2014 NBA Draft: List of Grades for All Picks from Rounds 1-2

Ryan DavenportContributor IJune 27, 2014

Indiana's Noah Vonleh, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected ninth overall by the Charlotte Hornets during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

For more than a year, the basketball world has been impatiently waiting for the 2014 NBA draft to unfold, because it's long been clear that this is a truly special class of prospects. 

And that's not only due to the level of promise demonstrated by the eventual top-three picks of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid, but it's also because of how many elite talents were selected just behind them.

Julius Randle, Dante Exum, Marcus Smart and Aaron Gordon could each have challenged to be No. 1 overall picks in other years, so for general managers in need of a franchise player, this was a golden opportunity to put a building block in place. 

In the end, as many as 10 teams may look back on the 2014 draft as a turning point in their organization's development, and here's a look at how each of the NBA's 30 teams' choices at the Barclays Center stack up:

 

PickTeamPlayerPositionSchoolGrade
1CavaliersAndrew WigginsSFKansasA-
2BucksJabari ParkerSFDukeB+
376ersJoel EmbiidCKansasA
4MagicAaron GordonPFArizonaB-
5JazzDante ExumPGAustraliaB
6CelticsMarcus SmartPGOklahoma StateB-
7LakersJulius RandlePFKentuckyA+
8KingsNik StauskasSGMichiganC-
9HornetsNoah VonlehPFIndianaA
10MagicElfrid PaytonPGUL LafayetteB
11BullsDoug McDermottSFCreightonB+
1276ersDario SaricSFCroatiaB
13TimberwolvesZach LaVinePGUCLAB
14SunsT.J. WarrenSFN.C. StateB+
15HawksAdreian PaynePFMichigan StateC
16NuggetsJusuf NurkicCBosnia-HerzegovinaB+
17CelticsJames YoungSGKentuckyB+
18SunsTyler EnnisPGSyracuseB
19NuggetsGary HarrisSGMichigan StateB
20RaptorsBruno CabocloSFBrazilD+
21ThunderMitch McGaryPFMichiganC+
22GrizzliesJordan AdamsSGUCLAB-
23JazzRodney HoodSFDukeA
24HeatShabazz NapierPGConnecticutB+
25RocketsClint CapelaPFSwitzerlandA-
26HornetsP.J. HairstonSGUNC/NBA D-LeagueA-
27SunsBogan BogdanovicSGSerbiaB
28ClippersC.J. WilcoxSGWashingtonB
29ThunderJosh HuestisSFStanfordB-
30SpursKyle AndersonSFUCLAB+
31BucksDamien InglisSFFranceA-
3276ersK.J. McDanielsSFClemsonB+
33CavaliersJoe HarrisSGVirginiaA-
34KnicksCleanthony EarlySFWichita StateB+
35GrizzliesJarnell StokesPFTennesseeB+
36BucksJohnny O'Bryant IIIPFLSUB
37RaptorsDeAndre DanielsSFConnecticutC+
38PistonsSpencer DinwiddiePGColoradoB
3976ersJerami GrantSFSyracuseA-
40TimberwolvesGlenn Robinson IIISFMichiganA
41NuggetsNikola JokicPFSerbiaB
42RocketsNick JohnsonSGArizonaA-
43HawksWalter TavaresCCape VerdeA-
44NetsMarkel BrownSGOklahoma StateB
45HornetsDwight PowellPFStanfordB+
46LakersJordan ClarksonPGMissouriB+
47PelicansRuss SmithPGLouisvilleC
48HawksLamar PattersonSGPittsburghC+
49BullsCameron BairstowPFNew MexicoB+
50SunsAlec BrownCGreen BayB
51KnicksThanasis AntetokounmpoSFGreeceA-
5276ersVasilije MicicPGSerbiaB+
53TimberwolvesAlessandro GentileGItalyC+
5476ersNemanja DangubicSFSerbiaB-
55HornetsSemaj ChristonPGXavierB+
56NuggetsRoy Devyn MarbleSGIowaB
57KnicksLouis LabeyrieCFranceB
5876ersJodan McRaeSGTennesseeC+
59RaptorsXavier ThamesPGSan Diego StateB-
60NetsCorey JeffersonPFBaylorB
Bleacher Report

 

Biggest Winners

Los Angeles Lakers

Having a player as gifted and dynamic as Julius Randle drop to No. 7 is about as well as things could have fallen into place for the Lakers, and at least as of now, he's the unquestioned steal of this class. 

After posting 15 points and 10 boards a night for John Calipari during his only season at Kentucky, Randle was once considered a potential candidate to go No. 1, but to L.A.'s delight, he tumbled straight into Mitch Kupchak's grasps. 

While the Lakers still likely would have been able to pluck a future starter at this spot anyway, if Randle hadn't been dealing with the possibility of requiring surgery to adjust a pin in his right foot, there's no way he would have slipped down the board so far.

As ESPN's Dave McMenamin noted, even Kobe Bryant was thrilled:

Randle said he also received a congratulatory text from Bryant, who is currently vacationing in Greece.

'I grew up a huge fan of Kobe,' said Randle. 'He was always my idol, my favorite player growing up, and now I have a chance to pick his brain and learn a lot from him.'

And, the Lakers picked up Jordan Clarkson Round 2, which would be a nice defensive addition on its own, but as USA Today's Adi Joseph discussed, it's even sweeter because all the team had to give up to take him was cash. 

 

Charlotte Hornets

Like the Lakers, Charlotte benefited immensely from the depth of this class, as a player with Noah Vonleh's potential would be a surefire top-five pick in virtually any other year. 

As we saw during his time at Indiana, Vonleh's got the frame, length and rebounding ability to make a difference, and while his offensive game needs some work, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year brings a lot of value at No. 9. 

In addition to Vonleh, as reported by CBS Sports' James Herbert, the Hornets managed to get former UNC star P.J. Hairston at No. 26 after dealing Shabazz Napier to Miami. 

Hairston clearly dropped in the eyes of many around the league due to his premature departure from North Carolina, and the Hornets may well get rewarded for this measured gamble. 

 

Biggest Losers

Toronto Raptors

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  A video screen shows the selection of Bruno Caboclo of Brazil as the #20 overall pick in the first round by the Toronto Rapters during the 2014 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After such an encouraging season for Canada's only NBA franchise, the Raptors made a puzzling decision at No. 20, taking Bruno Caboclo of Brazil. 

There are a number of reasons this was a stunningly poor choice for Toronto, but as CBS' Jon Rothstein points out, there's a clear void in the team's roster that should have been addressed first:

So instead of taking a point guard who lead his Huskies to a national title just a few months back to at least soften the blow of potentially losing Kyle Lowry, the Raptors took a shooting forward from South America that will likely end up being a long-term project? 

It's inexplicable, even if Lowry returns. 

 

Washington Wizards

Another team coming off a surprisingly successful season, the Wizards fall into this category for one reason: Washington didn't draft a single player. 

As Brandon Parker of the Washington Post reported, after dealing their first-rounder to Phoenix in the Marcin Gortat deal in 2013, the Wizards sold the pick that gave the Lakers Jordan Clarkson. 

With some difficult decisions on the horizon in D.C. this summer—both Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza are scheduled to hit free agencyadding a prospect that could have materialized into a serviceable backup would have benefited this roster, especially given the injury histories of both John Wall and Bradley Beal.