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NBA Draft Grades 2014: Team-by-Team List of Scores and Overall Analysis

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NBA Draft Grades 2014: Team-by-Team List of Scores and Overall Analysis
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The 2014 NBA draft was headlined by Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. They were the three premium prospects in a loaded class, and went at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, respectively.

However, there were plenty of other teams that made out well on Thursday. Due to the slew of promising players available, many first-round talents fell past the first 30 picks. Even teams who weren't fortunate enough to have any picks in Round 1 managed to land great value in the draft's latter stages.

Here is a look at grades for every team as well as further analysis regarding some of the draft's most interesting selections.

 

2014 NBA Draft Grades
Team Pick Player Position School Overall Grade
Cavaliers 1 Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas A-
33 Joe Harris SG Virginia
45* Dwight Powell PF Stanford
Bucks 2 Jabari Parker SF Duke A
31 Damien Inglis SF France
36 Johnny O'Bryant III PF LSU
76ers 3 Joel Embiid C Kansas C
12* Dario Saric SF Croatia
32 K.J. McDaniels SF Clemson
39 Jerami Grant SF Syracuse
52 Vasilije Micic PG Serbia
54 Nemanja Dangubic SF Serbia
58* Jordan McRae SG Tennessee
Magic 4 Aaron Gordon PF Arizona B+
10* Elfrid Payton PG UL Lafayette
Jazz 5 Dante Exum PG Australia A
23 Rodney Hood SF Duke
Celtics 6 Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State A-
17 James Young SG Kentucky
Lakers 7 Julius Randle PF Kentucky B
46* Jordan Clarkson PG Missouri
Kings 8 Nik Stauskas SG Michigan C-
Hornets 9 Noah Vonleh PF Indiana A+
26* P.J. Hairston SG NBA D-League
55 Semaj Christon PG Xaiver
Bulls 11* Doug McDermott SF Creighton C+
49 Cameron Bairstow PF New Mexico
Timberwolves 13 Zach LaVine PG UCLA D
40 Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan
53 Alessandro Gentile G Italy
Suns 14 T.J. Warren SF N.C. State C-
18 Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
27 Bogdan Bogdanovc SG Serbia
50 Alec Brown C Green Bay
Hawks 15 Adreian Payne PF Michigan State B
43 Walter Taveras C Cape Verde
48* Lamar Patterson SG Pittsburgh
Nuggets 16* Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia-Herzegovina A-
19* Gary Harris SG Michigan State
41 Nikola Jokic PF Serbia
56 Roy Devyn Marble SG Iowa
Raptors 20 Bruno Caboclo SF Brazil C-
37 DeAndre Daniels SF Connecticut
59 Xavier Thames PG San Diego State
Thunder 21 Mitch McGary PF Michigan A
29 Josh Huestis SF Stanford
Grizzlies 22 Jordan Adams SG UCLA B-
35* Jarnell Stokes PF Tennessee
Heat 24* Shabazz Napier PG Connecticut B
Rockets 25 Clint Capela PF Switzerland A-
42 Nick Johnson SG Arizona
Clippers 28 C.J. Wilcox SG Washington B-
Spurs 30 Kyle Anderson SF UCLA A-
Knicks 34 Cleanthony Early PF Wichita State A
51 Thanasis Antetokounmpo SF Greece
57* Louis Labeyrie C France
Pistons 38 Spencer Dinwiddie PG Colorado B+
Nets 44* Markel Brown SG Oklahoma State B
50* Corey Jefferson PF Baylor
Pelicans 47* Russ Smith PG Louisville A-

* indicates draft-day trade for pick

 

Best Lottery Value: Noah Vonleh, PF, Charlotte Hornets (No. 9)

Not only did Charlotte swing a trade late in the first round to land P.J. Hairston, but they also nabbed Vonleh with the ninth pick. Former Creighton star Doug McDermott was reportedly a strong consideration here, per Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, but the Hornets were wise in selecting Vonleh instead.

Just one year at Indiana was all Vonleh needed to prove he was ready for the NBA. An extraordinary offensive skill set combined with a 7'4" wingspan makes Vonleh a nightmare matchup on both ends as a power forward. That's a dimension Charlotte could certainly use.

ESPN's Skip Bayless praised the pick, while Andy Katz pointed out that the Hornets didn't even bring in Vonleh before the draft to run through drills:

Although Charlotte invested last year's top pick in another Hoosier in Cody Zeller, there's no question which player offers more upside and has a higher ceiling. It's Vonleh—and it's not even close. 

The Hornets are coming off a playoff appearance and are at the dawn of a new era. Vonleh figures to be a prominent part of that. With Al Jefferson serving as the bruiser down low, Vonleh can help with spacing and use his unique physical tools to contribute right away. He could eventually develop into an All-Star.

Teams that were concerned about how raw Vonleh was will be frustrated to see him shining in Charlotte for years to come.

 

Most Befuddling Pick: Bruno Caboclo, SF, Toronto Raptors (No. 20)

When NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced this pick, it was met with unanimous skepticism. With such great value to be had at No. 20, the Raptors opted to go a quite unusual route.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman noted what Fran Fraschilla had to say regarding Caboclo:

If it does indeed take the relative unknown swingman from Brazil time to develop, Toronto will feel it missed out on a big opportunity to grab a more immediate contributor. Perhaps the Raptors want to clear out cap space, but landing a marquee free agent—much less re-signing point guard Kyle Lowry—is going to be difficult.

That's especially so in light of this pick. Although Toronto finished third in the East in 2013-14, its core of players is still a piece or two away from really threatening to go on a deep playoff run. From the sounds of it, Caboclo won't be a part of any such effort for a number of years.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders added this, suggesting Caboclo was discussed as a potential draft pick—just not so high:

This is what qualifies as a reach pick. Based on what happened last season, the team should have taken an NBA-ready role player to give them an extra spark. Instead, they await a project in Caboclo, though it is worth noting the Raptors emerged with two great prospects form the second round in point guard Xavier Thames and DeAndre Daniels.

  

Biggest Haul: Philadelphia 76ers

In addition to adding some solid second-rounders in K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant, general manager Sam Hinkie continued a fascinating rebuilding effort by landing Embiid and Dario Saric within the top 12. The draft grade they receive is only a "C" because of the uncertainty ahead for what happened at the top.

Embiid is a big question mark due to his recent foot injury, but former Kentucky star Nerlens Noel was a Sixers first-round pick last year coming off a torn ACL. Noel had a redshirt season and will now hit the hardwood as a potential elite defender. That is something Embiid can morph into, but he also has the offensive game to match.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright praised the Sixers for taking a flier on Embiid:

Philadelphia gutted last year's roster in the hopes of landing in the lottery for this draft. Then Hinkie turned around and essentially hinted that next season should offer more of the same. Another losing campaign may be too much for fans to take.

ESPN's Chad Ford criticized the Sixers' strategy, while Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated observed how long it could be before Philly gets any return on Embiid or Saric:

Which team had the best NBA draft haul?

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When thinking about what this team could be down the road, though, it's undeniably fascinating. Presuming Noel and Embiid stay healthy—why would Hinkie risk it if he thought they wouldn't be?—they would form one of the most athletic, agile and best defensive frontcourts in the game.

Pair those two with Michael Carter-Williams, along with a unique talent like Saric who can play point forward, and Philadelphia would suddenly be explosive. Then again, all of these moves could blow up in Hinkie's face. That's a real possibility, and this rebuilding effort will look comical in retrospect because of the seemingly incredulous risks the front office has taken and how the Sixers have often deferred for future assets.

The future will eventually come, so the sooner Embiid can return to the court, the quicker Philadelphia can begin its turnaround.

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