Grading Every First Round Pick

  1. New Orleans-Zion Williamson PF, Duke This is a no brainer pick right here. He is super athletic and proved at Duke he can be more than just a dunker. He can rebound at a high clip, run the break pushing the ball or finishing and looks to be improved passer. Once he gets a ju mp shot , he will be difficult to guard. Grade: A+
  2. Memphis-Ja Morant PG, Murray State It became clear after the Grizzlies agreed to deal Mike Conley, that Morant would be their guy. Morant could turn out to be a thriple double threat at the next level. His athleticism gets the most attention but his passing is probably his best attribute. This was a fantastic selection. Grade: A+
  3. New York-R.J. Barrett SG/SF, Duke Even though the Knicks were disappointed not getting the top pick, they will be happy getting Barrett here. I expect him to start right away and be a cornerstone in their never ending rebuilding effort. Grade: A
  4. L.A. Lakers-De’Andre Hunter SF, Virginia(traded to Atlanta) The Hawks get this pick from New Orleans who received it in the Anthony Davis trade. The Hawks loved Hunter right away and he figures to replace Taurean Prince in the Atlanta starting lineup. Hunter quite possibly is the best defender in this draft. He will not need the ball to be effective, but can score enough at times.  Grade: B+
  5. Cleveland-Darius Garland PG, Vanderbilt I cannot understand why the Cavs would pick a point guard after selecting one in last years draft. I am not sure these two can be successful playing next to each other. This is not a good fit at all and Jarrett Culver would be a better fit. Garland is a good shooter but not getting a traditional wing could hurt them. Grade: D
  6. Phoenix-Jarrett Culver SG, Texas Tech(traded to Minnesota) The Wolves have been shuffling different players at the shooting guard position all last season. Culver could eventually become the starting shooting guard in Minnesota. Culver is a good defender who with an improved jumper could become a solid 3 and D guy. Grade: B+
  7. Chicago-Coby White PG, North Carolina The Bulls are in desperat need of point guard help. The plan is for White to rplace Kris Dunn as the starting point guard for the Bulls. White is more of a scoring guard, but should be able to play well off of auri Markannen and Zach LaVine. Grade: A
  8. Atlanta-Jaxson Hayes C, Texas(traded to New Orleans)  I am not as high on Hayes as most, but he is a perfect fit for the New Orleans roster.They need a center to round out their starting five and Hayes can come in and immedaitely become a rim protector for the Pelicans. He is still raw offensively but he will not need to score much on this roster. Grade: B
  9. Washington-Rui Hachimura PF, Gonzaga This is a big stretch grabbing Hachimura here. He is a good mid range game, but not a great three point shooter or a great rebounder. This is a head scrathcher for sure. I like him as a player but this is way too early for him to go. Grade: D
  10. Atlanta(from Dallas)-Cam Reddish SF, Duke The Hawks could not of had a more perfect scenario happen with Reddish falling here. His shooting ability added to the other Hawks sharp shooters and the presence of John Collins is more tha ideal. I absolutely love this pick and think that their roster can now let them play all different kimds of lineups and a small ball lineup that could be dangerously fun to watch. Grade: A+
  11. Minnesota-Cam Johnson SF, North Carolina(traded to Phoenix) I am really confused by this pick. Johnson is a good shooter and would fit in Phoenix if they didn’t already have 3 small forwards ahead of him on the depth chart. I will assume they make a few trades to thin the abundance of wings on the roster but at 11 I think they could of done better. Grade: C
  12. Charlotte-PJ Washington PF, Kentucky He is a bruiser who has really improved his game. The Hornets can use him off the bench behind Marvin Williams for now. If Washington can consitently ht the open jumper, he will be a good NBA player. Grade: B
  13. Miami-Tyler Herro SG, Kentucky One of the top shooters in this draft. Miami has a logjam at the shooting guard position, but are expected to clear that logjam with trades. Herro works well off the ball and could become a JJ Redick type scorer for Miami. Herro has also improved his defense and should get a chance to get good minutes his rookie season. Grade: B
  14. Boston(from Sacramento)-Romeo Langford SG, Indiana The Celtics are in a position where they can grab a good athlete. Marcus Smart could move back to point guard with the Celtics losing possibly two possbly leaving as free agents. That means they need to add some depth at the wing spot. Langford is a good finisher who needs to improve his perimeter game. Grade: B
  15. Detroit-Sekou Dounboya SF, France He is a little raw right now, but could develop into a steal here. I am not sure how he will fit in next season with Detroit, but it was too good to pass on here. The upside here is too great. Grade: B+
  16. Orlando-Chuma Okeke SF/PF, Auburn This is somehwta high for a player who suffered a torn ACL and likely to miss his entire first season. He is a good defender and capable scorer, but I think this is a little high for him to be selected. This will likely need another year to properly grade. Grade: C
  17. Brooklyn-Nickeill Alexander-Walker PG/SG, Virginia Tech(traded to New Orleans) I like this pick right here for the Pelicans. He is a combo guard who should be able to play either position off the New Orleans bench. I am really liking the way  New Orleans is haping up their roster. Grade: B+
  18. Indiana-Goga Bitadze C, Republic of Georgia The Pacers add size right here with the Georgian big man. Not sure how much run he will get in Indiana as both Myles Turner and Domatas Sabonis are ahead of him on the depth chart. He could be a nice contributor down the line. Grade B
  19. San Antonio-Luka Samanic PF, Croatia Not surprised the Spurs go the forign route. Samanic is a stretch four and could get some run in San Antonio if they finally go full rebuild. I think the Spurs could of selected several other players who could of been major contributors next season. Grade: C
  20. Boston(from L.A. Clippers)-Matisse Thybulle SG/SF, Washington(traded to Philadelphia) The Sixers move up to take Thybulle here. He is a stud wing defender who should get some run because of his hustle and ability to guard multiple positions. Not sure how this will affect last year’s pick Zaire Smith, but this is a solid pick here for Philadelphia. Grade: B
  21. Oklahoma City-Brandon Clarke SF/PF, Gonzaga(trade to Memphis) This is a such shame Clarke fell to pick 21. Memphis could possibly have on of the brightest small ball lineups with Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. playing next to each other. Clarke is a good defender and the Grizzlies interior defense will be insane. This is such a steal here. Grade: A+
  22. Boston-Grant Williams PF, Tennessee  This is a good pick as the Celtics seem to be rounding out their rotation as they look set to lose many free agents. Williams is a good defender and I believe he can play right away and be a part of the Celtics rotation. Grade: B+
  23. Utah-Darius Bazley SF/PF, USA(traded to Oklahoma City Bazley started soaring up the draft boards recently after sitting out a year and working on his game. He has great size and could play both forward positions. He may take some time to get much time for Oklahoma City. Grade: B
  24. Philadelphia-Ty Jerome PG Virginia(traded to Phoenix) The Suns may have found their starting point guard. Jerome is a very steady lead guard who excels at running an offense and hitting open shots. After a shaky start to the draft, I think the Suns make up for it right here with this pick. I feel like Jerome immediately is the best point guard on the roster. Grade: A
  25. Portland-Nassir Little SF, North Carolina Little falls to the Blazers here and they have a need for a small forward. I think this is a good spot for Little to fall and a fantastic value pick. Grade: B+
  26. Cleveland(from Houston)-Dylan Windlar SF, Belmont Not sure what the Cavs are doing this draft. He is a good shooter but I think for the rebuilding Cavs, there was much better options with higher upside available they could pof selected. Grade: D
  27. Brooklyn-Mfiondu Kabengele PF/C, Florida State(traded to LA Clippers) The Clipps move into the back end of the first round and take the big man. He can be a stretch big for the Clippers. I could see him getting some time for the Clippers. Grade: B
  28. Golden State-Jordan Poole SG, Michigan I want to say I do not like this pick and feel there are 20 guys on the board better than Poole. However he could see somre minutes for the depleted Warriors. Grade: D
  29. San Antonio(from Toronto)-Keldon Johnson SG, Kentucky You can never have too many wings. This is a steal for San Antonio to grab Johnson here. He is a steal and did not show his real potential at Kentucky. I think he can score in multiple facets and become a rotation player, especially is the Spurs make some moves. Grade: A
  30. Milwaukee-Kevin Porter Jr. SG, USC(traded to Cleveland) In desperate need of a shooting guard, the Cavs trade in to the back end of the first rund to get Porter. This could become a steal and Porter likely makes the Cavs three man back court rotation with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Grade: B

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