The biggest winners and losers of the NBA 2018 draft

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    It's almost impossible to declare winners and losers direct hours after the draft are over (let alone years until the players have fully redeveloped), but there are stories and issues in the draft that qualify as positive and negative.

    What the Atlanta Hawks achieved, with three quality first-round picks, is a win. Even the Los Angeles Clippers, who had the pressure to choose a consecutive lottery to play, got along well with two valuable assets.

    There were many victories on Thursday night and even more that will become evident during the next season.

    As for the losers, there is no such thing as being recruited in the NBA and it is negative. There were difficult times particularly for Michael Porter Jr. but maybe it will work well in the end.

    Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks have been linked for a long time with Trae Young from Oklahoma, but it was always about whether they felt comfortable passing Real Madrid's Luka Doncic or any of the important men to take him. By negotiating with Dallas for No. 5 and acquiring another first-round pick, the Hawks got the best of both worlds. They landed their goal, the closest thing to Steph Curry in this year's draft and got a future asset.

    In addition to Young, whose offensive potential eclipsed his defensive deficiencies, the Hawks also pulled Kevin Huerter out of Maryland. Huerter saw his value increase significantly during the draft process, and his game - catch-and-shoot, quicks trigger 3s - should fit perfectly with Young's. The No. 30 pick, Omari Spellman out of Villanova, is a stretch-4 that knocked down 43 percent of his 3-pointers last season. The Hawks added some valuable pieces.

    The New York Knicks

    The Knicks resisted the temptation to hook Porter Jr. at n. 9 and Kevin Knox took a versatile wing out of Kentucky that is still in development. Initially seen as a last-minute talent in the lottery, the Knicks stuck to their guns with Knox instead of taking someone like Mikal Bridges, a system player without much advantage. Knox can run down the floor, lead the transition jumps, take the ball off the rebound and hit from the outside. There is always pressure to find an immediate collaborator, but Knox's trajectory fits the Knicks' timeline. It should also complement Kristaps Porzingis since both can draw defenders to the perimeter.

    San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs have not had a selection above 20 since Tim Duncan was drafted in 1997. They held the number 18 on Thursday night and, of course, found value at Lonnie Walker in Miami. This is a franchise that has found gold at the end of the first round, most recently Dejounte Murray (29 in 2016). Walker has a great size, a higher than average athleticism, good scoring instincts and everything that revolves around San Antonio in regards to Kawhi Leonard, it's not surprising that the Spurs were looking for a wing. Walker was seen as a potential lottery choice by some.

    Michael Porter Jr.

    If Porter Jr. is a "loser" for falling to 14th place, then we can simultaneously consider the winners of the Denver Nuggets. Evidently, Porter's medical history scared enough teams to where he had to sit and watch every lottery selection pass by without hearing his name. The Nuggets are in a smaller market, they have a lot of young and intriguing talent, they have locker rooms with veterans like Paul Millsap and they almost made it to the postseason this year.

    If Porter Jr. has to sit down, there will be no immediate pressure to play, and from his perspective, there will be no pressure to be the face of a franchise given that an established culture already exists. While Thursday may have been difficult for him, he could end up in a better situation than if he entered a franchise in full rebuild mode.

    Mikal Bridges

    Bridges can thrive in Phoenix, play well off the ball and fit in perfectly with Josh Jackson. The base of the Suns is not to laugh. But for a small part of the draft, we had to entertain the thought of Bridges, a product of Villanova, and a native of Pennsylvania, playing in front of the 76ers' fans. Bridges' mother is the VP of human resources for the 76ers and was radiant in the transmission of the post-election interview before being transferred to Phoenix. Brutal.

    Robert Williams

    Similar to the example of Porter Jr., draft night is about being fit. If the Boston Celtics can take advantage of Williams' potential as a great athletic man, they could have found a jewel to pair with their elusive guards. Williams fell because of questions about his work ethic and consistency, but if the Celtics can reach him and discover his potential, it's the rest of the league that will look like losers for letting lottery-level talent get away .



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