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NBA AM: Cavaliers Still Alive in Race for Eighth

The Cavaliers are still alive in the race for the East’s eighth seed, and they’re playing well … The Wizards end their five-season playoff drought

Alex Kennedy

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Cavaliers Still Alive in Race for Eighth

It is well documented that the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are battling for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. After last night’s games, the Knicks and Hawks are tied in the standings and the two teams will continue to compete with one another over the final two weeks of the season.

However, there is one other team that’s still alive in the race for the East’s eighth seed. The Cleveland Cavaliers are just two games back from the Knicks and Hawks, with a game against Atlanta this Friday. The Cavs have won five of their last six games, including victories over the Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers, and they’re hoping to get some help and be the team that sneaks into the postseason.

“We are still in the hunt,” Dion Waiters said. “We still have a chance. We just have to take full advantage of it. At the end of the day, everybody knows what is at stake. We are coming in here focused and locked in. We just have to go out there and execute.”

“That’s the goal; the goal is to get into the playoffs,” Luol Deng said. “The best thing about it is now that we’re at the end of the season and in the race, guys see what they’re playing for. Every practice, every game, there’s a goal and it’s right there in front of us. Whatever level you’re playing at, it’s always good when everyone is on the same page and has the same goal. And I think these guys are learning from it and really enjoying it. A lot of them haven’t been to the playoffs. We’re all trying to do whatever it takes to make it. For me, it means a lot not only to see them go through it but because I think we deserve it. We’re a way better team in the second half than we were in the beginning of the season, so I just want to see the maturity of this team get rewarded.”

“This is the first time in my career where these games this late in the season are starting to mean something,” Kyrie Irving said. “We are playing against teams that are fighting for spots as well, so it makes the games that much more fun. We go out there and compete. Guys have to step up. These are big-time games coming up.”

“Everyone’s goal is to be a winner and part of being a winner is playing in the postseason,” Tristan Thompson said. “The fun thing about this year is that we put ourselves in a position where these last six games mean something. Now, we just need to go out there and compete and see what happens. …  We’re very confident.”

“There’s nothing tricky that we have to do,” Mike Brown said. “We just have to keep getting ready for the next thing that’s in front of us. Go out and practice hard. Go out and play hard. I think it’s just as simple as that.”

Cleveland is currently 31-45 and this has been a roller coaster season for the team. They’ve dealt with drama, trades, injuries and a front office change among other things. This season has largely been a disappointment considering the team entered the season with playoff aspirations and securing a postseason berth shouldn’t have been this difficult, especially given the state of the Eastern Conference.

However, the Cavs are finally living up to their potential and playing some of their best basketball of the season lately.

“We’ve been playing great basketball,” Waiters said. “We’re keeping the defense on their heels and pushing the ball and hitting the open guy. We’re just having fun out there.”

“We’re doing a good job of enjoying the games and playing together,” Deng said. “Once you start winning, you get a feel for it and start enjoying it more than anything. Then, you start trying to put some more games together. We have a great group of guys who really want to win. Now that we’ve put some games together and learned different ways to win, they’re enjoying it. We’re enjoying it. We’re just trying to stack up more wins.”

“We’ve made strides in the right direction, just moving the ball, making each other better and trusting one another,” Irving said. “We’ve just had a great rhythm.”

Right after Wednesday night’s 21-point victory over the Orlando Magic, the Cavaliers all got on their phones to see whether the Knicks and Hawks had won their games. New York beat the Brooklyn Nets while Atlanta lost to the Chicago Bulls. Cleveland knows they’ll need help in order to realize their postseason goal, so they’ve been paying close attention to the two teams ahead of them in the standings.

“Oh yeah, after our games I’ll go check the scores to see what’s going on around the league,” Waiters said. “I’m focused on them, mainly those two teams. I’ve been checking.”

“New York won by 29 and Atlanta is down seven right now; I’m checking every few minutes,” Thompson said with a laugh. “These games definitely mean a lot.”

On Friday, the Cavaliers play the Hawks. They have to win that game if they want to stay alive in the race for eighth, especially since Atlanta owns the tiebreaker over Cleveland by virtue of winning the season series.

“It is not completely in our hands, but if we can control what we have in front of us it puts us in a lot better position,” Spencer Hawes said. “[Friday’s game against Atlanta] is the next one up and is perhaps our biggest game of the season given the circumstances at this point.”

“Friday’s game means a lot to keep us in this race,” Thompson said. “They definitely kicked our butts last time we went out there, so it’s a great challenge for us.”

“They’re all big,” Brown said. “Let’s say if we go and we beat Atlanta, and we lose our next five? Every game we play, because of the position we put ourselves in, is a big game. We have to come and try to play the right way and see if we can get a win.”

Even if the Cavaliers don’t make the playoffs, their players realize that this late-season success is good for the team moving forward. It gives them a taste of the playoff race and can help them going into next season.

“It’ll be disappointing at the end of the day, but we’ll still go into the offseason with a lot of momentum and hopefully be able to start next season strong because of how we’re doing now,” Waiters said. “But it’s up to us to go out there and win these games. That’s all we need to do.”

When asked about Cleveland’s odds of making the postseason, Brown paused and then smiled.

“I don’t know, I’ve never been great when I’ve gone to Vegas,” Brown said. “I don’t try to guess that. I just know that where we are, we’ve got to play good basketball and we’ve got to go try to win. We put ourselves in this hole. The only thing we can do is our part, and have a chance.”

Wizards Are Heading to the Playoffs

The Washington Wizards’ five-season playoff drought is over.

With last night’s win over the Boston Celtics, the Wizards clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The team is currently in the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed with a 39-36 record, which is a huge step forward for the franchise considering they were 117-277 over the last five years.

“It’s great, it’s everything I’ve been waiting for as a point guard,” John Wall said. “I’ve been trying to learn how to lead in this league and become a better player. Also, I think the fans deserve it. The tough times they went through of them booing us and us feeling bad when we weren’t playing good or playing the right way and having the right people around the organization. Those guys in the front office and the coaching staff are doing a great job of building us as players, and we’re trusting in their system and going out there and playing as a group, as one whole team. It means a lot.”

“It feels good, man,” Bradley Beal said. “It’s my second year, so I’m fortunate to be a part of a great group and be a part of this at an early age and it’s a good feeling to me. We still got seven games left in the regular season, but to be able to clinch the playoffs ourselves and get the win outright, it means a lot to us. …  It’s a great group of guys that the front office put together and we stuck together. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, a lot of injuries here and there, but ever since the last couple of years, we built it. Now, we have the pieces together and now we’re in the playoffs.”

“It’s huge, going to the playoffs,” Otto Porter said. “We’ve worked hard all year and to get rewarded with the playoffs is huge. It means a lot to this organization, to come out, to get this win, to clinch the playoffs. It’s what we’ve been keying on since the first day we all came together before training camp. This is definitely a big accomplishment for us.”

Wizards head coach Randy Wittman is thrilled that the team is finally having some success after struggling for so many years, and he’s excited for his players to experience the postseason.

“This is five years for me here, and we were in a desperate spot not too long ago,” Wittman said. “When I took over, I just tried to keep telling our guys, Ted [Leonsis] and Ernie [Grunfeld], let’s do this the right way and build this and teach, and one day we’re going to get here. Each year, we kept putting a piece here and there, kept developing, kept maturing. Even with Nene going down missing five, six weeks now, these guys didn’t blink an eye. We had some ups and downs like you always do and we’re still learning the process of what it takes to be a really good team, but I couldn’t be happier for those guys. To be through some of the times that we were in not too long ago and be able to say for guys like John that have never been in the playoffs, I keep trying to tell him the difference of how the arena is, the intensity is, how hard it’s played, how fast it is. It’s going to seem like a whole new game to these guys. I can’t wait for them to see it. I’m just as thrilled too. This is an opportunity for me as a head coach; this is my first time and I’m looking forward to it.”

Wall will make his playoff debut after watching the Wizards land in the lottery for the four seasons of his career. The 23-year-old has had an incredible year, making his first All-Star appearance and postseason appearance several months apart. When asked to compare the two accomplishments, Wall was clear that securing a playoff berth was much more important to him.

“This is bigger than that, I told ya’ll that,” Wall said. “All-Star is my own separate goal and what I wanted to accomplish for myself, but everything I do is for the team first. I wouldn’t be able to be an All-Star and have these individual accolades without those guys, a great group of teammates. Everything I do I put my teammates’ first and my coaching staff [first]. This is what everybody wanted as a group.”

Even though the Wizards have clinched a playoff spot, their final seven games are still important because they haven’t determined their seed yet. Washington could still climb to the fifth seed (they’re just a game and a half back from the Brooklyn Nets) or slide to the seventh seed (they’re only two games up on the Charlotte Bobcats). The team understands this and is remaining focused despite this achievement.

“I mean, you celebrate tonight and get ready to go on the road and win another game,” Wall said. “That’s the main thing for me, trying to finish the season as strong as possible and prepare ourselves for a great playoff seed.”

“We want to finish strong,” Porter said. “We don’t want to rest these next couple of games just because we are in the playoffs. We want to finish out feeling good about ourselves going into the playoffs.”

If the playoffs started today, the Wizards would take on the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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NBA Daily: Potential Free Agent Bargains

With the NBA’s free agency right around the corner, David Yapkowitz identifies some valuable players that could be had for a nice price.

David Yapkowitz

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The NBA Draft is in the rearview now which means free agency is right around the corner—this coming weekend, to be exact.

With seemingly few teams having money to spend, it might not shape up to be as crazy a free agency period as some believe.

Already, several players such as the Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic, the Denver Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler and the Atlanta Hawks’ Mike Muscala have chosen to exercise their player options rather than test the open market. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Carmelo Anthony will do the same.

With little money to go around, some free agents are going to have to settle for whatever is left. There might be a few guys who end up signing bargain contracts, and here’s a look at some players who could end up on that list.

Mike Scott – Atlanta Hawks – $1,471,382

One year ago, Mike Scott was recovering from multiple injuries and was seemingly on the borderline between being in and out of the NBA. He signed a one-year contract with the Washington Wizards last offseason and ended up having a resurgent year. He emerged as a key contributor for a Wizards bench that has been one of their weaknesses for some time.

He’s a stretch-four, a perfect fit for today’s NBA game. He put up career-high shooting numbers with 52.7 percent shooting from the field and 40.5 percent from the three-point line. He played well against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. He’ll fetch more than the minimum contract he signed last summer, but again, it’s a question about how much. Plenty of teams could use a versatile shooting big man with solid defense.

Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors – $1,471,382

Seemingly buried on the Golden State Warriors bench his first two years in the league, Kevon Looney broke out this season and proved he could be a valuable option in the rotation. To begin this season, he was even behind rookie Jordan Bell in the lineup. It wasn’t until Bell went down with a brief injury that Looney got his chance.

With today’s game increasingly moving away from positions and big men needed more of an all-around skill set to thrive, Looney is perfect. He’s shown an ability to guard multiple positions. He can finish well around the rim and he’s active on the glass. One area he could improve on is developing a consistent jump shot, but that’s something that can come with time. Depending on what the Warriors decide to do with JaVale McGee and David West, Looney might be squeezed out from the team. He’s sure to attract interest though around the league.

Jerami Grant – Oklahoma City Thunder – $1,524,305

When he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers four years ago, Jerami Grant immediately became a solid rotation player. He continued his strong play after coming over to the Thunder in a trade about two years ago. His numbers may not jump off the stat sheet (8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds), but he does a lot of little things that bring value to a team.

In today’s NBA, he’s able to play multiple positions both offensively and defensively. He didn’t shoot so well from beyond the arc this season (29.1 percent), but the year before he connected on 37.1 percent of this three-point attempts. He has that ability to spread the floor. He made $1,524,305 this past season and he most definitely is in line for a bigger payday. How much bigger though is the question. His versatility would be a boost to any team.

Will Barton – Denver Nuggets – $3,533,333

Heading into free agency, Will Barton had the best season of his career. He put up 15.6 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting from the field, 37 percent from the three-point line and 4.1 assists, all career-highs. He was a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award but he also proved that he could start as well. Known for being a scorer most of his career, he really developed into more of a playmaker this season.

Barton would be an asset to any team looking to add some wing firepower and playmaking to their rotation. Close to the end of the season with the Nuggets making a playoff push, Barton was thrust into the starting lineup for the final 13 games. During that stretch, he put up 19.2 points while shooting 40 percent from three-point range. He’s proved himself worthy of getting paid, it just remains to be seen what those offers might look like.

Isaiah Thomas – Los Angeles Lakers – $6,261,395

A little over a year ago, Isaiah Thomas was the face of the Boston Celtics and a legit MVP candidate. The Celtics were then swept out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it was revealed that Thomas had an injury that required surgery. After being dealt to the Cavaliers last offseason, he never really was able to fit in with the team and they jettisoned him off to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline.

He looked a bit more comfortable with the Lakers but ended up having to shut it down in late March due to lingering injury issues. He once was on the threshold of receiving a max contract, but that doesn’t appear to be so anymore. There’s no question about his value to a team if healthy. He did average 15.6 points and 5.0 assists in 17 games with the Lakers. It’s possible he opts for a one year deal to prove he’s healthy and then test free agency again next summer. In any case, provided his injuries are behind him, he could be a free agent steal.

It will be interesting to see how the free agent landscape unfolds money wise. The players on the list can all be capable contributors to a playoff contender. It just seems like most of the teams with cap room this summer are teams in the midst of rebuilding. These guys could wind up being contract bargains for a contender off the bench.

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NBA Daily: Kevin Knox and Kristaps Porzingis Already Have One Thing In Common

Kevin Knox’s experience on draft night was eerily similar to that of Kristaps Porzingis.

Moke Hamilton

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Michael Porter, Jr. might be the next Kevin Durant, but he could just as easily be the next Greg Oden.

And if you’re searching for comfort in the wake of the decision of the Knicks to pass on the opportunity to draft the young man who was widely regarded as being the top prospect in the class of 2018, it is pretty easy to find in the fact that of all people, Jerry West decided that Porter wasn’t worth the risk, either.

While Porter might end up being a Hall of Famer, when it comes to drafting prospects, we might as well be shooting in the dark. We all knew that Markelle Fultz was the best option for the Sixers in last year’s draft, and 12 other teams clearly had no idea what Donovan Mitchell had in store for the league.

Heck, two years ago, as I was recently reminded by someone on Twitter, I predicted that the Knicks would select Emmanuel Mudiay with their fourth pick. Instead, they walked away with Kristaps Porzingis.

If I were the man making the call back then, with the information I had, I certainly would have drafted Mudiay. And you know what? That decision probably would have gotten me fired, and rightfully so.

The true moral of the story is that we simply can’t see into the future and all the analytics in the world won’t able to measure things like guts and heart. So as the Knicks pin their hopes on Kevin Knox, it truly will be interesting to see how the career arcs of he and Porter compare.

As for why we would single out the Knicks and make the franchise’s decision to draft Knox over him a personal one, quite a few people in the know relayed the same information on the Knicks and Porter going back to their date at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago in May—they loved each other.

Thereafter, there were reports that the Knicks were looking to move up in the draft, and Porter was on their minds. On Thursday night in Barclays Center, with the Knicks on the clock, their fans in attendance cheered for Porter, as they were hopeful that he would be selected to be the franchise’s next stud.

They were disappointed, and now, they’ll hope that Scott Perry’s decision to go with Knox ends up being the right one. It might be, just like Porzingis was the right pick over Mudiay, and it might not be, just like selecting Frank Ntilikina over Mitchell wasn’t.

Like it or not, though, the two young men will forever be linked, both in my mind and in the minds of plenty of other Knicks fans.

“That’s just motivation,” Knox said of the Knicks fans in attendance chanting Porter’s name.

“A lot of people want him to get to the Knicks, but I mean, it’s all good with me. I’m ready to get to work. I’m ready to get to work and ready to prove people in Summer League and prove people in the NBA.”

Knox’s experience on draft night was remarkably similar to that of Porzingis, and now, if you even so much as suggest trading the Latvian unicorn for a player such as Kyrie Irving, Knicks fans just might call for your head.

It’s strange how quickly things can change for you in New York City. At the end of the day, it comes down to working hard and earning the adoration of the faithful in Gotham City. Porzingis succeeded there, and there’s every reason to believe that Knox will, as well.

“They booed Porzingis (on draft night) and look where he is now,” the rookie remarked.

“They can chant Michael Porter all they want, but they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”

When asked, Knox would tell you that he and Jayson Tatum happen to have something in common. According to him, neither of the two really got an opportunity to show what they could do at the collegiate level.

With more opportunities and more repetitions, the sky truly is the limit for the 18-year-old.

“I think I can pretty much play all around the floor,” Knox said.

“I can handle the ball, pick-and-roll situations, make plays, make passes. I can stretch the floor, shoot the ball, get rebounds, push it coast to coast. So I think that versatility in the league is something that a lot of teams really need, and I think that’s something I can bring to the Knicks right now.”

Privately, to members of the Knicks organization, Knox has spoken highly of the spotlight that he’s bound to face in New York and believes that playing at Kentucky helped to prepare him for the type of demanding environment that he’ll be introduced to once the season gets underway in New York. And even without a bad back, the crushing expectations and heavy burden could cause a weaker minded player to crumble.

A FaceTime call with Porzingis on draft night went a long way toward giving the rookie the confidence that he’ll need to thrive in New York.

That the franchise’s pride and joy immediately reached out to his new running mate to congratulate him, welcome him to the team and give him some insight is a good sign. At the very least, it shows that Porzingis takes his responsibility as being the team’s lead man seriously.

At most, it could signal K.P.’s being pleased with the selection.

We’re about to embark upon the story of Kevin Knox. We’ve only seen the preamble.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you certainly can’t know how the final chapter will end based on what you’ve read in the first chapter. So no, the Knicks fans that wanted Michael Porter on their squad didn’t get their wish, but in the long run, they may end up being better for it.

Just like Kristaps Porzingis, Knox wasn’t received warmly by Knicks fans on draft night.

Hopefully, for the rookie, it’s not the last thing he and the beloved Porzingis will have in common.

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NBA Daily: Lessons From The 2018 NBA Draft

After a wild 2018 NBA Draft, here are four lessons and storylines worth watching over the next few years.

Ben Nadeau

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Now that the dust has settled on an unpredictable NBA Draft — what exactly have we learned? In amongst the unrelenting rumors, refused workouts and surprise reaches, there are a few key takeaways from Brooklyn. Of course, some of these are one-off instances, but others are definitely part of modern-day draft patterns. While draft night may sometimes seem like complete chaos or chance, each scenario on this rundown has been boiling over for weeks. Between passing on a talented prospect to letting an injured one slide, here are four important lessons from the 2018 NBA Draft.

Luka Dončić… Not The No. 1?

For months and months, it appeared as if Luka Dončić was poised to become the No. 1 overall pick in this draft. Even today, it’s hard to believe that somebody with Dončić’s age and resume wasn’t the top selection. In 2017-18 alone, the Slovenian took home EuroLeague MVP and Finals MVP plus ACB MVP, with championships in both leagues to boot — but here we are. Dončić averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals over just 25 minutes per game, quickly transforming into the most well-rounded overseas prospect of all-time. But as impressive as Dončić was throughout the spring, the potential ceilings of both DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III eventually won out.

At 7-foot-1, Ayton’s 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game were undeniably worthy of a top selection too, pairing well alongside Devin Booker and Josh Jackson for the foreseeable future. While the jury is still out on Bagley III — his defense needs some major fine-tuning — he won’t take key touches away from De’Aaron Fox either. More or less, nobody wants to be the organization to miss on such a franchise-altering pick. The Suns, Kings and even the Hawks may eventually regret passing on Dončić, but when general managers’ entire careers can depend on making the right choice at the right time, it’s not difficult to understand why the top of the draft unfolded as it did.

Playing Hard To Get Doesn’t Always Work Out…

As draft boards began to take shape, there was one particularly interesting situation sitting at No. 4 overall. Jaren Jackson Jr., solidly leading the second tier of prospects, was looking like a lock at the Memphis Grizzlies’ pick — but with one major caveat: Jackson Jr. reportedly didn’t work out or give his medical information to the franchise. After he was drafted, Jackson Jr. called those rumors “a tad out of context” — but, obviously, those are some massive red flags. Either way, Memphis went with their gut and selected the talented forward anyway.

But beyond all that, Memphis absolutely made the right move by sticking to their guns. Putting a modern three-point shooting, defensive-minded athlete next to Marc Gasol should prove to be an absolute nightmare for years to come. Naturally, Jackson Jr. will get plenty of easy looks from the stellar Mike Conley Jr. too — so if the draftee was once apprehensive, surely that will pass soon. Still, it reflects on a larger NBA pattern, wherein which prospective athletes sensibly look to mold their own path out of college. With players trying to control their draft narratives more than ever, it’s reassuring to see that some franchises will take their target first and then figure out the rest.

We may never know Jackson Jr.’s full thought process behind not working out for the Grizzlies, but there’s a great chance that the former Spartan was made for Memphis’ tough brand of basketball — and we should all be glad we’ll get to see it.

…But Injuries Will Lead To A Slide

Michael Porter Jr. — what a year for him, huh?

After missing out on much of his only collegiate season due to back surgery, Porter Jr. promised that he was feeling better than ever. But over the last month, scouts and front offices were treated to canceled workouts and hazy uncertainty. And, at the end of the day, it probably scared a handful of franchises away from the talented scorer. Just this week, the Kings heavily considered Porter Jr. at No. 2 overall — but even with that sudden unlikelihood passing by, few thought he’d drop out of the top ten altogether. Outside of the guaranteed money that Porter Jr. will miss out on, redshirting his rookie year may also be on the table as well.

The inherent upside with Porter Jr. is obvious, but — similarly to the Dončić issue — it’s tough to ask franchise officials to stake their livelihood on the prospect’s health. If Porter Jr.’s lingering issues stay with him and he never reaches his mountain of potential, that’s a tough pill to swallow. The 19-year-old would fall all the way down to No. 14, where the Denver Nuggets gladly scooped him up. During the combine in May, Porter Jr. called himself the best player in the draft — but it’s now up to him to prove them all wrong.

The Mysterious Men Nearly Miss Out

Let’s rewind to early April. Villanova had been just crowned NCAA champions for the second time in three years, the NBA playoffs were soundly on the horizon and mock drafts had begun to consistently pour out. Early on, there were two athletic big men that looked like shoo-ins as first-rounders: Robert Williams and Mitchell Robinson. Despite their undercooked skill-sets, both players pulled out of the combine and then waited for the hype to build — except, well, it didn’t. Williams, who was typically projected in the early teens, slipped out of the lottery entirely, only to be rescued by the Boston Celtics at No. 27. Williams is a booming, powerful prospect, but he could’ve really benefited from competing against the other top prospects in May.

Although he’s now landed in an ideal situation with Brad Stevens, Al Horford and a process-driven Celtics squad, Williams likely cost himself a whole load of money over the last 30-plus days as well.

In Robinson’s case, many believed his floor was the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 25 — rumors swirling that the 7-foot-1 center even received a promise from the illustrious franchise. Instead, Robinson dropped to the New York Knicks at No. 36 overall. Robinson had originally committed to Western Kentucky in July of 2017 before dropping out to prepare for the draft. After skipping the combine last month, Robinson indeed exhibited the potential to be both a steady shot-blocker and three-point maker during his individual evaluations. But with little to go off of but high school highlight reels and small session workout tapes, he understandably fell.

Sometimes the hype is impossible to ignore, but not participating in the combine and staying as mysterious as possible hurt these ultra-talented prospects.

While the 2018 NBA Draft wasn’t quite the trade-heavy, drama-laden extravaganza much of the world expected, there are plenty of narratives to reflect upon. At the end of the day, the ink is barely dry on this year’s festivities and it’ll be some time before there’s any indication of these successes or failures. Still, there are lessons to be learned from every draft, workout or injury process and these are four conversations worth considering as the NBA quickly rolls into the summer league season.

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