NBA Draft Guide 2019

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Folks,,, it’s draft night. I love both the NFL and NBA drafts, but the NBA draft is probably the higher quality entertainment. Whereas the NFL draft is a war of attrition against the weak minded “fans” who can’t last all seven rounds over three days, the NBA draft is an efficient sprint to the finish line. I take pride in my NFL draft commitment, but yeah. Give me one three- or four-hour block of drafting. NFL draft is more conducive to eating way too much food, but don’t underestimate the satisfaction of some good pizza (we call it za in the biz) or wings while watching some roundball highlight packages. Everyone’s scrambling over themselves to declare this draft worthless after the first three picks, but the lack of sure things only opens the door for crazy reaches and funny second round foreign guys who even Fran Fraschilla has never heard of with preposterous workout videos. The various injuries and Anthony Davis trade have taken some steam out of the extracurricular aspects of tonight’s draft, but I think we’re still in store for something good. If only everyone still wore XXXXXXXXL suits. Let’s break down everything you need to know about the 2019 NBA draft class.

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Reasons Why I WOULDN’T Take Zion Williamson Number One…

  • None

Do You Say Zi-ON or Zi-EN

  • I’m becoming a Zi-EN guy. Think it just kind of sounds funny.

Good Players in This Draft

  • Zion Williamson
  • Ja Morant
  • Bol Bol, but only in 2K

Bad Players in This Draft

  • Pretty much everyone else?
  • Maybe not De’Andre Hunter?

Guys I Want the Celtics to Draft

  • One of the Good Players
  • Anyone not named Kyrie Irving

Biggest Storylines

  • Does Zion get put in the Hall of Fame tonight?
  • Is anyone else any good?
  • Will Cam Reddish bother showing up? Because he didn’t at Duke.
  • Will anyone break from the monopoly of blue/black/gray tailored suits?
  • How many highlight videos will include warm-ups/empty gyms?
  • Are we positive anyone besides Zion’s getting drafted tonight?

Zion?

  • Zion

I Just Said This Was Going to be a Fun Draft, But It’s Going to be Pretty Boring, Huh?

  • Yeah

2018 NBA Draft Preview

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It’s that time of year again. The first day of summer, yes, but more importantly, it’s NBA Draft night. I think my favorite thing about the NBA Draft is how it happens a week after the season ends. What a novel concept! If only the NFL could learn from that. I guess they couldn’t keep up the illusion that there’s no off-season, then. Anyway, the NBA Draft is great television. There’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s some great suits and some bad suits, there’s lots of fun to be had on Twitter, and there’s terrible Kings decisions. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, a long streak is about to be broken, as this will be the first time in at least ten years where I will be unable to watch the draft live. I won’t even have access to my phone for the majority of it. :(. Local pizza places are lucky that they get the night off. But before you weep for me too much, you should know that my extensive network of NBA sources have already informed me of everything that will happen, so nothing will surprise me. Still, even without the typical drama, there’s still plenty to talk about.

Worst Things the Kings Will Do

  • Draft Michael Porter, Jr. 2nd overall- Back injuries always heal perfectly, especially when they start so young.
  • Drafting Marvin Bagley 2nd overall- Offensive savant, rebounding beast, doesn’t play a lick of D. Man, the Kings definitely haven’t had anyone like that in a while. And if they theoretically did have someone like that, they obviously had a long and healthy relationship with them.
  • Drafting Mo Bamba 2nd overall- Exclusive video of Mo Bamba’s explosive private workout.
  • Not drafting Luka Doncic 2nd overall- Hold this thought.
  • Doing anything- Let’s be honest. The Kings should be either be seized by the league or just contracted.

Players I Like

  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia- Having watched precisely 3 highlight videos, I’m all-in on Luka. By all-in I think he’ll be a very good NBA player, make a couple All Star teams, and be really fun to watch. I don’t want him ruined.
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona- Strong take, I know.
  • Marvin Bagley, Duke- As long as it’s not Sacramento.
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky- Fat face aside, he’s a really good modern scorer.
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- I’m always hesitant to buy into workout-hype, but it seems like, if nothing else, it’ll be impossible for him not to be a defensive force.
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova- Won’t be a star, but is a perfect role player.
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma- Count me among those who think shooting will be easier when he has good teammates.
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami- Could be a steal, could be out of the league in four years. In the late lottery I’ll gladly take that chance.

Trades That Could Happen

  • Kawhi to the Sixers
  • Kawhi to the Celtics
  • Kawhi to the Lakers
  • Kawhi to the Suns?
  • Celtics move up to take Bamba or Luka
  • Kings trade 2nd overall for Nene
  • Mavs trade down because they think they’re one piece away
  • Kemba traded to Cavs or Sixers (please not Cavs. LeBron already screwed over one of my college heroes, don’t need him to abandon the other one, too)

Places I Want Doncic to Go

  • Not Sacramento
  • Any NBA franchise no located in NoCal
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Any team that doesn’t have purple as a primary color
  • Not Sacramento
  • Not Dallas

Players I Like Less

  • Michael Porter, Jr., Mizzou- That back, man.
  • Jerome Robinson, BC- Anytime a Boston College basketball player is an unexpected late riser, I’m out 100% of the time.
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama- He’s just like Russell Westbrook, only four inches shorter, way less athletic, and a worse shooter! Sign me up!
  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State- What is he actually good at?
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- If he goes to Sacramento might as well just make him retire tomorrow.

Who Will Be Best Dressed (Could Backfire Since I Have No Idea Who’s Wearing What)

  • Luka Doncic- You know he’ll have that Euro style.
  • Collin Sexton- Purely because he won’t want anyone to say someone was better dressed than him.
  • Wendell Carter, Jr.- Just feel like he’ll have some heat.
  • Any Puma guy- I think I’m on-board the Puma hype train. I, too, am declaring my eligibility for a Puma sponsorship. Don’t know how they haven’t given Doncic a 51% controlling stake in the company to try and sign him, yet. I’m pretty sure every Eastern European baby is born into a Puma swaddling blanket.

Who Will Be Worst Dressed

  • Trae Young- Unless he shaves his head that hair eliminates him from contention.
  • Michael Porter, Jr.- If anyone’s going to try something crazy and not pull it off, it’s MPJ.
  • Donte DiVincenzo- It’s not his fault. It’s just his role as the token white guy.
  • Robert Williams- I’m probably 100% wrong but I don’t see him as fashionable.
  • Jerome Robinson- Just do yourself a favor and don’t draft Jerome Robinson.

Since I Haven’t Mentioned Him Yet

  • Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State- Pretty lukewarm on him.

Teams Guaranteed to Make Smart Moves

  • Golden State
  • Boston
  • Miami

Teams Guaranteed to Make Dumb Moves

  • Sacramento
  • Dallas
  • Kings
  • Orlando
  • Vlade Divac

Late First Round/ Second Round Guys I Like

  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • Bruce Brown, Miami
  • Malik Newman, Kansas
  • Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
  • Gary Trent, Jr., Duke
  • Landry Shamet, Wichita State

Most Perfect Player Fits

  • Luka Doncic to Phoenix Suns
  • Mikal Bridges to Philadelphia 76ers
  • Trae Young to Atlanta Hawks
  • Wendell Carter to Chicago Bulls
  • Kevin Knox to Denver Nuggets
  • Mo Bamba to Boston Celtics
  • Michael Porter, Jr. to Sacramento Kings
  • Jaren Jackson, Jr. to Memphis Grizzlies

Think that’s about all I got. Could be a huge night that shakes up the balance of (second-place) power in the NBA, could be a regular draft without any big moves. Either way, there’s one thing that’s certain: whoever the Kings take is going to be a bust.

Marvin Bagley Reclassifies and Will Attend Duke Next Season, Celtics to Win 2018-19 NBA Championship

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Huge news day for college basketball yesterday. Not only did Jim Calhoun throw his name back out there, but 2018 top recruit Marvin Bagley III decided to reclassify and attend Duke this upcoming season. Duke now enters the season as the clear number one team and is probably going to win the championship, unless they wind up choking again in the tournament/Coach K decides he needs another surgery and takes a few months off, ruining team chemistry but preserving his record. Oh, well. If Duke didn’t win every once in a while, they wouldn’t be Duke anymore. They’re not really Duke, anymore, anyway. All these fancy one and done guys even though Coach K has always preached against one and dones and praised four year guys. Funny how his legendary morals seem to change whenever he finds a way to benefit from something new. Odd how that works out.

Anyway, Bagley’s a stud. The ultimate modern day big man, he’s being called the best prospect since Anthony Davis. He’s a freak athlete, he can shoot, he can handle the ball, and he’s 6’11”. Seems like a decent combination of skills to have. If only there was an NBA team that was one guy away from winning the next five championships. Oh, wait, there is! And, as fortune should have it, the Celtics could theoretically end up with the first two picks in the draft next year, barring unexpected leaps in performance from the Nets and Lakers. I was already gearing up for the Celtics to get previous top prospect Michael Porter, Jr., but now they’ll get Porter and Bagley? Whooooo, baby. Now that LeBron and Kyrie have both feet out the door in Cleveland, I can’t see a realistic scenario where the Celtics don’t at least make the Finals in perpetuity. What a time to be a Celtics fan. Think of everything they’ve got going for them. Top pick Markelle Fultz The NBA’s best guard defender Avery Bradley A great coach and a million young guys that all play the same position. Can’t beat that. Hope Marvin likes green.

NBA Draft Thoughts

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So, anything happen last night? Besides the draft, can’t think of much. Pretty quiet night in terms of the NBA. Everything went according to plan, no real excitement. Wait, what’s that? The Bulls finally traded Jimmy Butler? And not to the Celtics? I almost couldn’t believe it.

Honestly, this trade really annoyed me. Not that someone else got Jimmy Butler. As anyone who has read any of my thoughts on the NBA could tell you, I was not overly eager for the Celtics to get Jimmy Butler. But mostly because the Bulls were asking for every single draft pick the Celtics had until 2075 and half the roster. Then they turn around and give Butler to the Timberwolves, who were still run by Bulls’ front office arch-nemesis Tom Thibodeau last time I checked, for two players and a pick swap? Are you kidding me? Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn? Seriously? That’s all it takes? I love LaVine, but who knows what he’s gonna look like next year after his knee injury. Kris Dunn is trrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssshhhhhhhhhhh. Then they give up the 16th pick to thank the TWolves for taking their best player off their hands? And then they take Lauri Markkanen 7th overall? How can these people run an NBA team? To think the biggest display of idiocy by a front office last night didn’t involve Phil Jackson is dumbfounding. Even the Kings made good moves last night! Were the Bulls asleep? Were they drugged? Have they ever watched basketball before? Honestly, no profession in the world has more accepted incompetence than NBA GM. The morons that 90% of teams have running their billion-dollar franchises shouldn’t be trusted to manage a Bruegger’s Bagels. How can you go from asking the Celtics for absolutely everything to accepting the TWovles table scraps? And if you’re now committed to a rebuild, how do you not take someone with a higher ceiling than Lauri Markkanen? Dennis Smith, Malik Monk, OG Anunoby, even Donovan Mitchell were still there. Or, I don’t know, don’t give up your own first round pick, too and take someone like Harry Giles at 16. I just can’t believe how poorly they handled this trade. Now I’m pissed that Butler’s not on the Celtics, because apparently all they would have had to give up was Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier then swap picks. So annoying. Hey, Bulls, you stink!

Anyway, there was an actual draft last night. Most of it kind of went according to plan. No big shockers, besides maybe Malik Monk falling to number 11. Still, there’s plenty to talk about. I guess I should get used to Jayson Tatum now that a potential trade is probably off the board (I know, I can’t believe it, either). After throwing up multiple times thinking about the abomination that is St. Louis-style pizza, I was able to listen to him talk for a bit. If nothing else, at least he seems like a good guy who’s going to commit to the team. That shouldn’t be taken for granted, but I still have concerns. It doesn’t help that he’s the internet’s least favorite player.

Oh, well. Guess the Celtics are just going to punt on this year again, possibly get multiple picks in the top five, and trade both of them for future picks and take guys with no ceiling again. Sweet. Love Danny Ainge, man. Best in the business. On to what I liked and didn’t like.

Things I Liked

  • Markelle Fultz to Philadelphia
  • Dennis Smith to Dallas
  • Josh Jackson to Phoenix
  • Lavar Ball’s interviews
  • Malik Monk to Charlotte
  • All the old tweets that were dug up
  • OG Anunoby to Toronto
  • All the Kings picks (De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason)
  • All the Lakers picks besides Lonzo (Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant)
  • Jordan Bell to Golden State
  • The huge number of random picks that were in the stands
  • Frank Jackson to New Orleans
  • John Calipari continuing to stay ten steps ahead of every other coach

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Celtics not getting Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, or Jonathan Isaac
  • Jonathan Isaac going to the barren wasteland of Orlando
  • The Bulls. Literally everything they did
  • Bam Adebayo at 14
  • John Collins to Atlanta
  • Derrick White to San Antonio (I just wanted to be the only guy not praising them for this pick)
  • Devin Robinson going undrafted
  • Anyone mentally weak enough to stop watching before all 60 picks have been announced
  • Not enough Fran Fraschilla
  • Everyone’s suit is too conservative and classy now. Nothing to make fun of

NBA Draft Preview

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There’s nothing quite like the NBA offseason. The crazy trades. The traitorous free agency decisions. The emoji wars on Twitter. In the week since the Finals ended, every day has had more drama than a Daniel Day-Lewis movie (R.I.P), and we haven’t even hit free agency yet! Dwight Howard was traded for a Plumlee, completing one of the most self-inflicted falls from grace in human history. The Lakers decided to give up on D’Angelo Russell after two years because…….? and traded him to the Nets in a move that somehow screwed the Celtics over twice. Phil Jackson has mysteriously put Kristaps Porzingis on the trading block (I doubt he’ll be traded), leading every fan base to rush to Photoshop to see what he’d look like in their jersey. But tonight is my favorite part of the NBA offseason, draft night. I’ve got my DiGiorno. I’ve got my spot on the couch picked out. I’m ready to be disappointed. Is it possible to go from all in on someone to all out on someone in a few days? Because that’s what I’m feeling now. Look at this:

??????????????????? What the hell is St. Louis-style pizza? Why would he pick a fake food over all the other quality foods that have a right to go number one overall? Now I’m seeing him in a new light. Now all his flaws clearly counteract his strengths. Now he’s just the exact same prospect we’ve seen in every single draft that does absolutely nothing. I can’t believe the Celtics are seriously going to take an un-athletic Tobias Harris number three overall. Hey Danny, draft Josh Jackson please!

You can go anywhere on the internet and find a mock draft, so I decided I’d just say which prospects I like and who I don’t like. That way, the only thing I can be wrong about is if they’re good or not, not if they’re good or not and what team takes them.

Guys I Like

  • Markelle Fultz- Oh, what might have been
  • Josh Jackson- Come on, Danny, think of him and Jaylen Brown on defense together! I’m aroused, aren’t you?
  • De’Aaron Fox- Completely dominated Lonzo twice. A sign of things to come for one of them
  • Jonathan Isaac- Anthony Randolph with a jumper. Guy could be the best player in the draft or be out of the league in four years
  • Dennis Smith- I like him a lot, especially if you can get him outside the top 10
  • Malik Monk- Don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but the NBA is all about 3-point shooting these days
  • OG Anunoby- People are acting like he’s dead. It’s just a torn ACL. It’s 2017, he’s probably already fully healthy. He’ll the best defensive player in the draft, just take him
  • Harry Giles- Speaking of not dead yet. His injuries are considerably worse than OG’s, but if you’re not in the lottery, absolutely no reason not to roll the dice
  • Bam Adebayo- Mostly because he’s projected to go so low

Guys I Don’t Like

  • Lonzo Ball- As I’ve said before, I don’t think he’s that good
  • Jayson Tatum- This is appalling
  • Lauri Markkanen- I watched him play a lot. He never had a good game
  • Zach Collins- Taking college backups highly in the draft works out every time!
  • Luke Kennard- I actually like him as a role player in the NBA, but lottery feels way too high for him
  • John Collins- I don’t know, I just don’t see it with him. He’s like a less-refined version of Caleb Swanigan that you have to take 30 picks earlier
  • Justin Patton- He’s a wallflower. Don’t pick
  • Justin Jackson- At best an 8th man in the league
  • Tyler Lydon- I just hate his face

Random Stuff I’m Looking Forward To

  • The one guy who gets old tweets bashing the team that drafts him exposed
  • How awkward every white guy that gets drafted makes the handshake with Silver
  • John Calipari somehow having a better seat than Markelle Fultz
  • The one girlfriend the internet loses its mind over
  • Some foreign guy who gets drafted in the second round but came to the draft and is sitting in the stands

Late First/Second Round Guys I Like

  • D.J. Wilson
  • Caleb Swanigan
  • Thomas Bryant
  • Frank Jackson
  • Frank Mason
  • Monte Morris
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Derrick White
  • Cam Oliver
  • Jordan Bell
  • Jawun Evans
  • Terrance Ferguson
  • Semi Ojeleye
  • Devin Robinson
  • Alec Peters

CELTICS WIN THE LOTTERY

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Ask and ye shall receive. What a run I’ve been on lately. Red Sox get Chris Sale. Pats win the craziest Super Bowl ever then get Brandin Cooks. John Wick 2 and Fast 8. Taco Bell makes the Naked Chicken Chips.  And now the Celtics win the lottery. What a time to be me or any like minded individual. Can’t believe they finally, finally, didn’t get screwed in the lottery. This pretty much eliminates all of my fears. With the number one pick they won’t want to just punt and trade it for nothing. Patience is easier to preach when you’ve got someone with the kind of pedigree Markelle Fultz (hopefully) has. Hell, maybe they can swindle the Lakers into giving up something good to swap picks with them by leaking they want Lonzo (but under no circumstances take him. Like there is literally no scenario where I want Lonzo on the Celtics). I am just so high on adrenaline right now. I felt like I was watching the Super Bowl again. I died for a second with each pick they announced in the top four. I was pacing back and fourth in my living room for the entire half hour show. I still think I should have been the Celtics’ representative, but I guess I can’t be mad now. And they get to do this all again next year? How did I ever get so lucky?

The Day of Reckoning is Here

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At long last we have arrived. Zero Hour. Judgement Day. The beginning of the End. The Four Horsemen have been set loose. The seven trumpeters are blowing their horns and the Seventh Seal has been broken. The rivers have become red with blood and hellfire rains down from above. The Beast is gathering the people before him, devouring all that are weak enough to join his accursed ranks. Heaven is preparing it’s angels for the coming battle against the forces of darkness. Now is the time all must face judgement for what they have done in life and answer for their sins and transgressions. Tonight is truly the hour of reckoning. Tonight is the NBA Draft Lottery.

Everything the Celtics have done for the last five years has lead up to this. Every trade, every non-trade, every signing, every draft pick, every heavily criticized move by the legion of foolish fans who called for win-now moves instead of using their brains. Every time GM Danny Ainge has shown patience (much to my delight) in the face of overwhelming opposition. Finally, the Nets Picks will gain corporeal form.

I’d call tonight, where the Celtics have the best odds of coming away with the number one overall pick, the most important moment in Celtics History, but that’d be an insult to last night’s Kelly Olynyk show. All the moves that have been setting up a glorious future can start to take shape tonight and June 22nd, the night of the draft. All I want is for the Celtics to get the number one pick. That’s literally all I’ve ever wanted for this season. I didn’t really care how far they went in the playoffs. Them making the Conference Finals is just a pleasant surprise. But I’m worried last night’s win over the Wizards and the suddenly mute John Wall used up all of their good juju (quick Conference Finals thoughts: worst case scenario is that the Celtics win two games against Cleveland. I know they have no shot of winning the series so don’t get my hopes up whatsoever. And I don’t even really want them in the Finals because I don’t want them to get punked by the Warriors, who are going to absolutely toast the Spurs after Zaza “It was just an accident, I swear” Pachulia took out Kawhi). You can’t make the Conference Finals and get the number one pick. I’m more mentally prepared for the number four pick than I am the number one. I mean, the Celtics are the best franchise in NBA history at two things: winning titles and getting screwed in the lottery. Kevin Durant should have been stabbing the Celtics in the back to join the Warriors this offseason, not the Thunder. Tim Duncan should have had his number retirement ceremony in Boston, not San Antonio. Len Bias should still be alive. Add in the fact that the team with the worst record has won the lottery two straight years and things are looking grim. Then add in the fact that if the Lakers’ pick is outside of the top 3, they lose it to Philadelphia and somehow also lose their 2019 first round pick to Orlando, and Magic Johnson is going to be in attendance. I know Stern is “retired,” but this is still the NBA we’re talking about. This is still the Lakers. They’re getting a top 3 pick. The Knicks probably are, too. The Celtics are fighting an uphill battle against an opponent who bends the rules in favor of what’s best for business. It feels like the Celtics have a 0.0% chance of winning the lottery tonight. I’d honestly be fine if the Celtics got 2 and the Lakers got 1, because I know the Lakers would never pass on Lonzo. At this point my only hope of getting future Celtics Legend Markelle Fultz on the roster is other teams’ incompetence. It’s still too early to talk backup plans, but there’s only two outcomes to this draft that would be unacceptable to me: drafting Lonzo Ball or trading the pick. I’ve made my thoughts on Lonzo pretty clear. I’m going to love watching him crash and burn, just as long as it’s on a different team. Hopefully the Cavs will sweep the Celtics so everyone can realize they aren’t one move away from competing. Hopefully people will look at the disappearing acts Paul George and Jimmy Butler pulled off during the playoffs (at times good enough to make even James Harden, Kyle Lowry, and Game 7 John Wall jealous) and start thinking maybe, just maybe, giving up the entire roster to get one of these guys isn’t the right move. And hopefully all those people who wanted Ainge fired for not trading the farm for Serge Ibaka or P.J. Tucker (for the record, I was not on that bandwagon. I was on the “Ainge can’t draft” bandwagon that crashed and burned after Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Jaylen Brown proved their worth multiple times over) saw how the badly the Raptors STUNK against the Cavs and that copying anything they do is probably the wrong move. The East won’t be won in one day. It’ll be won in four years when LeBron has deteriorated and only averages 23,7, and 6. Be patient. Fultz is an all-star level player, but he won’t be next year. Maybe not even the year after that. But they have the Nets’ pick next year. And multiple first round picks as early as 2019. This is a long play. It’s about time everyone else got on board the Celtics 2020 Express.

I really can’t do anything but hope, at this point. I mean, I’m a decent person. I’ve given to charity before. I feel bad when I see stray animals. I’ve thought about helping old ladies cross the street. I deserve this. Something good has to happen for one of my sports teams, after all. Just let me have this one, please. If When the Celtics wind up getting the fourth pick, I’m going to search out the nearest 18-wheeler and stand directly in front of it.