CineSport—The Cleveland Cavaliers delivered one of the NBA Draft's biggest surprises on Thursday. CineSport's Noah Coslov & SheridanHoops.com's Nick Gibson recap the night's stunners from Newark.
Basketball was back in New Jersey Thursday night as the NBA draft welcomed former college stars to the league. But as David Stern (recipient of the most draft night booing since Donovan McNabb) read off the picks and John Calipari and Roy Williams stockpiled team hats, the lives of free agents around the NBA changed.
With free agency getting underway at midnight on July 1st, what do certain draft picks mean for the fate of Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett and others?
With the 13th pick, the Phoenix Suns selected North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall. With Nash becoming a free agent, Marshall and Sebastian Telfair become the only point guards on the Suns’ roster.
Marshall could easily become the Suns’ starting point guard this year if Nash doesn’t re-sign, which is now looking more and more likely. Look for Nash to reunite with Amar’e Stoudemire in New York to try to make a title run. At 38, Nash doesn’t have much more time to win a ring.
If he declared for the draft last year, Jared Sullinger would have been a top-10 pick. But with doctors medically red-flagging the Ohio State power forward, Sullinger fell right into the laps of the Boston Celtics at #21.
Sullinger could very easily join the likes of Kenneth Faried and DeJuan Blair as productive big men who fell in the draft to teams who are already a proven success.
Garnett will most likely stay in Boston, and while they do play the same position, Sullinger should still get some playing time, barring a disaster this summer. That being said, Sullinger could take the minutes and roster spot away from free agent Brandon Bass. Bass has been linked to a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo.
After missing the majority of last season with a knee injury, Eric Gordon looks to stay in New Orleans despite becoming a restricted free agent. The Hornets drafted around Gordon, taking a defensive stalwart in forward Anthony Davis and the point guard of the future in Austin Rivers. If Gordon stays healthy and Davis and Rivers live up to their potential, the Hornets could prove to be a solid playoff team for years to come.
The 2012 NBA draft was filled with big names and potential. But we will have to wait and see whether this draft will become synonymous for star power or for a failure to live up to the hype.