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NBA Draft Grades 2016: Letter Marks, Results and Analysis for Every Team

Brian Marron@@brianmarron398Featured ColumnistJune 24, 2016

LSU's Ben Simmons walks up on stage after being selected as the top pick by the Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

With the 2016 NBA draft officially in the books, the first milestone of the NBA offseason is over as teams will now look to focus on free agency to improve their rosters.

Numerous impact players were taken on Thursday, as the 2016 class featured future stars like Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons as well as strong depth throughout the first round with Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray.

Below is the draft board in its entirety: 

Here is a look at each team's draft results and a couple of teams that had the best nights. The grades are strictly based off of the prospects selected, not on the NBA players or future picks that may have been acquired via trades.

2016 NBA Draft Team Results and Grades
TeamSelectionsGrade/Analysis
Atlanta HawksDeAndre Bembry (No. 21) and Isaia Cordinier (No. 44)B-: Bembry is a safe pick, but he is similar to Paul Millsap and does not add an new dynamic to the team. Cordinier is an unknown at this point.
Boston CelticsJaylen Brown (No. 3), Guerschon Yabusele (No. 16), Ante Zizic (No. 23), Demetrius Jackson (No. 45), Ben Bentil (No. 51) and Abdel Nader (No. 58)B+: The Celtics had plenty of picks, and they put them to good use. Brown fits well with what Boston needs as an athletic wing, and Bentil and Jackson could become steals in the second round. Yabusele and Zizic were reaches at a time when immediate contributors were still on the board.
Brooklyn NetsCaris LeVert (No. 20) and Isaiah Whitehead (No. 42)C+: The Nets need help at numerous places, and LeVert is a risky pick due to his injury history. Whitehead will likely not develop into more than a role player.
Charlotte HornetsNoneN/A
Chicago BullsDenzel Valentine (No. 14) and Paul Zipser (No. 48)C+: Valentine is a versatile point guard, but he does not fit into the high-tempo style the league is moving toward. He may work out well in the half court, but he will struggle in transition.
Cleveland CavaliersKay Felder (No. 54)B-: Nice value pick here, as Felder is an undersized guard that is quick and creative with the ball. He can also defend, which is another positive.
Dallas MavericksA.J. Hammons (No. 46)B: This could be a steal, as Hammons is very skilled and a force defensively. He dropped because of his speed, but he will find a spot on this roster.
Denver NuggetsJamal Murray (No. 7), Juan Hernangomez (No. 15), Malik Beasley (No. 19) and Petr Cornelie (No. 53)A-: Great haul here for the Nuggets, as they address numerous parts of their roster while adding a future all-star in Murray.
Detroit PistonsHenry Ellenson (No. 18) and Michael Gbinije (No. 49)B: Ellenson is a bargain at 18th overall. He will be a perfect complement to Andre Drummond.
Golden State WarriorsDamian Jones (No. 30) and Patrick McCaw (No. 38)B: Golden State got better on Thursday, as Jones can possibly replace Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut.
Houston RocketsChinanu Onuaku (No. 37) and Zhou Qi (No. 43)C+ The Rockets try to replace the void left by Dwight Howard with pair of big men who are still a few years away from seeing the floor.
Indiana PacersGeorges Niang (No. 50)C: Indiana did most of its adding with trades during the draft, but Niang could excel as a spot-up shooter.
Los Angeles ClippersBrice Johnson (No. 25), David Michineau (No. 39) and Diamond Stone (No. 40)B+: Johnson is a great pick to establish depth behind DeAndre Jordan. Stone could be a steal in the second round as a skilled insider scorer.
Los Angeles LakersBrandon Ingram (No. 2) and Ivica Zubac (No. 32)B+: Ingram could become a superstar with his scoring ability, and Zubac could develop nicely as an international project.
Memphis GrizzliesWade Baldwin IV (No. 17), Deyonta Davis (No. 31), Rade Zagorac (No. 35) and Wang Zhelin (No. 57)B+: Baldwin and Davis were tremendous value picks that can become consistent starters in a couple of years.
Miami HeatNoneN/A
Milwaukee BucksThon Maker (No. 10) and Malcolm Brogdon (No. 36)C-: Maker was a total reach this early, as he is surrounded by too many questions to warrant such a pick. Brogdon helps this class due to his elite defending.
Minnesota TimberwolvesKris Dunn (No. 5)A-: Dunn is an electric point guard that will instantly make Minnesota better. That young core is now downright scary.
New Orleans PelicansBuddy Hield (No. 6) and Cheick Diallo (No. 33)A-: Hield is a great fit as a floor-spacer from three, and Diallo will be an energy bench player at worst.
New York KnicksNoneN/A
Oklahoma City ThunderDomantas Sabonis (No. 11) and Daniel Hamilton (No. 56)B: Oklahoma City made a big trade to get Victor Oladipo, but its draft was solid as well. Sabonis can already rebound at an NBA level, and he will play big minutes for the Thunder next season.
Orlando MagicStephen Zimmerman (No. 41)B-: Zimmerman may be a sleeper as an active big man who could develop a more refined offensive game.
Philadelphia 76ersBen Simmons (No. 1), Timothe Luwawu (No. 24) and Furkan Korkmaz (No. 26)A+: The Sixers landed three excellent players that will be future starters. Simmons is obviously a rare talent.
Phoenix SunsDragan Bender (No. 4), Marquese Chriss (No. 8) and Tyler Ulis (No. 34)A: The Suns are sticking to a new philosophy that fits well with its current personnel. Look for Ulis to make an impact next season as well.
Portland Trail BlazersJake Layman (No. 47)B-: Layman is a great athlete who can also shoot well from three. His defending will help find some key minutes next season.
Sacramento KingsGeorgios Papagiannis (No. 13), Malachi Richardson (No. 22), Skal Labissiere (No. 28) and Isaiah Cousins (No. 59)B: Papagiannis is a total reach at No. 13, but the other three players are smart picks that fit well with what the Kings already have. Look for Richardson to become a possible star down the road.
San Antonio SpursDejounte Murray (No. 29)B: Murray is freak athlete who will play well in San Antonio's fast-paced offense. He can become Tony Parker's successor.
Toronto RaptorsJakob Poeltl (No. 9) and Pascal Siakam (No. 27)B+: Poeltl is a more polished Steven Adams, while Siakam will help replace the likely departing Bismack Biyombo.
Utah JazzTaurean Prince (No. 12), Joel Bolomboy (No. 52), Marcus Paige (No. 55) and Tyrone Wallace (No. 60)C+: Prince is a tenacious rebounder, but the team could use some help at guard. The remainder of its picks are long shots to make a real impact in the NBA.
Washington WizardsNoneN/A
Bleacher Report

Philadelphia 76ers

For a franchise that spent much of the last few years focusing on the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers hit a home run on Thursday with an excellent class.

For starters, Philadelphia found its franchise player in Ben Simmons at No. 1 

Simmons is a cant-miss prospect who can do it all from the forward position. He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his only collegiate season with LSU, and his abilities are perfect for a team like the 76ers to build around moving forward. 

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ESPN's Jay Bilas praised Simmons before the draft started:

Jay Bilas @JayBilas

Ben Simmons averaged more points than John Wall, more rebounds than Kevin Love and more assists than Steph Curry. He's pretty damn good.

The pieces the 76ers added around Simmons make this class special.

Furkan Korkmaz and Timothe Luwawu are two explosive guards who can also shoot it consistently from three-point range. Korkmaz hit 42.3 percent of his threes last season in the Euro League, and Luwawu shot 37.2 percent in France.

They are both raw but athletic guards who can run the floor with Simmons and find space on the perimeter or on cuts to the hoop. The Ringer's Jonathan Tjarks liked the picks:

The Sixers did a great job of not forcing any picks and letting the draft come to them. The team ended up getting three impact players, and Philadelphia already looks promising when that's combined with its impressive young frontcourt.

Phoenix Suns

In a league where high-tempo offenses and versatility are at a premium, the Phoenix Suns became considerably bigger and more athletic on Thursday.

The team was able to pick twice in the top 10, and it went with size and potential with Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss.

ESPN's Chad Ford (via NBA on ESPN) had a favorable comparison for the rangy 7-footer:

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

According to Chad Ford, Dragan Bender could be a "bigger Draymond Green without the mean streak". https://t.co/WgTW5UaNCi

Chriss may be the most athletic player in the draft, and DraftExpress offered a look at some of his abilities.

Chriss has a high motor and consistently made plays around the rim and on the glass during his lone season at Washington. His jumper is also solid, but it can be improved with more coaching and repetitions.

These players will not pay off until a few years from now, but Phoenix is set up to have a dynamic frontcourt that perfectly complements its collection of guards with Devin Booker and Brandon Knight.

Speaking of guards, the cupboard became even deeper with the addition of Tyler Ulis in the second round. 

Ulis is a bona fide first-round talent that dropped due to size concerns. However, he has elite quickness and satisfactory shooting ability that can make him a valuable contributor as a role player.

The Suns are still in a major rebuild, but they got much better on Thursday. If the potential with Bender and Chriss pays off, Phoenix will have one of the toughest lineups to guard in all of basketball.

Statistics are courtesy of DraftExpress.

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