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Friday, December 6, 2019

Best and worst picks of the 2018 NBA Draft

Aaron Holiday

WORST PICKS

5. Chandler Hutchison, No. 22, Chicago Bulls

Hutchison only worked out for the Bulls, so this pick seemed like a foregone conclusion. The senior is the first first-round pick in Boise State basketball history. The Bulls need help on the wing — Denzel Valentine hasn’t panned out — but one has to wonder why Hutchison was hesitant to work out for other NBA teams. A 6-foot-7, 200-pound swingman, Hutchison is an intelligent ball player; he knows where he should be on the court. But his shooting isn’t reliable. He hit only 32.3 percent of his jumpers as a senior, and he doesn’t shoot well off the dribble. He’s already 22, so you also have to wonder how much his shot can improve.

4. Troy Brown, No. 15, Washington Wizards

Brown shot up draft boards late in the process. He isn’t a strong shooter; he hit only 29.1 percent from three-point range for the Oregon Ducks this season. He is a high flier, but he doesn’t have the best explosiveness or quickness. Though Brown has good size (6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan) and a strong feel for the game, a lot of question marks follow this pick. He needs to fix his shot to justify the Wizards picking him in the middle of the first round, particularly with Zhaire Smith still on the board.

3. Jerome Robinson, No. 13, Los Angeles Clippers

I like Robinson, who made first-team All-ACC and was an honorable mention All-American. He was an effective scorer in all three of his seasons at Boston College, and he runs the pick and roll and shoots well. My issue with the pick, however, is that Porter was still on the board. The Clippers are hitting the reset button, and this would have been a perfect time to take a risk on a potential superstar. Instead, the Clippers picked another player who can handle the ball after trading for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Robinson is an average athlete; Porter is a potentially transcendent one.

2. Aaron Holiday, No. 23, Indiana Pacers

Holiday emerged at UCLA this season, as the Bruins lost Lonzo Ball, Ike Anigbogu, and T.J. Leaf to the draft. In their wake, Holiday averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists per game and shot 42.9 percent from three. Holiday, however, is a mediocre athlete, and he’s only 6-foot-1. Thus, it’s difficult to imagine him breaking out as a star at the next level. The Pacers should have gone in a different direction at No. 23 — perhaps with Khyri Thomas.

1. Josh Okogie, No. 20, Minnesota Timberwolves

I didn’t understand this one. A 6-foot-4 sophomore guard, Okogie is long and athletic, but he tends to play out of control. He also moves rigidly, without fluidity. Okogie’s basketball IQ and decision-making are questionable. He isn’t a natural point guard, and he’s undersized to play on the wing. He is a Tom Thibodeau-type player; Okogie plays hard, plays good D, and draws free throws. He should turn into a decent role player, and he’ll keep his coach happy, but No. 20 is early to take a role player, especially with guys like Evans and Williams still on the board.

Aaron Mansfield is a freelance sports writer. His work has appeared in Complex, USA Today, and the New York Times. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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