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Bulls won but other teams whiffed in NBA draft

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Updated: July 30, 2014 6:50AM



The beauty of any draft is that every team makes the best pick possible.

Just ask them.

The Bulls are not immune to that slap-each-other-on-the-back feeling. In using picks 16 and 19 on Thursday in the first round of the NBA draft to trade for the Denver Nuggets’ No. 11 selection, Doug McDermott, the Bulls grabbed arguably one of the premier scorers in the class and just so happened to avoid one rookie contract as they streamline payroll as much as possible for the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.

‘‘What excites us about Doug is he’s more than just a shooter — he’s got a lot of game,’’ general manager Gar Forman said of the newest Bull. ‘‘We’ve seen him play, we’ve scouted him for years, and he’s a guy that is crafty with the ball, can create his own shot, can run into the post some, is good around the basket, has quick release, whether it’s from the perimeter or inside.

‘‘We really feel that he’s the guy that will fit with the pieces we have, not only on the floor, but his makeup, his character, the fact that he’s been a winner is going to fit with our guys off the floor.’’

Call it a win for the Bulls. But for every winner, there are losers in a draft. Not all of them know it just yet.

Winners

Cleveland Cavaliers. Jabari Parker might have been the safe pick, but Andrew Wiggins going No. 1 overall was the higher-ceiling pick. For a franchise still recovering from LeBron James’ ‘‘Decision’’ in 2010, high-ceiling was needed.

Boston Celtics. Marcus Smart is a throwback power point guard, and James Young has huge upside. With the Celtics rebuilding, both players could be huge core pieces moving forward.

Miami Heat. What James wants, James gets. As bad as the Heat’s point guard play was in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Shabazz Napier could instantly take over that position and give James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh another reason to stay together in Miami.

Milwaukee Bucks. Parker is the safe player but also just the type the Bucks need moving forward.

San Antonio Spurs. Kyle Anderson was their only pick, but he’s so Spur-like it’s scary. The machine just keeps adding.

The Central Division. Wiggins, Parker and McDermott all added in one night? That’s star power. Now, if the Detroit Pistons could somehow lose Josh Smith to a Western Conference team . . .

Utah Jazz. Dante Exum and Rodney Hood? Suddenly there’s some excitement back with the Jazz. Well, at least as much as they’ll allow in Utah.

Losers

Toronto Raptors. Bruno Caboclo? The worst decision on a Bruno since Sacha Baron Cohen.

New Orleans Pelicans. Stop trading away first-round picks in order to stay mediocre.

Indiana Pacers. With no picks in the draft because of the Luis Scola trade, the Pacers’ front office was left staring at the 7-2 spineless frame of Roy Hibbert and the $30 million he could be making the next two years and thinking, ‘‘What have we done?’’

Incomplete

Philadelphia 76ers. Who knew the NBA had red-shirt years? Last season, Philly took injured big man Nerlens Noel and sat him a year, and now Joel Embiid (foot) could be going through the same process. Add Dario Saric in two years, and the 76ers’ front line could be one of the best in the East.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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