There was plenty of buzz on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn last night as the Barclays Center was home to the NBA Draft for the second consecutive year. From Isaiah Austin hearing his name called despite recently finding out that he’ll never play competitive basketball again to Jabari Parker saying that he never wants to leave Milwaukee, there were many fans, players, coaches and front offices that walked away as winners on this memorable June night. While most organizations had reason in their respective war rooms, there were a select few that missed a golden opportunity to improve their ball-club. We take a look at the 5 Biggest Losers Of the 2014 NBA Draft.
[RELATED: The 5 biggest winners of the 2014 NBA Draft]
5. Washington Wizards
After selling the rights to the 47th pick in the draft to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Washington Wizards missed an open layup to add value to their organization. The Lakers took Missouri point guard Jordan Clarkson with that choice, who many considered a first-round talent. While the Wizards don’t need a starting point guard, it would have been smart for them to keep the pick and get a guy who would add to the young core of guards in Washington alongside Bradley Beal and John Wall.
4. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers were one of the few teams that didn’t make a draft pick on Thursday night after selling the 57th selection to the New York Knicks in a move that obviously didn’t send shockwaves through Brooklyn. While this may seem like a minor move to many, Indiana has a question at the point guard position: Can George Hill actually lead a contender to a championship? Hill is more of a combo-guard that would be best suited as the third option in a three-guard rotation.
Lottery-quality point guards such as Tyler Ennis and Shabazz Napier (who was picked up by their conference rival in South Beach) ended up slipping and Indiana should have been in play to acquire one of those guys. Now, instead of locking in a potential floor general for the future, Larry Bird and company will have to compete with the other 29 teams to find a solution through free agency.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
Their first mistake was never giving Pierre Jackson a real opportunity. The explosive guard from Baylor put up silly numbers in the D-League this past season, averaging 29.1 points and 6.2 assists per game for the Idaho Stampede. It baffles me why he was never given a shot in the Big Easy. I understand that the Pelicans were a little guard-heavy last season with Jrue Holiday, Austin Rivers, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, but New Orleans didn’t make the playoffs – one would think that Jackson would have gotten a chance.
Instead, Jackson was traded to Philadelphia for another point guard in Russ Smith who could have probably been picked up for cash. If Smith was really their guy all along, New Orleans should have kept Jackson as an asset for a future deal this summer.
2. Sacramento Kings
Nik Stauskas was projected to go in the lottery, but this pick doesn’t make much sense after the Kings drafted Ben McLemore, another shooting guard, last season. It’s not that I don’t think Stauskus deserved to go this high, but I think the Kings missed a golden opportunity to select their power forward of the future in Noah Vonleh, a player some thought could have been selected third overall. Nonetheless, the Kings get a solid future pro who is far more than just Jimmer Fredette 2.0. With the way that Sacramento’s roster is currently constructed, though, I think the Kings could have drafted a player with more upside that would have also filled a need.
1. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors made a gigantic reach by drafting a guy that nobody has ever heard of with the 20th pick of the draft. Bruno Caboclo, called “The Brazilian Kevin Durant” by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, was a prospect on few teams’ radars and was likely to be available when Toronto picked again at 37th. His grainy highlight film offers limited footage to the 99.9 percent of basketball fans that didn’t know this guy existed.
Even Fraschilla, ESPN’s international scout, didn’t offer much reason for optimism regarding Caboclo, saying the Brazilian is “two years away from being two years away.”
Who did we miss?
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