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EvanZ's 2012 NBA Draft Grades


And with the 4th pick...Dion Waiters to Cleveland. I don't know about you, but I breathed a huge sigh of relief. As far as I'm concerned, this draft was a success for the Warriors because we avoided: a) Dion Waiters; b) Tyler Zeller; c) trading with Houston. Hit the jump to see my draft grades for the Warriors and every other team.

Golden State Warriors: A-

7. Harrison Barnes - SF - UNC

30. Festus Ezeli - C - Vanderbilt

35. Draymond Green - SF/PF - Michigan St.

52. Ognjen Kuzmic - C - somewhere far, far away from the Bay Area

I am convinced we would've taken Dion Waiters had he been on the board at 7, but am thankful that decision was taken away from us by Cleveland. The real question was (and will be) Barnes vs. Drummond. It was surprising to me that both players were available, but I think even I would've gone for Barnes. It's sort of crazy that Barnes might be the 4th or 5th option in our starting lineup, but I think that's actually a good thing for him. Our starting lineup definitely needed more defensive ability, and I have no doubt that Barnes will end up being immediately become the second best defender after Bogut. He's big, strong, and athletic. He also just turned 20 a few weeks ago. I mean, come on, could you imagine a year ago that we'd get Harrison Barnes? (Ok, I kind of did, and things have turned out even better than I had hoped.)

Festus Ezeli definitely fits a need and he's a big boy. I'm surprised he fell to 30. Ditto for Draymond Green at 35. Did you know Green was the 4th highest rated big according to Hollinger's draft rater? That's really good value, and I think every draft analyst everywhere applauded that pick. He might not be a true 3 or a true 4, but who cares? He's going to be a role player, not a starter. That versatility coming off the bench can be a plus for him. I'm not sure Green can play any defense, but again, he's not starting, so it might not be as much of a concern.

I have to admit I would've been a little happier if we had taken more of a risk and gone with Quincy Miller at 35, though. Now, the 52 pick...who cares? That guy is about as likely to make the 12-man roster next year as I am.

Ok, there were other teams. Let's talk about them, too.

Atlanta Hawks - B+

23. John Jenkins - SG - Vanderbilt

43. Mike Scott - PF - Virginia

Jenkins can flat out shoot. He's arguably the best shooter in the entire draft. Not sure what else he can do, but shooting is kind of important and he can do that. And Atlanta needs better shooting. Great fit. Mike Scott is one of those productive Seniors who is passe these days. He's somewhat undersized for a PF and old (he'll be 24 before the season starts), which explains him going so low. But he has a shot at making that team.

Boston Celtics - B+

21. Jared Sullinger - PF/C - Ohio St.

22. Fab Melo - C - Syracuse

I like these two picks for Boston. They take a calculated risk in Sullinger that might pay off big time if his medical issues were truly overblown. A month ago, if you would've told me the Warriors would end up with these two guys, I would have been ecstatic. One guy can score in the post, and the other guy should be able to defend the post. Could be a great combo coming off the bench, or maybe starting whenever the C's start a re-build.

Brooklyn Nets - B

41. Tyshawn Taylor - PG - Kansas

54. Tornike Shengelia - PF - Georgia (the other one)

57. Ilkan Karaman - PF - Turkey

Getting Tyshawn Taylor this late in the draft seems like a good value pick. He's not good enough to replace DWill, but he might be good enough to back up the guy that eventually does.

Charlotte Bobcats - A

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - SF - University of Kentucky

31. Jeffrey Taylor - SG/SF - Vanderbilt

Kudos to Rich Cho and MJ for not buckling to pressure to trade and instead taking the best player on the board in MKG. Charlotte also gets Jeffrey Taylor who slipped all the way to the second round. Again, nice job not worrying about duplication here (with MKG or Gerald Henderson). Taylor was arguably BPA several picks before this. Don't worry about position with Taylor and MKG. I can see them easily playing together and being interchangeable at the 2/3. Charlotte is nowhere near done, but this is a good step in the right direction. They could've traded their picks for mediocre veterans, but decided to trust their ability to evaluate talent. Charlotte definitely added talent tonight, which is what the draft is all about.

Chicago Bulls - B

29. Marquis Teague - PG - University of Kentucky

60. Robert Sacre - C - Gonzaga

Honestly, I'm not sure if this is more of a need pick or BPA. But I get it. Teague has some big shoes to fill. Maybe not the greatest situation for him.

Cleveland Cavaliers - C+

4. Dion Waiters - PG/SG - Syracuse

17. Tyler Zeller - C - UNC

I don't get it. I liked Tristan Thompson last year, but not so much at #4. But Dion Waiters at 4? I just don't see it. They should've taken Thomas Robinson. Zeller has more value at 17 than he would've at 11 (or 7!). But I still see him as a "win now, maybe not later" type of player. Is it me or is Cleveland sort of building a Golden State of Ohio? Kyrie playing the role of Steph Curry. Dion playing Monta Ellis. Tristan Thompson a guest role as Ekpe Udoh. Tyler Zeller supporting role as David Lee. Sorry, but I don't like where that team is headed at all.

Dallas Mavericks - B-

24. Jared Cunningham - SG - Oregon St.

33. Bernard James - PF - Florida St.

Seems to me that Tony Wroten and Quincy Miller or Jae Crowder would have been better picks.

Denver Nuggets - B-

20. Evan Fournier - SG - France

38. Quincy Miller - SF - Baylor

50. Turkish Guy from Turkey

Denver doesn't have a lot of open spots on their roster, so two foreigners not so surprising. But Fournier was taken ahead of guys like Sullinger, Melo, John Jenkins, and Jeff Taylor. Quincy Miller redeems their grade though. Good risk/reward at 38.

Detroit Pistons - A-

9. Andre Drummond - C - UConn

39. Khris Middleton - SF - Texas A&M

Once again, Detroit is the beneficiary of GSW passing on a big man. Drummond might be a few years away, but he is the definition of upside. If this works, watch out for Detroit in a few years.

Houston Rockets - A

12. Jeremy Lamb - SG - UConn

16. Royce White - PF - Minnesota

18. Terrence Jones - SF/PF - University of Kentucky

Houston knocked it out of the park. I'm not a huge fan of Terrence Jones, but at 18? That's great value. Houston is going to be deeeeeeeeeep with talent. Golden State is going to have some tough work getting ahead of Denver and Houston in the next few years.

Indiana Pacers - C+

26. Miles Plumlee - PF - Duke

36. Orlando Johnson - SG - UCSB

Wait, doesn't Miles Plumlee already play for Indiana? Oh, that's Tyler Hansbrough. I'm not feeling that pick here. Jeff Taylor was on the board. Marquis Teague might have made some sense here, too. Orlando Johnson is a big athletic shooting guard, although he's 23 years old.

Los Angeles Clippers - B

53. Furkan Aldemir - PF - Turkey

Don't forget the "r" in Furkan. Some people might be offended.

Los Angeles Lakers - C

55. Darius Johnson-Odom - SG - Marquette

This is probably a good pick at 55. But it's the Lakers. Screw'em.

Memphis Grizzlies - B

25. Tony Wroten - PG/SG - Washington

I'm a little surprised Memphis didn't go for some more size in the front court (Arnett Moultrie) or nab Jeff Taylor here, but Wroten has some talent. Sort of a meh pick, though.

Miami Heat - D

45. Justin Hamilton - C - LSU

I don't really get this. They drafted Arnett Moultrie only to trade him to Philly for Hamilton and a future pick? Miami could've addressed it's one weakness with some real talent.

Milwaukee Bucks - A

14. John Henson - PF/C - UNC

42. Doron Lamb - SG - Kentucky

Milwaukee is now officially my second favorite team. Ekpe Udoh and John Henson? Awesome sauce. Doron Lamb is a steal at 42. Great value. Great draft.

Minnesota Timberwolves - C

58. Robbie Hummel - PF - Purdue

A smaller Troy Murphy? I'm sure T-Wolves fans were on the edge of their seats waiting for this pick.

New Orleans Hornets - A-

1. Anthony Davis - PF - Kentucky

10. Austin Rivers - PG/SG - Duke

46. Darius Miller - SF - Kentucky

New Orleans lucked into the first pick and Anthony Davis, but I'm disappointed that they bought into the Austin Rivers hype. Davis and Gustavo Ayon are going to be a formidable front court, to say the least (most people don't realize how good Ayon is), but I think Marshall would've been a better PG pick here, and Leonard or Henson would've made more sense to round out the depth in the front court there after NOH lost Okafor. Still, they get an A- for not screwing up the #1 pick and picking up great value at 46 with Darius Miller. Needless to say, New Orleans just got serious.

New York Knickerbockers - B

48. Kostas Papanikolaou - SF - Greece

Kyle O'Quinn was taken one pick later. I think the Knicks will regret this one. Although I hear Kostas makes a mean falafel.

Oklahoma City Thunder - A-

28. Perry Jones III - SF/PF - Baylor

At 7, PJIII would've been a massive reach. At 28? That's a Presti pick. Can't ask for much better value even though there were some rumors about Jones having some potential knee issues. OKC doesn't "need" much of anything (except more time to improve), so taking a risk on Jones here is well worth it. The only reason I didn't give them an A for this is that it was almost too obvious. (And I'm a little jealous.)

Orlando Magic - A-

19. Andrew Nicholson - PF - St. Bonaventure

49. Kyle O'Quinn - C - Norfolk St.

Neither of these guys can replace Dwight Howard or Ryan Anderson, but they can help that team whether those players stay or go. I like these picks. Nicholson was one of the guys who steadily moved up the draft board the last few weeks (he was the guy I wanted at 30 when it looked like he would be available in that range). O'Quinn might make a lot of teams regret passing on him.

Philadelphia 76ers - A-

15. Mo Harkless - SF - St. Johns

27. Arnett Moultrie - PF - Miss. St.

This is about where I thought Harkless should go, and he'll fit in with Doug Collins' defensive mindset. I'm a little surprised they didn't go for a guy like Royce White or even Tyler Zeller here, though. The Harkless pick would seem to signify that Iguodala is on his way out, which seems kind of a dumb move to me. Philly also loses some points for trading a pick for cash when Darius Miller and Kyle O'Quinn were still on the board. Philly gains some points for trading for Arnett Moultrie and adding much needed size.

Phoenix Suns - B+

13. Kendall Marshall - PG - UNC

I don't know if Marshall was the BPA here or the Most Obvious Replacement for Steve Nash. It's hard to distinguish whether this was a need pick or BPA. Marshall can pass, but will he be able to replace Nash's scoring ability? Seems doubtful to me.

Portland Trailblazers - A

6. Damian Lillard - PG - Weber St.

11. Meyers Leonard - C - Illinois

40. Will Barton - PG - Memphis

Portland arguably just acquired the top PG and true center in this draft, the two toughest positions to fill. And then throw in a high value pick at 40 in Will Barton, and Portland really cleaned up in this draft. Yet another team in the West that is going to be a lot better in the next few years.

Sacramento Kings - A-

5. Thomas Robinson - PF - Kansas

The Kings didn't do anything stupid with the fifth pick, so they get credit for that. TRob is going to be a great complement to Cousins, whereas I don't think Drummond would have been. I'm a bit miffed that they traded the 36th pick away. Doron Lamb (or Will Barton) would have been a good pick at that point.

San Antonio Spurs - B+

59. Marcus Denmon - PG - Missouri

At the 59th pick, you don't expect much. Knowing San Antonio, Denmon will probably win ROY.

Toronto Raptors - C

8. Terrence Ross - SG - Washington

37. Quincy Acy - PF - Baylor

56. Tomislav Zubcic - F - Croatia

Terrence Ross seems like a major reach to me at 8. Not sure if it's as bad as the Waiters pick, but I think Lamb should have been the wing taken here. And I don't like the Acy pick at 37 when there were other players with either higher floors (Darius Miller, Doron Lamb) or higher ceilings (Quincy Miller) still on the board.

Utah Jazz - B+

47. Kevin Murphy - SG - Tennessee Tech

Good 3-pt shooter (41.6%).

Washington Wizards - A-

3. Bradley Beal - SG - Florida

32. Tomas Satoransky - PG - Czech Republic

Beal was arguably the most obvious pick in the draft after Anthony Davis. The Wizards need better shooters. Wall finally has someone who can take some shots away from him...and make them. I'm not sure about Satoransky, but he has the size and athleticism to play both guard positions. I know the Warriors worked him out. Draymond Green could have helped this team, but I could say that about several other teams that passed on him (and probably did somewhere above). Not a full A on this draft, but pretty close.

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