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2011 NBA Draft Grades

Fri, 06/24/2011 - 8:48am

The 2011 NBA Draft has widely been regarded as a down year for talent, but it offers a chance for GMs to prove themselves, the perfect draft to find that needle in a haystack.

We liked the drafts by Utah, San Antonio and both Los Angeles teams and question the Knicks moves.

NBADraft.net's Mike Misek (East) and Tyler Ingle (West) have all the picks covered.

Here is a team-by-team breakdown:

Atlanta
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis



B
Picks: No. 48 Keith Benson Holding only the 48th pick, it is not as if the Hawks were in a great draft position. In taking Keith Benson, they have acquired someone that has a very good combination of length, athleticism, and skill. The concern about him is whether he can develop the bulk necessary to make use of his abilities in the NBA. He will also likely require somebody to light a fire under his ass. In the second round, there is no risk in taking Benson and seeing if he develops.
Boston
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
B
Picks: No. 27 JaJuan Johnson
No. 55 and ETwaun Moore

Danny Ainge talked down the draft more than any NBA executive, and ended up swinging for contact. JaJuan Johnson is not going to be the missing big man in Boston, but he is a worker bee who can be a little like Leon Powe before his knee injuries. Similarly, Moore is someone who can come in and compete for a roster spot. He had a decorated four-year career at Purdue and measured out well at 6’ 4” and a 6’ 9 ½” wingspan. Given the salaries at the top of their roster, they are going to be looking for an inexpensive and capable body on the back end.

Charlotte
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
C-
Picks: No. 7 Bismack Biyombo and No. 9 Kemba Walker, Corey Maggette

The Bobcats were not going anywhere as they were currently constructed, so they cleaned up their payroll and moved up to get a second lottery pick. Now, Bismack Biyombo is the first person found in Yemen by Westerners who has not raised the terror alert in over a decade, so if nothing else he ended a bad stretch for Yemen. He is unquestionably a long and athletic shot blocker, but is just as assuredly limited in his offensive skill set, turnover prone, and foul prone. Recent history would indicate that drafting a high energy athlete who makes a team play 4-on-5 offensively works best when the team has a player or players who can handle that additional offensive burden. Joel Anthony can operate in Miami because they have Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Omer Asik are able to be valuable despite teams not defending them outside the paint because of Derrick Rose. Charlotte currently does not have any of players of that elite caliber, and it will expose Biyombo’s flaws more. Not to mention drafting him at 7 puts additional pressure on him to produce NOW. Kemba Walker is an intangibles pick. Nobody is going to argue that Walker is a pure point guard because he is not one. His perimeter shot needs work, and his small stature is always going to impact him defensively. He went in the lottery because he is by all accounts a great young man with a tremendous work ethic, and he carried Connecticut to the championship. When looking at how he may fit, it is hard to make the case that Walker complements D.J. Augustin at the point. They are both small point guards who are not especially efficient scorers.

For as depleted a roster as the Bobcats have, it is hard to believe a “winner” and a shot blocker were the best options for them in the draft. That said, the Bobcats have created hope for their long-term future in their draft day dealings. Part of that hope comes from the fact that they are going to be the overwhelming favorites to have the top pick in 2012, but the alternative was another year of battling for the 8th seed in the East with little hope for things getting better.

Chicago
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
B-
Picks: No. 23 Nikola Mirotic and No. 30 Jimmy Butler

The Bulls are likely going to return their top eleven players, which put them in a difficult spot in the draft. Chicago dealt James Johnson in mid-season, in part, because they did not see how they could properly develop him when he was unable to get on the court. It would have made little sense to draft three players and put them in the same position Johnson was in. In acquiring Nikola Mirotic, the Bulls took a player who will happily stay and develop oversees with one of the best clubs in Europe. Jimmy Butler will likely be on the outside of the Bulls rotation, but he fits the Bulls model. He works extremely hard, defends well, and was a very efficient scorer at Marquette.

With big contracts handed out to Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah as well as a extension waiting for Derrick Rose, Chicago is going to need cheap, capable players to round out the roster in the future. It is going to be difficult for the team to retain Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson, and Taj Gibson beyond their current deals, and that is where Mirotic and Butler will factor in.

Cleveland
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B-
Picks: No. 1 Kyrie Irving, No. 4 Tristan Thompson, and No. 54 Milan Macvan

Barring injuries marring his career, Irving is going to be a good player at one of the two most important positions in the sport. He is not going to turn the Cavs around anytime soon, but the team now has someone to build around. Thompson is a raw offensive player, but he is a relatively safe pick in that he is a tremendous athlete who will run through a wall for the team. He led the Big Twelve in offensive rebounding and blocked shots as well as doing a good job of being aggressive while avoiding foul trouble. Tristan proved to be more than a handful for #2 pick Derrick Williams in their tournament match up and outperformed him in Cleveland in their workout, which likely is what ultimately tipped the scales in Kyrie's favor at 1 and then Tristan at 4.... Would pairing Williams or Kanter with Knight have been a better option? Time will tell.... Macvan recently signed a long-term deal with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, so he will not be in the mix for a long time. He is a highly skilled power forward who can become an asset for the future.

Cleveland’s draft cannot be judged by their 2011-12 season, because they are obviously still going to be bad. The optimism should come from the fact that they have gone from zero or maybe one long-term piece to at least two. With another high lottery pick next year, they should then be able to take a few steps forward.

Dallas
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A
Added Rudy Fernandez, Petteri Koponen The recently-crowned NBA champions traded both of their picks, but managed to come out of the draft smiling anyway. Rudy Fernandez was not happy in Portland, and had to compete with Brandon Roy and Wesley Matthews for playing time at the shooting guard position. Dallas will be a new start for him, and though he'll still have competition at the shooting guard position, Rick Carlisle will find a way to get him minutes. Look out Miami, the champion Mavericks just got BETTER!
Denver
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B
Picks: No. 22 Kenneth Faried, No. 26 Jordan Hamilton, No. 56 Chukwudiebere Maduabum, Andre Miller

Raymond Felton wasn't really needed in Denver, as the Nuggets already had a quality point guard from North Carolina in Ty Lawson on the roster. They managed to get some talent in return for Felton, receiving expiring contract Andre Miller and the rights to Texas sharp-shooter Jordan Hamilton from the Blazers. Hamilton is a natural scorer with a lot of potential in this area, though he doesn't figure to get a lot of playing time next year unless Wilson Chandler leaves. The Nuggets also picked up Kenneth Faried, who is easily the best rebounder in the draft and could be the eventual successor to Chris "Birdman" Andersen. Nuggest GM Masai Ujiri drafted countryman Chukwudiebere Maduabum, who has the nickname "Chu Chu" which makes him worthy of being drafted, alone.

Detroit
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A
Picks: No. 8 Brandon Knight, No. 33 Kyle Singler, and No. 52 Vernon Macklin

The surprises early in the draft worked out to the benefit of the Pistons. The discussion surrounding Detroit was always centered around the big men, but with Thompson, Biyombo, and Valanciunas off the board it allowed Knight to fall into their lap. In all the discussion about putting a defensive-minded big man next to Greg Monroe, it ignored the fact that the biggest problem the Pistons had last year was their point guard play. Rodney Stuckey has never been able to operate the point the way Joe Dumars envisioned when he dealt Chauncey Billups, and point play has had a ripple effect on the team. When Ben Gordon had Chris Duhon or Derrick Rose as his point guard, he showed that he could score. In Milwaukee, Charlie Villanueva effectively stretched a defense at the forward spots, but they need a point guard to get them the ball. Greg Monroe did a great job off the ball screening and on the offensive glass, but if there was more structure and movement in the offense they could better make use of his ability to create from the high and low posts. Brandon Knight grew by leaps and bounds as a point guard from the beginning of his freshman year to the end. He will likely have some bumps in the road as is he does not turn 20 until December, but he is a bright kid who proved to be a quick study. While another combo forward was not something Detroit necessarily needed, certainly not when a promising big man like Trey Thompkins was there to be had, Singler is a known commodity who will play hard and challenge for a spot on the roster. Macklin showed flashes of NBA skills at Florida, and will have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot.

Golden State
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis




B+
Picks: No. 11 Klay Thompson, No. 38 Jeremy Tyler, No. 44 Charles Jenkins

The decision made by the Warriors to add shooting to their backcourt suggests that they are indeed becoming closer to moving Monta Ellis. Unfortunately Thompson isn't a great athlete or defender and neither is his future running-mate Stephen Curry, but acquiring Iguodala or an athlete in his mold could supplement that. On the bright side, Klay is a no risk pick and should be able to contribute something instantly. Something that can't be said about many of this year's picks. Jeremy Tyler is an excellent risk/reward pick, and if things work out then he could really add some talent to the Warriors' frontcourt. The Warriors added 3 new members to their front office and seemed to make a pick for each (Jerry West / Klay Thompson - his guy, Mark Jackson / Charles Jenkins NY ties, and new assistant GM Bob Myers who had ties to Jeremy Tyler through his agent days at Wasserman Group).

Houston
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A-
Picks: No. 14 Marcus Morris, No. 20 Donatas Motiejunas, No. 38 Chandler Parsons, Jonny Flynn

Marcus Morris and Donatas Motiejunas are both great values. We had Motiejunas graded out as one of the top 5 prospects available so we obviously loved Houston's draft. They will need to look to make some deals now however as they already have Patrick Patterson, Luis Scola, Jordan Hill and possibly Chuck Hayes. Motiejunas brings a different element with his perimeter game and has a chance to be special, if he ever puts his mind to it. Morris was also a solid pick at 14. Talent-wise they deserve a strong grade and that's what the draft really comes down to, but now they have their work cut out for them as they'll need to clear the log-jam they have at the 4 position if they want to get their young players any experience.

Indiana
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis




B+
Traded for George Hill

An IUPUI legend returns home. The Pacers wanted to come away with a point guard who would complement Darren Collison. In dealing for George Hill, they acquired someone who has already established himself as one of the best backup point guards in the league. In a weak draft, Indiana did well to get a known commodity. Plus, eight of the eleven players on their roster are still playing under their rookie deals. For a team that wants to build off a season where they made the playoffs, adding another rookie would not have done them much good. With close to $30 million coming off their payroll, they will be able to go out and supplement their young players with veterans in free agency.

LA Clippers
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis


A-
Picks: No. 37 Trey Thompkins, No. 47 Travis Leslie

Two very good value picks. Thompkins is a top 20 talent who due to a perceived lack of a motor fell all the way to 37 on draft night. He is a polished/skilled power forward that can play inside or out. He adds a nice contrast to Blake Griffin, whom he'll be backing up. Leslie is a stunning athlete with a lot of defensive potential. If he can add a consistent jump shot (easier said than done) then this pick becomes a real steal. Overall, the Clippers did well with the picks they had and found two players that could become quality players down the road.

LA Lakers
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A-
Picks: No. 41 Darius Morris, No. 46 Andrew Goudelock, No. 58 Ater Majok

Just like last year, the Lakers capitalized on their second round picks. Local product Darius Morris has great size and appears to be the best passer in this draft class. He's got a good amount of potential -- certainly enough to be the Lakers' point guard of the future, granted he's still along ways away, as his shooting is a serious deficiency. Goudelock can help the team with his unreal shooting ability, though he's more of a back-end rotation player. It's highly unlikely that we see Majok don a Lakers uniform anytime soon (if ever), but in the mid-late 50s there's no sleep lost.

Memphis
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

C+
Picks: No. 49 Josh Selby

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Josh Selby prior to the draft, with some talk of him being selected as high as 17. While that would have been more than ridiculous, Selby landing at 49 is completely reasonable. He didn't have a memorable season at Kansas, but he still has the qualities that made him such a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school. Hopefully this serves as a positive wake up call for him. His athleticism, size and offensive instincts give him a lot of long-term potential -- certainly more than your average 49th pick. Memphis could come away with a steal here, then again Selby is a guy that a number of teams wouldn't take in the 6th round.

Miami
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A-
Picks: No. 28 Norris Cole

Seeing as how the Heat did their spending last summer, the possibility exists that Mario Chalmers will get a contract offer in free agency that Miami will be unable to match. While there are going to be no shortage of veterans looking to fill that role, Cole can be someone the Heat look to develop internally. He is a big point and a great athlete. His ability to get on the floor will be determined by whether he can knock down the open 3. In as much as Cole was underwhelming as a three-point shooter at Cleveland State, he had been guarded tighter while in an empty gym than he will be when he is on the floor with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Excellent fit.

Milwaukee
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

C
Picks: No. 19 Tobias Harris and No. 40 Jon Leuer, Added Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston.

Milwaukee’s predraft trade to trade back from 10th to 19th and acquire Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and Shaun Livingston for Corey Maggette and John Salmons was an interesting move. Stephen Jackson should fit in perfectly with the Bucks. He is a tough, gritty, hard working wing who plays hard on both ends. The team struggled with its point play when Brandon Jennings went down, and this deal brought them two quality backup point guards. For a team that thinks they are a playoff team when healthy, they made the move to help them compete in 2011-12. In the actual draft, Tobias Harris was a decent gamble at #19. He played power forward at Tennessee, and struggled to score efficiently against bigger and stronger SEC front lines. He sold himself as an NBA small forward, and has the athleticism to do it, but will be a bit of a project. Both he and Larry Sanders will be more a part of the Bucks long-term than the short-term. Jon Leuer went to the Chicago combine and measured out at 6' 11 1/2", jumped extremely well with a 36.5'' max vert, had 17 bench reps, and performed well in the running and agility drills. In the end, the combine did not have a great impact on his draft status, but he is worth bringing in as a second round pick. It is possible teams realized he was just as big and athletic when good Big Ten teams and Butler exposed his weaknesses. Those teams knew to steer him to his left hand, and when forced he struggled to do so. Then again, in the NBA if Leuer is just setting the high screen and knocking down mid-range jumpers it does not matter if he cannot go left. Not adding Burks or Klay at 10 was questionable. With Stephen Jackson AND Brandon Jennings now in the same locker room the team has reached the breaking point with potentially combustible elements.

Minnesota
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis


A-
Picks: No. 2 Derrick Williams, No. 43 Malcolm Lee,

Despite all the speculation that Kanter could go #2, the Timberwolves opted for the best available player in Derrick Williams. They already have a similar player in Beasley, but Williams shoots much more efficiently from the field and is a player you can win with. If Kahn has the opportunity to move Beasley for a quality veteran then I'm sure he'll pull the trigger. Brad Miller was picked up in a flurry of T-Wolves trades on Thursday, but it'll take a lot more than him to make the team respectable again. Kahn also maneuvered his way to Malcolm Lee at 43, who can offer the team a good defender, but little else at this point. They moved the 20th pick in a deal that ridded themselves of draft mistake Jonny Flynn, but should have held onto that pick and kept Motiejunas.

New Jersey
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
B
Picks: No. 25 Marshon Brooks and No. 36 Jordan Williams

The advantage the Nets have in their rebuilding is that they have the point guard and center positions filled. Those two spots are the most difficult to fill with high quality players. Even in a weak draft, a team can find a scoring guard and a rebounder, and the Nets did just that. Brooks was a hot name early in the pre-draft process, but when it was all said and done landed #25. At that spot in this draft, it is an acceptable risk. He has great measurements for an NBA 2-guard and put up huge numbers at Providence, but it is hard to get excited over a guard on a losing team who takes 18 shots per game and averages all of 2 assists. Those tend to be the kind of splits that will occasionally show up on a bad team, but never on a winner. Jordan Williams is a second round pick who is capable of making the roster and compete for a spot in the rotation. If Kris Humphries signs elsewhere, Williams might even be able to vie for the spot next to Brook Lopez.

New Orleans
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

I
Picks: None

As anticipated, the Hornets sold their only draft pick (No. 45 to the New York Knicks). They're likely trying to save up in order to keep David West. Anytime you can sell Josh Harrellson for one million dollars, you have to chalk that up as a good day.

New York
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

D
Picks: No. 17 Iman Shumpert and No. 45 Josh Harrellson

This is going to be fun, because there is little doubt that people will give the Knicks the benefit of the doubt in this draft because of the success of Landry Fields. The problem is that in 2010 when he ran the point with Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal, his poor point play was widely panned as the reason Favors had an underwhelming season. He then became the featured player in the Georgia Tech offense this past year, and was an inefficient scorer and mediocre distributor. He will get out and defend incredibly well, but when has there been an NBA team with a defensive specialist who touches the ball on every possession and initiates the offense? There is a reason those guys do not exist. If the Knicks envision him as a shooting guard, can a shooting guard in the Mike D’Antoni system get on the floor when he cannot consistently knock down an open three? The Knicks bought a second round pick and took Josh Harrellson who will set screens, rebound, and hit an open shot. It's difficult to imagine him making an NBA team however.

Oklahoma City
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B-

Picks: No. 24 Reggie Jackson

"Shut it down, we're taking you. No medical reports to teams, nothing." The conversation between GM Sam Presti and his agent likely went something like that. Not many scouts focused on Jackson during the season, because few thought he would be entering this draft. But once they did, many liked what they saw. And there's no disputing Presti's track record for finding talent. Reggie Jackson is a nice offensive talent with great athleticism and a huge wingspan, but it’s questionable how he'll fit in if the Thunder can’t trade Eric Maynor by the beginning of the season. Look for them to find a way. Jackson offers the team a more similar type of play as Westbrook so the style of game won;t change when Westbrook exits the game.
Orlando
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
A-
Picks: No. 32 Justin Harper and No. 53 DeAndre Liggins

The Magic had a good draft because they need inexpensive players who can make the roster and contribute. Orlando’s bloated payroll has left them in a very difficult spot. While Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins are not going to alter the Magic’s 2011-12 outlook dramatically, they can have value. If Justin Harper sticks in the league, it will be as a Ryan Anderson-type stretch power forward. Where better to put that specific skill set to use than in Orlando? DeAndre Liggins is a premier defensive prospect who represents a good value for the rookie minimum. He can stay in an opponent's pocket without fouling, and he can bother people. Also, the progress he made offensively this past season has gotten him to a point where he is not a offensive liability when out on the floor.

Philadelphia
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis


B
Picks: No. 16 Nikola Vucevic and 50 Lavoy Allen

Philadelphia wanted to go big, and they came away with the safest NCAA big man selection in the draft. Nikola Vucevic is a skilled scorer inside and out, makes good decisions with the basketball, and given the snail's pace of USC did not receive the proper appreciation for being a solid rebounder. Additionally, having played for Kevin O'Neill and Tim Floyd, he is a step ahead in terms of defensive preparation. While Vucevic is not going to be Dwight Howard, he has learned to be committed on that end, and has three years of former NBA coaches drilling man-to-man defensive principles into him. In the second round, the Sixers took a local kid in Temple’s Lavoy Allen. He won over Philadelphia in his two predraft workouts with the team, and worked his way to having the right to compete for a roster spot.

Phoenix
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B+
Picks: No. 13 Markieff Morris

Once again we witness the Suns take the more defense-orientated twin, but this time they're on the hook that that guy turns out better. Markieff Morris is an NBA ready power forward that can defend the rim, clean the glass and make an open jump-shot from the perimeter. He seems like a nice fit for the Suns who are obviously attempting to become less of a disgrace defensively. Good for them.

Portland
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis




C
Picks: No. 21 Nolan Smith, No. 51 Jon Diebler, No. 57 Tanguy Ngombo Raymond Felton

The Trailblazers decided to play it safe in this year's draft. Both with a bigger need in the frontcourt and with players such as Kenneth Faried available, drafting Nolan Smith is a head scratcher. Smith and Jon Diebler have solid role-player potential, but it's difficult to see either of them becoming anything more. Smith will be a scorer/defender combo guard off the bench, while Diebler will be a great shooter at the end of the rotation. They also scored Raymond Felton from the Nuggets, which was their real accomplishment and gives them a solid young starting point guard for the next few seasons.... Tanguy Ngombo is likely on his way to Minnesota. It doesn't really matter which International bum a team takes in the second if the team really has no interest in bringing them to camp. Most teams don't have room for second round picks, so in actuality it does a guy like Ben Hansbrough and David Lighty (the names ESPN used) a disservice to take them. They end up in a camp of a team that knows that they are going to cut them. Ngombo is not going to go to camp, and instead will stay in Qatar or Europe, and that is why he was taken. It isn't because they hate Lighty or Hansbrough. Ngombo is just glorious because it is 2011, and they showed Cold War footage of him playing in a junior high gym.

Sacramento
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B-
Picks: No. 10 Jimmer Fredette, No. 35 Tyler Honeycutt, No. 60 Isaiah Thomas, Added John Salmons

As much as we like Jimmer, it's hard to imagine him fitting in socially with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Therefore, we question this move. Especially when staying put and drafting Brandon Knight or especially Kemba Walker 9who would have brought the best out of Tyreke and Cousins off the court) would have been a much better option. Pairing Kemba with Tyreke and Cousins made far too much sense and there was likely a push from ownership to land the kid that could help with ticket sales -- that is if any Kings fans that still exist in Sacramento. The problem is nobody will be buying tickets for a guy averaging 8 points in 20 minutes for a losing team in January. The luster will wear off quickly, while Jimmer figures things out. But they can sell some merchandise in the meantime. Tyler Honeycutt, despite being frail was a steal at 35. Mr. Irrelevant, Isaiah Thomas, also stands a chance of making the team.

San Antonio
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis



A-
Picks: No. 15 Kawhi Leonard, No. 29 Cory Joseph, No. 42 Davis Bertans, No. 59 Adam Hanga

Though the pre-draft speculation was that Tony Parker would be moved, George Hill turned out to be the traded player. Hill netted the Spurs two picks that turned out to be Kawhi Leonard and Davis Bertans. Leonard will provide the aging Spurs a solid young prospect. As an athletic forward with a high motor, he draws optimistic comparisons to players like Gerald Wallace and Shawn Marion. Davis Bertans was thought to have a first round promise, but he ended up falling to the mid-second round. He's a great value pick here. Now he probably won't play in the NBA for a few years, but he has a good amount of potential and a deadly shooting stroke. Joseph was probably drafted as a replacement for Hill, though he's very raw and won't likely contribute for a while. You might not like the players, but you have to give GM RC Buford credit for his deft maneuvering during the draft.

Toronto
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

C+
Picks: No. 5 Jonas Valanciunas

The Raptors gambled a bit by going with Jonas Valanciunas at #5. The issue as to whether he can come over right away has been widely reported, but the risk goes beyond that factor. Valanciunas has been playing at a high level in Europe, but it is a mixed record. The Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) is not a deep league in terms of its talent base. Zalgiris and Valanciunas’ Lietuvos Rytas are the dominating forces of that league, so while Valanciunas played extremely well for an 18-year old, the league is not a great test of his NBA readiness. It is worth noting that he struggled against Zalgiris and then also in the regional VTB United League competition against Eurocup champion Unics or Russian power CSKA. His Euroleague play was especially concerning because he had extremely high foul and turnover rates. Rates of 8.2 fouls per 40 minutes and 3.8 turnover per 40 minutes in Euroleague do not bode well for the NBA. This is where staying abroad might help him. It does nobody any good when a player enters the NBA before he is ready, and it might be a worthy investment for Valanciunas to spend another year developing oversees so that when he joins the Raptors that he can not only get on the court but stay there.

Utah
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

A
Picks: No. 3 Enes Kanter, No. 12 Alec Burks

Utah should walk away very satisfied with the talent that they picked up in the draft. They maximized both picks extremely well and are our biggest winners on draft night. Enes Kanter is an intriguing talent with a lot of potential. He'll be an ideal fit next Derrick Favors, and the teenage duo should make Utah's frontcourt a force to be reckoned with in a few years. Alec Burks gives Hayward a mate on the wings, though Utah was likely hoping that Fredette or Walker fell to them at 12. On the bright side, Burks could easily end up better than both.

Washington
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis

B
Picks: No. 6 Jan Vesely, No. 18 Chris Singleton, and No. 34 Shelvin Mack

Washington came away last summer with their star, and went into this draft looking for players who can help out John Wall. Jan Vesely is an ideal 3 in today's NBA because he will have the length and athleticism to handle the oversized small forwards defensively. He will not be a 30 minutes plus guy right away as he still has foul issues, but they are not so major that he will be unable to overcome them. While his shot is not great at this point of his development, he has the form to where it should come with time and work. Chris Singleton is in many ways a similar player to Jan Vesely. He has a tremendous ability to defend, but needs to stay out of foul trouble and work on his offense. The Wizards had a good number of predraft workouts dedicated to finding a backup point guard for Wall. Shelvin Mack has been a tremendous tournament performer for three years, but transitioning to the NBA is not going to be easy. He did not operate the point guard position in an NBA-style way at Butler, and his ability to run the point is going to determine whether he makes it in the NBA or not.

*Spurs deal Hill to Pacers

Indiana receives: George Hill

San Antonio receives: 15th pick (Kawhi Leonard) in 2011 draft, 42nd pick (Davis Bertans) in 2011 draft, 46th pick (Erazem Lorbek) in 2005 draft.

* Nets and Celtics swap picks

Boston receives: 27th pick (Jajuan Johnson) in 2011 draft, 2014 second-round pick

New Jersey receives: 25th pick (Marshon Brooks) in 2011 draft

*Kings, Bucks and Bobcats complete three-team trade

Sacramento receives: 10th pick (Jimmer Fredette) in 2011 draft, John Salmons

Milwaukee receives: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston, 19th pick (Tobias Harris) in 2011 draft

Charlotte receives: Corey Maggette, 7th pick (Bismack Biyombo) in 2011 draft

*Brad Miller traded to T-Wolves

Minnesota receives: Brad Miller, 23rd pick (Nikola Mirotic) in 2011 draft, 38th pick (Chandler Parsons) in 2011 draft, future first-round pick

Houston receives: Jonny Flynn, 20th pick (Donatas Motiejunas) in 2011 draft

*Mavs, Nuggets, and Blazers complete three-team trade

Portland receives: Raymond Felton, 26th pick (Jordan Hamilton) in 2011 draft, 57th pick (Tanguy Ngombo) in 2011 draft

Dallas receives: Rudy Fernandez, 30th pick (Petteri Koponen) in 2011 draft

Denver receives: Andre Miller, future second-round pick

*Knicks acquire draft pick from Hornets

New York receives: 45th pick (Josh Harrellson)

New Orleans receives: Cash considerations

*Cavs trade second-round pick to Magic

Cleveland receives: Two future second-round picks

Orlando receives: 32nd pick (Justin Harper) in 2011 draft

*Warriors acquire second-round pick from Bobcats

Golden State receives: 39th pick (Jeremy Tyler) in 2011 draft

Charlotte receives: Cash considerations

the U 327
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I would give Milwaukee an

I would give Milwaukee an A-

They get Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuer, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih and all they got rid of was the 10th pick, Corey Maggette and John Salmons.

Chill_dude03
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The Wizards should get an A

The Wizards should have gotten an A. Shelvin Mack is going to be an excellent back up. He can score all day and he can run an NBA team. Chris Singleton will be an excellent versatile defender. Jan Vessely looks like a nice addition to the team. What I really liked about this guy was that he plays hard. He plays with a mean streak. Did anyone see that highlight of him slamming it on the guy on a fast break ?

esperanzafleet69
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^^^ they dont need another

^^^ they dont need another backup... whatever happend to nick young and jordan crawford?

old jazz bones
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Milsap

I completely agree with you.I love paul Milsap but I think he's on his way out for a veteran shooter in the Grainger/Gay mold.That would allow Burks to ease into the system while giving the Jazz someone to spred the floor,opening the paint for thier beasts in the middle.I hope Okur returns strong,with his expiring contract he'll be atractive also.I hope the Jazz do them right and send them to contenders,they are both class acts and have given the Jazz all they had.

TaylorCondrin
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wizards def deserved an A

wizards def deserved an A ...singleton and vesely will make for a great 3/4 combo if they can part with blatche

mj23mj23bestever
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i loved the whiz draft as well

the wiz came away away with two def specialists who can jump out of the gym too compliment the running style of wall and javale and i agree as well that shelvin mack will b a solid backup in the nba

Ralwarez
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hard to agree

Hard to agree with most of that, except Dallas, Warriors, Lakers and Jazz. All of that seem to be awfully subjective and based on rather emotions towards any player than his actual value.

NYFLAVA2K9
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My biggest

My biggest losers...

Charlotte Bobcats: So you trade your only decent player for Biyombo and Maggette. I like Biyombo but he's not a top 10 pick. I keep hearing good shot blocker, freakish athleticism, and good work outs... Isn't that exactly what Tyrus Thomas brings to the table. Ok so now that Captain Jack is gone, your best young assett is DJ Augustin who is a score first 6'0 tall PG... So what do you do? You draft a score first 6'0 tall PG in Kemba Walker... C'mon MJ. I would've went Brandon Knight and Klay Thompson and shipped Augustin for a C or SF... OR keep Augustin and draft Klay and Markeif Morris.

Sacramento Kings: In a move straight out of the Major League movies starring Charlie Sheen, it seems the Kings are doing everything to get worse. In a move just as crazy as Sheen, they shipped out a valuable playoff back up PG in Udrih, missed out on Knight, and brung John Salmons back to pair with Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins. I like the Freddette move but only if they are planning on shipping Evans and Cousins and starting from scratch which I highly doubt. Mark my words... the Kings will not only never win with Tyreke and Demarcus, but they wont even be able to keep them past their rookie contracts to know if it all could've worked. The Kings seriously need to stop delaying the truth and blow this roster up ASAP. They saved face a little with the Tyler Honeycutt pick up who I think could be a Doug Christie type. I would've kept my original draft position at 7, and start figuring out what I can get for Tyreke and Demarcus.

Toronto Raptors: I made a point a couple months back that the reason the Raptors are filling half their rosters with International guys is because thats the only type of guys they can hope to retatain once their deals are up. Maybe i'm right or maybe GM Bryan Colangelo is planning an NBA-style "We are the world concert". But seriously I like Jonas Valanciunas and I feel he can be a good not great NBA center in 3-4 years at the earliest. With that being said, if youre willing to wait that long then why not just trade into next years draft or even take a Nikola Mirotic who projects to be way better. Watching film I can see what there is to like about Jonas as he's got one hell of a motor and is relentless around the basket. But consider that this is in the Lithuanian league (not the strongest in Europe), and in the film that I've seen he seems to have not much foot work and do little more than score off of put backs and when he has a uncontested path to the basket. Also, didn't they just throw a ton of money at Amir Johnson and draft Ed Davis in the lotto last year? I would've traded into next years draft, taken Vesely or Knight, or traded down for one of the Morris twins.

Cleveland Cavaliers: It's hard to whiff when you have the 1st and the 4th pick in any draft including this one, but that is exactly what I feel the Cavs did. Kyrie Irving will be a good PG in this league for a long time so I get the logic of locking up one of the core positions of any rebuilding franchise. Derrick Williams however would've been my choice at number 1 hands down. I don't think Williams will be a star in the league, but he would be a good number 2 or 3 option on a winner right now. Also, it would've given the Cavs the opportunity to grab a PG like Knight at 4 at worst. Instead, they reached mightily for Tristan Thompson at 4. I like Thompson, but he is not a top 5 or even a top 10 talent for that matter in next years or last years draft. He has some Josh Smith to his game but I think he ends up closer to Tyrus Thomas. Thompson is not a PF like everyone is saying and will get absolutely abused on the block by half the starting PF's in the league. Imagin Thompson trying to stop a Dirk, Amare or Z-Bo.. aint happening. Every year like clock work a team makes a mistake drafting a 220 lb PF with length. Tell me that Julian Wright, Brandan Wright and Earl Clark all didn't have strikingly similar profiles entering the league.

New York Knicks: Last but not least, my beloved Knicks...Oh how we F#$% this one up.I like the Iman Shumpert pick up... if we were drafting early 2nd round. This is Renaldo Balkman all over again. To the Knicks credit Danillo Gallinari is going to be a star one day... for Denver. Lets for fun list the players that the Knicks will regret passing on: Jordan Hamilton, Reggie Jackson, Nikola Mirotic, and Donatas Motiejunas come to mind. Hell even Jeremy Tyler, Josh Selby, Jordan Williams, Marshon Brooks, Darius Morris and Charles Jenkins will have just as good if not better careers than Shumpert. Again, I like Shumpert... But not this high. Then theres the whole Josh Harrellson debacle. We paid 1 million american currency for the next Jon Koncack. Amare, I hope you like a 4-2 loss in the Conference Finals because that's the farthest it looks like these Knicks will ever go even after adding the complimentary peices.

paradigmn
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NJ NETS???

If I'm not mistake, didn't the NETS buy the #31 pick, BOJAN BOGDANOVIC from the Miami Heat. I believe the Heat were actually selecting it on behalf of the Chicago Bulls for the Norris Cole pick at #28. So I guess the NETS come away with another SG from the draft as well. I didn't see him mentioned anywhere in the summary.

scoutguru
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"when has there been an NBA

"when has there been an NBA team with a defensive specialist who touches the ball on every possession and initiates the offense?"

Your knicks analysis is horrible. We are not drafting him to be running our team. He was the 17th pick in a week draft. Not the 7 in the '03 draft. Smh. He's going to play a certain role and his athleticism and defense will be his calling card at the next level while the rest of his game develops. Landry Fields averaged 22 pts a game his sr year, but we didn't ask him to come in and be a #1 option scorer, he's playing a certain role that is asked of him.

AKOO
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Bobcats

Deserve better. I think there draft was a B with A potential.

lbj_6 (not verified)
Bojan bogdanovic

You're not wrong paradigmn, Bojan Bogdanovic was really traded to the Nets, and AKOO, I don't think you're right, as the bobcats have a huge loss with jackson's departure.

tttmikeb
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Spurs Logo

The Spurs quit using that logo years ago. They only use the black and silver one now. Shouldn't your site reflect that?

kicker16
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Suns

Deserve an A+ for consistency for always choosing the "other" twin.

kicker16
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2 problems

The two problems I have with this analysis

1. Not mentioning Faried in the Nuggets analysis.

2. Not giving a shout out to jan vesely's girl who is a legit 7 footer and runs the floor well.

jeff416
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Why do the Grizzlies only get

Why do the Grizzlies only get a C+? They drafted the best available player, and a guy who many thought had lottery talent at 49.

Grandmama
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a B+ for Phoenix drafting

a B+ for Phoenix drafting Markieff Morris?? I'll give that an F- b/c neither Morris twin is going to have a successful career, especially Markieff.

durantula83
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Not only was this the weakest draft in years...

Not only was this the weakest draft in years but these are also the weakest Draft Grades and comments supplied in years. Sounds like the writer hasn't seen a bunch of these players play enough to pass on a clear, righteous judgement. Alot of general perceptions and misconceptions about certain players and the the draft grading of some teams was just way off.

Ty Benjamins
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Heat gets an A no doubt

Norris Cole will definately help the heat.

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