2015 NBA Draft … Winners and Losers

Pic Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

By: Monte Perez

 

Fan Boy/ New York Media: “The Knicks can’t rebuild… You can’t rebuild in New York”
The Sports Whisperer: “Really? We can’t rebuild in New York. Let us look at the Knicks record since 2000 under owner James Dolan.
2014-15 New York 17 – 65 .207
2013-14 New York 37 – 45 .451
2012-13 New York 54 – 28 .659
2011-12 * New York 36 – 30 .545
2010-11 New York 42 – 40 .512
2009-10 New York 29 – 53 .354
2008-09 New York 32 – 50 .390
2007-08 New York 23 – 59 .280
2006-07 New York 33 – 49 .402
2005-06 New York 23 – 59 .280
2004-05 New York 33 – 49 .402
2003-04 New York 39 – 43 .476
2002-03 New York 37 – 45 .451
2001-02 New York 30 – 52 .366
Over the past 15 years the Knicks have had 3 winning seasons and 1 playoff series win. They have lost 45 or more games 10 times in 15 years. Since 2000, the Knicks have only drafted 1 player who became an all-star, while playing with the Knicks, David Lee. That same player,(Lee) is the only Knicks draft pick to play with New York for more than 5 years, 2005-2010. Under Dolan, the Knicks traded away all these players… Nenê, Trevor Ariza, Channing Frye, Lee, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timovy Mosgov, Jordan Hill, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway, Jr. The Knicks have never had a long term plan. Everything is win now… but as you can clearly see from their record… This win now mentality has never worked.
Jackson acquired Kristaps Porzingis with the 4th overall pick. Porzingis is a 7’2, 235lbs 19 year old, who can shoot the three and finish around the rim. He is by no means a finished product, but that is okay. For once the Knicks are showing a long term plan. They are investing in someone that can be with the franchise for 10 years or more. The Dallas Mavericks drafted Dirk Nowitzki in 1998, in his first year, Nowitzki averaged 8.1 points per game and 3.4 rebounds. They didn’t give up on him, the let him grow. This is what Knicks fans have to understand… Let Porzingis develop, let him be an all-star for 10 years in the league. It is not going to happen in his first year, but the future looks bright.
The Knicks also acquired the draft rights of Jerian Grant, in exchange for guard Tim Hardaway Jr. Grant, 6-4, 198lbs, averaged 14.6 points and 5.8 assists over four seasons with Notre Dame. Last year he was named a First Team All-American and averaged 16.5 points and 5.8 assists in 38 games. Grant was my “Sleeper” in this year’s draft. He can score, defend and comes from an NBA pedigree. His father is Harvey Grant and uncle is Horace Grant. He’s matured during his time and ND and helped lead his team to 32-6 record in the tough ACC Conference.
Phil Jackson has won 11 rings… Give him time Knicks fans. It is not about winning this year or next, it is about building for the future. The Golden State Warriors were horrible for years. They just won an NBA Championship with their core players of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, all drafted by the Warriors. The Cavs drafted LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. This is how you win in the NBA. The Spurs have won 50 plus game a year for 16 straight years, they did it by drafting very good players.
Other Winners:
Minnesota Timberwolves: I have been very critical of Flip Saunders. During his first stint with Minnesota he made it to the conference Finals once. Saunders has a horrible record over the past four years.
• 26- 56 Missed Playoffs
• 23-59 Missed Playoffs
• 2-15 Fired
• 16-66 Missed Playoffs
The Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns from Kentucky. I loved this pick because Townes is a rim protector and rebounder. He can block shots and ignite the break for Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins. He is much more athletic and quicker than Jahlil Okafor of Duke. Okafor is a much more skilled low post player but he with thrive in a half-court offense, Minnesota wants to play up tempo. Saunders also selected Duke Point guard Tyus Jones. I liked that pick as well, Jones is an excellent pick and roll player and a homegrown product. (He is from Burnsville, MN.) He should provide some offense and outside shooting.
Miami Heat:
Pat Riley selected Duke forward Justise Winslow. If you watched this year’s NCAA Tournament, Winslow was often the best player on the court. He is 6’5 but plays much bigger, he is a tremendous athlete and has a very long wing span. If Winslow went to a struggling team and was asked to score 20 points per night, he would probably be considered a bust. But, he is coming to a Miami Heat team that if healthy, can contend for an NBA Championship. The Miami Heat projected starting lineup in
PG Goran Dragic
SG Dwayne Wade
SF Loul Deng
PF Chris Bosh
C Hassan Whiteside

With Winslow coming off the bench and being a 3rd, 4th or 5th option he will thrive. He can guard 4 positions on the floor, do all the dirty work and shoot the open jump shot when needed. I think Riley hit a homerun with this pick. I compare Winslow to Jimmy Butler of the Bulls, a tenacious competitor who can do it on both ends of the floor.

Losers:

Philadelphia 76ers:
The 76ers have been in rebuilding mode for what seems like forever. They drafted Jahlil Okafor out of Duke. I love Okafor as a player but the Sixers now have numerous players over 7 feet. (Joel Embiid and Nerlens) The rest of the league is going small and the 76ers are acting like they are in a 6’9 or over league. There is no way in hell all three of these players can co-exist. The 76ers have no direction and no plan.

Charlotte Bobcats:
With the 9th pick in the draft Charlotte selected Frank Kaminsky out of Wisconsin. Kaminsky is fine player and should have a respectable pro career, but to pick him at 9 was an absolute stretch. Michael Jordan could have traded down and probably have gotten Kaminsky at 12-18. Jordan seems to be above criticism, but as an NBA executive he makes Isiah Thomas look like Jerry West.
Jordan drafted disappointing players like Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison. Here is a list of the Bobcats first round picks since 2006
3rd overall pick Adam Morrison
22nd overall pick Jared Dudley
9th overall pick D. J. Augustin
12th overall pick Gerald Henderson
9th overall pick Kemba Walker
2nd overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
4th over pick Cody Zellar

As you can see from this list. Jordan shouldn’t be making player decisions in Charlotte.
Here is the Bobcats record under Jordan’s leadership. They have only made the playoffs twice and both teams they were swept.
2014-15 Charlotte 33 – 49
2013-14 Charlotte 43 – 39 0 – 4 .000 Lost East Conf 1st Rd
2012-13 Charlotte 21 – 61 .
2011-12 * Charlotte 7 – 59
2010-11 Charlotte 34 – 48
2009-10 Charlotte 44 – 38 0 – 4 .000 Lost East Conf 1st Rd
2008-09 Charlotte 35 – 47
2007-08 Charlotte 32 – 50
2006-07 Charlotte 33 – 49

The Wild Card:
I liked what the Lakers did in the draft. They selected D’Angelo Russell with the #2 overall selection. In the Western Conference you have tremendous guard play on almost every team. (Examples: Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard) The Lakers haven’t had an elite point guard since Magic Johnson. If they can go out and land a big time free agent at the power forward position, they can compete for a playoff spot in the brutal Western Conference. Russell should be a very good point guard for 10 years or more.

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Monte Perez
About Monte Perez 194 Articles
’m a former AAU and college basketball coach with over 15 years experience. Last summer, I was inducted into the Ramapo College Hall of Fame. After coaching for many years, I realized I had some very interesting and funny stories to share and started touring the country as a comedian. I have performed at the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, The Laugh Factory and Caroline’s in New York City. I am a former graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. The Sports Whisperer is a featured guest on several podcasts across the country. In just nine months I have written over 240 articles. Some of my pre-season predictions included Marcus Mariota winning the Heisman Trophy, Aaron Rodgers winning the NFL’s MVP, Duke over Wisconsin in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and Stephen Curry winning the NBA’s MVP.
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