Saturday 16 December 2017 / 12:44 PM

DRAFT DAY: WINNERS & LOSERS

The NBA Draft has come and gone with more than enough crazy headlines and moves. So who came out with the best situation? Who made the wrong choice? Let’s take a look.

WINNERS

Sacramento Kings

The Kings are on the positive side of the list for once, posting a nice draft after the trade of Boogie Cousins netted them an extra draft pick in the first round. They ended up taking DeAaron Fox with pick five, then took a chance on Harry Giles late. The addition of Justin Jackson is my only question mark. Fox is a baller, and will certainly take the reigns for the Kings at point. Giles is also immensely talented, but injury concerns have hurt his stock. Still, why not take a chance at 20? Jackson is an older pick, but that also means he’s stable. A nice draft from Sacramento.

Philadelphia 76ers

I mean, I’d hope the Sixers would be a winner with the top overall selection. Still, this one feels different because they finally took a swing at a top pick with some stockpiled picks they’ve been holding on to. You have to pull the trigger eventually, and the Sixers finally have their point guard. A young core of Simmons, Embiid and Fultz is a dynamic, but injury concerns are an obvious pitfall.

Charlotte Hornets

I’m going to be completely honest and say that the only reason I have the Hornets here is not who they picked up at the places they did, but namely who fell to them way back at pick eleven. Malik Monk is a Hornet, a player that was projected to be top five just two weeks ago, and tumbled down to a team only missing a shooting guard. That’s a huge nab for the Hornets. For perspective: the Hornets last week had Marco Belinelli and Miles Plumlee, and turned that into Monk and Dwight Howard.

Golden State Warriors

The rich get richer. The Warriors had no draft picks in this draft, but found a way to maneuver their way into the second round by paying a record $3.5 million for the rights to Jordan Bell, a rim-running forward that many slated to a be a top ten pick. He’s a poor man’s Draymond Green already, and he’s a perfect fit for a team that wants to run small. It was a heck of a move, and one the league certainly is shaking their head at for happening.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves pulled the trigger, and while I’m a little conflicted about the depth of what they paid to get him, anytime you add an All-Star in a trade, you have to feel good. Jimmy Butler doesn’t fit the lack of shooting on the team, but him, Wiggins, and Towns is a hell of a pairing for a young team hitting their prime.

LOSERS

Cleveland Cavaliers

So it turns out not having a general manager for the draft can create some problems. Who knew? The Cavs wanted to make a splash on trades or buy into the second round, but things fell apart in conversation. They ultimately weren’t able to add anyone, or work back a draft pick. That’s bad news with reports that LeBron James isn’t happy or the rest of the staff fearing for change.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics did another trade. Shock. But you have to start wondering why they keep dealing things away. Fultz was on his way to Boston, and instead made their move for Jayson Tatum, a forward that isn’t even as good as the guy they could’ve had at three in Josh Jackson. Instead, they got the more offensive-minded Tatum and more picks. Eventually you’ve got to pull the trigger on something, right? Especially with Jimmy Butler going for pennies on the dollar.

Chicago Bulls

Hey, we sure are talking about Jimmy Butler a lot! The Bulls made the trade to ship him out to the Wolves, and were able to add Lauri Markkanen, a shooting forward that’ll take some time to develop. They also added Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, both of which are uber young. However, doesn’t that feel low for an All-NBA guy? The Bulls rebuilding should make you optimistic as a fan, but with this front office, how can you?

New York Knicks

Frank Ntilikina is a fine player and nice prospect. And my only qualms about him is that he’s not better than Dennis Smith Jr., who they could have selected. My “loser” column result for the Knicks is what happened at the draft. How do you dangle your franchise centerpiece in trade rumors for a full week just to play “gotcha” at the end? They just embarrassed themselves and probably pissed off the only player they have locked up for the future. Good grief.

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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