Here it comes, the NBA off-season begins. It always starts with Draft Night and at Fakebasketball headquarters, we can’t be more excited to bring you the draft night grades!
John Jenkins 24th, Mike Scott 43rd
The Hawks came into draft night with only 7 players under contract, but that also involved all quality players. This was very straight forward for them, adding punch and depth from the bench. It wasn’t that bad as two bigs on their list were just vultured by the Celtics with both picks ahead of them. Expecting a LOT of movement from the Hawks this off-season stay tuned.
They add a solid shooter off in Jenkins, who is probably gonna be a reliable 3-point specialist in the league. Best case scenario he develops to maybe a Lou Williams. Mike Scott on the other hand, is an undersized PF with two ankle injuries on his record.
Overall Grade: C
Jared Sullinger 21st, Fab Melo 22nd, Kris Joseph 51st
I love what the Celtics did on draft night, they get two solid players in Sullinger and Melo, both physically ready for the NBA and in my opinion, are ready to make much needed adjustments from college to pro. They also fill in their gaping needs in the front court, if KG throws in the towel and with Bass walking. They also got a very good prospect in Kris Joseph, a very athletic wing, who could shape into a very good player.
A couple of days after, they resigned KG, which was just brilliant for the Celtics. They take 2 serviceable rookies who’re NBA ready and they go for it again with their 3-headed monster in Rondo, Pierce and Garnett.
Overall Grade: A+
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 2nd, Jeff Taylor 31st
There’s a lot of questions surrounding the Bobcats’ pick, what they were gonna do with it and who would they take. I might be bashed a lot for this but I think they took the best route, and the best players available after the first pick in MKG. They get a banger that reminds me a lot of Gerald Wallace, something that the Bobcats need, badly. I think MKG will complement Henderson a lot. Not that they don’t need everything else, but this just made sense to me. They get another high-end defender in Jeff Taylor in the second, very underrated, very good.
I couldn’t see how the Cats could’ve done better to be honest, they could’ve gotten an extra player, but maybe not the player they really wanted. They stuck to their gut on this one and I think it’ll pay off. Cheers to you guys.
Overall Grade: A+
Marquis Teague 29th
I call this a tri-fecta for the Bulls. They had one player to pick, one position to target, and they got the best player available by the 29th. All they had to do was draft Teague. Marquis comes from a very good system in Kentucky, a very gifted athlete who’s hard-nosed and ready to play. He will be an excellent back up to Rose and fill in for him whenever he’s out.
This also should make their decision on CJ Watson easier, maybe they’ll just get him back for one more year just so Teague can compete with him, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t, but for the other two guards, John Lucas and Mike James, they won’t be in Bulls uniforms next year.
Overall Grade: A
Dion Waiters 4th, Tyler Zeller 17th
A lot of people questioned the Cavs taking Waiters at 4 here. He’s a great athlete, NBA ready and more importantly, I believe he’s mentally prepared for this level. Whether he should be taken in front of Thomas Robinson or Harrison Barnes, maybe. I’m on the fence about this but the Cavs did fill in a spot where they needed help the most. It’s a huge gamble, quite frankly. And for all the Cavs fans out there, just keep your fingers crossed, I like this kid too, I think him and Bradley Beal aren’t far off.
What I like about the Cavs’ draft night moves was their trading up for Tyler Zeller. They gave up 3 draft picks to the Mavs for Zeller and I think it will pay off mightily. The UNC grad could build into a solid NBA big which pretty much covers the Cavs’ secondary need. They have a good core of youngsters building up, and I like the play-hard or you’re not playing at all mentality that Byron Scott instills on all his youngsters.
Overall Grade: B-
Jared Cunningham 24th, Bernard James 33rd, Jae Crowder 34th
The Mavs are obviously not building for any future whatsoever. A lot of people thought they would draft someone who they can mold into the next Dirk Nowitzki but it seems like that isn’t the case. They passed on their 17th pick, trading it to Cleveland to get a first round out of the top 20, and 2 second-rounders that would save them money. It’s evident that Dallas doesn’t really like spending money on rookies as that’s how their team is only built with experience.
You can’t blame these guys for doing it. They’re trying to find a gem in any of these three, all of which have great potential. Jared Cunningham would be a solid 6th man in this league at best, he’s a solid athlete who provides that scoring punch. Bernard James and Crowder are both bangers who just come in and put their heart out on the court each time they step in. Not bad at all for a contender team.
Overall Grade: B
Evan Fournier 20th, Quincy Miller 38th, Izzet Turkyilmaz 50th
Interesting strategy by Denver, I was always wondering what stacked teams would do on draft night when they have this much picks and a roster filled with potential. GM Misai Ujiri looked like a genius in my eyes on draft night. We’re probably not gonna see these 3 guys in the NBA for maybe another two years or maybe not even reach the NBA at all, but Denver now has a packed roster and players who’ll be developing overseas for future use.
Fournier is hands down a great basketball player, but his size has to improve or he’ll get ran over in the NBA. Quincy Miller is trying to recover from a torn ACL and would be a nice addition down the road as many predicted him going in the first easily if he stayed in Baylor for one more year. Lastly the 7-foot Turkish player who, really, hasn’t showed anyone a lot. But hey, a big guy playing out of Turkey as a developing talent can’t be anything worse than picks 51-60.
Overall Grade: B
Andre Drummond 9th, Khris Middleton 39th, Kim English 44th
The Pistons took very good risks with their 3 picks in the draft and the fans should be pleased with what they bagged during draft night. Everyone says that Drummond is the biggest gamble in this draft and could end up like Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic or Michael Olowokandi, but you guys need to remember, Drummond is coming off the board at the 9-spot and not the first or second like the above-mentioned names. And this gamble comes along 6”11 feet high with a whopping 7”6 wingspan in raw you-can’t-eat-me like talent. Really, how bad could this be.
Moving forward, the other two players that Detroit picked are very solid as well. Khris Middleton, who can definitely fill it up and Kim English, a specialist who has a very sweet stroke from downtown.
Overall Grade: A
Golden State Warriors
Harrison Barnes 7th, Festus Ezeli 30th, Draymond Green 35th, Ognjen Kuzmic 52nd
A very decent pool for the Warriors on this one. Barnes magically slipped to them at 7, it was too good to pass up on and they get a very safe, NBA-ready player and better yet, he should fit in the Golden State offense with ease. His shot from downtown isn’t questionable and his work ethic is superb. If he doesn’t start from the get go, he eventually will take over Dorell Wright some time during the season.
They also got a decent project in Festus Ezeli, who could be molded into a very serviceable big who has good potential. Draymond Green on the other hand is what gets me after Barnes. He’s a good all-around talent, who has huge upside. He probably could play the 2, 3 and 4 spots giving the Warriors more versatility in big and small line up situations.
Jeremy Lamb 12th, Royce White 16th, Terrence Jones 18th
You gotta give it to the Rockets. When everything failed with regards to trying to move up, trade picks or get rid of their 3 best players, they still managed to draft pretty well. I’m not saying that everything will work out well for the Rockets this season and their roster is probably the most unpredictable of all the teams, but on draft night they did what they could.
They got Lamb with the 12th pick, probably the best player behind everyone else who was left. In Lamb they get a wing who can score and shoot the ball pretty well. How well it transitions to the NBA, we’ll see in a season or two. The Rockets also got Royce White a few picks after, a lottery talent who reminds me a lot of Lamar Odom. I like him the most out of the three. Lastly they got Terrence Jones a couple of picks after, very high ceiling, very good passer down the post and could score and play defense. He could’ve easily been a lottery pick as well. The Rockets’ grade really depends on what they do with Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, how good that pans out their off-season grade could be A+ for all I know. But for this draft they get:
Miles Plumlee 26th, Orlando Johnson 36th
Really now, who’s idea was it to draft Miles Plumlee at 26? I’m pretty sure if the Pacers held off till the 36th to get him he’ll be there. I’m not saying that Plumlee can’t be half-decent in the NBA but he did get picked ahead of 3 better rookies in my opinion, which came in the next 3 picks. They say that they’re not sure if they will get to keep Hibbert, and I say how about trade your picks and whoever that’s needed for something to make sure you have enough money to sign both Hibbert and George Hill?
If I was a Pacer fan I would be very unhappy. Good thing I’m not part of that club. Orlando Johnson comes in with a little bit more promise than Plumlee in my opinion, this guy can score, can play and is very offensive minded. Now at least there’s something to look forward to.
Los Angeles Clippers
Furkan Aldemir 53rd
Now who thought that the Clippers had a pick in this draft? Aldemir had some hype some time ago but didn’t impress in work outs. He’s a good rebounder and with decent post presence, but he might not even make the NBA.
Overall Grade: N/A
Los Angeles Lakers
Darius Johnson-Odom 55th, Robert Sacre 60th
I can say at least this, the Lakers made the most of their draft so they deserve a score. Darius Johnson-Odom could be a spark plug on both ends of the court and might be a decent NBA player. Robert Sacre couldn’t be that bad being Mr. Irrelevant too. Both are half-decent projects, but who knows, they could surprise too.
Tony Wroten Jr. 25th
Memphis had only one pick in this draft and they made it count as well just like the Bulls. They needed one position to fill which was the back up guard position and Wroten’s versatility gives them a back up for both the 1 and 2. This guy is a very strong finisher around the rim, plays hard on the defensive end but has jump shot woes. He’s a decent project with very good upside. The only thing that doesn’t make this a tri-fecta is I don’t think he was the best available player from 25 onwards.
Justin Hamilton 45th
I really don’t want to talk about Justin Hamilton here because the real story is the Heat trading away Arnett Moultrie , Perry Jones III or Marquis Teague, for someone next year. I guess the Heat didn’t think they needed any of them? They just made the Sixers, Thunder and Bulls winners of the draft. All of whom they could easily face in the playoffs this coming year. Bravo Miami, you show balls.
John Henson 14th, Doron Lamb 42nd
On paper the Bucks probably did a very good job on draft night but I really would beg to differ. It seems like the Bucks are planning to put 5 forwards at the same time very soon. They get an elite athlete in Henson who could play great defense. So that makes Henson, Luc MB, Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova if they match for him?
The second round is probably a more sensible pick for them in Doron Lamb, he has a very good stroke from downtown and is a very efficient scorer. He would serve as a good back up to Monta Ellis one day.
Another noteworthy trade that occurred on draft night is the Bucks trading down two spots for Samuel Dalembert. I’ve always been a fan of him and if anything he should step into the Bucks’ starting C. Seems like this is the best move that Milwaukee did all night.
Robbie Hummel 57th
If Hummel makes it in the NBA it would make a very decent feel-good film. This guy has gone through two torn ACL’s and a list of injuries, we wonder how he’s still playing ball. I think the Wolves wanted to get first dibs on the guy and see how far he goes.
Story for them is getting Chase Budinger from the Rockets for the 18th pick in the draft. We can’t really know how good this trade is till we see how good Terrence Jones is as Budinger is a solid wing that the Wolves have been looking for.
Overall Grade: B
Tyshawn Taylor 41st, Ilkan Karaman 57th
Yes Deron, now you see what you made the Nets do? Trading for Gerald Wallace to convince Deron to stay was probably the worst decision that the Nets made last year. They lost their first round pick this year, and they might lose D-Will in the process. I really wish the best for Brooklyn. Best-case scenario we’ll see is Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez all together in the court, but that is seems to be a dream for now.
Oh by the way, Tyshawn Taylor is a decent project at the point and Karaman is who?
Overall Grade: D
New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis 1st, Austin Rivers 10th, Darius Miller 46th
Now it’s not hard to score high in a draft when you get the 1st and 10th picks. Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers are probably the two most hyped players of this draft and the Hornets got both. And I don’t think I need to explain what they bring to the table.
I say get rid of either Jarret Jack or Vasquez and get Rivers in there right away. The core of Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon sounds very promising, they just need to make sure they keep Gordon. Now it’s really up to the coaching staff to make this happen, New Orleans could look like the next Oklahoma City Thunder somewhat.
Overall Grade: A+
New York Knicks
Konstantinos Papanikolaou 48th
I think the Knicks did what they can here. Papanikolaou is a talented project with huge upside. He’ll be playing overseas for a few more years and we’ll see the outcome then.
Overall Grade: N/A
Oklahoma City Thunder
Perry Jones III 28th
A projected lottery pick who drops to the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seriously. Jones is a great athlete who has a very versatile offensive game and can play multiple positions. He’s also a good defender, rebounder and shot blocker. Did I already say that the Thunder drafted him?
Overall Grade: A+
Andrew Nicholson 19th, Kyle O’Quinn 49th
Okay so Nicholson might be a better defender than Ryan Anderson some day (Yes, he is a bad rebounder), but I don’t think he will ever shoot the ball better. They’re very similar in a lot of ways and that’s why I don’t understand this pick at all. I can’t imagine the Magic not matching any offers for Ryan Anderson after winning the Most Improved Player of the year award, so this pick just doesn’t make sense to me. Nicholson is very similar to Anderson and could easily be the sleeper of the draft but there are needs to be filled. Jameer Nelson have failed the Magic in all but one year in his 8 years with them and they don’t draft a point guard.
Kyle O’Quinn on the other hand is a very good raw talent with a lot of upside for the 49th spot. He has a very good low-post game and can play defense but he has a lot to learn. Again, no point guard?
Overall Grade: C-
Maurice Harkless 15th, Arnett Moultrie 27th
So, the Sixers seem to have a standard of players that they just follow and want. None of these guys can shoot, but they have train motors enough to bang around the glass, rebound, run and run some more on any given night. Harkless and Moultrie are very similar players and are very similar to the rest of the Sixers roster. Maybe they’re trying a different kind of basketball, build an elite athletic team and just run over everyone. Come on guys, there’s a lot of head scratching going on here.
Only good news is, both of these guys can actually play, which makes their draft decent talent wise.
Overall Grade: C+
Kendall Marshall 13th
You gotta love it or hate it. I’m pretty sure all Suns fans are torn seeing that the club is departing with Nash. They felt like they weren’t getting anywhere and maybe needed a change at the helm? I don’t know. Steve Nash is still one of the best point guards to ever play this game and the Suns will feel it as soon as they start their first game of the season. This pick also seemed like a reach but they needed a point. Kendall Marshall brings a pass-first mentality that the Suns want and hopefully will somewhat get. He has decent upside but has a ton to work on, moreso gigantic shoes to fill.
Oh and yes, Nash is only a size 11.
Overall Grade: B
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard 6th, Meyers Leonard 11th, Will Barton 40th
Portland’s draft was very safe and straight to the point. They got Lillard at 6th, although this may look like a reach, I don’t think that Lillard would go past Toronto at 8. Lillard brings a scorer’s mentality to Portland, something that he might have to change playing with Lamarcus Aldridge, and maybe, hopefully, Nicolas Batum. That’s got to change some how, and it shouldn’t be that hard if you want a starting gig in the NBA.
An iffy pick for me was Meyers Leonard at 11, he has good upside with good athletic ability for his frame but he needs to work on a lot more things. Nonetheless I think it was a need that the Blazers had to fill, and Leonard was the pick.
Will Barton slipped all the way down to 42nd, he gives them a lot of value drafting in the 40’s. He’s a very good scorer who could give a punch from the bench, or maybe even a starter one day.
Overall Grade: B+
Thomas Robinson 5th
Sometimes things just fall to your lap and you get lucky. Thomas Robinson is just what the doctor ordered for the Kings. Someone who they can put along side Demarcus Cousins. You gotta love this kid, he’s got a lot of character and is probably one of the most hardworking rookies in his class. He won’t score heaps, he won’t give you amazing shots but he’ll do everything else.
The core of Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Thomas Robinson and Demarcus Cousins sounds very exciting and promising.
Overall Grade: A+
San Antonio Spurs
Marcus Denmon 59th
The Spurs has shown some good scouting in the past and who knows what could happen with Marcus Denmon. He’s a clutch-shooter and a great defender who’s just a little bit undersized. Seems like the Spurs caught on very good potential again.
Overall Grade: B
Terrence Ross 8th, Quincy Acy 37th, Tomislav Zubcic 56th
I can’t believe I had to write about 27 teams before I can bash the Toronto Raptors.
Terrence Ross is a decent hard-nosed player who was supposedly drafted around the late teens and the Raptors drafted him at 8th. I’m not taking away anything from Ross, but there was tons of talent before him. He can slash, rebound, and defend well. Quincy Acy is Reggie Evans at best and I think would’ve gone undrafted. So would Tomislav Zubcic but that doesn’t really matter.
As a Raptor fan I am very disgusted. And for Colangelo, you better hope that Ross will surprise everyone and that you’re a genius for drafting Jonas Valanciunas or you’re gone. You should be. The ACC has been a very sad place to be and Toronto has been a dismal place for basketball fans.
Overall Grade: D-
Kevin Murphy 47th
Can’t really complain here. The Jazz drafted a guy in the 47th spot who dropped 50 in a game this year. Although his arsenal seems to have been tested, he does need to get bigger and his game needs to mature.
Overall Grade: B
Bradley Beal 3rd, Tomas Satoransky 32nd
How obvious of a choice was Beal at 3rd? I’m not so sure how different of a player Beal is in terms of offensive impact compared to Jordan Crawford. I think the Wizards could’ve played this another way, but they chose to go with Beal, I coulnd’t complain, I think he’s going to be a decent NBA player. Tomas Satoransky on the other hand won’t come to the NBA for a few years, and might not come. He’s an interesting prospect though, let’s just hope he pays off for the Wizards sake. They could’ve drafted an NBA ready player at 32nd. Overall I’m not that impressed.
Overall Grade: B