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NBA Draft Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers receive high marks despite surprising picks

The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked everybody with the first overall pick. But after everybody got over their initial surprise, it turns out that Cleveland had a pretty good draft.


Grades for the NBA Draft are pointless. You hear this every year. They really are. Nobody knows how anybody did in the draft the DAY AFTER IT HAPPENS. But every year, we continue to do them and read them regardless. I'll admit to searching and reading up on how national writers think we did with our picks, even though I know the grades don't matter. It's fun and everybody is entitled to their opinion. So let's see what people thought of the Cavaliers' draft last night.

Everybody stood with their mouth agape as the Cavs took Anthony Bennett with the #1 pick. But then people got over the shock. And then Nerlens Noel continued to slide down the draft. At that point people came around and were like "damn, Anthony Bennett's actually a pretty solid pick." Just because it was a surprise, doesn't mean it was the wrong move. That much is illustrated in most draft grades.

In typical SB Nation style, the crew put together an awesome visual for their draft grades. Check out the whole thing here.

The Cavs' pick of Bennett gets an "A" for upside, a "D" for fit, and a "B-" for immediate impact. I can't really argue with those. Fit is tough to determine until we see the final roster and how everybody plays together, but it's a valid concern.

The Cavs' pick of Sergey Karasev gets a "B-" for upside, an "A" for fit, and a "D" for immediate impact. I think this is significantly underestimating how much the Cavs need shooting and how big of a hole they have at the wing. I expect Karasev to play a decent amount right away, but we'll see.

Chad Ford is usually the king of the draft over at ESPN, but even his mock draft was in shambles after the first pick. He thought the Cavs did a nice job.

The Cavs received a "B+" overall from Ford after their three picks on the night. He was a little lukewarm on the selection of Bennett, but understands the potential upside that Chris Grant saw.

I understand the reasoning. Cleveland wanted a pick-and-roll partner for Kyrie Irving. Bennett has the potential to be a 20-and 10-guy, perhaps the only one in the draft.

It seems that Ford was much more enthusiastic with Cleveland's selection of Karasev at #19 overall.

I loved the Karasev pick. They needed a shooter with a high basketball IQ, and I think he has a chance to be a solid player in the NBA. That's all you can ask for at No. 19.

CBS Sports' Matt Moore also liked what the Cavs did. See? He does give them credit when he thinks they make good decisions.

Moore gave the selection of Bennett a "B". He really likes the idea of Bennett playing with a good point guard. Fortunately, the Cavs have one of those.

I like a lot of what he provides. Good instincts. Size is gonna be an issue. However, if you put Bennett with a great point guard, he can be elite.

The selection on Karasev gets an "A-" and Carrick Felix gets a "C+". Moore accurately recognizes that these guys might not have the highest upside, but fill immediate needs for the Cavs with shooting and defense.

Sports Illustrated also approved of what the Cavs did. Chris Mannix was surprised (who wasn't?), but again emphasizes Bennett's immense talent.

The Cavs received an "A-" from Bennett was a shock, but has potential to be a great pick. Mannix thinks Cleveland might have gotten a steal with the pick of Karasev.

No one saw Anthony Bennett coming as the No. 1 pick, which isn't to say it was a bad call. Bennett may be the most talented player in the draft. He's a tweener, but if he finds a position, look out. Sergey Karasev was projected as a lottery pick on most boards. He's another guy that could come in and play right away.

So there you have it. Maybe the Cavs didn't totally screw up their draft by passing on Nerlens Noel after all? Give me your meaningless and worthless draft grade in the poll.