UA-59049186-1 Dropped Lottery Balls and Broken Promises?? - Good if it Goes

Dropped Lottery Balls and Broken Promises??

NBA DRAFT PREVIEW

By Dj James (@djames77)

The goal is simple collect assets and build your team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, not end up like the Sacramento Kings, collecting junk like hoarders. Once the lottery balls dropped and Philadelphia finally tanked enough to get the number 1 pick, the choice was clear. They are going to pick between Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. You have Simmons, a 6-10 a LeBron type of player and Ingram, a Kevin Durant type of player. This is not to say either player will be a superstar, but this is who they’ve been compared to most. Simmons has been the top pick since October and please do not believe the hype about Kentucky’s Jamal Murray going number one. The Lakers will pick Ingram and add to an impressive core of young talent. If they trade any pieces, Ingram will still be the pick. The Celtics will have the best of the rest to pick from at number 3. They have the chance to trade for a superstar by bargaining this pick or take the best talent available.

Picks 4-8 are filled with perennial lottery teams with young nuclei in Phoenix, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Denver. It is time for these teams to take those next steps and remain consistent. Expect Jaylen Brown, Jamal Murray, Dragan Bender, and Buddy Hields’ names to be called. Bender has been a top pick, but I don’t understand why. I am not a fan of taking these European projects so high. For every Kristaps there is a Darko, Yi, Diop, and Weis waiting with their upside to be busts.

It will be really interesting to see what Toronto will do with their pick at 9. They might need to replace Bismack Biyombo, who rebounded his way to a lucrative free agent deal and can easily be on a bust list. They need another solid bench scorer – hopefully the rookie can provide that punch. Picks 10-13 have the borderline playoff teams with the exception of Phoenix. Milwaukee was in the playoffs last year. Orlando has been collecting talent and, with new coach Frank Vogel, is ready to make a push. If Utah didn’t falter in the last week of the season, they would have made the playoffs. Phoenix will add another young player to their team. Any of the prospects can fall in these spots and I don’t see many surprises.

This leaves me with the Chicago Bulls at 14; the only team in the lottery that was supposed to compete for a title. A top five NBA market that has never been able to get a prime free agent to sign, the only way to build is through the draft. The Bulls will not make a major splash either trade or signing. The hope is that Denzel Valentine falls to them. The AP player of the year will fill so many holes for the Bulls. I doubt they get him though, even if he is there. They will probably draft a foreign player or somebody that fans will say “who?” From picks 15-30 we will not see much action other than a few teams moving up. What to watch for are big name prospects such as Thon Maker who has never played college basketball, Brice Johnson, Malik Beasley and Deyonta Davis. The draft will be fun, promises of greatness will be broken and superstars will be developed. Be on the lookout because some of those teams will uncover their hidden gem in 3-5 years.

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