June 29, 2007

Draft Grades

1. San Antonio

#28 - Tiago Splitter
#33 - Marcus Williams
#58 - Giorgos Printezis

Another year, another great draft for the Spurs. They are the most well run franchise in the NBA for a reason and they prove it every draft night. Splitter is a steal at #28. He has lottery talent, and only fell this far because buyout issues may keep him overseas for another year. That is no problem for the Spurs though. Marcus Williams is a big time talent and is another steal for the Spurs. He can learn under Barry and Finley and become a real nice NBA player. Getting 2 future contributors at #28 and #33 is what seperates the Spurs from the Suns.

2. Portland

#1 - Greg Oden
Trade - Channing Frye
Trade - Steve Francis
#24 - Rudy Fernandez
#30 - Petteri Koponen
#37 - Josh McRoberts
#52 - Taurean Green
#53 - Demetris Nichols

I don't think I have ever seen a draft where one team ammased so much talent. Portland got a franchise star in Oden and used the rest of the draft as their personal playground. I like the Randolph deal for Portland, even though they may not have gotten equal value. It helps them financially and I like Frye's shooting because it can open up the lane for Oden. Fernandez and Koponen have a chance to be special in the NBA one day and will stay in Europe for the near future. McRoberts at #37 is probably the steal of the draft. Green and Nichols have a chance to make their team as well. The second amazing draft in a row for Pritchard and the Blazers.

3. Golden State

#8 - Brandan Wright
#18 - Marco Belinelli
#36 - Jermareo Davidson
#46 - Staphane Lasme

Brandan Wright will be a very good NBA player. Too many people have jumped off Wright's bandwagon lately. It was highway robbery that Golden State got this future all star for the often injured and overpaid Jason Richardson. Marco Belinelli is a perfect fit for what Golden State does and was great value at #18. Davidson and Lasme both have a chance to make this team and provide the toughness that last years team sorely lacked. 4 rookies who have a chance to make your team is all you can ask for in a draft.

4. Philadelphia

#12 - Thaddeus Young
#20 - Jason Smith
#38 - Kyrylo Fesenko
#42 - Derrick Byars

I am not enamoured with Philly taking Thad Young at #12. I feel like their were better players on the board. That is a small squable though, as I do like Thad an awful lot and I absolutely love the rest of Philly's draft. Jason Smith fills Philly's need for a PF and will be a great fit next to Delembert. With Fesenko and Byers in the second round, I feel like Philly did better than anyone in the second round. Byars and McRoberts will be the steals of this draft.

5. New Orleans

#13 - Julian Wright
#43 - Adam Haluska

New Orleans did not have as much to work with as many of the teams I have rated ahead of them, but no one did as well filling their needs. Julian Wright is a perfect fit in New Orleans and will fit perfectly with Chris Paul. With Peja being a big question mark, this pick was a great one. Haluska is the athletic shooter that New Orleans has lacked the last 2 years. He can make this team and thrive next to Paul.

6. Seattle

#2 - Kevin Durant
#5 - Jeff Green
Trade - Wally Szerbiak
Trade - Delonte West
#31 - Carl Landry

No one had a better first round than the Seattle Sonics. Durant was a no brainer and will be an absolute star in the NBA. Trading Allen and rebuilding is the right move and adding Jeff Green was perfect. Jeff Green and Kevin Durant will complament each other perfectly. Durant is a PF who plays like a SF, Green a SF who plays like a PF. They will mesh perfectly. Delonte West will step right in as the SG and not miss a beat. The only problem I have with their draft is the huge reach for Carl Landry at #31. There were lots of good players still available and you just drafted 2 forwards, Marcus Williams or Derrick Byars would have been a much better pick. All in all Seattle is much better off than before the draft.

7. Washington

#16 - Nick Young
#47 - Dominic McGuire

Nick Young will be a perfect fit next to Arenas and Caron Butler. Best backcourt combo in the NBA next year.

8. Chicago

#9 - Joakim Noah
#49 - Aaron Gray
#51 - JamesOn Curry

Chicago needed frontcourt help. Joakim Noah and Aaron Gray are frontcourt help. Gray is good enough to play in the NBA. He will help Chicago immediately. Curry will be in Europe this time next year.

9. Milwaukee

#6 - Yi Jianlian
#56 - Ramon Sessions

Assuming the Chinese government allows Yi to play in Milwaukee, this is a great pick. Yi, Bogut and Villanueva make a good frontcourt for the Bucks. I love the pick of Ramon Sessions as insurance in case Mo Williams bails. Good need filling draft for the Bucks.

10. Utah

#25 - Morris Almond
#55 - Herbert Hill

Another need filling draft here. The Jazz have few holes, but Alond fills the one they have. They needed a SG who could shoot from distance, he will compliment Ronnie Brewer very well. Herbert Hill has a chance to bring some toughness to the Jazz.

11. Memphis

#4 - Mike Conley Jr.

Conley will make all the good players in Memphis better with his presence. This team is loaded with young talent.

12. LA Lakers

#19 - Javaris Crittenton
#40 - Sun Yue
#48 - Marc Gasol

I don't think this does much for Kobe's desire to stay. Crittenton was a good pick at #19, but he will take a few years to develope. Sun Yue won't be an NBA player IMO, but I love Gasol, who may come over and play this year for the Lakers.

13. Sacramento

#10 - Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes is a steal at #10. He is better than Brad Miller right now, and I have no idea why he fell past Minnesota and Chicago ay #7 and #9. Hawes will fit in well with Kevin Martin going into the future as the Kings rebuild.

14. Atlanta

#3 - Al Horford
#11 - Acie Law

Kind of the boring safe route by the Hawks. I do not see what Horford adds to the Hawks that they do not already have as they needed a forward like they needed a hole in the head. Horford is however very good, so maybe he allows them to move some other forwards for a true center. Acie Law I lovwe at #11, he is the perfect PG for Atlanta. I'd have like Yi or Hawes better at #3 though.

15. Dallas

#34 - Nick Fazekas
#44 - Reyshaun Terry
#50 - Renaldas Seibutis

Considering the picks Dallas had, they could not have done a lot better. Fazekas and Terry should make their team and contribute down the line. Seibutis is a good player who may develope overseas into a very good player.

16. LA Clippers

#14 - Al Thorton
#45 - Jared Jordan

Love the Thorton pick. Hate the Jordan pick. Thorton was the BPA, and will play right away on the Clips. Jordan though is simply too unathletic to play in the NBA, though I loved his game in college. Taking him over Taurean Green and Ramon Sessions was foolish.

17. New York

Trade - Zack Randolph
Trade - Dan Dickau
Trade - Fred Jones
#23 - Wilson Chandler

As usual, the Knicks make the worst pick in the first round. Wilson Chandler could have been had halfway through the second round, so the Knicks would have been better off picking a SG like Almond or Afflalo and moving into the second round for Chandler. But, since when does Isiah do the logical thing? The Randolph trade was good for the Knicks in the sense that they gave up little to get him, but I do not like his fit next to Curry. They may score 50 points a game, but they will give up 60.

18. Boston

Trade - Ray Allen
#32 - Gabriel Pruitt
#35 - Glen Davis

I like Ray Allen, but I do not see what trading for hima ccomplishes for the Celtics. He does not make them a title contender, so adding a 32 year old aging jump shooter and giving up on a guy like Yi just makes no sense to me. I hope Pierce is happy, he ruined the Celts youth movement for a chance to be a 7 seed. I do like Pruitt and Big Baby in the second round, both have a chance to make the Celtics.

19. Phoenix

#29 - Alando Tucker
#59 - DJ Strawberry

Stop selling your picks. The Spurs keep theirs and add quality pieces. You just give yours away. Maybe that is why the Spurs are better than you. I do like the two players the Suns did get, though they kind of overlap each other. If Tucker gets better from three point land he can be the second coming of Michael Finley.

20. Charlotte

Trade - Jason Richardson
#22 - Jared Dudley

Michael Jordan is a terrible GM. There, I said it. Trading Brandan Wright for Jason Richardson is foolish on a team that won't make the playoffs either way. Charlotte absorbes a ton of cap space here to get an overpaid and often injured SG. Brandan Wright would have grown into the perfect running mate for Emeka Okafor. They could have terrorized the league defensively. Dudley is a solid pick at #22, but I see no reason Charlotte needs another SF, unless they think Gerald Wallace is gone.

21. New Jersey

#17 - Sean Williams

High risk, high reward pick for the Nets. Williams is lottery talent with a ten cent brain. New Jersey fell in love with his talent, but he is not a good investment in my opinion. Giving guaranteed money to a guy who got kicked off his college team twice is a recipe for disaster. He's a heck of a shotblocker though.

22. Houston

#26 - Aaron Brooks
#54 - Brad Newley

I like Brooks, but this is too early to take him and I don't know why the Rockets want him. They already have 2 decent PG's. Newley is a good pick at #54 and can be a good shooter to surround TMac and Yao with.

23. Minnesota

#7 - Corey Brewer
#41 - Chris Richard

Too early for Brewer, too early for Richard. Minnesota passed on better players to draft both guys. They could have had Spencer Hawes and Derrick Byars, that would have been a far better draft.

24. Miami

#21 - Daequan Cook

Cook is a heck of a talent, but not much of a basketball player. He needed another year in college, and I would not be surprised to see him flush out of the NBA after his rookie contract is up. He has a chance to be special, but so did Lenny Cooke and Ndudi Ebi.

25. Detroit

#15 - Rodney Stuckey
#27 - Arron Afflalo
#57 - Sammy Mejia

Calling all shooting guards. Detroit took three shooting guards when they really only needed one. I think #15 is too early for Stuckey as well. They could have had Nick Young, Derrick Byars, and Kyle Visser and filled a ton of needs. Joe Dumars is the anti-Isiah, great GM, terrible drafter.

26. Indiana

#39 - Stanko Barac

Indiana bought this pick from Miami. I like that part. They then used it to draft a foreign big man who is light years away from playing in the NBA. Indy is a team who could have filled some holes here by taking Taurean Green, and instead took the whitest available player. Indiana is slowly sinking into the toilet.

27. Orlando

#60 - Milovan Rakovic

I have a draft site and I have never heard of this guy. Orlando had 4 picks in this draft at one point and ended last night with just this dude. I am ok with trading the first rounder for Darko. I am even ok with throwing the #39 pick in to get Stan Van Gundy given the circumstances. But I am not cool with selling the #44 and #54 picks for cash and a random European stiff, of which we have plenty of both. Orlando was in a perfect situation to draft Taurean Green and Kyle Visser and see if they could help out team without it costing them anything more than hotel fee. Orlando is the worst drafting team in the NBA.

Toronto, Cleveland, and denver had no picks in this draft. They still did better than Orlando and Indiana.


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