Top
Close
Follow Us ON

© 2017 Four Point Play

Advertise Here Flag

NBA Draft Review: Northwest Division

Reviews for the Western Conference teams kick off with the Northwest Division. If you missed the Eastern Conference, click on the names of the Divisions below.

Atlantic   Central   Southeast

Denver Nuggets


Key Additions: Darrell Arthur, Erick Green, Joffrey Lauvergne

Key Subtractions: Kosta Koufos

The Nuggets lose their starting big man and get three players that are unlikely to make much impact. At least we'll see a lot more Javale McGee next year. Let's hope for more moments like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TOAZ6anmIA 

Minnesota Timberwolves


Key Additions: Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Lorenzo Brown, Bojan Dubljevic

The T-Wolves did unexpectedly well this draft, something Wolves fans are definitely not used to after years of KAAAAAHN moments. Even with the guys atop their big boards, Oladipo and Caldwell-Pope, already taken, they managed to turn the top point guard in the class(a position they don't need), into two capable players that can immediately contribute.

Muhammad is so widely considered as overrated that he might now be a little underrated. Sure, he is not as athletic as we thought he was; he may not be able to rebound, and maybe he doesn't pass a whole lot, but boy can he score the ball. The T-Wolves need shooters, and Muhammad is one. With Ricky Rubio passing him the ball, Muhammad does not need to dribble too much or create. All he needs to do is catch and shoot.

Dieng is an all-defense big man, and the Wolves sorely need defense in the middle. Dieng can't score, but he doesn't need to while playing with Love or Pekovic(if he re-signs).

Lorenzo Brown is a value pickup in the second round. Once considered a potential lottery pick, Brown disappointed during his final year at NC State. It is unlikely that he will get many chances, but he does have some potential if the Wolves can motivate him.

Minnesota did a great job turning Burke into Muhammad and Dieng. Both players can be contributors, but it remains to be seen if that is enough to keep Kevin Love happy.

Portland Trail Blazers


Key Additions: C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Jeff Withey, Marko Todorovic

The Blazers had a sneaky good draft on Thursday.

Some criticized the McCollum pick because Lillard was already on the Blazers roster, but I love that pick for Portland. McCollum gives them a lot of flexibility; he will likely start the year by coming off the bench, and bench scoring is the Blazers' biggest weakness. With McCollum backing him up, Lillard might finally get some rest next season. McCollum might even see some time in the backcourt with Lillard. Both players can play off the ball as both are great shooters that can facilitate. If the Lillard-McCollum combination is successful, the Blazers can try to trade Wesley Matthews for a big man. Lillard-McCollum will be defensively challenged though, so most likely McCollum will remain the spark plug off the bench.

Crabbe fell to the second round, and the Blazers did not hesitate to snatch him up. Possibly the best shooter in the draft, Crabbe also has good size, length, and defensive potential. He will shore up the Blazers' backcourt off the bench along with McCollum, and is ready to contribute from day one.

Withey is a defensive big man, but that's pretty much all he does. The Blazers don't need him to do too much though, and he should be be a solid backup big man that provides defense and energy off the bench.

The Blazers are building up their bench quite nicely. They are not contenders quite yet, but will definitely make a run at that 8th seed.

Oklahoma City Thunder


Key Additions: Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines, Grant Jerrett

We saw the Steven Adams pick coming for days, but it is still a head-scratcher. Adams has potential to be a game-changer in the middle, but he will likely spend the next two years developing in the D-League. The Thunder need inside help now. They also need bench scoring, so players such as Kelly Olynyk and Shabazz Muhammad would have made sense.

Andre Roberson, the defense-and-rebounding small forward, will also likely spend a few years down in the D-League.

The Thunder seems to be drafting for the future, but as contenders now, they can't afford to focus only on the future(just look how the Harden trade turned out). Their window of contention won't remain open forever.

Utah Jazz


Key Additions: Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert

The Jazz gave up two first-round picks to get Trey Burke, but the young floor general is well worth it. The Jazz didn't need two mid-round picks; they needed a starting point guard for the future, and they got the best of the draft in Burke. Burke will bring his swagger and leadership to Salt Lake City, and is a perfect fit with the other youngsters on the Jazz squad. The Jazz will be patient with Burke, but it is hard to imagine him not earning the starting job after half a season.

The Jazz can afford to take a risk on Gobert. They have a good, young front court already, and will be patient with him, perhaps letting him stay abroad for a couple more years.

This young Jazz team headlined by Burke, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward will be one to watch for years to come.

Load