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Expansion Draft Part Three: The Draft - Upside Hoops

Expansion Draft Part Three: The Draft

In the last part of our three-part expansion draft series, with all the protections made, the draft will now begin. 

In a 12 round draft, Adam will get the first pick and take control of the Virginia Squires while Noah will have the second pick and control the Seattle Supersonics. 

Pick #1 Virginia Squires: Kristaps Porzingis

Despite his recent injury woes, Porzingis has proven to be a great first option, as evidenced by his tenure on the New York Knicks. On the Squires, Porzingis would go back to be a first option, rather than playing second fiddle with Luka Dončić. The Latvian seven-footer is still capable of stretching the floor and protecting the rim, and offers plenty of versatility at both the power forward and center positions.

Pick #2 Seattle SuperSonics: Jonathan Isaac

Even coming off his achilles injury in the 2020 bubble, Isaac is a guy who has shown improvement creating his own shot offensively and his ability to be a top ten defensive player in the league with his length and speed. He may not be a go to first option, but on a first year club he can take a Jerami Grant type roll until he gets surrounded by better playmakers.

Pick #3 Virginia Squires: Ricky Rubio

Rubio makes for a perfect veteran point guard to have on an expansion team. While his shooting isn’t the greatest, he makes up for it with his ability to pass the ball and find open looks for his teammates. Rubio is also a really good defender, able to make steals and hold down his own against opposing point guards.

Pick #4 Seattle SuperSonics: Gary Harris

Defense is what helps young teams compete, so even though Harris has all but forgot how to score on the offensive end, he and Isaac will turn into one of the best defensive duos in the league. With just one year left on his contract, it’s worth a shot to see if a change of scenery helps bring back the former lottery picks offensive game.

Pick #5 Virginia Squires: Jae Crowder

One of the more gritty players in the league, Crowder could bring a bit of toughness to the Squires squad. He may not put up great numbers, but he does the little things that can lead his team to victory. Crowder is capable of playing and defending at both forward positions, and offers overall all-around play on the court.

Pick #6 Seattle SuperSonics: Rajon Rondo

Have I mentioned how important defense is yet? The SuperSonics may not crack the 100 point mark much, but they’ll make you work for all of your buckets. In a mentoring roll, Rondo can either start with the first unit or help a younger second unit. Either way, this team is going back to the nineties with their gameplay.

Pick #7 Virginia Squires: Jonas Valanciunas

Valanciunas is one of the better role players in the NBA, capable of both getting buckets and offensive rebounds. He is above-average on the offensive end, as he’s shown to be pretty capable of scoring points in the paint. Valanciunas might not be the kind of center that’s able to shoot well from behind the arc, but his inside offense makes up for it.

Pick #8 Seattle SuperSonics: Serge Ibaka

Ibaka may be the best shooter on the floor for this new Sonics team, but he also brings the ability to protect the paint, which is obviously going to be key. Though he isn’t OKC Ibaka, he still has shown that he can deter players driving to the hoop at will. 

Pick #9 Virginia Squires: Eric Gordon

Gordon is usually known for one thing, and that’s his shooting. The shooting guard has a .370 career shooting percentage, and is capable of getting buckets whether it’s as a starter, or as a sixth man. Up until this year, Gordon has never averaged below forty percent in terms of field goal percentage in a single season.

Pick #10 Seattle SuperSonics: Killian Hayes

Not only are the Sonics afforded a favorable draft pick in the upcoming draft, they also can snag the seventh overall pick in this year’s previous class. Hayes showed signs of his exceptional facilitating ability before his injury and the Sonics just need to hope his lack of burst had to do with the hip injury he suffered. 

Pick #11 Virginia Squires: Trey Burke

The Squires would need a shooter off the bench, and Trey Burke fits the bill with his good shooting percentages all across the board.

Pick #12 Seattle SuperSonics: Payton Pritchard

Pritchard is a proven winner and can give the bench unit a good backup guard to come in and facilitate at the one or knock down catch and shoot threes at the two.

Pick #13 Virginia Squires: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Mykhailiuk is a pretty good shooter, able to make shots from just about anywhere on the court. He can also split time at the shooting guard and small forward positions, when necessary.

Pick #14 Seattle SuperSonics: Bruno Fernando

Fernando isn’t going to stretch the floor, but he can give you good minutes protecting the paint defensively and running pick and rolls with the bench guards.

Pick #15 Virginia Squires: Pat Connaughton

Connaughton is a good rotational piece to have on the bench, as his defense and three-ball are pretty reliable when counted upon.

Pick #16 Seattle SuperSonics: Kyle Anderson

Anderson will be a good plug and play piece for the Sonics and if coming off the bench can add a good punch for the reserves. 

Pick #17 Virginia Squires: Al-Farouq Aminu

Injuries might have gotten the best of him as of late, but Aminu would be a fabulous player to have off the bench for the Squires. He has plenty of starting experience, and has a strong knack for getting to the basket.

Pick #18 Seattle SuperSonics: Kevin Knox

After a rough couple of years in the league, Knox has seemed to finally have figured it out. He is posting career highs in shooting efficiencies and at 21 is a good gamble.

Pick #19 Virginia Squires: Kevon Looney

When healthy, Looney makes for a great role player off the bench, able to make work on the offensive boards.

Pick #20 Seattle SuperSonics: Caleb Martin

Martin has shown his ability in Charlotte to be a shot maker, something the Sonics need, as he is knocking down 56% of his threes this season. 

Pick #21 Virginia Squires: Jahlil Okafor

He might be one of the biggest busts in recent NBA history, but Okafor is still pretty serviceable as a third-string center, with modest production in very limited time.

Pick #22 Seattle SuperSonics: JaMychal Green

Green adds bench depth at the four and the five depending on the type of lineup the Sonics will put on the floor. 

Pick #23 Virginia Squires: Wesley Iwundu

Iwundu’s offense isn’t the best, but he makes up for it with defensive tenacity, as well as athleticism, at the wing position.

Pick #24 Seattle SuperSonics: Aaron Nesmith

To come away with two former lottery picks is a dream come true and should bode well for the future Sonic teams. 


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2 thoughts on “Expansion Draft Part Three: The Draft

  1. I think y’all forgot who you listed as unprotected. John Wall, Al Horford, and Kevin Love are left undrafted.

  2. 1. KP/Isaac
    2. John Wall/Killian Hayes
    3. Al Horford/Kevin Love
    4. Jae Crowder/Serge Ibaka
    5. Gary Harris/ Jonas Valenciunas
    6. Eric Gordon/ Ricky Rubio
    7. Rajon Rondo/ Kevin Knox
    8. Pat Connaughton/Trey Burke
    9. Jamychal Green/ Al-farouq Aminu
    10 Kyle Anderson/Jahlil Okafor
    11 Kevon Looney/Aaron Nesmith
    12. Wesley Iwundu/ Caleb Martin

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