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Getting the scoop on hoops draft
Since the NBA Draft took place on June 25, I have been discussing with friends the teams who made the draft miserable for their fans and the teams that have their fans excited for next season.
I am a Celtics fan, and I fall into the former category. The team going into the draft needed size. Boston needed wing players and big men in order to propel themselves to the playoffs once again. There’s an old Rolling Stones quote that goes “you can’t always get what you want.” And while I understand that fully, they didn’t get what they needed either. Drafting two guards in the first round was borderline reckless and if it was not for those three first round picks coming from Brooklyn the next three season, general manager Danny Ainge would be fired.
Knicks fans have my deepest of sympathies as well. There was a statistic put out there by ESPN’s stats department that said “of the last 18 european players drafted after Yao Ming in 2002, none of them have made the all-star team.” Make it 19, based on young Kristaps Porzingis. New York fans were booing the selection, and it’s hard for me to disagree with them. Besides, I think Phil Jackson is just there to collect a paycheck and have his name thrown out there every once in a while.
A notable selection I believed was smart was the Miami Heat having Duke forward Justise Winslow fall into their lap at 10. People could not believe how dumb Charlotte was for passing up trade offers to grab Frank Kaminsky, but it’s all gravy for Miami at this point. Winslow gives them a lot of flexibility and will most likely provide Chris Bosh (and/or Dwyane Wade) a solid teammate in the future. Good pick.
Another team I believe made an intelligent decision was the Portland Trail Blazers grabbing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson from Arizona at pick 23. Usually when you draft as late as Rip City did, you do not end up with the perfect fit, but Hollis-Jefferson appears to be exactly that on the surface. Portland just dealt Nicholas Batum and his large contract and got back a guy with the same skill set who won’t demand that type of salary for four years.
Some additional notes from the draft: Charlotte really messed up taking Kaminsky so high. No one was looking for him at 9, and they most likely could have traded back and still grabbed him. My favorite draft value-wise has to be Minnesota’s. The Timberwolves grabbed a franchise cornerstone in Karl-Anthony Towns and a starting point guard in Tyus Jones. With those two and Andrew Wiggins on the same squad, expect big things from the T-Wolves in the future.
Brian Stone is a staff writer with the Sylvania Telephone.