Article by: Peter Caceci
This past Tuesday, the NBA draft was announced via the annual NBA Draft Lottery. We were able to see many shockers, as some teams who had no shot at all for the top spots would land them. From here, fans will be divided on the players that they will receive. Will their teams undergo a turnaround? Or will they continue to tank for future seasons. This article will discuss which organizations landed the Top 5 spots for the draft, and which players that they will most likely draft.
1. New Orleans Pelicans
As I have stated before, there were teams that shocked the entire country with where they will end up, and the New Orleans Pelicans fit the description. The team itself, as much as they did not do well for this past season, were in the news for a different story. The botched Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers was able to show how a top player was trying to get out of a sinking organization, as well as showing the then-G.M. had no idea with what he was doing for the trade. It seems as if luck came through this time for the Pelicans, as they have most definitely landed the best prospect of the draft, Zion Williamson. Many analysts thought that he would land in New York with other all-stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, pushing the garbage team back into the limelight. Obviously, this will not be the case, and who knows what will happen to the young star.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
A team that has not done well in recent years, the Memphis Grizzlies will end up with a phenomenal college player, and someone that will try and move the team up in rankings. Here is a team, who somewhat like New Orleans, has had no luck at all when it comes to making a shot in the playoffs. If Ja Morant can deliver on the court, I can honestly see this kid becoming the next Allen Iverson, someone who is amazing and quick and can drive the ball through the defenses. While he may not try and score, he can find a way to hand it off to someone who can, since he did lead Division 1 NCAA with the most assists per game. I hope this kid shines through, since most of the press this year was on Duke’s super team and puts his name in the league as a dependable player. My only wish is that the Grizzlies organization gets their head out of wherever they are and can mentor this kid with a veteran of some sort.
3. New York Knicks
Well it seems that New York will indeed be getting someone from Duke, even if it's not the top prospect that they had hoped. As much as it will not be Zion, they got the next best guy. So quit your crying and whining New York, if you cannot find it in your hearts to accept R.J. Barrett, then you certainly deserve to rot at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, regardless if you get Kevin Durant or not. Since they did not get the top pick like everyone thought they would, I think they will be able to build a worthy organization around this kid. Like Jordan and Pippen, the combination of Zion and Barrett was found all over college basketball. When the Duke team was at a low after Zion was injured, he took it upon himself to try and lead the devastated players back to the top. If a young all-star like this shows leadership qualities and ball skills, then this kid will find himself well-suited for a championship. As a sixers fan, I truly hope that they choke, but if we do not beat them, then I will not be entirely upset, since this team has not shown potential quality like this in a while.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers were certainly enjoyable to watch this season, and I do not mean in terms of on the court. They sucked, and as much as Lebron got hurt and the team could not readjust themselves, they were an all-out laughingstock. To make it even more enjoyable, if you thought Lebron and the dim-witted Lakers office could not face further anguish, think again. The pipe dream Anthony Davis trade destroyed the remaining hope that the young core would step up. Coming to Los Angeles after this soap opera is going to be extremely intimidating, especially since Lebron has decided to try and take the office and court by storm.
I wish Jarrett Culver the best of luck, as he will be joining the “Island of Misfit Toys” team and filling in for the other shooting guards such as Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or even Josh Hart. This kid has proven himself to be a potential champion, as we all saw when Texas Tech made a surprise appearance in the championship game of March Madness. The kid can move and certainly groove down the court. I hope that with the new coaching staff, they bring some intelligence to the court and having this kid learn the ropes with the seasoned veterans there. Will this be enough for the Lakers if Kyrie does not show up? Who knows, but I again give this kid a lot of credit should he choose to stay with them after multiple seasons.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
Following the expected leave of LeBron to Los Angeles, the Cavaliers went from a team that had previously soared to the Finals, to the second worst team in the Eastern Conference. After watching them through many games this past season, the team looked like a boyfriend who just lost his girl, lifeless and grim. I believe, and many will agree, that Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter can put some style and class back into this fallen organization. It may not be everything that they will need, but it is a start for sure. The crowned-champion of March Madness is a clutch stud who can score when needed to and can march through to the net when necessary. This kid does not show fear and of course inspires everyone around him to put everything that they can in for a game. His defensive abilities are also at top-notch, as you can depend on him to stop a good portion of anyone trying to dunk down. The Cavaliers were expected to obtain a top pick in this year’s draft, and for them this will be one to remember.
The Los Angeles Lakers Have Finally Hired Their Next Coach
Yeah, I get it. This story has nothing to do with the NBA Lottery, but it will certainly impact their next draft pick that is for sure. After the hard no by former coach Tyronn Lue to be the replacement for current-Kings coach Luke Walton, the Lakers were in complete disarray. Finally, it seems that they have found their man with Frank Vogel, the former Orlando Magic’s coach while also hiring Jason Kidd as an assistant. I am impressed with the results, as he had some success with the Pacers, but not so much with the Magic. Jason Kidd, who was a great player, will hopefully put in a good bit of support for the ailing team, as they have missed the playoffs for a few seasons. I hope that Vogel puts Lebron in his place for a player and not an organization leader but seeing how Lebron gets his way in the end, the vibe will certainly be interesting.
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