The Madness That Is The NBA Draft
Thursday will embark a memorable draft night that is loaded with talent and the rumor mill flying around of what picks could get traded and what All-Star players might be dealt. What did the Lakers trade on Tuesday mean for the draft and the future of the team moving forward? Where does Josh Jackson and Jason Tatum land? Does De’Aaron Fox go to the Kings? Without further ado let’s dive into the storylines to look for heading into the draft.
Kicking things off, the trade made official on Monday involving Boston and Philly. Boston sends the first overall pick to Philly for the third pick and a future Lakers pick. This will in turn make Markell Fultz the first pick and create a core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Fultz. This nucleus will contend for a playoff spot immediately and could make Philly better than Toronto next season. Why trade the first pick in a loaded draft? Did Boston workout Fultz and realize they wanted to stay far away from his knee? There is a combination of things working against Fultz to Boston here. First, They have Isiah Thomas who had a career year and Boston would be right to pay him an extension after showing how great he is at the point guard position. Second, GM Danny Ainge is correct to think he can get the same guy at the first pick he wants at number three. Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson will be available. There is nothing wrong with picking Tatum at three and have another asset that could be a top five pick in the 2018 draft. Tatum can be the perfect fit for Boston and Ainge knows it, Boston saves 1.5 million in cap space between the differences in salaries. This will help lure Gordon Hayward away from Utah with the cap space Boston will have available to them.
With the salary dump trade the Lakers did on Tuesday, multiple things work in LA’s favor. Getting rid of Mozgov’s contract was the real winner in the deal. Even if trading a 21-year-old point guard is the price to pay. Now there is no question that Lonzo Ball will be the second pick. He will make this team good mark my words. Picking up Brook Lopez in the deal will be a tremendous addition to the team where he enjoyed a very nice season In Brooklyn. This Lakers team is filled with all offense no defense, put Ball in that mix and he will make that offense go with the up-tempo style Head Coach Luke Walton wants. De Angelo Russell would of never fit with Ball, and Brooklyn so far under the cap they can absorb Mozgov’s contract and finally have a building block they can go with heading into the future. Be prepared to find Russel on your radar for fantasy next season, his numbers will be big with the up-tempo offense Brooklyn runs despite having bad talent. At least it’s a start for a franchise that literally has a sack of Potatoes for talent.
Boston is sitting at three in the dilemma of taking either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. Boston would be smart to take Tatum over Jackson, Tatum is a perfect stretch four with a good outside shot, provides instant offense off the bench, tremendous athleticism, has the work ethic and might not be a good defender now but will get it in a small amount of time to stay on the floor in key end of game situations. Jackson can be described as a bizzaro Andrew Wiggins, when Wiggins was the first overall pick in the 2014 he came out with the all-around game to back it up. Jackson on the other hand has the defensive intensity and sheer athleticism Wiggins brings but not anywhere close to the offensive game. With the move of not wanting to work out for the Celtics and not exactly the right fit. It would be wise for the Celtics to pass on him and let Phoenix draft him at four. Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, and Tatum sounds mighty fine and would be good for the coming future.
Will the Kings get it wrong and draft Jonathan Issacs instead of Fox? Pairing Fox with Buddy Hield is a start that can make Sacramento have a viable backcourt for years to come. Somebody in the top ten will screw up a pick and let a team get a player who didn’t expect to fall. Sacramento is the likely team to do so, this would have Orlando fans be so excited to have Fox fall to them they wouldn’t know how to contain themselves. In all reality for what the Kings need, Fox is the perfect selection and they can build for the future with a good enough backcourt. This could maybe get Paul Millsap to the table in Free agency stay tuned.