The biggest news wasn’t even a draft pick
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
The NBA draft wrapped up with many noteworthy transactions taking place. Whether it was a trade that built the next super team or surprising picks not many expected, this draft had plenty of action. Here are three things to take away from last Thursday’s draft:
LAKER SUPER TEAM
It’s quite ironic that the biggest news to come out of Thursday’s draft wasn’t an actual draft pick, but rather a trade that sent shockwaves through the basketball world.. The Los Angeles Lakers acquired former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and two second round picks in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the Lakers 22nd pick at the draft.
Westbrook will join the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis next year in pursuit of his first NBA championship. Westbrook has averaged an astounding triple-double in four of his last five seasons. The Lakers look to bounce back from a disappointing first round exit this past season and hope this move can give this team its second championship in three years.
RAPTORS MAKE A SUPRISING PICK
When the Toronto Raptors were on the clock to select a player with their fourth overall pick, the consensus was that they would go with point guard Jalen Suggs out of Gonzaga University. Suggs was notably famous for hitting a buzzer beater that sent Gonzaga to the NCAA championship game in April.
However, the Raptors instead selected forward Scottie Barnes out of Florida State University. Barnes wasn’t all that behind Suggs in some draft boards, but selecting Barnes surprised many due to what the Raptors already have. The Raptors already have two young forwards that they can build the team around in Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. It will be interesting to see how they fit the 20-year-old into their system.
WARRIORS HIT THE LOTTERY
After reportedly rejecting an offer from the Philadelphia 76ers that would have the team acquire Ben Simmons in exchange for the Golden State Warriors two lottery picks, the team made some noteworthy selections. With the seventh pick, the Warriors selected forward Jonathan Kuminga out of the G-league Ignite. Kuminga was projected to go slightly ahead of the teams pick, but he managed to fall into their laps. Kuminga averaged close to 16 points and seven assists a game in his only season in the G-league. This is quite impressive considering he is only 18 years old and is producing these kinds of stats against grown men.
The Warriors also selected guard Moses Moody out of Arkansas University with the 14th pick. Moody was also projected to go much higher than the team expected. He brings the team his tremendous shooting ability as he averaged close to 17 points a game and shot 42 per cent from the field last season.