Draft Grades

By Joe Kotoch

ATLANTA HAWKS
GRADE: C
Round 1: None.
Round 2: Keith Benson(48)



Analysis: The Hawks traded their first-round pick to the Washington for Kirk Hinrich.

In round 2, Atlanta chose Benson, who is a great rebounder and shot blocker. Benson is very slight and will struggle on NBA bigs but could be a nice 5th big on your bench. Ultimately, the Hawks didn’t add any players that will help them this season.

BOSTON CELTICS
GRADE: A
Round 1: JaJuan Johnson (27 from New Jersey)
Round 2: E’Twuan Moore(55)

Analysis: For team like Boston there couldn’t have been any scenario in which they envisioned Jordan Hamilton and Marshon Brooks were still on the board. Wisely Boston opted to trade and in swapping Brooks’s rights to take Johnson they added a future draft pick.

I am very high on Johnson, who was an impressive player during his whole career at Purdue. Johnson is a great athlete who is very long and works hard to improve. I’ve equated Johnson to a more offensive Taj Gibson. Learning behind Kevin Garnett will only help in his development.

Moore can fill it up. I see Moore as an offensive spark off the bench and that is something Boston sorely needs. The Celtics got great value with both picks and acquired a future pick as well.

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Bismack Biyombo (7 from Sacramento)
Kemba Walker (9)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Great drafting by Rich Cho and MJ. The Bobcats shrewdly moved up in front of Detroit to take Biyombo and stood pat and let Kemba fall into their lap. Good value for the bobcats who upgraded at two key spots.

Biyombo is a Ben Wallace-like defender. While he won’t add anything offensively Paul Silas rarely calls plays for his bigs. Biyombo is an intimidating defender that will block and alter many shots.

Walker is a gamer and his body of work speaks for itself. Charlotte has concerns about D.J. Augustine so Kemba can come right in and start. Kemba is a winner and will help turn the Bobcats fortunes around.

CHICAGO BULLS
GRADE: B +
Round 1: Nikola Mirotic (23 from Houston via Orlando via Phoenix)
Jimmy Butler (30)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: The Bulls did a great job of addressing their perimeter needs. Mirotic is a lottery talent who dropped because of contract issues. Chicago are a deep team on the rise and can afford to be patient. When Mirotic does arrive he will be a great injection to the Bulls as he can score and handle. Butler is going to be a solid player and will help ease the wear and tear on Luol Deng. Butler is a great defender that will contribute right away. A lot of teams were disappointed when he came off the boards at 30.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
GRADE: B
Round 1: Kyrie Irving (1 from Clippers)
Tristan Thompson (No. 4)
Round 2: Milan Macvan (54 from Oklahoma City via Miami)

Analysis: The Cavs got the best player in the draft in Irving at a position of need. Byron Scott’s track record with PGs made the debate at 1 even easier. Irving is going to be an all-star caliber PG that does everything well.

The Cavs were very high on Tristan Thompson but I think it was a slight reach. Seems like a bigger deal was in the cards until Toronto threw a wrench in the plans. Cleveland wanted to trade down but ended up with the player they wanted. Thompson is a great rebounder and defender and will put in the work to improve on the offensive end.

The train came off the tracks in round 2. The Cavs took a huge risk in the Harper deal. 2 2nd round picks in 2013 and 2014 are not going to help if the Magic keep Dwight Howard. There were options that could help on the perimeter right now. Macvan is a Brian Cardinal type back of the rotation player.

DALLAS MAVERICKS
GRADE: B
Round 1: None.
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Rudy Fernandez helps now so the Mavs did a good job.


DENVER NUGGETS
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Kenneth Faried (22)
Jordan Hamilton (26 from Dallas)
Round 2: Chukwudiebere Maduabum (56 from Lakers)

Analysis: Loved what the Nuggets did. Already loaded with young talent the Nuggets went out and grabbed Faried who is an instant rotation guy. Hamilton gives Denver flexibility with Wilson Chandler’s free agency. Hamilton was a great pick up at the juncture of the draft. Chukwudiebere Maduabum is a project.

DETROIT PISTONS
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Brandon Knight (8)
Round 2: Kyle Singler (33 from Toronto)
Vernon Macklin (52)

Analysis: Brandon Knight fell into the Pistons' lap and fills a need. Knight is a great shooter and effective off the pick and roll. Great value pick. Singler is an instant rotation guy in the mold of Mike Miller that can do a lot of things well. Macklin is a big that is a bit of a project.

GOLDEN STATE
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Klay Thompson (11)
Round 2: Jeremy Tyler (39 from Charlotte)
Charles Jenkins (44 from Phoenix via Chicago)

Analysis: Jerry West became loved Thompson didn’t hesitate to draft him. Thompson is a great shooter and will be wonderful with Stephen Curry.

Jeremy Tyler, has lottery size and talent but is a big-time project. Mark Jackson has to be happy with this haul. Great 2nd round pick by Golden State of Charles Jenkins, who can be a scorer off the bench.

HOUSTON ROCKETS
GRADE: C +
Round 1: Marcus Morris (14)
Donatas Motiejunas (20 from Minnesota from Memphis via Utah).
Round 2: Chandler Parsons (38 from LA Clippers)

Analysis: Houston certainly has a type. The Rockets added another bruising PF in Morris and a couple of finesse forwards with versatility. Passing on Kawhi Leonard was questionable. Donatas Motiejunas has is a scorer, but how will he get minutes?

Chandler Parsons is very intriguing player. He is very skilled and can do a lot of things for the Rockets.

INDIANA PACERS
GRADE: B
Round 1: None.
Round 2: None.

Analysis: George Hill is good and gives Indiana flexibility with Darren Collison.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
GRADE: B
Round 1: None.
Round 2: Trey Thompkins (37 from Detroit)
Travis Leslie (47 from Houston)

Analysis: All things being equal the Clippers added quality to their bench with these picks. Leslie is a versatile wing that can defend and rebound. Thompkins has some upside as he can shoot, handle and help on the boards. Missing out on Kyrie stings but the Clippers are getting close to turning the corner.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
GRADE: C
Round 1: None
Round 2: Darius Morris (41 from Golden State via New Jersey)
Andrew Goudelock (46 from New York)
Ater Majok (58 from Miami).

Analysis: The Lakers were solid draft. Darius Morris should of gone higher and is a pure point guard. Goudelock can shoot the basketball with deep range but is a specialist. Majok is a project.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
GRADE: B
Round 1: None.
Round 2: Josh Selby (49)

Analysis: Selby might have 1st round abilities but he needs a lot of work. Memphis got great value but the logjam of guards with Mayo, Allen, and Henry makes this pick a bit of a head scratcher. No question Selby should’ve gone at least 10 slots higher.

MIAMI HEAT
GRADE: A-
Round 1: Norris Cole (28 from Bulls)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Heat wanted a PG that could defend and they got it with Cole. Cole will come right in and take the backup minutes but in a year or so should be starting alongside Wade and LeBron.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
GRADE: B +
Round 1: Tobias Harris (19 from New Orleans via Portland)
Round 2: Jon Leuer (40)

Analysis: The Bucks' gave up the 10th pick but added a lot of help on the court now. Their selections can help now but will also help for the future. Very high on Harris. In time he could be a very good SF. Leuer will be a good reserve for a long time.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
GRADE A -
Round 1: Derrick Williams (2)
Round 2: Malcolm Lee (43 from Jazz via Wolves)
Targuy Ngombo (57 from Dallas)

Analysis: The Wolves got the second-best player in the draft. They made moves throughout the draft and acquired more assets. Not sure I have to say anything about Williams his play speaks for itself. Malcolm Lee is a good value pick in round 2 and is a true guard that can help defend and is very balanced. David Kahn actually gets high marks.

NEW JERSEY NETS
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Marshon Brooks (25 from Celtics)
Round 2: Bojan Bogdanovic (31 from Heat via Wolves)
Jordan Williams (36)

Analysis: The Nets drafted a great scorer in Brooks, who will add length and athleticism. The Nets had a huge need at SG and Brooks will fit in nicely on their roster.

Bogdanovic was a leading scorer in Europe and can flat out shoot it and is a good pick up in round 2. Williams is one of the top rebounders in this draft and fills a major hole at PF.

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
GRADE: C -
Round 1: None.
Round 2: None.

Analysis: The Hornets used this pick for Jarrett Jack. Missed out on some good players that could’ve helped.

NEW YORK KNICKS
GRADE: C +
Round 1: Iman Shumpert (17)
Round 2: Josh Harrellson (45 from Charlotte)

Analysis: Shumpert is a great find for the Knicks and will help defensively. Shumpert can play either guard spot and will do the dirty work for NY. Shumpert graded out as the top athlete this year.

Harrellson is a center but was viewed as undrafted a big time reach.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
GRADE: B +
Round 1: Reggie Jackson (24)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Jackson is a great combo guard that can score and gives the Thunder versatility and depth. Jackson was coveted by several teams and now the rich get richer. Jackson allows OKC to deal Maynor.

ORLANDO MAGIC
GRADE: A -
Round 1: None.
Round 2: Justin Harper (32 from Cleveland)
DeAndre Liggins (53)

Analysis: The Magic traded up for Harper in a true steal for 2 second rounders in 2013 and 2014. Harper is a shooter and can play a role similar to Rashard Lewis. Liggins is a great defender that will help off the bench. Good value for the Magic.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
GRADE: C +
Round 1: Nikola Vucevic (16)
Round 2: Lavoy Allen (50, obtained from New Orleans)

Analysis: The Sixers needed size and got it. Vucevic will be solid in the NBA, but he's not a star. Vucevic gives Philly more size and do a lot of things well. Allen never stood out at Temple but gives PHL depth.

PHOENIX SUNS
GRADE: B
Round 1: Markieff Morris (13)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Morris is an underrated prospect that some think will be the better of the twins. Morris is the ideal stretch big for the Suns. Morris is a solid rebounder and defender that will add toughness.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
GRADE: D
Round 1: Nolan Smith (21)
Round 2: Jon Diebler (51)

Analysis: The Blazers reached for both guards and didn’t address any of their needs for a C. Smith is a nice combo guard and Diebler is a good shooter but won’t add anything else.

SACRAMENTO KINGS
GRADE: A -
Round 1: Jimmer Fredette (10 from Bucks)
Round 2: Tyler Honeycutt (35)
Isaiah Thomas (60 from Chicago via Milwaukee)

Analysis: Great picks by Sacramento to add a starting PG, a potential starting SF, and a spark off the bench. Fredette is a great fit for the Kings. Jimmer is a great shooter that will change the culture of the club and draw fans.

Love the Tyler Honeycutt pick he is a great player with verstatility to defend and help right away. Isaiah Thomas is tough, he can score and create.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS
GRADE: A
Round 1: Kawhi Leonard (15 from Pacers)
Cory Joseph (29)
Round 2: Davis Bertans (42 from Indiana)
Adam Hanga (59)

Analysis: The Spurs got a king’s ransom and some real steals. Leonard could’ve gone top 5. He is a great denfender and rebounder and helps right now and can start. Joseph was a bit of a reach but has high upside.

Bertans and Hanga will be overseas for a few years but both are great shooters that have upside. Bertans could’ve gone in round 1. STEAL!

TORONTO RAPTORS
GRADE: B -
Round 1: Jonas Valanciunas (5)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Valanciunas is a high upside project at center. Can’t understand what he adds to Toronto that needs defensive toughness to compliment Bargnani. We’ll see how he develops in the next two seasons and then comes to the NBA.

UTAH JAZZ
GRADE: A +
Round 1: Enes Kanter (3 from New Jersey)
Alec Burks (12)
Round 2: None.

Analysis: Kanter is aNBA ready center that can start right away and will be a solid contributor. Burks is the best pure scorer in the draft. For a team contending for the playoffs now they only added to their team. Great job and the best draft haul of any team in the NBA.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS
GRADE: A
Round 1: Jan Vesely (6)
Chris Singleton (18 from Atlanta)
Round 2: Shelvin Mack (34)

Analysis: The Wizards added a lot of talent. Vesely is a freakish athlete and will be a great running partner for John Wall. Singleton at 18 is a steal that will rebound and defend anyone on the court. Mack is a great backup PG that can play alongside Wall and score it. Wizards are getting good real quick!