2014 NBA Draft Grades for Every Team

Lead Draft Writer Frank Gasparetti breaks down and grades every single team’s selections in the 2014 NBA Draft!
Atlanta Hawks:  B-

With Elton Brand and Gustavo Ayon becoming free agents this off-season, the Payne pick makes sense.  Although I think the Hawks should have gone with either James Young and Gary Harris instead of Payne.  Payne will be able to be contribute right away in Atlanta off the bench.  Tavares has potential to turn into a dominant NBA center with his 7’9 wingspan.  Very good pick.

Picks – #15 Adreian Payne, #43 Walter Tavares, #48 Lamar Patterson

Boston Celtics: A-

Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless are both free agents this summer.  James Young and Marcus Smart are both great replacements.  Drafting Smart gives Boston more flexibility to trade Rajon Rondo if they choose to do so.  Unlikely that the Celtics expected Young to fall to them at 17, so that was definitely a nice surprise for them.

Picks – #6 Marcus Smart, #17 James Young

Brooklyn Nets: C

The Nets did end up grabbing a draft pick by trading in.  Brown makes the Nets a bit younger, on a team that lacks youth.

Picks – #44 Markel Brown

Charlotte Hornets: A

Grabbing Noah Vonleh at 9 was a steal!  I think Vonleh has a legitimate shot at being the Rookie of The Year in 2014, that’s if he starts.  With McRoberts opting out of his contract, the Hornets do not really need to even re-sign him.  Vonleh is an immediate upgrade at the power forward position.  He will be able to stretch the floor while Al Jefferson plays under the basket.  Big Al draws a ton of attention down low and that could possibly free up Vonleh for many open jumpers that he is very capable of making.

Hairston provides shooting that the Hornets desperately needs.  If he plays well enough, Hairston may be able to sneak his way into the starting line-up before the season ends.  Very good pick for the Hornets.

Picks – #9 Noah Vonleh, #26 P.J. Hairston

Chicago Bulls: C+

The Bulls Traded their 16 and 19 picks to Denver for Doug McDermott.  It’s frees up a little cap space for the Bulls and allows the Bulls to trade Mike Dunleavy to free up even more space.  McDermott will come in and be essentially what Dunleavy was.  The Bulls could have had James Young, Rodney Hood, or even Gary Harris if they didn’t execute the trade.  I think Gary Harris would have been a much better fit for the Bulls.

My only concern with McDermott is inability to play defense; Jimmer Fredette rarely saw the court  last year due to his defensive struggles.  The Bulls grabbed Bairsow to be a backup big, although I am unsure if he ends up making the team.

Picks – #11 Doug McDermott,  #49 Cameron Bairstow

Cleveland Cavaliers: B

The Cavs finally decided on taking Andrew Wiggins.  It is pretty safe to say that they didn’t mess this one up.  We have all seen what Wiggins can do, and the upside he possesses.  Harris will provide the Cavs with shooting off the bench, while Dwight Powell is the fourth Canadian on the Cavs roster.

Picks – #1 Andrew Wiggins, #33 Joe Harris, #45 Dwight Powell

Dallas Mavericks: N/A
Denver Nuggets: B

Nurkic is a great center who can come over in a couple years.  Gary Harris fell to the Nuggets at 19 which was shocking, earlier in the day the Nuggets acquired Arron Afflalo, but if they knew they could get Harris on draft night, I am not sure they still do this trade.  Harris is a steal at 19, there was no way they could pass up taking him.

Picks – #16 Jusuf Nurkic, #19 Gary Harris, #56 Roy Marble

Detroit Pistons: B

Great pick for the Pistons.  Spencer can play either guard position and should help the Pistons backcourt immensely.

Picks – #38 Spencer Dinwiddie

Golden State Warriors – N/A

Houston Rockets: D+

This move was to save cap space.  The Rockets traded Asik yesterday as well, so Clint will be able to come over in a year or two and be able to fill a role.  Not sure what Johnson will be able to do at the next level, I think there were better options left on the board.

Picks – #25 Clint Capela, #42 Nick Johnson

Indiana Pacers: C

Just your standard draft and stash second round pick. Labeyrie last played for Hyeres-Toulon in France’s ProA league.

Picks – #57 Louis Labeyrie

LA Clippers: C-

The Clippers didn’t need a shooting guard, but this pick allows the to move J.J Redick or Jamal Crawford if they are looking to free up cap space to sign a big name free agent.  If Wilcox is able to see the floor, he will be able to stretch out the defense and knock down 3’s.

Picks – #28 C.J. Wilcox

LA Lakers: B

Randle was a great choice for the Lakers.  They really needed a big man on their roster, besides Pau, who can score the ball.  Randle fits that role perfectly.  He is one of the best offensive rebounders in the draft this year, so he will be able to grab those shots that Kobe misses.  Clarkson is a versatile guard that will have to be ready to play immediately.

 Picks – #7 Julius Randle, #46 Jordan Clarkson

Memphis Grizzlies: B+

I think the Grizzlies should have addressed their needs at small forward.  There were plenty of options that made sense.  However, Adams is still a great player who can score the ball with ease.  He will definitely help with bench scoring, and he may be able to sneak into the starting line-up if he proves that he can defend NBA starters.  Getting Stokes is huge for the Grizzlies, he is very similar to Randolph.  I think it will be great for Stokes to learn from Z-Bo and perhaps eventually take over for him.

Picks – #22 Jordan Adams, #35 Jarnell Stokes

Miami Heat: B-

The Heat did need a point guard, but the main reason they took Shabazz Napier is because LeBron wanted him.  The Heat are looking to do anything to make sure LeBron stays in Miami.  Napier is still a great pick and a steal at 24.  He may well be the starting point guard on opening night.

Picks – #24 Shabazz Napier, #55 Semaj Christon

Milwaukee Bucks: B+

Bucks get their guy Jabari, who ends up where he wanted to play, a stone’s throw from his hometown Chicago: win-win.  Inglis will be a player who stays overseas for a couple years.  O’Bryant is a big body who can come off the bench and provide rebounding and rim protection.

Picks – #2 Jabari Parker, #31 Damien Inglis, #36 Johnny O’Bryant

Minnesota Timberwolves: C

Not crazy about the LaVine pick, unsure if they will be able to develop him as well as other teams could have.  Glenn Robinson in the second round is a steal.  Cory Brewer is still starting in Minnesota and Robinson will eventually be able to take over that role.  He has tons of potential and we could look back in a couple years and talk about him as one of the steals of this draft.

Picks – #13 Zach LaVine, #40 Glenn Robinson, #53 Alessandro Gentile

New Orleans Pelicans: C+

Pelicans pick up Smith with a late trade.  They traded Pierre Jackson for Russ.  Very similar players, Smith may have more upside though.

Picks – #47 Russ Smith

New York Knicks: B+

The Knicks ended up with two quality players on draft night.  Early was a steal in the second round.  If Melo leaves Early will be playing a ton of minutes and there is no doubt he will be able to score.  Thanasis brings tons of heart and hustle to a team that definitely lacked it throughout last season.

Picks – #34 Cleanthony Early, #51 Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Oklahoma City Thunder: C

Mitch McGary provides an immediate upgrade over Nick Collison.  He brings tons of energy off the bench and can lift the team when needed.  McGary will be able to add some scoring as well, the OKC bench lacks a big who can score some points.  Huestis was a bit of a stretch, I think the Thunder could have looked elsewhere will their second first round pick.

Picks – #21 Mitch McGary, #29 Josh Huestis

Orlando Magic: B

The Magic shocked everyone by taking Gordon 4th overall.  He is still a great player and a good fit with the Magic, but not many mock drafts him going so early.  An improvement in his jumpshot will be necessary to maximise his effectiveness, as Orlando will want him to stretch the floor.

The Magic had to trade to get Elfrid Payton, but they got him.  Payton should be the starter from day one, he is that good; a lock down defender who can score points inside the arc.  He needs to improve his 3 point shooting, but he should be able to come in and lead this team.

Picks – #4 Aaron Gordon, #10 Elfrid Payton

Philadelphia Sixers: C-

They 76ers grab Embiid, and they will try to pair him with Noel.  Who knows if it will work, but if it does it will be terrifying.  Saric is still 2 years away from coming to the NBA, but he will be a very good player when he comes over.  K.J. McDaniels was a very good pick for the second round.  The Sixers also acquired a future first rounder from the Saric trade.  I think the 76ers are adding too many prospects and not enough players who can come and play now.  Embiid is worth the risk, but there were players who could have made immediate impacts that were available for Philadelphia.

Picks – #3 Joel Embiid, #12 Dario Saric, #32 K.J. McDaniels, #39 Jerami Grant, #51 Vasilije Micic, #55 Nemanja Dangubic

Phoenix Suns: A

The Suns did fantastically on draft night.  They got the scorer they needed in Warren, the backup point guard in Ennis, and a stash pick in Bogdanovic.  If Warren ends up starting for the Suns he is a dark horse for rookie of the year.  He fits so well with the Suns, and I am very excited to watch them play.  Ennis offers them as a change of pace guard to come in and slow down the tempo a bit.  Bogdanovic was a quality international pick that they needed to make, but bringing 3 rookies into the 2014 season would be tough.

Picks – #14 T.J. Warren, #18 Tyler Ennis, #27 Bogdan Bogdanovic, #50 Alec Brown

Portland Trail Blazers – N/A

Sacramento Kings: B-

I like Nik Stauskas, but I was surprised they went with him, after a similar offensive player, Jimmer Fredette, never panned out.  It makes a ton of sense though because they do need to improve with three point shooting.  Also, Mclemore and Stauskas both play the 2 position so it will be interesting to see how that combo pans out on the wings.

Picks – #8 Nik Stauskas

San Antonio Spurs: A-

The Spurs took Anderson, just like I expected.  He is going to be the next Boris Diaw.  The Spurs will find a way to use Anderson’s unique skill set perfectly.  McRae has really good length and is a very solid player.  The Spurs will also find a way to effectively use him.

Picks – #30 Kyle Anderson, #58 Jordan McRae, #60 Cory Jefferson

Toronto Raptors: D-

I honestly never heard of this guy before, and I am not sure if other teams did either.  Fran Fraschilla said he thinks it will take Bruno 4 years before he is NBA ready.  I think they could have grabbed him in the second round.  There was still a ton of talent still left on the board that the Raptors could have used, like Shabazz Napier.  Thames was a very good pick though, he should be able to come in and score immediately.

Picks – #20 Bruno Caboclo, #59 Xavier Thames

Utah Jazz: A-

Jazz decide they want to pair Exum and Burke in the backcourt; it could turn out very well.  I am excited to see how the pair work together, who brings the ball up, etc.  Hood is a steal at 23.  It’s a great pick and Hood can come in now and be a leader.  The Jazz did very well in the first round.

Picks – #5 Dante Exum, #23 Rodney Hood

Washington Wizards: N/A


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