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Post-NBA Draft 2014 Grades

Wiggins to Cleveland
1. Cleveland Cavaliers Andrew Wiggins, G/F
For the second straight year the Cavs went to Canada to snag their No.1 pick. Wiggins will bring immediate athleticism and excitement on the wing but the move does put the future of last year's selection, Anthony Bennett, in question. In a couple years, Wiggins could be far and away the best player in this draft but he is a little bit too inconsistent and timid offensively for this selection to me. Grade: B

2. Milwaukee Bucks Jabari Parker, F
It was fantastic that Wiggins went to Cleveland, it opened up the door for the Bucks to get Jabari, who they really need. Jabari's versatility and scoring touch should really help Milwaukee's extremely inefficient offense and his character and maturity are at a pro level.
Grade: A-

3. Philadelphia Sixers Joel Embiid, C
Much like last year, Philly took a chance on a talented big man with injury concerns, after selecting Nerlens Noel last season. Embiid is obviously a major risk but if he doesn't play in Year One, it gives the Sixers an opportunity to continue to tank and get more premier NBA prospects, and then he can come on and show what he can do later in his career.
Grade: B+

4. Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon, F
Gordon has drawn plenty of comparisons to Blake Griffin; he is a fantastic dunker and acrobatic finisher around the rim. Though, he has an atrocious jump shot and is a question at the free throw line making him still not even close to the level Griffin was at when he became the Clippers' No.1 pick years ago. This was a real stretch and it might have been a risky decision, considering point guards Dante Exum and Marcus Smart were still on the board.
Grade: C+

5. Utah Jazz Dante Exum, PG
Last year, the Jazz added Michigan star Trey Burke to give them a piece in their backcourt, and they added another one with Exum, a player who only high-profile scouts have seen in person. The Australian has great size and length and the athleticism to get to the rim; if he develops a jump shot he is a great pick here.
Grade: B+

6. Boston Celtics Marcus Smart, PG
Smart had the chance to be the 2013 first overall selection, but he decided to return to Oklahoma State. Although there were some bad moments, Smart's draft stock didn't completely fall apart as the C's get their point guard that could possibly replace Rajon Rondo. Him and Avery Bradley could form a fantastic defensive backcourt and he has an NBA body.
Grade: A-

7. Los Angeles Lakers Julius Randle, F
The Lakers get a forward that they can use in the future with Pau Gasol likely gone and the rest of the frontcourt aging. He is a psychical big man who can rebound very well and seems like he could be a good fit in Los Angeles. If he can develop a more efficient jumper, he could be a steal here.
Grade: B

8. Sacramento Kings Nik Stauskas, G/F
This was perhaps the first major surprise of the draft, although it isn't like Stauskas wasn't expected to be a lottery selection. He really improved from his freshman to sophomore seasons and there is no denying how lethal he is from deep, whether it be creating his shot or coming off a pick and roll situation. Though, the Kings last couple selections have been Ben McLemore and Jimmer Fredette, two shooters who haven't done anything, raising red flags about this pick.
Grade: B-

9. Charlotte Hornets Noah Vonleh, F/C
Every single year players drop in drafts and this year's dropper was Vonleh, although he did still manage to stay in the Top 10. This pick really helps Charlotte because Vonleh is a shooter and floor spacer who can open up Al Jefferson down low and lanes for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is far from a shooter. His rebounding and size should definitely help as well.
Grade: A

10. Philadelphia Sixers Elfrid Payton, PG (rights given to Orlando)
Philadelphia parlayed this Payton selection into Dario Saric and some future draft selections. Saric won't come to the NBA for at least a couple of years but he has the chance to really grow into a great forward before coming to the league.
Grade: B

11. Denver Nuggets Doug McDermott (rights given to Chicago)
What a day for Denver, who landed Orlando guard Arron Afflalo earlier in the day and then got Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic and steal Gary Harris, for this pick. Nurkic has the chance to be very productive and Harris' versatility and smarts should really help a struggling and injury-prone Denver backcourt.
Grade: A-

12. Orlando Magic Dario Saric, F (rights given to Philadelphia)
The Magic traded Saric off to Philly to land Payton, an up-tempo, athletic point guard from Louisiana-Lafayette. He is a little bit limited as a scorer, he isn't much of a shooter but he is quick and a great passer and he fills in a major need for the Magic, the point guard position.
Grade: B+

13. Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine, G
Sometimes it is easy to get sucked into the flashiness of a player, and I think that Minnesota got fooled by LaVine. They are going to love his crazy athleticism and insane vertical but he is a tweener, not really fitting in at either guard spot and a below average defender.
Grade: C

14. Phoenix Suns T.J. Warren, G/F
Phoenix used their first selection in this year's draft to snatch up Warren, the ACC Player of the Year in 2013-2014 for NC State. The wing scorer is very strong, he can back down smaller defenders and he also is a hustle player who can be a factor on the offensive and defensive boards. Phoenix really needed a wing, this is a solid selection.
Grade: B

15. Atlanta Hawks Adreian Payne, F
He struggled with injuries during his senior season with Michigan State but when he was healthy, Payne was one of the most dominant college basketball players in the nation. He has great size and good going to the rim with both hands; his shooting touch gives the Atlanta offense a new dimension.
Grade: B+

16. Chicago Bulls Jusuf Nurkic, C (rights given to Denver)
Denver got a real talent with this Bosnian big man but Chicago also got a great player, as they used this pick to land Doug McDermott, or "Dougie McBuckets." The Bulls have been limited offensively at times, so picking up McDermott, one of the best scorers in NCAA history should really help, although he needs to get stronger to compete at the next level.
Grade: B-

17. Boston Celtics James Young G/F
Young is an interesting prospect, because he is a pretty dangerous shooter who can beat defenders off the dribble and get to the rim, but it is inconsistent and lacks defensive awareness. He should still help Boston and give them a valuable athlete on the wing to pair with Jeff Green, assuming they keep him.
Grade: B

18. Phoenix Suns Tyler Ennis, PG
This is a safety pick for the Suns, in case Eric Bledsoe leaves in free agency this offseason. Ennis is a great safety plan, he is an efficient leader who is clutch in big moments and great in the open floor. Although he may not see a lot of early minutes with Dragic on board and Bledsoe still possibly resigning, this is a good move.
Grade: A-

19. Chicago Bulls Gary Harris, SG (rights given to Denver)
See pick No. 16.
Grade: B-

20. Toronto Raptors Bruno Caboclo, SF
This was probably the biggest "What? Who?" pick of the first round. Selecting Caboclo is a swing for the fences move but the Brazilian has the raw tools to be a strong player. It probably will take five years for him to come over, which is why this move doesn't make sense for Toronto, a team that is looking to add somewhat right now to get over the hump and make an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
Grade: D+

21. Oklahoma City Thunder Mitch McGary, F
There were rumors the Thunder liked McGary, a stud Michigan forward who was basically forced to declare for the draft after a year-long suspension was handed to him in Ann Arbor. It was pretty surprising he did go this high, but he does give OKC a young, hard-worker who can run the floor and be a great teammate, even though this was a stretch.
Grade: C+

22. Memphis Grizzlies Jordan Adams, G
The Grizzlies have been limited offensively the last couple of years, stacking up on great defenders. Adams can bring valuable scoring to Memphis, he can score everywhere on the court and he is a great athlete. He could put up some big numbers his rookie season for the Grizz.
Grade: B

23. Utah Jazz Rodney Hood, G/F
This was a very nice pickup for the Jazz, who could be losing wing scorer Gordon Hayward in free agency this summer. Hood, a transfer from Mississippi State who excelled this past year at Duke, can do everything right, a gifted shooter who can finish through contact.
Grade: B+

24. Charlotte Hornets Shabazz Napier, PG (rights given to Miami)
The Hornets used the Heat's obvious need for a point guard to trade Napier for D-League star P.J. Hairston. The former UNC wing scorer was the first D-League player ever to go in the first round of the draft, he can score in a variety of ways.
Grade: B-

25. Houston Rockets Clint Capela, F/C
This was obviously going to be an International stash guy, as the Rockets don't want to use any cap space in case they were going to make a run at LeBron or Carmelo. Capela has the size and is a great rebounder, when he does come over he can be a solid contributor.
Grade: C

26. Miami Heat P.J. Hairston (rights given to Charlotte)
With Mario Chalmers likely seeing his last minutes in South Beach, it was clear the Heat wanted a point guard. Landing Napier was really the best situation for them, he is a great leader who can score and play good defense.
Grade: B+

27. Phoenix Suns Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG
With their final selection of the first round, Phoenix landed a stash guy in Bogdanovic, who likely won't see NBA minutes in the next couple years. He is a good athlete and effective shooter, he could do something in a couple years for the Suns.
Grade: C+

28. Los Angeles Clippers C.J. Wilcox, G
I'm a big fan C.J. Wilcox fan, he is a gritty player who provides versatility and he is also a solid defender. Though, I was hoping the Clippers would add a backup point guard or a valuable piece to their frontcourt but instead they went with Wilcox, which doesn't add much to their roster full of shooters.
Grade: C-

29. Oklahoma City Thunder Josh Huestis, F
After making a pretty surprising move on McGary earlier in the draft, the Thunder went with another surprise in Huestis. He is a fantastic defender who can hit the open shot and will give you hustle minutes. He isn't a flashy pick but he is a smart pick; I do wonder if they could have gotten him later, though.
Grade: C+

30. San Antonio Spurs Kyle Anderson, G/F
The Spurs did what the Spurs do, land a sliding prospect who many teams overlook. The 6'9" versatile talent can play a number of positions and handle the ball very well, he could be the next Boris Diaw for San Antonio.
Grade: B

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