With the NBA Draft now firmly behind us, it’s time to take a look at which teams stand to come into next season in great shape, and which will continue wilting down the long hard road of despair. Here are the big winners and losers from the 2016 NBA Draft:
Winners – Philadelphia 76ers – It’s pretty easy to win these drafts when you have the top pick (in addition to 3 first-rounders), but the Sixers went above and beyond. Their fledgling team acquired superstar big man Ben Simmons, who could lead the team to the promise land of mere respectability. Additionally, two great shooters in Timothe Luwawa and Furkan Korkmaz could help the team in their scoring department, and perhaps develop into decent players themselves.
Phoenix Suns – Sometimes it takes a big trade to make something happen, and the Sun did just that in this draft. With the 4th pick they took Dragan Bender, a 7-ft. tall center who’s got great ball and passing skills. But while Bender was the obvious choice, their smart trade back to the top 10 to land Marquese Chriss gives them another potentially dominant forward. While both players are still just 18, they have wonderful potential and could make the Suns’ front line very formidable one day.
Losers – Boston Celtics – Much was expected on draft night for this team that is just a star player away from contending in the East, and was loaded with trade bait in the form of 8 draft picks. However, no blockbuster deal materialized and the Celtics ended up with the likes of Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabasele, and Ante Zizic. And while one day they may be good, the Celtics’ fans were hoping for something tangible now.
Sacramento Kings – Perhaps the Kings had targeted a player who went before their 8th pick, but their trade back to 13th left them with a very questionable Georgios Papagiannis, a center who will be unlikely to break into a very crowded position on the team. Perhaps there is going to be some serious re-organization with this club, but right now it looks like the Kings flopped big time.
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