The NBA Draft provides the opportunity for teams to completely change the trajectory of their franchise. Teams can draft franchise cornerstones that eventually lead them into the playoffs, make blockbuster trades to bolster championship runs, or, conversely, make mistakes that take years to recover from. Thursday’s draft provided a fun mixture of every scenario with Russell Westbrook (reportedly) getting traded to the Lakers, surprises among the top 5 selections, and a bevy of trades that moved teams up and down the board all night.
The biggest winner was the Pistons who were able to take the best player in this class, Cade Cunningham, who can jumpstart Detroit at the most important position in the game. Other winners were lucky enough to have great players to fall into their laps when they were on the clock. Meanwhile, there were plenty of draft night losers who made head-scratching decisions or opted to keep trading back or completely out of the draft. Here’s how we saw it.