This article is part of our NBA Draft series.
The dust has settled on the 2017 NBA Draft. The Trust-the-Pro-cess! chants died out hours ago. So too, strangely enough, did the Da-nny Wood-head! chants.
While the Fire Phil! pleas will likely ring into the weekend, it's time to look back at which players and teams will leave Brooklyn in better shape – or worse shape – as free agency season approaches.
The Nets came away winners two days before the draft when they acquired D'Angelo Russell from the Lakers. While it cost Brooklyn the lower of its first-round picks, as well as its best player, Brook Lopez wasn't going to re-sign with the Nets next summer, and it's hard to imagine the team landing a player with higher upside than Russell. Taking on the Timofey Mozgov contract is a burden, but the Nets aren't positioned to be a serious free agent destination for at least another two or three years anyway.
With its remaining first-round pick, the Nets took Jarrett Allen out of Texas. A raw but talented big man, Allen will be given the opportunity to develop at his own pace as the Nets begin to climb out of the crater dug by the previous regime.
The Sixers got their man and didn't have to pay a steep price to do it. It was only a two-spot jump, but giving up just one additional first-rounder to move up to No. 1 in a loaded draft is relatively unprecedented. Plus, Philly negotiated the right to keep either of the future picks should they end up being No. 1 overall. AND, on top of that, the Sixers landed my favorite sleeper prospect in Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans.
With Markelle Fultz joining a core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, the Sixers' path to contention has never been clearer. Now they just need to stay healthy.
As soon as Donovan Mitchell fell past Detroit at 12, the Jazz pulled the trigger on a deal to move up to 13 and grab the combo guard out of Louisville. In order to do so, Utah gave up the No. 24 pick and Trey Lyles, who struggled in Year 2 after an encouraging rookie season. While the jury is still out on Lyles' long-term future, giving up a player who shot 38% from the floor last season to jump 11 spots and grab a higher-upside prospect feels like a minor cost.
The Jazz also packaged a pair of picks – No. 30 and No. 42 – to move up two spots and select North Carolina freshman Tony Bradley at 28.
The addition of Dwight Howard will justifiably draw mixed reviews, but considering what the Hornets gave up – a bad Miles Plumlee contract and Marco Belinelli – Howard is well worth the flyer for a cap-bound team desperately seeking a change.
Charlotte was in need of an upgrade at shooting guard, and it got exactly that on draft night. Heading into the draft, it looked as though the Hornets were going to have to settle for Justin Jackson or Luke Kennard, but Malik Monk fell right into their lap as one of the best values of the lottery at No. 11.
Much like the Hornets, the Mavs just had to sit back and wait. Their patience paid off, as Dennis Smith fell to nine after the Knicks went with Frank Ntilikina at No. 8. Smith has a couple minor red flags, but players with his levels of talent and explosiveness aren't often available in the back-half of the lottery.
Golden State Warriors
One of a few team without a first-round pick, the Warriors bought their way into Round 2 to select Oregon's Jordan Bell. A breakout player during the Ducks' run to the Final Four, Bell is a major talent on the defensive end. He's undersized for an NBA four, but Bell possesses elite shot-blocking timing and couldn't be going to a better system for his skill set.
Not long ago, Adebayo was seriously considering returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season. At that point, he didn't know he'd be a lottery pick, and even leading up to Thursday night, the Heat weren't viewed as a likely landing spot. Adebayo now goes to one of the best organizations in basketball, one that will enable him to play within himself as a young complement to Hassan Whiteside up front.
The Hawks were intent on moving Dwight Howard this summer, and while they succeeded in doing so, it's difficult not to be underwhelmed by the return. Atlanta even agreed to move back 10 spots in the draft to part ways with Howard, and Miles Plumlee's contract – $37.5M over the next three years – isn't exactly team-friendly.
While I'd like to commend the Bulls for finally embracing what appears to be some semblance of a rebuild, was this really the best deal out there? I don't think the Jimmy Butler trade was massively one-sided, but the Bulls gave up by far the best asset in the deal while returning the No. 7 pick, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.
If LaVine fully recovers from a torn ACL, he'll be the blue-chip return, but he's still a risk considering the severity of the injury. It's too early to write off Dunn, but he was a major disappointment as a rookie, and the Bulls have already suffered through a water wheel of point guard failures since the Derrick Rose injury. I'm not going to bash the Lauri Markkanen selection with the Wolves' pick at No. 7, but I'm lower on Markkanen than most, even if Chicago desperately needs his floor-stretching capability.
With the possible exception of his agent, Rabb lost the most money of anyone on draft night. Had he stayed in the 2016 draft, Rabb likely would have been a lottery pick. And while it's hard to fault a prospect for returning to school, Rabb undoubtedly has to regret the decision on some level after tumbling into the second round.
Bad night to be a Pac 12 big man whose name starts with the letter "I." After Rabb fell to the Grizzlies at 35, Anigbogu – considered a borderline-lottery pick, depending on who you asked – careened all the way to Indiana at 47. While Anigbogu is a chiseled athlete with some of the longest arms ever measured at the Combine, teams apparently weren't impressed with much about his actual ability to play basketball.