As is almost always the case, the 2018 National Basketball Association draft, and the months leading up to it following the end of the NCAA Tournament, was a practice in selecting the available players that have the most potential.
The top three picks are easy.
Now one of the most talked about players in the league is newly minted Phoenix Suns player Deandre Ayton who was selected first overall in this year's NBA Draft. Talk about awkward. Anything the Cavs do to retain The King will likely include packaging their newest draft pick in a trade for another star, just like they did with Andrew Wiggins in 2014.
The Suns never before had selected first overall in the draft, and with Ayton now on board, they hope not to do so again in the near future.
Luka Doncic: The Mavericks dealt a 2019 first rounder to the Hawks to move up two spots to grab Doncic, who enters the league as arguably the best European prospect ever.
The Mavericks also gave up a future first-round pick to draft Doncic, who only arrived in NY on Wednesday after helping Spain's Real Madrid win its league championship after he won Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP honors when they won that title this year.
"I've been talking to Dallas a lot", Doncic said. I told my mom, you think we were working, but the hard work really starts now.
The Hawks will get perhaps the most exciting player in college basketball last season in Young, the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season. "I want to start my own thing". "If such a change were to happen", Lowe wrote, "it could create a single draft loaded with the best prospects from two consecutive high school classes".
The Suns made the 7-foot-1 Ayton the first No. 1 pick in franchise history. Former Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr. was one of those players, as he was selected with the No. 4 overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies. But the Pac 12, which had Arizona's Deandre Ayton taken No. 1 overall, matched its three NCAA teams with three draft picks. "Through my career I'll always have that chip on my shoulder", Ayton said.
Doncic couldn't join DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and the other headliners in NY on Wednesday because he was en route from Spain after finishing off his dream season by helping Real Madrid win its ACB league championship on Tuesday. "I haven't had the exposure in college to really guard big men, or the big men that I guard haven't really touched the ball or really do what they were supposed to do".
Multiple reports had him declining to work out for the team, who ultimately went with Alabama's Collin Sexton with the eighth pick. But they ended up disappointed as NY went with Kentucky's Kevin Knox.
"It's like I've known him my whole life", Bridges said.
"(I grew) up around that brand, I'm used to that brand", Ayton said.
Chicago Bulls - Michael Porter Jr. But more than a half-hour after he was traded, and while he was doing media wearing a Sixers hat, Philadelphia traded him to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith, the 16th pick, and an unprotected first-round pick from the Miami Heat in 2021. Initially seen as a late-lottery talent, the Knicks stuck to their guns with Knox rather than take someone like Mikal Bridges, a system player without as much upside.
It's almost impossible to declare outright winners and losers hours after the draft has concluded (let alone years until players have fully developed), but there are stories and themes within the draft that qualify as positives and negatives.