Well, the draft of Zion and everyone else is over, and there were obvious winners and losers not named the New Orleans Pelicans. It was clearly an emotional night for everyone, including myself, but I resisted the urge to rage tweet at Danny Ainge to draft Nassir Little. Kind of.

That said, I collected a list of superlatives of the selections to make sense of the annual selection of players the NBA makes young men go through, even though it is antiquated.

Photo from Keenan Hariston via wiki commons

Weirdest Decisions: Phoenix Suns

— I’d like to make this abundantly clear: they need a point guard, bad. I know they took one, and no shade to #25 pick, Ty Jerome, but if Coby White is available, I’m taking him. A backcourt of White and Devin Booker sounds like a good base since White is a reliable passer and scorer. Booker can help him come along as a playmaker after he spent stretches this past season playing PG. However, the UNC guard is going to Chicago and his former teammate, Cam Johnson, will be playing in the Valley of the Sun. Johnson is a reliable shooter and very efficient player, so trading down for him makes sense. Unless you’re just going down lottery spots. He is also injury prone, almost 24 years old, and may not be developing much from where he is now. His selection in the lottery was wildly surprising, but he is essentially a role player who honestly could have been available later in the first round. Maybe it’s because there is a dearth of options at the position in this draft. Maybe they thought Johnson was the best available talent. All I know is that it was surprising and not in a good way, unless you’re Johnson or White.

Did Not Shoot Themselves In The Foot: Atlanta Hawks

— Seriously, moving up for De’Andre Hunter and grabbing Cam Reddish were solid moves. Hunter is not only a winner, but a great defender and efficient scorer. The UVA combo-forward has the size and length to guard positions 1 through 4. Reddish did not look great at Duke this past year, but he has potential. Throughout the season, he showed strong defensive instincts and the ability to pile up the points, but never brought it all together consistently. Getting him at 10 is a smart gamble on his potential, with a possible floor as a 3-and-D guy. Also, grabbing Bruno Fernando in the second round was an ace move. He has a lot of offensive potential, which makes up a little for his lack of defensive IQ, but this pick is more to have a back-up center for this team. All of these players look to compliment the Hawks premiere player in Trae Young, who needs more shooters and strong big men on the inside. They could be a playoff team next year, or they could be a fun league pass team to watch.

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One Nice Sentence on the: Boston Celtics

— They did not overdraft anyone and collected assets, so I guess Trader Danny did not take a loss.

Biggest Rise: Jordan Poole to Golden State Warriors, 1st round

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— He was projected on many boards to go in the second round or undrafted, so this exceeds expectations very easily. He’s an inconsistent scorer who reminds me of J.R. Smith, and not only because of his swag. It does make sense for a team that values shooters to take a 37% three-point shooter, but it still feels like they could have gotten him in the second round. Good for Poole getting a guaranteed deal though.

Biggest Non-Bol Bol Drop: Luguentz Dort, Undrafted

Bol Bol dropping out of the lottery is not a shock, because of the injury concerns and his weight. Landing in the second round was though, and with his skills, I think he could be one of the steals of the draft. However, Dort going undrafted surprised me, because he was a strong defender at Arizona State last season. Versatile and willing, but also a great rebounder at 6’5”. I for a fact thought he’d land in the mid-first round or have a floor of the mid-second round. However, he also was not great offensively and an overall poor shooter. He clearly needs to work on his game, so maybe signing a two-way deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder could help him develop.

Best Player to Team Pick, non-Lottery: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Pelicans

— I honestly thought he was going to sneak into the lottery, with similar measurables to his cousin, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He improved as a playmaker and scorer as a sophomore, while continuing to be a strong defender. It’d be really interesting to see him play with Jrue Holiday on this weird Pelicans team. Even though they just traded Anthony Davis, with the former Lakers they took back and the draft picks from Thursday, they could be a dark horse playoff contender.

One Nice Sentence on the: Sacramento Kings

— They took three shooting guards, so clearly becoming the young Warriors is still in their thoughts.

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Wildest Chauncey Billups Take: Rui Hachimura is a young Kawhi Leonard

— Um, they’re both quiet and polite, with similar measurables. That’s about it. He could have just been backing up Jalen Rose from earlier that day, but it’s still wild.

Favorite Undrafted Player: Jalen Lecque, Phoenix

— Lecque, who decided not to play college basketball, after a post-grad year at Brewster Academy, was an interesting possible selection for any team. He does have an amazing amount of bounce and length, but his overall game needs work. The young New Yorker needs to improve as a decision maker and shooter, but he is barely 19 years old. He could have gone to college this past season. Lecque could have improved his game at NC State, playing against the likes of UNC and Duke. Nonetheless, after getting a partially guaranteed four-year deal with the Suns accomplishes his goal of becoming an NBA player.

Best Drip: Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

— The Cavaliers’ lottery selection wore a robe suit by Fear of God, looking like Luke Skywalker, and had the swagger to pull it off. Drip or drown.

Best Moment: Jordan Bone getting drafted

— You don’t have a heart if this does not make you smile.

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By Christopher Walker on June 23, 2019.

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Exported from Medium on March 14, 2020.

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