The 2018 draft is over, but the player grades by the media are just getting started. Every winners and losers article is heavily opinion based (obviously), and this is me following in the footsteps of thousands or writers judging draft prospects before they step on an NBA Floor. These are the teams that made me go, “Yes, I get why you picked these players, I like you, team.” Or “WHY?!”
Winner: The Dallas Mavericks
#3: Luka Doncic, PG/SF, Slovenia
#33: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova
#56: Ray Spalding, PF, Louisville
#60: Kostas Antetokounmpo, SF, Dayton
Luka, to me, is the best player in the draft and the Mavs got him in a value trade. Rick Carlisle loves his two point guard lineups, and Doncic at 6’8 allows Carlisle to possibly play three point guards, and they might with their backcourt logjam. With the pick of Jalen Brunson, Dallas now has a lot of passing from 1s in Dennis Smith Jr., Yogi Ferrell, JJ Barea (might be gone) and Brunson. With that said, I think Brunson is going to be a very good backup to DSJ and, while more valuable wings like Melvin Frazier or Khyri Thomas were on the board, I approve of that pick because of Carlisle’s point guard fetish. Spalding is a great defensive player and should compete for some minutes, whereas the man forever known as, “Giannis’ Brother,” may just be a g-league all star. This team should be a lot of fun next year, especially if they get a Deandre Jordan.
Loser: Washington Wizards
#15: Troy Brown, SF, Oregon
#44: Issuf Sanon, PG, Ukraine
Troy Brown is a decent athlete, good passer, and defender, but he cannot shoot. If the Wizards wanted a project defender why not draft an athlete like Zhaire Smith? I think this was a slight reach for Brown, he probably will not be playable for playoff spacing, so I do not approve. Issuf Sanon may not come over this year and I have not watched any of him, but the scouting reports I have read make him sound intriguing, so that makes their draft potentially salvageable.
Winner: The Memphis Grizzlies
#4 Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State
#32: Memphis Grizzlies: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia
Memphis is going to be bad for a while despite this is a solid draft haul. I do not like their ownership, general manager, or head coach, but I do like the allure of the Memphis grinding blue collar attitude. I think Carter will fit that ethos and shine with Jaren Jackson Jr. when Gasol is off the floor. To elaborate, JJJ will be out of position in the starting lineup with Marc Gasol, so hopefully J.B. Bickerstaff will stagger their minutes and Jackson Jr. can get minutes at the five, his best position, with young future pieces like Carter on the second unit. Hopefully Memphis’ front office blows it up to build around these players sooner rather than being forced to later.
Loser: Utah Jazz
#21: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke
#52: Vince Edwards, SF, Purdue
This pick I do not get due to better players being available at the time. Allen can stroke threes and can play both off ball and a little bit of on ball alongside Donovan Mitchell, but will he defend at a high level? Jacob Evans and Khyri Thomas can both defend and shoot the three well enough or if the Jazz wanted creation go with Jevon Carter for a pesky defender/passer or even dip into the overabundant pool of late first/early second point guards. Vince Edwards is a very interesting wing prospect, he might light it up in the g-league and eventually be a back end of the bench guy.