An article in The Australian this week praised the Sydney Kings and the NBL for getting a record-breaking crowd of 17,514 to the Sydney Superdome on Sunday.
The NBA Draft took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn today, this is a concise review of each player drafted in the lottery and what they bring to their team.
Pick 1: Philadelphia 76’ers select Markelle Fultz (Washington/Freshman)
Fultz is a franchise-defining point guard, Philadelphia gave up a future first-round pick to get him and he joins a team that has a ridiculous amount of potential.
His freshman campaign at lowly Washington was very impressive from an individual standpoint, averaging 23.2ppg, 5.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks.
His defensive stats are solid but he still needs to develop his 1 on 1 when isolated.
Pick 2: Los Angeles Lakers select Lonzo Ball (UCLA/Freshman)
Another franchise point guard selected to go to Los Angeles, everyone has heard of Lonzo Ball through his controversial father who has openly stated “Lonzo is taking the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year.”
Despite his outspoken father he is also a sensational player which is illustrated by his 14.6ppg, 6 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game. Has everyone talking as a reincarnation of Jason Kidd.
Pick 3: Boston Celtics select Jayson Tatum (Duke/Freshman)
Jayson Tatum is the most polished shooter in this draft class, his mid-range game is spectacular, he headlined a Duke offense that possessed the likes of Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard and as a young guy can direct an offense.
His game has been compared to Carmelo Anthony which the Celtics can’t complain about, his stats included 16.8ppg, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Pick 4: Phoenix Suns select Josh Jackson (Kansas/Freshman)
The Suns went with the best player available here and it should work brilliantly for them, Jackson embodies intensity and when he is hot he’s better than anyone in this draft class but it’s that consistency which he has to master.
Physically he is gifted and explodes towards the rim at will but his small frame needs to be worked on otherwise he will get beat up in the paint. Averaged 16.4 ppg, 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Pick 5: Sacramento Kings select De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky/Freshman)
The Sacramento Kings go point guard here and get the fastest guy in this class, coming out of Kentucky and blessed with pure speed he has garnered comparisons John Wall.
His fearlessness in attacking the rim is noted despite a slight frame and his jumpshot has the capability to become a sneaky weapon although most his damage is done driving the lane.
Averaged 16.7ppg, 4 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Pick 6: Orlando Magic select Jonathon Isaac (Florida State/Freshman)
Jonathan Isaac is a defensive coaches dream, standing at 6’11 and possessing the fleet foot of a two guard he has the ability to lock down every position on the floor.
He’s your classic stretch four with a solid catch and shoot and the ability to roll to the rim off screens, he only lacks offensive aggression.
Averaged 12 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Pick 7: Chicago Bulls select Lauri Markkanen (Arizona/Freshman)
An outstanding college year that saw him become one of the most efficient shooters in the country, at 7-feet tall his ability to drain the three could only me matched by Kristaps Porzingis when we think of big men.
The Bulls traded Jimmy Butler in order to get this pick so he moves into a passionate city with a fair bit on his shoulders but Chicago’s front office are confident he handles it. Averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Pick 8: New York Knicks select Frank Nitlikina (France/18 Years Old)
See my previous article on the how the New York Knicks should draft to see why they are so high on this kid, he possesses a fantastic lead guard skill set that transcends perfectly into the triangle offense that the Knicks use.
His passing ability has been applauded by many experts and the fact that he has been able to lead his French side to their playoffs without affecting the stat sheet too much speaks volumes to his teamplay.
Will be a solid starter for the Knicks and I liken him to a George Hill.
Pick 9: Dallas Mavericks select Dennis Smith junior (NC State/Freshman)
Dennis Smith is the type of guy that doesn’t grow on trees, he has 3 level scoring combined with genuine explosiveness to blow by defenders with ease, the type of rookie who’d you’d trust to have the last possession of the game.
The way he plays is based on Russel Westbrook and it’s not hard to see the similarities.
As a freshman in the strong ACC conference he averaged 18.1 ppg, 4.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists.
Pick 10: Portland Trail Blazers select Zach Collins (Gonzaga/Freshman)
Gonzaga centre Zach Collins enjoyed a fantastic year with the highly successful Zags the team went 37-2 and they were largely through Collins contributions.
While his stat line wont blow anyone away his proven ability to perform on both ends of the floor is a luxury, he has the potential to become one of the more commanding rim protectors in the game and perhaps will have a little time to perfect his craft in Portland.
Averaged 10 Points and 1.9 Blocks per game.
Pick 11: Charlotte Hornets select Malik Monk (Kentucky/Freshman)
Malik Monk is a human highlight reel and he has the ability to drop shots on any defender in the NBA even at this stage of his development, unfortunately he cannot play as the best guard on the court because his ability to direct the offense is questionable as he is often played shoot first, shoot second then pass model.
Charlotte is a good fit for Monk as he will have the luxury of playing alongside an all-star calibre guard in Kemba Walker.
Averaged 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Pick 12: Detroit Pistons select Luke Kennard (Duke/Sophomore)
Luke Kennard is a clone of most international guys who come in at the two-guard position, he has a quick release jumpshot that he will drain on you if given the room and is crafty off the pick and roll and screen play.
He revels in the big moments and loves moving into the open and firing as soon as the ball is delivered, unfortunately his defensive game is shaky his on-ball defence needs to be addressed and his 6’4 wingspan doesn’t allow him to corral his opponents.
Averaged 19.5 ppg, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Pick 13: Utah Jazz select Donovan Mitchell (Louisville/Sophomore)
A guy who offers a particular basketball skillset that needs the right fit to maximise his potential is Donovan Mitchell, it’s his off-court attitude that had scouts raving, his personality has the potential to change a locker-room dynamic as he has been identified as one of the guys with the best character in this process and he will go along way to building the culture of his franchise.
On-court his defending is a highlight with the ability to guard from 1-4 due to an enormous 6’11 wingspan for a 6’3 guard, add that to his fluent jumpshot and the Jazz have picked up a solid 3-and-d weapon.
Averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Pick 14: Miami Heat selects Bam Adebayo (Kentucky/Freshman)
At 6’10 Adebayo is slightly small for an NBA centre but he an Athlete the possesses a chiselled frame that will allow him to take on the big boys from game one, add in his 7’3 wingspan and general athleticism and there isn’t really a huge cause for concern over his height.
His offensive game is largely one-dimensional and he relies on distributors to feed him the ball and then use his explosion off two feet to try and dunk all of his attempts. Averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 Blocks per game.
That is your concise rundown of the lottery.