The 2018 NBA Draft is over and I’ve had a chance to fully digest the developments that took place. A lot happened that I expected and there were some events that I could not have predicted. Let’s dive into who I thought won and who lost.
- Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks had a variety of ways they could have gone when it was their time to select. Ultimately, the best case scenario happened for them when they landed Euro prospect Luka Doncic in a swap of draft rights with the Atlanta Hawks. He fits Rick Carlisle’s scheme and should benefit from playing with Dirk and last year’s first round pick, Dennis Smith Jr. The Mavericks also scored Jalen Brunson in the second round to add another ball-handler and bolster guard depth.
- Denver Nuggets. Denver may have found their Golden Nugget after selecting Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick. No one saw this slide coming for Porter Jr and I am sure that when Denver saw he was on the board for their pick, the reward was definitely worth the risk.
- Lonnie Walker IV. Walker IV finds himself in a nice position after being selected by the San Antonio Spurs. No doubt, the Spurs are Walker’s best bet to see that he reaches his potential, which he has a lot of.
- Michael Porter Jr. Even after cancelling a draft workout for teams because of an hip injury, it was still rumored that Porter Jr could still be drafted as high as two. The injury and risk were too much for a lot of teams as they passed up on Porter Jr. Thought to be a lock for the top five even after only playing in three games, Porter’s decision to leave school hurt him as teams had concerns.
- Mikal Bridges and The 76ers. What looked like a match made in heaven turned sour pretty quick after a proposed trade sent hometown kid, Mikal Bridges from the 76ers (where his mother is also employed) to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith. The 76ers did not look like they had a great plan of attack for this draft with a few of their selections. Though I am a big fan, I thought the selection of Landry Shamet was a bit of a reach at 26.
- Liangelo Ball. After his departure from UCLA, the overseas experiment did not result in the second oldest Ball hearing his name on draft night. It’s unfortunate because I thought he really matured from the experience but he was climbing an already steep hill.