Sunday, June 27, 2010

DRAFT GRADES

WASHINGTON WIZARDS: A
1. John Wall-PG
17. Kevin Seraphin-F/C
23. Trevor Booker-PF
56. Hamady Ndiaye-C
If Wall isn't one of the five best point guards in the league by 2013, it will be a major let down. That's how much talent the superstar from Kentucky has. Booker is a freak athlete and Seraphin has potential. The only problem now is that with the Kirk Hinrich trade, Washington's 3 best players are all guards and all 6-4 or shorter.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: A
2. Evan Turner-G/F
What's not to like about taking the best player in college basketball last year? Wall and Turner were 1a and 1b in ranking as far as I'm concerned. Turner can do it all on the basketball court. They still need a lot of help up front.

NEW JERSEY NETS: B+

3. Derrick Favors-PF
24. Damion James-SF
I like these picks. Favors will need time to develop while James is NBA ready. Favors has incredible upside and could become an all-star eventually. James is pretty much what you see is what you get. Solid draft for a young team. Unless they land a LeBron type this offseason, the Netss will be back in the lottery again next year.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: B-
4. Wes Johnson-SF
30. Lazar Hayward-SF
35. Nemanja Bjelica-SF
45. Paulo Prestes-C
I think Johnson is instantly the best player on their roster. He'll start at the 3 from day one. Last year is was point guards, this year it's small forwards. The TWolves used their top 3 selections on small forwards. If that wasn't enough, they also traded for Martell Webster from Portand. If that's still not enough, rumors have them interested in free agent small forward Rudy Gay. Expect Al Jefferson or Kevin Love along with 2 small forwards to be traded this off-season.

SACRAMENTO KINGS: B
5. DeMarcus Cousins-C
33. Hassan Whiteside-C
Hate him or love him, Cousins can play. The Kings need length and toughness down low. The Kings now have a solid young core with Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and Cousins. Throw in good role players like Carl Landry and Omri Casspi and things are looking good in Sacramento. All they need now is an upgrade on the wings. Whiteside is immature like Cousins but has potential as a shot blocker. As a first rounder, he would have been a risk. In the second round he's a steal, funny how that happens.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: C
6. Ekpe Udoh-PF
Udoh is a good fit with the Warriors but isn't a top 10 talent. He'll be a very solid role player. With a top 6 pick, you need a star or something close to it.

DETROIT PISTONS: A
7. Greg Monroe-C
36. Terrico White-G
Monroe should be Detroit's starting center on opening night. His offensive skill set will add an important element to the Pistons. White is athletic and can play some point. Detroit is shifting towards a younger team so both Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton could be traded this off-season.

L.A. CLIPPERS: A-
8. Al-Faruoq Aminu-F
18. Eric Bledsoe-PG
54. Willie Warren-G
If the Clippers are able to land a starting small forward on the free agent market like Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay or even John Salmons then I would give them an A+. The reason bing is that Aminu would be better suited as a backup combo forward than a starting small forward. Aminu has talent but isn't ready to be forced into a starting role just yet. THe same can be said for Bledsoe who will have a few years to learn under Baron Davis before he's ready to be a starting point guard. Warren adds even more depth at the guard spots and has a year's experience of playing with Blake Griffin.

UTAH JAZZ: B
9. Gordon Hayward-SF
55. Jeremy Evans-F/G
Hayward is a solid player who will fit Utah's system very well. Jerry Sloan will love his high basketball IQ and work ethic. It's all but a certainty that Andrei Kirilenko will be traded some time this year.

INDIANA PACERS: C-
10. Paul George-SF
40.. Lance Stephenson-SG
51. Magnum Rolle-C
Paul George has talent and may end up becoming a stud in 3-5 years but he plays the same position and has a very similar game to Danny Granger. The Pacers picked the wrong draft to need a point guard. Expect them to use their plethora of wings and Troy Murphy's expiring contract to land a point guard in a trade. Stephenson and Rolle might make the team next year.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: A
11. Cole Aldrich-C
31. Tibor Pleiss-C
48. Latavious Williams-SF
57. Ryan Reid-PF
Aldrich could be the final piece for this young super talented team. They needed a tough defensive center with length. Aldrich is exactly that. It may take 2-3 years before they're competing for titles but the Thunder will be much better than the 8 seed next year.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: B
12. Xavier Henry-F/G
28. Greivis Vasquez-G
Henry is insurance for Rudy Gay who is all but a goner now. Vasquez will add some size at the point and help backup Mike Conley. The Grizz will take a major step backwards if they lose Gay.

TORONTO RAPTORS: B+
13. Ed Davis-PF
50. Soloman Alabi-C
The Raptors have accepted that Chris Bosh is gone. Davis is a poor man's Bosh. Make that an on welfare homeless man's Bosh. Davis will need time to develop. Alabi could become a steal in the second round. Athletic 7 foot shot blockers always find a way to play in the league. Both players add good depth for the young Raptors up front.

HOUSTON ROCKETS: B
14. Patrick Patterson-PF
I just love Patterson. He's a great player and hard worker that will fit perfect in Houston. If Luis Scola leaves via free agency then Patterson will be expected to take over at power forward right away.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS: A-
15. Larry Sanders-F/C
37. Darrington Hobson-SF
44. Jerome Jordan-C
47. Tiny Gallon-PF
I love Sanders playing next to Andrew Bogut down low. Sanders is a rebounder and shot blocker with a limited offensive game but a great motor. With Brandon Jennings, Cory Maggette and Bogut in the lineup Sanders doesn't need to score. Hobson, Jordan, and Gallon all have some talent. Hobson and new addition Chris Douglas-Roberts will battle for playing time behind Maggette.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: A
16. Luke Babbit-SF
22. Elliot Williams-SG
34. Armon Johnson-PG

Considering it was his last day of work, GM Kevin Pritchard did a good job for Portland. The Trailblazers added depth everywhere on the perimeter. Babbit will be a great fit as a sharpshooter along with Brandon Roy. Babbit and Johnson also played together at Nevada so they can help each other as rookies. Pritchard also helped save Portland money by trading Martell Webster for Ryan Gomes.

BOSTON CELTICS: C+
19. Avery Bradley-G
52. Luke Harangody-PF
Bradley is a good defender who can play backup both guard spots, but he isn't NBA ready. For a team looking to win now they should have taken a player with more experience and size than a 180 pound 19 year old. Harangody will be a fan favorite in mop up duty.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS: B
20. James Anderson-SG
49. Ryan Richards-PF
Just like last year, the Spurs get another quality player outside the top 15. Last year is was Dejuan Blair, this year Anderson. Anderson can hit open shots and play solid defense. That's exactly what the Spurs will ask him to do next year.

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: C+
21. Craig Brackins-PF
26. Quincy Pondexter-SF
The Hornets are worried more about saving money right now than winning. They were able to trade down and cut over 6 million in salary by trading Morris Peterson. Brackins and Pondexter are both solid players who should provide good depth at the forward spots in New Orleans. Expect the Hornets to make another big trade this off season to shed even more salary.

DALLAS MAVERICKS: B+
25. Dominique Jones-SG
He could become this year's Marcus Thornton, an under the radar scorer who can contribute in his first year. They may have their backcourt of the future with Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois.

ATLANTA HAWKS: B
27. Jordan Crawford-G
53. Pape Sy-SF
Jordan Crawford should help ease some of the pressure off of Jamal Crawford who will become the de facto star once Joe Johnson leaves via free agency. If Crawford and last year's first round pick Jeff Teague can step up, the Hawks will have good depth at guard without Johnson. Pape Sy has a cool name but I doubt I will see him in the NBA any time soon.

ORLANDO MAGIC: C
29. Daniel Orton-C
59. Stanley Robinson-SF
I like Robinson but can't stand Orton. Robinson could make his way into Orlando's rotation as early as next year (especially if they lose Matt Barnes). Orton will need a ton of time to develop and should have spent two more years in college where he could have improved on his 3ppg and 3 rpg average.

MIAMI HEAT: C+
32. Dexter Pittman-C
41. Jarvis Varnado-F/C
42. Da'Sean Butler-SF
Solid but not spectacular. That's what you get when you have 3 second round choices. Riley see all of these guys as tough NBA ready players. They all could end up making Miami's roster next year but all have question marks. Pittman needs to lose weight. Varnado needs to gain weight and Bulter will need time to recover from a torn ACL. Riley did what was best for the Heat in this draft and that was to save money.

NEW YORK KNICKS: C+
38. Andy Rautins-SG
39. Landry Fields-SF
Both Rautins and Fields can shoot, so if the Knicks can get Lebron this will be a good move. However, it's not looking very likely that they will be able to land King James. My C+ grade seems pretty generous.

L.A. LAKERS: C+
Devin Ebanks-SF
Derrick Caracter-PF
I could see both of these guys landing on a NBA roster next year, just not with the Lakers. The Lakers went with the best players on the board instead of adding guard depth. All of their guards not named Kobe Bryant are free agents so they could use some depth there.

PHOENIX SUNS: B
46. Gani Lawal-PF
60. Dwayne Collins-PF
Both players are athletic garbage men who will try to make the roster by doing all of the dirty work down low. If Amar'e leaves they will both have a decent shot to make the team.

CHICAGO BULLS:
Incomplete
If the Bulls are unable to land LeBron or two stud free agents this summer then I'd have to give them a F-. The fact that they could have had James Anderson could haunt them if he becomes a stud in San Antonio.

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: Incomplete

DENVER NUGGETS: Incomplete

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS:
Incomplete

If the Cavs lose LeBron and both the Knicks and Nets get star players in free agency, are the Cavs now the worst team in the East?

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