The NBA season came to an end on Monday when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games behind Finals MVP Kevin Durant. With the NBA season in the books, the NBA off-season begins, starting with the Draft on June 22nd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are no strangers to success, which was recently recounted in a documentary about their strong rivalry in the 80’s. Although the Celtics were the number one seed in the east their trade with the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013 afforded them the number one pick in this year’s draft. While the Lakers “earned” their number two pick by not having a great season, something that was plagued them in recent years.
So two of the best franchises in NBA history are picking one and two in the draft, and are speculated to be taking two talented point guards in Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. In a media conference call, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla shared his thoughts on what everyone is wondering, who will be taken after Fultz and Ball?
“The two top guys still remain Fultz and Ball, very mature young players who are going to have an impact I think,” said Fraschilla. “ Then from three down to nine or ten, you’ve got a combination of three more point guards, a couple of outstanding wing players in Jackson and Tatum,” he added.
Many teams picking in the top ten are not like the Celtics looking for a player to add to an already developed roster. Most of them are looking for players who will come in and start right away and see if they have someone they can build around.
With the NBA’s “one and done” rule, there are so many players in the draft who spent only one year in college and many young International athletes 18-19 years old. While the talent and ability are obviously there for many players who are slated in the top 10 picks, after that some teams look for players with the best upside.
“The simple fact is this NBA draft will probably feature 14 or 15 freshmen and one, two, three international teenagers in the first round,” said Fraschilla. “It has become what I said five years ago, and is now cliché: It’s a baseball draft. You’re drafting, for the most part, teams are drafting on potential and for the future.”
The New York Knicks who have had a wild offseason with public rifts between players and the front office go into the draft with three picks (8,44,58). They will have an opportunity to find a talented player at number 8 that can help take away from the distractions the front office has created.
The Brooklyn Nets also have three picks in this year’s draft but because of the trade with the Celtics instead of the 1st pick they will be picking 22nd, 27th and 57th. “After nine or ten, you’re going to see a run of young, talented but incomplete young big men,” said Fraschilla.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what the Nets do. Do they trade their late first round picks to try and move up or do they do as Fran mentioned and stock up on players who have the potential of being great in the future?
The talent and game changing players in the draft isn’t the only thing to look out for. With so many people looking up at the Warriors and Cavs, we can only hope to see some major player on the moves via trades that will give some teams a chance against the powerhouses.
Comment: [email protected] [email protected]