Tonight was the NBA draft, and although this is being written early in the 2nd round, it is basically over. Now, this wasn’t the most surprising of drafts. No one really did anything crazy with picks. It stayed pretty close to the mocks, with a few small exceptions, and there were some marginal trades. First lets get to the big story: Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler, the 2 time all star and current all-NBA player of the Chicago Bulls was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now, it wasn’t a shock that he got traded, as it had been rumored for quite some time that he was being shopped, but it certainly had its surprises. First off, the Timberwolves weren’t really considered front runners for Butler, even though they had been mentioned. Also, the return the Bulls got was, let’s say, less than great. It was first reported that the deal was Butler for LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the number 7 pick. I thought that made sense and was a pretty equal trade for both teams. Then the real news came out, and the Wolves also received the number 16 pick. This makes no sense for the Bulls, and you have to assume they could have gotten a better deal elsewhere or at the trade deadline. I mean, Butler is a budding 2-way star who still has multiple years of control at a relatively good price. Jimmy averaged 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.5 assists this season and made the All-NBA 3rd team to cap off a great season. Guess we will get to see him next year alongside young studs Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, so that should be fun. Look out for those T-wolves.
Part two of the draft news, for me, would be the Sacramento Kings, but it isn’t what you would think. Normally, they tend to botch drafts and trades, but this year they did the unthinkable: they were smart. With the 5th pick, they took De’Aaron Fox (probably my favorite player of the draft), a point guard with tons of potential, especially if his jumper develops like I think it will. The Kings also had the 10th pick, and instead of reaching for the guy they wanted, which they would have done in the past, they traded with Portland for the 15th and 20th picks, which they turned into Justin Jackson, a shooting guard out of UNC, and power forward Harry Giles from Duke. Jackson is a solid, if not boring, prospect who should, at the very least, be a solid role player. But Giles is where the intrigue lies. Giles has had a lot of knee issues dating back to his senior year of high school, and continuing at Duke, but if he can stay healthy, this could wind up being the steal of the draft. Giles was the number 1 prospect out of high school and only saw his draft stock start to fall once he re-injured his knee at Duke. He could be a great player, but again, it all depends on his health. The Kings did great.
Also, I wanted to mention the guy who had the biggest fall of the night, OG Anunoby from Indiana. OG tore his ACL back in January, and you have to think that is the reason for the fall. That being said, he doesn’t have a history of injury, and OG could be very fun to watch if he gets back to 100%. He is a very athletic shooting guard that plays excellent defense. His biggest issue, like many young prospects, is his shot which can struggle at times, which showed as he shot 31% from 3 last season. OG got taken 23rd overall by Toronto, and he could be very exciting to watch as a back up to DeMar. This is a prospect to keep your eye on.
In case you missed it, here is a recap of the lottery picks:
- Markelle Fultz- Philadelphia (Trade with Boston)
- Lonzo Ball- LA Lakers
- Jayson Tatum- Boston
- Josh Jackson- Phoenix
- De’Aaron Fox- Sacramento
- Jonathan Isaac- Orlando
- Lauri Markkanen- Chicago (Trade with Minnesota)
- Frank Ntilikina- New York
- Dennis Smith- Dallas
- Zach Collins- Portland (Trade with Sacramento)
- Malik Monk- Charlotte
- Luke Kennard- Detroit
- Donovan Mitchell- Utah (Trade with Denver)
- Edrice “Bam” Adebayo- Miami
Keep an eye out for more posts with the trade market heating up and free agency starting July 1st. Make sure to follow me on twitter for more NBA and MLB news at @tcalvin93!