The NBA Draft Lottery took place last night, and with it, the future of many teams either became brighter or sunk further into the depths of despair.
There were a few teams that now have much more to look forward to come draft night, while others will feel the need to panic and hope a player will fall to them at their position. Time to break down the Winners and Losers of the 2017 Draft Lottery.
Winner: Boston Celtics
Boston is in a very good position for multiple reasons:
They are not only competing in the Eastern Conference Finals against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers for entry into the NBA Finals, they also just secured the number one overall pick in the draft.
Their core is locked up for another season, barring the impending free agency of former first round pick Kelly Olynyk and the replaceable Amir Johnson.
They have young, overseas talent ready to step in on the roster. Headlined by Guerschon Yabusele, a big-bodied young player with the potential to become a solid two-way stretch forwards, and Ante Zizic, a high motored big man that many hope can fill the starting center spot next season.
They have last year’s number three overall pick in Jaylen Brown, who had a rather impressive start to his career on a team that is competing for a championship.
Lastly, they also have the ability to make room for another max-contract free agent this summer to pair alongside last year’s addition of Al Horford.
Celtic’s fans have a lot to be happy about in their future.
Loser: New York Knicks
The team with in the most turmoil failed to get any luck going their way on the night they needed it most. With the eighth pick, most of the top options for New York will be off the board barring a crazy shake up in preference.
“I think that we’re good at what we do,” is what President of Basketball Operations and subject of much of the New York fan base’s ire, Phil Jackson said when asked about their position in the draft.
That statement is unfounded and if we are being honest, probably won’t change in the near future. Jackson has done nothing positive for the team besides drafting Kristaps Porzingas and has all but guaranteed he wants Carmelo Anthony off of the team before the season starts.
If the former championship coach is deadest on moving the insulted Melo and running his outdated triangle, then we might see the Knicks fall into the lottery team category for years to come.
Winner: Los Angeles Lakers
No one really thought the Lakers were going to lose out on two first round picks, but the possibility was there. Magic Johnson seemed slightly nervous about that fact, but I feel it was more for comedy’s sake and bantering with Joel Embiid.
This is good news for LA in multiple ways too. LaVar Ball has stated throughout his many media appearances that his son and presumed second overall pick, Lonzo Ball, will only play for the Lakers.
“I just think it’s lined up for him to be a Laker.” – LaVar Ball
If the team sees that the player fits their system and are willing to add him to their rebuilding process, then no one will need to hear Daddy Ball complain on the air again.
Something that only Fox and ESPN will lament over.
Magic and Rob Pelinka have cap space, picks and players to work with now as they try to return the purple and gold to their former glory.
Loser: Phoenix Suns
It was really a bad night for any small market team, but the Suns got the shaft compared to some of the other franchises.
They came in with the second highest chances at the number one slot. Instead, they walked away with the fourth pick, and dashed hopes of a player that will likely be gone by their selection.
They have a promising young core in Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss to name a few. They are missing the player that will be the go-to for them though. They have their scorer in Booker, but who will be their distributer?
Eric Bledsoe can’t stay healthy, they traded Goran Dragic and IT and Brandon Knight is not the answer. Fultz or Ball would have helped them tremendously, but now they need to work with what the basketball gods have given them.
Winner: Sacramento Kings
Two lottery picks? Let’s hope that they have better luck this year then their track record shows from previous drafts.
Winner: The Process
Hey Sam Hinkie, you doing ok? I know you don’t work for the Sixers anymore, but I swear your name must be legend in that town by now.
With the third selection in this loaded draft, Embiid announcing he could be back in less than a month and a slew of other young talent to look forward to, this franchise could be another young riser in the East.