The NBA had a tremendous season this past year. The Golden State Warriors won their second finals title in a row, continuing their amazing dynasty. However, with the players selected in the NBA draft, GSW might be in trouble.
DeAndre Ayton was the first player selected, and was the biggest story of the draft. He was a top-3 prospect from his high school days and was a beast at the University of Arizona. He averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game and was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. He also has a seven foot wingspan which makes him ideal as a center.
Other notable picks include Luka Doncic, who is one of the best players to come out of Europe this year. He was chosen by the Atlanta Hawks with the third pick but he got traded to the Dallas Mavericks, who chose and traded Trae Young. Luka played basketball in the Euro league for Real Madrid. With this club, which he signed with when he was 13, he averaged 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds this season to give it a EuroLeague championship. The other half of the trade was Trae Young, who was the star player for the Oklahoma Sooners. As a freshman, he was a tremendous part of the offense for the Sooners. Even as a freshman, he was somehow a part of almost every point scored last season. He averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game.
Mo Bamba was one of the most interesting stories of the NBA draft. The son of immigrants, he was born in 1998 the year after his parents met. Bamba is mostly known for his large figure. He was a freshman at the University of Texas Austin. He is seven feet tall, which is somewhat normal for the position he plays.. However, what makes him different from the rest is his wingspan, which measures at almost eight feet. This is unheard of, as wingspans are usually an inch or two different than a person’s height. This makes him an excellent center.
One of the biggest surprises from the NBA draft was the pick by the 76ers in the first round. They went with Mikal Bridges, who was the star player from Villanova University and was key to their win over the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the March Madness tournament. However, what shocked the world was the trade that ensued after. After this pick, which was to the delight of Philadelphia, the 76ers decided to trade him to the Phoenix Suns. This was a surprise to everyone, especially since Bridges’ mother is the vice president of human resources for the company that hires for the 76ers, and that connection would have kept him with the team his family loves.
The best part of the NBA draft was the 18th pick, Lonnie Walker IV. He is from my hometown and his backstory is unique in the draft. He was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, and he grew up in a relatively poor neighborhood. But as soon as the area saw his potential, we came together to support him. Reading and the surrounding towns cheered when Lonnie chose to play at the University of Miami. They had a viewing party for the NBA draft, and when it was announced that he was joining the San Antonio Spurs, the crowd erupted in cheers. The “kid from Reading” has grown up to be a star for a team that has produced many Hall of Famers, which really raises his potential.