The 2017 NBA Draft has come and gone. We saw some trades. We saw some reaches. We saw some steals. We heard 1,001 Boston Celtics NBA trade rumors. What we can’t tell are which teams won and which teams lost the 2017 NBA Draft. Not yet, at least.
I always find it ridiculous that there are so many articles, podcasts and discussions about the winners and losers from every draft. Not just the NBA, but across the NFL, MLB and NHL as well. Guess what. It is impossible to tell which teams won the draft immediately after it concludes. It is far too early. It takes years to truly tell what sort of impact the draft had across the league. I’m sure that at some point, that the Portland Trailblazers felt that they won the 1984 NBA Draft when they selected Sam Bowie, ahead of Michael Jordan. In 2005, the Atlanta Hawks probably felt great after drafting Marvin Williams, instead of Chris Paul. Back in 1987, the New Jersey Nets were ecstatic when they selected Dennis Hopson, over Scottie Pippen. Darko Milicic was drafted two spots ahead of Chris Bosh. Joe Smith was taken before Kevin Garnett. Even Rick Robey was drafted three spots before Larry Bird.
The bottom line is that you just never know what sort of player your draftee is going to turn out to become at the next level. Collegiate dominance does not always translate into professional success. Each and every draft pick is a gamble. It is that simple.
But, since you clicked on this article, I feel as if I should give you something. Something more than saying any of the 30 NBA teams could have won the 2017 NBA Draft. Or lost it. Or that all of the 60 players selected in the 2017 NBA Draft are winners just for being drafted. Anything can happen. But, you already knew that.
At first glance, the Philadelphia 76ers look great. Moving up to draft Markelle Fultz appears to be brilliant. They are a young team with a plethora of talent that could clearly help the team return to glory. I also love the second round pick of Jawun Evans. The Celtics say that they got their guy at No. 3 that they would have taken at No. 1 with the selection of Jayson Tatum. Will he be better than Fultz? Who knows. Danny Ainge and company had better hope so, especially since they also reportedly passed on acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the No. 3 pick. The future will prove to be very important for Ainge and the Celtics as it relates to taking Tatum over Fultz or trading for Butler.
In terms of other potential winners or losers, personally, I hope that the Los Angeles Lakers turn out to be the big (baller) losers with Lonzo Ball, mainly due to his ignorant and outspoken father, Lavar. I love the selection of De’Aaron Fox at No. 5 to the Sacramento Kings. Five years from now, he could be the best to come out of this draft class. I believe that the Charlotte Hornets did very well at No. 11, landing Malik Monk, who many felt should have gone in the top eight picks.
As for some risks, the Miami Heat took a boom-or-bust approach by drafting Bam Adebayo at No. 14. The Kings did the same at No. 20 with the selection of Harry Giles. The San Antonio Spurs only had two picks, but they may have once again really made them count by adding Derrick White and Jaron Blossomgame. Finally, the Golden State Warriors basically bought a draft pick at No. 38 to take Jordan Bell.
Some of these good turn out to be very shrewd moves. Or not. Who knows. It is the draft. It is a complete crapshoot.