The 2019 NBA Draft is a wrap. Free agency is up next. There weren't a ton of huge surprises last night in Brooklyn, but there was the usual drama. Oh, and some rap beef? But yeah, the top three picks went as expected, with Zion Williamson going first overall to the Pelicans, Ja Morant second to the Grizzlies, and RJ Barrett landing with the Knicks.
From there, the drama picked up, with a flurry of trades and a few confusing moves that had everyone shaking their heads. We saw the heartbreaking shots of Bol Bol waiting to get picked, the wide range of fire (or trash) fits, and plenty of drama to go around. The draft is now in the books and the NBA world now turns to free agency, where the drama will only increase. Before we get to that, the Complex Sports team broke down some winners and losers from last night.
Winner: David Griffin and the Pelicans
Any draft where you pick the hands down No. 1 prospect is a win, but David Griffin is on such a roll right now that he turned last night into an undisputed victory for New Orleans. Griff flipped the Lakers fourth pick to Atlanta and moved back to eight, where he picked Texas center Jaxson Hayes, who should be a perfect fit next to Zion. The Pels also picked up the 17th and 35th picks in the draft, while also shedding the salary of Soloman Hill. Like we said, Griff is on a hot streak right now. Get ready for the Pelicans to be everyone's favorite League Pass team next season.
Loser: Danny Ainge & the Boston Celtics
It's been a rough strech for Ainge and the Celtics, and last night didn't make things better. Boston was able to grab Romeo Langford with their lottery pick, but then traded away their next two picks where the players picked would actually be perfect for the Celtics. It's been that kind of year for the Celtics. Yes, they got rid of Baynes and now have some cap space, but with Kyrie and Horford likely leaving, things are shaky at best in Boston.
Winner: Ja Morant's Dad's Hat
Look at this, king. Enough said.
Loser: Bol Bol
Like I wrote in the intro, this was just heartbreaking. Bol Bol eventually landed with the Denver Nuggets, but he was projected as a first rounder and was invited to the draft as one of the top prospects. It's not exactly clear why Bol slipped, but word is his medicals were not great. You have to hope he just uses this as fuel to prove everyone wrong. Also, Bol Bol had the illest fit last night, so it wasn't a total losing effort.
Winner: The Knicks & RJ Barrett
This seems like a match made in heaven. RJ cried on air right after the pick last night and you could just tell that he really wants to be on the Knicks. That's huge. The Knicks have had a culture problem for years, but that could all be turning very quickly.
Loser: The Suns
Man, wtf were the Suns doing last night. First, they straight up salary dumped TJ Warren to the Pacers and then traded down and out of the top-10 to take Cam Johnson, who is cool, but a guy that most thought would go much later in the first round. This is why bad teams stay bad. They keep doing bad things. Free Devin Booker, tbh.
Winner: The Cleveland Cavaliers
Yes, I am a Cavs fan. No, I don't care if you think this is my bias showing. The Cavs drafted the highest upside guard in the draft in Darius Garland and then traded back into the first round to get Kevin Porter JR. Sign me all the way up. The Cavs are back.
Loser: NBA Fans Sanity
After the draft last night, Woj said things are about to get crazy the next two weeks with free agency. Buckle up, everyone. This feels like one of the biggest summers in NBA history. So much could change and is on the line. KD leaving the Warriors? Kawhi to the Clippers? Kyrie to the Nets? What will Jimmy Butler do? Will LeBron & AD get a third star? All of this will be determined in such a short period of time. I already have anxiety about it.