Grading the NBA Draft

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2017 NBA Draft Report Card

How did Each NBA Team Fare in the 2017 NBA Draft

With the NBA Draft behind us, we now await to see how the new influx of rookies will do on the NBA level.

There were clear winners and losers on Draft night, but for the most part, every team did something that in one way or another would affect their future. To breakdown each team’s draft moves, we turn back the clock and go back to school, reopening the report cards.

So without further adieu, here are the draft grades for each NBA team!

Atlanta Hawks: D-

  • After making a horrible trade with the Charlotte Hornets prior to the commencement of the Draft, the Hawks rebounded slightly by selecting John Collins at number 19, a potential lottery pick who saw a slight slip on the draft boards. But the worst part about June 22 for the Hawks was the backlash they received from Dwight Howard’s sister.

Boston Celtics: C+

  • The Celtics were reportedly in serious talks with the Indiana Pacers on Draft night for Paul George, but talks ultimately broke down. Boston went onto pick Duke’s Jayson Tatum, quite possibly the most polished offensive player in the draft. They also got solid value at #37 when selecting Semi Ojeleye. How long can Danny Ainge and the Celtics remain patient remains the question.

Brooklyn Nets: B-

  • The Nets needed to do something for their future, so they acquired a horrible contract, but also the services of D’Angelo Russell, who could potentially grow into a star in Brooklyn, assuming he stays away from Snapchat. The Nets also selected Jarrett Allen at #22, which although a surprising selection, wasn’t too shabby.

Charlotte Hornets: A

  • First, Michael Jordan and the Bobcats got a hold of Dwight Howard in an awkward-looking trade. They then had Kentucky’s Malik Monk fall in their lap at #11. With a need to add some athleticism and shooting, Monk is more than what the Hornets envisioned with the eleventh pick. Well done, MJ!

Chicago Bulls: F

  • The Bulls clearly need to rebuild and it starts with moving on from Jimmy Butler, but the superstar wasn’t going to hit free agency until 2020. Was an ACL-less Zach LaVine, a Kris Dunn, and a Lauri Markkanen really the best the Bulls could have gotten for Butler. The Bulls made a great selection later in the night, taking defensive standout Jordan Bell out of Oregon, but immediately sold him to Golden State… Yeup.

Cleveland Cavaliers: D-

  • The Cavaliers did not make any moves on Draft night, but chaos continues to grow in Cleveland and it seems like the Cavs will not be able to add another star any time soon. Worst part is, Chauncey Billups will not take any part in the Big3.

Dallas Mavericks: B+ 

  • It didn’t seem like Dennis Smith Jr. would be a Dallas Maverick when the night started, but the Mavs may have stole the pick. The makeup is still a question mark, but the Mavs received the best possible player at nine.

Denver Nuggets: C- 

  • For some odd reason the Nuggets had no interest in holding onto Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell and moved him to Utah for Trey Lyles and a pick that was eventually used on Tyler Lydon. Both Lyles and Lydon seem as strange fits in Denver, but Denver made a nice selection at #51 taking point guard Monte Morris.

Detroit Pistons: C

  • Stan Van Gundy loves shooters who can work off screens, so Luke Kennard is most definitely the guy for the Detroit Pistons. Restricted Free Agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope receiving a suspension was the only other interesting note that came out of Detroit over the past couple of days.

Golden State Warriors: A 

  • The Golden State Warriors will need productive off the bench while trying to save as much money as possible. On Draft night the NBA Champions did exactly that, buying the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year from the Chicago Bulls. Jordan Bell may find an immediate fit with the Warriors who also signed his Oregon teammate and Canadian Chris Boucher to a two-way deal.

Houston Rockets: B+ 

  • Not much activity went on in Houston on Draft night, but at #43 the Rockets may have potentially stole German big man Isaiah Hartenstein. A great value pick, if Hartenstein’s back issues are not viewed as long-term problems, the Rockets may have found themselves a nice future piece.

Indiana Pacers: C-

  • The Pacers were not able to trade Paul George on Draft night, which is an issue as the more they wait, the lower his George’s value drops. But, draft wise, the Pacers made two nice picks, selecting TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu, two solid looking UCLA alums.

Los Angeles Clippers: B

  • With a need for depth, especially at guard, the Clippers acquired the rights to Jawun Evans. They would later purchase the rights to Sindarius Thornwell, a guard out of South Carolina who turned into a star on the NCAA Tournament stage.

Los Angeles Lakers: A 

  • Not only did the Lakers move Timofey Mozgov’s deadweight contract and acquired loads of future cap relief, the Lakers also selected a big part of their future with Lonzo Ball at #2. The Lakers also later picked up Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart, two rookies who may turn out as minor wins for Magic Johnson and Los Angeles.

Memphis Grizzlies: B-

  • Things could have gone worse for the Grizzlies. They acquired the rights to Ivan Robb from the Orlando Magic, who is a raw, high-upside big man and later drafted Dillon Brooks, a Mississauga-native who could provide the Grizz some much-needed shooting moving forward.

Miami Heat: C

  • A quiet evening for Miami, the Heat selected centre Bam Adebayo, a Kentucky product who figures to slot behind Hassan Whiteside. The next logical step for Miami may simply be to rebuild so they most definitely have time to kill while Adebayo develops.

Milwaukee Bucks: B

  • If you do not have length, you cannot be part of the Milwaukee Bucks – it’s just that simple. The Bucks made good use of their night, drafting Michigan power forward DJ Wilson, a toolsy kid with lots of upside, who had a great NCAA Tournament.

Minnesota Timberwolves: A+

  • The Wolves acquired Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls while holding onto Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and even Gorgui Dieng. What else is there to say? The Bulls got fleeced.

New Orleans Pelicans: C+

  • After trading their pick to acquire DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans paid their way up the draft board to select Frank Jackson at #31. Can’t complain about adding a solid potential back-up point guard to a team that will need playmakers for Anthony Davis and Cousins, especially with Jrue Holiday set to hit free agency.

New York Knicks: D+

  • Frank Ntilikina is a nice pick and deserves far more credit than ESPN’s 59% bust potential suggested, but the Knicks are destroying their reputation very quickly and should figure out what to do moving forward, starting with the front office. Winning begins from the top down.

Oklahoma City Thunder: 

  • The Thunder needed shooting to add around Russell Westbrook and did just that by selecting the athletic Terrence Ferguson. He may be lucky to take a few shots at the discretion of ‘Brodie’ this upcoming season.

Orlando Magic: C

  • New management so nothing really can be said here. Jonathan Isaac seems very similar to Aaron Gordon with slightly more upside. The Magic are now very crowded up front and will need to figure out how to make room for the players that matter.

Philadelphia 76ers: A

  • The Sixers got the player they wanted with Markelle Fultz and with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the fold, the Sixers may be ready to take the next step – barring anymore injuries. Philly also picked up a bunch more young talent at this draft, which can even be used in trade later in the future. Trusting the process seems to be working in Philadelphia.

Phoenix Suns: B

  • Josh Jackson may turn into a very special player and he is now part of the Suns, a team that is building a really nice young core. The future definitely looks bright in ‘The Desert’.

Portland Trailblazers: B+

  • The Blazers came away grabbing two very talented big men in Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan. With a star-studded back court in tact, the Blazers now have talent in the back and front court.

Sacramento Kings: A-  

  • The Kings may have snagged the best player in the Draft with De’Aaron Fox, then made solid pick ups in Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. Giles, a prospect who is very injury prone, is also exceptionally gifted and if healthy, could be a huge win for the Kings.

San Antonio Spurs: B+

  • The Spurs picked another good-looking prospect in Derrick White. With a need at point guard, the Spurs took a guy who has time to develop as part of a great San Antonio system.

Toronto Raptors: B+

  • OG Anunoby was a player who was a potential lottery pick, yet he fell into the Raptors lap after concerns surrounding his knee injury. The Indiana Product is expected to make a full recovery and can immediately help the Raptors on the defensive end of the court. With the likes of Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker, and Serge Ibaka set to hit free agency, this was the perfect pick by Masai Ujiri and the Raptors.

Utah Jazz: A- 

  • The Jazz had a solid evening, trading assets that had no place on their team for the services of talented Louisville rookie Donovan Mitchell. They would later pick Tony Bradley, who should slot nicely behind Rudy Gobert.

Washington Wizards: C

  • The Washington Wizards did not have a pick in this year’s draft, but with a strong need for a back up point guard, the Wiz did the right thing in acquiring Tim Frazier. Step one of Washington’s plan to improve its bench is officially taken care of.

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