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2022 NBA Draft Losers

Everyone loves it when their team has a great draft. You start binging highlights on YouTube until the season starts and you get to enjoy your new prized prospect. On the flip side, the draft always has its’ losers. Sometimes you know it right away, other times it takes years to identify a losing draft. Let’s take a look at some of the instant reaction losers of the 2022 NBA Draft.

New York Knicks

May 3, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) forward Julius Randle (30) and guard Derrick Rose (4) look on after Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (not pictured) was ejected in the fourth quarter at FedExForum. Knicks won 118-104. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry Knicks fans, but when your team feels the need to release a statement to explain their decisions you know you are going to end up in the losers’ bracket.  

Having a lottery pick is supposed to be fun, trading that pick for a couple of later first round picks in a couple of years and to shed Kemba Walkers contract is a kick in the nads. Doing all of this to clear cap space for Jalen Brunson would be a disaster. Hopefully Leon Rose has something else up his sleeve to keep Knicks fans engaged. Maybe packaging those firsts and another asset for Donovan Mitchell?

San Antonio Spurs

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 01: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on November 01, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Maybe I am zagging here, everyone seemed to love the Spurs draft but I’m just not seeing it. My biggest issue is not maximizing the talent already on the roster. Dejounte Murray is a star in my opinion and the Jeremy Sochan pick doesn’t make his life any easier. His offensive limitations will just clog up the lane for a Spurs that is at its best when Murray is attacking downhill. The Branham pick is fine. If he turns into a rotation guy that is a win. My biggest issue is in a loaded Western Conference the Spurs had a chance to make some swings on talent that could help them climb the ladder but instead opted for safer role players.

Charlotte Hornets

LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 26: Duke Blue Devils center Mark Williams (15) boxes out Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren (34) during the Continental Tire Challenge college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Gonzaga Bulldogs on November 26, 2021, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Hornets had two lottery picks and were sitting in a perfect position to add two local players who fit team needs (Mark Williams and AJ Griffin). They ended up with Williams at pick 15 who I love for them but trading the 13th pick for a future first round pick and four second round picks just screams being cheap so you don’t have to butt up to the luxury tax with a Miles Bridges extension coming soon. Hornets fans deserve better than having to trade premium assets just, so the team can pay a player they could have afforded anyway. Not maximizing the rookie contract of LaMelo Ball could come back to haunt the Hornets sooner rather than later.

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