Winners and Losers from the 2017 NBA Draft

By Elijah Silas-Tafelsky

Another year and another NBA Draft is in the books. It was an exciting draft night as we saw Philly draft Markelle Fultz to solidify the point guard spot on their roster, Lonzo (and Lavar) went to the Lakers and the Bulls dealt Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves reuniting him with his former coach Tom Thibodeaou.

It’s always hard to pick winners and losers from the NBA draft because each player has not played a single minute in the NBA, but it’s fun to look back and dish out who you thought got it right on draft night and who got it wrong.

Winners:

Philadelphia 76ers:

Who they got: (First Round: Markelle Fultz: PG, Anzejs Pasecnicks C, Second Round: Jonah Bolden: PF, Mathias Lessort PF)

  • It still blows my mind that the 76ers traded up to get the number one pick in the draft. They did not mess around and selected Markelle Fultz. Fultz gives them a true point guard who can do it all. He is level headed, talented and even though he played on a nine win Washington team in college, Fultz won’t that affect him with the 76ers.You’ve got yourself a future All-Star Point Guard Philadelphia. Pasenicks is a pure draft and stash player. He can run the floor and knock down shots but he is game needs a lot of work before he can contribute in the NBA on a nightly basis. I love the Jonah Bolden pick as well. He was one of my told sleepers coming into the draft. Bolden can shoot it well, rebound and has a good enough handle to pick on the floor and attack the basket. I compare him to his teammate Robert Covington. He will be a perfect complement in the Philly rotation from day one. Lessort is talented as well. If you want a player comp for him its Montrezl Harrell of the Houston Rockets. A little undersized but a great rebounder and hustle player. Stash him in Europe for a season or two and that is nice value for a player who was taken 50th.

 

 

 

San Antonio Spurs:

Who they got: (First Round: Derrick White PG/SG, Second Round: Jaron Blossomgame SF)

  • At this point are we surprised that San Antonio is a winner? It seems like ever year they just wait until the end of the first round and find a gem. I loved Derrick White heading into the draft and the fact that he fell to San Antonio at the 29th pick blew me away. White should slide in perfectly with last year’s first round pick Dejounte Murray as the two battle it out for playing time behind Tony Parker. Even if Murray wins the duty, White can move to the shooting guard spot where he played at times in college and shot 39.6% from three-point range. Can’t say it enough but I love this pick. Now to Jaron Blossomgame. This is another great selection. Blossomgame has all the makings of terrific wing in the NBA. He defends, rebounds and is 6ft 7 with athleticism. The reason he went so late is concerns over his jump shot. Blossomgame shot 28.8% from three-point range as sophomore in college then went up to 44.1% as junior and then went back down to 25.5% as a senior. Luckily, the Spurs have a great shooting coach in Chip Engelland who perfected Kawhi Leonard’s shot and helped him develop into a top five talent in the NBA. I’m not saying Blossomgame is the next Kawhi but the fact that he shot 44% as a junior gives me the indication that he has a jump shot, but it just needs to be refined. The tools are there and this is just another great selection by the Spurs.

 

Timberwolves:

Who they got: (First Round: Justin Patton PF/C, Traded for Jimmy Butler)

  • The T-Wolves got a steal. Maybe not with Justin Patton but acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. Butler is a top-15 player the NBA right now and arguably one of best two-way players out there. As far Patton as goes, this is another risk reward pick. Patton looks the part at 6-foot-11 but his game is still developing. If he pans out as a quality backup to Karl Anthony-Towns or ends up being able to play next to him then T-Wolves will look like geniuses. Butler elevates the T-Wolves to another level that they haven’t been since Kevin Garnett was in town. The pieces are there for the T-Wolves to make a run at the playoffs.

 

Other Winners:

Milwaukee Bucks:

Who they got: (First Round: D.J. Wilson PF/C, Second Round: Sterling Brown SF)

 Golden State:

Who they got: Second Round: (Traded Chicago for rights to Jordan Bell PF/C)

 

Losers:

Boston Celtics:

Who they got: (First Round: Jayson Tatum SF/PF, Second Round: Semi Ojeleye SF/PF, Kadeem Allen PG, Jabari Bird SG)

  • I like the selection of Jayson Tatum for the Celtics. He is a proven scorer who just gets buckets. I just don’t understand why the Celtics traded out of the number one overall pick in the draft. Fultz would have been a great pick and insurance in case anything happens to Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is approaching 30 years old and as much as I hate to admit 30 is old (which is really isn’t) did we witness the best season Isaiah will ever have? Maybe not, but I am a little skeptical. With the rest of the draft I did not understand where the Celtics were looking to improve. Semi Ojeleye is a great scorer who is built like a tank, but to me he plays like Jae Crowder and do they really need another forward. What about addressing the big man situation? Allen and Bird were never on many mock drafts radars and I can’t see either making the Celtics rotation this season or possibly the season after.

 

Miami Heat:

Who they got: (First Round: Bam Adebayo PF/C)

  • The Heat are losers mainly because this is such a reach. Adebayo is an energy big man who in college looked like a man amongst boys. In the NBA he be great getting rebounds but I question if he will ever develop an offensive skill set. The Heat have Hassan Whiteside and I don’t see Adebayo playing with Whiteside until he shows improvement offensively. Jarett Allen or John Collins who are both better offensive player and would have been better picks at this spot. The Heat could have easily traded back a few spots and still got Adebayo while picking up another asset.

 

Chicago Bulls:

Who they got: (First Round: Lauri Markkanen PF/C, Acquired Kris Dunn and Zach lavine from the Timberwolves)

  • The Bulls want to rebuild but I don’t know if what they got for Jimmy Butler gets them any closer. Kris Dunn, Zach lavine and using the 7th pick in the draft to select Lauri Markkanen doesn’t get me all that excited. I feel like they could have gotten much more for Butler who has proven himself to be a premier player in this league. Markkanen is the best shooter in the draft and at 7-foot he should be lethal. I have big questions though on if Markkanen will develop into anything more than just a big man who can shoot. Defensively he needs a lot of work and will be exposed early in his career. Also, Will Markkanen develop a post-game? Dunn has only been in the league for a season so I’ll give him a pass but Lavine doesn’t excite me. I look at him as just another guy who is athletic but also coming off a bad knee injury. Either way the Bulls are in rebuild mode and Jimmy Butler is in Minnesota now.
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