Friday's CatsIllustrated.com Newsstand is all about the NBA Draft.
Here you'll find a heavy dose of analysis, opinion-giving and perspective from writers mostly from Sacramento, Charlotte and Miami, the three cities that are home to the franchises who selected De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo.
KINGS PICK FOX
De’Aaron Fox isn’t the first dynamic point guard to dress like a King. Reggie Theus and Jason Williams were magicians of their generations. Mike Bibby was a smooth-shooting, stutter-stepping genius. Isaiah Thomas remains a 5-foot-9 marvel, who unfortunately slipped out of town before becoming a phenomenon.
But locating an elite lead guard has been a struggle, a sort of extended Sacramento recession.
On his way to the interview room at the Barclays Center on Thursday, De'Aaron Fox crossed paths with Josh Jackson, the prospect taken one spot before him in the NBA Draft. While Jackson's afro made his Phoenix Suns hat a bit of an awkward fit, Fox was wise enough to announce beforehand that he'd like a visor because of his voluminous hair. The Sacramento Kings, of course, provided one. Jackson was jealous.
"It looks good, doesn't it?" Fox said.
For young, future NBA stars, draft night is the time to show off more than their talents on the hardwood. And this year, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the players did not disappoint.
With their outfits as their canvas, multiple players used the opportunity to wear custom lined suit jackets to honor their families and home towns.
All along, this is what De’Aaron Fox wanted. That makes him different.
Some NBA draft prospects in recent years did all they could to avoid the Kings, who looked like the most dysfunctional franchise in the league.
But perhaps things really are changing because Fox was ecstatic to be the fifth overall selection by the Kings on Thursday. He headlines the remodeling of the Kings roster after what the franchise deemed a great night for their mission to change the perception and culture of the franchise.
MONK TO CHARLOTTE
Monk, who is 6-foot-3, averaged 19.8 points in his only college season. He shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from the college 3-point line. ESPN analyst (and Charlottean) Jay Bilas called Monk the best shooter in this draft class.
Malik Monk was overwhelmed at the idea of being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, a team owned by former NBA star Michael Jordan.
"Michael Jordan is the GOAT," Monk said. "... I still can't believe it. Maybe tomorrow I'll believe it."
The Hornets bolstered their offense by selecting perhaps the best shooter in the NBA draft in Monk with the 11th overall pick on Thursday night. The Hornets later added small forward Dwayne Bacon from Florida State at No. 40 after trading down nine spots and picking up cash from New Orleans.
Monk doesn’t need the ball to be effective
Monk’s game should translate seamlessly over to the NBA. The 6’3 guard can score off the dribble but has been equally effective curling off screens for open looks at the rim. He’s like a cross between C.J. McCollum and J.J. Redick.
That level of offensive versatility lends itself to Charlotte, a team that could use a guard who can get a bucket under any circumstance.
For the first time in a long time Thursday night, I agreed 100 percent with the Charlotte Hornets’ first-round draft choice.
Malik Monk, the most electric shooter in the NBA draft, was the obvious selection for the Hornets’ first-round pick at No. 11 once the rest of the top 10 picks fell the way they did. And the Hornets didn’t mess it up – as they are often wont to do when it comes to drafting – in selecting the former Kentucky star who is already planning to be something special next season.
The professional basketball team in Charlotte hasn’t always had the most luck in the NBA draft, but when Kentucky guard Malik Monk unexpectedly dropped to No. 11 during Thursday’s NBA draft, the Hornets picked him up.
Social media seemed to celebrate.
BAM IN THE LOTTERY
He got the nickname “Bam” when he was 1 after he flipped over a coffee table while watching “The Flintstones.”
The Miami Heat isn’t going to need Kentucky high-flying big man Edrice “Bam” Adebayo to move any furniture, but they’re hoping he can help Hassan Whiteside form one of the fiercest frontcourts in the NBA.
Miami took the 6-10, 243-pound Adebayo with the 14th pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, a move clearly designed to help make up for the loss of 11-time All-Star Chris Bosh – and potentially backup center Willie Reed should he bolt in free agency.
With the 14th pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Miami Heat selected Kentucky big man Bam Adebayo.
The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in his lone season at Kentucky.
After most mock drafts projected the Heat picking up Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell (who was drafted at No. 13), Heat fans had pretty mixed initial reactions to the Adebayo selection.
Some really liked the pick.
...And he impressed the Heat in a June 8 workout featuring North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson, among others.
“Powerful, physical, tough,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas said. “He has really good hands. Everything he does is basically around the basket in college. He shot behind his head a little bit, but shot the ball very well in couple workouts. Very good defender who can block shots. A stud. Dwight Howard type body.”
Call Adebayo a “reach” if you wish, based on most mock-draft projections that had him going a bit lower. But you know what I call him? A 6-10, 245-pound kid promising enough to be recruited by John Calipari, and then promising enough again to be drafted by Pat Riley. That earns a little benefit of doubt. Make that a lot.
I like that Miami targeted a replacement for Chris Bosh in the first round, a front-court guy to pair with Hassan Whiteside. That was the big need. Once Gonzaga’s Zach Collins went 10th overall, I thought the Heat might look to Wake Forest’s John Collins or UCLA’s T.J. Leaf to fill. It was Adebayo.