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2019 NBA Draft Grades

With the NBA Draft being over, it is time to look at how all the teams did. Here are the 2019 NBA Draft grades.

Eastern Conference

2019 NBA Draft Grades
De’Andre Hunter (Photo by soaringdownsouth.com)

Atlanta Hawks: A+

Drafted Players: F De’Andre Hunter, G/F Cam Reddish, C Bruno Fernando

The Hawks had several first-round picks, allowing them to move up to select Hunter, a good “3 and D” player. Reddish is another good wing that fell to them at pick number 10. They also got Bruno Fernando at a great value. All three players should complement their young budding stars in Trae Young and John Collins.

Boston Celtics: C

Drafted Players: G/F Romeo Langford, PF Grant Williams, PG Carsen Edwards, PG Tremont Waters

Boston reached for Romeo Langford and likely did the same for Grant Williams. The weak points of the roster, assuming the rumors about free agency are true, are center and point guard. They didn’t address the center position, but got two solid point guards later in the draft to make up for their reaches earlier in the draft.

Brooklyn Nets: C

Drafted Players: C Nicolas Claxton, PG Jaylen Hands

Before the draft the Nets cleared some cap space for free agency, but now they may not be able to get the free agents they desire. Claxton and Hands are both players who can be successful, but they gave up their first-round pick.

Charlotte Hornets: B+

Drafted Players: PF P.J. Washington, G/F Cody Martin, F Jalen McDaniels

Kemba Walker has said that Charlotte is his top priority, so the Hornets needed to get more support for him. Washington is a talented power forward who can stretch the floor, while Martin and McDaniels are versatile wings and forwards.

Chicago Bulls: B

Drafted Players: PG Coby White, C Daniel Gafford

White fills a need for the Bulls and can use his speed to help make the Bulls a better team in transition. Gafford has a limited offensive game, but could improve given time. Both picks were around the range were the players should’ve been drafted.

Cleveland Cavaliers: B

Drafted Players: PG Darius Garland, G/F Dylan Windler, G Kevin Porter

Cleveland got great value with all of their picks, which is a good start. Garland and Sexton are both point guards who will have to share the backcourt together, which could create some problems, but John Beilein should be able to figure it out. Windler can shoot and Porter can score, giving them some offense for the future.

Detroit Pistons: C

Drafted Players: F Sekou Doumbouya, F Deividas Sirvydis, F Isaiah Roby, PG Jordan Bone

While the Pistons were lucky that Doumbouya fell to their pick at no. 15, Detroit took forwards with their first three picks. They already have Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond taking most of the frontcourt minutes, so getting these players on the floor won’t be easy. Jordan Bone is a good player to try to develop at the point guard position behind Reggie Jackson.

Indiana Pacers: B-

Drafted Players: C Goga Bitadze

Bitadze is a good international prospect, but he’ll have to back up Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. He’ll have to develop an outside shot to stay on the court longer.

Miami Heat: A-

Drafted Players: G Tyler Herro, F KZ Okpala

The Heat needed a good draft after Dwyane Wade’s retirement. Herro will space the floor, while Okpala can play either forward spot, giving Miami some roster flexibility.

Milwaukee Bucks: N/A

Drafted Players: N/A

The Bucks traded out of the 2019 NBA Draft.

2019 NBA Draft Grades
RJ Barrett (Photo by nypost.com)

New York Knicks: B+

Drafted Players: G/F R.J. Barrett, F Ignas Brazdeikis

New York had a bunch of needs going into the draft, but made the right selection in Barrett. They later added a good-shooting forward in Brazdeikis. Now they have to develop their talent and possibly add some free agents.

Orlando Magic: F

Drafted Players: F Chuma Okeke

Okeke was projected to be a second round pick and the Magic took him at No. 16 overall. Orlando keeps on loading up at the same positions, as Okeke, Johnathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon and Mo Bamba will make it a frontcourt loaded with young players. They really need the guards on the roster to pan out now.

Philadelphia 76ers: D

Drafted Players: G/F Matisse Thybulle, G/F Marial Shayok

Thybulle is a great defender, who needs to shoot better from deep. This selection could limit the 76ers as they don’t have many 3-point shooters on the roster, especially J.J. Reddick hitting free agency. Shayok can score, but is a little rigid.

Toronto Raptors: C-

Drafted Players: C Dewan Hernandez

Toronto should have planned better for their wings hitting free agency. This pick was a little bit of a reach, as Hernandez is rusty after not playing basketball in the 2018-2019 season.

Washington Wizards: B

Drafted Players: F Rui Hachimura, F Admiral Schofield

It is apparent that the Wizards are trying to keep both John Wall and Bradley Beal. With that, they made solid selections to take forwards who can contribute once Wall returns from injury.

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks: N/A

Drafted Players: N/A

The Mavericks traded out of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Denver Nuggets: A

Drafted Players: C Bol Bol

Even though the Nuggets didn’t originally have a pick heading into the night, they noticed Bol falling and made a good trade to get a good player in the second round. Now, they’ll have to hope their knack for picking injury-prone players pays off.

Golden State Warriors: C+

Drafted Players: G Jordan Poole, C Alen Smailagic, PF Eric Paschall

Golden State has a lot to figure out with the injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. They picked a lot of players who may not be able to log enough minutes to fill in for those injuries. Poole has an inconsistent shot, while Smailagic and Paschall will struggle to see the floor behind Draymond Green, Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney.

Houston Rockets: N/A

Drafted Players: N/A

Houston did not have a pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Los Angeles Clippers: A

Drafted Players: F/C Mfiondu Kabengele, G Terance Mann

The Clippers took two Florida State players. Kabengele was a top 20 talent that they traded up to get late in the first round. His athleticism should allow him to see minutes early in his career.

Los Angeles Lakers: B

Drafted Players: G/F Talen Horton-Tucker

Anthony Davis was acquired and the Lakers had to give up pick No. 4 to get him. They needed bodies after a lot of their depth was sent to New Orleans, so getting a versatile player like Horton-Tucker is very valuable.

2019 NBA Draft Grades
Ja Morant (photo by nba.com)

Memphis Grizzlies: A-

Drafted Players: PG Ja Morant, PF Brandon Clarke

Memphis knocked it out of the park with their Mike Conley trade and already got his replacement in Morant. They also added Brandon Clarke, who can be an athletic big off the bench for them.

Minnesota Timberwolves: B

Drafted Players: G/F Jarrett Culver, G Jaylen Nowell

The Timberwolves wanted Culver and traded up to get him. His defense and pick and roll ability will help Minnesota greatly. Hopefully, his toughness can help lead them back to the playoffs. Nowell has a chance to contribute off the bench.

New Orleans Pelicans: A+

Drafted Players: F Zion Williamson, F/C Jaxson Hayes, G Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SF Marcos Louzada-Silva

David Griffin has done a terrific job already as the man in charge for New Orleans. They took the best player in the draft in Williamson. Hayes has to develop, but the Pelicans needed to address the center position in case Julius Randle leaves in free agency. Alexander-Walker gives them more depth at the guard position. They are set up well for their future.

Oklahoma City Thunder: C-

Drafted Players: F Darius Bazley

Bazley lacks experience, as he didn’t play college basketball last season. He is another project, like Terance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo, which gives the Thunder a lot of young players to try to improve. They did trade down to take Bazley, so they do deserve some credit.

Phoenix Suns: D

Drafted Players: F Cameron Johnson, PG Ty Jerome

The Suns curiously traded out of the top 10 and ignored their need for a point guard. They then reached for Cameron Johnson and added him to a position that already is crowded with Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson. Adding Ty Jerome was nice because he is a point guard, but Jerome isn’t ready to lead the team. They have serious work to do in free agency.

Portland Trail Blazers: A

Drafted Players: F Nassir Little

With Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum set at the guard spots, the Blazers needed to get better wings. They had a very athletic one fall to them in Little, who can help fill in if Evan Turner does not return.

San Antonio Spurs: B

Drafted Players: PF Luka Samanic, G/F Keldon Johnson, G Quinndary Weatherspoon

San Antonio stayed on brand by drafting an international player to develop in Samanic and then getting solid value with their next two picks. Johnson is a top 15 talent that they got at the end of the first round, while Weatherspoon is a good offensive player.

Sacramento Kings: D+

Drafted Players: SG Justin James, SG Kyle Guy, SG Vanja Marinkovic

The Kings have a solid young roster, who weren’t far off from the playoffs. Unfortunately, they didn’t add many players that help push them over the top. They also picked three players at the same position.

Utah Jazz: B-

Drafted Players: PF Jarrell Brantley, PG Justin Wright-Foreman, G Miye Oni

The Mike Conley trade meant that the Jazz gave up their first-round pick. It was a solid price to pay, but they upgraded at point guard. They reached with their first two picks in the draft, but got a solid scorer in Miye Oni with their last pick.

 

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