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In this segment, I will give my analysis on the NBA Draft for the Eastern Conference. In a draft littered with franchise-altering players, there were lots of trades; players being drafted so that franchises can obtain the player they actually want via trade.
Like every draft, there are smart picks and head-scratching picks. I have provided the players drafted and aquired via trade for the teams in the Easdtern Conference.
Selections: Michigan State C Aderian Payne & Cape Verde Walter Tavares
Review: Atlanta did fill their need for another big man down low to come off the bench and provide some quality minutes. Payne is has a strong presence inside, he has great rebounding abilities and can score a good amount of points if need be. I don't see why Atlanta drafted two centers when they could've used another wing player to come off the bench. Overall, I think they deserve a "C" because Payne is a good interior defender and will be a starter down the road, but the Walter Tavares pick was a little head-scratching.
Selections: Oklahoma State SG Markel Brown, San Diego State PG/SG Xavier Thames, & Baylor PF Cory Jefferson
Review: Brooklyn found its way back into the draft after trading their picks a few years ago to acquire Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets may not have received franchise-type players, but I think they added some quality depth. I love the addition of Markel Brown who was very underrated playing along side Marcus Smary at Oklahoma State. Brown is a sensational scorer and often bailed out Smart when he dissappeared in big games. Cory Jefferson provides some scoring on the perimeter and some much needed youth at the forward spot. Thames will most likely be the back up to Deron Williams once he's more comfortable with the offense.
Selections: Oklahoma State PG Marcus Smart & Kentucky SF/SG James Young
Review: I was throughly impressed with Boston's selections, these will be the core of the Celtics for years to come. With the addition of Marcus Smart, Celtic fans can expect Danny Ainge to trade away Rondo because he seems to not be a part of their future plans. Boston wil receive some quality players after that deal is made. Smart has that Boston toughness in him and can be the face of their franchise for years to come. James Young will be a great running mate who can take some pressure off Smart on the offensive side of the ball.
Selections: Indiana PF Noah Vonleh, Stanford PG Dwight Powell, & North Carolina SG P.J. Hairston
Review: The Hornets drafted acquired some quality players with all-star potential. Noah Vonleh will have the best statistical career of anyone else in this draft. Vonleh can rebound efficiently and he spreads the floor with his perimeter scoring ability. Dwight Powell offers some veteran leadership even though he's a rookie, he can come off the bench in certain situational moves. P.J. Hairston is the more intriguing pick, after he was suspended for a year at North Carolina he went to play for the NBA D-League and simply dominated. Hairston can score at will and get to the basket with ease, he will need to improve on defense and his offensive efficiency if he wants to have a fruitful career in the NBA.
Selections: Creighton PF Doug McDermott & Australia PF Cameron Bairstow
Review: The Chicago Bulls didn't seem to make many power moves, as they traded away some good players for Doug McDermott. Don't get me wrong, McDermott will be a good player with his amazing scoring ability and his natural leadership, but I would have rather kept Gary Harris. I don't see how McDermott fits into the Bulls' offense, especially if Carmelo Anthony does decide to take his talents to Chicago. Cameron Bairstow is a player who can improve on his low post moves and scoring, he struggled at times with his defense, but he can be a good role player on this Bulls team.
Selections: Kansas SG/SF Andrew Wiggins & Virginia SG Joe Harris
Review: The Cavs got their man in Wiggins, he provides excellent scoring ability, but needs to be more dominant to make a serious impact on this Cavs team. It'll be intresting to see how Irving, Waiters and Wiggins can coexsist, if they can make it work; the Cavaliers will be a top team in the Eastern Conference for years to come. Joe Harris is a guy who can give the Cavs some depth, he would likely come off the bench and play for 10-15 minutes a game, he will be a solid role player for this team.
Selections: Colordao PG/SG Spencer Dinwiddle
Review: The Pistons did not make a lot of moves in this draft, they needed to get in the first round and they didn't. They selected Dinwiddle in the second round to most likely replace Chauncy Billups who was recently released. Dinwiddle will be a role player in this offense if they do decide to keep him, he won't be used for much else.
Review: The Indiana Pacers didn't make any noise in this draft except trade their picks away.
Selections: UCONN PG Shabazz Napier
Review: The Miami Heat filled a huge void in their offense after Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole were absolutely useless in the NBA Finals. Napier provides leadership and he will be the starting point guard because Chalmers will not return. Napier gets his team involved heavily and has a decent jump shot that can make an impact, he will need to improve on defense if he wants to shut down some top point guards in the league.
Selections: Duke SF/SG Jabari Parker, France SF Damien Inglis, & LSU PF John O'Bryant III
Review: It's time for the Bucks to get a whole new roster and it starts with this draft class. Parker is now the face of the Bucks, he can score anywhere on the floor and has a good 3-point shot, he needs to improve on defense, but this is a guy who will be an all-star in this league. John O'Bryant will likely come off the bench with the second unit, he's powerful down low and is a great rebounder.
New York Knicks
Selections: Wichita State PF Cleanthony Early, Greece SF Thanasis Antetokounmpo, & France PF/C Louis Labeyrie
Review: In a draft where the Knicks didn't have a single pick, they managed to acquire three players. In Phil Jackson's first draft in the Knicks' front office, he managed to get some quality players. Cleanthony Early is a good player with a high-motor and excellent scoring ability, he also has great size and length. He may not be Carmelo Anthony, but he is a solid replacement for New York.
Selections: Arizona PF Aaron Gordon, Louisiana PG Elfrid Payton, & Iowa SG Roy Devyn Marble
Review: The Orlando Magic addressed some needs with these selections. After parting ways with veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, the Magic traded for Elfrid Payton who was an underrated player in college. Payton is a guy who is a small project, but can be very productive in a few short seasons. Gordon was an interesting pick, but he is the defensive presence that Orlando has needed for a while, he's long and can rebound at will.
Selections: Kansas C Joel Embiid, Croatia PF Dario Saric, Clemson SF K.J. McDaniels, Serbia PG Vasilji Micic, & Tennessee SG Jordan McRae
Review: The Sixers obtained a lot of players, but there are no real marquee players here, except for Joel Embiid. I think the Embiid pick was a bit of a stretch and a very risky one, especially for the #3 overall pick. Embiid can have a very decorated career if he stays healthy, but I'm concerned. He might miss about half the season because of his injuries. McDaniels is a solid pick, he can fit into their ever so-changing offense if used correctly.
Selections: Brazil SF Bruno Caboclo & UCONN SF DeAndre Daniels
Review: I don't think these are the types of picks that playoff teams should make. Caboclo probably won't play for Toronto for a few years or so. Daniels is a solid pick though, he had some big games during the NCAA Tournament and has the ability to put up some big numbers.
Review: They didn't make any moves to make their team better.