NOTE: This is a series of articles written by individual authors, both in and out of The Draft Class. These are all part of The Draft Class’ NBA Re-Draft, in which all of the current 30 NBA teams are represented and will undergo a simulation through NBA 2K20, with the goal to build the best team over the next five years. All teams have already been formed through the snake draft. These pieces will break down why each team’s representative drafted the way they did, as well as the approach the representative had heading into the draft.
GM: Kory Waldron (@KWalHoops)
Right off the rip, I knew in a snake draft like this, that having pick number 20 was putting me in a tough spot if my goal was to win now. This is why I pivoted on a full-on youth movement with Years 3-5 of this five year simulation in mind. This led to my first overall pick being the likely 2019-2020 NBA Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant. We’ve seen the flashes of brilliance already from Morant, who can score, facilitate, rebound and defend. The point guard position is arguably the most important in the league and with Morant, I knew I had the face of my franchise.
The next step was to surround Morant with a supporting cast that benefited his skillset. The players I went out searching for were those who could space the floor, had high athleticism and were versatile enough to play multiple positions. That was more or less accomplished as the average age of my team is 24 years old.
My second overall pick was the high flyer & super versatile young big in John Collins. Collins may have some defensive issues, but hopefully with development that changes. Regardless, Collins provides offense inside the paint as well as outside the arc while being a high energy rebounder. The perfect player to play alongside Ja Morant – imagine the fast breaks!
My next three picks were no longer about acquiring the best talent on the board, but finding the right core pieces to surround Morant & Collins. This is where I drafted Kelly Oubre Jr., Evan Fournier & Malik Beasley. Kelly Oubre Jr. is another crazy athletic wing who can also play small ball power forward minutes – not to mention his shooting has improved yearly.
Now, Evan Fournier was a bit older than I would have liked, but veterans are important to a roster and he’s a lifetime 37% three-point shooter. Lastly, when it comes to Malik Beasley, he showed in a small sample size his offensive abilities with the Minnesota Timberwolves to create his own offense, an aspect of my team that was needed.
The next three picks were my most important picks, as these are more or less my key reserves: Jaxson Hayes, Kris Dunn & Cedi Osman. Though Hayes is actually my starting center, I’m unsure how his first couple of seasons will go, and I have hopes that John Collins can actually thrive as a small ball center. Regardless, Hayes was an easy choice as a rim protector, solid rebounder, and high-energy guy who is only 19 years old.
At this point, I felt that Ja Morant needed a back-up guard who won’t be asked to do much aside from playing elite defense and running the offense briefly. This is where Kris Dunn was the answer, as Dunn can easily provide all of that despite the fact that he’s not a talented scorer; essentially, I get Marcus Smart vibes from him. Additionally, Cedi Osman is an offensive wing and a fairly decent defender who is still young enough to develop further.
Overall, I’m very happy with how the draft turned out. I don’t think this team will ever win a title, but I’m hopeful that they become contenders in the final couple years of this simulation.