Dallas Mavericks

No picks

Grade N/A

Denver Nuggets

R1, P26: Nah'Shon Hyland, SG, VCU, So.

Denver continues their excellent eye for talent in the draft with a spark plug scorer type who should be able to develop into a quality sixth man in time. Hyland may struggle for playing time in a deep Denver roster, but he figures to be an excellent back up for Jamal Murray and find a role with his great shooting and defensive potential.

Grade: A-

Golden State Warriors

R1, P7: Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G League Ignite
R1, P14: Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas Fr.

The Warriors hit an absolute home run with their two picks as we had Kuminga as the number one overall pick at certain points of the season. His upside is as elite as the top guys, he’s just further away skill wise. Moody was an excellent pick too as they could have opted for a more ready guy with less upside like Corey Kispert who was drafted by Washington a pick later, however Moody probably won’t take too long to get there as he’s a mature young man and his length and shooting skills should allow him a smooth transition. Credit the Warriors for not over spending to land a player via trade like Ben Simmons. If the right deal comes along sure, it would make sense to add veteran help to their core’s timeline. But as long as the asking price is so steep, there’s nothing wrong with stockpiling value, and young players that can contribute on relatively cheap contracts and wait for a favorable deal to come their way.

Grade: A

Houston Rockets

R1, P2: Jalen Green, SG, G League Ignite
R1, P16: Alperin Sengun, PF/C, Turkey
R1, P23: Usman Garuba, PF/C, Spain
R1, P24: Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State, Fr.

The Rockets may ultimately kick themselves for not taking Evan Mobley. While Green is an elite level athlete, he lacks ideal size and strength and there are still some question marks regarding his focus. He was a high risk/reward pick, and time will tell whether they made the right decision. Sengun is an intriguing big, but the price was a bit steep giving up two (protected) first rounders. Granted they will likely be picks outside the lottery, the fact that they gave away two first rounders makes this is steep price. Sengun is sort of a mini Nurkic, and he should benefit from the playing time he will receive in Houston. With back to back late picks, Garuba went first as they obviously wanted to help him with every dollar possible to handle his 3 million dollar buyout. Houston will hope that Garuba is on a similar path as former Rocket Clint Capella, only in a smaller package. And Josh Christopher was a slight surprise at 24 but an outstanding pick nonetheless. He has upside and scoring ability and should become a rotational guy fairly quickly.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Clippers

R1, P21: Keon Johnson, PG/SG, Tennessee, Fr.
R2, P33: Jason Preston, PG, Ohio, Jr.
R2, P51: BJ Boston Jr., SG, Kentucky, Fr.

Jerry West is still at it, and he’s the best there ever has been at draft evaluation and team building. He put the ultimate stamp of approval on Keon Johnson and it would be wise not to bet against him. The Knicks decided they preferred the talent in the 25-50 range, getting off of their 19 and 21 picks, however that will likely be questioned in the future. Preston was a target for the Clippers at 25 had they held onto the pick, so they did well to grab him at 33. He offers them something they don;t currently have as a distributor. Brandon Boston has real talent if he can add core strength and stop fading away from contact. A humbled slide in the draft could be just what he needs and the Clippers could develop him into a top 20 player from this draft as he was originally projected. it’s all whether he becomes focused and can get past the mental hurdles.

Grade: A

Los Angeles Lakers

Traded a package of players (Kentavious Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell) and the 22nd pick for Russell Westbrook.

Credit the Lakers for “going for it”. They seem to be aging and injury prone following a season where they failed to get out of the first round in the West. Westbrook proved that he still has a lot left in the tank with Washington’s late season push for a playoff spot. Does this big three trump the Nets big three? The battle for NBA supremacy is likely to come down to injuries once again.

Grade: B

Memphis Grizzlies

No. 10 Ziaire Williams, SG/SF, Stanford, Freshman
No. 30 Santi Aldama, PF, Loyola, Sophomore

Memphis likely had Giddey in mind when they got to 10 in the trade of centers, but it obviously wasn’t in the cards to get Diggey as they needed to get to 6 and Okc was already laser-ed in on him. We actually really like the potential of Ziaire Williams, but he was projected by most to go in the late teens, at best. He’s a similar boom or bust pick as Keon Johnson, who went at a much more reasonable 21st pick. Perhaps the Thunder would have taken him with their 16th pick, but Memphis put added pressure on him by giving assets away and moving up to 10. Santi Aldama looked like he was playing against a YMCA league in his clips. He was a strong analytics performer, but his speed and skill set may hit a wall going against NBA athletes. Again, moving up (from 40 to 30 and a first round salary) adds pressure, and seemed unnecessary, and a huge reach on top of that.

Grade: C

Minnesota Timberwolves

No Picks

Grade: N/A

New Orleans Pelicans

R1,P17: Trey Murphy, SF, Virginia, Jr.
R2, P35: Herbert Jones, SF, Alabama, Sr.

Murphy was a very solid pick where they got him at 17, after moving down from 10 in the bigger deal that included Steven Adams and Jonas Valanciunas. They obviously valued him similarly as players like Ziaire Williams, who went at their spot, Moses Moody, and Corey Kispert who each went between their picks. And while those players probably deserved to go higher, they are not considerably better so the trade which moved their pick down seven spots probably ends up working out. The Murphy needs to add aggressiveness, but he’s got the makings of a late bloomer sharp shooter with a great athletic profile. Herb Jones is a freakish athlete, who started to put things together with a suddenly reliable three point shot. He should gain confidence in time to utilize his unbelievable athleticism, and perhaps that will still come on time.

Grade: B

Oklahoma City Thunder

R1, P6: 6 Josh Giddey, G/F, Australia
R1, P18 Tre Mann, PG, Florida, So.
No. 32 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova, Jr.
No. 55 Aaron Wiggins, SG, Maryland, Jr

So it was the Thunder that gave Josh Giddey the promise. Six seems a bit high for him as his level of competition and athleticism create concerns. He’s surely going to be solid, but whether he can be a star, or ends up being better than a number of the players taken after him remains to be seen. Apparently with an unquenchable thirst for stockpiling first round picks, OKC dealt the 16th pick which became Alperin Sengun { for two more future firsts. We viewed Tre Mann as a bit of a reach at 18, and there were a number of better players on the board (the Knicks picks). Robinson-Earl can be solid but lacks upside. And Wiggins was a nice pick at 55 and has real potential to be a contributor.

Grade: C

Phoenix Suns

Traded 29th pick for Landry Shamet

Phoenix made a smart decision dealing their 29th pick for shooter Landry Shamet. With a number of guards including Cameron Payne and E’twaun Moore possibly on the way out in free agency, Shamet gives their backcourt some depth with a year under contract and the Suns window of opportunity with Chris Paul (provided he returns).

Grade: B+

Portland Trail Blazers

R1, P43: Greg Brown, SF/PF, Fr.

Brown is a freakish athlete but slipped as concerns rose over his maturity and dedication, and skillset. if he can buy into the player development staff in Portland, and add a consistent shot and improve his body, he could end up a steal here. But he is an obvious candidate to strike out at his first stop, and eventually make it with his second or third team.

Grade: B-

Sacramento Kings

R1, P9: Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor, Jr.
R2, P39: Neemias Queta, C, Utah State, Jr.

While it’s easy to criticize the Kings for taking a point guard creating an obvious log jam at the position, they actually made a smart decision. Unlike the NFL draft, where drafting for need is essential, selecting for need in the NBA draft is generally a recipe for disaster. First round picks should almost always be made for value, and trades made later to balance a roster. Mitchell was as solid a pick as they could have made at 9. And now he will be thrust into a backcourt alongside DeAaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. The good news is Mitchell plays well both on and off the ball. And those points have the size to defend twos on most nights. The Kings top targets were most likely taken in the spots just before them (Giddey, Kuminga, and Wagner), putting them in a position where they had to take a player at a position of strength. Neemias Queta has huge upside if he can continue to develop his basketball skills. A borderline freak athlete who moves extremely well and can explode with the best of them. He could develop into a starter in time.

Grade: B+

San Antonio Spurs

R1, P12: Joshua Primo, SG, Alabama, Fr.
R2, P41 Joe Wieskamp, SF, Iowa, Jr.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Spurs have struggled to find a new franchise talent after the unceremonious departure of Kawhi Leonard. As great a coach as Gregg Popovich is, he can only do so much with subpar talent. Primo is a slight reach but shows a lot of basketball IQ and versatility. His shooting potential makes this a decent gamble, but one has to think there were higher upside possibilities available. Wieskamp helped himself with his combine performance steppjing out of the shadow of Luka Garza. He may struggle to crack the rotation in San Antonio, but is a solid athlete and quality shooter that can provide depth.

grade: B-

Utah Jazz

R1, P40: Jared Butler, PG/SG, Butler, Jr.

Utah was rumored to be looking to trade the pick if the player they wanted did not fall to them. And apparently that’s what happened. Butler is solid value at 40 and works with a contender as a mature senior and a winner. His shooting ability should provide a nice spark off the bench.

Grade: B


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.