Who won the NBA Draft? (and who Lost?)

The NBA Draft is always an exciting time for NBA fans all across the world.

Every single NBA team has something to look forward to on draft night. Lottery teams try to find the player that saves their team, contenders try to leverage picks for more talent, and mid-level teams do all of these at once. Usually held in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the ongoing pandemic has moved this year’s draft to an online setting. 

In pivotal events like these, some parties are going to come out big while some are going to lose out on a lot.

Winner: The Ball Family

For all the trash talk LaVar does on camera, you’ve got to hand it to him: he’s raised some Big Ballers.

With LaMelo Ball being drafted third overall by the Charlotte Hornets, he and Lonzo are the first brothers to be drafted in the top three in league history. We could argue all day about LaVar’s actual influence in their game, but the patriarch of the family has done really well to bring his sons to the limelight and exposing their talents to the world.

Time will tell if both brothers will live up to their potential, but for now, the Ball family’s future looks bright.

Loser: LaVar Ball

It ain’t all sunshine for LaVar, though. LaMelo’s arrival in Charlotte means one thing: his “rivalry” with Michael Jordan has been revived once again.

For the uninitiated, back in 2017, LaVar made some… interesting comments about how he’d fare against current Hornets owner Michael Jordan (who you may know as a pretty good player back then).

“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. I would just back (Jordan) in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left. He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot ’cause he can’t go around me. He’s not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim.”

LaVar Ball on an interview with USA Today, 2017

Now, LaVar has backtracked on this take a bit. And it’s very unlikely that this crazy matchup is ever going to happen (or even televised for that matter). But it’s hilarious to imagine LaVar and MJ in the same room and Jordan suddenly challenging Ball to a 1-on-1.

Loser: ESPN Photoshop Guy

Talk about cursed images.

Looking at this ESPN edit of LaMelo in a Hornets jersey gives me and nearly everyone else the heebie-jeebies. Seriously, these people probably had a good two weeks or so of prepping edits like this for the social media team (especially knowing that Ball was a likely top pick), and they show this… monstrosity. It’s so unnatural-looking it’s not even funny, man.

Thankfully for our collective sanity, ESPN stopped posting photoshopped draftees after this.

Winner: Deni Advidja’s set-up

Because of the current COVID situation in the US, the NBA was forced to go to a completely virtual set-up, which meant draftees had full control on how they wanted their set-up to look. Most people had their families in their background, but one person had perhaps the most hilarious and amazing background in league history.

How baller is it to have a lavish background with a bunch of probably expensive wines around you? Either this is most extra product placement or Deni is just built differently.

Loser: NBA Twitter

Look, NBA Twitter can be incredibly funny at times. This, unfortunately, was not one of those moments.

It was painful looking under every Woj or Shams tweet and seeing the SAME. DAMN. THING. TWEETED. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There’s beating a dead horse, and there’s mauling the rotting corpse of a horse for two days straight.

Copy-pastes can be funny. Spamming it constantly in a span of few hours ain’t it, chief.

Winner: Minnesota Timberwolves

Okay, let’s talk about basketball for a second.

The Minnesota Timberwolves only had one job when they received the 1st overall pick: draft one of Ball or Edwards. Both players fit exceptionally well with the young core of D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Josh Okogie, and drafting another young big in Wiseman wasn’t a wise move. They also weren’t in a position to go straight to win-now mode (although they did field many offers prior to selecting Edwards).

Edwards gives the Timberwolves another talented guard that has the potential to develop into a two-way star with his freakish athleticism and high-level scoring. There’s question marks surrounding his motor and his focus in game, but those are problems that can be worked on over time.

The Bolmaro pick is also intriguing. A 6’7 forward who played for Barcelona in the Euroleague, Bolmaro has immense potential to be a secondary playmaker behind Russell. He’s not particularly athletic, but he clearly knows how to leverage his size on both sides of the ball.

Overall, the Timberwolves should be happy with their prizes that they got from this draft.

Winner: The International Basketball Scene

The international scene just keeps getting bigger and bigger with every draft.

This draft has some notable international draftees that will potentially make a mark in the near future. Guys like Avdija, Bolmaro, Killian Hayes, Aleksej Pokusevski and Udoka Azubuike all were drafted in the first round of this draft. These players will pave the way for future international prospects to shine in the NBA and make their mark on the world.

Expect the number of international draftees to go up year after year. And don’t forget about our guy Kai Sotto, who has been slowly building up hype over the course of this year and will be eligible to be drafted next year.

Winner: New York Knicks

I know, it’s strange seeing the Knicks win a draft after so many draft failures.

There’s this long-running theme around the Knicks that they, for some unknown reason, love their big men. While yes, the game is becoming more and more positionless by the day, that does not mean that you should be drafting and getting four power forwards with no true playmaker.

Therefore, it would make sense that the Knicks should be losers for drafting another big man in Obi Toppin. But in a way, this does make sense for them in their future. Bobby Portis and Julius Randle are likely not part of the Knicks future, and they love Mitchell Robinson, so it makes sense to get a versatile big who can space the floor for them. Plus, they’re rumored (and probably favored) to pry Fred VanVleet away from the Raptors, so that should be their solution to their backcourt woes.

Also, Toppin will be a fan-favorite for the Big Apple, seeing that he’s a Brooklyn native and has been dreaming of repping the Knicks for a pretty long time now. This is a rare win for New York, but we have to see if their next plans pan out the way they want to.

Speaking of which…

Loser: Everyone’s Tear Ducts

Getting your name called by the commissioner of the NBA is a life-long dream for many young hoopers. It’s a dream that takes years to complete, and not everyone is successful in getting to that goal.

We can only imagine how these guys feel after finally attaining a goal that they’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears for, but their reactions pretty much sum up their emotions. Never mind which team picked you, the fact that you got picked out of potentially thousands of prospects is a special feeling. These emotional moments stood out to me the most, because underneath all their talent and star power, they’re still just young men fighting for their dream to come true, and they had that fulfilled today.