Tag Archives: Denver Nuggets

Note-A-Bulls: The Strive for Five comes to a halt with crushing 125-107 defeat to the Nuggets

Well, things started out well in the Bulls (30-30) quest to win their fifth straight game and move into a tie with the Indiana Pacers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Instead, we saw a beatdown at the hands of the Denver Nuggets (27-33) in the second half on Tuesday night as fans found out what this team looks like when Jimmy Butler has an off night. The result, a humbling 125-107 defeat at the United Center with the Nuggets outscoring the Bulls 69-48 in the second half.

Things didn’t start off terribly for the suddenly hot Bulls. Bobby Portis was hitting some shots, and the Bulls were dominating the offensive glass securing 10 offensive boards compared to the Nuggets one in the first half. While they never pulled away, the Bulls largely controlled the play in the first two stanzas with the score sitting at 59-56 in their favor. In reality, the Bulls should have had a larger lead at this point in the game. The Bulls showed signs of pulling away in this one but either a poor turnover or a clutch Denver three would pull them back within reach. Eventually this would come back to haunt the Bulls as the play shift decidedly in the final two frames of this one.

The Nuggets had balanced scoring in this one, with seven players scoring at least 12 points, but it was the play of Danilo Gallinari and Nikola Jokic that were the difference in the second half. Jokic kickstarted things doing it all by himself. Between putting back his own offensive rebounds, hitting un-assisted outside jumpers, or setting up his teammates for easy layups, the Nuggets Nikola willed his team back in front in the third quarter. Once Jokic had put the Nuggets in front, Gallinari ensured they would stay there. Danilo hit three huge long-balls in the second half and kept the Bulls defense of-balance on his way to a game high 22 points on 7/10 shooting (3/4 from deep).

On the other end of the floor, the off-ball movement was nonexistent. There was a lot of one-on-one play and very few screens to create any type of separation from the defense. There was poor shot selection, little communication, and for once, the Bulls didn’t have Jimmy Butler to bail them out. Butler ended with a pedestrian line of 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He also managed to make just three of his 13 shots from the field on the night. You could tell he wasn’t confident in his shot from the get go passing up open jumpers he would normally put up without hesitation.

Shockingly, the offensive hero on the night was Rajon Rondo, although he still managed a +/- of -15 on the night. But Rondo was miraculously hitting jumpers pretty consistently throughout the night shooting 8/15 from the field and even knocking down a trey. However, Rondo is long past the point of being able to carry on offense on his own, and this night received very little help. Wade ended up with a quiet 19 points, but no one else on the Bulls ended up with more than 12 points (Bobby Portis).

We all knew the Bulls winning streak wasn’t going to last forever. However, with a chance to push that streak to five at home against the Nuggets on two days rest, you expect better than this. The offense was stale, the defense showed no ability to adapt as they continuously went under screens despite Denver’s hot shooting, and no one stepped up to cover Jimmy’s off night. There were flashes of good, such as Bobby Portis finding his stroke and Cristiano Felicio

bringing his energy to go a perfect four of four from the floor. But there were too many negatives to really enjoy those, whether it was Cameron Payne going 2/10 from the field, or Portis continuing to struggle on the defensive ends to stay in front of his man or grab a rebound in traffic.

Next Up: The TNT Bulls are back to take on The Beatles, err, the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night at the UC probably sans Kevin Durant after his injury last night.

Note-A-Bulls: Bulls Find Fools Gold Once Again in Denver

Some numbers: 10, 15, 16, 22, 24, 35, and double zero. Over their last 10 meetings in Denver, the Bulls have lost all 10. Over their last 16 meetings in Denver, the Bulls have lost 15. The Nuggets went on a 22-0 run to start the second quarter, a 24-0 run in all. Jimmy Butler scored 35 points. Isaiah Canaan, number zero, airballed a three pointer to cap a 0-4 shooting night from beyond the arc. The Bulls lost this one 110-107 to continue their poor streak against the Nuggets in Colorado. Maybe it’s the mile-high air that gets them winded down the stretch, or maybe it’s the mountain logo on the floor that gets them distracted in crunch time, but they just can’t seem to do it. Here are your Note-A-Bulls:

  • The starting five  of Butler, Dwayne Wade, Rajon Rondo, Taj Gibson, and Robin Lopez combined for 38-75, an impressive FG% of 50.7%, accounting for all but 13 of the Bulls points for the game, and came out looking sharp to build a 31-19 first quarter lead.
  • That same starting five worked a long night in a city with thin air, all with at least 33 minutes of play.
  • Butler and Gibson had +/- splits of 18 and 12, respectively, while Isaiah Canaan had an awfully tough night at -22, by far the worst on the team, and a poor shooting night to boot, going 1-6 in 17 minutes.
  • The bench (what bench?). With top reserves Doug McDermott and Michael Carter-Williams out, the bench last night was very thin – Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was forced to play Denzel Valentine and a struggling Isaiah Canaan for a combined 31 minutes. Bobby Portis was a no-show; in seven minutes of play, he went 0-3 with one rebound and a +/- of -9. Nikola Mirotic started off well, draining a deep three, and finished with a decent line of 4-10 with 11 points in 22 minutes, but was a part of poor rotations that saw him finish with a -9 as well.
  • A word about the final play of the game: it was drawn up for Wade to get the ball to Butler in the paint, but a Denver switch had Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried on Jimmy and there was nowhere to go. The second option was a curl for Canaan – he had an open three, but it wasn’t close. The Bulls players backed Hoiberg and defended the play, Hoiberg said he has to find a better play to draw up, and the rest of us are scratching our heads on why that was the second option, especially when Butler had hit a game-tying three just a couple of possessions prior.
  • They say games aren’t won or lost in the final minutes of the game, and this is true – the Bulls allowed a 24-0 run earlier in the game to sink them, getting out-rebounded 55-48 and 17-10 on the offensive boards, not winning loose balls, and showcasing sloppy play and turnovers; but, their final four minutes were not up to snuff. In the final four minutes, the sequence of plays looked like this (not a lot of good, with the exception of Butler coming through twice):
    • Wade missed 3-pt attempt
    • Bulls shot clock violation
    • Danilo Gallinari finger roll
    • Rondo layup (made)
    • Lopez block
    • Rondo turnover
    • Rondo missed jump shot, Lopez offensive rebound and missed put-back
    • Nuggets offensive rebound and Gallinari made three pointer
    • Butler fouled shooting a three (made all three)
    • Rondo foul
    • Lopez foul (Nuggets shoot two and make both)
    • Butler three pointer (made)
    • Wade foul (Nuggets shoot two and make both)
    • Canaan airball three pointer
    • Butler foul (Nuggets shoot two and make one)
  • For the Denver Nuggets, rookie Jamal Murray had a stellar night; in 21 minutes, he scored 24 points on 9-13 shooting, three for four from three point range, was three for three from the charity stripe, and put up six rebounds and two assists with zero turnovers for a +/- of +9.
  • Up Next: The Bulls finish up their road trip in Philadelphia on Friday, while the Nuggets play the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday.

BULLet Points: Bulls cough another one up in Denver

Some games have a rhythm that sways back and forth rather extremely, and they don’t allow one team or the other to ever really dominate or establish control of the game. This felt like the case between the Bulls and the Nuggets in Denver last night through at least the first half. Somehow, though, the Bulls entered the second half absolutely on fire and looked to make the game theirs. But, as games like last night’s tend to, momentum swung back in Denver’s favor in the fourth quarter and the Nuggets ultimately took advantage of the Bulls’ lackluster play in the waning minutes to seize back the victory after it looked as though Chicago would walk away with this one pretty easily. With the 115-110 loss, the Bulls move to 27-22 and slowly creep toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff grouping. As it stands now, they would be the sixth seed, but only by a slim margin over the Pistons and Pacers. With that said, a few notes on one of the more frustrating losses of what is proving to be a very weird season:

  • No Pau. After calling out his teammates and motivating them to a win over the Kings earlier this week, Pau Gasol had to sit out last night because of a left hand injury, but fear not, Mike Dunleavy is making his glorious return tonight against the Timberwolves. Dunleavy has not played at all this season, so this will be a breath of fresh air. Cameron Bairstow got the start in his place, but this aspect of the game became more about Bobby Portis, ultimately.
  • Jimmy Butler left the game with a knee injury. It was unclear during the game just how bad it was, as he was able to shoot his free throws before being wheeled off for the night. Trainers worked on him for a few minutes on the sideline, but it became clear after a while that he was not going to be in condition to return. Afterward, Fred Hoiberg said that he would have it checked today, but considering that Butler missed his first game of the season on Wednesday night because of this knee, his status is likely to be uncertain for a while.
  • Missing some guns. Really, with both Pau and Nikola Mirotic out for this game, the Bulls were not firing with their strongest weapons at the posts. When you have to start the game with Bairstow and give any minutes whatsoever to Cristiano Felicio, maybe the bar should be kept pretty low. Felicio has barely spent a quarter’s worth of minutes on the floor all season and has been in as many games in the D-league as he has on the court for the Bulls. This really is no excuse, however, as the Bulls were able to outscore the Nuggets by 20 points in the second and third quarters.
  • It was an abominable fourth quarter where they surrendered a whopping 42 to Denver that did them in. Something about shooting 9/24 in that quarter and giving up practically a half’s worth of points in one quarter just doesn’t translate to wins very often.
  • I can’t not mention that Derrick Rose scored 30 last night. It’s ultimately pretty meaningless in a loss like this, but it’s those flashes of brilliance that seem to draw me in. Even on two legs that have been decimated by injury, every so often he can still drive to the hoop and make a layup that flirts with defying the laws of physics and gravity. It’s the kind of shot that makes someone a fan, if they didn’t know any better. Rose also grabbed nine rebounds and had eight assists, so in fairness, he did just about all that he could to bring this win home. Even in the face of losing Butler for the night, Rose showed that he can still put this team on his shoulders, if just for a little while.
  • Danilo Gallinari went 18/18 from the free throw line. Denver’s forward might look just a little bit like he was born in the wrong decade and missed his calling to play the villain in every bad 1980s movie, but he roasted the Bulls for 33 points last night. Only Emmanuel Mudiay also had double digit free throw attempts for the Nuggets, but he didn’t come close to shooting as well from the line as Gallinari did.
  • What about the coaching? I have resisted the urge to be really critical of Hoiberg in his first year, but in a game like this one, I can’t help but wonder just for a bit about his role in pushing his team to maintain what was a very winnable game. It was in their hands. Some of it might be conditioning, some might be lack of adjustments as things go south, and some could just have been the shorthandedness of the roster last night. That can’t always be helped.
  • Coming up: It’s back to back nights on the road for the Bulls from here, as they will be in Minnesota against the Timberwolves, who should, should serve up a nice opportunity to recuperate with a win.

BULLet Points: Pau carries the offense to victory against Denver

  • Pau Gasol was a beast Wednesday night, scoring 26 points on 12/19 shooting to go along with 19 rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots. Gasol was piping hot from mid-range, flashing to the high post area on pick and pops where he was able to launch shots unfettered by the Nuggets defense. Pau gave the Bulls a nice kick start to open the game, going 6/8 in the opening quarter. After a fairly quiet second and third quarter, Gasol came to life again the the fourth to prop up an otherwise stagnant and ineffective Bulls offense.
  • On the defensive end, Gasol held up very well in the post against Denver’s young batch of big men. The Nuggets went to Joffrey Lauvergne multiple times in the fourth quarter while the game was within their reach and the young center did not deliver. Lauvergne shot 3/13 against the Bulls, and many of his misses were due to the scary long arms of Pau Gasol. Gasol did not bite on fakes or create contact and did enough to slow the Nuggets comeback attempt. Gasol was a game high +18 in his 36 minutes on the court. This was a nice deviation from the norm this season, as Pau is currently sporting a -2.7 net rating.
  • Nikola Mirotic took an elbow to his face in the first quarter and suffered a concussion. This is a serious injury and the timetable to return is different for every person. Niko was having a solid first quarter before the injury, knocking down a three and shooting another, both in rhythm and without any unnecessary pump fakes.
  • With Mirotic out for most of the game, Fred Hoiberg relied heavily on pairing Joakim Noah alongside Pau Gasol. In 23 minutes together, the pair was +6. Last year, the Noah and Gasol combination was an abject disaster. But last night it seemed to work alright. Noah looks to have his legs back a bit and did a good job chasing guys on the perimeter. Joakim is obviously at his best playing center and anchoring the defense, but maybe we gave up on this twosome too soon. If Mirotic misses significant time, we will find out.
  • Jimmy Butler struggled offensively in this game. With reports that he’s dealing with some kind of heel injury, it’s not surprising that his jump shot looked flat and his explosiveness was missing. The Bulls attempted three lobs to Jimmy, typically automatic dunks, but Butler was not able to connect on any of them. Despite  the apparent injury to his foot, coach Hoiberg played Butler a team-high 39 minutes. Butler takes a lot of pride in his warrior mentality and ability to play through pain, but Hoiberg needs to understand we are in the first leg of a marathon season and that a win in December won’t mean anything if nagging injuries follow Butler through May.
  • Derrick Rose REALLY struggled offensively. Rose was 3/17 from the field, which is very bad. Rose just couldn’t find the right angles on his bank shot and couldn’t jump high enough on his attempts at the rim to avoid his shot being severely altered. Rose managed to make it to the line eight times Wednesday, but too many of his shots come off of aborted drives where he’s falling away from the basket, an attempt that will rarely draw a foul.
  •  Doug McDermott followed up his +10 performance against the Spurs with a +14 against the Nuggets. Doug was just 1/3 from three point range, but he still shot 55% for the game by taking the ball to the basket and unleashing his bizarre looking floater that keeps going in. McDermott is beginning to develop a reputation as a shooter and is impacting the Bulls offense even when he doesn’t shoot.

This is good!

  • The defense is still a work in progress. On the very next possession, Doug was defending Will Barton on the inbound. After delivering the pass, Barton darted to the corner while McDermott died on a screen he should have seen coming. Barton missed the open three.
  • The Denver Nuggets are far from a finished product, but I actually enjoy watching them play. They compete hard on the defensive end and have a lot of interesting players. Emanuel Mudiay had a night to forget, going 2/13 from the field. The 19-year-old has a lot to learn about the NBA, but he certainly has the physical and mental tools to become a great guard. Nikola Jokic started this game at center and actually got off to a hot start, drilling a transition three in the first quarter. Danilo Gallinari is one of my favorite players to watch. His herky-jerky dribble moves are strangely effective and his shooting stroke is pure. After signing an extension last offseason, he currently has one of the most valuable contracts in the NBA. I hope a contender snags him before his athleticism starts to fade.
  • Coming up: the Bulls host the Hornets on Saturday night. They’ll look to take a 2-1 lead in the season-series.

2015 Mock Draft 2.0

I’ll hopefully be updating these occasionally leading up to the draft. Here’s the first one, from March 18th. Feel free to ask me any draft questions, or just tell me how wrong I am on Twitter @jeff_berest.

*Draft order is based on final standings/lottery odds

**Opinions on players are my own, and based on what I’ve observed thus far.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves/Karl-Anthony Towns/C/Kentucky

Towns will make the T’Wolves young roster even younger and give them a dominant low-post threat and rim protector on the other end. Wiggins and Towns could become a lethal force to be reckoned with in the West for years to come.

2. New York Knicks/Jahlil Okafor/C/Duke

Mudiay and Russell are also in play, but the Knicks can’t afford to miss on this pick considering they don’t have a first rounder next year and Okafor has by far the highest floor. His defense is a concern but isn’t poor enough for another player to supplant him at this spot.

3. Philadelphia 76ers/Emmanuel Mudiay/PG/Congo

At this point it’s a battle between the “known” in Russell and the “unknown” in Mudiay. Mudiay exhibits elite athleticism and can get to the rim at will—an ability Russell has not shown in his game. Although Mudiay has an average to below-average jumpshot, the Sixers and Sam Hinkie will likely gamble on a two-way player and elite athlete with superstar potential over the possibly higher floor of Russell any day.

4. Los Angeles Lakers/D’Angelo Russell/PG/Ohio State

Jordan Clarkson did an admirable job in his rookie campaign but by no means does that shore up the point guard position for the Lakers’ future. They really need a rim protector as well, but this may be too rich of a spot for Willie Cauley-Stein. Russell is best player available at this point, and he creates a very formidable backcourt next year with Kobe Bryant returning. Assuming they don’t splurge on Rajon Rondo.

5. Orlando Magic/Justise Winslow/SF/Duke

Justise is probably the best wing defender in the draft and he improved his offensive game throughout his freshman season at Duke. He also provides the Magic some insurance if they do not retain Tobias Harris.

6. Sacramento Kings/Kristaps Porzingis/PF/Latvia

Kings have been searching for another talented big man to play alongside Boogie Cousins for a while now. Porzingis can stretch the floor and has great athleticism for his size; although he needs to build upon his slight frame.

7. Denver Nuggets/Mario Hezonja/SG/Croatia

Nuggets need another wing player, and Hezonja is a good athlete and talented offensively. He can shoot from anywhere, can get to rim, and has good court vision. Like Porzingis, if Hezonja played college ball he might be considered one of the top 3 or 4 prospects in this draft.

8. Detroit Pistons/Stanley Johnson/SF/Arizona

I don’t know why people are down on Stanley since the tournament ended. He struggled offensively this season but that might have been because of Arizona’s system. He still has great size for an NBA forward and huge defensive potential. Down the road, Stanley Johnson going eighth might end up as one of the steals of this draft class. Detroit having a huge need at SF also helps his case for being taken at this spot.

9. Charlotte Hornets/Willie Cauley-Stein/C/Kentucky

It wouldn’t shock me to see WCS go a few slots higher than this, and even though the Hornets are desperate for shooters, this is too good of a value to pass up. The Hornets would benefit from taking him here and at least entertaining offers. Al Jefferson isn’t getting any younger and their current rim protector Bismack Biyombo is a free agent and also doesn’t know how to play basketball.

10. Miami Heat/Myles Turner/C/Texas

Turner is still very raw and in Miami he’ll have time to grow and mature as a player behind Bosh and Whiteside. But having these three in a rotation has a lot of potential. Turner is a great shot blocker and can shoot from outside; he also plays the 4 and 5 spots. The Heat could use another guard or wing player, but Turner at 10 is great value.

11. Indiana Pacers/Trey Lyles/PF/Kentucky

The Pacers need to add to the frontcourt due to David West’s approaching free agency. There isn’t much that separates guys like Lyles, Looney, Portis, and Harrell except team preference, really. Lyles has a legit face up game that is comparable to West and could easily step into the starter’s role once he leaves Indiana.

12. Utah Jazz/Kelly Oubre/SF/Kansas

Oubre was a bit of a disappointment at Kansas and could never become a consistent scorer. But his potential is what still makes him a lottery talent. Jazz need to add more shooters and Kelly can play the 2 and 3 spot behind Burks and/or Hayward.

13. Phoenix Suns/Jerian Grant/PG/Notre Dame

Who would’ve guessed another point guard for the Suns? This is a point in the draft where Grant is probably the best value and his ability to player either guard spot suits Phoenix too well to pass up. Also, who knows what happens with Brandon Knight this offseason.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder/Devin Booker/SG/Kentucky

OKC has struggled to fill the 2 spot since the James Harden departure. Booker underwhelmed in his freshman year, but like many of his teammates at Kentucky, there is plenty of untapped potential. He at least gives the Thunder a perimeter shooting threat right away.

15. Atlanta Hawks/Sam Dekker/SF/Wisconsin

Dekker shot up draft boards during the tournament and I don’t think the Hawks are content with matching any huge offers a team will throw at DeMarre Carroll. So this leaves a gap at the SF position in Atlanta. Dekker is a decent enough athlete but has a good jumper and can get to the rim, as well as being a great rebounder for his size.

16. Boston Celtics/Kevon Looney/PF/UCLA

I’m not sure how Looney would fit in with the Celtics, but he is by far best player available at this spot, and was once thought of as a top 6 or 7 pick in this draft class. He has the ability to play both forward spots and is good offensive talent; also has good ball-handling skills for a player his size.

17. Milwaukee Bucks/Frank Kaminsky/C/Wisconsin

Frank the Tank proved himself against elite competition in the tournament this year and it wouldn’t be surprising if he goes much higher than this. He is solid in the post and creates mismatches with his ability to stretch the floor out to the three-point line. The Bucks need to add more bigs, and it will only be a short move for Kaminksy going from Madison to Milwaukee.

18. Houston Rockets/Cameron Payne/PG/Murray State

The Rockets don’t really have any depth behind Beverley at PG, and his injury history will force the Rockets to add another ball handler in this draft. Payne is more of distributor than most guys in this draft and he will certainly mesh in the backcourt with Harden.

19. Washington Wizards/Montrezl Harrell/PF/Louisville

Both Gortat and Nene are getting up there in age and the Wizards frontcourt is lacking athleticism. Harrell isn’t gifted on the offensive side of the ball yet, but he plays with a ton of energy and attacks the basket on offense and defense. He will provide an instant spark to the Wizards’ bench right away and eventually edge his way into the starting lineup, probably sooner rather than later.

20. Toronto Raptors/Bobby Portis/PF/Arkansas

Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough are free agents this summer and Bobby Portis is a solid 4 with a good face-up game. He isn’t just a back-to-the-basket type of big, and is also a great value pick at 20 for the Raptors. Portis was SEC player of the year for a reason and seems like he could be a contributor in year one.

21. Dallas Mavericks/Tyus Jones/PG/Duke

Tyus Jones draft stock is soaring after the NCAA tournament and, needless to say, the Mavs are looking for a replacement for Rajon Rondo. Tyus Jones isn’t an elite athlete but is a good scorer and a decent distributor. There may be better point guards who are taken after him in this draft, but teams will want his clutch gene that he displayed in the NCAA Championship and throughout the tournament.

22. Chicago Bulls/Rondae Hollis-Jefferson/SF/Arizona

Rondae is another player that could go much higher if a team is comfortable just taking a defensive specialist. The Bulls could be looking for a point guard, but Hollis-Jefferson is too good to pass up here. Having Rondae and Jimmy Butler lock down opposing wing players every night is scary for other Eastern Conference teams. Rondae and McDermott combining their offense and defense at the SF spot is a good potential replacement for free agent Mike Dunleavy.

23. Portland Trail Blazers/R.J. Hunter/SG/Georgia State

Regardless of whether LaMarcus Aldridge leaves Portland, the Blazers aren’t going to find his replacement at #23 in the draft. R.J. has a ton of upside and he and Damian Lilllard have the potential to be a poor man’s version of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Wes Matthews is obviously a question mark coming off of surgery and entering free agency. Portland is hoping for a steal here in grabbing R.J.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers/Justin Anderson/SG/Virginia

The Cavs could use a center here but Anderson is a really good value pick, considering he was borderline lottery before his injuries this season. He is a great shooter and holds his own defensively.

25. Memphis Grizzlies/Christian Wood/PF/UNLV

Memphis needs another rim protector and to add some athletes to its frontcourt. Wood could be an instant upgrade in both those departments to Kosta Koufos and Jon Leuer. Wood is raw but he’s a good project for the Grizzlies.

26. San Antonio Spurs/Jarell Martin/PF/LSU

I don’t think Tim Duncan is going to retire, and Martin isn’t necessarily a pick to try and replace him down the road. But the Spurs lack a scoring presence from their other guys in their frontcourt. Martin is a very skilled big man and scorer, and could possibly contribute right away.

27. Los Angeles Lakers/Robert Upshaw/C/Washington

Lakers are desperate for a rim protector and Upshaw provides just that. They were toasted night in and night out in the paint by opponents and Upshaw, who is still a bit raw, could find some minutes in this rotation from the start.

28. Boston Celtics/Cedi Osman/SF/Macedonia

This is purely a draft a stash pick for the Celtics, because I don’t think there is anyone at this point who could contribute to an NBA team right away. Typically these types of picks are at the beginning of the second round but Osman has a ton of potential as a point forward who is very gifted offensively. He may not come over for a few years but it may be worth it down the road; the Celts have a plethora of picks over the next few years and they can afford this type of move.

29. Brooklyn Nets/Delon Wright/PG/Utah

Wright would certainly go a lot higher if he wasn’t already 24 years old. He is mighty talented and has elite size at the point guard position. Good thing is he’s still younger than any PG the Nets have, and is a good replacement for Deron Williams once he exits Brooklyn.

30. Golden State Warriors/Chris McCullough/PF/Syracuse

McCullough tore his ACL this season and before that was projected to possibly be a top ten pick in 2016. His talent still warrants him to be a first round pick. Golden State can afford to wait on him and get great value out of this pick. And by drafting him in the first round instead of the second they lock him up for a few years.