The Los Angeles Lakers are eager to revive from last season’s dismal performance which resulted in a franchise-high 61-loss tournament. In the inaugural day of the NBA draft they emerged as big winners. Lakers picked D’Angelo Russell in the second overall pick. Russell is rated as the top talent in the draft according to some scouts. With Kobe Bryant at the twilight of his career, the Lakers have acquired the required punch to challenge powerhouses of the Western Conference with a promising superstar guard. LeMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are two free agents on Lakers’ radar as they plan to upgrade their front-court shooting after passing over Okafor.
None could be a replacement for LeBron James. Duke’s Justise Winslow was a much-needed athlete for Miami heats at No 10.
“He’s not a good shooter, but he’s just a good player,’’ a scout said, describing Winslow. Not having a particular position and weakness in perimeter play were drawbacks for Winslow for this NBA Draft.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are long sufferers in the league, failing to enter the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons. They made the most of their No 1 pick, roping in a versatile big man capable of impacting the game at both ends of the court. Power-forward Karl-Anthony Towns was draft’s top pick.
Boston Celtics selected Terry Rozier, 6-2 Louisville guard, as No 16 pick. It seems as if the Celtics are forced to draft small guards in recent years. Celtics are eying to trade Marcus Smart, who struggled in various areas last season.
The Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis as the crowd booed largely.
With the first round concluded, only two trades were made official ahead of the second round at Barclays Center.