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Im not sure if anyone has posted this but It's the draft grades

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Every year I hand out grades just hours after the draft. As a college professor by day, the exercise amounts to the equivalent of giving a student a final grade after the first day of class. There's so much we don't know about the teams and how these players will fit with their respective teams. In other words, these grades are subjective and unfair. In truth, you can't grade a draft for at least two years.

So why do it? Because it gives us a great opportunity to get an instant reaction on the future of every team in the league. What I write today won't be the definitive word on this draft, but it's a great way to start the conversation.

Here's our take on how every team in the league did Thursday night:


Round 1: Lucas Nogueira (16), Dennis Schroeder (17)

Round 2: Mike Muscala (44), Raul Neto (47)

Analysis: The Hawks probably are losing a chunk of their rotation this offseason and didn't get much help in the draft for next season. It may be several years before we can accurately gauge how well they did.

Nogueira and Schroeder have upside. Nogueira can develop into an effective rim protector, and Schroeder is quick, athletic and tenacious on both ends. But both players appear to be several years from being serious contributors at the NBA level.

Muscala is the opposite of Nogueira and Schroeder. He's a polished college veteran who, of the Hawks' draft picks, might be the most ready to play now. Neto is a good player as well, but he's unlikely to come over to the NBA this year.


Round 1: Kelly Olynyk (13)

Round 2: Colton Iverson (53)

Analysis: The Celtics made more noise outside the draft on Thursday, agreeing to trade Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Nets for what boils down to three first-round picks.

So the Celtics are starting over, and it looks like Olynyk will be part of a young core led by Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger. (Rajon Rondo's future in Boston as he recovers from a knee injury is uncertain.)

It could get ugly real fast for Celtics fans. Although I haven't been a huge fan of Olynyk, I think he can stick in the league in the right style of play -- as long as his coach doesn't try to turn him into a center. He can hit shots and get to the rim, although he'll also play some matador defense.

Iverson adds toughness and six fouls, but no one will expect much.


Round 1: Mason Plumlee (22)

Round 2: None

Analysis: The Nets made their mark on draft day by agreeing to a massive trade with Boston that landed Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, other players and three future first-round draft picks. Clearly in the short term, the Nets came out way ahead.

On top of that, they kept their 2013 first-round pick and landed Plumlee, the most athletic big in the draft not named Noel. Plumlee slid because of his age; had he been 19 or 20 years old, he would've been a lottery pick. But at 22, teams question how much upside he has. He runs the floor and finishes high above the rim, but he probably will be relegated to spot minutes in a backup role.


Round 1: Cody Zeller (4)

Round 2: None

Analysis: We began hearing on Wednesday that the Bobcats were seriously considering Zeller at No. 4, although it was hard to believe they would take him -- and it would've been even more difficult to accept if we had known the Bobcats would be passing on Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore to take Zeller.

I like Zeller's NBA potential, but this pick was a major reach. Zeller is athletic and was probably underrated, but he'll have to change his game dramatically to succeed in the NBA, and no one knows whether he'll pull it off. Shooting jumpers in workouts is one thing. In an NBA game, it's another.

The Bobcats have made some pretty bad picks during owner Michael Jordan's reign. I don't think Zeller will be a bust in the way that Adam Morrison and D.J. Augustin were. But I struggle to believe he'll have the career of Noel or McLemore. For the Bobcats' sake, I hope Zeller proves me wrong.


Round 1: Tony Snell (20)

Round 2: Erik Murphy (49)

Analysis: The Bulls really wanted a swingman and selected Snell, a workout wonder. Because Reggie Bullock, Allen Crabbe and Tim Hardaway Jr. were on the board, all three of whom have better track records, I was a little surprised that Snell was the pick. He might have more upside, but his lack of consistency on both ends is concerning. The Bulls filled a need, but I don't think they got the best guy to do it.

Murphy was a good second-round pick -- a terrific shooter who should be able to play stretch 4.


Round 1: Anthony Bennett (1), Sergey Karasev (19)

Round 2: Carrick Felix (33)

Analysis: The Cavs kept everyone in suspense for six weeks. They talked trades with everyone. They wrung their hands over whom to take. And then they shocked just about everyone by taking Bennett with the No. 1 pick. I understand the reasoning. Cleveland wanted a pick-and-roll partner for Kyrie Irving. Bennett has the potential to be a 20-and-10 guy, perhaps the only one in the draft.

On the other hand, I think Noel, Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter were better prospects, and I would have liked their fit in Cleveland as much as or more than Bennett's. With the No. 1 pick, the Cavs needed to get the best talent, and I'm not sold on the idea that they did.

I loved the Karasev pick. They needed a shooter with a high basketball IQ, and I think he has a chance to be a solid player in the NBA. That's all you can ask for at No. 19.

Felix is a tough defender and should be able to get minutes coming off the bench. He's not an upside player but should play right away.


Round 1: Shane Larkin (18)

Round 2: Ricky Ledo (43)

Analysis: The Mavericks are trying to lure free agent Dwight Howard. To create salary-cap space, the Mavs moved down from No. 13 to No. 18 and traded Jared Cunningham.

The prospects they landed are both solid. Larkin has the skills to be an NBA point guard -- the question will be: Does he have the size? Ledo has the skills to be a terrific scoring wing -- the question will be: Will he show more maturity than he has in the past?

Of the two, it's Ledo who has the better chance to be special. If the Mavs nurture him, he could be this year's Lance Stephenson.


Round 1: None

Round 2: Erick Green (46), Joffrey Lauvergne (55)

Analysis: The Nuggets traded the draft rights of Rudy Gobert to the Jazz for cash and the 46th pick. Time will tell whether the cash and a mid-second-round pick were worth passing on the longest player in the draft. In return, Denver got one of the best scorers in this year's class. Green can score efficiently from just about anywhere. He slid in the draft because of concerns about his position. He's a classic tweener -- too small to be a shooting guard but lacking the vision of a point guard.

Lauvergne is athletic and soft and the type of draft-and-stash candidate who rarely gets unstashed.


Round 1: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8)

Round 2: Tony Mitchell (37), Peyton Siva (56)

Analysis: After weeks of us hearing about the Pistons' need for a point guard and their desire to move Brandon Knight to the 2, they passed on all three of the top point guards and drafted another 2-guard. That felt a bit odd.

I do like Caldwell-Pope. He can shoot, has a high basketball IQ and has a lot of defensive potential. Although he doesn't fit a need, I think the Pistons felt he was the best player available and they would solve the point guard conundrum some other way.

At No. 37, they walked away with one of the most physically talented players in the draft. Mitchell was a disappointment this past season at North Texas, but his athleticism, length and rebounding suggest that in the right role, such as coming off the bench behind Greg Monroe, he could be fantastic.

As for Siva, his niche in the NBA likely will be limited to disrupting opponents. He has quick hands and feet, is a jet up and down the floor and plays with passion. He is just offensively challenged.


Round 1: Nemanja Nedovic (30)

Round 2: None

Analysis: The Warriors began the night without a first-round pick but traded back into the first round at No. 27 before trading that pick to the Thunder in return for the 29th pick, which they then traded to the Suns for the 30th pick. Got that?

The player they ended up with is interesting. Nedovic is an athletic combo guard who some scouts think will be an absolute stud in the NBA. The Warriors needed a fourth guard behind Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack (if he returns). Nedovic is probably not a draft-and-stash player. They'll bring him into the Summer League and give him a shot to win a spot on the team.


Round 1: None

Round 2: Isaiah Canaan (34)

Analysis: The Rockets also didn't have a first-round pick but essentially got one anyway at No. 34. Canaan might have been the fourth-best point guard in the draft, and I think Houston got great value. Canaan isn't a pure point, but he's a great athlete and a dominant scorer who can really shoot the ball. Not a lot of second-rounders stick in the NBA. I think Canaan will be one who does.


Round 1: Solomon Hill (23)

Round 2: None

Analysis: Last year I hated the Pacers' pick of Miles Plumlee, which felt like an enormous reach -- one made on the misguided belief that a college senior would naturally be able to come in and contribute for an NBA playoff team. That didn't work for the Pacers last season (Plumlee played just 14 games and averaged 3.9 minutes per game), and I'm not sure it will work this year either. I like Hill better than Plumlee, but not by much: He was ranked No. 79 on our Top 100, if that tells you anything. As a college player, Hill was a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. There isn't a single characteristic he has that screams first-round pick.

I imagine the Pacers will say that a college veteran who plays the right way can help off the bench, but color me very skeptical.


Round 1: Reggie Bullock (25)

Round 2: None

Analysis: The Clippers wanted a wing who can shoot and got great value at No. 25. Bullock will fill a role for the Clippers as a 3-point specialist, and he can play some defense. In those regards, his best comparison might be Danny Green of the Spurs.


Round 1: None

Round 2: Ryan Kelly (48)

Analysis: I'm not sure I'm in love with Kelly as a prospect in general. But Kelly on a Mike D'Antoni team? I can get excited about that. Kelly's ability to shoot the rock, handle it and play point power forward at times should make him a perfect fit in D'Antoni's system. I'm not predicting Kelly will be a star, but his chances for success go up dramatically under D'Antoni's watch.


Round 1: None

Round 2: Jamaal Franklin (41), Janis Timma (60)

Analysis: Franklin was ranked 19th on my Big Board yet somehow managed to land in the Grizzlies' lap at No. 41. I'm stunned. To me, he's Tony Allen 2.0 -- an aggressive, long wing who can do a bit of everything. I love this pick.

Timma is an athletic wing from Latvia who will continue to hone his skills in Europe.


Round 1: None

Round 2: James Ennis (50)

Analysis: The Heat traded into the second round to grab Ennis, a long, athletic wing who was one of the sleepers in the draft. I was really impressed with his play at the Brooklyn workout and think that, in the right environment, he has a chance to stick. A solid pick at No. 50.


Round 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo (15)

Round 2: Nate Wolters (38)

Analysis: Give the Bucks credit: They aren't afraid to take a chance.

It may be several years before we know whether the Bucks wasted their pick or struck gold with Antetokounmpo. Although he is a skilled, athletic point forward, he has the body of Kevin Durant and very little experience playing against other talented players. Also, he's expected to come to the NBA now, meaning that the Bucks will spend millions of dollars for a player who is likely to play in the D-League for a couple of years. But could the investment be worth it down the road? Yes.

As for Wolters, he was one of my favorite second-round picks, a Jimmer Fredette type with better court vision and much less hype. I could see him getting minutes right away for the Bucks.


Round 1: Shabazz Muhammad (14), Gorgui Dieng (21)

Round 2: Lorenzo Brown (52), Bojan Dubljevic (59)

Analysis: Flip Saunders walked away from his first draft as Timberwolves president and acknowledged that folks were a little disappointed. Four months ago, getting Muhammad at No. 14 would have been seen as the coup of the draft. But Muhammad's reputation is tainted, and fans are less excited.

The Wolves wanted scoring, and once Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was off the board, they found a way to get the other guy they liked in Muhammad. I think Muhammad is a terrific scorer and he'll find his niche in the league. Although I don't love him as a prospect, the venom directed toward him as a player and a person is unwarranted.

Dieng is a little harder for me to swallow. I see the appeal because of his size and length, but hearing the words "raw" and "23 years old" together doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Brown has talent as a big point guard, but like Ricky Rubio, he can't shoot.

Dubljevic is a terrific shooter, but he lacks athletic ability, enough to make him a question mark.

So while the Wolves walked away with talent, I'm not sure that anyone they drafted on Thursday night moves the needle much.


Round 1: None

Round 2: Pierre Jackson (42)

Analysis: General manager Dell Demps decided he was done with the lottery on Thursday night and sent the draft rights to Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans' 2014 first-round pick (top-five-protected) to the 76ers in return for Jrue Holiday and the draft rights to Jackson.

On the one hand, I question this decision. Noel was the top-rated player on our Big Board and has more upside than Holiday. New Orleans also lost a valuable asset, a probable lottery pick in the 2014 draft, which will feature a collection of talent that looks amazing on paper. In fact, the Pelicans were the only team in the NBA to give away a 2014 first-round pick.

On the other hand, it's clear that Demps is under pressure from new ownership to get better now, and Holiday, who is just 23, is a great get. By putting him with Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans will have the makings of a great young core that could compete for years.


Round 1: Tim Hardaway Jr. (24)

Round 2: None

Analysis: The Knicks got name recognition on Thursday, but unfortunately, Hardaway Jr. is no Hardaway Sr.

Hardaway Jr. does have great size for his position and he's a good shooter, but his game is pretty forgettable, as three years at Michigan demonstrated. He was able to win over coaches and teams with his professionalism and work ethic in workouts. But I'm not sure that his talent allows him to have a ceiling any higher than rotation player.


Round 1: Steven Adams (12), Andre Roberson (26)

Round 2: Alex Abrines (32), Grant Jerrett (40)

Analysis: The Thunder got a little bit of everything on Thursday.

Want upside? Adams has a ton of it, with great NBA size and strength and the ability to shut people down in the paint. If his offensive game comes around, he could be really good.

Want rebounds? Roberson was one of the two or three best rebounders in the draft -- an athletic specialist who might carve out a Reggie Evans-esque career.

Want a scorer? Abrines has a chance to be a better version of Rudy Fernandez if OKC is patient. Want shooting? Jerrett has the ability to be a lethal stretch 4.


Round 1: Victor Oladipo (2)

Round 2: Romero Osby (51)

Analysis: Oladipo was my favorite player in the draft. Not only is he, in my opinion, a sure thing, but he still has upside, too. He'll bring it every hour of every day for a young, impressionable team.

Osby is a tough, physical, undersized 4.

It's clear GM Rob Hennigan is trying to change the culture in Orlando, and he took a big step forward on Thursday night.


Round 1: Nerlens Noel (6), Michael Carter-Williams (11)

Round 2: Arsalan Kazemi (54)

Analysis: New GM Sam Hinkie came out swinging on Thursday night. The last thing Hinkie wanted was to be where the 76ers have been the past few seasons -- in the middle of the standings. So he blew up the team in an effort to build a foundation of greatness. He made the boldest trade of the draft and walked away with a potential franchise center, a very promising point guard and a valuable 2014 first-round pick from the Pelicans.

It cost him All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, but in the long run it may be worth the price. With Noel possibly missing some time next season, the Sixers likely will be in the hunt for the No. 1 pick in 2014. By next July, this team could have four young players with franchise potential on its roster. In three years, it could be wicked good.


Round 1: Alex Len (5), Archie Goodwin (29)

Round 2: Alex Oriakhi (57)

Analysis: The Suns have blown the draft in most recent years, as the names Earl Clark, Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall demonstrate. This year, Suns president Lon Babby hired one of the best scouts in the business, Ryan McDonough, as his new general manager. But the first draft pick of the McDonough era, in some ways, looked a lot like the draft picks the Suns have been making.

Len has upside, but he's coming off stress-fracture surgery, and in two years at Maryland he showed only flashes of greatness -- he rarely could sustain it. Len was the riskiest pick of the consensus top six, and Phoenix passed on two better prospects -- Noel and McLemore -- to take him.

With the No. 29 pick, things got a little better. The Suns wisely overlooked Goodwin's so-so freshman performance and saw the potential he has. If he ever gets a jump shot, or learns what a good shot is, he could be special.

As for Oriakhi, I think there were better players on the board, but I can't quibble too much. At No. 57, there wasn't going to be a difference-maker, and he does bring length and toughness.


Round 1: C.J. McCollum (10)

Round 2: Allen Crabbe (31), Jeff Withey (39), Marko Todorovic (45)

Analysis: Portland GM Neil Olshey must believe the Blazers need more offense in their backcourt, as they drafted two of the most aggressive scorers and best shooters in the draft.

The Blazers had coveted McCollum for a while and think he's a great fit in the backcourt next to rookie of the year point guard Damian Lillard, who thrived when he played off the ball last season. Portland sees McCollum as a guard who can play both positions, too.

Crabbe is a shooter with ridiculous range, and he isn't afraid to let it fly.

Withey is one-dimensional, but the one thing he does well, shot-blocking, he does really well.

Todorovic is a project they'll revisit down the road.


Round 1: Ben McLemore (7)

Round 2: Ray McCallum (36)

Analysis: Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro has been on the job just nine days, but things are already looking up. Having McLemore, one of the two or three top talents in the draft, slide all the way to No. 7 was a godsend. The Kings wanted athleticism and shooting at the 2, and McLemore is a great fit. He has the chance, with hard work and greater confidence, to be the best player in the draft.

McCallum is a solid, no-frills point guard who might earn a lot more minutes if the Kings decide to clean house this summer.


Round 1: Livio Jean-Charles (28)

Round 2: Deshaun Thomas (58)

Analysis: The Spurs, like the rest of the NBA, were wowed by Jean-Charles' 27-point performance in the Nike Hoop Summit. Jean-Charles is a forward who can play the 3 and the 4. He's not particularly skilled, but he has a nose for the ball and finds a way to contribute. He'll likely stay in France for another year.

Thomas is one of the top five scorers in the draft, but he slipped because of an inconsistent effort on the defensive end. If Pop can get him to play some defense, he might be another second-round steal for the Spurs.


Round 1: None

Round 2: None

Analysis: The Raptors traded this pick to the Rockets (who in turn traded it to the Thunder) as part of a trade last year for Kyle Lowry. So, was Lowry worth missing the chance to draft Steven Adams (whom the Thunder took at 12)? It would be hard to say no.


Round 1: Trey Burke (9), Rudy Gobert (27)

Round 2: None

Analysis: Everyone knew coming into the draft that the Jazz were hunting for a point guard. On Thursday they packaged the Nos. 14 and 21 picks to move up five spots to grab Burke, the college player of the year. With Burke they get a floor general who can excel equally at scoring and getting others involved. He's a little small for his position and lacks elite athleticism, but he plays with a lot of moxie and has the winning credentials that scouts tend to love.

I personally prefer C.J. McCollum to Burke. McCollum is a better shooter and scorer and bigger than Burke, but it is close.

As for Gobert, the Jazz also landed a third young big man who happens to be just about the longest player we've ever seen, with a 7-foot-9 wingspan. I'm not sure how ready he is, but the hope is that someday he can turn into a Roy Hibbert-type rim protector.


Round 1: Otto Porter (3)

Round 2: Glen Rice Jr. (35)

Analysis: The Wizards had one of the easier paths of any team in this draft. Porter was the perfect fit as both a player and person for the franchise. Although his upside might not be as high as that of some others in the draft, he also is the most well-rounded, NBA-ready player of the group. He should contribute right away in D.C.

Rice was also a great pick. He led his team to a D-League championship and won MVP. He's a bit of a tweener, but his athleticism and shooting ability make him a potential spark plug off the bench.

he_gets_buckets's picture
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Joined: 06/18/2012
Posts: 1184
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I dont understand why people

I dont understand why people keep giving the 76ers A's and A+'s for trading an All-Star point guard, for a guy who is skinny as a stick and wont be able to contribute anything but blocked shots for the next 2 years, and for picking a player who will probably develop into a very similar player to Evan Turner. Baffles me that just because he blew up the team in an effort to tank, that they get an A.

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