Here it is everyone...detailed and thoughtful analysis of every team's moves. JK...like all draft grades, this one is totally arbitrary and based on unevenly applied criteria. I tried to give my subjective opinion about the trades and draft selections made by each team. Some of them were brilliant...others, less so. I apologize for handing out a few Ds, but there were some seriously questionable moves in this draft.
Untangling all of this has been something of a project, so let me know if I missed something. MSPaint credits to Russian Bee, Best jersey designed by me, and #SCtop10 by YoLeo.
Atlanta Hawks: C+
Outgoing: 2015 #15
Incoming: Jon Leuer, 2014 #22
Selection: Damien Inglis (#22)
Is Jon Leuer really worth moving down seven spots? Maybe the Hawks GM coveted Inglis, but they likely could have had him with an early 2nd round pick while targeting someone like Adreian ‘Jon Leuer 2.0' Payne or Capela, Nurkic, or TJ Warren, who are all projected in this range. I do like Inglis a lot for the Hawks though, who seem to be building a Spurs-of-the-East type of team right now. Could Inglis be their Kawhi?
Boston Celtics: B-
Incoming: Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, OJ Mayo, JJ Hickson, Tayshaun Prince, Denver 2015 pick (protected top 14 in 2015, top 7 in 2016, unprotected in 2017), Memphis 2015 pick (top 17 protection 4 years before turned in to 2nd), Sacramento 2015 pick (protected top 10 until 2017)
Selections: Nik Stauskas (#16), Shabazz Napier (#17)
Lots of moving parts here...the Celtics get kudos for unloading Jeff Green AND Gerald Wallace's contracts, but it came at a high price. They missed out on Parker, Vonleh or Nurkic, who all would've helped their desperately empty interior. Instead, they roster swapped with Denver in one of the most creative trades in this draft. They also took on three more terrible contracts in OJ Mayo, JJ Hickson and Tayshaun Prince (expiring, I guess) allowing them to stock up on draft picks. But will any pan out into anything but marginal assets? Given that they could now have as many as 12 first round picks in the next 5 years, are there diminishing returns? Hard to say. I would've stayed put at #6. Boston actually traded down again from #11 to #16, another questionable move that had them missing out on several talented players. I like the Stauskas selection for them, but Napier doesn't make sense to me. The team is stuck treading water with lots of picks, bad contracts and without a center - right back where they started.
Outgoing: Joe Johnson, Mason Plumlee
Incoming: Ryan Anderson, Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, 2014 #29
Selection: Adreian Payne (#29)
I think the Brooklyn GM quickly realized what a dumpster fire their roster is at the moment. They unloaded $46 million of Joe Johnson for $16 million of Brandon Jennings and $17 million of Ryan Anderson, a move which will save them tens of millions of more dollars in luxury tax payments. It cost them Plumlee, who is a nice old rookie who probably doesn't have a high ceiling, as well as their competitive hopes (they'll probably still make the playoffs...right?). Finally, they picked up Ryan Anderson and Payne, who will add excellent spacing at the PF spot. None of their problems were solved, but the Brooklyn GM made the most of a terrible situation. Poor bastards.
Outgoing: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, Gary Neal, 2014 #9, 2014 #24, 2014 #45
Incoming: Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Kyle Singler, Tony Allen
I was ready to hate on Charlotte's draft until they somehow turned Kendrick Perkins into Tony Allen. Now...wow. I assume they're looking to start Westbrook-Allen-Singler-McRoberts-Big Al, and that might be a 2nd round playoff team in the East. First, the Westbrook trade: yeah, they gave up a lot but that's what you do to get top tier players. Would you do this deal for Kevin Love? Your answer will probably dictate whether you think it's a good trade or not. Kemba is ok but will need a new contract, Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist are young but not looking good. They missed out on some other young players with the picks...but Russell Westbrook. Next, they traded their late round pick for Singler, the low-usage shooter the team needed. Good lateral move. The coup de grâce was the Perkins trade. Now, for that McBob contract...
Chicago Bulls: B-
Outgoing: 2014 #16, 2015 first round protected pick from Sacramento
Incoming: 2014 #11
Selections: Jordan Adams (#11), KJ McDaniels (#19)
Hmmm...the Adams selection was likely a reach, but he fills a position of need for Chicago and was probably going to get drafted high (aside: I'd be interested in where other GMs were targeting Adams). McDaniels was also a reach, and one I frankly don't understand. He can't really shoot, which makes him a 3&D project. Harris, McDermott, Inglis, Young...you could make a case for any of these guys over McDaniels (another aside: really hope Phoenix drafts him IRL). Unfortunately, the best PGs were off the board so Chicago is stuck with Augustin. Maybe Payton or Ennis would've been better value with the #11 given the depth of possibly serviceable wings in this draft.
Outgoing: 2014 #1
Incoming: Jeremy Lamb, 2014 #7, #21, #24, David Fizdale (coach), OKC "future first round pick"
Selections: Jabari Parker (#7), Doug McDermott (#21), Glen Robinson III (#24)
Parker falling was the only thing saving Cleveland from another F on their report card. I suppose if you spin it right, they could come out looking good - "we were targeting Parker all along, we knew he would fall"...but that's all hindsight (especially with the Marcus Smart selection and subsequent trade). I wasn't a fan of any of their trades, and they didn't do anything to shore up their biggest weakness: center. Just pick Embiid! Instead, they drafted even more tweeners and a blah GRIII. Sorry Cleveland GM, but I really don't know what the plan is here. I don't know much about Fizdale (and unfortunately, Blatt had already been hired by the Wolves) so I'll let others comment. Am I being too harsh? I'll give them a +.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Outgoing: Kenneth Faried, Danilo Gallinari, JJ Hickson, 2014 #11, future 1st round pick (DEN) protected as such: top 14 in 2015, top 7 in 2016, unprotected in 2017
Incoming: Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace, Brandon Knight, 2014 #2
Selections: Dante Exum (#2)
The second part of that epic three team trade, Denver came away with the best piece (#2) and the worst (Green/Wallace), in exchange for a trio of young players (Faried/Gallo/Fournier). I guess the plan is to suck hard for the next couple of years, but this team actually might be sneaky mediocre! That said, there is literally no chance that Rondo resigns, so I'm not sure why Denver accepted him at the cost of adding Green/Wallace, which limits their flexibility for several years. If Exum doesn't pan out, this team is going to be unwatchable after Rondo leaves.
Outgoing: Josh Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Harrellson, Chauncey Billups, Kyle Singler
Incoming: Tyreke Evans, Joe Johnson, Mason Plumlee
Another GM trying to make the most of a bad situation, but this one feels more like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. They got out of the Smith/Jennings disaster, but fell into the Johnson/Evans disaster. I think the logic was they are stuck with bad contracts for two years instead of three. Plumlee is merely depth, while they lost their cheap wings. I liked the trade better when they had Ryan Anderson (reuniting him with SVG). I would not want to watch this team for at least several years, which is a shame because Drummond seems cool.
Klay Thompson is untouchable.
Outgoing: Omer Asik, 2014 #25
Incoming: John Salmons, 2014 #20
Selections: Gary Harris (#20)
Well, that worked out perfectly for Morey. Asik was traded for immediate cap relief, and was paid only a few million dollars for his two years in Houston, while Toronto will pay him close to $15 million this year. Gary Harris fell to #20, where Houston was undoubtedly overjoyed to pick him. Harris can't get to the rim, but he won't need to in Houston's offense. He should fit well on the second unit next to Lin, and possibly in three guard lineups with Beverley and Harden. Love it.
Will Larry Bird be able to hold on to Lance Stephenson?
L.A. Clippers: B+
Incoming: Chuck Hayes, 2014 #37
Selections: Nikola Jokic (#28)
Just some roster balance here, as Hayes is a better backup big than Mullins or Hollins. Jokic a bit of a reach, but the Clippers don't need immediate help either. Perfectly satisfactory.
L.A. Lakers: A-
Outgoing: Kendall Marshall, Roberto Sacre #7
Incoming: Jonas Valanciunas, Alexey Len, Marc Morris, Archer Goodwin, 2014 #25
Selections: T.J. Warren (#25)
I had to think about this grade for a long time. In a vacuum, I hate the Jonas trade. However, it's Lakers. They want to be good again as soon as possible, and paying for new contracts isn't as big of a deal for them as not going through several cycles of ineptitude and/or irrelevance. JoVal helps them on the inside, basically taking the place of Pau. Alternatively, if Pau can be resigned, he could easily play PF next to Val. So, in the end, I like the trade for the Lakers given their team context. T.J. Warren, projected to go #15 in the DX mock, is a steal at #25. There are still a ton of holes on their roster, but they have gobs of cap space after trading Steven Nash to Phoenix for a number of exciting young prospects. That trade was an absolute train robbery - Len is at the very least some depth, they got the better of the Morri, and Goodwin, who BSotS has called "untouchable" in Kevin Love trades all while cleaning the cap of Nash's contract.
Mempis Grizzlies: C
Outgoing: Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen, Jon Leuer, 2014#22, future first round pick (4 years top 17 protection or turns into 2nd round pick), 2015 2nd round
Incoming: Keith Bogans, Phil Pressley, Chris Johnson, 2014 #15, 2014 #45
Selections: Clint Capela (#15)
Well, the Mempis GM certainly played the part...(be sure to read the Pera press release on Capela). On the one hand, I love the Leuer trade and the Capela pick. Both are excellent moves for the future. On the other hand, why trade a future first to get rid of Prince, who has a now-valuable expiring contract? Why trade Tony Allen at all? Hmm.
Miami Heat: B+
Selections: Jarnell Stokes (#26)
I don't know anything about Stokes and I'm not about to watch his DX video, but he's going to Miami in a lot of mocks and others seemed to like the selection so I think it's safe to say this is a good pick.
Milwaukee Best: B
Outgoing: OJ Mayo, Brandon Knight, 2014 #2, #31, "Bucks"
Incoming: Danilo Gallinari, Evan Fournier, Evan Fournier's dog, "Best", Cory Joseph, 2014 #6
Selections: Dario Saric (#6)
This is the true wildcard of the draft...Milwaukee could come out as having one of the best or worst 2014 drafts depending on Gallo's health, Fournier's development, and Saric's play. Gallo should be hitting his prime right now, but who knows what effect a lost year and prolonged knee injury will have on his game. Fournier is still only 21! Plus they dumped Mayo! Yet while I like Saric a lot, I wonder if this wasn't a bit of a reach - especially with his future contract status unknown. I probably would've stuck at #2, or picked Parker at #6. You can't win with a handful of role players. Also the Cory Joseph trade was not good.
Incoming: David Blatt
Selections: Tyler Ennis (#13)
Not much to say here - the Wolves made an excellent hire in David Blatt. They could've shook things up by trading Love, but instead they decided to go BPA and pick Tyler Ennis, who should eventually supplant JJ Barea. I'll be interested in hearing about the Love offers, though.
New Orleans Pellies: B
Outgoing: Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans
Incoming: Josh Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Harrellson
Look, Smith's contract sucks but I actually think this trade is sneaky good for the Pellies - if Davis can play center. If Davis is a PF, then it could be disastrous. KCP is icing. At least Smith is a good (not great) player when properly coached. I'm not sure there's anything good about Evans.
New York Knickerbockers: S
Boy, I feel sorry for the GM who ended up with the Knickerbockers.
The Oklahoma City Fartknockers: B-
Outgoing: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, Andre Roberson, Jeremy Lamb, 2014 #29, "a future first round pick," Scott Brooks (coach)
Incoming: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, Gary Neal, 2014 #4
Selections: Marcus Smart (#4)
Don't trade Russell Westbrook. Who is playing SG? MKG? Spacing is gonna be a problem. I'd like to hear more from this GM because in his last presser he was very forthright. Anyway, don't trade Russell Westbrook.
Outgoing: 2014 #4, #12
Incoming: 2014 #1
Selections: Joel Embiid (#1)
This pick was made pre-foot injury, and the grade reflects that. Orlando did the right thing fleeced Cleveland, picked Embiid, and then sat it out. Nuff said.
Outgoing: Jason Richardson, Henry Sims, 2014 #3
Incoming: Kendrick Perkins, 2014 #8, #18, future first from Phoenix (top 10 protected 2017, top 5 2018, top 3 2019, unprotected 2020), Jason Thompson, 2015 2nd round from Phoenix, 2015 2nd round from Charlotte, 2015 2nd round from Mempis
Selections: Noah Vonleh (#8), Kyle Anderson (#10), Julius Randle (#18)
Look, Philly pretty unquestionably had the best draft. At #3, they selected Aaron Gordon and later traded him to Phoenix for Noah Vonleh (#8), the 18th pick, and a pretty juicy future first, along with Jason Thompson (yuck). Considering that Gordon and Vonleh are pretty equally rated by most, I considered this great value. If Philly was targeting Kyle Anderson at #10 all along, then Vonleh likely is a better fit anyway. But it wasn't until the Randle selection at #19 that Philly's amazing draft was cemented. Whether you like Randle or not (I don't especially), getting him that late in the draft was an absolute steal, and Philly deserves that + just because of it. However, absorbing Perkins contract seems a bit ridiculous and I almost turned the + into a - there. What are they going to do with three more 2nd rounders after nine or whatever this year? At some point these are diminishing returns. Don't think about that. Think about Noel-Vonleh-Anderson with Randle off the bench. All of the limbs!
Phoenix Suns: B-
Outgoing: Goran Dragic, Ish Smith, Shavlik Randolph Dionte Christmas, Alexey Len, Marc Morris, Archer Goodwin, 2014 #18, #27, unprotected 2015 first round pick, another future first round pick (top 10 protected 2017, top 5 2018, top 3 2019, unprotected 2020)
Incoming: Steven Nash, Roberto Sacre, Ben McLemore, Ray McCallum, Jason Richardson, Henry Sims, Thomas Robinson, 2014 #3
Selections: Aaron Gordon (#3), Zach LaVine (#14)
I had the hardest time grading Phoenix, vacillating between B+ and C+. Finally, I just settled on a B- because it's the only way to think about the future of this #SCtop10 team. On the one hand, Gordon. Dunks. 3s. Should be bouncy and fun to watch, while still well coached. On the other hand, that Nash trade. Woof, that is terrible. I don't really understand picking up Robinson, eurostashing a player would've made sense there (but see below). Two future firsts are gone. On the other hand, United We Dunk.
Portland Trailblazers: C
Outgoing: Thomas Robinson
Incoming: 2014 #27
Selections: Bogdan Bogdanovic
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I hated this trade for Portland too. The biggest problem in Portland is the bench, and they just traded their most consistent player - and the backup for injury-prone LaMarcus Aldridge - for a project that could likely have been had in the second round and won't be helping the team anytime soon.
Sacramento Kings: C-
Outgoing: Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson, Ray McCallum, 2014 #8
Incoming: Goran Dragic, unprotected 2015 first round pick
Look, the Dragon is cool. It might be fun watching him tear it up with Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay and Boogie. But they gave up way too much for an aging player in the last year of his contract. At least their pick is unprotected...if Bledsoe gets hurt, it could be top 10. Wouldn't a Noah Vonleh - DMC frontcourt have been terrifying?
San Antonio Spurs: A+
Outgoing: Cory Joseph
Incoming: 2014 #31
Selections: Mitch McGary (#30), Spencer Dinwiddie (#31)
The rich get richer. Ok, so I cheated and let the Spurs GM make his second round selection. Crap, McGary and Dinwiddie should slot right in to this well-oiled machine. Good job.
Outgoing: Jonas Valanciunas, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, #20
Incoming: Omer Asik, Kendall Marshall, 2014 #9, #12
Selections: Jusuf Nurkic (#9), Elfrid Payton (#12)
The biggest need in Toronto with the possible departures of Kyle Lowry and Grievis Vasquez was point guard and backup point guard. Here, the Toronto GM has shored up his options whether Lowry signs a new contract or not. Landing Asik was nice, although I question how well he'll fit with Amir - playing with Patrick Patterson (as he did two years ago in Houston) might be more synergistic. The Asik contract is really painful this year (in real dollars, not cap hit), but it's likely that the Toronto GM and Owner will be seeing kickbacks from Drake. As for the picks - Nurkic could come over next year if Asik is let go, or could be stashed long term. Payton should be able to supplant Kendall Marshall relatively quickly even though he can't really shoot. The only thing keeping this from an A+ is I guess the trade #7 for #9/12. I think taking Jabari would've been a better move there...that would not have been a fun draft party to be near.
Utah Jazz: A
Selections: Andrew Wiggins (#5), James Young (#23)
Utah gets an A for being the only team in the top 9 to just hold onto their flynning pick. They were rewarded with Andrew Wiggins falling right to them, about the best possible situation. At #23, they nabbed James Young, who will provide some wing depth right away.
Washington Wizards: DNP-CD
Flynn Randy Wittman.
There you have it, folks. It's been more fun than I possibly imagined to be your commissioner. Thanks for having me, for being creative with your trades, press releases, photoshops and paint jobs. As commissioner, I didn't have access to much trade banter - so I ask in return: What was the best trade that just fell through? Which GM egregiously overvalued their player or undervalued yours? What about links or discussions with other SB Nation boards? Angry fans? What's your plan for the offseason? Depth chart? Want to burn me for my grades? Did it make you understand anything about the real NBA? Have at it!
|1||Orlando (from Cleveland)||ailuridae||Joel Embiid|
|2||Denver (from Milwaukee)||nickthebeanpole||Dante Exum|
|3||Phoenix (from Philadelphia)||dumbhead62||Aaron Gordon|
|4||OKC (from Orlando via Cleveland)||humdinger tv||Marcus Smart|
|6||Milwaukee (from Boston)||zero_on_up||Dario Saric|
|7||Cleveland (from LAL via Toronto)||baddtothebbone||Jabari Parker|
|8||Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Phoenix)||dumbhead62||Noah Vonleh|
|9||Toronto (from Charlotte via OKC and Cleveland)||madison dan||Jusuf Nurkic|
|11||Chicago (from Denver via Boston)||dropstep||Jordan Adams|
|12||Toronto (from Orlando via Cleveland)||madison dan||Elfrid Payton|
|15||Mempis (from Atlanta)||mccleak||Clint Capela|
|16||Boston (from Chicago)||hashtagtroll||Nik Stauskas|
|18||Philadelphia (from Phoenix)||dumbhead62||Julius Randle|
|20||Houston (from Toronto)||jacob9||Gary Harris|
|21||Cleveland (from OKC)||baddtothebbone||Doug McDermott|
|22||Atlanta (from mempis)||the janitor||Damien Inglis|
|24||Cleveland (from Charlotte via OKC)||baddtothebbone||Glen Robinson III|
|25||LAL (from Houston via Toronto)||cynical jason||T.J. Warren|
|27||Portland (from Phoenix)||VooDooMagic||Bogdan Bogdanovic|
|29||Brooklyn (from OKC via Charlotte)||FreeDieng||Adreian Payne|
|30||San Antonio||zebano||Mitch McGary