This was the most unpredictable NBA Draft in years. I was convinced all the Paolo to the Magic stuff was smoke and couldn’t have been more wrong. With that being said it’s pretty clear some NBA front offices were also caught off guard as well. Let’s get into the winners of the Draft, the losers will be written about in a separate piece.
Detroit basketball might just be back. The runaway winner of the draft for me, landing both Jaden Ivey (My 3rd favorite prospect in the class) and Jalen Duren (Who was the #1 overall recruit this year before reclassifying) is an absolute coup for the Pistons. The young core is established in Detroit and I wouldn’t be shocked if they make a run at the Play-In game this season, especially if they can land Deandre Ayton without sacrificing a ton of assets. Whether they are good or not, the Pistons are going to be fun to watch next year and that is an improvement.
This could not have worked out better for Rockets fans. First, they land my favorite prospect in the draft with Jabari Smith Jr. then go on to add Wendell Moore Jr. in the backend of the first round. Jabari Smith’s fit with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. is way better than Paolo Banchero was going to be. Landing Green, an already elite shooting wing with the defensive upside to cover for his mental lapses, is the best-case scenario. If they ended up with Banchero, who is best suited with the ball in his hands, that would have minimized some of Green’s athletic talents. Smith instantly gives them improved shooting from three and a tertiary/secondary playmaker
Golden State Warriors
The rich get richer. I thought the Warriors would move this pick to save some money to resign Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, but when you get the chance to add the former #5 overall recruit (according to 24/7) with the 28th pick it is a no brainer. Baldwin’s freshman year was not good, don’t get it twisted, but when you are as good as the Warriors are you can take swings on traits and talent and Baldwin oozes both. The Warriors already had one of the sneaky best young cores in the NBA and then continued to add to it with the selection of Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Stay tuned for part two breaking down the draft losers!