The NBA ended nine days ago but it’s already time to look ahead toward the 2021-2022 season.
First up, the NBA Draft. Thursday will be a milestone night for Cameron Thomas and (hopefully) Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart. Thomas will certainly hear his name called, the only question is when. Some sites, like The Ringer, have Thomas as high as the No. 8 prospect in the class. Others, like SB Nation, have Thomas going in the mid-to late 20s.
As I wrote earlier in the month, I’m really high on Thomas and think he can raise the ceiling of a team—provided he goes to the right franchise like Golden State, Utah, or Philadelphia.
What Thomas can be for an NBA team is instant offense off the bench, like the way Los Angeles Clippers’ sixth man Lou Williams does. Williams has won three Sixth Man of the Year Awards, tying him for the most in NBA history, and just wrapped up his 16th year in the league. The NBA is changing to where being able to generate your own shot is an invaluable skill. Guys like Williams have long, fruitful careers thanks in part to being able to come into any game and immediately generate points.
That’s what Thomas does and that’s why he’ll be successful at the next level.
The other storyline to monitor will be whether or not either Trendon Watford or Javonte Smart get picked. LSU has had players picked in the second round in each of the last two drafts—Tremont Waters going to Boston in 2019 and Skylar Mays getting picked by Atlanta in 2020— and my gut tells me that trend continues tonight. Now I don’t expect both to be picked, if I had to bet on it I’d say Watford gets picked, though Javonte Smart apparently impressed in a workout with the Toronto Raptors recently.
Former @LSUBasketball guard @JavonteSmart recently set a record during a workout with the Raptors in the star drill. We discussed that, the pre-draft process, his college career and much more on @RookieWire: https://t.co/MS5CCqc5WA— Cody Taylor (@CodyTaylorNBA) July 16, 2021
Also we’re trying something new!
Since taking over And the Valley Shook I’ve been wanting to expand our platform. My new passion project is branching out to do live, reactionary kind of stuff so I’m going to try out Discord. If you want to hang out with me as I react live to the Draft and maybe some other stuff like the USMNT’s performance against Qatar in the Gold Cup, some Olympic stuff, and early football thoughts click the link below!