Orlando made a surprise No. 1 overall and it was a great night for rebuilding rosters and new teams on the rise.
The Magic chose Duke Paolo Banchero when many believed they would take Auburn’s Jabari Smith.
Oklahoma City finished in the top 34 with four selections, including three in the top 12, and Houston took Smith at No. 3 and LSU Tari Eason at No. 17. Detroit finished with two lottery selections and Cleveland was added to the list. already strong defense.
And there were only 58 options in the draft instead of 60, because Milwaukee and Miami had to lose the second round options for violating the rules of the league “which govern the schedule of discussions for free companies”.
Who had the best and worst night? It will be years before we really know how good this year’s lesson is, but that has never stopped anyone from making timely judgments. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
DRAFT TRACKER: Complete results and selection analysis from the first round
BANCHERO NO. 1: Magic makes Duke Duke a surprise at the top of the draft
OKC REBUILD: The Thunder bring their man to No. 2. Now they need a little luck
OKC got the player they wanted at No. 2 in the center of Gonzaga, Chet Holmgren, who meets an urgent need as a home defender, while also having huge potential. The Thunder then targeted further upwards with two additional lottery options, exchanging with the Knicks for French bigot Ousmane Dieng at No. 11, and after Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams at No. 12. GM Sam Presti added more youth , high depth in a reconstruction roster that will have to continue to take gradual steps while remaining in the place of the French phenomenon Victor Wembanyama, the prize of the 2023 category and the supposed top choice of next year.
Winner: Paolo Banchero
The Duke forward did not know where he would be drafted or by whom. He was excited to be No. 1 from Orlando as well. “Dude, I’m going to bring what I have to Orlando. First of all, a winner mentality, a mentality that prioritizes work,” he said, adding later, “I feel like this is a fantasy. I dreamed of being in the NBA, but being the No. 1 general choice is crazy. ”The Magic kept their plans silent with most virtual drafts predicting they would get Auburn’s Smith.
Purdue’s Jaden Ivey was considered the best player available at No. 4 when Sacramento was on the clock, but the Kings passed him to Iowa’s Keegan Murray. Earlier in the week, Ivey responded coldly to the idea of going to the Kings, saying “it would not be the worst choice”. Yes, the Kings have De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt, but they should choose the best available. And perhaps for the Kings, Murray was the best available. While it was a different front office at the time, don’t forget that the Kings overtook Luka Doncic and Trae Young in the 2018 draft.
Ivey wanted to be in Detroit so much that he cried when the Pistons announced his selection to No. 5. He should fit in nicely next to point guard Cade Cunningham, last year’s top pick, in a talented young backcourt. Then GM Troy Weaver made a smart move to get Memphis center Jalen Duren the No. 13 pick from the Hornets. With Cunningham, Ivey, Duren and Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart in the first round of 2020, the Pistons have a promising youth core to excite fans.
The Lakers had no choice for the first round – this went to New Orleans as part of Anthony Davis’ trade in 2019. Until Wednesday, the Lakers had no choice at all. They exchanged in the second round and chose Max Christie of Michigan State with No. 35. Christie has the potential to become an excellent shooter and 3-point defender, but it is unlikely to give the Lakers the help they need now.
Winner: G League Ignite
The G League prospects who chose not to play in college had three players in the draft, including two in the first round: Dyson Daniels at No. 8 in New Orleans, MarJon Beauchamp at No. 24 in Milwaukee and Jaden Hardy at No. 37. in Dallas. And Hardy was a potential first-rounder in many virtual drafts. Last year, Ignite’s Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga finished second and seventh, and in next year’s draft, Ignite’s Scoot Henderson guard is a possible choice in the top three.
The Grizzlies continued their recent trend for aggressive night-time moves, exchanging Wake Forest’s Jake LaRavia at No. 19 and Colorado State’s David Roddy at No. 23, and sending No. 22 and 29 to the Timberwolves. LaRavia has the potential to be an ideal player who can help the Grizzlies boost 3-point shots below average, and Roddy has the defensive flexibility to play on the flanks and crossbar. Both fit into the mold of productive college radar players who have found success in Memphis.
The Knicks retreated in 2021-22, going from a fourth team to 11th place. They had No. 11 and decided to trade it for Oklahoma City for three first-round pick options. Yes, the Knicks are trying to create a ceiling salary space to make a big move to the free dealership. Better to hope that they will get the player they want and that player will produce better. They also traded No. 13 pick in Detroit for a first-round pick in 2025. Maybe he can do it for the Knicks. Or maybe it’s a disaster.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA Draft Winners, Losers: Thunder, Pistons, Paolo Banchero Win Big