Draft HQ: Winners, losers and Illini history
Marcus Jackson's take on Thursday's draft:
The Hornets needed some talent around No. 1 pick Anthony Davis and got it with dynamic combo guard Austin Rivers at No. 10. The post-Chris Paul era is looking good, especially if they re-sign Eric Gordon.
The Rockets made the most of their three first-round picks, getting a scorer (Jeremy Lamb), a versatile forward (Royce White) and a banger (Terrence Jones) to form a solid young nucleus that can get them back into contention in the West.
As if Kentucky and North Carolina needed any more recruiting ammunition, they dominated the first round with eight players (four each) drafted while scores of future blue-chippers watched John Calipari and Roy Williams hug their players on national television.
The Ohio State big man was a sure-fire top-five pick if he had come out last year but fell to No. 21 this year and cost himself millions by doing so. His athleticism has been questioned, and a back injury scared away potential suitors. However, he's going to a good situation in Boston.
Perry Jones III, like Sullinger, would have been a high pick last year but fell to No. 28. He walks into a tremendous situation with the Thunder. Quincy Miller's decision to declare after his freshman year was questioned and rightfully so after the one-time Illini target was passed over in the first round.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a great athlete, but there was a better overall player on the board at No. 2 in Bradley Beal, who can really score. Michael Jordan has had a history of making bad picks in the first round, and this is one folks might be talking about in the coming years.
Former Illini who were drafted in the first round of the NBA draft:
PICK NAME TEAM, YEAR
No. 3 Deron Williams Utah Jazz, 2005
No. 5 Kendall Gill Charlotte Hornets, 1990
No. 6 John Kerr Syracuse Nationals, 1954
No. 7 George Bon Salle Syracuse Nationals, 1957
No. 9 Don Sunderlage Philadelphia Warriors, 1951
No. 11 Derek Harper Dallas Mavericks, 1983
No. 11 Nick Anderson Orlando Magic, 1989
No. 11 Meyers Leonard Portland Trail Blazers, 2012
No. 13 Nick Weatherspoon Washington Bullets, 1973
No. 17 Mike Price New York Knicks, 1970
No. 19 Ken Norman L.A. Clippers, 1987
No. 24 Brian Cook (left) L.A. Lakers, 2003
No. 24 Luther Head Houston Rockets, 2005
No. 25 Frank Williams Denver Nuggets, 2002
No. 27 Kenny Battle Detroit Pistons, 1989