The well anticipated 2014 NBA Draft was Thursday. Some might say it was worth the hype and others might say it was over-hyped, but teams had their pick of the litter of future stars and busts in what may go down as one of the better drafts in league history.
Boston Celtics – They grabbed two players in the first round that can help them right now. Point guard Marcus Smart has the passion for the game which is needed in the Celtics roster. He is incredibly strong and will enhance the defense. Small forward/shooting guard James Young will only get better and help the team grow. With Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless hitting free agency, James Young makes sense for Boston.
Los Angeles Lakers – 19 year old power forward Julius Randle talks a big game and can back it up. He wasn’t happy being picked seventh in the draft and stated that he will make teams that didn’t pick him earlier pay. Randle might be the most NBA-ready player in this draft not named Jabari Parker. The Lakers also got Mizzou combo and guard Jordan Clarkson at No. 46 ( another name to watch because of his offensive versatility ).
Chicago Bulls – College basketball’s best offensive player gets picked 11th and winds up with a Chicago team that clearly targeted him as their guy and the Windy City is a place where he wants to be. The Bulls are in desperate need of an offensive infusion, and Doug McDermott, who averaged 27 points per game last year, is just that. With Derrick Rose as the point guard helping McDermott get open, it will certainly fluster defenses. He’s more versatile than he is getting credit for with a big body and lower strength that will help him get down low and stand his ground. Plus, he is a four-year college guy who will play right away.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Zach LaVine was noticeably unhappy being picked by the Wolves. President Flip Saunders could have went with other players that would fill needed positions, like Michigan State’s Adrian Payne, but instead went with a project that this team simply doesn’t have the time to wait on. LaVine is merely an athlete who can make three-pointers, but not much else. His shot selection and defensive breakdowns will become a serious issue, as will Glenn Robinson II — Minnesota’s second-round pick. Robinson is another project who is light-years away from becoming a legitimate NBA player.
Sacramento Kings – It seems like this team is stuck on drafting wing men. Shooting guard Nik Stauskas heads to a Sacramento team that just last year took former Kansas wing Ben McLemore and has Rudy Gay in its lineup. The Kings remains a team without a true point guard. The Kings are a team full of players that need the ball to become effective.
Philadelphia 76ers – This goes to the Philadelphia fans more than the team. They drafted a player that has great potential to be a dominant force in the front court, but they have to wait a year to see what they have in center Joel Embiid. They also nab the best player out of Europe in Croatian power forward Dario Saric, but they have to wait a year or two before he comes over to play in the NBA. Philadelphia fans are known to be a little impatient and expect results. They just sat through a horrible season and the organization is going to make them sit through yet another sub-par season. I just hope it’s all worth it in the years to come.