The 2019 NBA Draft has come and gone, and here are the initial reactions of who won and lost the annual allocation of talent from the college and overseas ranks to the NBA.
The 2019 NBA Draft seemed like it would be one that was chaotic, and there were moments of absolute thrills as we wound our way through the selections. A night that began with the obvious selection of Zion Williamson by the New Orleans Pelicans opened up into pandemonium afterward. A torrent of trades created some wonky positioning in the top ten and in the 20s, and there was a second flurry that netted two teams future first rounders that could be a lot more valuable than the picks they were traded for. Players went too high, and players went too low, as always seems to happen when the draft rolls around. Tyler Herro went in the first round, for example, while Bol Bol did not. That’s somewhat crazy and is also the nature of the draft.
As always, certain teams and players came away better off than others. There are winners and losers that seem obvious right away, and while it’s a total unknown if that is going to pan out as true or not, it’s worth diving into who did the best and who may have handicapped themselves moving forward. There are a few teams that have set themselves up nicely moving into free agency and some that made some poor decisions on draft night. We will break them down here, starting with the big winner of the entire evening: The New Orleans Pelicans, who earned a spot on this list on May 14 when they won the draft lottery.