5-time NBA All-Star
Join Date: Jul 2010
Re: Chad Ford's Draft Grades [Need an ESPN Insider please]
MILWAUKEE BUCKS GRADE: B+
Round 1: Tobias Harris (19, rights obtained from New Orleans via Portland)
Round 2: Jon Leuer (40)
Analysis: The Bucks' big three-way trade cost them the 10th pick and brought back the 19th pick. Putting aside the rest of the trade, how did they fare in the draft?
They took Tobias Harris, one of the most underrated players in the draft and a very good fit for their team. While he's not an explosive athlete, he's skilled with a high basketball IQ and good versatility. At age 18, he was one of the youngest players in the draft, giving him plenty of opportunity to improve.
Leuer has a chance to stick. At his size, his ability to shoot from long range is intriguing.
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES GRADE: A
Round 1: Derrick Williams (2)
Round 2: Malcolm Lee (43, obtained from Jazz via Wolves), Targuy Ngombo (57, from Dallas)
Analysis: The Wolves got the second-best prospect in the draft. Given that, we can forget about the questionable fit.
They tried to trade the pick but weren't offered enough in return, so they took the best talent on the board. If Williams turns out to be one of the two best players on the team, which he might be, they'll find minutes for him.
I also like the Malcolm Lee pick. As we know, GM David Kahn collects point guards, but in Lee's case his versatility, defense and ability to swing to the 2 gives the Wolves something they didn't have.
NEW JERSEY NETS GRADE: B+
Round 1: Marshon Brooks (25, obtained from Celtics)
Round 2: Bojan Bogdanovic (31, obtained from Heat via Wolves), Jordan Williams (36)
Analysis: The Nets grabbed one of the best scorers in the draft in Brooks. He has NBA length and athleticism and is very aggressive with the ball. Given the Nets' need at the 2 position and their desire to compete right now, he's a really good fit.
Bogdanovic was the second-leading scorer in the Euroleague, so he can fill it up too. But he's not coming for a few years.
Williams gives them toughness and rebounding, but he's a bit undersized for his position.
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS GRADE: C-
Round 1: None.
Round 2: None.
Analysis: The Hornets traded their No. 1 pick to the Blazers as part of the Jerryd Bayless deal. They then turned around and gave Bayless to the Raptors. I know they got Jarrett Jack out of the deal, but the pick was used on a pretty good prospect, Tobias Harris, who has the chance to be special.
NEW YORK KNICKS GRADE: B-
Round 1: Iman Shumpert (17)
Round 2: Josh Harrellson (45, obtained from Charlotte)
Analysis: New York went for defense and swung for the fences at the same time. Shumpert was one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft, with great size for a guard and explosive athleticism. If he can learn to run a team and shoot the ball, he can be a monster in the NBA. But right now, that's a big if.
Harrellson is big and the Knicks need big. But his talent is pretty limited.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER GRADE: B+
Round 1: Reggie Jackson (24)
Round 2: None.
Analysis: I'm not sure how Reggie Jackson fits in with Russell Westbrook and Eric Maynor on hand already, but he's a talent. Jackson's agents tried to hide him from every team in the first round so he could get to Miami, but the Thunder swallowed hard and took him anyway. This was a case of a team taking a prospect it believed was the best player available, and it could pay off down the road for Oklahoma City.
ORLANDO MAGIC GRADE: B
Round 1: None.
Round 2: Justin Harper (32, obtained from Cleveland), DeAndre Liggins (53)
Analysis: The Magic moved up and grabbed Harper, one of the best shooters in the draft. He has a little Rashard Lewis in his game with his ability to stretch the floor. He's not going to be a star, but he could play a similar role to Ryan Anderson.
Liggins has a shot at sticking in the league thanks to his ability to lock down opposing players on the perimeter.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS GRADE: C
Round 1: Nikola Vucevic (16)
Round 2: Lavoy Allen (50, obtained from New Orleans)
Analysis: The Sixers needed size and so they took the biggest guy on the board, but this was a case of drafting need over talent. I think better players were on the board, even if they weren't 7-footers. Vucevic will be solid in the NBA, but he's far from being a potential star.
Allen doesn't exactly get you excited after a lackluster four years at Temple.
PHOENIX SUNS GRADE: B-
Round 1: Markieff Morris (13)
Round 2: None.
Analysis: The Suns decided they needed size and another defensive presence, and to get those qualities, they may have reached just a bit for Morris here.
A year ago, scouts would've laughed at the suggestion that Markieff would go ahead of twin brother Marcus. But after a stellar junior season, he leapt ahead on some draft boards.
Morris is a solid rebounder and defender and he's tough. He can also shoot the ball, a big bonus in coach Alvin Gentry's system.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS GRADE: C-
Round 1: Nolan Smith (21)
Round 2: Jon Diebler (51, pick may be conveyed to Detroit via Denver)
Analysis: The Blazers reached for a guy whose ceiling appears to be as a sixth man. Nolan Smith is solid, and maybe at No. 21, solid is good enough. But I thought players like Reggie Jackson and Marshon Brooks offered more upside.
At No. 51, they got Diebler, maybe the best spot-up shooter in the draft.
SACRAMENTO KINGS GRADE: A
Round 1: Jimmer Fredette (10, obtained from Bucks)
Round 2: Tyler Honeycutt (35), Isaiah Thomas (60, obtained from Chicago via Milwaukee)
Analysis: I hated the trade the Kings made on Thursday. But I loved Sacramento's draft.
Fredette was the perfect fit on a team that needed his shooting ability. (I would say the same thing if the Kings would've stayed at No. 7 and taken Fredette.) At a minimum, Fredette will come in and be a sharpshooting sparkplug off the bench, but he could be much more. He's replacing Beno Udrih, and Fredette should eventually be an upgrade over Udrih in almost every way.
My main concern is the fact that the coaching staff reportedly isn't in love with Fredette, which could be a problem. For him to succeed, he will need a coach who believes in him.
I like the Tyler Honeycutt pick, as well. Honeycutt has a lot of untapped talent, a high basketball IQ and good passing ability, which should allow him to stick in the league.
Isaiah Thomas has value as the No. 60 pick -- he's tough, he can get to the basket and he can play the point.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS GRADE: A-
Round 1: Kawhi Leonard (15, obtained from Pacers), Cory Joseph (29)
Round 2: Davis Bertans (42, obtained from Indiana), Adam Hanga (59)
Analysis: The Spurs gave up a critical part of their rotation in George Hill to get Kawhi Leonard and Davis Bertans. But I think it was worth it for two reasons. One, the Spurs were going to have a hard time playing Hill once he hit free agency next summer. And two, I think Leonard was the steal of the draft at 15.
His approach to the game is a perfect fit with the Spurs. The team also go great value in the second round with Bertans. He can already shoot the lights out, and a few more years in Europe could turn him into a more complete player. Hanga was a stash pick at 59. I doubt we ever see him in the NBA, but you never know.
Joseph seemed like a bit of reach at 29. I think the Spurs see him as a replacement for George Hill, but I'm not sure the same level of talent is there.