NBA Draft Biggest Winner
If I had to pick the biggest winner of the NBA draft, I would go with the Houston Rockets.
They got three quality players in Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones, and all three play different positions.
There was speculation that they were stockpiling draft picks to pull a blockbuster trade, but this wasn’t a bad route to go either.
Yes, the Rockets will be extremely young, and they need to find a center to replace Samuel Dalembert who they traded away to the Bucks, but if they can acquire a serviceable center they can be an interesting team to watch this next year.
Lamb is a smooth shooter who can create; White is a great athlete; and Terrence Jones could be the steal of the draft. I have a high opinion of Jones, who is around 6’10” and can be an undersized PF or a big SF. He hits the boards well, and he can also shoot the ball and stretch the floor. And you cannot discount the fact he is a crafty lefty (although it seems like every lefty in basketball is automatically “crafty”).
NBA Draft Biggest Loser
The biggest losers of the draft in my opinion were the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They made some decent picks later in the draft, but they whiffed on the fourth pick choosing Dion Waiters from Syracuse.
Waiters was a sixth man for Syracuse, and if the Cavs wanted him they could have waited until their second first round pick, or if they thought he would go off the board before that, they should have traded down into the early teens and gotten multiple picks. Instead they reached for Waiters. Jay Bilas disagrees with me and said Cleveland was a draft winner, because they got the rights to Tyler Zeller. I have never been high on Zeller and although he is a skilled center, I don’t believe he will be able to physically impose his will on bigger, stronger NBA centers like he did in the ACC.
In the NBA, you have to nail your lottery picks. If you don’t, you end up looking like Joe Dumars and draft Darko Milicic, or worse like Michael Jordan and draft Kwame Brown. I hope for the Cavs sake they don’t become another punchline.
Chad Ford’s notes on ESPN say “a meteoric rise for Waiters.” I agree.
Honorable Mention Winner
The Oklahoma City Thunder got the steal of the draft with Perry Jones III out of Baylor. At pick #28, he is worth the gamble, Jones can shoot the jumper and score on the block.
He is the perfect fit for the Thunder. Excellent work Thunder management.