Which teams won on draft night?

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick: Karl Towns Anthony Jr

Grade: A

Analysis: The Wolves made the obvious pick by selecting Towns and he should perfectly fit the team. Along with Rubio and Wiggins, the Wolves will be able to run the floor on offense and on defense they will use their athleticism.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick: D’Angelo Russell

Grade: A

Analysis: The Western Conference is full of great point guards that can score the ball and make plays. Russell is an intelligent player that will give the Lakers a chance to build and eventually make the playoffs. Russell fits the mold of the new prototypical guard because he shoots a high percentage and will be a score first guard.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

Pick: Jahlil Okafor

Grade: A-

Analysis: The 76ers have drafted a center during the last 3 drafts, which engenders many questions. If Embiid does not ever become healthy, this will become a good pick because Okafor’s great offensive skill will fit with Nerlens Noel’s defense.

4. New York Knicks

Pick: Kristaps Porzingis

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Knicks are taking a great risk by selecting Porzingis. Prozingis could become an effective player if his offensive game offsets his defensive deficiencies. Unfortunately, Porzingis will take a few years to develop, but the Knicks do not have time since they do not possess a first round pick next season.

5. Orlando Magic

Pick: Mario Hezonja

Grade: A

Analysis: The Magic have a talented team, but they do not have a player that can spread the floor. Hezonja is an athletic player that should be able to keep the floor open for Victor Oladipo and Elfird Payton.

6. Sacramento Kings

Pick: Willie Cauley Stein

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Kings possessed one of the worst defenses in the league last season and Stein should be able to drastically improve the unit. Stein’s ability to literally guard every position at a high level makes him invaluable, although his offensive game is not even close to being refined.

7. Denver Nuggets

Pick: Emmanuel Mudiay

Grade: A

Analysis: The Nuggets have fell out of love with Ty Lawson and hope that they could deal him before the season. However, Mudiay is vastly different from Lawson because he has truly elite size, athleticism, and ability to drive to the basket.

8. Detroit Pistons

Pick: Stanley Johnson

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Pistons have a need for an athletic wing that can become a star in future. Although Johnson has that ability due to his great athleticism, he does not possess the same upside as Justice Winslow, who was still left on the board.

9. Charlotte Hornets

Pick: Frank Kaminsky

Grade: C+

Analysis: The Hornets ranked last in the NBA in three pointers. Over the past two seasons, Kaminsky showed that he can shoot from anywhere on the court, which should help the Hornets. However, there were better options on the board and it is likely that Kaminsky never becomes a star due to his physical limitations.

10. Miami Heat

Pick: Justice Winslow

Grade: A

Analysis: Justice Winslow had the skill and physical attributes to go as high as 4 in the draft, but the Heat selected him 10th overall. Winslow will be a perfect replacement for Luol Deng, if he leaves during free agency. His ability to slash, shoot, and play defense will help relieve some of the burden on Dwyane Wade’s shoulders.

11. Indiana Pacers

Pick: Myles Turner

Grade: B

Analysis: The Pacers are only a season removed from the number on seed in the East, but Turner is considered a project and will not help much this season. Turner has the potential to play like Serge Ibaka because he has length and a great shooting touch. However, he has not played well against good competition during his year in college.

12. Utah Jazz

Pick: Trey Lyles

Grade: B

Analysis: The Utah Jazz needed someone, either a guard or a stretch four, that could shoot threes and open the floor for Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. However, Lyles does not have the range to shoot threes. Although he should become a role player, he will likely not crack the starting rotation for the Jazz.

13. Phoenix Suns

Pick: Devin Booker

Grade: A

Analysis: The Kentucky sharp shooter was a great pick for the Suns because he is the best shooter in the draft. Although Booker does not possess the same size as Klay Thompson, he has the potential to play like Thompson, who has become one of the best players in the league. Booker should fit well next to Knight and Bledsoe.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder

Pick: Cameron Payne

Grade: A-

Analysis: The Thunder are blessed with possessing two of the seven best players in the league so it is imperative that they find players to complement their talents. The Thunder will need Payne to become a player that can catch and shoot, play solid defense, and play without the basketball. During his college days, he frequently played with the ball, but he should change quickly if he wants playing time.

15. Washington Wizards (via Atlanta Hawks)

Pick: Kelly Oubre

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Wizards need to find a new small forward for the second straight season since Paul Pierce just opted out of his deal. The Wizards could have used a big to eventually replace Nene or Gortat, but Oubre should become a three and D type player.

16. Boston Celtics

Pick: Terry Rozier

Grade: B-

Analysis: The Celts opted to reach with their first pick in order to select Rozier. Although Rozier is a nice defensive player and can make plays on offense, he is very similar to Avery Bradley and does not have the size to play shooting guard or the passing ability to play point. The Celtics could have used a big and Bobby Portis was still on the board.

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick: Rashad Vaughn

Grade: B

Analysis: The Bucks traded starting power forward, Ersan Ilysova, in order to accumulate more cap room. Although there is a hole at the power forward position, the Bucks opted to draft a shooting guard that can absolutely score the ball even though the other aspects of his game may be lacking. If the Bucks cannot re-sign Jared Dudley, Vaughn should be a good replacement.

18. Houston Rockets

Pick: Sam Dekker

Grade: A-

Analysis: Sam Dekker is one of the most underrated athletes and players in the draft, which makes this a very good selection. However, since they did not draft a point guard, the Rockets will be forced to rely heavily Patrick Beverley because James Harden cannot continue running the offense.

19. New York Knicks (via Atlanta Hawks via Washington Wizards)

Pick: Jerian Grant

Grade: A-

Analysis: The Knicks have been searching for a quality point guard for the past several years. Grant is an interesting player because he led the best offense in CBB this past season. Although he is not a great shooter, he has size and possesses the ability to find open teammates.

20. Toronto Raptors

Pick: Delon Wright

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Raptors were in need of a back up point guard after they decided to trade Grevis Vasquez. Although they desperately needed a power forward and Portis was still on the board, Wright brings great size to the North and experience on court.

21. Dallas Mavericks

Pick: Justin Anderson

Grade: B+

Analysis: Anderson has the chance to become a very successful player in today’s NBA because he can guard 3 positions due to his size and strength while popping threes from around the arc. However, the Mavericks are deep at the wings and desperately need a quality point guard or center if Chandler and Rondo leave during free agency.

22. Chicago Bulls

Pick: Bobby Portis

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Bulls opted to draft the best player available, although they are very deep with Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Joakim Noah. The Bulls could have used a player like RJ Hunter that could hit threes and replace potential free agent Mike Dunleavey.

23. Brooklyn Nets (via Portland Trailblazers)

Pick: Rondae Hollis Jefferson

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Nets are desperately in the need of athleticism and youth. Although Jefferson’s offensive game is very limited, he is a fabulous defensive player that should provide the Nets with depth in case they decide to deal Joe Johnson.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Cleveland Cavaliers)

Pick: Tyus Jones

Grade: B

Analysis: The Wolves traded back into the first round in order to draft Jones. Jones is expected to play backup point guard for Ricky Rubio because Rubio is frequently injured and he may want out of Minnesota. However, Jones is small and plays great during big games, which is unfortunate because the Wolves are not playing big games.

25. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick: Jarell Martin

Grade: B

Analysis: The Grizzlies needed to find either a wing scorer or a big that can replace Z-Bo or Marc Gasol in the future. Although Martin is solid, better players in the draft existed at that point in the draft. Martin underperformed in college, but has the potential to succeed in the future.

26. San Antonio Spurs

Pick: Nikola Milutinov

Grade: B-

Analysis: The Spurs have been the best at drafting foreign born players in the past so we should not doubt them. However, they could have used a player that could help them this year, if this is Tim Duncan’s last stand.

27. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick: Larry Nance Jr.

Grade: B

Analysis: The Lakers are hoping that Nance will be a player that can spread the floor and add toughness to the team. However, they could have used a center, especially if they decide to sign either Love or Aldridge. If they do not sign either, Nance would be a good addition to the rotation.

28. Boston Celtics

Pick: RJ Hunter

Grade: A

Analysis: The Celts were able to obtain great value at 28 when they drafted Hunter so late in the first round. Hunter has some of the best range in the draft and should give the Celts a valuable asset in the future.

29. Brooklyn Nets

Pick: Chris McCullough

Grade: B+

Analysis: Like pick 23, the Nets needed youth and athleticism and McCullough should add this to the team. McCullough may not play this season because of a torn ACL, but he has the potential to be a very good player in the future. McCullough has the talent to be drafted in the lottery.

30. Golden State Warriors

Pick: Kevon Looney

Grade: A-

Analysis: The Warriors selected the best player available in the draft. Kevon Looney is incredibly athletic and talented. Looney is a rebounding machine and should fit the Warriors’ style of play because of his ability to run the floor with the Splash Bros.

 

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