5. PERRY JONES III
Perry Jones III experienced one of the biggest falls during the draft. For someone with arguably the most talent and upside in this class to drop almost to the second round (No. 28 overall), he instantly becomes a steal. Despite the fatter check, the last thing he needed was to get drafted in the lottery and bared the expectations he couldn’t fulfill. Now he doesn’t have the burden of franchise on him – that’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s responsibility. Jones walks into a perfect situation where he’ll be allowed to develop appropriately and at his own pace. Jones needs to learn how to be a pro and earn his minutes, which is clearly the Thunder way.
4. HOUSTON ROCKETS
The Houston Rockets were probably on the phone lines harder than any other team in the league. There was no secret the Rockets were on a mission to trade up in the draft in order to possess more attractive assets to then flip in a blockbuster trade. While their attempts didn’t materialize, they still were able to nab really nice pieces with their three first-round picks. Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones are key to any potential offseason moves, or to reboot a miscast roster. The Rockets are now in a promising position to either swing for the fences for a superstar or rebuild altogether with all the assets they’ve accumulated.
3. DION WAITERS & TERRENCE ROSS
No two prospects rose on draft night higher than Dion Waiters and Terrence Ross. Although the draft has had a predetermined pay scale for some time now, there’s still some money to be made depending on how high in the lottery a cat goes. Per HOOPSWORLD.com, $3,444,400 and $2,136,100 will be the rookie salaries these guys will make as the fourth and eight picks, respectively. Besides their newfound riches, they both go to teams that will immediately start them at the shooting guard spot and give them the green light to score buckets. Waiters and Ross couldn’t have hoped for a better situation to receive what every young hooper desires.
2. JOHN WALL
John Wall finally gets a legitimate backcourt mate that compliments his skills and talent. For the past two seasons he’s been stuck with chuck-first-and-only cats like Nick Young and Jordan Crawford. He hasn’t been able to firmly adjust and enhance his game because he’s been surrounded with inefficient and immature teammates. Bradley Beal will be the Ray Allen remix to his more dynamic Rajon Rondo impersonation. Wall will now validate the hype he came into the league with and the year-too-soon prediction made by us here Dime.
1. LAMAR ODOM, KHLOE KARDASHIAN & THE L.A. CLIPPERS
With all the talk that this draft is supposed to be one of the best ever, there wasn’t a single trade that featured an established impact player changing the course of an entire franchise. One would’ve thought that one of these lottery guys or a combination of first-round picks would be worth the price for an All-Star. However, it’s this pending trade between the Clippers, Mavs and Utah Jazz that was the clear-cut winner of the draft. Nobody needed a change of scenery more than The Goods. He definitely was not himself this past season because of personal reasons and being homesick from his adopted L.A. He needed to go back to the only city he feels comfortable living in, shares his laidback personality, and drive ratings for his lousy show with his wife, Khloe. As for the Clippers, they bring back one of their originals who can still play at a high level and address their frontline depth. There was no way they would’ve opted to overpay for Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin’s services in free agency when they can get everything they provided and then some in Odom. Additionally, they had no more use for Mo Williams as a backup point guard since Eric Bledsoe’s emergence. The Clippers are just a shooter away from posing as a legitimate threat in the West.
Of course, all of this stems on Williams picking up his $8.5 million player option so the trade can actually be official. Reports are that he’ll make his decision in the next day or two.
Who were the biggest winners on draft night?
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