Who Won, Lost, And Looked The Dumbest At The 2017 NBA Draft

Major sports offer the rare opportunity to change your fate, or well, the fate of the team you live vicariously through, each year.

For some teams, like the Sixers, it’s the chance to build on a young core where for others, like the Knicks, it’s an elongated prayer circle emphasized by the mumbling of “please don’t fuck this up, at least not too bad.”

Where this year in particular blockbuster deals and who would end up with Josh Jackson dominated my thought process. And that brings us to the winners (those who didn’t end up with Josh Jackson), losers, and the very dumbest.

Winners

Boston Celtics

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The Celtics are all over this post, but to start they made an excellent decision to pass on Josh Jackson, whether it was because of pettiness or smarts, it ended up being the right pick.

Jayson Tatum was someone I had hoped would fall to the Knicks at one point before he shot up the draft boards, but regardless, he represents a versatile scoring 6’8 wing in a day in which you cannot get enough versatile 6’8 scoring wings.

Sacramento Kings

Oh my goodness, the Kings have been an embodiment of stupidity since the Webber/Peja/Bibby days, and draft after draft of various white scorers (518 legend Jimmer Fredette and Sauce Castillo, stand up) continued that incompetence.

But, on the night of June 22nd, 2017, the Sacramento Kings somehow masqueraded themselves as not just a competent franchise, but an extremely competent one at that.

The Kings walked away with my favorite player in the draft, De’Aaron Fox from Kentucky, who looks like he survives on a diet of candy and Mountain Dew in addition to selecting National Champion Justin Jackson, former top-5 projected pick Harry Giles and my top ranked senior guard in Frank Mason Jr.

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Brooklyn Nets

Yes, somehow the Brooklyn Nets made a piece of smart business by finally trading Brook Lopez (a member of a Stanford Cardinal squad that got upset by the Siena Saints once upon a time, fyi) and a late 1st round pick in exchange for a former 2nd overall pick, who is still 21 years old, in D’Angelo Russell along with the corpse of Timofey Mozgov.

The price to take on a shitty contract has clearly skyrocketed, plans to take Lonzo Ball aside, this is an unbelievably asinine decision by a newly assembled Lakers front office.

Philadelphia Sixers

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The Sixers probably should’ve been the top team on this list, but the happiness of their fanbase makes me resent them. They turned the 3rd overall pick and a future 1st round pick into the consensus number one overall player in Washington’s Markelle Fultz.

fultz-embiidAnd yes, I did elect to use a version of this picture which cut out Robert Covington 

They also got Anzejs Pasceniks aka fake Porzingis along with Joshua Bolden, who already has a year of professional experience in Serbia under his belt.

Despite the notion that “The Process” is rounding into form, I’m still not convinced Simmons or Embiid can ever put together consistency on the court with injuries already plaguing their young careers.

New York Knicks

Yes, unbelievably so, the New York Knicks are one of the draft’s winners. This was determined the moment they elected (at least for now) to not trade Kristaps Porzingis, which in my depressed state of fan hood I assumed was going to happen.

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Almost worse than the Knicks trading Porzingis was the fact they would have most certainly picked Josh Jackson, who is not only not good at basketball, but also older than most of the sophomores and even some of the juniors taken in this year’s draft.

The Knicks taking Frank Ntilikina was just an added bonus, a super French/Belgian version of George Hill and absolutely perfect for the triangle. The Frank to Kristaps combo will dominate the East in no time (just kidding, the Knicks will for sure fuck this up royally, somehow, some way).

Honorable Mentions

Golden State Warriors – Drafting Josh Bell with their sole pick, that they acquired for cash from the very, very stupid Chicago Bulls, was a brilliant piece of business

Indiana Pacers – Despite the fact they never woke up from their Paul George themed nightmare, TJ Leaf was a good get along with Anigbogu and Sumner who were both projected at one point to go much higher than they did, proving that they maximized the value of their selections.

Losers

New York Knicks

Yes, they somehow found a way to lose by taking Damyean Dotson from the University of Houston, formerly of the University of Oregon, who left the program after rape allegations surfaced.

I understand about sports being a business, dodgy pasts dwarfed by athletic prowess, and the gray area often surrounding these circumstances, but this is a 2nd round pick who likely won’t ever make an impact on the court and I’d prefer my franchises steer clear of those accused of any form of assault.

Also, the Knicks are still exploring Kristaps trades so that makes them losers right away.

Phoenix Suns

They drafted Josh Jackson.

Boston Celtics

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Not only did they trade the 1st overall pick to move back 2 spots and pick up a future first from teams that appear to improving well outside of top 1 contention, they also failed to meet the asking price for Jimmy Butler who went in a seemingly inexpensive deal.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are the premier hipster team in the NBA, embracing positionless basketball and max potential players. And with TJ Leaf, John Collins and Harry Giles all on the board at power forward when the #17 pick came up, they elected to go with DJ Wilson in what can only be described as a reach.

Miami Heat

There’s no brand of player I hate more than the guys who look the part without any of the necessary skills. That is Bam Adebayo.

Miami only had one pick this year and elected to take a physical freak who cannot add anything to their basketball team right away or possibly ever. There’s always a chance these type of guys figure it out, but there’s a much longer track record of the jump shot never materializing, the touch around the rim never emerging and the hands failing to improve.

Dumbest

Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan’s former franchise proved to be the very dumbest on draft night making two heinous trades.

The blockbuster, which featured Jimmy Butler reuniting with former head coach, Thibs, in Minnesota in exchange for Kris Dunn (who the Bulls didn’t want last year when offered a similar trade, then he proceeded to have a lackluster rookie year), Zach LaVine (who recently tore his ACL) and the 7th overall pick that they used to select Lauri Markannen (who shoots like a guard, but also rebounds like a guard, at 7 feet tall).

Then the under the radar poor decision was the aforementioned trade to the Warriors, in which they sold the right to draft a potential diamond in the rough for a few million dollars.

Los Angeles Lakers

I love the decision to ignore LaVar and draft Lonzo anyway, but that is overshadowed by the reckless discarding of a former number 2 overall pick who is barely old enough to drink just to shed a bad decision from last summer ($64m to Mozgov).

While Brook Lopez is an upgrade at center, but still doesn’t justify cutting lose a potential franchise player (albeit not a likely one), whether they needed to make room for Lonzo or not, there definitely was a better deal to be had in this spot.



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