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The star-studded 2018 NBA Draft held on Thursday in a packed Barclays Center did not fail to disappoint basketball fanatics around the world.
In a nutshell, it provided everyone a first glimpse at the future of the league. With that said, Sports World News will take a much deeper look at the biggest winners and losers of the draft.
Winners: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks has been looking for someone to replace their aging superstar Dirk Nowitzki. On Thursday, the Mavericks seemed to have found what they are looking for in Slovenian Luka Doncic. Eager to get their hands on the former Real Madrid star, the Mavericks took a massive risk when they gave up their 2019 first-round pick, which happens to be a top 5 protected pick.
Nonetheless, all the risk might pay off in the long run, as Doncic has managed to exceed everyone’s expectations at such a young age. The 19-year-old Doncic has already bagged the EuroLeague Most Valuable Player plum and the EuroLeague Final Four MVP.
In addition, Doncic has also led Slovenia into winning the European championship. With the freakish ability of Dennis Smith Jr. to break through defenses and the scorer’s mentality of Doncic, experts believe that the Mavericks are expected to climb into the winning column in a short term.
Winners: Denver Nuggets
With the hopes of making up from the terrible trade they a made a year ago, the Denver Nuggets took a chance on drafting Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. It can be recalled that the Nuggets selected Donovan Mitchell as the 13th overall pick of last year’s draft before eventually trading him to the Utah Jazz. Since then, Mitchell has proved the Nuggets that they made a heartbreaking mistake by averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists last season.
According to basketball pundits, selecting Porter Jr. will benefit the Nuggets in a long run. The 6-foot-11 forward was among the possible candidates to go number 1, but a nagging back injury prevented other squads from taking the hazard of selecting him. Porter Jr. averaged 10.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in his stint with Missouri.
Losers: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers stunned everyone when they selected guard Anfernee Simons in the draft. The 19-year-old Simons plays the same position as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Simons, who did not play college ball, is expected to have tough time inserting into the team’s rotation.
If one time was not enough, the Blazers made another head-scratcher by selecting Gary Trent Jr. with the 37th overall pick. Just like Simons, Trent Jr. is also expected to play a backup role with the Blazers.
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