I think we can pretty much all agree that draft grades are pretty near useless, particularly right after the draft. Making grades for a fake draft would be damn near ridiculous. Fortunately, I am here to waste my time making these grades so that you all can waste your time criticizing me. Enjoy.
Results- First Round
1) Cleveland-Nerlens Noel
2) Orlando- Victor Oladipo
3) Washington-Anthony Bennett
4) Charlotte-Trey Burke
5) Pheonix- Alex Len
6) Atlanta-Ben McLemore
7) Sacramento-Cody Zeller
8) New Orleans- Otto Porter
9) Minnesota- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
10) Portland-CJ McCollum
11) Philadelphia- Shabazz Muhammad
12) OKC-Lucas Nogueria
13) New York-Sergey Karasev
14) Cleveland-Giannis Antetokounpo
15) Miwaukee- Michael Carter-Williams
16) Boston- Steven Adams
17) New Orleans- Reggie Bullock
18) New Orleans- Gorgui Dieng
19) Utah- Dennis Schroeder
20) Phoenix- Jamaal Franklin
21) Utah- Ricardo Ledo
22) New York- Tony Snell
23) Indiana- Shane Larkin
24) Utah- Glen Rice
25) LAC- Tim Hardaway Jr.
26) Minnesota- Rudy Gobert
27) Denver- Tony Mitchell
28) San Antonio- Kelly Olynyk
29) OKC- Allen Crabbe
30) Phoenix- Archie Goodwin
Results- Second Round
31) Dallas- Mason Plumlee
32) OKC- Nate Wolters
33) Dallas- CJ Leslie
34) Houston- Jeff Withey
35) Philadelphia- Mike Muscala
36)Utah- Isiah Canaan
37)Atlanta- Livo Jean-Charles
38) Washington- Deshaun Thomas
Boston- Stephen Adams, 16. *B-*
I upgraded this from my initial C-. There were still a few talents left on the board at this point, and Adams is definitely a talent. I don't think he is the best fit in Boston, with both Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo in place as young front court options, but since neither is a sure thing I can understand the reasoning. There were still some perimeter guys I would have preferred, as they have no young shooting, but they got a lottery talent at 16. Not bad.
They traded this pick to Atlanta, and it turned into half of Ben McLemore. Let's all laugh at Brooklyn, shall we?
New York- Sergey Karasev, 13. Tony Snell, 22. *D*
I love the pick, LOATHE the fit. New York desperately needs help right now, and Karasev is 19 and very raw. Plus, he plays the exact same position as Carmelo, who will absolutely not be passing to him for open jumpers. Basically, this takes the bite out of a very talented young player. I get that they want some shooters to surround Melo, but Melo is not Lebron. He thrives as a shooter, and really needs help at Center (for rebounding/picks) and PG (because Raymond Felton isn't good), and both positions were available. Tony Snell only amplified this problem. What exactly does he bring to the table in New York? If I were a Knicks fan, I would be dazed and confused.
Philadelphia- Shabazz Muhammad, 11. Mike Muscala, 35. *B-*
Goodbye Evan Turner? Certainly a surprise pick by Philly, as Turner is one of the few possible talents on the Sixers. Some like the fit with Jrue Holliday, but I'm a little less sure. Is Shabazz too ball dominant? I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes, and that he will detract from Holliday, who should be the focus of the team. I expected a big to come off the board. Stephen Adams, perhaps? Muscala in the second was a great pick, as he filled a need at backup center. Now they just need a starter...
This pick went to Phoenix, and became Jamaal Franklin. I don't remember how, but I don't think the Bulls lost out on too much.
Cleveland- Nerlens Noel, 1. Giannis Antetokounpo, 14. *B*
Nerlens was the correct pick, although Len makes sense too. I have to knock them for an EXTREMELY risky draft, as Nerlens is far from a sure thing, and Giannis is miles from it. The potential is huge however, and the Cavs could very well have come away with the two best players in the draft. However, Reggie Bullock may have made more sense at 14. I think the Cavs were banking on Karasev being available, and were rushed into this choice. Giannis is a guy that you need to think about for a long time before taking, and I'm not entirely sure the Cavs did. I like the aggression in moving up from 31, 32, and 19 to try and get their guy, I'm just not sure it paid off.
Detroit traded this pick to New Orleans. They needed a solid small forward. New Orleans took Otto Porter. Ouch.
Indiana- Shane Larkin, 23. *A-*
PG is by far Indy's biggest need, and Larkin, a potential lottery talent, fell into their laps at 23. He could bust, of course, but I don't think he will. At the very least, a solid backup which Indy desperately needed.
Milwaukee- Michael Carter-Williams, 15. *C+*
Clearly, one of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings is gone. For Milwaukee fans, this is probably a relief, but I don't see the upside. Carter-Williams will probably be serviceable, but his upside is probably average starter. Both Jennings and Ellis are (or could be) better than that. Besides, Schroeder almost certainly has more potential, and he was still on the board. This feels like a settle to me.
Atlanta- Ben McLemore, 6. Livo Jean-Charles, 37. *A+*
I cannot imagine a better result for player or team. McLemore can step into a position where he isn't expected to be a threat on every play, and should get some good looks over the course of the season. If he can get on the court at the same time as Korver, expect the Hawks to instantly become one of the best teams from behind the arc. Quite simply the perfect fit. I love it.
Livo Jean-Charles has a great name.
Charlotte- Trey Burke, 4. *B-*
Kemba Walker had shown signs of improvement. Had. He clearly is no longer in the picture now, as he is in no way a shooting guard. For this pick to be a success, Trey Burke had better be a stud at the point. Otherwise, missing McLemore will haunt them for a long time. He seems like a significantly better fit alongside Kidd-Gilchrist, who could really have used McLemore's ability to draw defenders. This grade really comes down to McLemore's success as much as Burke's.
This pick turned into a possible extra year of LeBron. Well spent, I would say.
Orlando- Victor Oladipo, 2. *B*
Really, they could take anyone and I would like it. They have holes at every position, and need talent badly. Oladipo is talent. Whether he is better than some of the guys picked after him, we'll see. He has as good a case as anybody, though.
Washington- Anthony Bennett, 3. Deshaun Thomas, 38. *C-*
If you think about it, this pick makes a lot of sense. And if you don't think about it, this pick makes even more sense. Washington will be able to score en masse with Beal, Wall, and Bennett. On the other hand, this team will allow more buckets than the overmatched saps in the Uncle Drew commercials. Bennett will need to focus on defense, and considering the success that Washington has had in the past with Javale Magee and Andray Blatche, that isn't a bet I would make. Deshaun Thomas is basically the same player, only worse, and should ensure that the bench is just as exciting as the starters.
Dallas- Miles Plumlee, 31. CJ Leslie, 33. *C+*
Both strong picks that have high potential, both to be valuable options and to bust. While I can't argue with the logic behind the picks, the story of Dallas' draft was dumping the 13th pick for chump change when quite a few strong stashes were available. I didn't like it from my perspective, but if it lands them a better player next year or one of these guys becomes a starter, it was worth it. Additionally, if they land a marquee free agent, all of this nitpicking becomes null and void.
Houston- Jeff Withey, 34. *B*
Probably the most talented player left, so I won't pick nits. Of course, they would have had their choice of the board at twelve, but instead they have James Harden. They won't lose sleep over this.
Their pick went to Minnesota. I don't know why.
New Orleans- Otto Porter, 8. Gorgui Dieng, 18. Reggie Bullock, 19. *A*
Along with Atlanta, the clear winners of the draft. Otto Porter at 8 is an absolute gift. He fits beautifully with Davis and should give the newly acquired Brandon Knight another toy to play with. Gorgui Dieng is another fine pickup, and instantly provides the Pelicans with their front court of the future. If he pans out, they could dominate the league. My only quibble is that Schroeder would have filled out the team, and Bullock's upside is limited by the presence of Porter. But a minor problem nonetheless. Perhaps they have their eye on a guard in free agency? One who played with them before?
San Antonio- Kelly Olynyk, 28. *B*
I have no problems with this pick, though San Antonio could have taken anyone and I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Denver- Tony Mitchell, 27. *B*
I can honestly say I don't know enough about Tony Mitchell to make a call on this pick. You guys liked it in the chat, though, so B it is.
Minnesota- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 9. Rudy Gobert, 28. *B+/A-*
Two picks that go in opposite directions. KCP fills a need and, despite not being my favorite player left on the board, should fit right in in Minnesota. After years of seemingly reaching for talent at poor fits, KCP is, refreshingly, the correct pick. Gobert is the complete opposite. We may never see him in the NBA, but if we do, his arms could be game-altering. At 28, he is well worth the risk.
Portland- CJ McCollum, 10. *B*
Portland just needed to improve their bench. McCollum, at the very least, should be able to do that. If he can play alongside Damian Lillard, he can be something special. If not, then Portland can stick him on the bench and keep chugging along.
Oaklahoma City- Lucas Nogueria, 12. Allen Crabbe, 28. Nate Wolters, 32. *C*
The player that was worth giving up James Harden for is...some Brazilian guy. Now, Lucas has talent, and a lot of it, but he will not be ready for a few more years at least. The Thunder must be pretty sure they will still be competing at that time, because more NBA ready centers like Gorgui Dieng were still available. There will be a ton of pressure on Lucas when he comes over, and I don't know if he will be able to handle it. Allen Crabbe, on the other hand, should help ease the loss of Kevin Martin this offseason. Nate Wolters will be in the D-League the entirety of next year, and may never make it up.
Utah- Dennis Schroeder, 19. Ricardo Ledo, 21. Glen Rice, 24. Isiah Canaan, 36. *A-*
A very tough grade, as I thought that Schroeder was one of the best picks of the draft and Rice was solid as well. They should immediately ease the pressure on the backcourt, and Schroeder in particular could be something special. I didn't like the Ledo pick, as he doesn't mesh well with Heyward at all, and could very well be forced out by players who don't actually offer that much. I would have waited for next year's draft to get a less volatile backup, or simply drafted a big to replace either Millsap or Jefferson. There were options on the board, and now Utah is practically forced to re-sign one of them. Is it worth paying ten million for a rotation big? We shall see. Isiah Canaan is a shot in the dark with a second round pick, and I don't mind it. If he becomes a suitable backup to Schroeder, great. If not, not much lost.
Golden State- N/A
They had no picks, which is good because this post is getting long and we still have Pheonix's draft to discuss.
Los Angeles Clippers- Tim Hardaway Jr, 25. *C+*
If Tim Hardaway Jr is contributing anything to the Clippers in three years, consider my hat eaten. I get that he is a fit, he just isn't very good yet, and a win now team like LA will certainly try to do better than him.
Los Angeles Lakers- N/A
Phoenix Suns- Alex Len, 5. Jamaal Franklin, 20. Archie Goodwin, 30. *B*
Shooting for the moon, which is exactly what Phoenix should do. I'm not actually a huge fan of any of the picks, as I think there are better bets elsewhere, but it isn't any major issue I have. This could turn into a major boon for Phoenix, as Len has star potential and Franklin and Goodwin could easily become legitimate starters, and the Suns are right back on track. On the other hand, Len has some ankle issues, and is far from a finished project. Franklin and Goodwin are nowhere near sure things, and could both be out of the league before next year's draft. I applaud the strategy, but bear in mind that this could easily be a wasted year.
Sacramento- Cody Zeller, 7. *B*
Boy, Zeller sure seems like a great fit next to Cousins, doesn't he? So did Thomas Robinson, and now he is battling for minutes with Jeff Withey. Obviously, we expected Otto, but if the Kings favor Zeller I won't fault them. The potential of a Cousins/Zeller frontcourt is through the roof, and I would love to see it develop.
Questions? Complaints? Omissions? Direct them to me in the comments. This was an awesome draft and I hope we do it again next year.