2017 NBA Re-Draft

2017 NBA Re-Draft

If teams could have a do over, what would change?
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With most decisions, come some twinge of regret. NBA decisions are no different.

With the conclusion of the 2017-2018 NBA season, it's time to look back at what could have been. After what proved to be an outstanding class, some teams are looking at other teams green with envy after missing out on some of the best young building blocks the NBA has seen in recent years. If teams could re-draft the 2017 draft today, how would it look differently?

10. Portland Trail Blazers

Original Pick: Zach Collins

New Pick: OG Anunoby

Collins would still constitute as a fine pick, but OG has been on a different level, and would fit everything the Blazers need. Portland has a glaring hole at the three and four, with Ed Davis, Festus Ezeli, Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner, and Al Farouq-Aminu all attempting in revolving-door fashion to fill it. OG's ceiling is likely a better-shooting Aminu, but even that would give Portland hope to escape their early playoff exit habit.

9. Dallas Mavericks

Original Pick: Dennis Smith Jr.

New Pick: Dennis Smith Jr.

Sometimes teams just get it right. Smith Jr. struggled with his shot and turnovers at times, but his playmaking vision, shot creation, and spark were all above average for a rookie. The Mavericks need a point guard, so Smith Jr. makes sense for a team that needs youth going forward.

8. New York Knicks

Original Pick: Frank Ntilikana

New Pick: Josh Jackson

Ntilikana has yet to play much (just a touch over 20 minutes per game), but he has yet to impress. Jackson would be a good pick-up for a team that needs wing players to compliment Kristaps Porzingis. On a team that has some good shooters (Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee), Jackson's lack of shooting touch could have been hidden easier.

7. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Lauri Markkanen

New Pick: Kyle Kuzma

Kuzma has been a scoring dynamo (16 points per game) and not lacking in confidence to take the big shots. The Bulls are in asset-collection mode, so taking the best available talent is a must. He needs to play more under-control, but Kuzma has a high floor and could be part of a championship nucleus one day.

6. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Jonathan Isaac

New Pick: De'Aaron Fox

Isaac has been injured often and arguably been playing out of position (he should be playing center instead of small forward), but Fox would solve a lot of the ball penetration issues that has been continually plaguing the Magic offense.

5. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: De'Aaron Fox

New Pick: Lauri Markkanen

Markkanen would make a perfect complement to center Willie Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein can play proficient defense and roll to the rim on offense, while Markkanen could spot up from the three-point line and take more of the offensive load.

4. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Josh Jackson

New Pick: Lonzo Ball

Jackson has picked it up in recent weeks, but a young point guard would have helped accelerate the Suns' rebuild by giving star Devin Booker help at ball handling duties. Ball has been plagued with shooting woes given his awkward shooting motion, but his vision and rebounding are already near elite for a point guard. Booker and Ball would make for a great backcourt that play off each others' strengths.

3. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Jayson Tatum

New Pick: Markelle Fultz

People were panicking about Fultz a couple of months ago -- but not anymore. After becoming the youngest NBA player to ever record a triple double, Fultz looks well on his way to being the great all-around guard he was projected to be. His shot still looks wonky coming off of injury, but a backcourt of Fultz and point man Kyrie Irving would have been dynamic.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Lonzo Ball

New Pick: Jayson Tatum

Tatum's skill set overlaps with 2016 second overall pick Brandon Ingram, but you can never have enough long wings. Tatum looked like he belonged from day one, with great poise and elite shooting (over 43 percent from 3). Tatum could have spaced the floor and been the nominal point man for this fictional Lakers squad.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Markelle Fultz

New Pick: Donovan Mitchell

Going into draft day, Mitchell was immediately knocked for his age (20 at the time) compared to the much younger freshman in the rest of the class. Mitchell was also looked at as a tweener (6'3") -- too small for shooting guard, too big for point. Luckily, in this day and age of positionaless basketball, Mitchell fit right in this year: averaging over 20 points per game with nearly four assists and four boards. Mitchell with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would have taken the NBA by storm this season and beyond.




With many players being picked before their original teams having a chance to draft them, not all teams would be happy with this re-draft. This exercise just goes to show how hard the drafting process truly is.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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The Excitement Of The NBA Playoffs Without Lebron James

The NBA playoffs are among us and it is my favorite time of the year. The time for the NBA to shine is the playoffs, but this year's rating has seen a bit of decline.

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The NBA playoffs are a very exciting time for the typical NBA fan and I sure love nothing more than to kick back and watch the action. The excitement and the number of games on are unreal and they start one after another so every game can be watched without another one interfering with the other. The games have so much more than typical basketball and people are disappointed this year because Lebron James missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The last 14 years he has been dominating the NBA playoffs and this year was different so the ratings are plummeting.

The series are a best of 7 making it a long fun series of games with so much on the line. I have watched many of the games and highlights and have truly appreciated the greatness I am watching. The lower seeded teams have been doing well against the best teams and are giving them a run for the money. We have had a few fun blowout games that are interesting because you are seeing a team dominate the entire game and hit many great shots and make big plays. The good teams are still winning most of the games, but at least we have some close games that come down to the buzzer to make for great competition.

We then have young stars like Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons who have been giving us some amazing stat lines and leading their team to big first-round wins and both making huge highlights so far. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and James Harden have been the big stars having great games and contributing heavily to both their teams and the ratings to make the playoffs fun. Even without Lebron, these guys are still showing us how fun basketball is to watch and play.

The style of team basketball many of these guys are playing with is amazing to watch. I am all about teamwork and there is a new player doing something spectacular and having a standout game every night with the help of their team. The Los Angeles Clippers rallied for the biggest playoff comeback in NBA history by coming back from 31 down against the defending champions the Golden State Warriors. It is nice to see teams like the Clippers, Magic, and Pacers who do not have a standout star play great team basketball. These teams are losing most of their games, but they do not have the talent these other teams have. They are going out and playing well as a team every single night and working to make sure everyone is contributing on offense and defense to have a chance to win.

Damian Lillard even hit a buzzer beater to win the series over the Thunder the other night and it shows us how much of an impact one player can have on the whole game. The excitement of the upcoming free agency period is vastly hyped, but the current teams are so well set up for success that the next 2 rounds of the playoffs will be the ultimate tests for all teams to see who will play each other for the championship.

Everyone thinks the Warriors will once again host the NBA Larry O'Brien Trophy and be the top team in the league for the next year, but there are a few teams that have been quite impressive all season and have the momentum in their favor just as much as the defending champions. There will be plenty of big games to come and I am positive the players will put on a huge showing to make these playoffs memorable for all true NBA fans. Lebron is my favorite player of all time and I love watching him play especially in the finals for the title, but the ratings should still be high due to the great competitive game of basketball and the amazing moments we get to enjoy all throughout the playoffs. I encourage any basketball fan to tune in for these games and I promise you will not be disappointed with any of the games.

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