Tritons get wings and a big in 2024 draft
- By Reggie Cross, Day 1, 2023
The Tritons took the first step in building further depth to bolster their veteran lineup that led to their 1st round exit in the playoffs by making multiple moves in the 2023 draft.
After the Tritons made the decision to trade their 2024 1st round pick to the Vultures for the 21st and 51st picks, the Tritons were faced with the decision on obtaining a quality wing to help the shooting forward position that unrestricted free agent, Dmitri Karacic, and veteran Zeke Boreczky covered in 2023.
While multiple wings were still on the board at pick 21, the Tritons decided to trade the pick down since they also had pick 23 from the Vultures. Tritons traded the 21st pick to the Las Vegas Scorpions for their 30th pick and versatile Kai Navagato.
With pick 23, the Tritons drafted further depth at shooting forward by selecting Lorenzen Townes, a 6'8", 223lbs 18 year old freshman from Texas. Lorenzen athleticism led the Longhorns to the elite 8 in the 2022 CJBL tournament with 17.6 points per game and 5.9 rebounds.
At pick 30, the Tritons were offered a deal with the Cincinnati Kings to get back into the 2024 draft by trading down with the 30th pick for the 32nd pick and the Renegades 2024 2nd round pick. It was a small price to pay for a few places in the draft despite losing a potential extra year on the rookie contract.
With pick 32, the Tritons chose Keon Perkins out of Kansas State. While a bit slim a 221 pounds with a 7 foot frame, the Tritons felt that Keon's performance in the Elite 8 showed potential at his young age with 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, despite just averaging just 8.6 points per game.
At pick 51, the Tritons took a gamble by choosing Shaun Williams out of Texas Tech who was ranked in the 70's on most rankings. Williams played as an undersized four at just 6'6" for Texas Tech but exhibited respectable stats against larger defenders with 12.8 points , 8.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.78 blocks per game. His versatility will probably be better suited at the wing in the JBL, but he will need to adapt his game to deal with quicker wings.
GM Cross: "We're satisfied with the players we obtained via the draft. Kai will play an essential role in our championship run in 2023. Learning under veteran workhorse, Zeke (Boreczky) and our proud 1st team all JBL, Antoine Peeler, will definitely help him take his game to another level without a doubt." Same goes for Lorenzen and Shaun ... both Marcus and Zeke will teach them how to be a professional in this league and play the game with energy and toughness. Alonzo will hopefully work out with Keon in the gym to get jacked enough to pound with the big boys. When's does the season start again? Let's go already! Our boys are ready to rip those nets."