The 2018 NBA Draft has quickly come and gone, bringing to reality the dreams of 60 young men.
With Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III going numbers one and two as projected, it was all madness after that. Teams picked away from their needs, players thought to go high had fell while others skyrocketed up the charts.
All the things that make a draft great.
Through all the madness, there were some teams that appeared to come away from the night as clear winners. Here are four teams that got some steals at their draft positions.
1. Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, No. 3 trade with Atlanta Hawks
To most Americans, Doncic may be an unknown name, but to those in Europe he’s a star. In many boards leading up to the draft, he was seen as the top overall pick, but he fell to three and the Mavericks got a steal. Drafting at five, the Mavericks most likely had no chance of getting the 6’8″ shooting guard, but they were able to work out a trade after drafting Trae Young. The Mavs sent Young and a future first round pick to the Hawks, getting in return a young, electric player who was a proven winner with Real Madrid. The Mavs hope that Doncic can continue that success in the states, maybe even emulating the career of another European on their roster.
2. Denver Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr., No. 14 overall
High risk, high reward. Another player who was projected to be the top overall pick before the college season, the Nuggets hope the have the second-coming of Ben Simmons. Porter is an athletic forward who has a refined shot. However, he plummeted down the boards and on draft night, due to a big question mark regarding his back. In his lone season at Missouri, Porter injured his back that required surgery and limited his playing time to only three games. Hardly enough time to evaluate his skills against tougher competition. But the Nuggets feel like they were willing to take the risk at 14, hoping they found the next superstar if he can stay healthy.
3. San Antonio Spurs, Lonnie Walker IV, No. 18
It wasn’t necessarily the sexiest pick, but it was the right pick. With all the rumors swirling around the future of Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs took the shooting guard out of Miami. Although he’s not the most polished player, and only averaged 11 points a game in his freshman campaign, the Spurs have time to groom him. At only 19, he’s still young and raw and can build off his already built 6’5″ frame. Although it would be hard to replace Leonard if he’s given the task, at least he’s already got him beat in the hair department.
Lonnie Walker IV.
Not a big hat guy. 😂 pic.twitter.com/qaX4reyAbZ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 22, 2018
4. Indiana Pacers, Aaron Holiday, No. 23
The Pacers got a lot in a smaller package. With the addition of the 6’1″ Holiday, the Pacers added a dynamic point guard to play along side Victor Oladipo. With this new backcourt, it allows Oladipo to do what he does best which is score and gives him someone to share the ball-handling duties with. Despite his size, Holiday is a strong defender who should be able to hold his own at the next level. Oh, and let’s not forget that he has the pedigree. His two brothers Jrue and Justin play in the league and may be a glimpse into whom Aaron may become.