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2014 NBA Draft Grades: Assessing Each Team’s Selections

2014 NBA Draft: Giving Out Grades

2014 NBA Draft: Giving Out Grades
Brad Penner - USA Today Sports Images

The 2014 NBA Draft was touted as one of the best in quite a while for a long time and, on draft night, it pretty much lived up to the hype. Now that the dust has settled and the teams have their selections, it’s time to move forward. The first thing to do: give grades to every team for what they were able to do on draft night.

Atlanta Hawks: A-

Atlanta Hawks: A-
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Atlanta Hawks: A-

Atlanta Hawks: A-
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The Hawks hauled in Adreian Payne with the 15th pick, a player who can stretch the floor and fit right into Atlanta’s frontcourt. They then added the incredibly lengthy project in 7’2” Walter Tavares and traded to pick a shooter in Lamar Patterson in the second round. With Payne and Tavares alone, though, the Hawks did quite well.

Boston Celtics: B+

Boston Celtics: B+
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Boston Celtics: B+

Boston Celtics: B+
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Adding James Young on the wing with the 17th pick is a great move for Boston that will give them real versatility and a high-upside player. The Marcus Smart pick raises questions about Rajon Rondo’s future, but Smart’s toughness and demeanor should fit right in with the Celtics.

Brooklyn Nets: A

Brooklyn Nets: A
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Brooklyn Nets: A

Brooklyn Nets: A
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The fact that the Nets were able to essentially buy three picks and get into the draft at all gives them a good grade in itself. When you throw in the fact that they got three interesting prospects in Markel Brown, Xavier Thames and Cory Jefferson, Brooklyn actually ended up with a nice haul considering they started the night with no selections.

Charlotte Hornets: A

Charlotte Hornets: A
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Charlotte Hornets: A

Charlotte Hornets: A
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Charlotte was given a gift with Noah Vonleh falling to them at nine and were then able to turn the 24th pick into P.J. Hairston and Semaj Christon in the second round, both of whom address needs on the Hornets. Those three in addition to a depth-providing big man in Dwight Powell selected in round two give the Hornets a wonderful night in the draft, for once.

Chicago Bulls: A+

Chicago Bulls: A+
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Chicago Bulls: A+

Chicago Bulls: A+
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Cameron Bairstow in the second round is an odd pick that has a low possibility of success, but the fact that they were able to bolster their offense by trading up to get Doug McDermott is huge for this team. For what they needed, they got arguably the best guy in the draft to address it.

Cleveland Cavaliers: A

Cleveland Cavaliers: A
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Cleveland Cavaliers: A

Cleveland Cavaliers: A
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Giving out a lot of high grades early, but the Cavs got the best player available in this draft in Andrew Wiggins and got a possible sleeper in Joe Harris in the second round. Considering they didn’t overthink things and got a player with Wiggins’ talent to address an area of need, the Cavs get high marks.

Dallas Mavericks: C

Dallas Mavericks: C
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Dallas Mavericks: C

Dallas Mavericks: C
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The Mavs had only two second round picks to show for this draft, but those were sent to the Knicks in the Tyson Chandler trade. While getting Tyson Chandler is huge, the lack of youth is a bit concerning for this team and some kind of selection would’ve been nice.

Denver Nuggets: C+

Denver Nuggets: C+
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Denver Nuggets: C+

Denver Nuggets: C+
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Gary Harris falling to them was at 19 was a gift, but it’s one that conflicts a bit with Arron Afflalo being traded there earlier on Thursday. Moreover, they drafted two foreign centers to go along with Harris, both of whom you have to assume Shaw wants as rim-protectors, but both of whom aren’t ready.

Detroit Pistons: B-

Detroit Pistons: B-
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Detroit Pistons: B-

Detroit Pistons: B-
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The Pistons had a lone pick in the draft (the 38th) and they seemingly used it well to get a shooter in Spencer Dinwiddie. Sure, he’s coming off of a major injury which is concerning. However, Stan Van Gundy needs shooters and Dinwiddie is a guy that can give them just that if healthy.

Golden State Warriors: INCOMPLETE

Golden State Warriors: INCOMPLETE
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Golden State Warriors: INCOMPLETE

Golden State Warriors: INCOMPLETE
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The Warriors didn’t have a pick in this draft and were unable to trade into the draft. Kind of hard to grade them since that’s the case.

Houston Rockets: C-

Houston Rockets: C-
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Houston Rockets: C-

Houston Rockets: C-
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I’m not sure how much either Clint Capela or Nick Johnson are going to help them this season or even how much they’ll help going forward, though Capela is interesting defensively. The Rockets clearly have bigger plans this offseason, but the draft didn’t really do much for them.

Indiana Pacers: D

Indiana Pacers: D
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Indiana Pacers: D

Indiana Pacers: D
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The Pacers’ only pick was a late second-rounder and they traded away that selection. You could give them an incomplete, but the fact that they just traded it away is odd.

Los Angeles Clippers: F

Los Angeles Clippers: F
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Los Angeles Clippers: F

Los Angeles Clippers: F
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The Clippers have a plethora of wings on their roster, including Reggie Bullock from the 2013 draft. They used their lone pick to grab another wing in C.J. Wilcox despite a glaring need in their frontcourt. These are not positive things.

Los Angeles Lakers: A

Los Angeles Lakers: A
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Los Angeles Lakers: A

Los Angeles Lakers: A
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Though they had only one pick, they made the number seven selection count by grabbing Julius Randle. Randle is a player who should be able to contribute immediately and should fit in well in L.A. He’s a great pick up for Kobe and company. Jordan Clarkson is also a sneaky good addition.

Memphis Grizzlies: D

Memphis Grizzlies: D
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Memphis Grizzlies: D

Memphis Grizzlies: D
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The Grizzlies got two solid players in this draft in Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes. The problem is that neither of those guys are really what Memphis needs, especially when Adams was taken with Rodney Hood—a perfect fit—still on the board.

Miami Heat: C+

Miami Heat: C+
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Miami Heat: C+

Miami Heat: C+
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Miami walks away from this draft with only Shabazz Napier to show for their trouble. While Napier should be able to get plugged in, they gave up a second-rounder to move up two spots to get him. While it could help in re-signing LeBron James, it’s kind of a wishy-washy move from the Heat.

Milwaukee Bucks: B-

Milwaukee Bucks: B-
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Milwaukee Bucks: B-

Milwaukee Bucks: B-
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The Bucks need help right now and Jabari Parker certainly gives them that. However, their two second-round picks in Damien Inglis and Johnny O’Bryant III don’t really fit that mold. Parker alone gets them a solid grade, but the other two prospects don’t help the cause that much.

Minnesota Timberwolves: B-

Minnesota Timberwolves: B-
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Minnesota Timberwolves: B-

Minnesota Timberwolves: B-
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Zach LaVine is a high-risk pick, but the youngster has all of the upside in the world. Meanwhile, Glenn Robinson III could wind up being a steal if everything works out. However, I’m not a fan of them trading away the 44th pick for cash, which knocks them down just a notch in terms of grades.

New Orleans Pelicans: C

New Orleans Pelicans: C
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New Orleans Pelicans: C

New Orleans Pelicans: C
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The Pelicans turned not having a pick in this draft into Russ Smith, but they had to give up their second-round pick from last season to do so. It seems like kind of a lateral move, but at least it was some kind of movement, right?

New York Knicks: B+

New York Knicks: B+
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New York Knicks: B+

New York Knicks: B+
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Considering that the Knicks didn’t have any picks just a couple of days ago, walking out with three second-rounders in any capacity is a win. Throw in the fact that they got a solid rotation piece in Cleanthony Early, a high-upside project in Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and a player to stash in Louis Labeyrie, they came out quite well.

Oklahoma City Thunder: C

Oklahoma City Thunder: C
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Oklahoma City Thunder: C

Oklahoma City Thunder: C
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They reached to grab both Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis in the draft. McGary could develop into a solid big man and Huestis addresses defensive needs on the wing. However, it’s hard to not feel that the Thunder’s haul was somewhat lackluster.

Orlando Magic: B+

Orlando Magic: B+
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Orlando Magic: B+

Orlando Magic: B+
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While I’m not high on Aaron Gordon, there’s no denying his potential and the fit in Orlando. Elfrid Payton is also a fantastic fit for the Magic that will put Victor Oladipo in his more natural position at the two. Moreover, Late second-rounder Devyn Marble is a scorer to keep an eye on.

Philadelphia 76ers: A

Philadelphia 76ers: A
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Philadelphia 76ers: A

Philadelphia 76ers: A
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The 76ers are still going to be pretty bad next season, but they have a ton of intriguing possibilities going forward, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric being the most notable. Jerami Grant, Vasilije Micic and K.J. McDaniels are all intriguing going forward, though Jordan McRae and Nemanja Dangubic are iffy at best. Either way, Philly has a lot of pieces to work with.

Phoenix Suns: C

Phoenix Suns: C
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Phoenix Suns: C

Phoenix Suns: C
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T.J. Warren is a nice pick to help sure up the Suns’ offense and Bogdan Bogdanovic is a good look for them whenever he arrives. However, picks like Tyler Ennis and Alec Brown don’t do much for them in the long run. It’s a mixed bag for Phoenix in this draft.

Portland Trail Blazers: INCOMPLETE

Portland Trail Blazers: INCOMPLETE
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Portland Trail Blazers: INCOMPLETE

Portland Trail Blazers: INCOMPLETE
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Another team that was unable to get into the draft and another team that has to earn an incomplete. It’s a shame the Blazers couldn’t add another piece, though.

Sacramento Kings: B

Sacramento Kings: B
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Sacramento Kings: B

Sacramento Kings: B
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Nik Stauskas is the best shooter in this draft, giving the Kings something they need on the wing. More than that, his ball-skills are underrated and he has solid size. Speed and defense are problematic, but the Kings added a solid piece with the eighth pick, their only selection on the night.

San Antonio Spurs: A+

San Antonio Spurs: A+
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San Antonio Spurs: A+

San Antonio Spurs: A+
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Sure, the Spurs traded their two late second-round picks, but they got a steal that’s perfect for their system in Kyle Anderson with the 30th pick. He’s a guy who can do everything, the type of player the Spurs thrive on. Once again, the Spurs worked their magic on draft night.

Toronto Raptors: F

Toronto Raptors: F
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Toronto Raptors: F

Toronto Raptors: F
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I don’t particularly mind the DeAndre Daniels pick in the second round, but they fail because of their 21st pick being spent on Bruno Caboclo. He could work out eventually, but as of right now it seems like an egregious misfire on the part of the Raptors.

Utah Jazz: A+

Utah Jazz: A+
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Utah Jazz: A+

Utah Jazz: A+
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Utah walked away from the draft with two impact first-round picks. Dante Exum is a potential game-changing guard to pair with Trey Burke and Rodney Hood is fits a huge need as a steal with the 23rd pick. The Jazz quietly did a nice job of starting something promising.

Washington Wizards: F

Washington Wizards: F
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Washington Wizards: F

Washington Wizards: F
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I’m not completely sure why the Wizards traded their lone pick for cash, but that’s what they decided to do with the 46th overall pick. To each their own, but it’s not a move I would have made.