NBA Draft Recap

The winners, the losers, and maybe inbetweens


Photo By Nathaniel Butler

After a compelling NBA season with a six month wait, the NBA draft finally took place on November 18th. Teams looked to re-tool, rebuild, and add key pieces for the upcoming season on December 22nd. With a draft class that isn’t as star-studded than usual, teams had to look further for talent. This resulted in 13 international players getting picked in the first round, the most ever. But enough of the preview–let’s get into the two winners and the two losers of the NBA draft.




Philadelphia 76ers 

The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off another disappointing playoff series loss, this time getting swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics. After a five year tanking period nicknamed “The Process”, Philly fans were expecting to be rewarded with a title contending team, but after three straight seasons of not making it past the second round of the playoffs, time is running out on General Manager Brett Brown’s experiment. 


The Sixers are in desperate need of role players to surround their stars, center Joel Embiid and unorthodox point forward Ben Simmons. That’s exactly what they did, trading away Al Horford and two draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for shooting guards Danny Green and Terrence Ferguson. The Sixers weren’t done making moves though, trading away Josh Richardson for lights out shooter Seth Curry from the Mavericks. With the 21st pick in the draft, the Sixers took Kentucky point guard Tyrese Maxey to add to their depth at the guard position.


The Sixers are coming into the 2020-21 season looking much stronger than last season, and as Simmons and Embiid start to enter their prime, the Sixers look ready to capitalize.


Sacramento Kings 

The Sacramento Kings got one of the biggest steals of the draft, drafting guard Tyrese Haliburton of Iowa State with the 12th pick. Haliburton was projected to go as high as fifth overall, so when he was still on the board at 12, the Kings pounced on the opportunity. The Kings already have a bright future with budding star De’Aaron Fox at point guard, three point champion shooting guard Buddy Hield, and 2018 NBA Draft number two pick Marvin Bagley at the center. Haliburton could fit right into the starting lineup next to Fox, or he could come off the bench as the sixth man. After years of mediocrity, the Kings look poised for a playoff push next year, and a potential contender in years to come.




Chicago Bulls 

Chicago took a big gamble in the first round drafting forward Patrick Williams. The freshman out of Florida State wasn’t projected to get drafted until the middle of the first round, so it was a big surprise when the Bulls took him 4th overall. Williams was touted for his freakish athleticism and defensive ability at Florida State and was last season’s ACC 6th man of the year. However, Williams’ shooting is a glaring downside. If he can develop a consistent three point shot with the Bulls, then his potential is limitless. But if not, Williams will most certainly be considered a bust. 


This type of risky pick is a bad choice for the Bulls, who are in the middle of a rebuild. Williams will have to come off the bench for Chicago, playing behind stars Lauri Markennen and Zach Lavine. Because the Bulls’ current shooting guard, Otto Porter Jr., will most likely be traded before the season starts, a better fitting pick would have been Iowa State shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton. 


Golden State Warriors

For what it’s worth, the Warriors made two solid draft picks, taking big man James Weisman with the second pick and point guard Nico Mannion with the 48th. 


Unfortunately, the story of the night was star shooting guard Klay Thompson being ruled out for the season after having surgery on his ACL. After struggling last year without Thompson and point guard Steph Curry, the Warriors were looking to make this their bounce-back season. However, it looks like Curry will have to carry much of the load if the Warriors want to be a contender in the tough Western conference. Forwards Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins should provide some defensive support, but offensively, Curry is pretty much on his own unless a role player steps up to take on more responsibility. 


No matter what happens, the Warriors should use this season to develop Weisman and help him become the dominant big man he looks destined to be.