2011 Draft Grades

Well, time to indulge in everyone's favorite meaningless post-draft pasttime: NBA draft grades! Before we jump, time to set some ground rules:

- Teams will be graded by pick, not by overall draft. No fair to laud teams that happened to have a lot of picks and trash teams that only had one.

- Picks will be graded by what else is there. We assume that each team didn't have a realistic opportunity to trade up. So if a team picks a decent player but passes on a good player, they'll get penalized. If they pick a future rotation player but only passed on D-Leaguers, they'll get a good grade, as they did the most they could do with their pick.

- Only doing the first round because honestly I know maybe two players picked in the second round.

- Remember that all 30 GMs know a fuck of a lot more than we do while we make our five-second judgments.

Jump for my grades, and feel to criticize + reply with your own.

1. Cavs - PG Kyrie Irving - A - He'll be a solid to very good starter for them, and in this draft that kind of guarantee is invaluable.

2. Wolves - F Derrick Williams - B+ - For rebuilding teams, it's all about asset accumulation and by taking the best player available they increased the overall talent value of their team.

3. Jazz - C Enes Kanter - A - Better talent than Brandon Knight, fits in admirably with Favors.

4. Cavs - F Tristan Thompson - D - Wasn't the BPA and if you're rebuilding you can't afford not to take the BPA.

5. Raptors - C Jonas Valanciunas - A- - Not a sexy pick especially if he stays overseas for another year, but the lockout is looming and the Raptors really suck, so they had to make this pick.

6. Wizards - F Jan Vesely - C+ - He could become a solid starter, and I'm not one of those who thinks Biyombo would be a good fit in Washington (next to McGee? really?) but to me his floor is way lower than his ceiling is high.

7. Bobcats - C Bismack Biyombo - A- - The Bobcats have needs everywhere and Biyombo has massive upside, this was a no-brainer

8. Pistons - PG Brandon Knight - B - In this draft he's a good value, now they need to get rid of as many existing non-Monroe players as they can.

9. Bobcats - PG Kemba Walker - D- - For the second time in three years, the Bobcats waste the #9 pick on a backup point guard, never mind that starters remained on the board.

10. Kings - G Jimmer Fredette - D+ - Regardless of what you think about him, he doesn't fit next to Tyreke Evans. Weak attempt to boost ticket sales in a critical year in Sacramento; unfortunately that franchise is royally (no pun intended) fucked as they go with the Bobcats-esque strategy of using personnel decisions as sales pitches.

11. Warriors - G/F Klay Thompson - D - Sorry, shooters are a dime a dozen and they left the best SG in the draft on the board. Mark Jackson will be having nightmares about "hand down man down" unless they make a trade soon

12. Jazz - SG Alec Burks - A+ - He played on a bad team and doesn't have one standout skill, so the best SG in the draft somehow fell to #12. In the past four months the Jazz have acquired Kanter, Burks and Favors, plus the Warriors lotto pick (along with their own) in next year's stacked draft. It really isn't fair.

13. Suns - PF Markieff Morris - C- - Added a mediocre player to a mediocre team.

14. Rockets - PF Marcus Morris - F - Did the same, but with a worse player. The infamous "mediocrity treadmill."

15. Spurs - SF Kawhi Leonard - B+ - Giving up Hill was curious, but they got a haul in return. Leonard is at worst a much better Chris Singleton; him falling this far and past Walker, Thompson, and the Morris twins is ridiculous.

16. Sixers - C Nikola Vucevic - B- - He'll be a better and more tolerable version of Hawes, right?

17. Knicks - G Iman Shumpert - A- - Because he fits, and there was no better option at all. Grade will hinge heavily on whether Weber can make him into a shooter or not.

18. Wizards - SF Chris Singleton - B - Would like it better if they hadn't taken Vesely at #6, now it's just weird.

19. Bucks - SF Tobias Harris - D - Because they passed up Burks in order to get Harris and Stephen Jackson. Hammond really knows how to build a 38-win team doesn't he. Decent value for this pick though.

20. Rockets - PF Donatas Motiejunas - A - Inspired pick after they blew the #14, basically because he has an actual chance of being good.

21. Blazers - PG Nolan Smith - F - Why?

22. Nuggets - PF Kenneth Faried - F - They don't think they're a playoff team do they?

23. Bulls - F Nikola Mirotic - B+ - Nice skillset, and the Bulls have the flexibility to stash him.

24. Thunder - PG Reggie Jackson - A - BPA, probable upgrade over Maynor, could be great in spurts playing with Westbrook.

25. Nets - SG Marshon Brooks - A - Doubt it'll have much effect on Deron's decision or anything but he makes more sense than anyone else.

26. Nuggets - SF Jordan Hamilton - B - Much better talent than Faried. If this is really the best they could do for Felton, at least they have Hamilton's rights for 4-5 years now.

27. Celtics - PF JaJuan Johnson - B - Good value. He's redundant, but who cares.

28. Heat - PG Norris Cole - A - Perfect fit for him, and for the Heat, as long as he can rotate with a shooter who's not Mike Bibby.

29. Spurs - PG Cory Joseph - C - Why even bother to go safe on a player who won't play right away anyways?

30 - Bulls - SF Jimmy Butler - B- - Underrated player. Cole is better, though.

Mavs - traded for Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen - A+ - Fernandez is a good rotation player, which in itself is good value for the #26, but Koponen has a lot of potential and could play into the post-Kidd PG situation there. Hope they sign him after the lockout.

Magic - traded for some second-rounders. Why is Otis Smith employed.

Hawks - did they do anything except try to sell the team?

Lakers - got some good values in the second round.

Grizzlies - got Selby, does this spell the end for OJ MAYO???

Pacers - gave up Leonard/Bertans for George Hill. I know it's a bad draft, but they're just making a mediocre team better at being mediocre.

Clippers - missed them yesterday, they had two second-rounders and made two pretty safe(ly mediocre) picks while passing on better talents.

Hornets - forgot them too, because they acquired nothing but 750k. Reina made the point that their selling of the #45 to us while being owned by the NBA (for less than half of what GS got for Tyler) is suspicious, saying "begin the conflict of interest engines on Chris Paul's future right now." personally, I trust Stern's judgment fully /exaggerated wink

Other trades - Portland did well to get Felton, Milwaukee is completely inept at everything, why did Sacramento take on cap space to trade down, Charlotte did well for itself, San Antonio took a smart risk. Rockets got Flynn I guess, but that trade has more to do with them getting Motiejunas. The Jazz will be either the next Thunder or the next Blazers, depending on whether they play their cards right (and they've done excellently so far).

ok, that was longer than I thought, your thoughts?

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