2014 NBA Draft Team Grades

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2014 NBA Draft Grades: Trades

2015 NBA Mock Draft
David Kay’s 2014 NBA Draft Team Grades
Updated: August 5, 2014.

NBA Draft Grades for Each Team
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff.

Follow Mike @MikeElworth24. For site updates follow @walterfootball.

Atlanta Hawks: B- Grade
15: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
43: Walter Tavares, C, Spain
48: Lamar Patterson, SF, Pittsburgh
Analysis: Tavares is 7-3 and Patterson has talent, but they are just role players, this is about pick 15. They actually took the incorrect Michigan State player, as Gary Harris is a better prospect and would have filled their need for a strong 2 way starting shooting guard, but Payne is one of the better big men in the draft. He is a shooter, a scorer, a rebounder and a shot blocker who will serve as an elite 3rd big man playing behind their 2 All Star big men.

Boston Celtics: A Grade
6: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
17: James Young, G/F, Kentucky
Analysis: Smart is an All Star and franchise caliber player who will be this team-s new best player once they trade Rajon Rondo, which is going to happen this offseason and they also drafted one of the better perimeter scoring and shooting prospects in Young who should become a starter in a season or 2. 1 star talent and another probable starter is one excellent draft.

Brooklyn Nets: B+ Grade
44: Markel Brown, SG, Oklahoma State
59: Xavier Thames, PG, San Diego State
60: Cory Jefferson, PF, Baylor
Analysis: They received 3 strong college players, who could each become NBA role players, which is vital as their core is so expensive and these 3 would all receive very cheap contracts and help fill their roster. Their biggest find is Xavier Thames, who could become an NBA sixth man.

Charlotte Hornets: B+ Grade
9: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
26: P.J. Hairston, SG, D-League
45: Dwight Powell, PF, Stanford
54: Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier
Analysis: Vonleh is a steal at 9 and is a far better prospect than Cody Zeller who plays the same position and was just drafted 4th. He is a very strong 2 way player and can become an All Star. His shooting ability and defense, makes him a perfect fit to start next to Al Jefferson. Hairston adds much needed shooting and scoring on the perimeter and should settle in as their 3rd perimeter player and by trading down they also received pick 54 where they selected Semaj Christon who can be a 2nd string point guard in the NBA. Powell at 45 is another offensive power forward, which makes him their only poor pick, but they had a very strong draft.

Chicago Bulls: A Grade
11: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
49: Cameron Bairstow, PF, New Mexico
Analysis: The Bulls traded their 2 mid-round picks for McDermott who can be a starter on the championship caliber Bulls next season and gives them the 3 things they needed most, shooting, scoring and a go-to perimeter scorer. He could score 15 or more points per game as a rookie and could even start. Bairstow is another very strong pick, as he gives them an offensively talented big man, which is needed off the bench, especially if they amnesty Carlos Boozer which is likely. They just improved their 30th ranked offense with these 2 players and added one of the better players in the draft in McDermott.

Cleveland Cavaliers: A- Grade
1: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas
33: Joe Harris, SG, Virginia
Analysis: Wiggins is an elite 2 way talent and will be an All Star, but this is coming from a writer that preferred Jabari Parker. Regardless, there really wasn’t a mistake when it came to Wiggins or Parker and Wiggins is a better fit on the roster as constructed. There were far better players available than Harris, but he is one of the best shooters in the draft and they picked a role player in the 2nd round, which is what the 2nd round is for, so it is difficult to fault them.

Dallas Mavericks: INC Grade
No Picks

Denver Nuggets: A Grade
16: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Serbia
19: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
41: Nikola Jokic, PF, Serbia
Analysis: They traded the 11th pick for picks 16 and 19 and drafted 2 players who few would have a problem with if they had drafted 11th, which makes this a ridiculously excellent trade for the Nuggets. They may have just drafted a starting shooting guard and center and Jokic is a strong offensive big man and a nice pick in the mid 2nd round. They drafted no stars and 2 of these players may be in Europe next season, but they had a very, very, very productive draft and paired with their trade for Arron Afflalo have become a much better team this week.

Detroit Pistons: A Grade
38: Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Colorado
Analysis: Dinwiddie would have made it into the 1st round if it wasn’t for his knee injury and he is a 6-6 shooter and scorer who can play point guard and shooting guard, which could make him a valuable reserve. He fills a need of a scorer and distributor off the bench and was arguably the best player available. If you have 1 pick and it is only a 2nd rounder, it is difficult to have a better draft than what the Pistons had. A strong start for the Stan Van Gundy regime.

Golden State Warriors: INC Grade
No Picks

Houston Rockets: A Grade
25: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
42: Nick Johnson, G, Arizona
Analysis: The Rockets need as much cap space as they can, so drafting the best available foreign player was the best move to make and Capela is a very strong talent. They also drafted a strong combo guard who can make the roster, fills a need for scoring at guard and will fill depth at a minimum contract, which makes him another strong pick. Based on their needs they had a very solid draft that also helps them in free agency.

Indiana Pacers: INCA Grade
No Picks

Los Angeles Clippers: D+ Grade
28: C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
Analysis: Wilcox is an excellent shooter and can be a starting NBA shooting guard, but they have enough shooting guard and shooters, have a big need for a 3rd big man and they should have drafted Jarnell Stokes or another big man. A solid player, but a poor fit.

Los Angeles Lakers: A Grade
7: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
46: Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
Analysis: Randle was the best available player, fills a need for a premier big man, will start as a rookie and can be an All Star. He will be a double-double threat on a daily basis in the NBA, like he was in college and he is one of the best picks in the draft. Clarkson is a 6-5 athlete and scorer, who can provide them with needed depth and bench scoring which makes him another strong pick. The Lakers nailed the draft.

Memphis Grizzlies: B Grade
22: Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
35: Jernell Stokes, PF, Tennessee
Analysis: Jordan Adams is a strong shooter and scorer and can become their starting shooting guard, meanwhile Stokes is one of the best rebounders in this draft, should be an excellent 3rd big man in the NBA and can be a double-double machine. He was a steal at 35, but it cost them a 1st rounder to trade for the pick. Besides that it was a really nice draft for the Grizzlies, adding 2 potentially elite role players to their championship caliber roster.

Miami Heat: A+ Grade
24: Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
Analysis: LeBron loves Napier, the Heat need a better starting point guard and Shabazz was the best player available, so he was a perfect pick.

Milwaukee Bucks: A+ Grade
2: Jabari Parker, F, Duke
31: Damien Inglis, SF, France
39: Johnny O’Bryant, PF, LSU
Analysis: Yes, they drafted 3 forwards, but their 2nd round picks mean little considering they drafted the best player in this draft and someone who will be an elite NBA player and a franchise player for them for a decade. They are the only team that can say that.

Minnesota Timberwolves: C- Grade
13: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA
44: Glen Robinson III, SF, Michigan
53: Alessandro Gentile, SF, Italy
Analysis: LaVine is a big talent, but even once they trade Kevin Love, they will still have a playoff caliber team and LaVine is a project, cannot help them much as a rookie and is one of the biggest risks in the draft. If they coveted a point guard they should have drafted Ennis and if they coveted a shooting guard they should have drafted Gary Harris. As for Robinson, he is a 1st round talent, who can be a starting small forward in the NBA and was a steal. As for Gentile, he is a young shooter and scorer who could be an NBA role player if he comes to the states, but the LaVine pick was porous and so their grade is below average.

New Orleans Pelicans: A+ Grade
47: Russ Smith
Analysis: They drafted a 1st round prospect, a player who was the best player on a National Championship team, someone that can be an elite 6th man in the NBA in the middle of the 2nd round and Smith is far more valuable than Pierre Jackson who they traded for the pick. Best value pick in the draft.

New York Knicks: B+ Grade
34: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
51: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, SF, D-League
57: Louise Labeyrie, C, France
Analysis: Early can start for them next season if they lose Carmelo Anthony in free agency and was a steal, Giannis’ little brother should be an NBA role player and when it comes to Labeyrie, he is a project center who probably won’t play in the NBA. Regardless, they probably received 2 NBA roster players in the 2nd round, which is rare.

Oklahoma City Thunder: B Grade
21: Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan
29: Josh Huestis, F, Stanford
Analysis: McGary may have a back injury concern and he failed a drug test, but he can be an excellent 3rd big man in the NBA and is a very strong fit on the Thunder, as he can bring scoring and rebounding off their bench, the former is something they lack. Many think he was a reach, but he fits the Thunder well. Huestis, well he is a reach, but he is an excellent defender and they may need a replacement for Thabo Sefolosha and he can fill that hole for them. When you are an elite NBA team, you look for players that you can plug holes and these 2 can each help them even as rookies.

Orlando Magic: B- Grade
4: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
10: Elfrid Payton, PG, LA-Lafayette
56: Rob Devyn Marble, SF, Iowa
Analysis: Aaron Gordon was a reach, as there were 2 better power forwards (Noah Vonleh and Julius Randle) on the board and they needed a point guard yet said no to Dante Exum and Marcus Smart. However, picking Saric and trading him for Payton was excellent. Payton was the 3rd best point guard in this draft, can start as a rookie if they decide to waive Jameer Nelson and they have filled their franchise-s biggest need of a franchise point guard, which makes him one of the best picks in the draft. Marble is a nice role player who could actually make the team, so that is nice value at 56. Gordon is still an elite prospect and they landed 2 strong long term starters, but there were better options than Gordon with the 4th pick, which lowers their grade.

Philadelphia 76ers: C Grade
3: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
12: Dario Saric, F, Croatia
32: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
39: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
52: Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia
54: Nemanja Dangubic, SG, Serbia
58: Jordan McRae, SG, Tennessee
Analysis: They picked the best player available in Embiid and they cannot be blamed for that even though he fills no need and is injured. Regardless, he can become one of the best players in the NBA and their franchise player. Drafting Saric who isn’t likely to come to the NBA for at least 2 seasons is a wasted pick, because it proves that they are planning on tanking again, which is a pathetic way to treat your team-s fans. All of their 2nd round picks were solid though, especially McDaniels who should be a starter next season. They received a lot of talent and Embiid will be an All Star, but them admitting that for the 2nd season they couldn’t care less about winning as long as it gives them premium draft picks is a poor way to run a team. Based on talents they get an A, but based on another season of tanking they receive an F, so they get a C.

Phoenix Suns: B+ Grade
14: T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State
18: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
27: Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia
50: Alec Brown, C, Wisconsin-Green Bay
Analysis: Warren is one of the best scorers in the draft and is ready to start at their biggest position of need, small forward and could be in the ROY race if he gets minutes, so he was one of the better picks in the draft. Tyler Ennis is a steal at 18, but with their 2 best players already point guards (Bledsoe, Dragic) it seems a little odd and means that there is probably a strong chance that one won’t be on the team, which would be a mistake. Bledsoe is a free agent, but restricted and their best player, so letting him leave would be ridiculous and him and Dragic are an excellent guard tandem, so trading him would be too. Bogdanovic isn’t a big name, but he is a strong European prospect who should be a solid NBA player and Alec Brown is really tall, so there is that. They drafted 2 excellent players, so it is hard to rag on them.

Portland Trail Blazers: INC Grade
No Picks

Sacramento Kings: D- Grade
8: Nik Stauskas
Analysis: The Kings have a big need for a starting power forward to pair with franchise player Demarcus Cousins and the player in this draft who best fit that criteria falls to number 8, Noah Vonleh, yet they choose a player who is at best a slightly better version of Ben McLemore, is a reach and in no way fills one of their many needs. This was a wasted pick. The only reason this isn’t an F, is because Stauskas can be a strong NBA starter and is a very talented and versatile offensive player.

San Antonio Spurs: A Grade
30: Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Analysis: Yes, the most versatile player in the draft goes to the team who knows how to use versatility better than any team. It-s perfect. He is a big man, who can run an offense and is a very talented scorer, rebounder and distributor and if they can get the best from him, the champs will now have another key rotation player and elite role player.

Toronto Raptors: C Grade
20: Bruno Caboclo, SF, Brazil
37: DeAndre Daniels, SF, Connecticut
Analysis: When the international scout at the NBA Draft says the player you drafted is 4 years away from being an NBA player and you pick that player at 20, that is really big mistake. This was one of the biggest reaches in history. However, Daniels was an excellent pick, as he was arguably the 2nd best player on the UCONN National Championship Team, he is a big small forward who should be a very strong perimeter defender which is their biggest need and he can also shoot the ball. I give Bruno an F, but Daniels an A, so let us meet in the middle, as despite being the 2nd round pick, Daniels could start as a rookie.

Utah Jazz: A+ Grade
5: Dante Exum, G, Australia
23: Rodney Hood, G/F, Duke
Analysis: Is Exum a point guard or a shooting guard in the NBA? That is still a mystery, but they now have an elite talent on their roster which is something they lacked. If he becomes an All Star point guard, trade Trey Burke and if he becomes an All Star shooting guard, than they will have an elite guard duo, it-s a win-win scenario. As for Hood, he is a steal at 23, as he is one of the best shooters and perimeter scorers in the draft and he can start for them as a rookie or be an excellent sixth man. They also received a 1st round pick for trading the 34th pick in the draft, so their draft was one of the best of any team in the league.

Washington Wizards: INC Grade
No Picks

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