Could this year’s NBA Draft drastically change the league?

Photo Credit: VICE Sports

The NBA Draft is coming up in under two weeks now. But in reality, does the draft actually mean anything? Will anything happen in the NBA Draft from a pick standpoint that will change the league in a drastic way?

With how dominant the Golden State Warriors are and due to the fact that they have met the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in each of the past three seasons, that answer is in all likelihood no. With the best of the best college basketball players naturally going in the beginning of the draft to teams who are not great to begin with, the likelihood of the draft changing the NBA in any significant way is small.

But small doesn’t mean nonexistent. There is one possible exception, albeit a longshot.

While generally the worst teams in the league get the picks toward the front of the draft as they should, that is not the case this year. Due to a trade in 2014 between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, the Celtics have the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft instead of the Nets despite making it to this season’s Eastern Conference Finals as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

So a team that is already a really, really good team has a chance to get even better by selecting first overall in this year’s draft. Maybe the draft means something after all, and maybe something will happen that will change the league in a drastic way in the form of adding a serious contender into the mix along with the Warriors and Cavaliers, who have dominated their respective conferences over the past three seasons.

MyTopSportsBooks pegs Washington Huskies freshman guard Markelle Fultz as the overwhelming favorite (1/4 odds) to be the Celtics’ choice at the #1 spot, which makes sense. Fultz was the only player in college to average 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season and is the clear top prospect in the draft. While the guard position is not a desperate need for Boston, nothing really is since they are already a solid team. Fultz is the best overall player in the draft, and the Celtics would be foolish to pass up his talent, as suggested by his play and his chances to go #1.

The question is, can Fultz help Boston take that next step to dethrone LeBron James the Cavaliers in the East as well as the superteam Warriors in the NBA Finals? Whether he does or not help the Celtics do that is immaterial at this point since we won’t know until after at least a full season. However, it gives this year’s draft a much-needed storyline, one that involves potentially ending what has been just a two-team show over the past few years.

 

-Asher Fair

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