It likely will take several years to determine who really made the right moves in Thursday’s 2018 NBA Draft.
But who wants to wait that long?
With all 60 picks officially in the books, we’re giving you our knee-jerk reaction to a busy draft that included a major trade in the top five, a cruel twist for a local kid and a whole lot of dudes with really long wingspans shaking NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand.
Below are our biggest winners and losers from an exciting night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The Mavs are assembling a backcourt of the future.
Dallas swung a draft-night trade with the Atlanta Hawks to land highly-touted guard Luka Doncic, who some have labeled the most talented player in the draft.
Sure, it cost the Mavs a 2019 first-rounder, but they now have two franchise guards in Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. and have the cap flexibility to pursue some big-name free agents this offseason.
We get that Michael Porter Jr. has some injury concerns, but there’s no way he should have fallen to No. 14.
The 19-year-old Missouri product, who played in just three games last season after undergoing back surgery, was projected by many as a top-five pick and could be a franchise cornerstone in Denver if he stays healthy. This very well could be the steal of the draft.
Another year, another group of NBA executives mad at Danny Ainge.
The Celtics only had one pick in this year’s draft, but they appear to have landed a steal in Texas A&M’s Robert Williams, a lottery-level talent with some minor red flags that a solid organization like Boston should be able to handle.
The Kentucky Wildcats had four players taken in Thursday’s draft, including two in the top 11: Kevin Knox at No. 9 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 11. That should surprise no one.
But how about those Villanova Wildcats, who saw four members of their 2018 NCAA title team go off the board, including three in the first round?
One more tidbit for those scoring at home: Picks No. 9 through 11 were all Wildcats.
The Cavs’ hopes of keeping LeBron reside with … Collin Sexton?
The Alabama product isn’t the worst pick for Cleveland, but there were more talented players on the board (Gilgeous-Alexander, for one) at No. 8. Those players also may not have made this slightly cringeworthy pitch for LeBron to stay with the Cavs — which probably will convince him to skip town.
New York Knicks fans
Do Knicks fans ever leave an NBA draft happy?
New York passed on Porter to select Knox with the No. 9 overall pick, and let’s just say the Knicks faithful didn’t approve.
There’s good news for the NBA’s most tortured fanbase, though: They also booed Kristaps Porzingis.
Mikal Bridges’ Mom
Tyneeha Rivers, the mother of Mikal Bridges and the Philadelphia 76ers’ vice president of human resources, understandably was thrilled when her team selected Bridges 10th overall, gushing to ESPN’s Maria Taylor about her son coming home.
That gushing lasted all of a few minutes, as Philly promptly traded Bridges to the Phoenix Suns. Poor mom.
NESN’s NBA Draft coverage is presented by Cross Insurance.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images