The NBA draft went from a ho-hum affair in 2013 to a full on summer blockbuster event in 2014. The reason for the uptick in scrutiny was the level of talent available on this night.
From Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker to Dante Exum and Doug McDermott, the draft was full of freshman phenoms, international men-of-mystery and long-time college players.
The draft is the first step in the rebuilding process for some teams, while for others it is a chance to nail down potential role players while they chase big-name free agents and NBA championships. Each franchise had various wants and needs heading into the draft, and thus need to be judged on how well the people in charge set themselves up for future success.
Here is the full list of each team's haul from draft night as well as grades for each team.
|Boston Celtics||Marcus Smart (6), James Young (17)||A-|
|Brooklyn Nets||Markel Brown (44), Xavier Thames (59), Corey Jefferson (60)||B-|
|New York Knicks||Cleanthony Early (34), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (51), Louis Labeyrie (57)||B|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Joel Embiid (3), Dario Saric (12), K.J. McDaniels (32), Jerami Grant (39), Vasilije Micic (52), Jordan McRae (58)||B+|
|Toronto Raptors||Bruno Caboclo (20), DeAndre Daniels (37)||D|
|Chicago Bulls||Doug McDermott (11), Cameron Bairstow (49)||A-|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins (1), Joe Harris (33), Dwight Powell (45),||A|
|Detroit Pistons||Spencer Dinwiddie (38)||C+|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Jabari Parker (2), Damien Inglis (31), Johnny O'Bryant III (36)||A|
|Atlanta Hawks||Adreian Payne (15), Walter Tavares (43), Lamar Patterson (48)||B|
|Charlotte Hornets||Noah Vonleh (9), P.J. Hairston (26),||A+|
|Miami Heat||Shabazz Napier (24)||B+|
|Orlando Magic||Aaron Gordon (4), Elfrid Payton (10)||A|
|Los Angeles Clippers||C.J. Wilcox (28)||C|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Julius Randle (7), Jordan Clarkson (46)||A|
|Phoenix Suns||T.J. Warren (14), Tyler Ennis (18), Bogan Bogdanovic (27), Alec Brown (50)||A+|
|Sacramento Kings||Nik Stauskas (8)||C+|
|Houston Rockets||Clint Capela (25), Nick Johnson (42)||B|
|Memphis Grizzlies||Jordan Adams (22), Jarnell Stokes (35)||B-|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Russ Smith (47)||C+|
|San Antonio Spurs||Kyle Anderson (30), Nemanja Dangubic (54)||B+|
|Denver Nuggets||Jusuf Nurkic (16), Gary Harris (19), Nikola Jokic (41), Roy Devyn Marble (56)||A-|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Zach LaVine (13), Glenn Robinson III (40), Alessandro Gentile (53)||B|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Mitch McGary (21), Josh Huestis (29), Semaj Christon (55)||C-|
|Utah Jazz||Dante Exum (5), Rodney Hood (23)||B+|
NBA.com, grades by Nate Loop
(Note: draft picks are listed with teams they ended up with following draft-night trades, not the team that originally drafted them. A complete list of draft-night trades can be found here.)
Best Player-Team Fit: Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks
Wiggins may still have the better overall career, but Parker couldn't have landed in a better spot to begin his career.
It's the place that he desperately wanted to call home upon arrival in the Association. Parker has even stated he wants to remain a Buck for his entire career.
"I feel like I’m going to be able to grow with that organization—I’m trying to be a throwback player, only stick with one team,” Parker said, via Basketball Insiders. “This might bite me in the butt years from now, but right now I want to stick with whoever is rolling with me.”
Few potential superstars relish the opportunity to fashion a career in a small market; Parker bucks this trend with his overall enthusiasm for the organization.
The players surrounding Parker will also be key to his success. Parker is a polished offensive player, but he will have to work hard to get up to speed defensively in the NBA. Fortunately for him, he has players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Larry Sanders to hide his deficiencies.
The Bucks don't have many scoring options, which should allow the former Blue Devil to have free reign to create his own shot on offense. Parker should be able to work on building a similar statistical profile like the one he enjoyed at Duke, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info:
Jabari Parker: 2nd pick last night 19 PPG & 8 RPG, w/ 35% on 3s last season. Last 2 freshman to do that? Durant & Beasley (also No. 2 picks)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 27, 2014
This pick feels almost pre-ordained for greatness; Milwaukee can provide the platform for Parker to make a run at Rookie of the Year and become an eventual regular at the All-Star game.
Potential Round 2 Sleeper: Xavier Thames, Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets had to buy their way into this draft, sending cash considerations to three different teams to pick up a host of second-round prospects. They may have found a potential contributor off the bench in Xavier Thames.
The 2013-14 Mountain West Player of the Year averaged 17.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a junior.
Thames made headlines for carrying San Diego State through the early rounds of the March Madness tournament. He scored 23, 30 and 25 points in the Aztecs' three games in the NCAA tournament.
He projects as an undersized shooting guard, although he did acquit himself well handling point guard duties for the Aztecs last season. Thames was an excellent caretaker in his standout role, averaging just 1.4 turnovers in 31.3 minutes per game last year.
Some observers envision Thames as a point guard over anything else. CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello sees Thames as a future team leader:
Xavier Thames is tough and can run a team. Doesn't mind big shots. Really like him.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 27, 2014
If he can transition to a facilitator role with scoring as a bonus ability, he could prove to be a backup option for the oft-injured Deron Williams.
Thames has also proven to be adept at one of the NBA's bread-and-butter plays. According to CBS Sports' Matt Moore, Thames was in the 90th percentile in pick-and-roll scoring last year.
Thames just had two words for Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee regarding his NBA future: "I'm ready." Davidson went on to report that he will join the Nets in the NBA summer league, the first chance for Thames to make good on a great opportunity.