The last edition of the Rookie Report feels ages ago. The regular season had not started yet, and everyone had a pretty good idea as to which rookie would be crowned 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year – Zion Williamson.
Well, things change, and quickly. Williamson is set to miss, give-or-take, the first 20 games of the New Orleans Pelicans’ schedule. Zion’s injury has cleared the way for many other hopefuls to be named the best rookie from the 2019 rookie class.
I’m waaaaayyyyy down on the past two World Series games, but don’t let that distract you that I went 27-14-1 last week. I’m back with more picks. More overs, locks, underdogs, and everything in between. Let’s get rich.
5:26 PM. T.J. Warren is in a much better basketball situation after being traded to Indiana than he was in Phoenix, and with Victor Oladipo still recovering, it gives us a chance to see if he can lead a playoff team. Josh Jackson might get a better chance this way too if he isn’t also traded.
5:58 PM. The Hawks must really not like the rest of the draft if they gave up that much for… Darius Garland? Cameron Reddish?
6:01 PM. Or De’Andre Hunter, per Woj. Makes sense in that he’ll be an immediate replacement for Taurean Prince with the potential to grow into what I like to term an “elite role player”.
6:15 PM. No obvious natural fits for the Suns at #6 and they needed a stretch four badly. Minnesota moves up – hopefully, enough of a move up to get their man.
6:38 PM. Cavs set to select Darius Garland… always seemed like the right choice, and now it’s an option since the Hawks are set to draft Hunter. Very high upside, been a while since he played though so it could be a rough transition initially.
6:41 PM. Counterpoint to that news, Woj breaks that Koby Altman’s still shipping the pick around. Big and surprising development.
7:41 PM. Zion is officially a Pelican, and New Orleans is set to have one of the most exciting young cores in the league immediately. The loss of Anthony Davis shouldn’t feel too bad at all anymore.
7:48 PM. Ja Morant is officially Mike Conley’s replacement, and he’s going to be the leader of a new culture in Memphis now. He’s unique in this era because he’s pretty equally a threat as a scorer and a distributor.
7:53 PM. The Knicks actually cheered a pick for once! New York’s got the guy who was projected at number one this time last year. He’s no Kevin Durant, but he’s a start.
8:00 PM. It’s officially Hunter. The first top ten pick out of Virginia since Olden Polynice, who was traded on draft night for Scottie Pippen. Pick #8 is now guaranteed to be the next Scottie Pippen. That’s how that works, right?
8:07 PM. Darius Garland is a Cav. For a guy who’s naturally a point guard, a pairing with Collin Sexton is a bit awkward, but he’s the top talent available. After just five college games, it’s time to see what he’s like at the NBA level.
8:14 PM. Perhaps the first surprise of the draft, Culver’s heading to Minnesota. He can plays both wings and is a very solid defender
8:22 PM. Coby White is the Bulls solution to the position they’ve been looking for answers to coming into the offseason, and he should have an immediate impact as a scorer at either guard position.
8:28 PM. Jaxson Hayes to New Orleans. This looks like a move that’s going to lead to a trade, but if it isn’t, his athleticism alongside Zion’s can be scary. A raw talent that can’t do much outside of two feet away from
8:32 PM. Rui Hachimura is a versatile three who is a much better fit in the league than people give him credit for. Washington’s hoping he can be their replacement for Otto Porter, who they traded in February.
8:39 PM. Cam Reddish is going to the absolute best situation he can, Atlanta has faith in him and now he’s part of a young rising core.
8:46 PM. CAMERON ******* JOHNSON? I’M SORRY, WHAT? He wins the 2019 Dion Waiters award, but frankly, he’s much worse of a reach than even Waiters was.
8:57 PM. Ahh, the fabled all-around player, Tyler Herro. Supposed to be a good shooter, but not good enough to stand out. Supposed to be a good athlete, but not enough to stand out. Supposed to be a good playmaker, but not enough to stand out. A great combination for the NBA.
9:00 PM. PJ Washington doesn’t have the highest upside, but he succeeded at a big program. That seems like the type of player Charlotte’s drafted for their entire existence, and it’s worked out approximately once.
9:04 PM. After a disastrous week, Boston should be relieved to get the best talent available at the end of the lottery. Not necessarily the best player, but the best talent.
9:09 PM. Sekou Doumbouya is a rich man’s Bruno Caboclo (of two years away from two years away fame). Still quite raw, but he’s lengthy and he can make an impact on defense and the fast break to start things off. Not ready for serious minutes yet though.
9:22 PM. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is yet another big-name young player that the Pels grab ahold of, they are full of assets now all of a sudden.
9:25 PM. The Pacers just picked Goga Bitadze with a first-round selection, which is odd considering their two best healthy players are already centers. Trade? Hopefully.
9:39 PM. Brandon Clarke and Nassir Little need to fire their agents.
9:41 PM. After the trade, Philly finally gets the rotation wing help they needed, a couple weeks too late.
9:44 PM. Memphis grabbing Brandon Clarke is huge. He should be the steal of the draft, his wingspan being lower than expected saw him fall further than he deserved and the Grizzlies get a guy with great heart to run with Morant.
9:52 PM. We’ve still got five guys in the green room, 21 picks into the draft.
10:03 PM. Absolutely nobody knows how good Darius Bazley can be at team basketball after deciding to just privately work out for a year, he has some of the biggest boom-or-bust potential and it’s weird to see a team in win-now mode be the one that takes a flyer on him.
10:09 PM. Nassir Little is a Trail Blazer, and he should be able to make an immediate impact with his only real competition for the starting small forward spot being Maurice Harkless, who’s dealt with injuries in recent years.
10:15 PM. The draft finally makes some amount sense again, with two of the top players remaining in Nassir Little and Keldon Johnson going back-to-back. Less sense is how the Cavs now seem to be set to play four guards and Kevin Love at all times.
10:22 PM. Nevermind, Shams lied to us. Things are still weird. Dylan Windler from Belmont. Great shooter though, who can be a great fit in this era of the league.
10:27 PM. Aside from having the best name of the players selected so far, Kabengele’s had the most turbulent last couple weeks. Went from projected early 2nd to late lottery to actually being selected at 27.
10:29 PM. Could Bol Bol fall to the second round?
10:34 PM. Jordan Poole’s the choice to replace Klay in the stopgap? Okay sure Golden State, you do you.
10:41 PM. There goes Keldon! And to the Spurs, no less. Popovich has a new plaything and they have to be excited to add him to their exciting youth.
10:45 PM. Four second-rounders for pick #30? That’s completely insane.
10:51 PM. “One of your mentors is Zaza Pachulia.”
10:53 PM. They just roasted Kevin Porter as he was walking across stage. Huh.
11:04 PM. Nicolas Claxton’s going to the Nets, which means Bol Bol is the only guy left in the green room.
11:13 PM. The Celtics getting Carsen Edwards at #33 is the first thing this week that Boston can be unequivocally happy about.
11:16 PM. Bruno Fernando is going to to be fun to watch in Atlanta, dunking and blocking shots off the bench. More athletic youth for this generation’s equivalent of the 2005 Suns.
11:22 PM. Draft-‘n-stash time!
11:33 PM. Bol Bol is now still on the board 25 picks after he reached the top of the ESPN big board.
11:41 PM. Maybe the Lakers are trading back into the draft for him?
11:43 PM. Poor Bol Bol.
11:46 PM. Finally! Bol Bol is drafted almost exactly a round after where he was expected to go, and he’s finally an NBA player.
11:53 PM. Talen Horton-Tucker is the Lakers’ choice, and his physical attributes are ridiculous. At 6’4″ and 240 lbs, one of the more intriguing prospects.
11:56 PM. New York’s trading into the late second-round to grab Ignas Brazdeikis, who’s bound to get a chance with them. This marks the first time the Knicks have made consecutive good moves in a draft, potentially ever.
12:17 AM. Justin Wright-Foreman is worth getting excited about, Utah. Dude can score like crazy, think a young Lou Williams.
12:31 AM. Utah is officially trying to buy every late second-round pick in the draft.
12:38 AM. Vanja Marinkovic, ranked in almost no big boards, is this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” and he’s hoping to aim for the success of the last player Sacramento picked at #60, Isaiah Thomas. The draft is officially over. Top undrafted players include Naz Reid, Luguentz Dort, Brian Bowen, and Jaylen Hoard.
It’s that time of the year… again. The NCAA Tournament and the East Region will again be looked at as one of the easiest or we will be talking twenty years from now about the “upset” that could take place. Continue reading →