Draft HQ: Winners, losers and Illini history

Marcus Jackson's take on Thursday's draft:

WINNERS

New Orleans

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.

Houston

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.

Blue bloods

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.

LOSERS

Jared Sullinger

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.

Baylor players

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.

Charlotte

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.

THE LIST

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
 

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