Steve Alexander

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NBA Draft Team Grades

Friday, June 22, 2018


NBA Team Draft Grades

 

Grade A

 

Phoenix Suns – It’s tough to mess up the No. 1 pick, and while many people project C Deandre Ayton to be a bust, I think he’s going to be a good player. They also got SF Mikal Bridges (10) from the Sixers, which is a bit of heartbreak. His mom works for the Sixers and he went to Villanova, in Philly, so his homecoming was short lived before he was sent to Phoenix. They also got PG Elie Okobo (31) and SF George King (59), and as long as Ayton comes through, they’re good. And Mikal’s mom can now plan on spending some winter vacation time in Phoenix, as opposed to Philly, which is a win for her. And her kid’s a damn good player.

 

Dallas Mavericks – The Hawks took G Luka Doncic (3) and shipped him to Dallas, as the Mavs hope that he will become the next Dirk Nowitzki. I LOVED Doncic for the Hawks and am still reeling from the trade. C’est la vie. Dallas also got PG Jalen Brunson (33), SF Ray Spalding (56) and PF Kostas Antetokounmpo (60 - Giannis’ little bro). Whoever got Doncic was going to get an ‘A’ from me, so way to go, Mavs. I still think Doncic was the best player in this draft and the Hawks will regret the move.

 

Boston Celtics – They only got one player, but it was C Robert Williams (27) and many people, including me, are calling him the potential steal of the draft. And with Greg Monroe and Aron Baynes unrestricted free agents, the Celtics met a need without screwing up an already great team. Bravo.

 

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Sacramento Kings – The Kings landed PF Marvin Bagley Jr. out of Duke with the No. 2 pick in the draft. They were locked into him from the get-go and would have taken him No. 1. And his analytics say he is the best player in the draft. I can’t argue with this and he only has to compete with Skal Labissiere and Zach Randolph for minutes. I love me some Bagley and pray that Z-Bo’s not going to slow him down.

 

San Antonio Spurs – They got my guy, SG Lonnie Walker, at No. 18 and then added PF Chimezie Metu at 49. Walker has been compared to Donovan Mitchell and I think he’s an outstanding pick, even though he’ll probably be limited by Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. I love his game and he’s simply a special athlete with ridiculous upside. I know that the Spurs are where great athletes go to die, but I still think Walker might be special. And Metu might be a perfect fit for the Spurs if he can add some bulk to his frame.

 

Grade B+

 

Atlanta Hawks – They had Luka Doncic (3) in their hands and sent him to Dallas, taking PG Trae Young (5) and a Top-5 protected draft pick instead. Maybe it works out and maybe Young is more marketable than Doncic in Atlanta, but I’m bitter. I wanted Doncic playing down the road from my house. They also got two more shooters in the form of SG Kevin Huerter (19), who was the best shooter in this draft, as well as sleeper PF Omari Spellman, who is a big man who can shoot. If shooting were the only goal, the Hawks get an A, but for a team that took Marvin Williams over Chris Paul, not to mention a bunch of other questionable picks in the past, I can’t help but think the Doncic trade may haunt us Hawks fans for years to come. But they didn’t make any bad picks, and had a good night on the whole. But this was as ‘Hawksy’ a draft as any I can remember. I just hope Young lives up to the hype.

 

Grade B

 

Chicago Bulls – They didn’t screw up, taking C Wendell Carter Jr. at 7 and SF Chandler Hutchison at 22. Not earth shattering, but Carter could be a big-man stud and I think Hutchison can play. They had a nice night.

 

Memphis Grizzlies – The league’s worst offensive team last season added C Jaren Jackson (4) and PG Jevon Carter (32), which were both good moves. But they’re still the Grizzlies and I just pray that Marc Gasol doesn’t totally delay the development of Jackson, who should be a stud. Carter’s a defensive specialist, but they already have Mike Conley and this team needed more of a Hawks’ (shooting) draft last night.

 

New York Knicks - A lot of the fans in Brooklyn hated the Knicks draft, but I kind of liked it. They passed on injured Michael Porter Jr. and took SF Kevin Knox out of Kentucky, instead. Props to Rotoworld’s Raphielle Johnson for having Knox going to the Knicks in his mock draft, and props to the Knicks for taking the safe pick. I love Knox. They also got C Mitchell Robinson, who has had his share of off-court problems, at 36. There’s plenty of upside with these picks and I kind of like what the Knicks did last night.  

 

Grade B-

 

Brooklyn Nets - The Nets have room to sign two max players and will buy out Dwight Howard, so they’re more interested in free agency than the draft. But they stole SF Dzanan Musa at 29 and picked up project SF Rodions Kurucs at 40. I think Musa might be a steal, but they didn’t move any mountains last night.

 

Charlotte Hornets – They landed SF Miles Bridges at 12 and the kid improved his free throw percentage from 69 to 85 percent between his freshman and sophomore years, which tells me he has a great work ethic. He also comes from MSU and Tom Izzo, who breeds NBA-ready players. They also landed PG Devonte’ Graham at 34 and PF Arnoldas Kulboka at 55. Kulboka won’t be in the NBA for a couple years, but the Hornets got a couple guys who can play and Bridges could develop into a very good player sooner than later.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs took PG Collin Sexton at No. 8, but already have George Hill at point guard. They were probably hoping for a center to fall to them, but it didn’t happen. Cleveland is much more worried about the future of LeBron James than the draft, but they at least got a bona fide NBA player in the process. Sexton’s draft-night plea for LeBron to stay was cute, but that’s about it.

 

Indiana Pacers – They didn’t make a splash, but they got a point guard with potential in Aaron Holiday (23) and project SF Alize Johnson (50). Not bad, but they didn’t turn any heads. But if Holiday can channel his brother Jrue, they win big.

 

L.A. Clippers – They traded for PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11) and took SG Jerome Robinson at 13. Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t a flashy athlete, but he’s a crafty point guard, and Robinson is an elite shooter. I don’t hate the Clippers draft, but it’s not all that sexy, either.

 


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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