The NBA Draft is usually filled with surprise picks, surefire selections and blockbuster trades. In real time, it’s easy to miss all the backroom dealings and trades as they unfold. Here’s what you need to know:
Once the first two picks came off the board — Ben Simmons to the 76ers and Brandon Ingram to the Lakers — the real draft started, as did the trades. Based on the ample coverage, analysis and commentary, here’s who we think were some of the winners and losers:
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Oklahoma City immediately made themselves more attractive in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes by trading Serge Ibaka for three Orlando Magic players, Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to Domantas Sabonis, the son of former Trailblazer Arvydas Sabonis.
General manager Larry Bird has been busy this week, securing Jeff Teague in a three-team trade with the Jazz and the Hawks and on Thursday, trading for Thaddeus Young. The Pacers traded the No. 20 pick overall to the Nets in exchange for the versatile veteran.
Phoenix continues to stockpile young talent in the desert after acquiring No. 8-overall selection Marquese Chriss from the Kings. The Suns sent the No. 13 overall pick, No. 28 overall pick and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic in return.
Sacramento has been mired in a limbo between win-now and rebuild mode for several seasons now. Shedding Marco Belinelli for the No. 22 overall pick is a step in the right direction, as does the trade with the Suns, but it still remains to be seen what real, proven talent they can sign to pair with DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins seemingly expressed his feelings about the Kings drafting Georgios Papagiannis, a Greek center with the No. 13 overall pick.
Papagiannis wasn’t projected to go in the first round.
Trading for a player in decline and blowing up a young core sounds like disaster for a team rebuilding. It will be interesting to see if the Magic have any other moves this off season.
For a full draft list click here.
There is sure to be much more in the coming days, as free agency kicks off next week.
In other NBA news, Tracy McGrady revealed that he was almost traded on his draft day for Scottie Pippen. Michael Jordan reportedly nixed the deal after being consulted.
Sounds like the player Jordan was a better GM than he is now.