NBA Draft Grades

Last night’s NBA Draft was said to be one of the best and deepest in recent memory.  How did your team do?  Check our NBA Draft Grades.

2014 NBA Draft Grades

Atlanta Hawks
First Round: Adreian Payne
Second Round: Walter Tavares, Lamar Patterson

Draft Grade: B+

Atlanta began Thursday night with a first and second rounder, but were able to acquire another second rounder as the night came to a close. With the picks of Adreian Payne and Walter Tavares the Hawks were able to strength their front court behind Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Lamar Patterson will help improve the wing positions for the Hawks. However, with the Hawks looking to trade Jeff Teague, and a needed improvement at shooting guard and small forward, those three positions didn’t get much of an upgrade. Although Payne is highly touted, the Hawks may have missed some opportunities here but still came out strong.

Boston Celtics
First Round: Marcus Smart, James Young
Second Round: None
Draft Grade: B+

It’s still early in the Celtics rebuild so their two picks could turn out to be major pickups, but right now it’s more of a we’ll see where things go. Smart will be a good point guard as time goes on and he could replace Rajon Rondo if the Celtics decide to trade him. If Rondo is kept, Smart becomes a solid back up and they can both play alongside each other. With last years draft spent drafting big men the Celtics were in desperate need of wing help. Jeff Green is a trade chip and Young might also be in that boat. The Celtics want to make a play for Kevin Love and Young might need to be a part of that trade package. If not, Young will be a good replacement for Green.

Brooklyn Nets

First Round: None
Second Round: Markel Brown, Xavier Thames, Cory Jefferson
Draft Grade: B

At 7:30pm Eastern time the Nets had zero picks in the entire draft, but before we had a chance to blink at the end of the second round they acquired three draft picks. All three of Brown, Thames and Jefferson might not play a role in the Nets rotation next season, but adding younger pieces could really help the Nets in the long run.

Charlotte Hornets
First Round: Noah Vonleh, PJ Hairston
Second Round: None
(Acquired Alonzo Gee and a future second round pick)

Draft Grade: A-

The Hornets were reportedly planning on taking a wing player that could shoot the ball with their first pick, but with Vonleh falling to them they couldn’t pass up. Vonleh has a solid perimeter game for a big man. Hairston also continues to improve his outside shooting so that will be helpful to the Hornets. Vonleh will also allow Al Jefferson more room to work down low and create room to operate for Kemba Walker. All in all the Hornets addressed their biggest need in outside shooting, so it was a solid draft night for them.

Chicago Bulls
First Round: Doug McDermott
Second Round: Cameron Bairstow
(Acquired Anthony Randolph)

Draft Grade: A

Originally, with the 16 and 19th picks of the draft, the Bulls were rumoured to be looking to move both the picks for future draft picks. However, getting a shot at McDermott was a good take for the Bulls. McDermott helps fill a void at the small forward spot for the Bulls and is a much needed scoring wing who has a solid outside jumper. His defence could use some work, but he’ll fit well in the Bulls system. Chicago continues to be on Carmelo Anthony’s radar so McDermott, and Cameron Bairstow could be used in a sign and trade package.

Cleveland Cavaliers
First Round: Andrew Wiggins
Second Round: Dwight Powell, Joe Harris
(Acquired Brendan Haywood)

Draft Grade: A

It was nothing out of the ordinary for the Cavaliers. They put the first overall pick out on the trade block and put a huge return price. No one could please the Cavaliers so they got one of the bright futures of the league in Wiggins. With the first pick Cleveland had no chance of really going in a bad direction, but Wiggins helps them with scoring, perimeter defence and ball movement. The last two are huge improvements needed for the Cavaliers roster. Powell and Harris could step in as rotation pieces, but will need some time to grow.

Dallas Mavericks
First Round: None
Second Round: None
Draft Grade: A

The Mavericks traded away all their picks way before the draft and they were in no rush to acquiring one. After the trade with the Knicks were the Mavericks acquired Tyson Chandler, their off-season plans became clear to the league. The Mavericks were in no need of young talent but are ready to build on a roster that gave the Champion Spurs a run in the first round. The Mavericks are now in position to sign a player to a max contract or add two pieces with the cap room they hold. The draft was meaningless to them and they showed it.

Denver Nuggets
First Round: Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris
Second Round: Nikola Jokic
(Acquired a 2015 second round pick)

Draft Grade: C+

Nothing special here for Denver. They didn’t improve dramatically with any pick. With the acquisition of Arron Affalo early in the day and already with Wilson Chandler, and the return of Danilo Gallinari the Nuggets are already strong at the wing position so Gary Harris is just a add on. Jusuf Nurkic could be the big man that helps put the Nuggets over the top as they need a starting big man to make an impact every game. Nurkic might be that big man, but he’s nothing special. The Nuggets pulled out a below average draft night.

Detroit Pistons|
First Round: None
Second Round: Spencer Dinwiddie

Draft Grade: F

Are the Pistons rebuilding or what? One moment they were, then they went out and signed Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, which didn’t work out. The Pistons aren’t getting any better and their young core of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond aren’t going to stick around forever. It’s obviously not easy acquiring a first round pick and acquiring Spencer Dinwiddie is a solid pick up, but a for team who’s suppose to be rebuilding this was a bad night to be watching.

Golden State Warriors
First Round: None
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: C

Warriors stayed quiet tonight, but they have succeed in past drafts which has created a solid playoff roster. The Warriors are in desperate need of adding another star like Love, so the draft is meaningless. However, the Warriors also need to add depth and not doing so through the draft makes life even more difficult.

Houston Rockets
First Round: Clint Capela
Second Round: Nick Johnson, Alessandro Gentile

Draft Grade: B-

Nothing special from the Rockets here who are in attack mode for free agency. Capela might be a solid big man off the bench and someone who can complement Dwight Howard. Johnson could be a solid bench piece if the Rockets can add LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony.

Indiana Pacers
First Round: None
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: F

After the finish to the season for the Pacers an upgrade via youth could have been helpful. Now they’ll have to hope they can acquire pieces with the minimum cap space they own.

Los Angeles Clippers
First Round: C.J. Wilcox
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: B

Wilcox won’t make an impact right away for the Clippers but he will be a solid depth piece. Just an average pick for the Clippers.

Los Angeles Lakers
First Round: Julius Randle
Second Round: Jordan Clarkson

Draft Grade: A-

It was a quiet night for the Lakers who handled the seventh pick well. No big name fell to them so they picked the guy they liked most in Randle. The Lakers don’t believe Randle will need foot surgery so if that is the case the young power forward can jump right in to begin the season. The Lakers might have one of the most underrated players as Randle could turn out to be a star.

Memphis Grizzles
First Round: Jordan Adams
Second Round: Jarnell Stokes

Draft Grade: B

The Grizzles are always in need of upgrading their bench. Adams and Stokes will help greatly. Memphis has been weak with their wing play offensivly but Adams can really help them improve in that category. Stokes will be a big man that can help give Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph more time to rest.

Miami Heat
First Round: Shabazz Napier
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: A

They got their guy. The Heat are in a small problem this off-season as their big three can all opt-out, but the bigger problem is upgrading the people around LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Minor upgrades like Napier can turn out to be a big one. The Heat needed a point guard and Napier was who LeBron has always had his eye on. The Heat came in Thursday knowing what they wanted to do and they did it.

Milwaukee Bucks
First Round: Jabari Parker
Second Round: Damien Inglis, Johnny O’Bryant
(Acquired a 2015 second round pick)

Draft Grade: B+

The Bucks just had to wait on who the Cavaliers took and that would determine their night. With Parker the Bucks are still in the long process of rebuilding but they finally have a cornerstone to build around. Parker will be a good fit on a roster that needs to be upgraded in a lot of areas.

Minnesota Timberwolves
First Round: Zach LaVine
Second Round: Glenn Robinson III

Draft Grade: A-

The Timberwolves are living on the edge holding onto Kevin Love who is reportedly ready to walk after next season, so not drafting a power forward to replace Love with is a bit of a surprise. However, LaVine is one of the biggest steals of the night. If Love goes you’d think Ricky Rubio would be next in line and LaVine will be a solid replacement and maybe even turn out better than Rubio. Robinson will be that wing player the Wolves have desperately needed, so he is a solid second round pick up.

New York Knicks
First Round: None
Second Round: Cleanthony Early, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Louis Labeyrie

Draft Grade: B+

Phil Jackson has got the engine started on fixing the Knicks. It started with the trade with Dallas and now with the draft. With the three second round picks the Knicks got younger and got pieces that might be able to step in right away next season. Getting young talent at any point in the draft is always a good start to a retool or rebuild, whatever you would like to call it.

New Orleans Pelicans
First Round: None
Second Round: Russ Smith

Draft Grade: C-

The Pelicans acquired Omer Asik a few days ago, but that deal won’t be official till July. They are also in need of getting rid of Austin Rivers, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon to clear up cap space. The pick of Russ Smith doesn’t make New Orleans any better or worse. They are a team that needs to start competing in the playoffs this coming season or at least the following season.

Oklahoma City Thunder
First Round: Mitch McGary, Josh Huestis
Second Round: Semaj Christon

Draft Grade: C+

The Thunder did some right and some wrong. The right is that they drafted two big men in McGary and Huestis, adding to an already strong front court. With those two and Steven Adams the Thunder have some young pieces to go along with Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka. Also any of the young guys could replace Kendrick Perkins when his contract is up. However, some believe the Thunder should have drafted Shabazz Napier. With the pick of Napier the Thunder could have moved Westbrook to the shooting guard position and become stronger in the back court. McGary could have also been picked later in the draft so they missed out on better talent.

Orlando Magic
First Round: Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton
Second Round: Roy Devyn Marble

Draft Grade: A

With the fourth pick the Magic jumped on who they thought was the best player on the board in Gordon who will be a good fit beside young center Nikola Vucevic. Creating a solid front court for the Magic, Payton will be a good fit with Victor Oladipo or a solid backup to Oladipo. Payton climbed the draft board pretty quickly and some teams even had him ahead of Marcus Smart, so the Magic got two young pieces that will contribute from the start of next season.

Philadelphia 76ers
First Round: Joel Emiid, Dario Saric
Second Round: K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant, Vasilije Micic, Jordan McRae
(Traded for Pierre Jackson, 2015 second round pick and a 2017 first round pick)

Draft Grade: A

The 76ers are set to begin minor league camp. They have so many young pieces now with four second round picks and four first rounders over the past two drafts. The Sixers are in no way ready to compete and could possibly tank again next years but the days keep getting brighter. Joel Emiid if healthy will be a good piece beside Nerlens Noel, if also healthy. It will be a young front court with force. Dario Saric will be a solid small forward for the sixers who can also play the power forward. Creating himself into most likely a future sixth man. Michael Carter-Williams, one of the Sixers picks last year was Rookie of the year and the second round picks could become key role players for the future. It’s bright for Philadelphia so keep you heads up fans.

Phoenix Suns
First Round: T.J Warren, Tyler Ennis, Bogdan Bogdanovic
Second Round: Alec Brown

Draft Grade: B+

Warren fills the small forward role the Suns were in need of and Ennis can be a solid back up to Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. Both Warren and Ennis have a lot of potential but could also turn out to fail in the NBA. Both are risks but could turn out to be huge rewards for the Suns. Bogdanovic and Brown will also need a lot more growing to become solid NBA players.

Portland Trail Blazers
First Round: None
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: D

It’s always nice to at least have a second round pick, but the Blazers didn’t even accomplish that. This team now has to focus on improving once July 1st comes around and they need to get LaMarcus Aldridge signed.

Sacramento Kings
First Round: Nik Stauskas
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: C+

The grade has nothing to do with Stauskas because the kid will be a good player in the league and one of the best young shooters. However, the Kings may have made a mistake at this pick. With Isiah Thomas set to hit free agency the Kings are in need of a point guard. There was still Payton, LaVine and Ennis left on the board so the Kings could have solved their point guard situation. Not doing so could really hurt them next season.

San Antonio Spurs
First Round: Kyle Anderson
Second Round: Nemanja Dangubic

Draft Grade: A

Anderson is the steal of the draft. He simply fits the Spurs style with his passing ability and will be able to make a contribution right away. It’s like the rest of the teams handed a gift to the Spurs. Anderson will surprise people with the career he will have.

Toronto Raptors:
First Round: Bruno Caboclo
Second Round: DeAndre Daniels

Draft Grade: C+

A lot of people say the Raptors failed this draft but let’s not take it to far. They did have a trade chip in John Salmons who is owed $8 million next year but if waived before June 30th is only owed $1 million. They weren’t able to do anything with that. Then Ennis was their top choice at 20 but he fell a couple picks before to the Suns. Reports say the Raptors trade to trade for Ennis afterwards but the Suns weren’t listening. So with their top choice gone the Raptors didn’t want to lose their next guy either. Caboclo is someone no one has heard of and only four teams have scouted him. The Raptors were hopeful of taking him at 37 but were afraid he’d be gone by then so jumped on him 17 picks ahead. We can’t really judge this pick since there’s very minimum information on Caboclo so it’s a more wait a see. Daniels, however, could be a solid second round pick up for the Raptors. Although there were more swings and misses by the Raptors Thursday night, this could still turn out to be a solid draft for them if potential is shown by Caboclo.

Utah Jazz
First Round: Dante Exum, Rodney Hood
Second Round: None
(Acquired a 2015 second round pick)

Draft Grade: B+

It’s clear the Jazz aren’t looking to win any time soon. Drafting Exum, who signed a 2-year deal in Europe means the Jazz will be without their top pick for at least one season. Hood can really help out off the bench for the Jazz but they need more impact players to really become successful. For now talent wise this was a good draft by the Jazz but their roster still needs more improvements.

Washington Wizards
First Round: None
Second Round: None

Draft Grade: F

For a team that just made the playoffs improving through the draft to add young talent is never a bad idea. Washington isn’t a go to place for free agents so the Wizards really missed on a draft that was full of pieces that could help off the bench.

 

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