A draft occurred. I must now grade it.
Lucas Nogueira (16), Dennis Schroeder (17), Mike Muscala (44), Raul Neto (47)
I think the Hawks got some nice prospects, but reached for Schroeder, about whom we don't know enough to justify a mid first-rounder. Nogueira appears to be legitimate, but both players are pretty raw, and Nogueira is 21 already. Muscala is a great bargain at the 44, though, and they should be able to plug him in right away when Josh Smith bolts. Neto screams stash pick, and I'm not sure that's what the Hawks need right now.
Kelly Olynyk (13), Colton Iverson (53), traded entire team to Brooklyn
The Celtics had a willing buyer for Garnett and Pierce in the Nets. They should have leveraged that to dump a couple of contracts and really clean house OR get something more in return. If they can get some assets for Rondo and really start from scratch, this might not be so bad, but right now they are looking like a 32 win team for the next three years.
On the draft front, Olynyk is no Garnett, but I like what he brings to the four spot. I think his size and agility will allow him to continue to score efficiently. Whether he can defend the position (or any position) is the big question mark, but I think he is more talented than people are giving him credit for, and probably also too unique to adequately project. Colton Iverson is fine, though I'm not sure why a rebuilding team goes with an older player.
Mason Plumlee (22), traded for the Boston Celtics
The Nets are putting everything on the table for a 1-2 year run at the championship, and they gear up for battle with... Mason Plumlee? I guess they think he will replace the departing Kris Humphries. He won't, but he can probably be a solid fourth big, and they will assuredly need one. Still, you need to get more out of the 22 pick.
Cody Zeller (4)
There is little chance Zeller justifies this pick, and even if he could, the Bobcats would be much better off trading down and picking him later. Zeller isn't a great rebounder or shot blocker, which limits his value as a big. However, if he can exhibit competence in those areas (college stats suggest the possibility, if not the likelihood) his efficient scoring could give him some value. I think he's a less good version of Olynyk, a possible bust, and a decision the Bobcats will probably regret.
Tony Snell (20), Erik Murphy (49)
Snell is a measurements dandy, a lock-down defender who has never locked down anyone. Long, smooth and can stroke it, but his athletic numbers were terrible and the whole reason he is being drafted is because of his athleticism. Make you take a late second round flier on him, but this is way too high. Erik Murphy is the kind of player whose game just won't translate to the NBA. He was an efficient three point shooter who got his shot because he was taller than everyone else. He can shoot, but it's unlikely he'll stick.
Anthony Bennett (1), Sergey Karasev (19), Carrick Felix (33)
For the second straight year, the Cavaliers have massively overreached for a talented question mark. Bennett could be very good. Make no mistake, those are nice numbers for a freshman. But do you really want a number one pick who might not have a position, and is a modest risk for eating his way out of the league? I think the Cavaliers wanted to trade down, but got too greedy. So they let the perfect get in the way of the possible.
As for the other picks, I like Karasev a lot for them. He'll give them some scoring and range on the wings. Same goes for Felix, who has nice athletic and shooting numbers and deserved to go in the first round. If Bennett pans out, the Cavs will have stumbled into something special here.
Shane Larkin (18), Ricky Ledo (43)
Great night for the Mavs. Larkin could well be a starting-caliber point and is a relative bargain at the 18. Ledo is an utter mystery, but well worth the flier at the 43. Dallas also moved toward it's primary goal, creating space to land Dwight Howard, by sliding down in the draft. The results might not be spectacular (unless Ledo is, in fact, spectacular) but this was a very well managed night for the Mavericks.
Erick Green (46), Joffrey Lauvergne (55)
I don't like this at all. The Nuggets had Rudy Gobert, a monstrously huge player who, while raw, is already showing the ability (and, more importantly for a Euro, the willingness) to play close to the basket. Green isn't a bad pickup here, and he showed some signs of being a multi-faceted scorer, so he might stick. I don't think Lauvergne is ever going to don an NBA uniform. I know Denver is a small market, but there are smarter ways to cut costs.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8), Tony Mitchell (37), Peyton Siva (56)
I hold firm in my belief K-Pope is a bit of a reach here, especially given the available talent. But he certainly fills a void, and the metrics suggest he should stick as the starter. However, the Mitchell pickup in the second round is one of the two big steals of the night. Before his sophomore campaign I literally had him first on my own personal draft board. That sophomore campaign? Not so good, but I think it can be explained, and if it was just a hiccup, Mitchell will be very, very good. Siva is a nice pickup, a quintessential backup PG who, by my lights, is a shorter version of Michael Carter-Williams.
Nemanja Nedovic (30)
A 22 year old combo guard from Europe who cannot shoot. Doesn't get an F because it's the 30th pick, and the dude is European, so there's a chance he is better suited to the NBA or something.
Isaiah Canaan (34)
I know why the Rockets like him. They have had success with undersized shooting guards who can play the point semi-competently. I know why I don't like him. His A/TO was terrible, and I don't like a senior who takes a 6% hit to his TS% his final year of college. I also don't think he's athletic enough to compensate for his height if he's not going to run the offense efficiently.
Solomon Hill (23)
I was whining about Hill days ago, when I thought the Pistons were going to grab him at the end of the second round. There is no one way in which Hill is bad, but that doesn't mean he is good. He is a somewhat efficient shooter, but he doesn't shoot a lot. His athletic numbers are acceptable, but he's 22, and there has been no improvement over the course of his college career. I just think his profile screams NBDL, or Europe.
Reggie Bullock (25)
I really think Bullock is undervalued. The Clippers needed a wing with range, and they got one of the wingiest, rangiest players out there. He probably won't be a star, and that probably turned some teams off on him, but I have a hard time believing he won't be an effective starter. I thought the whole point of the draft order is so that contending teams don't get NBA ready players?
Ryan Kelly (48)
Another weird Lakers 2nd round pick. Here's the thing, if teams want to get quirky once the exciting players are off the board, fine. If it doesn't work out, it's a nominal commitment. But the Lakers always wind up playing these dudes because they don't utilize the first round and they always have huge dollars invested in a small number of players. I can't just give them a pass when they draft a 7 foot three point specialist who doesn't rebound.
Jamaal Franklin (41), Janis Timma (60)
The night's other big steal, Franklin is monstrously athletic, and has a very good chance of being one of the best players in this draft. The concern with him is that he doesn't have great range, and it takes a special player to overcome that. Worked for Kawhi Leonard. We won't be seeing Timma anytime soon, but the Grizz got all the value they needed at the 41.
James Ennis (50)
A lot of folks have been calling Ennis a sleeper. That's true to a point. However, given his competition, I'm concerned the three point shooting will take a hit when he arrives in the NBA. That's a big tool in his arsenal, and will determine whether he sticks in the NBA. Well worth the risk at the 50, though, and the Heat don't need him to emerge as a star, obviously.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (15), Nate Wolters (38)
The Bucks swung for the fences with Giannis, about whom scouts were demonstrably excited, and who has done very little on the basketball court as yet. This might well pan out, but I think he's a risk this high in the draft. Wolters is a nice pick up in the second round, a productive player who got overlooked because he played for a small school and because he is a Senior.
Shabazz Muhammed (14), Gorgui Deng (21), Lorenzo Brown (52), Bojan Dubljevic (59)
Ouch. Well, Joe Dumars just gave Flip Saunders another reason to hate him. Apparently, the Timberwolves did not have a back up plan once KCP was off the board. At all. At first, Saunders appeared posed to make lemons out of lemonade, drafting the best player available (Trey Burke) and parlaying him into two draft picks.
I think we now see why GMs are reticent to employ this strategy. Shabazz's drama tour will go over like a moist fart with Minnesota's fan base, and he's done nothing to demonstrate he merited a lottery pick besides. Gorgui Deng is a project, still, at the age of 23 and probably won't ever be more than 10 mpg off the bench guy. Brown and Dubljevic (sp?) are fine, and the latter, especially, might stick around. He might as well change his name to Brian now, since that's what everyone here is going to call him.
David Kahn would be rightly pilloried for this.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pierre Jackson (42), Traded Nerlens Noel & 1st round pick for Jrue Holliday,
I understand wanting to cash in Noel for immediate value. Let someone pay 90 cents on the dollar to take on the risk. Good business right? Instead, the Pelicans traded for Jrue Holiday, an extremely inefficient point guard who posts decent per game stats because he plays huge minutes and shoots a lot, and so made the all-star game for no particular reason.
The trade was so lopsided that most observers thought the Pelicans were receiving a 2014 pick to compensate. Nope. Instead they gave away what will almost certainly be a very high pick in the most anticipated draft in a decade for the opportunity to give away one of the most anticipated defensive talents in a decade.
Pierre Jackson might wind up being the best of the many point guards on this sorry roster, so there's that.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (24)
Too high. If Hardaway Jr. were named Francois McGillicutty III, he would probably go undrafted.
Steve Adams (12), Andre Roberson (26), Alex Abrines (32), Grant Jerrett (40)
I get the impression the Thunder spend a lot more time listening to conventional wisdom than we assume they do. Based on performance, all these dudes are reaches, and players that someone else is excited about. I'm not, and I think this run of lousy drafts is going to come back to bite a team that needs to keep talent around Durant on the cheap. On the other hand, they didn't do anything particularly disastrous here, and there is something to be said for drafting players other teams covet when it comes time to make moves.
Victor Oladipo (2), Romero Osby (51)
I think they got best player in the draft, and they didn't have the first pick. I could ding them for the Osby pick, but it's just not consequential.
Michael Carter-Williams (11), Arsalan Kazemi (54), Traded Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 lottery pick
For better or worse, they stand a good chance of replacing Holiday's production with MCW. So basically this evening featured them getting Nerlens Noel and a 20% chance at Andrew Wiggins for nothing. Oh, and they got a first round talent in Kazemi at the 54. That's how you win draft night, folks.
Alex Len (5), Archie Goodwin (29), Alex Oriakhi (57)
So, basically, the Suns spent a lottery pick and another first rounder on two players who, they hope, will someday learn how to play basketball. The race to Andrew Wiggins goes through Phoenix, folks.
CJ McCollum (10), Allen Crabbe (31), Jeff Withey (39), Marko Todorovic (45)
Just a solid draft all the way around for the Blazers. I think they got decent value at every point, and a potential star in McCollum. Withey could be interesting at the 39. If his shot blocking translates, he could be a real defensive force. His other athletic numbers leave a lot to be desired, but I would be surprised if he emerged as a second round steal.
Ben McLemore (7), Ray McCallum (36)
McLemore is a great value here, though I'm not sure this team is the best fit for his game, mentally. At minimum, he's bring solid shooting, but he seems the likeliest of the top tier of prospects to deliver only the minimum. McCallum doesn't really float my boat, but there are reasons to like him, namely that he can get in the lane and finish.
Livio Jean-Charles (28), Deshaun Thomas (58)
Jean-Charles gives them a player they can stash until they decide they have the money and a spot for him. From a business transaction standpoint, then, they took the right flier. On a talent level, well, it's the Spurs, so they probably know a million things I don't, but... Eh.
Trey Burke (9), Rudy Gobert (27)
If you are going to trade two picks for one, you better have the right prospect, and the Jazz had the perfect candidate in Trey Burke. As it happens, they still got mid-round talent in Rudy Gobert. I don't think people appreciate how big Gobert is. A 9'7" standing reach isn't an every day thing and his numbers prove it. The Jazz may have grabbed two future all-stars on draft night.
Otto Porter (3), Glen Rice Jr. (35)
I love both picks. Porter has the most star potential of anyone in the draft, and Glen Rice Jr. really should have gone in the first round. The Wizards shored up the three spot in a big way, and are starting to look like a playoff team.