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NBA Draft Review: Atlantic Division

Now that the NBA draft is over, it's time to try to make sense of each team's moves. Which teams swung and missed? Which teams hit it out of the park?

We can't really judge this draft until 2 or 3 years later, when these picks start realizing their potential. But for now, let's focus on which teams went after the best prospect available, and which teams took unnecessary risks.

Our review will start with the Atlantic Division. The Toronto Raptors did not acquire any players in the draft, so they will be omitted from the article. 

Boston Celtics


Key Additions: Kelly Olynyk, Colton Iverson

The Celtics probably did not need to trade up for Olynyk, but they didn't give up much for him. 

Many, including me, expected the Celtics to swing for the fences here with a high risk-high reward prospect such as Giannis Antentokounmpo or Ricky Ledo. The Celtics, pending a Rajon Rondo trade, will be in full-fledge rebuilding mode, and can afford to wait for those prospects to develop. 

Instead, they opted to go with Olynyk, a relatively safe pick with a much lower ceiling. His offensive skills will translate well to the NBA, but he will struggle defending and rebounding against bigger, stronger players. He is a great fit alongside Jared Sullinger as their styles complement each other well. 

Colton Iverson, a big banger down low, will likely be sitting at the end of the bench for most of the year.

Brooklyn Nets


Key Additions: Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee was a good, safe pick for the Nets. They didn't need to take any risks here, and they didn't. Plumlee is a hard worker and ready to contribute from day 1. He will likely come off the bench his whole career, and that's all the Nets need him to do.

This is a great situation for Plumlee too, as he now has a chance to play behind Kevin Garnett.

This is not a flashy pick, but expect Plumlee to work his way into Jason Kidd's rotation.

New York Knicks


Key Additions: Tim Hardaway Jr.

The addition of Tim Hardaway Jr. pretty much means that J.R. Smith's time in New York is over. The Knicks don't need two irrationally confident gunners coming off the bench, and that is exactly what Hardaway Jr. will be.

The Knicks took a bit of a risk here. Hardaway Jr. is not as NBA ready as other options at shooting guard, such as Reggie Bullock and Allen Crabbe. To succeed in the NBA, Hardaway Jr. has to clean up his shot selection and pick it up defensively.

The Knicks went after the "big name" prospect here to replace J.R. Smith, but Smith will likely be Hardaway Jr.'s ceiling in the NBA.

Philadephia 76ers


Key Additions: Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Nate Wolters, Arsalan Kazemi

Key Subtractions: Jrue Holiday

I think it is safe to say that nobody expected the 76ers to end up with Noel, arguably the best prospect in the draft.

The Sixers gave up their all-star point guard, Jrue Holiday, to acquire Noel and a 2014 first-round pick from the Pelicans. Some say they gave up too much, but this is a great trade for the Sixers. They weren't winning with Holiday; now they have a clear direction for the season(tank for Andrew Wiggins),  a potential franchise center in Nerlens Noel, and possibly two lottery picks in the deepest draft since 2003.

Carter-Williams and Wolters will be expected to fill the void Holiday left. While Carter-Williams has a higher upside, Wolters is a dark horse to earn that starting spot this season. Wolters can score from anywhere in the gym, is an extremely hard worker, and has good basketball I.Q. and instincts.

Carter-Williams, however, will be the one that is expected to lead this team for years to come. He has tremendous potential due to his size, court vision, and ball-handling, but he will have trouble keeping up with NBA point guards. He will have to play with a quicker guard that can hide his slow on-ball defense, and that isn't happening with Evan Turner.

The pickups of Noel and Carter-Williams makes it clear that Philly will be in rebuilding mode for the next few years. With next year's first-round pick they acquired from New Orleans being top-5 protected, there is no doubt that Philly fans will be closely watching the Pelicans' record.

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