DRAFT GRADES

 

For some, Thursday’s draft was an amazing night while for others like Darrell Arthur, it was a very frustrating one.  Trades were made for not only picks, but marquee players as well.  As your NBA expert, I am writing in my opinion how the teams did.  The grade that I select for every team is based off what moves they made on draft day/night between their picks and trades.  A is the best grade and F is the worst.  The team that had the best draft gets an A+.  Lets get started….

Atlanta Hawks:  No selections

Due to the trade for Joe Johnson back when, the Hawks selection was transferred over to the Suns.  Grade:  N/a

Boston Celtics: J.R. Giddens (30), Bill Walker (47), Semih Erden (60)

Like I said originally, in retrospect, this draft does not matter for the C’s too much.  Giddens on New Mexico, not only averaged 16 ppg but he also averaged close to 9 boards and at least 1 block per game.  Very impressive statline for a player who ended the first round.  Bill Walker from Kansas state was another good pick because not only did he average 16 ppg, but he also shot 46% from the field which is steller.  Erden who was the last pick in the draft is a 7-1 Turkish Center who I doubt will make the team, averaged only a few boards per game, and it seemed like Danny Ainge picked him simply because if this guy is actually good in the summer league, he might be a good back up for Kendrick Perkins next year.  Grade:  A-

Charlotte Bobcats:  9. Charlotte – D.J. Augustin (9), Alexis Ajinca (20), Kyle Weaver

Here is what I don’t understand about picking Augustin at 9.  The Bobcats already have a young talented point guard in Raymond Felton.  Felton averaged 14.4 ppg, 7.4 assists and even 1.2 steals every game.  That stat line is impressive for a point guard.  I really thought that the perfect player for this team would have been Brook Lopez.  They need a center more than another point guard and if they wanted another one, they could have selected Chalmers with the 20th pick, but now they have to focus on dealing Raymond Felton.  If they do deal Felton, this pick could work out for the best.  Ajinca is not the answer for a Center.  This guy is too skinny, lacks aggressiveness, and hardly rebounds.  He plays like hes a foot and a half shooter than he really is.  Kyle Weaver was a good pick for them because he is a good shooter and scorer to add to this team.  The ‘Cats also get a slight deduction on their grade for making Brook Lopez cry.  Grade: C

Chicago Bulls:  Derrick Rose (1),Omar Asik

We have been talking about Rose for months.  Obviously the best player in this draft and Chicago had him all the way.  History has shown though that you should never waste a pick in the draft, even if it’s the 60th.  However the Bulls made a slight mistake trading Weems who they picked over Douglas-Roberts.  Now they are stuck with Asik from Tukey who is 7-1 but only averaged 5.5 boards.  This guy appears to be useless.  You cannot pass up a guy like CDR.  Grade: A-

Cleveland Cavaliers:  J.J. Hickson, Darnell Jackson

The Cavs chose very wisely in Hickson who average nearly 15 and 9.  The Cavs need some big men and this guy I feel is the right fit for them at power forward.  Jackson is another power forward from Kansas that shot 62% from the field.  Both picks are solid.  Grade: A-

Dallas Mavericks:  Shan Foster (51)

The Mavs had one pick in this years draft and they drafted a guy who averaged 20 ppg, but do they really need that?  They have enough scoring and this guy is a shooting guard who scores and that’s about it.  They get some credit because it was late in the second round.  But every pick matters and this team has enough scorers.  Grade: C-

Denver Nuggets: Sonny Weems (39)

After trading their pick to Charlotte, Denver still felt that they should be apart of this draft.  They traded for a small forward in Weems who can score.  Once again, another team who has a lot of scorers, just bought themselves another one and it cost them 2 future second round picks.  I don’t think it was worth it, though Weems is a bit bigger and still averaged 15 ppg.  Grade: C- 

Detroit Pistons: Walter Sharpe (32), Trent Plaisted (46), Deron Washington (59)  

When Detroit drafted D.J. White I was impressed and confident in their new regime that they are apparently starting.  But then they traded him and got Sharpe and Plaisted who could be good but it is not a sure thing.  Sharpe averaged 14 and 7 at 6-9 for UAB which isn’t bad, but nothing to write home about.  Plaisted is a 7 footer who averaged nearly 16 and 8 which is also not that impressive.  Washington is another scorer as well.  I still would have kept D.J. White though.  He seems more of a player than Sharpe or Plaisted.  However the combination of the three is still very decent.  Grade: B-

Golden State Warriors: Anthony Randolph (14), Richard Hendrix (49)  

The Warriors needed big men and they drafted two outstanding college big men.  First Anthony Randolph from LSU has tremendous upside.  He averaged almost 16 and 9 and has a tremendous wingspan.  He can jump and Hendrix, who played for Alabama averaged 18 and 10.  Both were great picks and be aware of the Warriors though, they might be without Baron Davis next season.  Grade: A

Houston Rockets: Donte Greene (28), Joey Dorsey (33), Marty Leunen (54), 2009 second round pick.  Houston had a pretty solid draft.  Greene has a good amount of upside but maybe should have stayed in school another year.  He averaged 17 and 7 at Syracuse and has good reach.  Dorsey is a 6-9 PF who averaged over 9 rebounds per game for Memphis last year.  The pick though that I am most interested in is Marty Leunen from Oregon.  He avvereged 15 and 9.  All three picks I approve and will help Houston out primarily defensively.  Grade:  A

Indiana Pacers:  Brandon Rush (13), Roy Hibbert (17), TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Josh McRoberts, Jarrett Jack

The Pacers are starting fresh,  Some of these moves are grand while others are hard to believe.  Why would the Pacers trade for 2 pgs in Jack and ford?  It is a very interesting situation.  Getting Brandon Rush will add to the scoring talent of Dunlevy and Granger.  Nesterovic and McRoberts are throw ins and Hibbert has huge Bust potential because of how slow he moves.  What’s the point of having a 7-3 guy if he can’t run up and down the floor to block shots or get rebounds?  Grade: B-

LA Clippers:  Eric Gordon (7), DeAndre Jordan (35), Mike Taylor (55)

This year, the Clippers drafted a pure sg in Eric Gordon and a player with high Bust potential in Jordan.  Both good picks, but risky.  Taylor is a combo guard who can score but that is just about it.  Jordan needs to be able to play at his height but he is a huge project.  Grade: B   

LA Lakers:  Joe Crawford (58)

Lets all meet the man who will be one of Kobe’s many back ups.  This guy is useless for this team because he is 6-4 so he can’t play small forward and all he can do is score, and the Lakers have many scorers.  They should have drafted at least a guy who can average many rebounds or even 6 or 7.  That is how they got shut down in the finals.  Boston’s D was tenacious and the Lakers need to step it up on defense.  Grade: F

Memphis Grizzles:  O.J. Mayo (3), Darrell Arthur (27), Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner.  Hopefully Darrell Arthur isn’t as big of a bust as many teams believe he will be because the Lakers failed to aquire a veteran big man.  ‘toine is done, and Kwame Brown and Darko are not the answers for Memphis.  Although, OJ Mayo is an excellent player and Marko Jaric is a prolific scorer and Arthur is determined to make all of the teams that passed up on him regret not taking him.  Did you have to trade Mike Miller though?  Grade: B

Miami Heat:  Michael Beasley (2), Mario Chalmers (34), and a 2009 2nd round pick

I would like to send my congratulations to Miami for having the best draft of any team.  Not only did they make the right move by drafting Beasley and not trading the pick but then they fulfilled their other need by getting a very solid point guard in Mario Chalmers.  They fulfilled both their needs of a point guard and big man.  Now they just need a Center and the Heat will be a contender next season.   Grade:  A+

Milwaukie Bucks:  Joe Alexander (8), Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute (37), Richard Jefferson

Here is what I don’t understand.  The Bucks traded for Jefferson a small forward and then drafted a small forward in Alexander.  Between Desmond Mason, Jefferson and Alexander, the Bucks are now flooded at the three spot.  Can Alexander play PF?  Don’t think so.  Mbah a Moute is a shoot first point guard which is frowned upon in the NBA.  He can’t do anything else.  Getting Jefferson though will make this team better.  Grade: C

Minnesota Timberwolves:  Kevin Love (5), Nikola Pekovic (31), Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins, 2 future second round picks, cash.  Let’s forget about Pekovic for a minute because he’s a long term project and focus on how the T-Wolves made an amazing trade getting both Mike Miller and Kevin Love.  Cardinal and Collins won’t do too much but expect Miller to be a good mentor for Corey Brewer because Miller can teach Brewer how to create his own shots and set himself up for shots off of screens.  The ‘wolves also needed a big man to help out Al Jefferson and they got exactly who they needed.  Love is a banger and will be good for this team.  Him and Jefferson will provide the defense that the ‘wolves need.  Grade: A

New Jersey Nets:  Brook Lopez (10), Ryan Anderson (21), Chris Douglas-Roberts (39), Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian  The Nets had a pretty solid draft because not only did they free up cap space, but they also got Yi who can score and rebound, a good shooter in simmons, and 3 solid picks.  It is hard to tell how good Lopez will be but he’s 7-3 and that adds tremendous height to the Nets Roster.  Douglas-Roberts could be the steal of the draft but it is undetermined, he will be a good back up for Devin Harris and Anderson was also a good pick who averaged 21 and 10 last season.  Solid draft for the Nets.  Grade: A-    

New Orleans Hornets:  Cash Considerations 

The Hornets traded Darrell Arthur for cash, they are relying on free agency.  Grade: N/A

New York Knicks: Danilo Gallinari (6)  

Welcome to NY Danillo.  You were told by a few of the analysts that you would be greeted with boos and you were.  It is hard to tell if you were booed more than Renaldo Balkman when he was picked two years ago.  The Knicks decided with the 6th pick to pick who they thought has the best overall talent.  The pick made more sense after the Donnie Walsh interview.  The thought is that as much as the Knicks needed a pg, they believe that a rookie can not turn this franchise around.  Walsh made it a point to say that they will be very active during the summer in aquiring a point guard.  Regarding Gallinari, this pick really deserves a C, but because there was some strategy because D’Antoni has had a lot of success with international players, he can make this guy into the next AK-47 or Toni Kukoc.  Or he will just be another Darko.  We will have to wait and see.  He has a lot of upside though.  Grade: B-

Orlando Magic:  Courtney Lee (22)

They wanted a shooting guard and they passed up Douglas-Roberts for a very risky pick in Lee.  He averaged 20 ppg and almost 2 steals.  I would say they got what they needed but It was still risky.  Grade:  B

Philadelphia 76ers: Marresse Speights (16)

I love this pick for the sixers.  Speights is just what they needed because Dalembert is inconsistent.  Speights is more than a 14 and 8 guy.  He is a banger and aggressive and I think he is the perfect Complement to Dalembert.  He can block too.  All around good pick because the Sixers needed more height and they will be satisfied with Speights.  Grade: A    

Phoenix Suns:  Robin Lopez (15), Goran Dragic

This draft for them has such high bust potential because noone knows how good Robin Lopez can be.  But Lopez on Stanford was only useful for garbage points.  If Shaq takes him under his wing and teaches Lopez how to be aggressive, than this draft can really work out well for them, however Lopez is a very risky pick and this could end up being a complete waste. 

Grade: B-

Portland Trail Blazers:  Jerryd Bayless (11), Nicolas Batum (25), Ike Diogu, 2 2009 2nd round picks, 2 future 2nd round picks

Noone expected this to happen.  Now Portland has a premier point guard in Bayless and Batum is expected tobe good from France as well.  Bayless though is seen as a shoot first pg so they will have to be careful, but getting Bayless could be a smart move for them.  They are loaded with future draft picks though.  Grade: B   

Sacramento Kings:  Jason Thompson (12), Sean Singletary (42), Patrick Ewing Jr. (43)

This was a very risky draft for the Kings.  They selected a guy projected to go 2nd round in the lottery.  I don’t have a problem with Thompson, I just think his competition on Rider was not as fierce as what he will face in the NBA.  I think this pick was very risky.  Ewing Jr. will not add anything special to this team.  Singletary though is a good playmaker and can be a benefactor on this team but overall the Thompson pick really brings their grade down.  Grade: C

San Antonio Spurs George Hill (26), James Gist (57) Malik Hairston (48), 2009 2nd round pick, Cash.  The Spurs drafted 3 scorers.  They don’t need two much and only Hill it seems like has the best shot at making the rotation.  Grade: B-

Seattle Supersonics:  Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), D.J. White (29), DeVon Hardin (50), Sashsa Kaun (56)  The Sonics got what they wanted in Westbrook.  Westbrook is a good scorer and defender and when questioned about him being a pure point guard, Westbrook assured Stephen A. Smith that he was a natural pg.  Ibaka is a project so you wont see him for a while.  D.J. White is a possible Steal of the draft.  He had a great career on Indiana and I’m sure on this team, he will not disappoint.  Grade: B+

Toronto Raptors:  Nathan Jawai (41), Jermaine O’Neal

This whole draft for the Raptors was based off getting Jermaine O’neal in which they did.  Regarding their pick, they just wasted it because they got O’neal.  Jermaine has been in the league for 11 seasons, and he has shown signs of aging and has gotten hurt a lot recently.  Was it the right move?  You decide.  Grade: C+

Utah Jazz: Kosta Koufos (23), Ante Tomic (44), Tadija Dragicevic (53)

These picks were very wasted.  I don’t buy Jay Bilas’s rant on how good Koufos is.  He is 7-1 and doesn’t even average 7 rebounds a game.  Tomic and Dragicevic are also iffy on whether or not they make the team.  Grade: F 

Washington Wizards:  Javale McGee (18), Cash

This pick is very iffy because Mcgee is a lot like Blatche who they have already.  This pick can either work well or not.  This guy is really good on defense,, but I don’t think he is the right fit for this team, but still not a bad pick.  Grade: C+

By, Justin “J-Fense” Fensterman

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