Each year during the NBA Draft, some teams come out looking significantly better than they had prior, while other teams have you scratching your heads searching for answers. These five teams made some very questionable decisions last night, and ultimately came out of the Draft as the Top 5 NBA Draft Losers.
1. New York Knicks
The Knicks had two picks in the mid second round at No. 38 and No. 39. While New York could not have drafted impact players, they could have drafted guys that they could sell to free agents. With guys like Willie Warren, Devin Ebanks and Lance Stephenson that had a lot of upside still available, the Knicks took Andy Rautins and Landry Fields. Both guys were not even expected to get drafted, and when Fields got picked one Knicks fan went “Who the f*** is that?!” The Knicks could have signed both these guys to their summer league squad after the Draft, missing on guys who have a lot more potential in the process.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves got their man Wesley Johnson at No. 4, but other than that, their Draft was a disaster. They took Luke Babbitt at No. 16 then traded him along with solid bench player Ryan Gomes to Portland for the oft-injured Martell Webster. Then the Wolves took Trevor Booker at No. 23 (who could be the next Glen Davis and provide toughness and defense off the bench), but promptly traded him to Washington for the severely undersized Lazar Hayward and Nemanja Bjelica. Then in the second round, the Wolves took Paulo Prestes from Spain (who like Ricky Rubio may never suit up for the Wolves), then drafted incredibly raw center Hamady N’Diaye from Rutgers. David Kahn has baffled many in his time as GM, and continued to do so last night.
3. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors took Ekpe Udoh who I actually think will be a very solid pro, but he doesn’t make much sense for the Warriors at No. 6. They have tried the past few years to draft their power forward of the future in Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph, and both have yet to live up to their potential. Don Nelson has shown a penchant for not playing young guys except Stephen Curry last year, and with Randolph, Wright, Ronny Turiaf and Andris Biedrins already in the frontcourt, I don’t see Udoh playing much. The Warriors would have been much better suited taking a small forward like Al-Farouq Aminu, or even the uber-athletic Paul George to replace Corey Maggette.
4. Orlando Magic
The Magic took Daniel Orton with No. 29. I think Orton can be a solid 10-15 minute rebounding and defensive specialist off the bench, but isn’t that what Marcin Gortat is for? Unless Gortat is about to be traded, this pick makes no sense for a Magic team that was on the cusp of the NBA Finals this year. Even if Gortat is traded, Orton will be relegated to backup minutes for the best center in the game like he was at Kentucky behind DeMarcus Cousins. With Matt Barnes as a free agent, and Jason Williams likely leaving a hole at backup point guard, the Magic should have taken a guy like Armon Johnson, Devin Ebanks or Terrico White instead. At the same time, the Magic may have gotten a real steal though with Stanley Robinson at No. 57 if he can stay focused.
5. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are in dire need of a point guard which has been clear for quite some time. While there were no great point guards available for them in the Draft, their picks were a bit confusing. They took Paul George at No. 10 who could be the next Danny Granger, but there’s one problem: the Pacers already have Granger. Then in the second round, they took another swingman in Lance Stephenson when Willie Warren and Jon Scheyer were still on the board. The Pacers have a lot of needs, but high scoring wing players really aren’t one of them.
What do you think? Who are the biggest NBA Draft losers?
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