WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE DRAFT
We will be reviewing key topics regarding the 2016 NBA Draft. Winners and losers of the draft will be included as well as other important draft topics. There will be 10 questions that we will be answering. 7 of the questions were from viewers who emailed us asking our opinions. The draft had its fair share of trades and drama.
The first 7 questions are from our readers who asked us to answer their questions. Questions 8,9,10 are questions that we wrote and will answer. At the end of the 10 questions, we highly encourage our viewers to leave comments and their opinions for discussion.
VIEWERS QUESTIONS (1-7)
1.What team(s) had the best draft?
We believe 2 teams had excellent drafts. The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns really added a nice blend of youth and talent to their rosters. Denver drafted 4 players who should all make an impact at some point in the next 2 years. Jamal Murray (pick#7) should start at shooting guard.
Juan Hernangomez (#15) and Malik Beasley (#17) will be in the rotation next year. Their 2nd round pick, Petr Cornelie (#53), was a great value pick who should stay overseas for another 1-2 years before making his way to Denver. For a franchise that has trouble attracting free agents, building through the draft is a great way to go.
Phoenix added 2 of the drafts premier front-court talents in Dragan Bender (#4) and Marquese Chriss (#8). These 2 players will be the front-court of the future and both are big, athletic, and can shoot the ball. In the 2nd round they selected a dynamite point guard in Tyler Ulis (#34). He should be an excellent back-up point guard in the NBA.
Both Denver and Phoenix deserve a standing ovation for how they maneuvered in the draft. They are perfect examples of how one night can change the fortune and attitude around an NBA franchise.
2.What team(s) had the worst draft?
Some teams had 0 or 1 draft pick so they will be excluded from this question. We thought the Sacramento Kings had questionable decision making among their general manager and front office.
Marquese Chriss fell into their lap at pick number 8. So what did the Kings do? They traded Chriss to the Suns for the draft rights of Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere. Both of those 2 players are a couple years away if ever from being productive NBA players.
Chriss was perhaps the 3rd best talent in the draft behind Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram and is a potential All-Star down the road. The Kings redeemed themselves somewhat by trading Marco Belinelli for the draft rights to Malachi Richardson, who we like. Adding Richardson doesn’t make up for having Chriss in their lap and then letting him go for 2 players who are major projects.
3.What do you think was the most surprising pick(s) of the entire first round?
When the Milwaukee Bucks announced the name Thon Maker it not only shocked us, it shocked most of the T.V. analysts as well. Maker didn’t play college basketball and has been rumored to be 22-23 years old and not the 18-year old he claims to be. Even if he is 18, this is still a very big reach on a player who didn’t play against good competition in high school. He went to a prep school last season, which is why he was eligible for the draft this year.
On the positive side Maker does possess tremendous potential and can be one of the best players to come out of this years draft. He can also be out of the league in 3-4 years. This is the biggest high risk/high reward pick of the entire 2016 NBA Draft.
Taurean Prince had a very solid career at Baylor. We had him mocked as an early 20’s to end of first round pick. The Atlanta Hawks grabbed him with the 12th overall selection. Prince can be a nice “3 and D” player in the NBA who works extremely hard. Still, we believe this was too high for him to be drafted.
4.What was the best value pick inside of the lottery but outside of the first 8 picks (top 14 picks)?
This is a very tough and challenging question to answer since it only leaves us with 6 players to choose from. We will say the best value would be Denzel Valentine from Michigan State. The Chicago Bulls grabbed the college All-American with the 14th overall selection, which is the last pick in the lottery.
Valentine can play both guard sports and with the recent trade of Derrick Rose to the Knicks he should receive plenty of playing time right away. Chicago seems to be in rebuilding mode and Valentine is the perfect player to start that process. Besides being very talented he is a very tough and hard nosed player who should be a fan favorite sooner rather than later.
5. What was the worst pick outside of the lottery in the first round?
We think Caris LeVert is a good player, when healthy. The problem is he hasn’t been healthy in a few college seasons. Brooklyn rolled the dice on the former Michigan Wolverine by selecting him with the 20th pick.
We believe that was too high for an injury prone player. When healthy, LeVert profiles as an athletic ” 3 and D” player. There were better players with more potential on the board when the Nets stepped up to the podium.
6. What 2nd round pick do you think has the best chance of playing a major/key role as a rookie?
Isaiah Whitehead has been a favorite of ours since we started writing NBA Draft profiles during the college season. He made the transition from shooting guard to point guard this past season and the results were excellent.
Brooklyn is in a major rebuilding situation so Whitehead should get plenty of minutes on the court to show the coaching staff and front office what he can do. While he will struggle some since he is still adjusting to playing point guard, the talent is there for the former New York City high school legend to have a very good rookie year. He has a lot of ability and will not be intimidated by older, veteran players. It would not be surprising to us if the Nets just drafted their starting point guard of the future.
7. What 2 players do you think wish they never entered the draft and stayed in college?
This is a very good question that we were asked. If we are picking 2 players, we are choosing Daniel Hamilton from UCONN and Cheick Diallo from Kansas. Hamilton (#56) entered the draft early and is headed to Oklahoma City where he will be hard pressed to see playing time. Hamilton would have been a possible lottery pick in the 2017 draft had he stayed in college. Now he is facing an uphill battle just to make the Thunder’s roster and is without a guaranteed contract to fall back on.
Diallo (#33) had a tough time getting on the floor during his 1 year at Kansas. With that being said he was still considered a potential top 15 pick heading into draft night. When the first round ended his name wasn’t called, which derived him of a guaranteed contract. He got selected 3 picks later by the New Orleans Pelicans.
He is a good defensive player with no offensive game and is extremely raw. He would have been a probable lottery pick in the 2017 draft. Now he is just trying to save himself from heading to the D-League as we believe he is not ready to play in the NBA next season.
OUR QUESTIONS (8-10)
8.What was the worst pick in the lottery?
We were pretty stunned when the name Georgios Papagiannis was announced with pick number 13. In our final mock draft we had him rated as a mid to late 2nd round pick. Sacramento passed on a bunch of more proven and in our opinion, better talent to take a risk on a teenager not many people have seen play. A lot of analysts don’t believe Papagiannis is ready to play in the NBA next season, which makes the pick even more head scratching.
9. Who do you think won the Oklahoma City and Orlando trade? And why.
Before we analyze the trade here are the players that are changing teams:
Thunder Receive: G Victor Oladipo, Draft rights to PF/C Domantas Sabonis (pick number 11), F Erson Ilyasova
Magic Receive: F Serge Ibaka
The Magic drafted Oldaipo #2 overall a few years ago. Sabonis was one of the better big-men available in the entire draft who can do a little bit of everything well. Ibaka was once a very good player, however he showed signs of slowing down this past season.
Ibaka is still young and maybe a change of scenery was the best thing to happen to im. However, Oladipo is an excellent fit in the Thunders’ system and Sabonis will back-up rising center Steven Adams in his rookie year. Sabonis is a future starter in the league and Oladipo will probably start for OKC this year. OKC got younger and better while the Magic might have improved their front-court, however they paid a steep price for it.
WINNER OF TRADE: OKC THUNDER
10. Excluding the lottery picks, who do you think has the best chance to win the Rookie of the Year Award? (picks from 15-60)
A player we have really liked all year long ended up getting drafted to a team in which he can play significant minutes right away. DeAndre Bembry (#21) is one of the draft’s best overall talents who was a great selection by Atlanta. He is a jack of all trades type of player. If he can find a consistent jump-shot, he has a chance to fill up a box score and be the steal of the entire draft.
Atlanta is in a state of rebuilding with the recent trade of point guard Jeff Teague to Indiana and the impending loss of All-Star center Al Horford to free agency. Bembry, who starred at Saint Joseph’s, should find a lot of playing time, which is a recipe for success for a rookie.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THESE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?
COMMENTS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED.
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