Carmelo Anthony is reportedly livid at the Knicks for drafting Kristaps Porzingis, the Sixers take another big man, the Bruins clean house, and Joe Girardi decided to hit Jose Pirela over Brian McCann with the game on the line. This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, June 27, 2015.
- The first four picks of the 2015 NBA Draft were as dramatic as any first four picks of any draft I can remember. Karl-Anthony Towns was the obvious choice for the Minnesota Timberwolves at number one.
- Now Minnesota gets the chance to build around Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, and Anthony Bennett. That’s as good a young core as you’ll get in the NBA. Towns and Wiggins have the ability to turn into one of the best one-two punches in the game. But then again, this is Minnesota we’re talking about.
- The Lakers picked 2nd and everything was pointing to Jahlil Okafor going to LA. I was puzzled by that because I couldn’t picture how Okafor and last year’s first rounder Julius Randle would co-exist. Thankfully, the Lakers understood that and opted to take DeAngelo Russell out of Ohio State.
- This was the only move for the Lakers who now have a budding superstar to team up with Kobe Bryant in the back-court. LA is actually positioned to be a respectable team next season with Kobe back, Randle healthy, Russell, and the addition of either DeMarcus Cousins, LaMarcus Aldridge, or Kevin Love. The Lakers are a lock to get one of those players, and have one of the more talented starting lineups in the game next season.
- After LA took Russell at number two, there was no doubt in my mind the Sixers would pass on Okafor which would have allowed him to fall on the lap of Phil Jackson. But they didn’t, and now Philly is stuck with three players 6’10 and taller: Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid (who’s status for next season is in doubt), and Okafor. There’s no way the Sixers would keep all three guys, and conventional wisdom says a trade is coming. At least one would think.
- The selection of Okafor could possibly signal that the Embiid news is bad because I don’t want to believe Philly would actually take another big man just because he was the best available player.
- Once Okafor went 3rd, I thought there was no way Jackson would have the cojones to draft Kristaps Porzingis. Yes the man has upside, but the track record of European players in the NBA is not good, and that’s putting it lightly. The only two International players taken in the lottery who turned out to be all-stars were Pao Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki. That’s it. Since 2001, of the 19 International players who were selected in the lottery, none have made an all-star team. Not one.
- If I were Phil Jackson, I would have gone with Emmanuel Mudiay or even Justise Winslow. In my opinion, if Muiday had stuck with his commitment to enroll at SMU, he would have been a top three pick. The Knicks needed to bring someone in who you know is extremely talented and will make an immediate impact. They did the exact opposite.
- One person who was reportedly enraged at what the Knicks did on draft night was Carmelo Anthony. Here’s what Frank Isola tweeted Friday morning.
Carmelo, according to source, called Tim Hardaway Jr. late Thursday to express his displeasure with Phil Jackson’s draft night moves. Oh boy
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 26, 2015
Carmelo feels Phil needs to make moves that can help immediately. “He said, ‘we have to wait three years for this guy?'” Knick source claims
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 26, 2015
- I actually have to side with Carmelo here. At 31-years-old, Melo only has a few more prime years left, and by the time Porzingis is ready to make a meaningful impact, he could be over the hill. Not that the Knicks would have won anyway, but the time to go for it is now, not that Phil won’t make a splash in free agency. Either way, draft night was not a good start to the offseason for the Knickerbockers.
- I thought the Miami Heat got away with highway robbery snagging Justise Winslow with the 10th pick. Coach K said Winslow is another version of Dwyane Wade. He didn’t say he was the potential to be as good as Wade, but that he’s already that talented. I thought Winslow could go as high as four, and he ended up slipping to 10.
- As for the Brooklyn Nets, the reality is at 29, getting a difference making player is almost impossible, so to expect anything from Chris Mccullough is silly. Reports say he won’t even play a game for the Nets this upcoming season.
- The one player I wanted the Nets to get the whole draft was Pat Connaughton out of Notre Dame. I fell in love with his athleticism and clutch play in the NCAA Tournament, and was praying he would end up in Brooklyn.
- Then with the 41st pick, Mark Tatum announced Connaughton would he headed to the Nets and I could not have been more excited. About two seconds later, it was announced the Nets had traded Connaughton and Mason Plumlee to the Portland Trail Blazers for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (the 23rd pick in the draft) and Steve Blake.
- I’ve never been so teased in my life. I was legitimately ready to buy a Pat Connaughton Nets jersey. That’s how excited I was only to see it all taken away from me. Also, I thought the only was the Nets would part with Plumlee was if they got a lottery pick in return. They sold extremely low in my mind.
- The most intriguing post-draft news was learning what the Celtics were willing to do to jump to the 9th pick in the draft. According to reports, Boston was ready to give up six draft picks, including four first rounders, but Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets were all in on Frank Kaminsky. I think Kaminsky will be a good NBA player, but for what the Celtics were offering, how do you say no to that? This could be one Michael regrets.
- In other Boston news, the Bruins were wheeling and dealing in the moments leading up to the NHL Draft. Boston traded 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton and emotional leader Milan Lucic in return for number 13 and 15 picks in the draft.
- I could understand getting rid of the under-achieving Lucic, but Hamilton is just 22 and is a budding star. Boston gave up on Tyler Seguin way too early, and it now looks like they may have done the same with Hamilton. The Bruins also lost Carl Soderberg who signed a five-year deal with the Avalanche. It’s hard to believe the Bruins won the President’s Trophy just two seasons ago and to see where they are now. Things can change quickly in the NHL.
- I was in utter disbelief watching the Yankees Astros game Thursday night. The Yankees were down 4-0 with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. Jose Pirela was due up, and Joe Girardi stuck with him over using Brian McCann as a pinch-hitter.
- This was the Yankees chance to get back in the game. After dominating for 8.2 innings, Dallas Keuchel all of a sudden lost the strike zone and was bound to groove one right down the middle and McCann was the guy destined to take advantage, but Girardi decided to go with Pirela who had one career home run. One. There’s no reasonable explanation for not going to the bench in that spot, none. By the way, Pirela grounded out to third on the first pitch of the at-bat to end the game.
- Be sure to tune back next Saturday for another edition of Frankly Frankel and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.