Instead of just recapping the entire draft night with grades I want to talk about a few teams who made some great picks and a few teams that made some bad picks. The draft was interesting, my mock draft was terrible but it was a fun night.
Considering my mock draft was completely wrong I had Noah Vonleh off the board at number 9. He fell to the Hornets and I think it was a great pick. He has the defensive length, rebounding and the ability to stretch the floor to fit next to Al Jefferson. He is still very young so there is no need to rush his development. They added a shooter in P.J. Hairston after trading Shabazz Napier to the Miami Heat. He should get a lot of open looks with Jefferson in the paint and Kemba driving to the basket. In the 2nd round they got Dwight Powell and Semaj Christon. Powell is a big man from Stanford. It is a very good pick up because he is a senior and should be able to contribute right away as they bring Noah Vonleh along slowly. Christon can be a backup point guard with some size.
The Jazz wanted a combo guard to play next Burke and they got Dante Exum at number 5. Not much is known about him except he has a quick first step and he could be a game-changer for the Jazz. They got a steal at number 23 with Rodney Hood. If they lose Gordon Hayward he can be plugged in. He can score and create off the dribble, also has the size to be good on the defensive end.
They went defense with their picks. They added Aaron Gordon at #4. He will come in right away and contribute on the defensive end. He’s a freak athlete who will get buckets off of energy plays. They swapped picks with the Sixers and got Elfrid Payton. A defensive guard who can pass the ball and attack the basket. Should be a scary backcourt of Payton-Oladipo.
So those are a few teams that had multiple picks and made some good moves. There were a few teams that made some questionable decisions at the draft.
They needed a wing player and some shooting. Rodney Hood, P.J. Hairston and C.J. Wilcox were all on the board at the time. They passed on those guys and picked up Jordan Adams. Sure he’s a nice all-around player but he’s not the deadeye shooter they needed. Rodney Hood hit 42% of his 3-pointers last year at Duke. They added Jarnell Stokes in the 2nd round, I like that pick but they could have really addressed their shooting problems with that first pick and they missed that opportunity.
I know they want to be bad but their lottery picks won’t be available at the start of the season. Saric won’t come over for at least two seasons. Embiid is a risk especially if you have Noel on the inside already. They added two athletic wings in K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant to go with Thaddeus Young. Where is the shooting? They also added two guards from Serbia. I don’t understand any of these picks. They could have got a Joe Harris or Cleanthony Early instead of grabbing both of those wing players.
They were trying to make a run to the finals while playing Derek Fisher late in games. They could have added a Rodney Hood, P.J. Hairston, Jordan Adams, C.J. Wilcox or even Kyle Anderson. Instead they picked Mitch McGary, a guy who missed most of the season with a back injury. They needed a wing with some size but they passed on Cleanthony Early and K.J. McDaniels. Both guys have size, Early is the offensive player while McDaniels is the scary athlete. The Thunder picked Josh Huestis who is probably not better than those two guys.
There are honorable mentions. I loved the moves by the Knicks and Nets. The Nets didn’t have any picks but managed to snag two players in the 2nd round. I liked the Bulls getting Doug McDermott and I really liked the Lakers for drafting Randle and trading for Jordan Clarkson, a big combo guard who fell into the 2nd round.