The teams made the picks. We pick the grades. All of the picks are in, so how did each team fare in the 2017 NBA Draft?
PF John Collins, PG Tyler Dorsey, PF Alpha Kaba
Grade: B- The Atlanta Hawks added much needed depth in the front court after trading their Starting center after one year, Dwight Howard by selecting Alpha Kaba from Mega Leks out of the Serbian League and John Collins from Wake Forest. Getting Tyler Dorsey in the second round was a steal for the Hawks and will be a key player going forward.
SF Jayson Tatum, PF Semi Ojeleye, SG Kadeem Allen, SG Jabari Bird
Grade: C+ All of those assets that Danny Ainge holds so highly, and he wasn’t able to do anything with them. The teams in the West are getting better. LeBron is still in the East. Boston hasn’t done anything to make themselves better even with a potential star in Jayson Tatum.
C Jarrett Allen, PF Kyle Kuzma, SF Aleksandar Vezenkov
Grade: B The Nets found their future franchise big man in Jarrett Allen. Allen went under the radar going into the draft with a 36 inch vertical, five inches higher than the league average.
SG Malik Monk, PG/SG Frank Jackson, SF Dwayne Bacon
Grade: A+ The Hornets drafted some serious fire power in this draft. Malik Monk is an elite scorer. Jackson and Bacon can both do it all and all three could be impactful players within their first two seasons with the team. The Hornets are on the right path toward being one of the top teams in the East. They just have to keep making smart moves like these.
PF Laura Markkanen
Grade: D They traded away Jimmy Butler and received only one draft pick in return. They are now relying on Dwyane Wade to lead the way. The Bulls have taken a big step back this offseason. A big rebuild is certainly on the horizon.
Grade: F The Cavaliers had no draft picks and didn’t attempt to acquire one.
PG Dennis Smith
Grade: B+ The Mavericks lucked out with one of the best point guards in the draft class with the 9th overall pick, and the most athletic guard by far. Smith will be a sleeper pick for Rookie of the Year.
PF Tyler Lydon, PF Vlatko Cancar, PG Monte Morris
Grade: C+ None of the names really jump out at you if you’re a Nuggets a fan. They continue to add to their frontcourt with Lydon and Cancar. The Nuggets are in that limbo stage of the NBA where they are not a bad team but they aren’t a great team, and that is a bad place to be in the NBA. This draft didn’t hurt them, but it didn’t really help them.
SG Luke Kennard
Grade: C With only one draft pick, the Pistons could only do so much. The speculation is that Kennard will not be a star in the NBA. He is a good player who will bring some positive minutes off the bench as his career progresses, but he isn’t a game changer for Detroit.
PF Jordan Bell
Grade: A The reigning champs won’t be able to trade any cash to teams this season because of their acquisition of this draft pick, but they will not need it. A team that is in the midst of forming a dynasty just helped ensure that dynasty will continue down the line by acquiring one of the most well-rounded players in this draft. They didn’t need to make a move at draft night, but they did and they did it right.
PF Isaiah Hartenstein
Grade: A- More shooting for the Houston Rockets in adding Hartenstein. More than likely not to see the court much, but the upside is big for the versatile 7 ft big man. He’s another Donatas Montiejunas.
PF TJ Leaf, C Ike Anigbogu, PG Edmond Sumner
Grade: A- The Pacers need some new talent to build around and grow with. TJ Leaf was a safe pick and has the tools to be a great big man in the league. Drafting his teammate in Anibogu will help build the chemistry and the foundation under the rim for the next wave of Pacers greatness. The Pacers will take a step back next season, but they are building well for the future.
PG Jawun Evans, SG Sindarius Thornwell
Grade: B The Clippers got two quality players in the 2nd round with Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. Despite his low defensive ceiling, Jawun Evans can still become a quality point guard at the NBA level, however, best case scenario would be Chris Paul returning to the Clippers with Evans providing productivity off the bench. Sindarius Thornwell might not have the upside of Jawun Evans but he can definitely help the Clippers in the short-term.
PG Lonzo Ball, SG Josh Hart, C Thomas Bryant
Grade: B Down the road, we could look back at this grade and it could be an A+ or it could be a D. It all depends on how Lonzo Ball produces in the NBA. The Lakers were not blown away by Ball’s workouts, but they made LaVar an honest man by drafting his son with the No. 2 overall pick anyway. Will his skills translate to the NBA? The way he produced in college makes him a smart lottery pick, but that funky shot and lack of desire to shoot inside the arc could cause problems in the NBA. Only time will tell. Hart, meanwhile, is a solid player with championship experience in college. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally, but he does everything well. He will always do the right thing, making him a good bench player for the Lakers. Thomas Bryant will be a quality rebounder and defender down low, but the Lakers are looking toward next year’s free agency.
PF/C Ivan Rabb, SF Dillon Brooks
Grade: B Two solid talents to add to an aging but still solid Grizzlies team. We are still not sure who else is going to score the ball outside of Conley and Gasol, but this team’s defense will be a hassle night in and night out.
C Bam Adebayo
Grade: B Bam Adebayo will be viewed by many as a reach for the Miami Heat due to his unrefined offensive game and supposed lack of effort during one year at the University of Kentucky. But don’t let that scare you away from what the Heat drafted. With BAM! the Heat have an immediate go-to big man off the bench who flies high at the rim and will bring energy off the bench as a key second unit guy. Miami also subtlety had a great night by not trading any of Tyler Johnson, Justice Winslow or Josh Richardson. The later two are viewed as key pieces of the puzzle on rookie contracts while Johnson is quietly a stud off the bench. With Chris Bosh and his impending contract and unfortunate health set to clear loads of cap space, Miami has lots of potential to dance with free agents and trade partners come July 1st. Adebayo is taking his talents to South Beach and Miami will ride this wave to a hopeful relevance in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
PF DJ Wilson, SG Sterling Brown
Grade: B Wilson is a good fit for the Bucks who are still trying to figure out their supporting cast around The Greek Freak. There is a lot of talent in Milwaukee, it just needs to come together. Wilson should be able to compete for a starting job or key rotational role. Brown will probably play the watching game for the first few years, but he is very coachable which is something the Bucks will love.
C Justin Patton
Grade: B+ The only reason this isn’t an A is because they drafted a center instead of a guard. But they got a solid backup to KAT in Patton. The Timberwolves draft night was a great success because they acquired Jimmy Butler. It’s too bad they are in the West and not the East because this Timberwolves team is going to be a fun one to watch next season.
Grade: F The Pelicans had no draft picks and didn’t attempt to acquire one.
PG/SG Frank Ntilikina, SG Damyean Dotson, PG Ognjen Jaramez
Grade: B+ The Knicks haven’t had a franchise point guard in a very long time and this draft that changed as Phil Jackson took Frank Ntilikina from France. Lacking depth in the backcourt the Knicks make three quality picks in getting two combo guards and three-point sniper.
SF Terrance Ferguson
Grade: C+ You lost your SF last season and this year you draft Terrance Ferguson to replace him? Yes their pick was later in the draft but this really doesn’t do much for Westbrook and the Thunder.
SF/PF Jonathan Isaac, SG Wesley Iwundu
Grade: B+ Orlando is quietly building a very talented team. If all their young talent can come together at the same time, this could be a surprise team come playoff time.
PG/SG Markelle Fultz, C Anzejs Pasecniks, PF Jonah Bolden, PF/C Mathias Lessort
Grade: A They traded for the number 1 and got the best player in the draft. Fultz provides that dynamic scoring the Sixers so desperately need from the guard position. He can play the one or the two and will fit very nicely with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Sixers fans have trusted the process and it is starting to look like that trust is paying off.
SF Josh Jackson, SG Davon Reed, SF/PF Alec Peters
Grade: B+ They wanted Lonzo Ball, they got Josh Jackson. That is a win in our book as Jackson could potentially be the best player out of this draft. He will be able to compete for the starting SF job immediately, and Suns fans should get excited at the prospect of him and Booker running the floor together. Reed should be able to help spread the floor and open up opportunities for the big men.
C Zach Collins, PF Caleb Swanigan
Grade: B- The Blazers added two quality big men, in Zach Collins they went with upside. The potential is there for Collins, he’s got all the tools to one day be a premier big man at the NBA level. Potential can only get you so far; however, Collins’ potential is worth the risk for the Blazers. He’s got the potential to be a really good two-way player if all goes right. Caleb Swanigan, on the other hand, is the opposite. He’s already a polished offensive player that is average at best on the defensive end. This isn’t to knock Swanigan. He can come right in and provide some much-needed offense inside for the Blazers.
PG De’Aaron Fox, SF Justin Jackson, PF Harry Giles III, PG Frank Mason
Grade: A+ The Kings had the most success last night out of the 30 teams. Getting De’Aaron Fox(one of the top talents in the class) at fifth overall was a steal. Adding much needed depth in Justin Jackson and Harry Giles will be big going forward, and one of the most underrated moves in the draft getting Frank Mason from Kansas.
SF Jaron Blossomgame
Grade: A The Rich got richer on draft night. The Spurs always do well on draft and added Jaron Blossomgame to that list. Blossomgame, the 6’7 forward out of Clemson will be a sleeper piece for rookie of the year this season and will be great longterm peace for Coach Pop’s squad.
SF OG Anunoby
Grade: A Anunoby could have been a lottery pick, but injury concerns dropped him to a late first rounder where the Raptors scooped him up. With a huge wingspan, great athleticism, and the ability to guard multiple positions, Anunoby could be the steal of the draft. The Raptors have been missing that star player to fill the SF position alongside Lowry and DeRozan. Although Lowry’s future with the Raptors is uncertain, they may find themselves with a new dynamic duo at the 2 and 3.
SG Donovan Mitchell, C Tony Bradley, PG Nigel Williams-Goss
Grade: C Donovan Mitchell is a solid pick that the Jazz traded with the Nuggets and the best draft pick of the three, but they failed to draft a Small Forward in case Gordon Hayward leaves to another team in free agency.
Grade: F The Wizards had no picks and failed to acquire one.
Talk about an interesting draft night. The 2017-2018 NBA season expects to be an exciting one!