2011 NBA Draft: Grading Each Team's Picks

Kyle CrawfordContributor IIJune 24, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Grading Each Team's Picks

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    It is over. The 2011 NBA draft ended in about the same amount of time it would take the first round of the NFL draft to end.

    There were foreigners, crazy trades and stories of Ron Artest petitioning for a name change. David Stern got booed, and that other guy (Adam Silver) was super personable.

    So check it out, see how each team fared in the 2011 draft!

Atlanta Hawks

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    Keith Benson (48)

    Benson is a soft center, and I'm not sure how that helps the Hawks who face Dwight Howard on a regular basis. While he was productive in college, I don't expect that to carry into the NBA.

    Grade- D -- Mark my words, "He will NEVER make an impact."

Boston Celtics

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    JaJuan Johnson (27), E'Twaun Moore (55)

    The C's snagged a future second-round pick out of the Nets while acquiring Johnson, giving up Marshon Brooks to the Nets.

    Johnson is a very talented player whom the Celtics expect to improve under Kevin Garnett's tutelage. Moore isn't great at anything, but he is good at everything which leads many to believe at 55, he is a true steal.

    Grade- B+ -- The C's weren't working with much, but they turned there limited resources into two players that fit the system very well.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Bismack Biyombo (7), Kemba Walker (9)

    They also got: Corey Maggette (From Milwaukee), cash considerations (From Golden State)

    The Bobcats did your classic "get worse to get better" job in this year's draft. They parted ways with Stephen Jackson (Milwaukee) and brought in Corey Maggette who they will expect just about nothing from.

    Bismack Biyombo is a 6'9" power forward who has been playing in Spain and was the first ever player to record a triple-double at the Nike Hoops Summit. Kemba Walker is your ultimate winner who will struggle to be a pure point, but maybe that isn't what Michael Jordan and his Bobcats need.

    Grade- A+ -- Richard Cho came over from Portland and has done a great job setting this Charlotte team up for the future.

Chicago Bulls

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    Jimmy Butler (30), Nikola Mirotic (23, from Houston)

    Butler has a great story and is the ultimate role player. He'll play hard, defend well and thrive without the ball in his hands. Mirotic can play the 3 or the 4 and has decent range on his jumper and can drive to the basket.

    Grade- B -- Disappointed not to see a Nolan Smith fall here. The Bulls picked up the pieces by grabbing a great role player and adding depth to the frontcourt.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Kyrie Irving (1), Tristan Thompson (4), Milan Macvan (54).

    The Cavs did what was expected of them by taking Kyrie Irving out of Duke with the first overall pick in the draft. From there, they surprised us a bit snagging Tristan Thompson at No. 4 when most thought they would take Jonas Valanciunas.

    Nobody is exactly sure why this happened, although Chad Ford was reporting that Cleveland was high on Thompson and there is the high risk Valanciunas isn't coming over this year. Thompson has a solid motor and hits the offensive glass very well, but the question can be asked why snag a carbon copy of J.J. Hickson who averaged 16 points and 11 boards after Jan. 1st.

    Macvan is a 6'9" guy who can stretch the floor a little bit but isn't expected to come to the NBA anytime soon.

    Grade: B -- Taking Valanciunas would have filled a bigger need for the Cavs even if they did have to wait an extra year for him.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Drafted nobody, got Rudy Fernandez in a trade (Portland).

    Fernandez is a relatively cheap fit for the Dallas system. He can stand around and shoot threes like Peja Stojakovic did and not be the same liability on the defensive end.

    This likely means either Peja or DeShawn Stevenson (or both) will be shown the door in Dallas. I like giving up the 26th and 57th pick for Fernandez who will be happier in Dallas than Portland.

    Grade- B -- Hard to do much better than getting a cheap option that is a solid fit.

Denver Nuggets

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    Kenneth Faried (22)

    They also got Andre Miller (Portland), Jordan Hamilton (26), future second-round pick (Blazers, 2013, 2014), Chuckwudiebere Maduabum (56, from LA for future second-round pick).

    The Nuggets did an excellent job in this draft. They added rebounding in Faried, a scoring threat in Hamilton and an experienced, change of pace point guard in Andre Miller.

    Faried will hit the boards harder than anyone in the draft class, and as much as you've heard it...I'll say it again, he has a great motor. Hamilton is a guy that can score in bunches but needs to work on his shot selection.

    Grade- B+ -- Faried at 22 is a steal and getting rid of Felton for Hamilton and Miller is also.

Detroit Pistons

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    Brandon Knight (8), Kyle Singler (33), Vernon Macklin (52)

    Detroit secured the point guard of their future in Brandon Knight while drafting a couple other guys that fit the Detroit mold (TOUGH). All three picks are winners, which is good as they are stepping into a bad team.

    Grade- C+ -- Sure they got Brandon Knight, but they missed out on Biyombo and Tristan Thompson which was Detroit's true need.

Golden State Warriors

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    Klay Thompson (11), Charles Jenkins (44)

    They also got Jeremy Tyler (From Charlotte for cash).

    Klay Thompson is a great three-point shooter out of Washington State and Charles Jenkins is the closest thing to Jimmer Fredette in this draft. Those two picks add up to only one thing in the minds of many experts: the Warriors are set to trade Monta Ellis.

    Jeremy Tyler is very raw offensively but at 6'11", can jump out of the gym and make an immediate impact defensively.

    Grade- B -- The Warriors need Thompson and Jenkins to be the real deal because they are expected to have no cap space to work with under the upcoming CBA.

Houston Rockets

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    Marcus Morris (14), Dontas Motiejunas (20), Chandler Parsons (38)

    They also got Jonny Flynn.

    Marcus Morris is surely playing the small forward for Houston as Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes fill the power forward role. Dontas Motiejunas is a 7-footer who is a polished scorer but not exactly tough on the boards.

    He is also listed as a power forward which means the Rockets might look to move one of there other 8,769 players at the same position. Parsons is a 3-guard who can handle the rock and possibly play the role of point forward if he develops into a little tougher player.

    Grade- B -- The Rockets are shopping Jonny Flynn and while they picked up some size, they are still lacking a true center.

Indiana Pacers

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    Drafted nobody and they got George Hill.

    The Pacers turned the No. 15 and 42 picks into George Hill, which from the outside looking in is great for them. Hill is going to be the point guard of the Pacers' future and after backing up Tony Parker in San Antonio he will be fully capable.

    Grade- B+ -- I really like what the Pacers did packaging their two picks for Hill.

Los Angelas Clippers

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    Trey Thompkins (37) Travis Leslie (47)

    Both of these former Georgia Bulldogs were good finds for the Clippers in this draft. If Thompkins can muscle up and work on his conditioning he will be a talent down low for the Clippers and Travis Leslie will add another explosive dunker to what is quickly becoming one of the most exciting teams in basketball.

    Grade: B -- If Thompkins pans out he's a great pick. Leslie, well he's going to be competing with Blake Griffin in a dunk contest very soon.

Los Angelas Lakers

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    Darius Morris (41), Andrew Goudelock (46), Ater Majok (58)

    They also got a future second-round pick (Nuggets).

    L.A. added a shooter in Goudelock and a very good passing point guard in Darius Morris. If Morris improves his jumpshot he could become a very solid starting point guard for the Lakers and with Steve Blake and Derek Fisher ahead of him on the depth chart, I expect him to get some time.

    Ater Majok spent a year at UCONN, however, he doesn't seem like a guy that will play or make a difference.

    Grade: C+ -- The Lakers weren't working with much but I like what they snagged in Darius Morris.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Josh Selby (49)

    Who is Josh Selby? That is the question on everyone's mind. Is he the superstar we saw in high school, or the incredibly average talent we saw at Kansas in his Freshman year.

    Either way the Grizzlies did something smart by taking a high-risk, high-reward pick when they had nothing to lose.

    Grade- A -- Selby has character issues, but when it is all said and done, he is uber talented

Miami Heat

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    Norris Cole (28)

    Cole is a point guard out of Cleveland State who John Hollinger had rated as one of the better guards in the draft. He will add much needed depth to the Miami backcourt and for a relatively small price. Cole will be a member of the Heat for years to come.

    Grade: A -- For what the Heat were working with, they addressed a need without giving up much (future second-round pick, cash considerations).

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Tobias Harris (19), Jon Leuer (40)

    They also got Stephen Jackson (Charlotte), Shaun Livingston (Charlotte), Beno Udrih (Sacramento).

    Milwaukee didn't do much to upgrade in the draft, although many are projecting Harris to be a sleeper pick. Leuer on the other hand is a 7-feet tall and can step out to the three-point line and knock down jumpers.

    The Bucks did upgrade however by getting rid of Salmons and bringing in a better contract in Udrih and upgrading perimeter scoring with Stephen Jackson.

    Grade- B -- If Harris turns out to be the sleeper he is projected as and the Jackson Udrih combo plays up to potential the Bucks improved through the day.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Derrick Williams (2), Malcolm Lee (43)

    They also got Brad Miller (From Houston), 2013 first-round pick (From Houston).

    The Timberwolves got the second most talented player in the draft (Williams), now all thats left is deciding what position he will play.

    Williams is a classic tweener and has his work cut out for him at the forward slot with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love also in the mix.

    They also snagged Malcolm Lee out of UCLA who they were thinking about taking with the 20th pick. Lee is an excellent perimeter defender, something the T-Wolves desperately needed.

    Grade- B+ -- Might have been better off getting rid of the No. 2 pick and seeing what they could get in return

New Jersey Nets

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    Marshon Brooks (25), Jordan Williams (36), Bojan Bogdanovic (31 from Miami & Minnesota)

    The Nets traded up to get to Marshon Brooks, who some are calling the next Kobe Bryant. Make no mistake, Brooks CAN fill it up, but he is NOT the next Kobe Bryant.

    They also snagged Jordan Williams who is a 6'9" center out of Maryland who will rebound the ball well but that is about it. Bogdanovic is a do it all forward who lacks athleticism and who I'm not sure will ever make a huge impact.

    Grade- C+ -- Brooks can fill it up, but I'm not sure these three guys are keeping Deron Williams around after this year.

New Orleans Hornets

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    Drafted nobody and they got between $700,000 and $750,000 (Knicks).

    The Hornets sold their 45th pick (Josh Harrelson) to the Knicks for a little cash.

    Grade: B- -- A franchise in need of revenue gets money.

New York Knicks

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    Iman Shumpert (17)

    They also got Josh Harrelson (45, from New Orleans).

    Shumpert is a 6'6" point guard who is a poor shooter but finishes fairly well around the rim. Shumpert is projected to be a solid defender, and with his size, it is likely that he'll be able to guard more than just the point position.

    Shumpert has a lot of work to do to help this New York team on the offensive end of the floor though. Harrelson doesn't do much more than address a need for depth at center.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Reggie Jackson (24)

    Sam Presti has been nothing short of genius in OKC, but this one is brought into question. Jackson is very similar to Russell Westbrook which is good but creates a log jam at point along with Eric Maynor.

    Presti obviously has a plan, but I'm not quite sure what it is. He says Maynor is the Thunder's long term plans, so maybe Jackson will move to the 2?

    Grade- C -- Maybe this ends up being a great pick, but for now it looks questionable.

Orlando Magic

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    DeAndre Liggins (53)

    They also got Justin Harper (32 from Cavs).

    With the only picked they owned the Magic didn't add much offensively, but they grabbed a guy that can defend three positions. Perimeter defense never hurt anyone, especially that late in the draft.

    The Magic also gave up two future second-round picks for Harper, who is a sharpshooting big man who has drawn Rashard Lewis comparisons.

    Grade: B+ -- The Magic got a stretch the floor big guy which could make it harder to double team Howard and a defensive role player in Liggins.

Philadelphia Sixers

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    Nikola Vucevic (16), Lavoy Allen (50th)

    Vuvevic is a 7-footer out of USC that projects to be solid at both ends of the court. Vucevic has a soft touch around the basket but also a little bit of range on his jumper and has a 7'5" wingspan which will help him as he defends bigger players.

    Allen, who is a power forward out of Temple, is a solid rebounder but probably won't contribute much.

    Grade- B -- Vucevic will help the 76ers on both ends of the floor, although he won't turn into the star that many think they need.

Phoenix Suns

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    Markieff Morris (13)

    Many people were surprised to here Markieff's name called before his twin brother Marcus. However, by all accounts, Markieff is better defensively and a better rebounder than his little brother. Markieff also seems to have a more solid lock on a specific position (PF) while Marcus is a tweener.

    Grade- C+ -- The Suns didn't do anything wrong, but with the No. 13 pick in this draft, it was hard to do something spectacular.

Portland Trailblazers

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    Nolan Smith (21), Jon Diebler (51)

    They also got Raymond Felton (Denver). 

    The Blazers lost shooting guard Rudy Fernandez on the night and also gave up Andre Miller. However, a younger, quicker Felton should really help speed Portland up.

    Nolan Smith looks to be an excellent sixth man that could be Jason Terry-esque, but the question was posed is 21 to high for him? Diebler was the leading three-point shooter in the history of the Big 10 and can really help space the floor.

    Grade- C+ -- It's not who they drafted, its who they didn't draft. Kenneth Faried has a chance to be a special player in terms of rebounding the ball and defending and would have been a steal at 21.

Sacramento Kings

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    Jimmer Fredette (10), Tyler Honeycutt (35), Isaiah Thomas (60)

    They also got John Salmons.

    Jimmer is a solid addition for the Kings who need an immediate boost in ticket sales along with someone to pair up with Tyreke Evans. The Jimmer can hit from anywhere on the court but will have to work to improve his defensive abilities as well as transforming to become more of a classic point guard.

    Tyler Honeycutt is a small forward who passes the ball well and is of pretty good value at pick 35, while Isaiah Thomas is undersized but if given the opportunity could change the pace of the Kings offense.

    Grade- C+ -- It wasn't the draft itself that was bad, it was more swapping Salmons for Beno Udrih and moving down down spots in the draft.

San Antonio Spurs

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    Cory Joseph (29), Adam Hanga (59), Kawhi Leonard (15 from Indiana), Davis Bertans (42 from Indiana)

    Cory Joseph, although picked too high in many minds, is the choice to replace George Hill as the Spurs backup point guard, while Adam Hanga will spend some more time overseas in what appears to be a decent risk by the Spurs.

    Leonard and Bertans don't seem like much in return for George Hill, but surely the Spurs brass knows something we don't. Bertans fits into the mold of a Spurs player (great shooter and passer), and it's still to be seen what San Antonio will do with the athletic Leonard.

    Grade- B+ -- It's hard to give the Spurs front office to bad of a grade, especially when we see them saving money like they likely will with this deal

Toronto Raptors

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    Jonas Valanciunas (5)

    Valancinuas is a 7-footer with a 9'3" reach out of Lithuania. He is a true center, who happens to be tough and a good rebounder making him the exact opposite of Andrea Bargnani.

    He is no doubt the center of the future for this Raptors team, but the question is when is the future? Valanciunas is unlikely to come to the NBA this year because of contract issues, but he will be a gem when he does.

    Grade- A -- Unfortunate that he won't be here immediately, but got what could turn out to be a dominant player.

Utah Jazz

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    Enes Kanter (3), Alec Burks (12).

    With everyone thinking Brandon Knight at No. 3, the Jazz decided at the last second to go with Kanter who might be the biggest wild card of the draft.

    Kanter couldn't play for Kentucky last year because he "wasn't eligible," and now it turns out nobody knows too much about him.

    Burks on the other hand is out of Colorado University and can flat out fill it up. He needs to work on his perimeter shot, but the Jazz felt as if they needed a scoring guard, and in all likelihood, they found him in Burks.

    Grade B+ -- The Jazz don't seem to want to hang onto Devin Harris, but they didn't seem to find anyone to replace him either. Still drafted the best on the board (Kanter) and another need in Burks.

Washington Wizards

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    Jan Vesely (6), Chris Singleton (18), Shelvin Mack (34th)

    Vesely is a high flier who, at 6'11", gets up and down the court very well and seemingly fits in with a point guard like John Wall.

    On top of him, they add the best perimeter defender in the draft in Singleton who will be a lock down defender at THREE (maybe four) positions. They also added a guy in Shelvin Mack who is a player out of Butler who can be a spark off the bench providing instant offense.

    Grade- A+ -- In my mind Washington had the best draft of any team, getting better at every position of need.