Each year we seem to find an NBA player or two who falls in the draft and winds up making each team that passed on him regret it. Just following the draft’s conclusion, Sirius XM NBA NBA Radio Host Brian Geltzeiler joined Scott Ferrall on his show Ferrall On The Bench to talk about his biggest steal on the night.
“To me, Josh Jackson is the steal of this draft,” he said. “I look at him at number four for Phoenix, and I think he’s probably the best player in this draft, that’s a place where he’s going to fit well. They’ve got some guards, him next to Devin Booker is a really nice combination at the wing. They’re going to be able to play an uptempo game and he gets on it defensively so I thought at number four, that was a fantastic bargain – a gift that was given to the Phoenix Suns that they should certainly benefit from.”
Jackson has been in the conversation for the top pick and got serious consideration for the second overall pick by the Lakers. Word came out after the draft that the Celtics passed on Jackson because he cancelled a workout and GM Danny Ainge wasn’t too happy about that stating he didn’t want to play for them. The Sacramento Kings have been known to reach for players year after year in the draft, this year experts expressed their approval for the Kings’ selections.
“Sacramento had a good night,” Geltzeiler agreed. “First of all, I think De’Aaron Fox is the player they wanted, the perfect player for them. I had no issue with them for trading 10 for 15. You could’ve made the case that Justin Jackson could’ve been the tenth pick in this draft so I had no issue with that, at all. I even think Giles is a worthwhile risk at 20. I think Giles’ knees are not in wonderful shape but I think that is going to be an ongoing issue with Harry Giles. With that said, at 20, there’s a lot of upside to that pick in that spot. Listen, Frank Mason is going to be on an NBA roster. I’m telling you, they got him at the 34th pick in the second round and he’s a little bit small but he’s feisty and he knows how to play the game. He’s not a big guy but he’s strong as an ox and he plays the grown man game. He’s a good, old, throwback point guard. It was a good night for Sacramento but just keep an eye on this thing with Giles. I think that we’re going to see a lot more trouble there.”
The New York Knicks made a surprising move given the players still on the board by selecting 18 year old Frank Ntilikina from France. In a wild week leading up to the draft, Phil Jackson had stated that he was looking into trading franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis and beginning a new era. While this didn’t happen, Geltzeiler didn’t agree that Ntilikina was the best player to help create this new era of Knicks’ basketball.
“Ntilikina can play defense, he can stroke it a little bit but he’s not a dynamic guard. He doesn’t have that dynamic level of athleticism,” said Geltzeiler. “Could he be a solid NBA player? Sure, I think he’s going to be a solid NBA player but you tell me the Knicks in the backcourt with this talent are getting a solid NBA player, I wanted a dynamic player. Malik Monk was the pick in that spot and if you weren’t going to go there, you go Dennis Smith. I did not like what Phil did here.”