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Winners of the NBA Draft

Considering the distinct lack of NBA-level talent in this year's draft, a fair amount action took place last night.  The first two picks came as no surprise, with Irving landing in Cleveland and Minnesota opting to keep Derrick Williams.  This deserves attention because that places Michael Beasley square on the trading block.  No doubt will David Kahn look to shop around the embattled power forward, presumably to find more front court help.  Beyond the first two picks though, NBA executives actually produced a fairly entertaining draft.  Believe me, I'm as surprised as you.

Let's take a look at the winners:


  • Wizards: Jan Vesley (6), Chris Singleton (18), Shelvin Mack (34).
    • I love what the Wizards did in this draft.  Jan Vesley should come in and immediately help them with their scoring woes, but he might struggle initially with the physicality of the league due to his slight frame.  Singleton can come in and grab the starting small forward spot.  Rashard Lewis clearly appears checked out of the NBA at this point and is content counting his millions.  In today's NBA, with so many athletic wings and guards, a defensive stopped like Singleton is essentially a necessity.  Singleton will be asked to guard the opposing team's best player each night and hit three pointers, a skill he'll need to continue to develop.  While I'm not a huge Shelvin Mack fan, he comes from a winning program in Butler and certainly has an NBA ready body.
  • Spurs: Kawhi Leonard (15 from Indiana), Cory Joseph (29), Davis Bertans (42 from Indiana), Adam Hanga (59).
    • It looks like all of the Tony Parker trade talk was for naught.  Buford appears content with his main core of Parker, Ginobli and Duncan as he decided to ship George Hill off to Indiana for Leonard.  That trade alone places San Antonio in the winners category.  First, George Hill will be a free agent after this season and with so much money invested in those previous three, and the talk of a reduced salary cap, the Spurs likely would not have been able to keep Hill.  Parlaying Hill into Leonard at fifteen is an absolute steal.  Leonard is exactly the kind of player who will flourish under Greg Popovich.  Remember, just a couple weeks ago there was talk of Leonard being a top five pick.  The Joseph pick appears to be a Hill replacement, which obviously is a significant downgrade currently, but the Leonard pick easily offsets that difference.
  • Bobcats: Bismack Biyombo (7 from Sacramento), Kemba Walker (9).
    • His Heiress added two excellent pieces to a bare-bones Charlotte roster.  Biyombo enters the league ready to contribute immediately on the defensive end.  He will certainly cause problems for teams with his length and athletic ability.  He is along the same style as Serge Ibaka for Oklahoma City and should be a pest on that end of the court.  It may be a couple of years before he delivers anything on offense, but Charlotte is nowhere near ready to compete now so they can afford to take a few years of development for Biyombo.

      I really like the Walker pick at nine.  Walker is a proven winner in college, proved he is capable of the grind in the NBA after averaging almost 38 minutes a game at Connecticut.  Sure, he more closely resembles a combo guard than a point guard right now.  But he certainly possesses the tools to develop a better passing game as he won't be expected to score as heavily as he did at UConn.  Sometimes I think that NBA executives underrate players who have proven they can win continuously at the college level.  There will be a few teams that had point guard needs in front of Charlotte who will shake their heads when looking back at this draft.
Quick hit winners:
  • The Warriors snagged Klay Thompson at eleven which I consider a victory simply because I cannot wait to watch the Warriors score 120 points a game, but still lose by fifteen.  Who on that team can play defense or even has an interest in it?
  • Lakers grab a potentially interesting pick in Darius Morris in the second round.  There was a great deal of talk for him in the first round before the draft so keep a close eye here down the road.
  • The Heat pick Norris Cole, who immediately wins the award for best flatop in the league.  But Cole could help contribute right away as he should receive all of Bibby's minutes now.



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