The NBA Draft Losers
The Confusing Loser: Portland Trailblazers
#7 overall pick Shaedon Sharpe (KENTUCKY)
#57 overall pick Jabari Walker (COLORADO)
The Trailblazers made this list purely-based on confusion. They haven’t traded Damian Lilliard. A week ago, they traded for Jerami Grant. So, why did they draft the biggest developmental project in the NBA Draft? Shaedon Sharpe’s talent is undeniable, but he missed his entire freshman season at Kentucky. His last official game was a year ago, and it was in high school. This screams 2 or 3 year project.
The BIG Loser: New York Knicks
#42 overall pick Trevor Keels (DUKE)
For those that don’t know, the Knicks are hopeless. Also for those that don’t know, the Knicks traded away their lottery pick for a late first round pick in 2025, and cap relief (Kemba Walker out the door). A young team, with some decent young talent, had a chance to add to that. Instead they want to move Heaven and Earth for Jalen Brunson. Don’t get me wrong; Brunson is a quality basketball player. BUT I’m not giving an undersized point guard, who doesn’t facilitate or score at an elite level, superstar treatment in free agency. Make it make sense.
The Loser that might end up a Winner: OKC Thunder
#2 overall pick Chet Holmgren (GONZAGA)
#11 overall pick Ousmane Dieng (FRANCE)
#12 overall pick Jalen Williams (SANTA CLARA)
Some people would call me crazy for calling the Thunder a Draft loser, but hear me out. While Chet is a GREAT pick up at the #2 spot, he has a small frame. His body reminds me of an odd mix between Kristaps Porzingis and Thon Maker (that isn’t a compliment).
What really landed the Thunder in the losers category; was their next two picks. Dieng is an overseas draft & stash player, who played in the Australian NBL last season. He’s a long small forward (6 ft. 10), who can’t shoot, defend, or do anything well outside of passing the ball. The Thunder drafted him solely off of development. Jalen Williams is a small school prospect, who took a nice leap in his 3rd year of college. He’s a solid all-around wing skill-wise. He’s 6 foot 6 inches with bounce, but he hasn’t played good competition. Coming out of Santa Clara is going to be a hard adjustment.
The Thunder have placed themselves in a high-risk, high-reward situation. The risk seems unnecessary though. There were better, more ready prospects still on the board.