The 2018 NBA Draft in Brooklyn was calm, relatively cool, but captivating. There wasn’t a flurry of draft moves or teams trading up to grab players and with the exception of the Knicks — who drafted unheralded Kentucky forward Kevin Knox and were greeted with resounding boos from the Barclays Center crowd — most of the draft picks were treated with respect and the atmosphere was chill for a Draft Day in The Big Apple.
Knicks fans were screaming for Michael Porter with the 9th pick so of course this happened at Barclays #NBADraft https://t.co/UHn8AiCUZJ
Three teams, however, immediately upgraded their franchises with some shrewd picks . So far, they appear to be the winners in the 2018 NBA Draft:
The Jazz who became a formidable Western Conference team in the playoffs thanks to the rapid development of NBA rookie star Donovan Mitchell, who dropped to Utah at No. 13 in 2017, may have gotten another steal in enigmatic and controversial but talented Duke guard Grayson Allen (21st overall pick).
Grayson Allen to the Jazz with the No. 21 pick! How big of an impact will he have as a rookie in Salt Lake City?
Allen will join Mitchell, giving Utah potentially one of the most explosive young backcourts in the NBA. Because of his college shenanigans some experts question how Allen will fit into the locker room, but hes already got one fan in Mitchell, and having the support of the best player on the team cant be a bad thing for Allens transition to the pro level.
Said Mitchell with a huge smile on his face: Adding a guy like him (Allen); elite scorer, great scorer, great defender, unselfish
It’s a really good fit because he can shoot the ball…one of the elite shooters in college basketball…,” said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. “Hes not a one-dimensional player and he can pass. Not a great defender but athletic off the floor…sets himself apart as a shooter.”
Great example of a player who will be better in the NBA than he was in college.” The crew reacts to the @UtahJazz drafting Grayson Allen with the No. 21 overall pick. #NBADraft https://t.co/4fFQ05XEBL
Analyst and former pro Chauncey Billups says Allen is an underrated playmaker” and reminds him of former Florida State star and NBA player Bobby Sura.
Allen, whose draft stock has gone up and down like a yo-yo the past few years, says he contemplated not coming to the draft in Brooklyn. I been watching the draft since I was a child. I’m just glad I took the chance to come, said the 12th-leading scorer in Duke Blue Devils history. Allen got a huge hug and embrace from Mitchell in the middle of his post-draft interview.
“We had a bunch of good battles against each other while we were at Louisville …I’m excited to be on the same team now,” Mitchell told reporters at the draft.
Not much has gone right for the LA Clippers since franchise players Chris Paul And Blake Griffin ended up on new teams. And with DeAndre Jordan rumored to be leaving town soon, most fans expect it to get worse before it gets better as the Clippers rebuild.
At the very least, on draft night, the Clippers added two formidable prospects that could play important roles in the future of the franchise.
The Charlotte Hornets drafted Kentucky talent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 11 and then swapped picks with the Clippers who selected Mikal Bridges with the No. 12 pick. The Hornet’s received the draft rights to Bridges and two future second -round picks, but many experts believe Gilgeous-Alexander is the best point guard in the draft and is a foundation piece for the new Clippers squad.
Clippers will send the 12th pick and two second-round picks to Hornets for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, league sources said. https://t.co/IfMknfp5Hm
Some hoop experts also believe they would have would have picked Gilgeous-Alexander before guards Trae Young and Collin Sexton.
Hes the best point guard in the draft, said ESPN NBA Draft Analyst and International Scouting Expert Mike Schmitz. Hes 6-foot-6 with a seven-foot wingspan. Hes going to be able to guard 1s, 2s and eventually 3s. He has an outstanding feel for the game, slithery on pick-n-rolls, hes a finesse finisher. Hes what teams are looking for in terms of length and physicality . I really like what he’s become…hes really a self-made guy. Just a major win getting him at No. 11.”
I love the pick, said Billups. He has a chance to play for Doc Rivers, one of the best coaches in the league. He makes his teammates better and as a point guard thats always want you want. He communicates well with his teammate and his size – he can affect both ends of the floor with his length. Hes a pesky defender and…he could end up being the best point guard of the three.”
The Clippers werent done there. After drafting CP3’s replacement, LA drafted lethal scorer Jerome Robinson with the 13th pick. The high scoring Boston College Eagles shooting guard is considered a special offensive player. Hes also the first Boston College player ever taken in a lottery that started in 1985. He had a sensational final college season and was a first-team All ACC performer and 2017-18 ACC Player of the Year Runner-up to No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III.
Jay Bilas says Jerome Robinson may be the most complete player in this NBA Draft. He’s a versatile scorer with a tough mid-range game and hes (deadly) off the bounce. (The 2017-18 AP Honorable mention All-American) can get it off the dribble and over time should be a very good NBA player.
Jerome Robinson is the first Boston College player ever selected in the lottery (lottery began in 1985). He’s the highest-drafted Boston College player since John Bagley in 1982 (12th overall to Cavaliers).
Last summer Robinson spent seven weeks training in LA and he says it changed his life.
Playing against some of the best competition in the country and professionals and guy sthat were in pre-draft. I knew leaving there I’d be in this situation 12 months later, ” Robinson confidently said at the draft.
Now hes a building block for a Clippers team looking to re-establish an identity and move back up the Western Conference totem pole.
With a respectable record of 46-36 the Nuggets have talent, but need a superstar or two to start ascending past that 50-win plateau and making the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference
The Nuggets think Michael Porter Jr. could be that guy. Porter Jr. was considered a Top 3 player coming out of high school in 2017 where he averaged 36.2 ppg and 13.6 rpg and was MVP of the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game before hurting himself in the first game of the season. Porter only played in three games and a grand total of 53 minutes due to back surgery.
Naturally, he dipped in the draft because of recurring questions about his health, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says “Denver had been pouring over medical information all day. They expected the possibility that Porter would slip to them and his most intriguing aspect is his upside and potential which he is yet to reach.”
THE PICK IS IN: Michael Porter Jr. will be joining Mile High Basketball!
Denvers been ninth in the West the last two years just missing the playoffs. If Porter can be anywhere close to 100 percent it will be a steal for the Nuggets.
“Hes the best shooter among big guys in the draft and make plays and if healthy, said Billups, he may be the best player in this draft
But if his medical isn’t right and hes not able to play it doesn’t matter where he got drafted,” Bilas added. “Denver better be sure that he can play. Hes a steal at 14 if hes healthy and If hes going to be healthy long term, hes definitely worth the gamble.”