Here are the 10 players I’m probably going to hate:
10. Buddy Hield
You think I WANT to hate Buddy? How dare you! I will ride with Buddy until the heat death of the universe. He could get drafted by the goddamn Sun, not the team, the big ball of fire, and I’d still go to his games. I wish there were any other alternative, some cancer-surviving player who gives free puppies to his fans that I could hate instead.
But how insufferable is Buddy gonna be when he gets drafted seventh or eighth? We’re never going to hear the end of it. He will brand Marquese Chriss’ face onto his freaking chest and rip off his jersey after every game to remind us how dumb the Pelicans probably were. He might straight up eat Dragan Bender on the court, just pull up with a fork and knife and get to work. It’s going to be miserable, and I’m going to shed many a tear as I’m forced to take down the shrine to Buddy I built in my closet because he just can’t keep his mouth shut.
9. Brandon Ingram
Did he have to go to Duke? How did that even help him. The guy’s 6’9” and the official length of his arms is just listed as “Atlas Shrugged.” He was already a great shooter and an even better athlete. Coach K doesn’t deserve any credit for this one, but he’s damn sure going to get it. “See how gracious this kid is? That’s how they teach them at Duke,” local color guy No. 28 will say while clutching his signed Johnny Dawkins bobble head. Ingram could’ve gone to the training academy from The Hunger Games and still been picked second. With guys like this the league needs to just start listing their college as “does it f****** matter?”
8. Malachi Richardson
Ok, first of all, time to air one of my spelling grievances. I never get more excited and then immediately disappointed then by the name “Malachi.” On first glance it looks like it’s pronounced “Malachee,” and that sounds like a Pokemon and is fantastic. But then nope, it’s just a normal bible name or some crap like that. So you’re off to a bad start sir.
Then there’s the fact that Richardson is this draft’s token “knows how to shoot and only shoot and will stare daggers through your very soul if you suggest he acquire any other skill” guy. I would bet any three of my toes that Richardson finishes 4th in Sixth Man of the Year voting for the Kings at some point in his career and that’s his peak.
7. Malik Beasley
I don’t need anyone else from Florida State in my life. That’s just a rule I try to live by.
6. Ben Simmons
Anyone else think Australia’s gotten a little too big for its britches lately? Here’s a hot take: Australia is just the rest of the world’s Canada. Nothing ever actually happens there, they play weird sports and have weird accents, I just don’t see the appeal. Australia can’t have Thor and an NBA superstar at the same time. Pick one.
Plus there’s plenty of diva appeal with Simmons. Those Lakers whispers haven’t exactly gone away. Reviews out of LSU were less than encouraging. How’s he going to handle joining the worst team in modern NBA history? What Joel Embiid controversies is he going to get dragged into? If he isn’t immediately the savior Philly threw three seasons away for, this could get ugly.
5. Skal Labissiere
I sort of think Skal was just a practical joke John Calipari played on the rest of college basketball. He just found a tall French guy and convinced us all that he was going to be a high lottery pick. Who actually knows where he went to high school? I don’t, and I run a basketball site.
We always need a “two years away from being two years away” guy, and Bruno’s lost his shine. The difference between most of those guys and Skal is that Skal is going to get drafted like 10th whereas the rest of them are just throwaways late in the first. He’s going to get booed somewhere between his 11th and 19th “DNP-Coach’s Decision.”
4. Gary Payton II
So you’re telling me that the most physical defensive guard of all time, who also happens to be the best trash talker in league history, has a son who shares his exact name, went to his school and will be drafted 15 slots too late? Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. There is no scenario where this ends well. Either he’s good and we never hear the end of it, or he’s bad and a five-year blame game ensues. We’re going to lose a quarter-and-a-half of the 2024 NBA Finals to a twitter rant of his. Deadspin’s going to love him though.
3. Marquese Chriss
I’m convinced Anthony Bennett just lost a bunch of weight, grew a wispy mustache and tried to re-enter the draft under an assumed name. Did anyone actually watch Washington play basketball this season? The draft-process riser NEVER works out. You’re not spending your allowance on Anthony Randolph rookie cards. This blows up every damn time. Some team is going to take him and eight minutes later their fans will realize “we could’ve picked Jamal Murray? Goddamn it Chriss.” He’s going to be hated so fast. If only there were a way for the Knicks to draft him.
2. Perry Ellis
I’m convinced Carlos Boozer pooped Perry Ellis out. That’s how this thing happened. Look at him! How is he only 22? He has the facial hair of a 19th century frontiersman’s dog. He plays like the referee of a rec league. Someone go check the paintings at The Shining hotel. I’m like 80% sure he’s on one of them.
1. Denzel Valentine
Oh good, we were all praying for another under drafted Michigan State dude. I swear they’re the one program more insufferable than Duke. At least Duke knows how hateable they are. Michigan State legitimately doesn’t see it. They still act like one of the little guys, except they’re not little and they’ve never been little and you don’t get to have it both ways. And why are Tom Izzo’s eyes so small? It’s not even that they’re never fully open, which they’re aren’t, but they’re eerily small. Like God was making a batch of eyes and only had enough dough left to make 60% of Izzo’s set.