On Thursday night, the NBA performed the draft lottery with the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the first overall pick. While that sounds good for the Wolves, they weren’t praying for either Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball. In fact, it seems that many teams this year were put in a poor position to draft who they want.
This draft seems to be very guard-heavy. The Timberwolves aren’t like your typical team that wins the lottery. They already have a star in Karl-Anthony Towns and two great players in D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. Along with Jarrett Culver, the only hole they have is at Power Forward. However, the clear two best players are both guards. Deni Avdija and Onyeka Okongwu are more fitting but are reaches at first overall.
Looking at the Golden State Warriors, it seems that they don’t need a guard either. They arguably have the best backcourt in the NBA and are still contenders, so a project player is not needed here. It is possible they choose James Wiseman, but I’m not sure if he is a good fit for the Warriors and played only three games during his lone year at Memphis. Deni Avdija or Onyeka Okongwu are good options for them. Avdija could play Power Foward and work in Golden State’s small-ball lineup and Okongwu is a small-ball center.
The Charlotte Hornets came out of nowhere to get the third overall pick. Assuming that the Warriors take Avdija, Wiseman or Okongwu, they should be able to get LaMelo Ball. But would it make sense for them to draft Ball? They already have a young Point Guard who they paid a lot of money in Terry Rozier, so are they okay with choosing him over Ball? Most people did not assume the Hornets would move up and they also need a forward. If Wiseman is still available at this pick it might make more sense.
The Chicago Bulls are actually in a good spot if they can get the guy who they want, Deni Advija. Isaac Okoro is also in play here. If Ball falls to them, I doubt they take him after drafting Coby White along with having Kris Dunn. The Bulls actually may have benefited the most by moving up as they are guaranteed to get either Okoro or Avdija.
It seems that three of the four teams in the top-four didn’t need such a high pick.
The Warriors, Timberwolves, and Hornets need big men when the best players are guards. The Hawks, Pistons, and Knicks need guards yet they all fell and likely will not get the players they need. It seems that the top picks are going to teams that don’t need them. This draft is a bit weak, but there could easily be a generational talent in this draft. The last “weak draft” gave us Giannis Antetokounmpo. If a team invests in their draft pick, they could easily find a franchise player. Fit is a major part of developing these players, which is why I feel that some teams might make the wrong decision and draft players that do not fit on their team.
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