NBA Draft 2014 Grades: Full Results, Analysis and Reaction

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver opens the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

Every team went into the 2014 NBA draft hoping to improve, but a few organizations did a better job of that than others.

While it is impossible to know exactly how well each player will turn out for a few years, it is never too early to judge the merits of a draft pick. It is still important to get value and fill needs when making selections, especially since the "fit" ends up playing a huge part in development.

Although everyone will have a different view on what occurred on Thursday night, here are complete grades by team with a breakdown of the most intriguing drafts.

2014 NBA Draft Results
TeamPicksGrade
Boston CelticsMarcus Smart (6), James Young (17)A-
Brooklyn NetsMarkel Brown (44), Cory Jefferson (60)B-
New York KnicksCleanthony Early (34), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (51), Louis Labeyrie (57)B+
Philadelphia 76ersJoel Embiid (3), Dario Saric (12), K.J. McDaniels (32), Jerami Grant (39), Vasilije Micic (52), Nemanja Dangubic (54), Jordan McRae (58)A
Toronto RaptorsBruno Caboclo (20), DeAndre Daniels (37), Xavier Thames (59)D
Chicago BullsDoug McDermott (11), Cameron Bairstow (49)B-
Cleveland CavaliersAndrew Wiggins (1), Joe Harris (33)A-
Detroit PistonsSpencer Dinwiddie (38)B
Indiana PacersNo Picks-
Milwaukee BucksJabari Parker (2), Damien Inglis (31), Johnny O'Bryant III (36)A-
Atlanta HawksAdreian Payne (15), Walter Tavares (43), Lamar Patterson (48)B-
Charlotte HornetsNoah Vonleh (9), P.J. Hairston (26), Dwight Powell (45), Semaj Christon (55)A
Miami HeatShabazz Napier (24)A-
Orlando MagicAaron Gordon (4), Elfrid Payton (10)A
Washington WizardsNo Picks-
Golden State WarriorsNo Picks-
Los Angeles ClippersC.J. Wilcox (28)C+
Los Angeles LakersJulius Randle (7), Jordan Clarkson (46)B-
Phoenix SunsT.J. Warren (14), Tyler Ennis (18), Bojan Bogdanovic (27), Alec Brown (50)B+
Sacramento KingsNik Stauskas (8)C
Dallas MavericksNo Picks-
Houston RocketsClint Capela (25), Nick Johnson (42)A-
Memphis GrizzliesJordan Adams (22), Jarnell Stokes (35)C-
New Orleans PelicansRuss Smith (47)C
San Antonio SpursKyle Anderson (30)B+
Denver NuggetsJusuf Nurkic (16), Gary Harris (19), Nikola Jokic (41), Roy Devyn Marble (56)A+
Minnesota TimberwolvesZach LaVine (13), Glenn Robinson III (40), Alessandro Gentile (53)A-
Oklahoma City ThunderMitch McGary (21), Josh Huestis (29)C
Portland Trail BlazersNo Picks-
Utah JazzDante Exum (5), Rodney Hood (23)A

 

Most Interesting Drafts

Philadelphia 76ers

A year ago, the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Nerlens Noel and were willing to leave him on the bench while he recovered from a torn ACL. This worked out just fine because they were happy to tank and earn another high draft pick.

Unfortunately for fans, the squad is likely headed for another miserable season despite holding two lottery picks.

Joel Embiid represents as much upside as anyone in the class, but back and foot issues will slow his start. With the second selection, the 76ers worked to acquire Dario Saric, who will not come to the NBA for a few years as he remains in Croatia.

As ESPN's Chad Ford points out, it will be another poor year in Philadelphia:

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated argues that this season will be tough for fans:

Still, few will deny Embiid's potential as someone who could be one of the best centers in the NBA when healthy. Meanwhile, David Aldridge of NBA.com thinks the Saric pick will pay off as well:

The squad was also able to add some legitimate contributors in the second round in the form of K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant and others.

There is obviously a lot of risk in this draft, but Philadelphia is clearly building for the future and looking for as much upside as possible. If things do not pay off, the franchise will likely have plenty of lottery picks in the coming years.

 

Orlando Magic

Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

The Magic made one of the first surprising picks of the day by taking Aaron Gordon at No. 4. While he is incredibly athletic, he is very raw offensively and does not quite fit the system, as noted by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express:

On the other hand, he is still extremely young and should have plenty of time to turn his potential into production. Gordon also provided his own scouting report to SLAM Magazine:

This was just the first of two early picks for the Magic, who were able to acquire Elfrid Payton from Philadelphia in a trade that cost Orlando a future first-round pick, according to CBS' Ken Berger:

Payton is also relatively raw, but he was a great scorer at Louisiana-Lafayette and knows how to play defense. The question is whether he will be able to improve his shot to truly become an all-around offensive threat.

While both lottery picks can be considered reaches, at least one celebrity fan is impressed:

Considering this squad is still a few years from true contention, these high-upside picks have time to pay off down the line.

 

Denver Nuggets

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Although the Nuggets had a chance to bring in Doug McDermott, the organization decided to instead move back for multiple picks, sending the Creighton star to the Chicago Bulls for the No. 16 and No. 19 selections, according to Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago.

This ended up paying off well for the Nuggets, which were able to get two solid players in the middle of the first round.

Jusuf Nurkic might not excite fans that are unfamiliar with his game, but analysts like Kevin Pelton of ESPN were high on him:

Meanwhile, the No. 19 pick was a true steal in Gary Harris, who could have been taken in the top 10 without anyone questioning the move. ESPN's Jemele Hill was impressed by the selection:

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated had good things to say about the duo as well:

The Nuggets had a lot of holes to fill on this roster, and they did a great job of finding multiple players who can help out going forward.

 

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