called, 25 or so will never play a single minute in the NBA. But wait, Brian, don’t you cover the NFL and the NFL Draft? Yes, that is correct. However, I do love to watch drafts. I have watched the NBA draft nearly every year for the past 20. Most of the time I don’t know a single thing about the players in this draft. I have not followed college basketball closely in nearly a decade and I have only passively followed the NBA during that time as well. Nonetheless, I do love to watch drafts. So, read along, as I ramble on about the 2018 NBA Draft in a sort of stream-of-consciousness type of way. Let’s have fun together and enjoy!
FIRST ROUND RAMBLINGS
- So, I skipped all the riff-raff preshow stuff. Maybe I could have learned a few things.
- Shams Charania of Yahoo is reporting that Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton is headed to Phoenix with the top pick and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is headed to Sacramento. So, we can just skip those, right?
- The NFL started moving around its draft, why doesn’t the NBA? It seems it has either been at the Barclay’s Center or Madison Square Garden every year for at least a decade or more.
- The Phoenix Suns select Arizona center Deandre Ayton. This is apparently the first time the Suns have ever had the top selection. The only thing I know about Ayton is Arizona coach Sean Miller allegedly offered $100K over the phone to try to steer him to Tucson. Phoenix has been hot garbage for several years. Maybe Ayton is the guy that can elevate all the young talents they have been accumulating. 7’1” 260 makes for a pretty large man.
- The Sacramento Kings select Duke PF Marvin Bagley, III. Since Boogie Cousins doesn’t play there anymore I can’t name you a single player on the Kings roster off the top of my head. I thought I might have seen Bagley play against South Carolina during the 2017 NCAA Tournament but I was mistaken. Bagley and Ayton were apparently high school teammates for a year. He is 6’11” 234 and averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
- The Atlanta Hawks select Slovenia PG Luka Doncic. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to swap picks. The Hawks will select Doncic here and trade him to Dallas for the rights to Oklahoma PG Trae Young (if he is available). Atlanta picks up a 2019 NBA Draft first-round pick from Dallas. The pick is Top-5 protected. Doncic was the Euro League MVP. He is only 19-years old. Doncic is a child prodigy per ESPN. He will get a chance to play with arguably the best European import of all-time, Dirk Nowitzki.
- The Memphis Grizzlies select Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State. Jackson has some medicals. The lack of releasing this info upset a lot of teams.
- The Dallas Mavericks select Oklahoma PG Trae Young. They are moving this pick to Atlanta as we discussed earlier. Young is the first player in history to lead the nation in scoring and assists. I don’t know much, but if you can score like Young, your likelihood for success goes up exponentially.
- The Orlando Magic select Mohamed Bamba, PF, Texas. Bamba has a 7’10” wingspan. That is a bit ridiculous. My buddy Erich, a diehard Magic fan, does not seem happy with the pick. Maybe they move Bamba for a point guard later. Or if they keep the pick, the upside maybe will pay off.
- The Chicago Bulls select Duke center Wendell Carter, Jr. I am led to believe that Carter is a strong rebounder. He could be the safest pick but offers the lowest upside.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers select Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama. This pick was acquired from Boston (via Brooklyn) in the Kyrie Irving trade. There is some speculation that this pick could be used in some sort of package to get Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio. Sexton is the first Alabama player I can remember being a lottery pick in a long time.
- The New York Knicks select Kentucky SF Kevin Knox. Damn Spike Lee is looking old. The first appearance of John Calipari tonight but probably not the last. The Knicks fans are booing but they always do. If Kristaps Porzingis is still hurt it probably won’t matter anyway.
- The Philadelphia 76ers select Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova. The Sixers have one of the best young rosters in the league. They picked up this selection from the Lakers. Bridges played his college ball in Philly so they won’t have to pay the moving expenses. His mom works for the 76ers organization. Bridges is the rare college senior that goes in the lottery.
- We are ten picks in and my head is spinning. My basketball acumen is really: Can you score? Then I want you on my team. You hear about upside some in the NFL draft but nowhere near the amount you hear during the NBA draft.
- The Charlotte Hornets select Kentucky PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Calipari sighting #2! SGA is a Canadian-born player. He is not really a fit with Kemba Walker already there. Unless Walker is on the way out.
- Forget everything I just said. The Los Angeles Clippers are trading the 12th pick and two future second rounders for Gilgeous-Alexander.
- The Los Angeles Clippers select Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State. Bridges is headed to Charlotte. He averaged 17 & 7 last season.
- The Los Angeles Clippers select Boston College SG Jerome Robinson. Robinson is the first BC Eagle selected in the lottery. Jay Bilas just said he may be the most complete offensive player in this draft. That is good enough for me.
- The Denver Nuggets select Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri. Porter only played in a handful of games due to suspension and injuries. His injuries are what caused him to slide. He averaged 36 points and 13 rebounds per game his senior year in high school. His potential is through the roof but his long-term health is a concern.
- The Washington Wizards select Oregon SG Troy Brown. CBS has Brown rated as a second-round talent. That seems like a reach to me. This is the equivalent of an NFL team reaching for a 3rd-round talent in the twenties.
- These NBA Draft hats look like crap. They make NFL draft hats look pristine by comparison.
- The Phoenix Suns select Zhaire Smith, SF, Texas Tech. They acquired this pick from the Miami Heat. They are moving the pick to Philly. The Suns will get Mikal Bridges (11th pick). The Sixers get Smith and a 2021 1st. Smith is an athlete more than a basketball player. This move seems silly for Philadelphia.
- The Milwaukee Bucks select Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova. Twitter was abuzz with DiVincenzo during the NCAA tournament. He had 31 in the championship game. He seems like a nice complimentary piece to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- I must now take a break to acquire a refill of iced tea and play with PJ Masks figures with my daughter………and I’m back.
- The San Antonio Spurs select Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami (FL). It is so weird to see the Spurs picking in the teens and not the late twenties. Walker seems like a great kid and is well-rounded. He should fit in great with the culture that Greg Popovich builds.
- The Atlanta Hawks select Maryland SG Kevin Huerter. This pick was acquired from Minnesota. It is already bugging me that they pronounce his name “Hurter” instead of “Werter”. Huerter can shoot. Pairing him with Trae Young should give Atlanta instant offense.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves select Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech. Minnesota has a ton of talent in their starting lineup. If Okogie stays, he will be a role player and nothing more.
- I am 1300 words in and we have reached the point of the NBA draft where the odds of finding a star player are slim. My eyes are getting heavy (I have been up since 5 am). I will make it through round one and then play the rest by ear.
- The Utah Jazz select Grayson Allen, SG, Duke. Allen is one of the most vilified college basketball players of the last thirty years. Not dissimilar from former Duke star Christian Laettner in that regard. He can score. Allen will probably be a top guy off of the bench.
- The Chicago Bulls select Boise State SF Chandler Hutchison. Hutchison played at the basketball powerhouse Boise State. I have nothing witty to add here.
- The Indiana Pacers select Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA. Holiday was the last player left in the green room. His two brothers play in the NBA. Holiday led the Pac-12 in scoring.
- The Portland Trailblazers select IMG Academy SG Anfernee Simons. Simons was going to Louisville before Rick Pitino got canned. He decided to not play college basketball. A definite lottery ticket pick.
- The Los Angeles Lakers select Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan. Which player gets to see the annoying antics of LaVar Ball. The Lakers have a solid core (for now) that they can build on. The Lakers acquired this pick from the Cavs.
- The Philadelphia 76ers select Wichita State PG Landry Shamet. ESPN just wasted about five minutes of airtime on how the 76ers can sign Lebron James in free agency. I am not saying it won’t happen but I have to think the chances are slim.
- The Boston Celtics select Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M. Williams is the top shot-blocker in the draft. This seems like a steal for Boston, and perhaps the steal of the 2018 NBA Draft.
- The Golden State Warriors select Cincinnati SF Jacob Evans, III. The Warriors are NBA champions once again. They were clearly the best team in the league again. I am not sure how much Evans can contribute.
- The Brooklyn Nets select Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia. The hometown Nets are on the clock for the first time tonight. ESPN apparently has the man who orchestrated the horrendous trade that has set up Boston while killing Brooklyn for years on set. If he didn’t look like every accountant who has ever worked for H&R Block, he would probably be getting mugged. The expectation is that Musa will come over and play right away.
- The Atlanta Hawks select Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova. Spellman is the third Villanova Wildcat selected in the first round of this NBA Draft.
- That concludes the first round. I am going to watch some of the second-round but I will not be commenting on it. Maybe 6-7 players drafted in this round will play significant minutes during the ’18-19 season. You will see a slew of Euro players picked that will never see the light of day in the NBA. Teams will sell a bunch of these picks or trade future second-round picks for them. Those, in turn, will also get sold or traded. It is like the 7th-round of the NFL draft in many ways. You are drafting players to fill out your practice roster and hope that you can cash the winning Powerball ticket.
That concludes my ramblings of the 2018 NBA Draft. I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, leave us a comment below.
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