Winners: Chicago Bulls. Traded away Kirk Hinrich ($9 million) and the No. 17 pick, got nothing in return, but now can supposedly secure two max contract free agents next month. Dare to dream, Bulls fans – Rose, Wade, Deng, Noah, Bosh. Or, if you’re already drunk mid-day – Rose, LeBron, Deng, Noah, Bosh/Amare. Since we firmly believe LeBron is returning to Cleveland, we’ll guess Wade and Amare/Boozer end up in Chicago and the Bulls start next season as the team to beat in the East. We’ve got Bosh going to the Knicks.
Losers: Sherron Collins, Jon Scheyer, Scottie Reynolds. Three seniors who had great college careers. None were drafted. Reynolds is the first AP All-American since 1976 not to be drafted.
Winner: Milwaukee Bucks. You may want to order that Brandon Jennings jersey. If Michael Redd can stay healthy and just make a few jumpers, this team could be back in the playoffs. They got three guys who should contend for minutes up front and help Andrew Bogut – Larry Sanders (PF), Jerome Jordan (C), and Tiny Gallon (PF). With Corey Maggette the new SF, and CDR an offensive option coming off the bench, this team could win 45-50 games if it gets production from whomever plays SG.
Losers: David Kahn and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Got their man, Wesley Johnson, but traded for a SG/SF (Webster), then drafted a tweener who probably projects as a SF, and two foreign stash guys who play PF (remember, they still have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love).
Winners: Toronto Raptors. With Chris Bosh headed out, they got a PF (Ed Davis) and C (Solomon Alabi) which should shore up the frontcourt and not force Bargnani to do much other than score. Sacramento Kings. Got a potential star in DeMarcus Cousins, and a project with some upside in Hassan Whiteside. The Kings are collecting some nice pieces are Tyreke Evans, and next year in the lottery, perhaps they can find a point guard. Boston Celtics. Pains us to say it, but we see some Rajon Rondo in Avery Bradley, and what’s not to like about Luke Harangody, who seamlessly replaces Brian Scalabrine? LA Clippers. Only because they got talent (Aminu, Bledsoe, Warren), which doesn’t always equate to wins. But Bledsoe, had he stayed in college, could have been a Top 5 pick next year; Aminu is outstanding offensively and Warren had a tremendous freshman year before regressing as a sophomore.
Losers: Indiana Pacers. Their best player is SF Danny Granger. So naturally, they drafted Paul George, a SF, 10th. And then they took Lance Stephenson, a SG/SF hybrid in the 2nd round. Stephenson has a petulant history, which seems to be the kind of thing the Pacers were looking to avoid, given the last five years of the franchise.
Winners: The Yahoo NBA tandem of Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears nailed just about every pick prior to it being announced, and they were all over the trades, too. Remember how the NFL draft picks were tipped when you’d see a player on the phone? That was these guys.
Losers: Memphis Grizzlies. One of their best players is SG OJ Mayo. So with the 12th pick … Xavier Henry. Maybe he projects as a SF, but that remains to be seen. Insurance for Rudy Gay, perhaps? Then they took Greivis Vasquez, whom we liked as a college player, but may not project as a pro because he lacks speed. Does that mean Mike Conley is out of chances? Enjoy Chris Wallace!