2010 NBA Draft Grades
After two rounds, 60 picks, a whole bunch of trades, several steals and a handful of head-scratching selections, the 2010 NBA Draft is officially in the books. So how did your team do? Let's grab the teacher's red pen and take a look.
Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks came in with the No. 24 pick, and used it to trade down to pick Jordan Crawford and some cash. They could have just taken Crawford at 24 and gotten away with it, so good on GM Rick Sund for working to maximize the asset. In the second round, Atlanta took mysterious Senegalese project Pape Sy. The team didn't address more immediate frontcourt depth issues, but Crawford's a fine pull given what the team had to work with. Final Grade: B+.
Boston Celtics: Avery Bradley, who could have gone as high as No. 10, slid down to the Celtics at No. 19. Boston also picked up a decent frontcourt rotation option in Notre Dame's Luke Harangody late in the second. Based on Bradley's potential as a Ray Allen replacement down the line and the fact that the Harangody pick led to a cavalcade of hilarious Brian Scalabrine-related tweets, this is a win for Boston. Final Grade: A.
Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats had no draft picks in either round. Michael Jordan didn't even watch, I bet. Final Grade: Truant!
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls ended up keeping no draft picks, having traded French power forward Kevin Seraphin (No. 17) to Washington with Kirk Hinrich to clear cap space for free agency. Final Grade: Cut class.
Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers had no picks in the draft. LeBron James didn't even watch, I bet. Final Grade: Incomplete.
Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs paid Memphis to grab guard Dominique Jones out of South Florida in the first round, and then sold the rights to Solomon Alabi to Toronto in the second. One could argue that given the Mavericks' size issues -- Brendan Haywood is a free agent, and Erick Dampier is a prime trade or cut candidate -- they traded the wrong one. It's also unclear whether Jones will crack the Mavs' deep backcourt rotation. Final Grade: D.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets had no picks in either round. WHAT IS WITH THESE TEAMS?! Final Grade: [Redacted].
Detroit Pistons: The Pistons picked up a new starting center, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, in the first round, and solid 20-year-old combo guard Terrico White in the second round. White might be an insurance policy for Will Bynum, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Some question whether White can play point guard in the NBA. Lord knows that if he can't, Monroe -- the most skilled passer at center in years -- can. Final Grade: A-.
Golden State Warriors: The Warriors took Ekpe Udoh with the No. 6 pick, which isn't terribly great value; he could have slipped beyond the No. 12 pick had the Warriors not taken him. The team traded away its No. 44 pick, which it had traded down to from No. 34 earlier in the week. Apparently, the team thinks it can get whatever low-level prospects it wants from the NBA D-League. It worked last year. Final Grade: C-.
Houston Rockets: Patrick Patterson, the polished power forward who played with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky, fell right into the Rockets' lap at No. 14. Houston media is reporting Rockets GM Darryl Morey looked into moving up for Patterson until it became evident Utah's selection of Gordon Hayward would send the Wildcat sliding. Patterson isn't quite the next Carl Landry -- he won't score that much -- but Houston did pick up a legit rotation player for what should be a playoff team. Final Grade: A.
Indiana Pacers: The Pacers won Paul George at No. 10; many feel George was the best player available. Unfortunately, he not only plays the same position as Indiana star Danny Granger, but he plays like Granger, too. It'll be interesting to see how coach Jim O'Brien shakes it out. The Pacers also took Lance Stephenson, the NYC product who has always seemed not nearly as good as he thinks he is, at No. 40 (too high with the talent left on the board) and what I can only assume was a joke in Ryan Reid at No. 57. (Reid, who did virtually nothing for Florida State, was traded to OKC. I'm not sure the Thunder actually requested said trade.) The Pacers also ended up with Bill Simmons punchline Magnum Rolle. Final Grade: B-.
Los Angeles Clippers: The Clips went with small forward Al-Farouq Aminu at No. 8 overall, managed to snatch Eric Bledsoe from Oklahoma City for a future pick, and picked up Willie Warren (Blake Griffin's former Oklahoma University teammate) in the second round. That, my friends, is a good draft. It might take a few years to develop, but Holy Talent, Batman. Final Grade: A.
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers took West Virginia swingman Devin Ebanks and Texas-El Paso power forward Derrick Caracter in the second round. Both fellows are former lottery-pick prospects who lost stock in college but still managed to produce. The rich get richer. Final Grade: A.
Memphis Grizzlies: So many trades seemed to touch the Grizzlies; it's hard to know what's left over. Guard depth was certainly addressed, as Memphis took Kansas two-guard Xavier Henry with the No. 12 pick and Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez at No. 28. The Grizz got enough cash for mid-20s pick Dominique Jones to pay Vasquez's salary and then some. Well done, Memphis. Final Grade: A.
Miami Heat: The Heat picked up three players in the draft, but don't have to pay any of them a cent if they don't want to, and none of them will take up any cap space come July 1. The players are middle-of-the-road prospects -- Texas mammoth Dexter Pittman, West Virginia talisman Da'Sean Butler and Mississippi State shotblocker Jarvis Varnado. But all of them can play, if the Heat need to add a few cheap players for the bench. Not a big boost, but no risk involved. Final Grade: B.
Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks took sleeper big man Larry Sanders out of VCU with No. 15, and picked up a few decent prospects in the second (Darington Hobson, Tiny Gallon and Jerome Jordan). Only one or two of the second-rounders should make the squad, but expect Sanders to plug in behind Andrew Bogut nicely. Final Grade: A-.
Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves had a lot of picks, including No. 4 and No. 16 overall. What did the team come out with? Small forward Wesley Johnson, veteran small forward Martell Webster, relatively unsung small forward Lazar Hayward, two international players (Nemanja Bjelica and Paulao Prestes) and Rutgers shotblocker Hamady N'diaye. Not exactly a bumper crop of talent. The team still doesn't have a legit center not named Darko Milicic in mind for 2010-11, and Webster is almost assuredly going to have to be wedged into the two-guard to make time for Johnson and Corey Brewer. Minnesota, I do not understand what the frick you are doing. Final Grade: D-.
New Jersey Nets: The Nets smartly took Derrick Favors at No. 3, and executed a trade to parlay two late first/early second picks to land Damion James out of Texas. That's one power forward of the future and one role player. Not a bad night. Final Grade: B.
New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets turned the rights to Cole Aldrich over to the Thunder in exchange for sleeper power forward Craig Brackins out of Iowa State and solid swingman Quincy Pondexter of Washington. The Hornets also lost Morris Peterson in the proceedings. While there were prospects substantially better than Brackins at No. 12, the fact that New Orleans could gain some cap flexibility and pick up two rotation players is a positive. Final Grade: B.
New York Knicks: The Knicks spent back-to-back second round picks on Andy Rautins and Landry Fields. Yep. Final Grade: F. Stop sleeping during class.
Oklahoma City Thunder: After myriad moves, the Thunder pulled away with Cole Aldrich, a future Clippers first-round pick, the rights to Tibor Pleiss, the last season of Morris Peterson's NBA career, and, for some reason, Ryan Reid. A fine night, indeed. Final Grade: B+.
Orlando Magic: The Magic took Daniel Orton with the No. 29 pick. Daniel Orton. No. 29. Well done, sirs. (Note: if Orton never pans out, this draft grade entry will self-destruct.) Final Grade: B.
Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers added Evan Turner of Ohio State with the No. 2 pick. He should help them immediately, but you wonder if the Sixers will some day regret passing up on Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins. Until we find out ... Final Grade: A.
Phoenix Suns: The Suns grabbed Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal in the second round, and he should be a rotation player if Louis Amundson and/or Channing Frye move on. Phoenix also took Dwayne Collins out of Miami with the last pick in the second round. He has the same chance of making the Suns as Taylor Griffin did last year. Which is to say no chance at all. Lawal might be the best second-round pick of all. Final Grade: A-.
Portland Trail Blazers: In the weirdest draft in the history of professional basketball, just-fired GM Kevin Pritchard managed to parlay Martell Webster (a small forward lost on Portland's deep roster) into Luke Babbitt, a young potential stud at the same position, clearing a bit of salary in the process. With the final move of Pritchard's Portland career, the Blazers took Nevada point guard Armon Johnson in the second round. Johnson has lots of competition for a roster spot but has the talent to win a job. Final Grade: A for Pritchard, F- for Paul Allen.
Sacramento Kings: I may be biased, but umm ... Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins at No. 5 and Marshall center Hassan Whiteside at No. 33? Fifteen feet of wingspan for the price of their naturally allotted picks. What remarkable luck to get two high-upside players at these spots. Final Grade: A++++++ Would draft again!!!
San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs landed James Anderson out of Oklahoma State at No. 20 and English project big Ryan Richards in the second round. Anderson will be playing substantial minutes in the playoffs next year, mark my words. Spurs fans will also spend the next 2-3 years stressing out over whether Richards will come over to help Tim Duncan into his 40s. Final Grade: A.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors found themselves with Ed Davis on the board at No. 13 -- a big win -- and traded for Florida State's Solomon Alabi in the second round. It might take the pair a year to acclimate to NBA basketball, and Alabi may not pan out at all. But given what the Raptors had coming in, and what they need going forward, it's a solid set of picks. Final Grade: B+.
Utah Jazz: The Jazz reached into the hype machine and pulled out Gordon Hayward, the darling who took those plucky Butler Bulldogs all the way to the bright lights of the Final Fours. (Insert a few fluttering eyelashes and a "Wowee!" or two into that sentence for effect.) Maybe I'm wrong, as I haven't assembled teams who are regular Western Conference contenders as Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor has. But ... whaaaaaat? Hayward, given the team's needs (at least one big, a dead-eye shooter -- which Hayward is not right now)? Pfft to that. (And no, second-round pick-up Jeremy Evans of Western Kentucky doesn't save it.) Final Grade: F.
Washington Wizards: The Wizards take John Wall, and it should be a merry night in the District. But then GM Ernie Grunfeld goes and trades for Kirk Hinrich (owed $17 million over two years) so he can draft French power forward Kevin Seraphin, a nice prospect but not worth all that Hinrich salary. Armed with the No. 30 and No. 35 picks, Washington trades up to get promising Clemson power forward Trevor Booker, who should have been available at 30 if not 35. Wall will change the franchise, and maybe the league. But a decent population of Wizards fans won't be able to enjoy that fully because their front office is still making weird, hard-to-explain decisions. Alanis Morrissette almost had it right. This ain't irony, but it is like rain on your wedding day. The bizarre moves can't ruin this draft because of Wall, but you'd still prefer Grunfeld didn't rain his crazy all over the place. Final Grade: B.