I have watched the NBA Draft from start to finish since I was eleven years old. It is the best amateur draft in the world. Nothing comes close. When I have a son, we will sit down and watch it together from start to finish. When I have a grandson, I will watch it with him and my son, from start to finish. When my grandson has a son, I will watch it with my great grandson, my grandson, and my son. This pattern will continue until I die. Why? Because the NBA Draft is perfect. One great selection can change the future of a franchise. A poor selection can make you the Sacramento Kings (dumpster fire that a hurricane couldn’t extinguish). Throw in great suits (usually bad, but still great in their own way), a high volume of draft day trades (hat exchanges for days), the fact that everyone has heard of all the players being drafted (don’t pretend like you knew who the Chicago Bear’s 6th round pick was before the NFL Draft), and that it only takes one night to get through (on the fence if that is good or bad, but it’s better than the NFL draft taking up my entire weekend) and you have the event of the NBA off-season.
This is the third year I will be posting my live draft journal on Burwood Banter and it is by and large my most popular post every year. If you want to laugh, feel free to read back through my 2017 and 2016 journals. It is now funny (was not remotely funny at the time) to reread my reaction to the Chicago Bulls drafting Lauri Markkanen after the Jimmy Butler trade went down last year. I was in a very bad place, as documented in my 2017 journal (excerpt below):
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:21 PM- If we pick Lauri Markkanen or Zach Collins, I don’t know if I will ever recover.
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:22 PM- ……………………………..NO. LAURI FUCKING MARKKANEN. We already have a soft forward in Nikola Mirotic. I don’t even want him. Why on earth would we want to draft his clone. WHAT ARE WE DOING!!
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:24 PM- Just got the Channing Frye comparison…..we just sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Channing Frye….NO…GOD NO.
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM- Lauri Fucking Markkanen.
Above is the reason the NBA draft is so great. A year ago, I saw the Chicago Bulls playoff timeline get pushed into the late 2020s as they drafted a prospect I viewed as an absolute bust. Fast forward 12 months to today and Lauri legitimately follows the names of only my family members in my prayers every night. He is my everything. The draft is everything. Let’s get this started!
6:30- Christmas come early. The draft is about to begin. The Bulls haven’t traded Lauri yet. Life is good. Let’s go!
6:31- This intro is a little heavy. Also, Wendell Carter Jr. got accepted to Harvard? Even more reason the Bulls need to draft him.
6:32- The background music right now reminds me of intro music to a Netflix documentary about an unsolved murder. Not typical pump up music. Is this foreshadowing the Bulls future? Are we going to fuck this up?
6:34- Suns on the clock, but why wait until times up? My mom even knows who they are picking. Select Deandre Ayton already and lets get this going.
6:37- The fact that Ayton “didn’t start playing basketball until 12” is scary. He can has so much room to develop. Also, I think it’s complete bullshit he started playing 7 years ago and already is about to be in the NBA
6:39 Deandre Ayton selected by the Phoenix Suns at #1
6:41- Didn’t realize Ayton shot 75% from the free-throw line. That is huge for a man his size. Hack-A-Shaq won’t work on him. Will be able to stay on the floor at the end of games. Also has the ability to develop a 3-point shot. Devin Booker and him will be fun to watch next year. Will they win. Hell no. But, a fun west coast team to watch at the bar at midnight on a Saturday
6:44- Marvin Bagley III selected by the Sacramento Kings at #2
6:44- Bagley and Ayton were high school teammates? I need high school game tape stat
6:45- Don’t understand the Bagley hate. He is Boogie Cousins with a good attitude. Will put up numbers.
6:47- A trade! Doncic to Mavericks! Atlanta is drafting Doncic and will trade him to Mavericks for #5 and future 1st. Mark Cuban you mensch!
6:48- Luka Doncic selected by Atlanta Hawks at #3 (traded to Dallas)
6:49 Luka signed with a pro team at 13. I talked to a girl for the first time at 13 (it didn’t go well). Equally impressive.
6:49- Luka and Dirk together. One European to the next. Love it.
6:52- I have to say I am a little depressed watching Luka get interviewed with the Atlanta hat on. Would have been fun to have him in the Eastern Conference. A shame another top talent is going to be in the West.
6:54- The next two picks have been leaked ON TV. What is this? I am avoiding Twitter for a reason.
6:55- On a positive note, the Bulls haven’t traded Lauri yet tonight so that is something.
6:55- Jaren Jackson Jr. selected by Memphis Grizzlies at #4
6:56- I remember Jaren’s dad playing for the Spurs. I am an old man.
6:57- Chauncy Billips just compared Jackson Jr. to Joakim Noah? I don’t see it at all.
7:00- Trae Young selected by Dallas Mavericks at #5 (traded to ATL)
7:00- So relieved Trae won’t be on the Bulls. Would have been a disaster and all the mocks showing him there over the last few weeks were causing me anxiety. He will have fun in the wasteland known as Atlanta basketball.
7:03- Mo Bamba is going to be available now for the Bulls. No way the Magic pick him, as they have 100 centers. I am definitely not all in on him. So much bust in him. Give me Wendell Carter. Give me Mikal Bridges. Please be smart.
7:04- Trae Young is a dope. Let me be clear; he is a dope. Not dope. Big difference.
7:06- Mohamed Bamba selected by Orlando Magic at #6
7:06- Did not see that coming, but we dodged a bullet there. Not quite sure what Orlando is doing, but does anyone? Now we just have to not select Porter Jr. and we are golden. We can do this.
7:06- BULLS ON THE CLOCK. LET’S GO
7:06- Please. Wendell Carter or Mikal Bridges. Don’t you pick Porter Jr. Don’t you do it.
7:09- LiAngelo Ball is in a commercial during the NBA draft. Lavar Ball officially won. A marketing wizard. AND HE HAS NOW ENTERED THE COMMERCIAL. LAVAR BALL IS ON TV.
7:12- False alarm. Announcing the earlier trade. Silver you bastard.
7:12- YES. WE DID IT. LET’S FUCKING GO.
7:12- Wendell Carter Jr. selected by the Chicago Bulls at #7
7:13- The Black Panther get up is so dope. Have been in love with Wendell since last month. He complements Lauri perfectly and I see him as a consistent 15/8 guy for the next 10 years. Can play solid D and has an outside shot. I could go on and on about him, but you have enough reading ahead of you. If you want my takes, check out my article from last month on this future stud
7:14- The Carlos Boozer comparison is outrageous. Chauncy has lost all credibility. Boozer? You fucking kidding me? I know they both went to Duke, but that is where the similarities end. Chauncy is garbage.
7:15- Really excited about this pick. He is going to fit in nicely next to Lauri.
7:18- Collin Sexton selected by Cleveland Cavaliers at #8
7:19- Sexton is an alpha. Love the pick. Lebron can leave now.
7:20- I will always remember Sexton as the guy who went 3 on 5 at Alabama and almost won. He is a monster and has a killer mentality. This is unfortunate for Kevin Love, who gets bullied enough. Sexton is going to get on him from Day 1 to be better.
7:22- Knicks are definitely going to pick Michael Porter Jr. aren’t they? It would be gold. They gotta right? I mean, if Phil was there it would be a no-brainer, but still. It’s the Knicks.
7:25- Kevin Knox selected by New York Knicks at #9
7:25- Porter Jr. continues to fall. Knox is pretty raw. Don’t think he makes the Knicks any better next year.
7:26- If Sam Hinke was still running the 76ers they would 100% be picking Michael Porter Jr. here. Let’s see what Philadelphia does.
7:29- Alright. I now firmly believe Porter Jr. is going to the Clippers to replace Blake Griffith as the player everyone hates.
7:31- Mikal Bridges selected by Philadephia 76ers at #10 (traded to PHX)
7:31- Love the pick. Love Bridges. Going to be great on the 76ers. Ultimate x-factor. His mom also is the VP of HR for the 76ers. That is pretty wild
7:38- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander selected by Charlotte Hornets at #11 (traded to Clippers)
7:38- Love his suit. A+. Hope he isn’t Michael Carter Jr. 2.0 for Michael Jordan’s sake.
7:39- Clippers have back to back picks coming up. They can go a lot of ways here.
7:40- Chauncy just compared Alexander to Michael Carter Jr. Who compares a player drafted in a lottery to a terrible player? What kind of monster does that? Imagine there is a new guy who just started working at your office; Let’s call him Jerry. So Jerry is new and just started this morning. Susan (face it; there is always a Susan) comes by and asks you what you think of Jerry and you tell her he reminds you of Karl. Who is Karl? Karl is the guy who got fired last week for repeatedly stealing co-workers lunches from the break room fridge at the office. So, in theory, Chauncy just compared Alexander to Karl, the worst guy to ever step foot in your office. Unacceptable. My finger continues to flirt with the mute button.
7:40- A TRADE! Alexander traded to the Clippers. So, the Hornets traded back one spot in order to pick up two second round picks? But why? Did Chauncy’s Michael Carter Jr. comparison scare them?
7:42- Are the Clippers going to walk away with Alexander and Porter Jr? That would be a hell of a haul at the end of the lottery.
7:44- Miles Bridges selected by Los Angeles Clippers at #12 (traded to CHA)
7:44- Bridges is going to be great. Don’t understand why people soured on him. Freak athlete and good defender. MJ picked up a good one. He has come a long way from picking Kwame Brown.
7:50- I realized I have been thinking more about Porter Jr. than Wendell Jr. I am upset with myself. I am better than that.
7:51- Jerome Robinson selected by the Los Angeles Clppers at #13
7:51- WOW. MJP (I am getting tired of writing his name so much so we are going with the abbreviation from here on out) continues to fall! This is nuts! Also, Robinson has “I forgot he was in the league” written all over him. Generic name doesn’t help. Will come not remember him in five years. I mean, I forgot to talk about him in the 1st sentence here despite him just being picked and on TV at this very moment. Not a good sign.
7:53- If Grayson Allen gets selected before MJP, does he ever recover?
7:58- Michael Porter Jr. selected by the Denver Nuggets at #14
7:59- How much more pot will MPJ smoke this year now that he is in Denver? Could help his back?
8:00- It is not a good sign when they only show your high school highlights.
8:01- I checked my phone and my girlfriend is going off on MPJ. She seems to dislike him more than me. She tells me to write that he is a tool. Think I have expressed that throughout this journal so far, but if I haven’t been clear enough, I think MPJ is a tool. I also want to express though that this is an excellent selection by Denver. At #14, it is more than fair to reach and MPJ has the potential to be the best player in the draft. He is an excellent value at #14 and it will be interesting to see how he fits in on the team (and if he even can stay on the court).
8:02- Lottery is over. Big story is that the Bulls didn’t mess this up. They did good. Bigger story is that I may have an obession with MPJ. I must have given him 90% of my attention so far. That ends now. So many more picks to go and the Bulls still have another this round. Love the double dip this year.
8:07- Troy Brown Jr. is such a Wizards pick. I don’t know if he ever becomes more than a third guy off the bench
8:13- That whole exchange made Ayton seem extremely dumb. He couldn’t follow simple directions from the broadcast booth to send it to Adam Silver. Is he uncoachable?
8:15- A TRADE! Mikal Bridges got traded to the Suns! 76ers! What the fuck are you doing. You were doing so well! And for Zhaire Smith? Sad!
8:17- The Suns have a chance to be good. Booker-Jackson-Bridges-Ayton is a solid young core. Love the trade for the Suns. 76ers I don’t understand, but than again, their former GM had like 100 burner Twitter accounts so they got bigger problems I guess.
8:22- Donte DiVincenzo just got drafted at #17. Left school at the perfect time; his stock will never be higher. If Grayson would have left after sophomore year, he would have went around now. Going back to school cost him a bit (the tripping didn’t help either).
8:24- Lonnie Walker IV to be the next great Spur. Pop’s last great project.
8:35- The Hawks now have Kevin Huerter and Trae Young. 3-pointers for days coming in.Could be fun. Also, the Mike Miller comparison for Huerter is a classic. Just going to leave it at that.
8:43- Woah. Robert Williams is still on the board and the Bulls are just one pick away from being up again. He would be an absolute steal this late. He would be a super high energy guy off the bench to back up Lauri and Wendell. I compared him to a mentally healthy Dennis Rodman earlier this year. That sounds good to me.
8:47- Grayson Allen to Utah. How many wives does he take?
8:48- In all honesty, Grayson will be in the league for awhile and Utah is a perfect fit for him. Great athlete and is just a ball player. Donovan Mitchell and him are a pretty dynamic backcourt.
8:50- Bulls on the clock. A lot of talent available. I know we promised the Boise State kid, but was it a pinky promise? Hope we go in a different direction. Robert Williams is still available and has so much upside. Would love him as a backup to Lauri. Would fill out Rodman like box scores of 3 points and 18 rebounds in no time.
8:52- Must have been a pinkie promise as the Bulls selected Chandler Hutchison at #22. Don’t hate it, but I think we left something on the table with Williams. Hutchison should be a solid role player off the bench. Definitely has glue guy potential.
8:54- Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison. The draft I picked last month. Extremely happy with it. This is so different than last year, but that turned out good. A little nervous this is going so well……what’s the catch?
8:57- My buddy just texted me what I knew about Hutchinson because he had never heard of him. I texted back, “He has potential glue guy attributes. Will never average more than 9 points per game though.” After reading that back, I am no longer as bullish on the pick. If only New Orleans had tanked about Boogie got injured. That pick would have been so much higher than #22.
9:06 Anfernee Simons will never be relevant. Wasted pick by Blazers. Did a video of Robert Williams smoking crack go viral or something? How is he still on the board? He is about to fall to one of the top teams in the league here at the end of the 1st and instantly be a contributor off the bench. The rich get richer.
9:12- Moritz Wagner to the Lakers. He is 100% dating a Jenner.
9:13- Jay Bilas just said Wagner was not a good rebounder as a graphic that read “great rebounder” shot across the screen. ESPN you continue to disappoint me. Be better.
9:23- Boston is on the clock and Robert Williams is still available. Cannot emphasis enough how much he could help them off the bench. He would be an absolute heist here. They need rebounding. Williams got his doctorate in rebounding at Texas A&M. This is a no-brainer.
9:27- Boston got him. I think that is the best value pick of the draft. We will see him in the playoffs next year playing meaningful minutes. Boston
9:28- Tyrus Thomas comparison for Williams. Chauncy! You rascal!
9:31- I am pretty convinced ESPN will never ask Chauncy back after this draft. He has a been a trainwreck at best. AT BEST.
9:33- Congratulations to Jacob Evans of Cincinnati on his future NBA championship next summer.
9:45- Hawks third pick of the 1st round is Omari Spellman, a big who shot 43% for Villanova last year. Young, Hueter, and Spellman. It’s like a poor, no; it’s like a homeless man’s Golden State Warriors.
9:46- 1st round is over. My biggest takeaway besides the Bulls doing a good job (I loved the Bulls and Bears drafts this year. I believe this may be the first time that has ever happened in the same calendar year during my lifetime. I am 28) is that Chauncy Billips should never be allowed near the NBA Draft again. Not just on TV, but like near the venue in which it is held. He has been god awful. I would rather get stuck in an elevator with Mel Kiper Jr. for several hours and listen to him breakdown 7th round offensive lineman prospects than listen to his absurd play comps and draft analysis. He’s clearly in over his head and it’s getting unbearable.
9:53- Elie Okobo is a great pick by the Suns. They are really nailing this draft. Everything I have heard about this guy is promising. He dropped 44 points on Aaron Craft in Europe which actually really means nothing at all, but still; Okobo has game.
9:56- Jevon Carter will have a spot on the all-NBA grit team every year for the next 10 years. Perfect Grizzlies player. Next Tony Allen.
9:57- 41% 3-point shooter to the Atlanta Hawks. Not even shocking at this point. The 3-point shooter bender continues for Atlanta. However, this kid is Jalen Brunson. Excellent value pick here. Guaranteed 10+ year career.
10:01- I am still in disbelief that “Uncle Drew” is a real movie that will actually be consumed by paying customers later this year. If the world wasn’t in such constant chaos, I feel like people would take notice, but in this day and age, no one is even blinking. The odds that MPJ never misses a game in his NBA career are better than that movie being decent (I know I said I wouldn’t bring him up again, but I couldn’t help myself).
10:12- It really shows that the 76ers don’t have a GM. Despite having an abundance of picks, they are drafting drunk. Don’t understand any of their selections. Disappointing is a understatement.
10:17- Magic just drafted Jarred Vanderbilt out of Kentucky. Love him as a prospect if he can stay healthy (big if), but I really don’t understand the Magic. Another big man. Maybe the league is on a collusion course with going big again and the Magic are just ahead of the curve?
10:19- “He’s going to be hurt forever so feels like the right team to waste their time.”- text I just received from my girlfriend on Vanderbilt. She isn’t wrong.
10:31- Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk goes to the Lakers. He seemed to be at Kansas longer than Perry Ellis, yet he is still only 20. I am convinced that if his name was Phil Johnson and he was from Sandusky, OH instead of Ukraine, he not have only gone undrafted, but wouldn’t have even been in the conversation of being an NBA player. .
10:35- Timberwolves just got a steal with Keita Bates-Diop at #48. Hope Jimmy Butler takes him under his wing and teaches him his ways. Has NBA starter potential.
10:41- The best player in Penn State basketball history just got drafted at #51 and that sounds about right. Tony Carr just have a chance to make New Orleans though. Elite size and score.
10:44- Denver just traded for Vanderbilt, which now gives them two players that will never be healthy enough to be on the floor. Has there been a Hinkie sighting in Denver?
10:50- The 76ers just traded their 2nd round pick for two future-second round picks. Very on brand.
10:52-When are the Lakers trading back into the draft to draft LiAngeleo Ball? I am confused. Time is running out.
10:57- Thomas Welsh just got drafted by Denver. Welsh is famous as being one of the “white guys” that caused Lonzo to lose at UCLA. That is what he is known for. And he was just drafted by Denver. Love it.
10:59- George King out of Colorado was just drafted at #59 by the Suns and I am slightly concerned they are getting catfished. No way that is a real person.
11:02- Kostas Antekokounmpo just got drafted #60 for the sole purpose of luring Gianas there in the future. The ultimate long play. Great way to end the draft
11:03- Over four hours ago we started this little journey together and it is now time to wrap up my 3rd draft journal. I am going to bed happy as the Bulls got better tonight. Did they get a future star? Probably not. However, I think we got a starting center in Carter Jr. and a solid rotational player in Hutchison. We also didn’t trade Lauri. Until next year.