NBA Draft: Who Benefited the Most?

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IJune 27, 2008

It was an exciting draft this year, with multiple trades and a new record for the most freshmen ever being drafted. The first three players drafted were all freshmen. 

The Bulls used the number-one pick to nab Derrick Rose. I do think Chicago will benefit from this selection—but they weren't the team that got the most out of this draft.

One team I would like to mention is Toronto. The Raptors are expected to trade TJ Ford, Roy Hibbert, Rasho Nesterovic and Macio Bastin to Indiana for Jermaine O'Neal and Nathan Jawai. With this trade, the Raptors are finally acquiring some good, big bodies in the middle.

This is a risky trade, however, because of O'Neal's recent injuries. If O'Neal performs similarly to last year, it wasn't really worth it for the Raptors to get a guy who plays 40 games and only scores 13 points a game. But if he can return to his old form...

O'Neal has been a legitimate MVP candidate twice in his career. He lost to Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan—two future Hall of Famers. If O'Neal, 29, can get back to his former 20 and 10 days as a Pacer, the Raptors will be in very good shape.

If not, this trade will hurt the Toronto Raptors dearly, because a 13-point, six-rebound guy—who you are paying $45 million over the next two years—isn't very good for your team.

One team that I feel will have a fantastic roster in the near future is the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland added some more key players to their team— Brandon Rush, Mike Taylor and Omer Asik.

However, they have been rumored to be involved in many trades. Although not final yet, the following players are rumoured be leaving: Mike Taylor, Brandon Rush, Josh McRoberts, and Jarret Jack.  Darrel Arthur and Joey Dorsey have already been traded in a 3 team deal with the Rockets and the Grizzlies, in this trade the Trail Blazers acquired forward Nicolas Batum. Players rumored to be coming to Portland are: Jerryd Bayless, Ike Diogu, and some valuable draft picks in '09.

If all of these transactions are to happen, Portland would add a lot to their very potent young team.

The team I think that "won" this draft is the Miami Heat. Although only acquiring two players, they filled their needs by acquiring a future All-Star in Michael Beasleym, and a point guard in Mario Chalmers. This would make possible a small but potent lineup of Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, and Michael Beasley.

We won't truly know who did the best until the season rolls around—but I believe the Heat are best set for this fall.