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2020 NBA Draft Grades

The 2020 NBA Draft is finally in the books, as it lived up to its expectations of being an intriguing, watchable draft.

Most teams made selections as expected, while other teams took risks and gambles, by either trading or low for picks, or making challenging selections. From every team picks and decisions, here is how each graded was graded from last night’s draft below.

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks: C+

Drafted Players: F/C Onyeka Okongwu, SG Skylar Mays

Okongwu is one of the most exciting big men in the draft, with his athleticism, rim-running and rim-protecting abilities. However, the Hawks have fallen into this rabbit hole before where they have drafted players that look good on the surface, but overall wasn’t a good look for the team. Unless the Hawks are planning to move Clint Capela or John Collins, this can be a questionable fit, which will be unfortunate for the talented big.

Boston Celtics: B+

Drafted Players: SF Aaron Nesmith, PG Payton Pritchard, PG Yam Madar

Boston grabbed a few shooters to fill up their bench. While Nesmith is coming off of a foot injury, he can still a great pair with Pritchard, who can bring energy as a backup point guard, or maybe as a starter, as Danny Ainge might shop Kemba Walker for a good deal.

Brooklyn Nets: C

Drafted Players: C Reggie Perry

This was a late pick as a result of the Nets trading their 19th pick to the Clippers for Landry Shamet. While Perry could gain wisdom from young talent, Jarrett Allen, there’s no guarantee that he will be a starter or that he will be a need for Brooklyn very soon.

Charlotte Hornets: B-
LaMelo Bell (photo by

Drafted Players: PG LaMelo Ball, C Vernon Carey Jr., C Nick Richards, PG Grant Riller

Picking up LaMelo Ball early was the right and obvious choice, as he is a legit playmaker and has an excellent, speedy court vision. The only lingering question however is how LaMelo Ball will be apart of the rotation, considering that Charlotte already about three guards in rotation (Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham, etc).

Chicago Bulls: B-

Drafted Players: SF Patrick Wiliams, SF Marko Simonovic

Chicago took a risk by drafting Williams so high, as he was expected to go as low as No. 15. Even though Williams’s college resume is not the most stellar, playing on the bench at Florida State, he was the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year and has the potential to play a bigger role on the bench or as the starter for the young team. And while Chicago did grab big man Marko Simonovic, they haven’t completely addressed their needs for improvements on the inside game and on the boards

Cleveland Cavaliers: B+

Drafted Players: SF Issac Okoro

Issac Okoro is a strong wing player with great physicality and defensive abilities. While his defense will be a help for the Cavaliers developing as a defense team, Okoro’s developing offense will be question down the road on if he could be a premier wing player for Cleveland.

Detroit Pistons: A

Drafted Players: PG Killian Hayes, C Isaiah Stewart, SF Saddiq Bey, PG Saben Lee

The time in Detroit is rebuilding time, and GM Troy Weaver took that into high gear in the draft. The Pistons took the route early with their highest pick by drafting Killian Hayes, a crafty passer and playmaker. Detroit also took advantage of trades, trading with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers to get a post-scorer in Isaiah Stewart, and shooters Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee. Detroit hit it right on the nose filling roster spots and their team needs for their rebuild.

Indiana Pacers: C

Drafted Players: SG Cassius Stanley

Indiana’s future can be a little different down the stretch, as Victo Oldapio and Myles Turner are expected to move around. As this is their only selection, Stanley could have the potential to be a “3-and-D” wing, with hopes that he will have a significant role in Indiana.

Miami Heat: A-

Drafted Players: PF Precious Achiuwa

Precious Achiuwa is another attractable player for Miami that has the potential to be a young break out a big man like Bam Adebayo. While Achuiwa will need some development to get there, he already has lots of upside, so getting some mentorship from Adebayo will be enough for him to reach that ceiling.

Milwaukee Bucks: B

Drafted Players: PF Jordan Nwora, SG Sam Merrill

Milwaukee is taking charge to make their team stronger (and keep Giannis Antetokoumpo) by adding playmaker Jrue Holiday and shooter Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, while there is a bit of dispute regarding the acquisition, Milwaukee made some smart choices by adding more shooters like Nwora and Merrill can that fill up the bench right away.

New York Knicks: B+
Obi Toppin (photo by

Drafted Players: SF/PF Obi Toppin, PG Immanuel Quickley

New York didn’t need to trade up to get the best available prospect, as Obi Toppin landed perfectly into their lap. Guard play is still a question that New York must address, but with Toppin, he has that offensive flair that not only would be a must-watch in Madison Square Garden but could be enough to fill in the missing pieces for the franchise.

Orlando Magic: B

Drafted Players: PG Cole Anthony

Cole Anthony, although was set back from the knee injury, was a bouncy and tough guard in North Carolina. Orlando banking on Anthony could either be a steal, or a disaster, which will determine how whether Anthony will back bounce to his true identity.

Philadelphia 76ers: A-

Drafted Players: SG Tyrese Maxey, PG Theo Maledon, SG Isaiah Joe, PF Paul Reed

At one moment, Philadelphia was looking to be a laughing stock for a while, after not being hesitant to move Al Horford to OKC for Danny Green and draft picks. Daryl Morey, however, has turned it around to make the new 76ers era not daunting to look at. Maxy can be a two-way weapon in the backcourt and Paul Reed is a long athletic big that could be an intriguing pair with Joel Embiid in the frontcourt.

Toronto Raptors: B

Drafted Players: PG Malachi Flynn, SG Jalen Harris

Considering that Fred Vanfleet could be up on the move, the Raptors picked up and dynamic scorer early in Malachi Flynn that was a significant part of San Diego State’s success last season.

Washington Wizards: B+

Drafted Players: SF/PF Deni Avdija

As Deni Avidija dropped surprisingly low for being a future international stand-out, the Wizards snagged him in which could be a huge success, as they have a player with a length that has enough defensive aggression. Another snag for the Wizards is Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, who could maybe a significant role as Washington’s hero, which is nothing new to him from his experiences as a Spartan.

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks: B

Drafted Players: SG Josh Green, PG Tyrell Terry, PF Tyler Bey

After trading after Seth Curry to the 76ers, the Dallas Mavericks have an interesting 2020 class of shooters and guards that can be built around Luka Doncic. Green has the athleticism and can defend, while Bey is another player that can add more dynamic to the defense.

Denver Nuggets: B

Drafted Players: PF Zeke Nnaji

Denver snagged two prospects that may have dropped below the boards but could be potential great steals down the road. If RJ Hampton improves his shooting soon, he could be a promising overseas elite player, and Nnaji is another future Nuggets player that has an upside and size that can be used to his advantage.

Golden State Warriors: A-
James Wiseman (photo by ESPN)

Drafted Players: PF/C James Wiseman, PG Nico Mannion, SG Justinian Jessup

While the Warriors were clouded by the sad news of SG Klay Thompson suffering a gruesome injury during practice, fans should still be able to rejoice on Golden State picking promising prospects that have a few cool ties with their star Stephen Curry. James Wiseman can immediately fill in some big shoes as a starter at the 5 spot with his athleticism, and Nico Mannion can be a clever sharpshooter to come off of the \bench, helping relieve some of Arizona’s shooting woes by shooting 32 percent from three his freshman year.

Houston Rockets: D+

Drafted Players: F Kenyon Martin Jr.

There’s no telling what Houston is up to, with the team basically falling apart and trying to pick the up pieces together and make something work. While Martin Jr. is talented on both ends of the floor and can be explosive, it’s difficult to see how he’ll fit, and if being all in the Rockets chaos is what the rookie should be introduced to right now.

Los Angeles Clippers: B+

Drafted Players: C Daniel Oturu, SG Jay Scrubb

After trading for Luke Kennard and giving up Landry Shamet, the Clippers still managed to get some size and a shooter in the draft. Oturu will be the player to offer some of that size, and Scrubb could potentially fill some space in the backcourt.

Los Angeles Lakers: N/A

Drafted Players: N/A

Los Angeles Lakers did not have a pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Memphis Grizzlies: B+

Drafted Players: SG Desmond Bane, C Xavier Tillman, SF Robert Woodard II

Memphis Grizzlies once used the draft to pick young, ready-to-play prospects to add on to their already bright young nucleus. His “3-and-D” identity will be a plus for facilitators like Ja Morant. Xavier Tillman will be a plus as well for Memphis, another physical and productive player that can pair alongside Jaren Jackson Jr.

Minnesota Timberwolves: A-

Drafted Players: SG Anthony Edwards, SG Leandro Bolmaro, PF Jaden McDaniels

Minnesota was on the chopping block more than any other team in this draft and made the obvious choice quickly by drafting SF Anthony Edwards from Georgia. Despite his recent comments being a red flag for people on his commitment to basketball, Edwards is defensive prowess that is well needed for the Timberwolves to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Rusell, with the hopes of accumulating post-season success soon.

New Orleans Pelicans: B

Drafted Players: PG Kira Lewis Jr.

After a successful draft day last year by acquiring Zion Williamson, along with players like Jaxson Hayes to build around him, the Pelicans steered again in the right direction by selecting Lewis Jr, who is an explosive playmaker that can compliment Williamson.

Oklahoma City Thunder: B+

Drafted Players: PF Aleksej Pokusevski, PG Vit Krejci

Hate Sam Presti all you want, but he is continuing to build OKC every chance he gets, all starting from the draft and their two picks this year. Oklahoma City is taking a gamble on international prospects this year that need to develop like Pokusevski, but they are just adding more possibilities for their asset gameplan.

Phoenix Suns: D- 

Drafted Players: PF Jalen Smith

The Suns pulled off a surprising pick, picking Smith way ahead of where he was projected to land. However, while he is a shot-blocker and a shoot three, his fit can be questionable, based on the Suns’ bold moves made thus far (trading for Chris Paul) and finding a replacement placement for a strong wing like  Kelly Oubre was.

Portland Trail Blazers: C-

Drafted Players: SG CJ Elleby

The Washington State prospect did up 18 points and seven rebounds a game his sophomore year. He also has crystal-clear defensive instincts, as he can live through players and can get into proper positions to grab boards instantly. Elleby’s scoring abilities, however, can be spoken of the same way, as he significantly dropped below 33 percent from three and 39 percent from the field. He could potentially be a defensive craftsman, but Portland could have look towards picking up a versatile wing.

San Antonio Spurs: B+

Drafted Players: SG Devin Vassell, PG Tre Jones

San Antonio continues to follow the trail of player developments, as their picks could fit well into that blueprint. Vassell could be a gem as a 3-and-D wing and Jones, brother of Tyus Jones, is a crafty guard and a potential elite playmaker.

Sacramento Kings: A-

Drafted Players: SG Tyrese Haliburton, PG Jahmi’us Ramsey

Haliburton falling into the Kings hands was unexpected and a steal. The playmaker player can fit into the frontcourt with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. His ability to “connect” through his passing, as well as his defensive prowess will be beneficial as Fox and Haliburton can fee off of each other’s abilities. The Kings also picked Ramsey, whose all-around play of offense and defense will be a help to Sacramento in the long-run.

Utah Jazz: C+

Drafted Players: C Udoka Azubuike, PG Elijah Hughes

Not having a lot of chances to get the best available early, the Jazz settled in on Azubuike that can bring some size and physicality alongside Gobert, and Hughes who was the ACC’s top scorer.

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