Friday, June 26, 2009

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks: 1st round: Jeff Teague-PG, 2nd round: Sergiy Gladyr-SG

The Hawks did a good job upgrading their back court with this draft. I think Teague has some real upside, and can be a starter by his second year. Teague should fit in well with th Hawks athletic big men. Gladyr isn't going to help any time soon, but could be a contributor down the road.

Grade: B

Boston Celtics: 2nd round: Lester Hudson-SG

Hudson isn't a bad pick for the end of the 2nd round. He's an advanced player that can be a solid guy off the bench, if he makes the team. Overall there's some solid potential there for the Celtics, but they didn't really improve their team.

Grade: C+

Charlotte Bobcats: 1st round: Gerald Henderson-SG, 2nd round: Derrick Brown-PF

In my opinion the Bobcats had a really good draft. Henderson is a very good shooting guard and will give the Bobcats a great option on the wing. He will start by backing up Raja Bell, but should be a starter within two years. Brown is a great pick up in the 2nd round. He will help their front court depth, and has the upside to be a 6th man in a couple of years.

Grade: A-

Chicago Bulls: 1st round: James Johnson-PF, 1st round: Taj Gibson-PF

It was a little bit odd that the Bulls took two power forwards with their two picks, but I think they got solid value with them. Johnson has a ton of upside and should develop into a pretty good starter. Gibson doesn't have as much upside as Johnson, but should provide solid depth.

Grade: B

Cleveland Cavaliers: 1st round: Christian Eyenga-SF, 2nd round: Danny Green-SF, 2nd round: Emir Preldzic-F

This was a bit of a surprising draft for the Cavs. While i love the Danny Green pick, does Eyenga make sense with Blair, Young and others still on the board? Taking either Sam Young or DeJuan Blair would have been a coup at the end of the 1st round. Both players could have come in and contributed from day one. Blair especially would have made sense, given Varejeo's free agent status. I think Green was a great value pick and could be a steal. But for a team that is ready to win now, I don't understand drafting a player who won't be even in the country for a couple of years.

Grade: C

Detroit Pistons: 1st round: Austin Daye, 2nd round: DeJuan Summers, 2nd round: Jonas Jerebko

This could be a very good draft for the Pistons. There is a ton of upside with these three picks. Daye has the potential to become a top SF in the NBA. Summers and Jerebko both had first round potential, and are great value in the second round. The one issue with the Pistons draft is consistency. None of these players have been consistent in their careers. Both Daye and Summers would disappear in games in college. Overall though the talent is there so I do like what the Pistons did with this class.

Grade: B+

Indiana Pacers: 1st round: Tyler Hansbrough-PF, 2nd round: A.J. Price-PG

The Pacers added a pair of four year college players, who will need little or no development time. I like the Price pick a lot, I think he has a lot of upside. Price should be a good addition to the Pacers back court. I really question Hansbrough here, drafting him in the lottery is a big mistake. With Earl Clark, Johnson and Blair on the board Hansbrough was a big overdraft. I have a hard time imagining this draft four or five years from now, and considering Hansbrough one of the Top-15 players.

Grade: C

Miami Heat: 2nd round: Patrick Beverley-G, 2nd round: Robert Dozier-F

The Heat were without a 1st round pick but that didn't stop them from drafting some intriguing players. Beverley in particular can help the Heat down the road. He could back up either of the guard spots, and give the Heat a high energy guy off the bench. Dozier has a longer road towards making the Heat, but he does have some NBA tools.

Grade: B-

Milwaukee Bucks: 1st round: Brandon Jennings-PG, 2nd round: Jodie Meeks-SG

The Bucks did a great job filling their needs here and adding offensive upside. Jennings has the talent to be a great NBA point guard. He can do just about everything with a basketball, but he does have one thing standing in his way - himself. Jennings needs to worry less about whether the cameras are rolling, and more about refining his game. I'm higher on Meeks than most draftniks were. I don't think he'll ever be a starter, but he should be a good guy off the bench. I like his toughness and work ethic.

Grade: B+

New Jersey Nets: 1st round: Terrence Williams-SG

The Nets made a big move earlier in the day trading away Vince Carter for Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston. New Jersey followed that up by drafting Carter's replacement in Williams. Williams has a lot of upside, and should develop into a pretty good starter. Williams is one of the most athletic players in this entire class, but still needs to work on his offensive game to become a complete player.

Grade: B

New York Knicks: 1st round: Jordan Hill-PF, 1st round: Toney Douglas-G

The Knicks paid a hefty price for their 2nd first round pick ($3 million), but got a pretty good player in Douglas. Douglas and Hill fill the Knicks two biggest needs. They can both be pretty good complimentary players. Hill still needs to work on his offensive game, but he should be a good rebounder.

Grade: B+

Orlando Magic: No picks

The Magic went the trade route and did pretty well adding Vince Carter. Unfortunately they didn't have any picks to grade.

Grade: N/A

Philadelphia 76ers: 1st round: Jrue Holiday-PG

Holiday was a great pick for the 76ers. He fills a big need for Philly, and has some of the biggest upside in the entire draft. Holiday will probably need a year or two, to become a front line starter. When he does though, the 76ers will be happy with the wait. Holiday has limitless athletic ability and offensive potential.

Grade: B+

Toronto Raptors: 1st round DeMar DeRozen-G

The Raptors went with upside with their selection of DeRozen. DeRozen is a pretty raw player, but has plenty of potential. I think he will need at least two years, and might not even be a solid back-up next season. While the talent is there its definitely a risk to take DeRozen so early, on a team in transition. I would have liked it better if a team with multiple picks, or had playoff talent had grabbed DeRozen.

Grade: C+

Washington Wizards: Traded 1st round pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, traded 2nd round pick (Jermaine Taylor) to the Rockets for cash.

I think Wizards really blew this draft. They jumped the gun on the Foye trade, they could have kept the pick and taken Ricky Rubio. Even if they had still wanted to trade the pick, the value would have been higher with Rubio sitting there. I just don't feel they got enough out of the T-wolves in the trade. The 2nd round was an even bigger disaster. The Wizards were in desperate need of front court help and at the top of the 2nd round, DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Derrick Brown were available. Instead of taking one of them, the Wizards drafted a guard and sold him to the Rockets for $2.5 million. Any one of those players would have been a significant upgrade to the Wizards. Blair in particular was a lottery talent that fell due to injury concerns. Adding him to the front line, would have been a major boost to the Wizard's inside game. I think the Wizards will regret their draft decisions for years to come.

Grade: D

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