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Dubey’s Draft Reactions

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With the 2018 NBA Draft officially in the books, let’s take a look back at the night that was.

Starting at the top, with Phoenix’s unsurprising selection of DeAndre Ayton first overall.

(AP Photo / Kevin Hagen)

It was unsurprising in the sense that Phoenix’s intent had been widely reported for weeks, and Ayton himself even announced he knew he would go #1. It was, however, surprising to me that the Suns ultimately did decide to pass on the Serbian wunderkind Luka Doncic.

I don’t entirely know why DeAndre Ayton’s defensive question marks seemed not to matter, while Doncic’s were analyzed to the point of exhaustion. Maybe the Suns got a transcendent big man who will dominate the league for the next decade – but everything in me says they will regret passing on Doncic, and pairing him with Devin Booker and Igor Kokoshov.

Sacramento did what Sacramento does, talked themselves out of the best player on the board for a litany of reasons that will never cease to aggravate their fan base. Vlade Divac touted “positional versatility” as why they drafted Marvin Bagley III, claiming he can play “either forward spot, or center”. This of course, comes as a slap in the face to the fans who wanted Doncic, who can legitimately play (and defend) positions 1 through 3. Bagley will have his work cut out for him proving his worth with an organization that has missed on multiple attempts to draft big men.

This brings me to my biggest winner of the draft … the Dallas Mavericks!

(Getty Images / NBA)

While Phoenix and Sacramento bought into the PUMA hype and drafted big men who *could* dominate the league, or who *could* be out of the NBA before their second contracts; the Dallas Mavericks found the steal of the draft.

It cost them a future first round pick to move up two spots and get the best player in the draft, but Luka Doncic is precisely the type of franchise cornerstone that you give up future assets to go get. I fully expect Doncic to start for Dallas from day one, and to be a leading contender for Rookie of the Year.

Some other Draft Day winners include:

  • The Orlando Magic, for drafting Mo Bamba 6th overall – my pick for the big from this year’s class to have the best NBA career.
  • The Spurs and Lonnie Walker IV – both sides win here. Walker fell farther than expected, but San Antonio is a great fit. I see Walker being a long-term Ginobili replacement in Coach Pop’s system; a bigger guard who can handle the ball and create for himself as well as others.
  • The Celtics and Robert Williams – (see above). Williams fell right into Boston’s lap at 27.

Potential Draft Day Losers: (hard to definitively call it a loss until we see how it pans out)

  • The city of Cleveland – the last time a team drafted a highly touted point guard to appease LeBron James, he left. Let’s hope Sexton is more NBA ready than Napier was, and maybe he can prove to be a piece that convinces the King to stick around.
  • Marvin Bagley III – if he goes to Atlanta, Memphis, or Dallas he likely wouldn’t be viewed as a bust even if it took him until his second contract to develop into a legitimate NBA starter. Even though Sacramento seems to be eternally rebuilding, fans won’t be as patient if Bagley struggles while Doncic shines in Dallas.
  • Nike, Adidas, Under Armour – while it remains to be seen how big a piece of the pie PUMA will be able to secure, it sure doesn’t hurt having the first two picks of the draft on your roster. A lot will ride on the shoe designs they come up with, but they have positioned themselves well to at least have a shot at creating change within the sneaker game.

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About Preston Dubey

Lifelong basketball fanatic and Bucks' supporter I coach basketball; but I eat, sleep, and breathe the game.

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