I thought this was a strong draft, so naturally there were going to be a lot of teams who's drafts I liked. Of course the teams that didn't pick those strong players, I wouldn't like as much, but of course only time will tell with most of these players. So I am focusing on the drafts that I liked, and the teams that I think made the biggest impact for next year and the future with this draft:
The Hornets now have a foundation and that was the most important thing to come out of this draft with. With Anthony Davis they have that all-important big man who they could rely on for the next 10 years and who could potentially become dominant. With Austin Rivers they have a scorer who has barely scratched the surface of his potential, and he gives them now a strong one-two punch. Drafting Darius Miller was nice, giving Davis a friend from college to come in and help ease the transition. The rest of their team still needs a lot of work, but another strong year in the lottery next year, and they will be well on their way.
The Kings are now officially set to test out their team. They have a core of Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and Thomas Robinson that could be amongst the best trio's in the league in a few years if they all stay healthy and prove they could be mature enough to play together. If Keith Smart can coach, there should be no reason that they can not start making their move into the upper echelon of western conference teams. Not many teams are going to be able to stop the force down low of Cousins and Robinson. Robinson not only makes them tougher, but more mature, and gives them a winning attitude.
Getting Harrison Barnes was a coup. He's perfect for that team that now boasts a strong offensive starting lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut. They won't be able to guard a soul, but they should have some more success. Draymond Green was a huge pick in the 2nd round, since now they get a proven college player who could flex off the bench at both forward spots and give them tough minutes. Festus Ezeli gives them a great option at center in case Bogut can't come back.
I was afraid they were going to get cute and trade down or take a player that didn't deserve the number 2 spot. Instead they stayed on and took the second best pure prospect in the draft. MKG automatically gives them a player who will bring a winning mentality and strong minutes on both offense and defense at a small forward position that was much needed. Drafting Jeff Taylor to start off the second round was a strong move as well, getting a 4-year starter that will be a valuable first asset off the bench at either guard or small forward.
If Boston didn't take Jared Sullinger with their 1st round pick, this draft would have been over for me. For a team that is looking to replace veteran all-stars and build a young core, Sullinger gives them an incredible power forward for the future, who if he proves healthy, could be a dominant player later on. Fab Melo was a risk here, but also one with high reward. They'll now be praying Garnett stays so that he could motivate and teach the kid a few things. Either way, despite him not living up to his potential at Syracuse, he still averaged about 3 blocks a night in only about 25 minutes. Kris Joseph is another guy that was productive at Syrcause and could give them valuable minutes off the bench or as a starter.
With the 20th pick, I was hoping the Nuggets would take Quincy Miller. Yet amazingly they were able to get him in the second round, and not have to commit guaranteed money to him, while allowing him to prove his worth next year. Unfortunately, he'll have a lot of competition with similar players such as Danilo Gallinari, Jordan Hamilton, Corey Brewer, and even 1st round pick Evan Fournier, who is potentially the best international player in this year's draft (even if it is a weak int'l class).
Getting Andre Drummond was huge. I thought someone real early would jump up and take him strictly on his potential, but by him falling to Detroit, they now have the perfect compliment to Greg Monroe. They have their own twin towers that should be able to protect the paint as well as any team in the NBA. Khris Middleton and Kim English are both players who still have yet to reach their potential, but could flourish on a team still looking for a long-term identity at small forward.
Perry Jones III to the NBA Finals runner-up? Are you kidding me? This guy was looked at as a potential number 1 pick, but knee issues caused him to tumble. Teams sometimes forget though that you draft a guy in the first round not for their rookie year, but for the next 5 years. So when Jones is healthy, and he gets into that lineup, he is making an already dangerous team, even more lethal. If there was anyone in this draft who was close to Kevin Durant as a player, it was Perry Jones III, so is there anyone better to learn from and potentially bring out his potential than Durant? If he puts on some more weight and makes a commitment to playing down low, he could be the potential starter at power forward for the future, even allowing Serge Ibaka to move to center if Perkins doesn't stay in one piece.