With the 2019 NBA Draft wrapping up some teams were able to capitalize on their opportunities and selected players that will be able to help them now and for the future. Teams can also be winners if they stayed out of the draft and were able to gain more money for free agency. Also if a team makes a trade on draft night it is still considered a draft move, so that will also be taken in when deciding who the winners of the draft are. There were several teams that were able to position themselves very nicely for the future or for right now. There were also losers. Teams either reached for players or passed on players that suited them better. This also means teams that might not have made any moves on draft night. Teams that did not make any changes to their roster when they most desperately needed to. It includes teams that made puzzling draft night trades as well. These teams did not help their future and were unable to make moves to help them right now. Here are the winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Winner: Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies were able to do a lot during the draft to help them for the future. Not only were they able to take Ja Morant as their future point guard but they were able to move up in the draft and grab Brandon Clarke, who was projected to be a lottery pick, with the 21st pick. Clarke will help Memphis on the defensive end of the floor and makes him a nice defensive pairing with Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis was able to draft players at the right time and made the appropriate moves that they needed to make in order to get the players that they wanted to get. Memphis seems to have a nice little core of young talent, as Memphis begins to rebuild and try each the glory they once had in the earlier part of the decade.
Loser: Boston Celtics
The Celtics took a lot of risk in my opinion in this draft. They selected Romeo Langford with the 14th who scouts either loved or hated. Then they took Grant Williams who is an undersized forward, who is actually the only pick I like that the Celtics made. Then they selected to undersized point guard with Carson Edwards and Tremont Waters. I believe the Celtics should have tried to sell their second-round picks in order to get more money to build this team in free agency. But instead they decided to take two point guards who can score the ball, but players who it’s hard to see them defending anyone in the NBA. The Celtics also did not address their need at center, which is what they could have done with any of their four picks but chose to select players in positions where they are loaded. Just an overall confusing draft for me from the Celtics.
Winner: Denver Nuggets
Once again the Nuggets strike to pick a player with all the talent in the world with no risk implications on the player. Last year they were able to snag Michael Porter Jr at the end of the lottery and this year they were able to wait till the second round to pick up the ultra-talented Bol Bol. You have to love this pick for the Nuggets, a team who is in the position where they don’t need any help from a young player right now or from any particular position but were able to just select the best player available. Bol was the only selection for the Nuggets on draft night they could have struck gold with Bol and snagged another player who was projected to be a top pick before injuries derailed him before the draft and during the college season.
Loser: Cleveland Cavilers
The sign of a team that’s not doing well is a team that drafts the same position in back to back drafts. That’s exactly what the Cavs did during the draft when they decided to take Vanderbilts Darius Garland with the 5th pick. It never makes sense to me when teams do this, they drafted point guard Colin Sexton last year and then they draft point guard Darius Garland this year. There were plenty of other positions the Cavs could have addressed with this position and could have gotten some help on the defensive end of the floor by taking Jarrett Culver, who was the following selection. Not to mention they are drafting a player who only played 5 games last season and based pretty much all of your scouting on high school film and workouts. This is a prefect example of why bad teams stay bad.