by John Walters

What Do You Have On Draft?

Hope you enjoyed it, Brooklyn. That’s the most NBA excitement you’ll have for the next 12 months at least.

Questions, Thoughts, Insights & Outsights:

–The Lakers added Lonzo Ball AND Villanova’s Josh Hart? One was the second pick in the first round, the other the final pick of the first round. Lots of folks had Hart as their Naismith winner after two months last season. He’s one of three first-round picks this year who played for an NCAA champion (Tony Bradley and Justin Jackson, UNC).

–The Portland Trail Blazers landed arguably the two most talented big men in the draft: Gonzaga seven-footer Zach Collins and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan. Let’s go to a live look-in to Bill Walton’s Wavy Gravy Tent to see just how excited Big Red is about those two picks. He’s going to LOVE Collins’ toughness.

–Sacramento selects Harry Giles of Duke, a frosh who has already undergone two major knee surgeries. Is he Greg Oden or is he Dwight Howard? We’ll see. One of three Duke players taken among the top 20 picks. How did they fail to reach the Final Four again??? Is Coach K on the hot seat?

–The Indiana Pacers made an outstanding pick in UCLA’s T.J. Leaf, who led the Bruins in scoring last season. It’ll be funny to see which UCLA Bruin from 2016-17 Paul George winds up playing with a year from now, but that’ll have a lot to do with the drama that Lonzo and LaVar bring to Staples.

The Pacers finally have their own Jimmy Chitwood

–The Bulls add seven-footer Lauri Markkanen while also undermining any current contenders’ (Cavs, Celtics) shot of landing Jimmy Butler by trading him. You have to think/hope that Butler is smart enough to stay in Minnesota, where Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins assure that the future is very bright. Gonna miss Zach Lavine up there, though. Chicago is going to be SO average, if not just outright bad.

–You have to love the Motown went with a white boy band singer in Duke’s Luke Kennard. He’s got game, but we’re yet to see how it’ll translate to the NBA level. One of the smartest, if not THE smartest, player I watched on the court last season.

–You know who, besides their remaining fans, really despises the New York Knicks’ selection of French guard Frank Ntilikina? The headline writers at The Daily News and New York Post. How do you have any word play with that?

–Here’s hoping for years of a California rivalry between Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox and LA’s Lonzo Ball. As you know, Fox put up 39 on the Bruins when Kentucky ousted them from the tournament. When is the last tie Sac-Town had a player you were this excited to see?

Josh Jackson to the Suns. The right move and the closest thing to a 21st-century Walter Davis. A starting five of Booker, Bledsoe, Jackson, Marquese Chriss and Alex Len will be fun to watch.

–Jayson Tatum to the Celtics. Hmm. It’s difficult to create when Isaiah Thomas has the ball in his hands. I like but do not love this pick.

Markelle Fultz. For the second year in a row, the Sixers land the No. 1 overall pick who played for a team that failed to be one of the 68 teams to make the NCAA tournament. Should that matter?

I don’t trust The Process. The Sixers look like a very good AAU team, but will they have a winner’s pedigree?

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Let’s hold our breath a little longer. Is parity on the way? The Sixers, Suns, T’Wolves and Kings all got better.

    Minnesota also picked up Justin Patton, a 7’0” center out of Creighton. Don’t trade Rubio and chase Derrick Rose, Minnesota.

  2. Have you heard of Boogie Cousins?

    NY Post headlines
    “Frankly, He Sucks”
    “Let’s be Frank, he’s not good”
    “He’s Ntilikina a Big Deal”

    the Sixers got better on paper, but you still have two #1 picks on the roster who couldn’t lead their college teams to the NCAA tournament. I’m not saying a #1 pick needs to win the NCAA title but you should be able get your team to the postseason.

  3. P.J. Carlesimo ‘roasted’ Coach Krzyzewski Wednesday night in NYC, as Coach K was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation. With Duke A.D. Kevin White in the room, P.J. quipped how remarkable it was that Duke is the only university where both the President and Athletic Director report to the Basketball Coach. Coach K’s seat on the bench remains warm, despite the injuries that waylaid their season.

    As for the NBA Draft, my advice after experiencing it live in Brooklyn last night, is to enjoy the proceedings from your local pub!

  4. I’m impressed with your Draft coverage as I guess I didn’t realize you followed college b-ball that closely. As for myself, my viewership of my once all-time fave team sport has declined over the past 10 years to virtually nil except for a look-in during March Madness. Sigh. I think most of you here disagree but I think the NBA’s current age ruling has RUINED college basketball. I also don’t believe ANY of the “one & done’ers” drafted last night are ready for the NBA physically, mentally or emotionally. In fact, over the past 40 years, I can think of only TWO guys that actually made an impact in the NBA right out of the gate from high school – Moses Malone (SUPPOSED to go to my alma mater- MD!) & ahem, Sweet Pea. For everyone else, I think the maturation process that occurs between ages 18-20 in college is desperately needed so those guys can excel both on the court in the NBA & OFF the court in life (especially once their playing careers are over).

    Anyhoo, change of subject. I watched the Tony’s the other week & was very impressed with the guy who won for Best Male Performance in a Musical. I still don’t quite know what his show is about but I thought his performance was the BEST of the night. Plus, I kept thinking I recognized him from ‘somewhere’ but couldn’t remember where. And then the other night while I was perusing your ‘Top 25, No, 26 Movies of the Millennium’ on the sofa, I noticed that ‘Perfect Pitch” was on TV (!) & tuned in & whaddya know, there he was! Ben Platt played Benj! That’s where I’d seen him! You probably already knew but if I want to bask in some serendipity, let me, ok?

    Hey, my assistant was telling me about some TV game show where the contestants guess songs. I suppose like a revamped ‘Name That Tune’? Well, you need to corral one of your friends & get on there, as YOU would surely win! You’re welcome. 🙂

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