The thing with building through the draft is it’s hard to win that way unless one of those draft picks turns out to be a franchise-changing superstar like Kevin Durant. What made the Oklahoma City model so effective, and appealing, is the Thunder also hit on Russell Westbrook and James Harden in successive drafts with Serge Ibaka thrown on the top.
That kind of draft success is easier said than done. Ask the 76ers, who have spent the last four years loaded with lottery picks and winning just 75 games combined during that span.
The Sixers are an extreme case and so are their picks. Nerlens Noel didn’t play for a full season. Joel Embiid didn’t play for two, and Dario Saric took that long to come over. Last year’s top pick, Ben Simmons, didn’t see the court after suffering a preseason injury. Embiid lasted all of 31 games before being shut down again. Noel, of course, is gone, having been traded for a reclamation wing and second-round picks.
The Boston Celtics signed Hayward on July 4 to a four-year deal worth $128 million, after some fits and starts and a longer waiting period than expected. The move adds another legitimate All-Star to a Boston duo of Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford that posted the Eastern Conference’s best Pittsburgh Steelers Cheap Jerseys record last regular season.
But even with two perennial All-Stars and a talented Real Madrid Cheap Jerseys supporting cast of young, two-way guards and wings (Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier), the Celtics were no match for the Cavaliers.