It was a late night, so let’s get right into the meat and potatoes, shall we?
So. Many. Trades.
Kentucky fans have been goose-necked in a few NBA Drafts, most memorably with Nerlens Noel in 2013, but last night’s trades were unprecedented for the Big Blue Nation. There were as many Kentucky Wildcats traded as there were Kentucky draft picks.
Kevin Knox was the only player to stay on the team that originally drafted, remaining with the New York Knicks. Shai was shipped from Charlotte to the Clippers, Jarred Vanderbilt flipped from Orlando to Denver and Hamidou Diallo went from his hometown of Brooklyn, to Charlotte than Oklahoma City.
Knick Fans are Idiots
When Knox’s name was called, the stands were filled with boos.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 22, 2018
He didn’t let the world’s worst fans get to him. “They booed Porzingis [on draft night] and look where he is now. That’s the same mindset I’m going to have,” Knox said. “They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”
Waiting on Wenyen
Kentucky’s “three and D” specialist did not hear his name called during last night’s draft. Gabriel will sign with an NBA team as a free agent, it’s just a matter of who and when. We’ll let you know as soon as the news breaks.
Coach Cal Extends a Record-Setting Streak
Kevin Knox’s selection at ninth overall gave John Calipari another Top Ten pick. He’s coached at least one Top Ten picking each of the last 11 years. It’s an unprecedented streak, the longest of common draft era (1966) according to ESPN.
Michael Porter Jr. was arguably the No. 1 overall pick when he signed with Missouri. One year later he almost fell out of the lottery. Health concerns scared away every team until Denver made the move with the 14th overall selection.
Porter Jr. wasn’t the Draft’s biggest loser. That title belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Process Trusting heroes of yesteryear left the Barclays Center looking like a bunch of jerks. With the tenth selection, they picked Mikal Bridges, the “3 and D” wing who grew up in Philly, won a National Championship at Villanova and is the son of a Sixers’ staffer. It was the feel-good story of the night, until they traded Bridges about an hour later to the Suns.
Not only were the Sixers’ jerks, the move makes absolutely no sense. Philly desperately needs shooters, a role Bridges could easily fill. Instead they got Zhaire Smith, another athlete who doesn’t have outside range. They must trust LeBron will ultimately call Philly his new home.
Woj Wins Draft Night
Rules is Rules, but Adrian Wojnarowski found a loophole. The NBA’s scoop-machine was specifically forbidden by ESPN from tipping picks before they were made on stage. Instead of breaking the news, he used his thesaurus as a way around the rule. The best synonyms from last night:
- “Zeroed in on”
- “Fixated on”
- “Unlikely to resist”
- “Enamored with”
- “No plans to pass on”
- “Has a laser on”
Grayson Allen to the Jazz
“Grayson Allen to Utah” is the least surprising selection of the draft. It just makes sense. It also gives us the opportunity to relive that time Donovan Mitchell smacked him in the face.
Click here to see where every single player was picked in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Draft Night Podcast
Aaron Torres and Nick Coffey burned the midnight oil to bring you an NBA Draft Night Special of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. They break down the best of the best from the first round, but timing wasn’t on their side. As Aaron uploaded the podcast for me to edit, Jarred Vanderbilt was selected. You can’t hear about every single Wildcat, but you can start your day with analysis of the best of the best from the 2018 NBA Draft.
Don’t Get Mad
Because plenty of people did when they read this Tweet from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel:
John Calipari has coached 26 first round picks at Kentucky since arriving in 2009. Same number as Nick Saban at Alabama since 2007. (National Titles: Saban 5-1)
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 22, 2018
For all of those men who have to wear hats to cover up their bad hair, Lonnie Walker shamed us by having hair so great, it couldn’t be contained by a hat. Jerk.