FanPost

NBA Draft Team Grades

Picks- C Keith Benson (No. 48 pick)

 

Analysis- The Hawks dealt away their only first round pick in the Kirk Hinrich trade, leaving them with just a mid-second rounder. Atlanta used the pick on Oakland University center Keith Benson, a skilled senior post player. The Hawks could use some size, but Benson won’t provide them with much in the way of toughness or interior defense. While he has the talent to play at the next level, he will need to increase his motor tremendously if he wants to make the league.

 

Grade- C

 

Boston Celtics:

 

Picks- PF JaJuan Johnson (No. 27 pick from New Jersey), SG E’Twaun Moore (No. 55 pick)

 

Analysis- The Celtics get a couple of good values here in Purdue teammates JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore. Neither will be stars in the league, but both should be able to find a role in it. Johnson is really thin for the power forward spot, so he will need to put on muscle. What he will provide the Celtics is depth up front, a good shooter from the high post and a hard worker. His production over four years in the Big Ten cannot be ignorant. The same goes for Moore, who should be able to help a team as a combo guard off of the bench. He is a tough-minded guard who is able to get to the rim, as well as shoot from the perimeter. Boston acquitted themselves nicely considering where they were selecting.

 

Grade- A-

 

Charlotte Bobcats:

 

Picks- PF/C Bismack Biyombo (No. 7 pick from Sacramento), G Kemba Walker (No. 9 pick)

 

Analysis- Charlotte moved up from the No. 19 pick to the No. 7 pick in order to select Spain big man Bismack Biyombo. The selection doesn’t come with some risk, as Biyombo has little to no offensive abilities as of yet. But at the very least, he will be a defensive force in the league. His shot-blocking ability is second to none and he is an above average rebounder. If he ever develops offensively, he will be a force. With their second lottery pick, the Bobcats chose Connecticut guard Kemba Walker. As was shown throughout the NCAA tournament and season in general, Walker is not afraid of the moment. In fact, he embraces the moment. Some question his size and whether or not he is a true point guard at the NBA level, but he will undoubtedly be a factor on someone’s roster. His scoring ability is well rounded with the exception of an inconsistent three point shot, and his competitive spirit is top notch. Charlotte went with both a safe and risky pick to certain extents, but that’s what a team in rebuilding mode should do. If there’s any complaint about their draft, it’s that Walker doesn’t necessarily fill a “need.”

 

Grade- A-

 

Chicago Bulls:

 

Picks- SF Nikola Mirotic (No. 23 pick from Minnesota via Houston), SF Jimmy Butler (No. 30 pick)

 

Analysis- When picking at the end of the first round, it’s hard to find someone that is guaranteed to help out your team. The Bulls may have done so though with the selection of Marquette’s Jimmy Butler. All he is likely to be is a good back-up at either the shooting guard or small forward spot, but that’s all he will need to be considering he’s going to the team that had the best record this season. Butler will provide high character, maximum effort and good defense on the perimeter. He has already vowed to become a shut down defender in the NBA. Chicago’s other pick, Nikola Mirotic, won’t be seeing the floor anytime soon. But again, with the team having the best record in the NBA they have the luxury of patience. Mirotic could become a steal at this point in the draft, possibly taking Luol Deng’s spot in the future. Teams were very high on him, especially later in the first round, but Chicago beat them to the punch. Overall, it was little risk and probable reward for the Bulls draft.

 

Grade- A-

 

Cleveland Cavaliers:

 

Picks- PG Kyrie Irving (No. 1 pick from Los Angeles Clippers), PF Tristan Thompson (No. 4 pick), PF Milan Macvan (No. 54 pick from Oklahoma City via Miami)

 

Analysis- Cleveland was in a good but tough spot this draft. The Cavaliers could have went with the best point guard in the draft, Kyrie Irving, at No. 1 then selected the best forward or center available at No. 4. Or they could have went with a more risky approach, selecting Arizona forward Derrick Williams at No. 1 and hope that Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight makes it to them at No. 4. Cleveland liked both Irving and Williams, but Irving was the safer pick considering he plays a more pressing position. In hindsight though, taking Williams would have likely been the best choice. The No. 4 pick, Tristan Thompson, is a long, athletic forward that could have a nice future in the NBA. With that said though, his selection that high was a bit of a reach. Had they taken Williams at No. 1, Knight and possibly even Irving would have been available at No. 4. At the end of the day, the Cavaliers still came away with two nice, young players that will be instrumental to the team’s future. In acquiring Milan Macvan, they get a bruising big man that could possibly develop and help them in the future.

 

Grade- B+

 

Dallas Mavericks:

 

Picks- None

 

Analysis- The champs traded their only first round pick, Jordan Hamilton, to the Nuggets in a three-team deal which netted them veteran shooting guard Rudy Fernandez. With a team that is up there in age for the most part, as well as a team that is looking to repeat, this is a move that is good for them in the near future. Fernandez should fit in well with the Mavericks spread-out offensive scheme, as well as giving them a suitable replacement for one of their many impending free agents.

 

Grade- B+

 

Denver Nuggets:

 

Picks- PF Kenneth Faried (No. 22 pick), SF Jordan Hamilton (No. 26 pick from Dallas), F Chukwudiebere Maduabum (No. 56 pick from Los Angeles Lakers)

 

Analysis- The Nuggets did quite nicely for picking late in the first round. Morehead State’s rebounding machine Kenneth Faried fell to them at No. 22, providing them with something they don’t have in the front court: a great rebounder. With Kenyon Martin being a free agent, Faried will step right into the rotation. He has a nonstop motor and the potential to be the next Dennis Rodman. In Hamilton, they get a guy that was taken a lot lower than his talent suggests. He won’t fill a need necessarily in Denver, but he will provide them with more scoring from the perimeter. With Wilson Chandler, Aaron Afflalo and J.R. Smith becoming free agents as well, he could really come in handy. I won’t begin to act like I know anything about Chukwudiebere Maduabum, other than the fact that he played three games for Bakersfield in the NBDL and has an incredibly long name.

 

Grade- A

 

Detroit Pistons:

 

Picks- PG Brandon Knight (No. 8 pick), SF Kyle Singler (No. 33 pick from Toronto), PF Vernon Macklin (No. 52 pick)

 

Analysis- I don’t think the Pistons had any thought of Brandon Knight being available at No. 8, but once he was there they had to take him. He doesn’t fill a need for them necessarily, but he was the best value on the board. With Knight in the fold, Rodney Stuckey can become a combo guard for Detroit off of the bench, which is a role that he is better suited for. In the second round, the Pistons selected Duke forward Kyle Singler at No. 33. He isn’t very athletic, but he is a smart, hard working kid that could find a place in the league. With Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko and DaJuan Summers becoming free agents, he should be able to fill in as a reserve small forward. Their other second round pick was Florida big man Vernon Macklin. He has decent ability in the post, but he’s not a very good rebounder or shot blocker. A classic example of a guy that never really met his potential, and the Pistons are just gambling on him developing as a pro.

 

Grade- B+

 

Golden State Warriors:

 

Picks- SG Klay Thompson (No. 11 pick), C Jeremy Tyler (No. 39 pick from Charlotte), G Charles Jenkins (No. 44 pick from Phoenix via Chicago)

 

Analysis- Jerry West was in love with Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson and he got his man in the end. He has little chance of being a bust in the league, as he brings elite shooting ability. But the question is why the Warriors felt they needed him over other possible options on the board. He wasn’t a need pick or one with great potential. Overall it was a very safe pick for Golden State. In the second round, they purchased the rights to big man Jeremy Tyler. Known for dropping out of high school to play overseas, Tyler has loads of untapped potential. He has yet to meet any of it, but if he does he would be a big time steal in the second round. He also comes with little risk considering his draft position. With their other second rounder, the Warriors get little-known Hofstra guard Charles Jenkins. Even though he was one of the country’s leading scorers, Jenkins got little attention this past season. He should be able to carve himself a nice spot on this team, especially considering his scoring ability as a combo guard off of the bench. With Jeremy Linn and Charlie Bell as the main reserve guards on the squad, Golden State could really use some more punch off of the bench.

 

Grade- B

 

Houston Rockets:

 

Picks- F Marcus Morris (No. 14 pick), PF Donatas Motiejunas (No. 20 pick from Minnesota), SF Chandler Parsons (No. 38 pick from Los Angeles Clippers)

 

Analysis- The Rockets needed help at small forward and at center heading into this draft. They may have filled the former, but definitely didn’t fill the latter. Kansas forward Marcus Morris, the younger twin of Markieff Morris, is what many scouts would call a “tweener.” He claims to be a small forward, but there are a lot of people who aren’t sure of that. He seems to be athletic enough to play the position at the next level, but he almost exclusively played the power forward at Kansas. He will need to prove that he has the ball handling ability and the foot speed to play the position in the pros. Otherwise, he’s just a skilled, undersized power forward, something that shouldn’t be taken in the lottery. Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas is a good value at where they got him that could end up paying dividends down the road, but he is now one of many power forwards on the Houston roster. With Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill and likely Chuck Hayes in the fold, he won’t be seeing the court any time soon. Second round pick, small forward Chandler Parsons, is very skilled and talented. He has the ability to shoot, pass, rebound, and handle the ball all while being a legit 6-10. But his production was inconsistent throughout his four years at Florida, suggesting that he may not get it together in the NBA. But if he does, Houston got a nice value in the second round.

 

Grade- B-

 

Indiana Pacers:

 

Picks- None

 

Analysis- The Pacers traded both their first and second round picks to San Antonio for guard George Hill. I understand wanting to get some backcourt help, considering that Collison was the only semi-consistent producer for them this past season. But I feel the price for that was too steep. Getting Kawhi Leonard to fall to them at No. 15 brought back memories of one Danny Granger, a fellow small forward from the Mountain West Conference, falling to them at pick No. 17. That seemed to work out pretty well, and while both he and Leonard play the same position I feel he could have a similar impact in the league. At the end of the day though, Indiana now has a good 1-2 punch at the point guard position and more depth in their backcourt.

 

Grade- B-

 

Los Angeles Clippers:

 

Picks- PF Trey Thompkins (No. 37 pick from Detroit), SG Travis Leslie (No. 47 pick from Houston)

 

Analysis- The Clippers had a first round pick, which ended up being the No. 1 overall pick going to Cleveland in the Baron Davis-Mo Williams trade. But there’s no point in harping on what happened in the past, so we won’t do that here. With their second round selections, they took two Georgia Bulldogs: Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Thompkins has a lot of ability, but he probably should have stayed in school. The same goes for his teammate Leslie. Both are very athletic for their respective positions and have the ability to make it in the league, but inconsistencies and immaturity get in the way. In the second round though, there isn’t much risk involved.

 

Grade- B

 

Los Angeles Lakers:

 

Picks- PG Darius Morris (No. 41 pick from Golden State via New Jersey), G Andrew Goudelock (No. 46 pick from New York), PF Ater Majok (No. 58 pick from Miami)

 

Analysis- Per usual, the Lakers had no first round draft choices this year. So they had to make the most out of their choices in the second round. With the first selection, Los Angeles took Michigan point guard Darius Morris. While he probably should have stayed in school, Morris has a ton of ability. He’s not that athletic, but he’s a legitimate 6-5 with good court vision. If he ever develops any semblance of a jump shot, he will be a steal for the Lakers. He fits their prototypical point guard spot in the triangle if that happens. Though he needs to improve defensively as well. Little known Andrew Goudelock was their second pick, a combo guard out of the College of Charleston. He, like Warriors’ selection Charles Jenkins, was one of the top scorers in the country. But because he went to a smaller school, not many people knew about him. He can shoot it from anywhere in the gym, possibly having the best range in the draft. He could also be a good fit for the Lakers at point guard, or worst-case scenario as a scorer off the bench. He should find a spot in the league. With their last pick, Los Angeles took former Connecticut post Ater Majok. He was a bust at UCONN, and I don’t see it ending any differently in the pros. He was a pretty perplexing pick, despite it being at the end of the draft.

 

Grade- B

 

Memphis Grizzlies:

 

Picks- PG Josh Selby (No. 49 pick)

 

Analysis- Even though the rising Grizzlies did not have a first round pick, they definitely got a first round talent late in the second round. Kansas guard Josh Selby had issues both on and off of the court in his first and only season in Lawrence. With that said though, there’s no doubting his potential. He was projected as a one-and-done player coming into the season, but he should have likely stayed in school. Memphis doesn’t need a point guard per say, but the value here at pick No. 49 was too much to pass up. This could end up being a huge steal for the Grizzlies and if not, it really didn’t cost them much.

 

Grade- A

 

Miami Heat:

 

Picks- G Norris Cole (No. 28 pick from Minnesota via Chicago)

 

Analysis- One of the biggest weaknesses this past year for the Heat was the point guard position. Mario Chalmers had moments for them throughout the season, but veteran Mike Bibby didn’t show up whatsoever in the playoffs. While they had to acquire a first round pick to get him, Norris Cole should be an upgrade at the position. He went to another small school in Cleveland State, but he can fill it up with the best of them. He had a 40 point, 20 rebound game this year for the Vikings. I really don’t care who that’s against because it’s an incredible stat. Cole could potentially be the answer at starting point guard for Miami, but at the very least he should be a good scorer off of the bench.

 

Grade- A-

 

Milwaukee Bucks:

 

Picks- F Tobias Harris (No. 19 pick from Charlotte), PF Jon Leuer (No. 40 pick)

 

Analysis- The Bucks moved down nine spots in the first round, but still came away with a very good prospect. Tennessee forward Tobias Harris is a well-rounded player, but doesn’t necessarily have any strengths. In this case, his strength is not having a real weakness. In the NBA, he should make a good living if he continues to improve, seeing as this was his first and only season as a Volunteer. With their second rounder, Milwaukee went with local product Jon Leuer. A four-year contributor at Wisconsin, Leuer has a skill that will always find a place in the league: shooting. At his height, his ability to stretch the floor could definitely find him a spot on his hometown roster.

 

Grade- B+

 

Minnesota Timberwolves:

 

Picks- F Derrick Williams (No. 2 pick), G Malcolm Lee (No. 43 pick from Utah), F Targuy Ngombo (No. 57 pick from Dallas)

 

Analysis- Most of the time recently, there’s been good reason to criticize the Timberwolves’ drafts. But this year, they did a good job. While Arizona forward Derrick Williams isn’t necessarily a good “fit,” he was by far the best available option at the No. 2 pick. Once Minnesota couldn’t find an ideal trading partner, the best thing to do was take the best player available and go from there. In the second round, they got UCLA guard Malcolm Lee. While this pick could be looked at as yet another point guard selection by David Kahn, Lee has the versatility to both play and defend shooting guards at the next level. He played the point out of necessity this past year for the Bruins, and I firmly believe that the shooting guard is his best position at the next level. If he can develop the threat of a perimeter shot, he will be a nice player for the Timberwolves. The only damper on the Wolves’ draft was the drafting of Targuy Ngombo. While he was a late pick based on upside, it has been confirmed that the Qatar native is 26 years old. By rule, Ngombo is ineligible for the draft, making him a free agent and free to sign with any teams. I guess everything can’t go well for Minnesota in the draft, but this was as good as it’s been in awhile.

 

Grade- A-

 

New Jersey Nets:

 

Picks- SG Marshon Brooks (No. 25 pick from Boston), SF Bojan Bogdanovic (No. 31 pick from Miami via Minnesota), Jordan Williams (No. 36 pick)

 

Analysis- With a late pick in the first round, New Jersey got a big time scorer ready to step in at a position of weakness. Providence shooting guard Marshon Brooks led arguably the best conference, the Big East, in scoring this past year. He should be a great compliment to Deron Williams in the backcourt, helping the Nets in their quest to return to the playoffs. He was a great value at pick No. 25, as well as their second round selections. SF Bojan Bogdanovic is a really good international scorer that should help the Nets once he comes over, and Maryland center Jordan Williams has the ability to be a good rebounder and interior player in the league. He is a bit undersized for the center position, but if he works hard he should be able to find a place in the pros.

 

Grade- A-

 

New Orleans Hornets:

 

Picks- None

 

Analysis- The Hornets first round pick was used to get veteran guard Jarrett Jack, who was a good pick-up for the playoff bound team. He was a great back up to Chris Paul, as well as an option alongside of him. With that said though, the pick that used to be theirs was used on Tobias Harris, who has a lot more potential than Jack does. It worked in the short term, but I see it backfiring in the future.

 

Grade- C

 

New York Knicks:

 

Picks- G Iman Shumpert (No. 17 pick), PF Josh Harrellson (No. 45 pick from Charlotte)

 

Analysis- It’s well known that the most glaring weakness for the Knicks is on the defensive end. That was the focus of both of their picks, with the first one coming by way of Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert. While he lacks in outside shooting, Shumpert has the potential to be an elite perimeter defender. If he ever can develop offensively, he could be a steal here. And if not, he will still have situational uses in the league. Second round pick Josh Harrellson will provide a nonstop motor and good rebounding ability, but he’s very limited offensively. On this Knicks team though, he could find himself a role off of the bench.

 

Grade- B-

 

Oklahoma City Thunder:

 

Picks- G Reggie Jackson (No. 24 pick)

 

Analysis- A team in the Thunder’s position has the luxury of taking the best available player on the board, regardless of position. That’s exactly what Oklahoma City did here, taking Boston College guard Reggie Jackson. With Russell Westbrook and Eric Maynor in the fold, there doesn’t seem to be much room for the combo guard. But this pick was a luxury that will provide the Thunder with even more flexibility moving forward. Jackson can fill it up from the perimeter, as well as bring above average defense. Considering the fact that Jackson was reportedly given a promise from a team later in the draft, this will go down as a shrewd move either way for Oklahoma City.

 

Grade- B

 

Orlando Magic:

 

Picks- PF Justin Harper (No. 32 pick from Cleveland), DeAndre Liggins (No. 53 pick)

 

Analysis- The Magic did well to add two potential rotation players with their second round selections. In Richmond forward Justin Harper, Orlando gets a long, athletic power forward that can stretch the floor out to three-point range. He should fit in well with Dwight Howard for however long he remains in a Magic uniform. With their second pick, Orlando took defensive-minded Kentucky guard DeAndre Liggins. He doesn’t have much of an offensive game, but with his defense he can definitely find a spot in the league. As long as he can improve his outside shot, I see him making the Magic rotation in the future.

 

Grade- B

 

Philadelphia 76ers:

 

Picks- C Nikola Vucevic (No. 16 pick), PF Lavoy Allen (No. 50 pick from New Orleans)

 

Analysis- With rumors circulating about a potential Andre Iguodala trade, many expected the 76ers to go with his potential replacement at the small forward spot. Instead, they opted for some much needed size. Nikola Vucevic isn’t the most athletic person, but he was the biggest player in the first round. At seven feet and 260 pounds, he will provide the Philadelphia frontcourt with its biggest player. Vucevic is skilled offensively, as he is able to step out and shoot from the high post as well as post up. He can also rebound efficiently, as he averaged over ten rebounds per game this past year at USC. It’s not as sexy a pick as say Chris Singleton or Jordan Hamilton would have been, but he should have a productive career at a position of weakness. In the second round, Philadelphia went with another big man in Temple product Lavoy Allen. The local guy had a productive four-year career with the Owls, but he likely could have been had as an undrafted free agent. The pick doesn’t make too much sense, even at the spot he was taken (No. 50 overall).

 

Grade- C+

 

Phoenix Suns:

 

Picks- PF Markieff Morris (No. 13 pick)

 

Analysis- Phoenix has talent at every position, but they aren’t necessarily set at any position for the future. At No. 13, they weren’t really restricted by positional need. With that in mind, the Suns selected Kansas forward Markieff Morris. While he was not considered a better college player than his twin brother Marcus, he was thought to possibly be a better pro prospect. Markieff has the ability to hit the three-pointer with consistency, as well as being a better rebounder and shot-blocker than Marcus. He may not have been a better “value” than Kawhi Leonard, but he should help the Suns in their efforts to be better both on the glass and defensively.

 

Grade- B

 

Portland Trailblazers:

 

Picks- G Nolan Smith (No. 21 pick), SG Jon Diebler (No. 51 pick from Detroit via Denver)

 

Analysis- Ever since Kevin Pritchard was relieved of his duties, Portland’s drafts have not been as sound. Last year, the Trailblazers selected Elliot Williams in the first round, who many thought should have been a late first round pick at best. This year, they did the same thing as they took Duke guard Nolan Smith at No. 21. Smith had a great career at Duke, but he’s an undersized shooting guard by most people’s accounts. He can score and create, but he’s much better at the former than the latter. Portland likely selected a sure-fire back-up guard at No. 21, which undoubtedly should be considered a reach. In the second round, they picked up Ohio State sharpshooter Jon Diebler. The 6-6 Buckeye can shoot from anywhere in the gym, but his ability to defend at the next level is in serious question. If he can improve there, he should find a role in the league based on his deadeye shooting. Overall, it was a very lackluster draft by the Blazers.

 

Grade- C-

 

Sacramento Kings:

 

Picks- PG Jimmer Fredette (No. 10 pick from Milwaukee), SF Tyler Honeycutt (No. 35 pick), PG Isaiah Thomas (No. 60 pick from Chicago via Milwaukee)

 

Analysis- Sacramento traded back three spots in the lottery in order to take their man at a more reasonable spot: Brigham Young guard Jimmer Fredette. One of the best scorers in the country, Fredette should be able to step in from day one and fit in nicely with Tyreke Evans in the backcourt. The range on his jumper has no limits, and he is extremely adept at getting his shot off amongst the trees. He will need to improve defensively though in order to have a big impact in the league. In the second round, the Kings picked up two interesting prospects. The first one was UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt. Based on talent alone, Honeycutt should have been a top 20 pick. But he is fairly raw and his production is inconsistent, causing him to drop to No. 35. If he can fill out his body some and continue to improve his consistency, Honeycutt will be a steal for the Kings. To finish out the draft, Sacramento got Washington guard Isaiah Thomas. The Husky is the NBA’s form of Mr. Irrelevant, but his game suggests otherwise. Despite being a diminutive 5-9, he has the heart of a lion and the craftiness to get his shot off on guys much taller than him. Thomas doesn’t lack for effort or confidence, and that should help him defy the odds once again and make a career for himself.

 

Grade- A-

 

San Antonio Spurs:

 

Picks- SF Kawhi Leonard (No. 15 pick from Indiana), PG Cory Joseph (No. 29 pick), SF Davis Bertans (No. 42 pick from Indiana), SG Adam Hanga (No. 59 pick)

 

Analysis- San Antonio made yet another great move on draft night, trading veteran guard George Hill for the rights to Kawhi Leonard. The San Diego State Aztec fell to pick No. 15, eight to ten spots lower than he could have went. And while Hill has been productive for the Spurs, Tony Parker is still in the prime of his career. Acquiring Leonard gives them their small forward of the future at a more than acceptable price. If he biggest weakness, his perimeter shot, continues to improve, this will be more than just a steal. In the late first round, the Spurs made a somewhat puzzling pick. Texas guard Cory Joseph has talent, but nobody expected him to go in the first round. He should have stayed in school for more seasoning, but it’s hard to argue with a guy that will now get a guaranteed paycheck. Obviously San Antonio feels he will be a good fit as their back-up point guard, and it’s hard to argue with their track record. Small forward Davis Bertans, the other main part of the Hill trade, has the ability to make the league in the future. He has a great shooting stroke, and the Spurs may have found themselves yet another international steal in the second round. I don’t know much about Adam Hanga, but he’s another draft and stash prospect that could possibly work out at some point.

 

Grade- A-

 

Toronto Raptors:

 

Picks- C Jonas Valanciunas (No. 5 pick)

 

Analysis- The Raptors decided to go the international route again in the upper half of the lottery. General Manager Brian Colangelo has been known to love international prospects, and this is yet another example. Jonas Valanciunas has the potential of being a great value at pick No. 5, but he won’t be in the NBA for another year or two. If he doesn’t end up working out, it will go down as an unnecessary wait for the Raptors. But if he does, Colangelo could look like a genius. Valanciunas has a higher motor and is a better rebounder than their current center Andrea Bargnani, and he could allow him to move to his more natural power forward position. We won’t truly know how this pick works out until a multiple years from now, but for now we have to base it off of value and need. Valanciunas is a good value at No. 5 and fits a need that Toronto has: talent.

 

Grade- B+

 

Utah Jazz:

 

Picks- C Enes Kanter (No. 3 pick from New Jersey), SG Alec Burks (No. 12 pick)

 

Analysis- The Jazz dealt away franchise icon Deron Williams at the trade deadline this past season, opening up a potential need at point guard. But instead of trying to find his successor this year, Utah went with who they felt was the best available player on the board: Turkish center Enes Kanter. Despite being ruled ineligible to play at Kentucky, Kanter showed plenty of ability at the Nike Hoops Summit. The Jazz don’t have a need in the frontcourt, but his potential as a force down low was too much to pass up. And with their second lottery pick, Utah selected Colorado guard Alec Burks. The Jazz have C.J. Miles at the two-guard spot, but he is probably better suited as a sixth man. Burks has the potential to be a very good scorer at the next level, coupled with some playmaking abilities of a point guard. If he ever develops a consistent perimeter jumper, he could be a star. Utah picked up two good values with a lot of potential in the lottery, something that is crucial when a team is double dipping this high in the draft.

 

Grade- A

 

Washington Wizards:

 

Picks- SF Jan Vesely (No. 6 pick), SF Chris Singleton (No. 18 pick from Atlanta), PG Shelvin Mack (No. 34 pick)

 

Analysis- The Wizards came into this draft feeling good about two key positions: center and point guard. So they go out and select two good values at the forward spots. The first of two first round picks was used on international high-flyer Jan Vesely. The 6-11 forward will undoubtedly please the crowd on many occasions with his mid-air antics, as well as his effort on the floor. He is considered the most ready of the international prospects, and I would be surprised if he disappointed. He has the potential to be a very good player in the league. With their second pick, Washington got an excellent value in Florida State’s Chris Singleton. He will probably never be a star in the league, but he will be a great defender. He is the best defensive player in the draft, using his length and athleticism to the fullest. He has the ability to make a perimeter shot, but if he can become consistent with it he will be a great fit alongside John Wall. Speaking of Wall, the Wizards got his potential back-up in Butler guard Shelvin Mack. After trading Hinrich last year, Washington struggled to find a consistent back-up to Wall. Mack should provide just that, as his toughness and big shot making was on full display the past two NCAA tournaments. He should be a great compliment to Wall in the backcourt going forward.

 

Grade- A

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