It doesn’t matter what sport it is, draft day is always one of the most tense times in any professional venue, and it’s the time when fans, owners, and coaches are biting their nails trying to figure out just what’s going to happen. Now that the 2017 NBA Draft is over though, it’s time to sit back and take stock of whose the donkey and who managed to secure a solid future for their team. Let’s just be clear that the Bulls and Knicks will not be shown on this list as they made the kind of choices that only the owners, coaches and GM’s can understand while fans are left scratching their heads and moaning that the front office just doesn’t know what they’re doing. Well, maybe time will tell a different story.
In the meantime, here are the five teams that came out of the draft looking like they’re ready to present a legitimate case for their future success.
5. Philadelphia 76ers
This team could have gone either way depending on their picks, but by selecting Markelle Fultz they’ve opted to bring on guy that can bolster any weak points in their game. More to the point by pairing a combo guard like Fultz with Simmons, it helps to mitigate the weaknesses of Simmons and allows his strengths to come out in full force. This should be an interesting duo to watch.
4. Phoenix Suns
There’s a lot to be excited about right for the Phoenix Suns, though it’s going to take a while to develop. The Suns have a young team to work with and mold into a unique and dangerous threat to other teams, but it’s that youth that’s likely going to hurt them at the onset. The reasonable expectation is that they’ll win around 30+ games next season, but they’ll continue building that number for the next five years or more as they gain more experience and cohesion that will help them wipe the court with anyone that comes along.
3. Golden State Warriors
Right now Jordan Bell is being lauded as the best defensive pick in the draft. With the Warriors on a roll as of late it makes sense that they would try to bolster a position that might need a little help, but it’s hard to really have no faith in the team at the moment. Coming off a huge win not that long ago it makes sense that they rate so high on draft day. They obviously know what they’re doing as of now.
2. Sacramento Kings
It was nail-biting week in the NBA as teams waited or jumped at the chance to get the players they wanted. Thankfully for the Kings they waited just long enough to secure De’Aaron Fox at five instead of trying to trade up and get him sooner. A lot of people are still holding their breath and not daring to say it for fear of a jinx. But let’s be risky and say that the Kings had a good draft. Okay, let that breath out now.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
This is another young team that has a lot of promise and was granted exactly what they needed in the form of Jimmy Butler on draft day. If this trade had occurred any earlier than now most people probably would’ve looked at Tom Thibodeau as though he’d gone batty. But after watching what Butler did for Chicago and how Dunn struggled, most fans were more than accepting of this well-thought trade.
So another draft down, another round of panic attacks survived, and another season to come that should be extremely entertaining. No one ever said draft day was going to be easy, but these five teams managed to pull through with top marks. Now we just need to see how their decisions pan out.