Blogtable: Biggest Draft Boost

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 36: Dwight in Houston | Lakers without Howard | Big Draft boost

Is there a team you think will be markedly better this year because of last week’s Draft?

Trey Burke (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE)

Trey Burke (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE)

Steve Aschburner, Utah. Not only did the Jazz fill a serious need at point guard, they got the best one in the draft and a guy who seems eager now to play with a chip on his shoulder. Trey Burke didn’t like being bandied around on draft night – picked by Minnesota, swapped out for the Nos. 14 and 21 picks. I can see him playing cranky (and focused) when he faces some of those teams that passed on him.

Fran Blinebury, The Wizards.  They’re building on a healthy John Wall and a strong finish to last season and then added a perfect fit on the front line in Otto Porter.  This should finally be the season the Wizards live up to the hope and take a big step forward in the Eastern Conference.  Playoffs?  Yes.  Home-court? OK, let’s not get too carried away.

Scott Howard-Cooper, The Trail Blazers. As unusual it is to say that about a team that did not add a starter, Portland got substantially better in the area that needed improvement: depth. It added three players who not only will make the roster but should be in the rotation, including two from the second round. That’s a very good night.

John Schuhmann, No. I don’t think any of the guys drafted will make that much of an impact next season. I believe Cleveland will be markedly better, but more because they hired a coach that will fix their defensive issues and because the young guys they already have will improve. The Pelicans got an All-Star point guard for their pick, but I don’t think that Jrue Holiday is that big of an upgrade over Greivis Vasquez.

John Wall (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)

John Wall (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)

Sekou Smith,
: That word you used, markedly, is a bit strong for the Draft. Even when you draft well, as Portland did last season by snagging the best rookie in the class (Damian Lillard), it doesn’t raise your bottom the line the way it does when you get a transcendent talent like say LeBron James or Derrick Rose. But if there is a team that has a chance to see an immediate up tick in its fortunes based strictly off of the work done in last week’s Draft, I think it’s the Washington Wizards. By grabbing Otto Porter with the No. 3 pick, I think the Wizards just might have added the final piece to help them escape the lottery and move into the mix for a playoff bid in an Eastern Conference that will see some shifting due to trades, free agency and the general turnover we see from year to year.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: No. But I think there are some teams that will be improved from where they were last year, like Utah and Cleveland, and possibly even Orlando. I just don’t see any of the guys from this year’s Draft as make or break franchise players.

Pawel Weszka, NBA Africa: I don’t think we will see a sudden revelation from the draft last week, but I expect some of the players making an impact from day one. If Victor Oladipo’s enthusiasm transforms into his performance on the court, we should see some positive sparks in Orlando during the regular season. Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng should make the Wolves better while Tim Hardaway Jr., once he gets stronger, may be just what Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks need.


  1. OKCMike says:

    OKC did fine in the draft. The center will be put under the coaching staff’s wing for a year; I’m more excited about Roberson and Jerrett for this year. Both look solid. The Spain pick will be in Spain, so again, work in progress. I trust Presti to do the right thing for us; Harden would not have stayed in OKC no matter what since we couldn’t offer him what Houston could. If you lived in OKC you’d have read more of the backlash against Harden and some of the media regarding his, well, afterhours activities. Everyone thought the lottery pick would be higher and that Martin wouldn’t have lost all his skills on the plane ride here.

  2. think outside the paint says:

    In a generation of speed and transition, I think Wizards will improve this year by drafting Porter, the addition of Eric Maynor and extension of Martell Webster, they’re ok last year but in need a decent off the bench players, with Porter or Ariza and Maynor as back up they have got a lot of room to improve. And I’m looking forward for the Cavs too, with the first overall pick and coming back coach Mike Brown now they’re a playoff team.

  3. Lover of the game/ Knick fan since Ewing says:

    adams was a very gud pick for okc, the prob they have is perkins contract. they need to find someone to take him dat will giv ethem da means to get some players, dotn say no one wants him cause my knicks just trade for bangnani smh plz say its for another trade. smh

  4. dqqdqqs says:

    trey burke to win Rookie of the year

  5. I think that the Thunder MISSED on their first pick = they made the Harden trade STINK even more!!!!
    Olynyk, Muhammad, Karasev, or Dieng would have been FAR BETTER CHOICES.
    Wait, did the dreadful Timberwolves actually get TWO of those four. Of course, the Jazz selected them…

  6. kolep says:

    As for OKC the young player i am impressed with is Liggins, i think he is a very balanced player on both ends of the court. Look for him this season.

  7. kobe jr says:

    if the thunder wanted the championship they should have kept Harden and they would have beaten the grizzlies this season and put up a god fight against the spurs

  8. J says:

    that’s way to tough cause there wasn’t a star player in the draft maybe………….mmmmmm……………oladipo or porter

  9. LuCi says:

    I kinda agree with underdog. Dieng would have been a better fit for OKC’s fastball, as Perkins have always slowed down the team’s offense in the past. Not sure about Adams. Don’t know much about him and he could develop to be just a big body down low like Perkins. Adams is only about an inch taller and 10 lbs heavier than Dieng, but Dieng has proven skills in rebounding and defense.

    I don’t mind losing Kevin Martin. I believe OKC should amnesty Perkins to make room for free agency and find another 6th man. They can easily slip in serviceable big man Collison in the starting spot while waiting for their young C to develop.

  10. yoyoyoyo says:

    i think jeremy lamb could step up and be that guy for us of the bench. but we need another big guy that can actually get buckets that should be okc first priority

  11. jfack says:

    trey burke! idk how jazz got him but.. jazz always seem to get good pgs in drafts.

  12. OKC says:

    I for one am glad Kevin Martin didn’t get another contract from us, I think we can do better in free agency. Fingers crossed for Jarrett Jack, O.J. Mayo, or even Nick Young.

    I think Steven Adams was a great draft pick for OKC. The other bigs available all had glaring weaknesses on the defensive end of the court, and I really don’t want another 6’10 center in Dieng. At 7 foot and 255lbs. Adams if anything is going to be able to grab his share of boards and not get shoved around in the post, which is exactly what the Thunder need as long as they use their cap space to grab a good free agent for the bench,

    • Cool says:

      i think Dieng could have ended up to become someone like serge ibaka i would have chosen dieng over adams

  13. pokie says:

    I like what the Sixers did but would have thrown in a second player and wanted Vasquez and the pick. Points like Greivis are hard to come by. He will be starting somewhere next year. Why not Philly?

    • HonestGuy says:

      @pokie Sixers want to have a really bad season, so they can get a high draft pick in 2014, I don’t know if adding Greivis would be coherent with that.

  14. underdog says:

    Very disapointed with the Okc… did not draft well for their pick.. If their picking for a big man atleast they should have drafted someone who knows how to play basketbal.. motor is always better than potential.. and since they were picking for potential.. Why not take a chance on Dieng? or even Shabbaz.. Now they dont have Kevin Martin and a useful selection from the draft… and all the pressure would now be on the 2nd yr player Jeremy Lamb to replace Harden’s production… So sad for the OKC

    • Josh says:

      You think that OKC didnt pick well? Steven Adam’s is one of the best pick ups in the draft. Huge athletic man, who with the right core and coaching will be a force in the next 12-18 months. Agree he could have done another year at College to round his game, but he is a huge talent and score for OKC.