The 2014 NBA draft has been hyped up for years, and it will take even longer to truly know the impact that this class has had and decide whether that hype was justified.
Many of the best players in this class—Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum, to name only a few—are at least a few years away from fully reaching their potential. While players like Jabari Parker prove to be more of an impact right off the bat, that's not what the draft is about for some teams that aim to stockpile assets and elite, available young talent for the future.
But there were still a few teams that swung and missed when it came to early selections.
Let's break down grades and analyze each team's draft, then highlight a few notable drafts.
|Boston Celtics||Marcus Smart (6), James Young (17)||A-||Two young, impact perimeter players. Celtics now have weapons|
|Brooklyn Nets||Markel Brown (44), Xavier Thames (59), Corey Jefferson (60)||B-||Decent value with late picks|
|New York Knicks||Cleanthony Early (34), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (51), Louis Labeyrie (57)||B+||Knicks turn no picks into great haul. Early sure 1st-round talent|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Joel Embiid (3), Dario Saric (12), K.J. McDaniels (32), Jerami Grant (39), Vasilije Micic (52), Jordan McRae (58)||B||More building for the future, but 76ers could be scary-good in 2016-17|
|Toronto Raptors||Bruno Caboclo (20), DeAndre Daniels (37)||D+||Caboclo pick worst of the draft|
|Chicago Bulls||Doug McDermott (11), Cameron Bairstow (49)||B||Trade-up resulted in perfect fit|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins (1), Joe Harris (33)||A-||Best player in the draft taken No. 1|
|Detroit Pistons||Spencer Dinwiddie (38)||B-||Injured, but potentially 1st-round talent|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Jabari Parker (2), Damien Inglis (31), Johnny O'Bryant III (36)||A||Parker will average 16-8 from as a rookie, two good 2nd-rounders|
|Atlanta Hawks||Adreian Payne (15), Walter Tavares (43), Lamar Patterson (48)||B||Payne is ready now and provides much-needed depth|
|Charlotte Hornets||Noah Vonleh (9), P.J. Hairston (26), Dwight Powell (45), Semaj Christon (55)||A-||Great value on Vonleh. Hairston arguably draft's biggest sleeper|
|Miami Heat||Shabazz Napier (24)||B+||They wanted one guy, and they got him. You're welcome, LeBron|
|Orlando Magic||Aaron Gordon (4), Elfrid Payton (10), Roy Devyn Marble (56)||C+||Gordon fits the system, but why pass on Exum? Payton pick a face-saver|
|Los Angeles Clippers||C.J. Wilcox (28)||C||Bit of a reach, but Wilcox is experienced|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Julius Randle (7), Jordan Clarkson (46)||A-||No. 7 pick wasn't so bad after all. Lakers nab future star|
|Phoenix Suns||T.J. Warren (14), Tyler Ennis (18), Bogan Bogdanovic (27), Alec Brown (50)||B+||Two dangerous bench options right away for playoff contender|
|Sacramento Kings||Nik Stauskas (8)||C||Vonleh was available. This one could come back to bite them|
|Houston Rockets||Clint Capela (25), Nick Johnson (42)||B+||Kept cap room open, nabbed high-ceiling Swiss youngster|
|Memphis Grizzlies||Jordan Adams (22), Jarnell Stokes (35)||B-||Stokes will be an impact rebounder right away, Adams bit of a reach|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Russ Smith (47)||B||Smith decent value late in the draft|
|San Antonio Spurs||Kyle Anderson (30), Nemanja Dangubic (54)||A-||Anderson fits the Spurs mold perfectly|
|Denver Nuggets||Jusuf Nurkic (16), Gary Harris (19), Nikola Jokic (41)||A-||Nurkic one of draft's best big men, Harris steal of the year|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Zach LaVine (13), Glenn Robinson III (40), Alessandro Gentile (53)||B+||First two picks are athletic freaks|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Mitch McGary (21), Josh Huestis (29)||C+||Both picks were reaches, but hard to doubt Thunder's drafting by now|
|Utah Jazz||Dante Exum (5), Rodney Hood (23)||A-||Exum great value at 5, Hood even better at 23|
Steven Cook's grades and analysis/results via NBA.com
It's funny how the NBA draft started out just like its NFL counterpart. The No. 1 overall selection was dangled like meat in front of teams, name after name emerged as a possibility—then, the player initially assumed to go first went to the team drafting first.
Just like Jadeveon Clowney did with the Texans and Roger Goodell, Andrew Wiggins strolled out onto the Barclays Center stage, shook Adam Silver's hand and put on the Cleveland Cavaliers cap.
There are plenty on both sides of the Wiggins vs. Jabari Parker argument, but it's hard to argue that the Cavaliers messed this one up. The Kansas one-and-done hasn't been the most hyped basketball youngster since LeBron James for no reason—he's already a dominant defender, has elite physical tools and the crazy part is, he's come nowhere close to reaching his potential.
Plus, perhaps most important of all, he's saying all the right things, per Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico:
Andrew Wiggins says he'd "obviously" love for LeBron James to return to Cavs. "He's a grown man. He'll follow wherever his heart is."— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 27, 2014
Drafting Parker would have proposed a bit of a problem if James did decide to take his talents back to Cleveland, as they play almost an identical position. Wiggins can assume his spot on the perimeter, play lockdown defense and attack the basket on the break—what could LeBron not like about that?
Of course, the King returning to Cleveland is still considered unlikely, with Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that James' priority is to remain in Miami. But if and when James decides to let the Cavs fans down again, they'll be in good hands with Wiggins and Kyrie Irving.
Through two-thirds of the draft's first round, there had been a few lottery-caliber players that fell a few picks but no true shocker.
That changed with the 20th pick, which the Toronto Raptors used to select Bruno Caboclo.
Caboclo was hardly even on the radar for draft experts, with ESPN draft analysts flipping vigorously through their notes to find any trace of information on the Brazil native.
As it turns out, he's quite unknown for a reason, as ESPN's Fran Fraschilla bluntly pointed out, per Bleacher Report:
VIDEO: ESPN's Fran Fraschilla described a player the Raptors selected as "two years away from being two years away" http://t.co/pI1PYerjSs— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2014
The humor of the moment had Charlotte Observer's Jonathan Jones poking fun at the situation with a zinger toward the 76ers, who continue to build for the future:
If Bruno is two years away from being two years away, why didn't the Sixers take him?— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) June 27, 2014
It really is a head-scratcher as to why Toronto made the pick. The Raptors obviously had this international player high on their board, but after making the playoffs and taking the Nets to seven games, you'd think a more immediate impact would be coveted.
Who knows? Maybe Caboclo is two years away from being a dominant player. He's incredibly athletic and has the rim game to succeed as long as he makes serious strides.
But at the moment, it looks like the Raptors made the gaffe of the 2014 draft.
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