As the Ping Pong Balls Turn

NBA Draft Lottery

“Draft Day, Johnny Manziel…Five years later how am I the man still…Draft Day A. Wiggins…Fuck the other side bitch we stay winning…Now don’t think for a second if I have a Drake lyric, I wouldn’t have a Jay lyric: “keep it 100, I hit the lottery…lottery…lottery”

While the Pacers, Spurs, Heat and Thunder are preparing for Game 3 of their perspective conference finals, the rest of the league is preparing for the NBA Draft. There will be numerous commentary for Jay Bilas and the crew, Chad Ford mock drafts and hearing the word potential as many times as Solange hit Jay in the elevator.  There are countless meetings, tons of scouting reports and discussions about potential draft picks. I wonder if the staff is only allowed to watch the NBA TV Channel until the draft is over.  On Tuesday Night, the NBA Draft Lottery painted a rough sketch of the Mona Lisa but the masterpiece won’t be completed until the selections are made. Just hope your pick doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth like drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth.

The NBA Draft Lottery is the one time where losing is actually winning. It’s like that scene in Project X where 3 nobodies have the illest house party in the land and their credibility shoots as high as Andrew Wiggins’ vertical. However, it could be like the dude who was a geek in high school coming back to their 10 year reunion stunting on them chicks who now look like Cleo from Set it off. Either way the glass can be half full or half empty depends on who does the pouring.

For the 3rd time in 4 years, Cleveland Cavaliers will receive the 1st
pick in this upcoming draft. According to basketball enthusiast, Tony Taliaferro, “since Cleveland did so shitty with their last pick they shouldn’t get a pick at all they should give it to the Lakers”. Tony if only the NBA was like that but since it’s not Cleveland will have the first selection in what has been ordained as one of the best drafts since 2003. Cleveland for obvious reasons is the winner because they keep getting chance after chance to improve their team. They did well with Kyrie Irving; however Anthony Bennett is looking like Hustle man for Martin playing the kazoo for a music exec because
that man is stealing. Is 3rd time a charm or 3 strikes you’re out?

Now that the NBA Draft Order has been picked why not created our first mock draft containing just the top 10 teams:

  1. Cleveland- Joel Embiid, C from Kansas

Don’t shoot me just yet but my spidey senses are tingling and I smell a C-O-N…spiracy. Bad enough Cleveland get the number one pick again but guess who’s a free agent???? LeBron James. Now I know we’ve heard this before but to be honest Cleveland needs help in the interior especially with rebounding and Anderson Varajeao is getting up there like my weight so why not Joel Embiid. In the event all of this is nonsense Andrew Wiggins will be the pick.

2.  Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, SF from Duke

What’s Cleveland loss is Milwaukee’s gain. Jabari Parker’s refined offensive game could be the spark that they need and is probably the safer pick as of right now. He can torch defenders with the jumper or with his back to the rim. He could be a 3 or a 4 but he does have things to work on such as his defensive ability to guard the quicker wing players. In the event they do make him a 4 does he have the size to be a good post defender?

3. Philadelphia 76ers- Andrew Wiggins, SF from Kansas

The slide for Andrew Wiggins ends here and the Philly fans begin to rejoice all up and down the city. They should have Allen Iverson introduce this pick but back to reality here. If the jump heard around the world didn’t excite you then check your pulse. He’s a great athlete who averaged 17 points at Kansas and is a great wing defender. Now imagine if he can refine his offensive game.

4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum- PG from Australia

Well let’s face it…Jameer Nelson isn’t get it done anymore and Orlando needs a point guard. Don’t try to make Oladipo into a PG just let him be a great scoring guard. This is a wildcard pick because he’s only 19 years old and he’s from Australia. But 6’6 with a 7 ft. wingspan for a point guard can’t be frowned upon. His upside is too much to pass up at number 4 and it creates a young backcourt of Exum and Oladipo.

5. Utah Jazz-Noah Vonleh, PF from Indiana

Utah has a few options here but adding a big man to help out Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter could be beneficial. Noah has a back to the basket game but he can also stretch out the floor to hit the jumper. Right now I would call him a poor man’s Serge Ibaka. Here’s something to consider even though he only played 27 minutes a game at Indiana he still led the Big Ten in rebounding.

6. Minnesota-Zach Levine SG from UCLA (trade with Boston Celtics; Boston gets Kevin Love and the 13th pick while Minnesota gets the 6th pick, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass and a 2015 first rounder)

Zach Levine did very well at the NBA Combine to boost his stock up to this pick. His agility time was fastest in the gym, a smidge under 6’6 and 41.5 vertical could be a great compliment to Ricky Rubio.

7. Los Angeles Lakers- Julius Randle, PF from Kentucky

He’s probably not the Lakers’ first choice but he may be the top option on the board with his size, strength, athleticism and offensive prowess that could cause fits for others big men. He could be a day one starter if Pau leaves or they can keep Pau at the 5 put Randle at the 4 add a role player a healthy Kobe and a good coach who knows….If Randle can find a jumper watch out.

8. Detroit Pistons-Nik Stauskas, SG from Michigan (Trade with Sacramento Kings: Sacramento gets Greg Monroe while Detroit gets 8th pick)

In one of Stan Van Gundy’s first move as head of basketball operations, he unclogs that jam at big man by unloading Greg Monroe for the 8th pick where he selects Nik Stauskas. He’s a good wing player with a deadly jumper and that backcourt of Jennings and Stauskas could be a jumpstart to something good as long as Josh Smith doesn’t shoot jumpers at al. But for Sacramento, can you imagine a frontcourt of Cousins, Monroe and Gay.  I don’t believe what I just saw –Jack Buck voice

9. Charlotte Hornets- Aaron Gordon, PF from Arizona

This would be a steal for the Hornets if Aaron Gordon is available at this spot. He provides defensive versatility and could form a formidable frontcourt with Al Jefferson. He’s pretty quick and has a 39.5” vertical which could make Kemba Walker smile like how he plays in Madison Square Garden…big

10. Philadelphia 76ers- James Young, SG from Kentucky

Philadelphia has to be smiling like a big man when he opens the grill and smells delectable grill food. First they get Andrew Wiggins and now you add James Young. Not to mention you really have a third 1st round pick with Nerlens Noel and the rookie of the year in Michael Carter-Williams.  This could make the Liberty Bell ring again. That lineup could be Noel, Young, Wiggins, J. Young and Michael Carter-Williams. Don’t forget they have money to spend this offseason as well could this be a 180 or another 360.

Until next time stay classy AI.


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