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The 2017 NBA Draft started off with a bang, but it was relatively smooth following a blockbuster trade Thursday at the Barclays Center.
The Timberwolves made the first big move of the night, sending Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen) to the Bulls for three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick (Justin Patton). Butler will reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota and attempt to lead the young Timberwolves to the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Jordan Jenkins Jersey As for the draft itself, the Sixers selected Markelle Fultz at No. 1 overall, and the Lakers quickly followed with Lonzo Ball at No. 2. Despite trade rumors leading up to draft night, the Celtics stayed in their slot and chose Jayson Tatum at No. 3, and the picks fell into place from there.
Here are the NBA Draft picks, complete with grades and analysis for each selection.
With Cousins hitting free agency next season (unless Washington somehow manages to hammer out an extension), it’s entirely possible that Shanahan is just punting the quarterback position this year and will pursue his former QB. The two worked together in 2012 and 2013 when Shanahan was Washington’s offensive coordinator.
If not, then they should at least be drafting high enough to get a potential franchise quarterback. USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, and Wyoming’s Josh Allen are among the top prospects in what should be a loaded QB class in 2018.
That’s not a bad plan for next season, but it sure won’t make the 2017 offense any easier to watch. Hoyer hit his ceiling years ago as a mediocre journeyman, and any promise he showed last year was wiped out by a season-ending broken arm. Barkley didn’t show much in relief of Hoyer, throwing a staggering 14 interceptions in just six starts for the Bears.
If the New York Jets have the worst QB situation in the league, then the 49ers aren’t far behind. The silver lining is that Shanahan has a good track record with quarterbacks, so fans can only hope he has a plan here.