Grading Every Team's 2018 NBA Draft Performance
The 2018 NBA draft was expected to be hectic, and it delivered on that promise almost immediately.
There was a prospect swap inside of the top five and another involving a separate top-10 selection. There were head-scratching risers and puzzling fallers. There were (carefully worded) #WojBombs and over-the-top reactions to just about everything.
It felt a lot like business as usual.
To carry on more time-honored draft traditions, let's grab a red pen and start marking up the draft-night work of all 30 organizations.
Prospect quality matters, but we're most focused on maximizing value. It's not just about getting the right prospects—the timing can be equally critical.
Picks: Robert Williams (Pick No. 27)
If you're planning on purchasing a lottery ticket soon, see if you can get Danny Ainge to grab it for you.
The Celtics president of basketball operations is turning everything he touches into gold lately. He needed an athletic, shot-blocking center so badly, he'd considered chasing an early lottery prospect. He stood put instead and had a potential lottery-pick big man fall in his lap instead.
ESPN.com's Jonathan Givony said Williams' stock was hurt by "concerns about his off-court habits, and some question marks about his knee." Givony also said Williams "might end up being the steal of the draft."
Williams isn't incredibly skilled, but he's big, long (7'5 ½" wingspan) and athletic. That was more than enough to produce some eye-popping stats at Texas A&M this past season—14.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
The Celtics, who were Eastern Conference finalists, were led by Al Horford's 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.
Williams was the best player available and the biggest need-filler. That's the recipe for acing the draft with just one pick.
Picks: Luka Doncic (Pick No. 3, traded from Atlanta), Jalen Brunson (Pick No. 33), Ray Spalding (Pick No. 56, traded from Philadelphia), Kostas Antetokounmpo (Pick No. 60, traded from Philadelphia)
The Mavericks made the first power play of the night, climbing from No. 5 to No. 3 to nab Doncic—the highest-rated prospect on B/R's Jonathan Wasserman's big board. The price will be determined in time—Dallas also sacrificed a future first—but the payoff should be massive.
Doncic is both an NBA-ready contributor and a 19-year-old loaded with upside. He's a 6'8" playmaker with loads of creativity and perimeter-shooting potential. He'll help Dennis Smith Jr. by adding potency to the transition attack and providing a second trigger in the half court.
"Doncic is a perfect fit for Rick Carlisle's flow offense, a system that emphasizes multiple ball handlers," ESPN.com's Mike Schmitz wrote. "Having veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki, JJ Barea and Wesley Mathews should go a long way to usher Doncic in as the next international star in Dallas."
Brunson was maybe the most dominant player in college last season, posting a 63.5 true shooting percentage, a 26.1 player efficiency rating and a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. He won't star in the NBA, but he could occupy a bench spot for a long time.
Two picks in, Dallas had the EuroLeague MVP and the Wooden Award winner. That freed up the Mavs to throw late darts at Spalding (a mobile, non-shooting big man) and Antetokounmpo (Giannis' younger brother, who's extremely raw but also physically gifted).
Picks: Mohamed Bamba (Pick No. 6), Melvin Frazier (Pick No. 35), Justin Jackson (Pick No. 43, traded from Denver)
Even as the sixth overall selection, Bamba has steal potential.
He already has the league's longest wingspan (7'10"), and he used it to erase every field-goal attempt in his zip code at Texas (3.7 blocks per game). He'll be a defensive presence from day one, and he could be an elite anchor in short order.
He'll be more than a one-way contributor, too. At worst, he's a rim-runner and punishing lob-finisher. At best, he's a pogo stick at the rim and a spacer away from it (14 made threes in college).
This is good value at No. 6. And who cares if Orlando has two other centers on the payroll? Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo aren't good enough to justify passing on Bamba.
Frazier arrives as another defense-first prospect, although his offensive improvements solidified his rise. While not the most active shooter at Tulane (career 11.5 attempts per 40 minutes), it was still encouraging to see his conversion rates spike this past season (55.6 percent from the field, 38.5 percent outside).
Like Bamba, though, Frazier is already an impact defender. He's also better on the ball than you'd think from a prospect sometimes lumped in with the three-and-D group.
Jackson aces the physical test, and he could become a two-way forward by improving his decision-making and outside shooting. He's not a bad gamble to take with two really strong selections already in the back pocket.
Picks: Michael Porter Jr. (Pick No. 14), Jarred Vanderbilt (Pick No. 41, traded from Orlando), Thomas Welsh (Pick No. 58)
This has massive steal potential for the Nuggets.
Obviously there are medical worries, or he never would have fallen this far. His college career consisted of just three appearances sandwiched around back surgery, and he lost a recent workout to a hip injury. But reports have still sounded encouraging.
"There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with him right now," an executive told Givony.
Denver, which doesn't have to play Porter right away if his body isn't ready, could be terrifying on offense. It might have to be with its defense, but there's legitimate firepower at all five positions and now the uber-aggressive scorer this group didn't have—provided Porter stays on the floor.
The Nuggets went the discounted-by-injury route again with Vanderbilt, who played 14 games at Kentucky while battling foot and ankle injuries. He has point-forward potential with defensive versatility, loads of rebounding and zero shooting.
Welsh added a three-ball during his fourth and final season at UCLA, but he's hindered by limited mobility and athleticism.
Picks: Deandre Ayton (Pick No. 1), Mikal Bridges (Pick No. 10, traded from Philadelphia), Elie Okobo (Pick No. 31), George King (Pick No. 59)
Ayton is overloaded with physical gifts (including a 7'5" wingspan), which he converted into 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game over his lone season of college ball. He not only addresses a glaring weakness at center, but he should also quickly a form lethal one-two punch with Devin Booker.
Ayton must improve defensively, particularly with him joining the Association's worst unit at that end last season. But all prospects come with weaknesses; very few come with Ayton's tools.
Bridges makes plenty of on-court sense.
The Suns are desperate for defenders, and he can guard players at multiple spots. He's also a low-maintenance shot-maker (104 triples at a 43.5 percent clip), which will help him thrive alongside Booker and Ayton. Bridges' championship background (two titles at Villanova) could also be invaluable for this young locker room.
But the price for Bridges looks exorbitant. Zhaire Smith might have been the better fit anyway with their timeline, and Phoenix parted with the Miami Heat's 2021 pick on top of that? That draft class could be double loaded with college freshmen and the first batch of preps-to-pros leapers. Miami might not be very good by then.
Okobo is a great value at No. 31. He can catch fire quickly, and he's improving as both a passer and defender. King can shoot (career 40.1 percent from range) and potentially guard multiple positions.
The Suns found three players who could be major contributors already next season. But the possible overpay for Bridges put a damper on the proceedings.
Picks: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Pick No. 4), Jevon Carter (Pick No. 32)
Jackson hasn't celebrated his 19th birthday yet—that's coming in September—which, on the surface, might make him a curious addition to a team led by 30-somethings Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.
But there's plenty to like about the potential fit.
He can stretch the floor (38 threes on 39.6 percent shooting), protect the rim (5.5 blocks per 40 minutes) and defend on the perimeter. He doesn't have the deepest scoring toolbox, but Gasol and Conley can carry the torch in the near future. The Jackson-Gasol pairing potentially offers both outside shooting and shot-blocking.
Jackson doesn't tie the Grizzlies to a specific direction. He's skilled enough to contribute on a club looking to compete, but there are also enough upside indicators to view him as a long-term building block.
Carter is a win-now type of pick.
He'll seem imported from the grit-and-grind era. He concedes nothing on defense, where his physicality and instincts combine to form one of the better defensive bundles in this rookie class.
But he must find an offensive niche to command consistent playing time. He improved his perimeter shot at West Virginia (39.1 percent his final two seasons), but he struggles creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates.
Picks: Zhaire Smith (Pick No. 16, traded from Phoenix), Landry Shamet (Pick No. 26), Shake Milton (Pick No. 54, traded from Dallas)
Should we knock them for ruining the night's best feel-good story? We can't. Not when Smith could fit this roster fairly well, and he comes with a potentially uber-valuable future first attached.
Smith might be the best athlete in this class. He's now being placed in the Association's fourth-fastest offense, where he'll sprint alongside Ben Simmons or cut through crevices opened by the defensive attention Joel Embiid demands.
This defense, which was already third-best, gets stingier with a Swiss Army knife like Smith. The half-court offense threatens to get clunkier, but only if his outside shooting proves a mirage. He hit most of what he released at Texas Tech (45.0 percent from three); he just rarely took aim (18-of-40). Philly doesn't have spacing to spare with Simmons never launching and Embiid connecting infrequently.
It's not a perfect fit, but it's more than snug enough once you factor in the draft pick. The Sixers, remember, are big-game hunting this summer, and this selection might be a powerful trade chip.
Shamet and Milton can help with floor balance. Both left their respective schools with career three-point percentages north of 42. Shamet can play either backcourt spot and work as a secondary creator, while Milton adds another initiator.
None of these prospects fit quite as cleanly as Mikal Bridges would have, but Philly comes out ahead once accounting for the entire haul.
San Antonio Spurs
Picks: Lonnie Walker IV (Pick No. 18), Chimezie Metu (Pick No. 49)
The Spurs never worked out Walker. They didn't anticipate the potential lottery pick ever entering their range.
"We had him ranked significantly higher," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "So, to see the opportunity to have Lonnie available in the draft, that was exciting."
This is perfectly timed excitement for the Alamo City, not only due to Kawhi Leonard's uncertain future, but also because of the need to find Dejounte Murray's long-term backcourt mate.
Walker, who spent one year with the Miami Hurricanes, can be that player.
His shooting stroke impresses more than his stats (34.6 percent from downtown), and he's a force to be reckoned with considering his length, strength and explosive athleticism. His off-ball potential could unlock new levels of production in Gregg Popovich's system, and Walker has plenty to gain simply by escaping college basketball's 233rd-ranked tempo, per KenPom.com. Pop should have Walker guarding multiple spots in short order.
Metu might have landed in the right spot, because he needs more polish. He has an NBA build and sharp offensive skills, but he has a bad habit of drifting into the background.
Picks: Wendell Carter Jr. (Pick No. 7), Chandler Hutchison (Pick No. 22)
The Bulls could have taken the splashy route. Porter was on the board at No. 7. Anfernee Simons was there at No. 22. If they wanted to chase upside, they had their chances.
But they went substance over sizzle with Carter and Hutchison after failing to climb the ladder for a more high-profile prospect.
These are helpful, rotation-ready pickups.
Carter has a ton of skill and a body already built for the NBA post. He excels in doing the little things—setting solid screens, bullying on the block, battling on the glass, making open shots and finding open teammates.
His ceiling looks somewhat like the next Al Horford. But that doesn't scream potential superstar the way Porter would have. And given Carter's lack of mobility, Chicago will have defensive questions to answer with he and Lauri Markkanen in the same frontcourt.
Hutchison is a 22-year-old senior who stampeded through his final two seasons at Boise State. He's a good athlete, electric slasher and developing shooter. If he can hit from NBA range (he made 79 threes in four seasons), he could have a quick path to major minutes given the Bulls' wing shortage.
The values are fine, and so are the prospects. We'll see later on if Chicago should have pounced on potential.
Pick: Collin Sexton (Pick No. 8)
One year after trading away Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers finally found his replacement.
Sexton is equal parts blur and bulldozer. He's fast, he's athletic, and he's relentless.
"You never have to worry about him trying hard," an NBA scout told Bleacher Report's C.J. Moore in December.
Sexton will immediately improve what's perhaps Cleveland's biggest weakness: the Association's 29th-ranked defense. He has decent size (6'2") and better length (6'7" wingspan), and his competitive drive will surface early and often as a stopper.
It's less certain what kind of impact he'll make on the other end.
He struggled with his jump shot at Alabama (33.6 percent from three), and that's a cardinal sin for perimeter players who suit up with LeBron James (which, granted, we're not sure if Sexton ever will). Sexton also had a tendency to get tunnel vision, which contributed to forgettable passing numbers (3.6 assists per game, 1.3 assists per turnover).
The Cavs needed a playmaker. Sexton isn't a perfect one, but he's an upgrade over what they had and was priced appropriately at No. 8.
Golden State Warriors
Pick: Jacob Evans (Pick No. 28)
It's a testament to the Warriors' front office and coaching staff that nearly all of their recent picks have been deemed grand larceny.
Without trying to echo everyone else, it looks like they stole another one.
It isn't so much about the draft range; this is roughly where Evans was going in most mocks. It's the tremendous fit. They needed defensive-minded wings who can hit the long ball. He fits that description with ease.
"You put him in this Golden State Warriors system, and he's going to be able to knock down shots," ESPN's Jay Bilas said, via Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's going to help them win."
Evans spent last season leading Cincinnati to a 31-5 record. He paced the club in points (13.0) and assists (3.1) while ranking second in steals (1.3) and third in both rebounds (4.7) and blocks (1.0). He made 129 threes over the past two campaigns, converting 39.4 percent from distance over that stretch.
The Warriors ran thin on the wings last season, and they could lose Nick Young and Patrick McCaw (restricted) to free agency. Evans could be a 2018-19 rotation member.
Picks: De'Anthony Melton (Pick No. 46), Vincent Edwards (Pick No. 52, traded from Utah)
No, you're not reading that wrong—Melton, the No. 23 player on our big board, slipped all the way to 46th.
"I think he was a little out of sight, out of mind," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said, per Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press.
Melton didn't play a second for USC this past season after being ruled ineligible because of an improper benefits scandal. And the modest marks of his freshman season (8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists) perhaps contributed to his seemingly falling off the radar.
But he's ready for rotation minutes right now. He can pressure opponents on defense, move the ball on offense and provide a presence on the glass. There's even hope he'll add an outside shot.
Edwards landed in the right situation to perhaps emerge as a sneaky-smart addition.
Inconsistency has plagued him in the past, but the Rockets have enough depth they can bury him on the bench for his rough nights. On his good ones, they'll take advantage of his playmaking, slashing, outside shooting and defensive versatility.
Morey did well to make this a productive evening.
Picks: Aaron Holiday (Pick No. 23), Alize Johnson (Pick No. 50)
The Pacers needed scoring help for Victor Oladipo and a point guard upgrade.
Both areas could get a boost from Holiday, younger brother of Justin and Jrue.
Holiday's third season at UCLA was his best. He averaged 20.3 points on 46.1 percent shooting (42.9 percent from three), 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals. For comparison's sake, Darren Collison and Cory Joseph averaged 20.3 points combined, and neither bettered Holiday's marks in assists or steals.
Holiday's lack of size can be problematic in traffic, but he has the speed and explosiveness to create paths to the basket. He's not an elite playmaker, but he and Oladipo could split scoring and distributing duties. The defensive potential for that backcourt combo is significant.
Johnson is a late-draft flier on unique potential. He was active on the glass at Missouri State, and he made solid strides as a shooter and defender.
But he doesn't have the physical tools of a typical 4 or the shot-creating chops of a wing. He could be a tough fit.
Picks: Donte DiVincenzo (Pick No. 17)
The Milwaukee Bucks may have checked a couple items off their wish list with DiVincenzo.
All the areas—complementary scoring, perimeter shooting, defensive versatility, secondary playmaking—serve the same purpose of helping Giannis Antetokounmpo. But that was the primary focus of the Bucks' front office, and they seem to have completed the goal in a single selection.
DiVincenzo can step into the spotlight (31 points in the national title game for Villanova), but he also can stay effective outside of it (40.1 percent from three). He can lead an offense in spurts (3.5 assists) or thrive in a supporting role. With his athleticism, toughness and determination, he has the tools to be a disruptive defender.
But it's fair to question the height of his ceiling. He may have looked like a star during the Wildcats' championship win, but he was held to eight points or fewer in five of his final nine outings. He's already 21 years old and wasn't a lock to stay in this draft until his big-stage outburst put him on everyone's radar.
The Bucks have been burned chasing unpolished, potential-only prospects before, so maybe Milwaukee isn't too worried about how much DiVincenzo can grow. But he must make an early impact to validate both passing on the upside of Lonnie Walker and not grabbing Robert Williams to plug the hole at center.
Picks: Josh Okogie (Pick No. 20), Keita Bates-Diop (Pick No. 48)
The Wolves played it smart and simple with their first pick, then pounced on a bargain—and need-filler—with their second.
If Tom Thibodeau trusts these players enough to give them early minutes, they're capable of making an impact.
Okogie has the build, long limbs (7'0") and drive to defend three positions on opening night. There might have been more accurate marksmen in this draft, but he'll fare well enough from three (career 38.2 percent) to play a small part in the offense. Having his touches restricted by the presence of Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins will help reel in Okogie's sometimes erratic shot selection.
Bates-Diop was often mocked in the first round, so getting him after the second round's midpoint is a nice bargain.
He's not the most explosive athlete, and the stat sheet sees him as only an average shooter (35.2 percent). But he's a prolific scorer (19.8 per game), versatile stopper and capable creator. He might be able to play all three frontcourt positions.
There probably aren't any rising stars here, but this was solid drafting.
Picks: Grayson Allen (Pick No. 21)
The Jazz needed more scoring options to ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell.
Allen, who's nearly a year older than Mitchell, should be a point producer from opening night. While Allen dialed down his assertiveness his final two seasons at Duke, he averaged 21.6 points with a 46.6/41.7/83.7 slash line as a sophomore.
"Adding a guy like [Allen], you know, he's an elite scorer, great defender, plays unselfish—man, we got a good one in him," Mitchell said, per Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Allen got himself a good situation, too.
He can play off Mitchell on offense, making his marks as an off-ball cutter, spot-up sniper (career 38.0 percent from three) or secondary distributor. Allen will also benefit from having an anchor like Rudy Gobert behind him.
This isn't a landscape-altering pick, but Utah and Allen should both enjoy the partnership.
Picks: Trae Young (Pick No. 5, traded from Dallas), Kevin Huerter (Pick No. 19), Omari Spellman (Pick No. 30)
Young has in-the-arena shooting range, crafty handles and the vision to find open teammates. He was basically a one-man wrecking crew at Oklahoma and led the nation in points (27.4) and assists (8.7). He'll immediately assume control of Atlanta's offense, and if he transitions quickly, he'll potentially have a Stephen Curry-type gravitational pull on opposing defenses.
There's significant risk in this selection, though. His physical gifts are nonexistent; he measured under 6'2" in shoes and had the shortest wingspan (6'3") at the combine. That presents obvious challenges at the defensive end, although the Hawks will stomach them if he gives them an offensive identity.
Plus, you can't erase the opportunity cost of letting Doncic get away.
Huerter was a star at the combine who impressed with his sophomore shooting (73 threes, 41.7 percent this past season) at Maryland. He might not play a ton of defense, but he could be a high-level catch-and-shoot sniper, and he'll chip in as a ball-mover and occasional attacker.
Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk came from Golden State's front office. So, if you're thinking the Young-Huerter combo has a Splash Bros. Lite feel to it, there's a reason for that.
Spellman was a reach, but he'll help push this offense to the perimeter. Atlanta also added two future second-rounders by sending the 34th pick to Charlotte.
There's massive risk that Doncic becomes the one that got away. That said, the Hawks look like they're leaving this draft with a clear direction.
Picks: Khyri Thomas (Pick No. 38, traded from Philadelphia), Bruce Brown (Pick No. 42)
Draft night was always going to be tricky once Detroit parted with its first-round pick in the Blake Griffin trade. But Pistons fans should be pleased with the results—especially if they pretend not to notice that selection would've been high enough for Porter.
Thomas and Brown both have first-round talent. They weren't first-round locks—Thomas is undersized and limited off the dribble, while Brown struggled with his shot before a foot injury finished his season—but they were in that discussion for having projectable skills.
Thomas is the prototypical three-and-D wing. He shot 40.6 percent from three at Creighton and was twice named Big East defensive player of the year. He's on the short side for a wing (6'3¾" in shoes), but his strength and 6'10½" wingspan help him play bigger than his height.
Brown does just about everything other than shoot. He was one of only five players in the country to average at least 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal. His length, athleticism and tenacity should help him defend all across the perimeter.
Detroit had one of the Association's worst wing rotations last season. Two second-round picks aren't going to fix it, but each should provide value-priced help.
New York Knicks
Picks: Kevin Knox (Pick No. 9), Mitchell Robinson (Pick No. 36)
Wing was a clear Knicks need entering the night, so it wasn't surprising that it was the first position they addressed. The way they spent the pick, though, might have raised a few eyebrows.
Knox is interesting, there's no denying that. He's young (18 until August), he's long (6'9" with a 7'0" wingspan), and he's potentially capable of showing more than he was allowed to at Kentucky. He should fill in at either forward spot, although he'll need to hone his three-ball (34.1 percent) and improve his defensive consistency to spend more time on the perimeter.
He was also one of the biggest risers on the workout circuit, so it's not like ninth is an outlandish spot to take him.
But what pushed Knox ahead of the late-lottery wing pack? Mikal Bridges and Miles Bridges were more impressive in college. Porter had a dramatic advantage in pedigree. All three were available, and all three could make this look like a reach in hindsight.
Robinson is a (literally) massive wild card, but this was the right range for him.
He has physical gifts few can match, but he hasn't played in a year (twice withdrew from Western Kentucky). If he proves ready sooner rather than later, the Knicks should find him minutes. Kyle O'Quinn is headed to free agency, Enes Kanter could follow him and Joakim Noah is still in exile.
Pick: Marvin Bagley III (Pick No. 2)
The Kings are starving for star power. That probably didn't change Thursday night.
Bagley offers some safety. His size, energy and athleticism will pay instant dividends above the rim and on the glass.
But he doesn't look like the No. 2 talent in this class. Not with question marks around both his defensive awareness and offensive skills.
"Bagley relies on instincts and explosiveness rather than skill to score," Wasserman wrote. "And after he shot 62.7 percent from the free-throw line, it's reasonable to expect shooting inconsistency."
There aren't a lot of modern NBA bigs who play like Bagley. Can his talent overcome that, or is his skill set outdated?
This selection was no surprise, and it highlights Sacramento's comfort level with Bagley as a top-two pick. But the Kings had to leave a lot on the board to make this call. Doncic could have brought this offense together, Bamba could have solidified the defense, Jackson could have modernized the frontcourt...there were options.
Maybe Bagley proves this is the right call. But we'll remain skeptical until he does.
Picks: Miles Bridges (Pick No. 12, traded from L.A. Clippers), Devonte' Graham (Pick No. 34, traded from Atlanta), Arnoldas Kulboka (Pick No. 55)
If the Hornets are keeping Kemba Walker, then upgrading the forward spot was a must. They accomplished that much.
Bridges' decision to spend an extra year at Michigan State didn't bolster his draft stock or bulk up his stat sheet. But it didn't hurt, either. He was essentially the same player—an explosive athlete, versatile defender, active rebounder and capable outside shooter (36.4 percent).
That's not an overwhelming package, but it's more exciting than the ones possessed by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams. It's also less exciting than what Michael Porter Jr. offers.
Graham isn't particularly exciting, but like Bridges, he can fill a need. Michael Carter-Williams shot 33.2 percent behind Walker last season. It might not be possible for Graham to be any worse.
He'll add a three-point dimension right away after hitting 40.9 percent from three over four years at Kansas. He did a good job of sharing the wealth last season (7.2 assists), but he was abysmal inside the arc (39.2 percent on two-pointers).
Kulboka is a 6'10" shooter. He probably won't be seen stateside for some time.
This feels like a typical Hornets draft. They don't strike out often, but they also don't get many extra-base hits. If circumstances force Walker out, they'll regret shipping Gilgeous-Alexander out.
Los Angeles Clippers
Picks: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Pick No. 11, traded from Charlotte), Jerome Robinson (Pick No. 13)
The Clippers collected a confusing haul. They might have found their backcourt of the future, or they could have left voids unfilled while congesting other spots.
Gilgeous-Alexander makes a lot of sense, even if he required the sacrifice of two future seconds to climb one spot. They couldn't afford to leave the draft without a point guard, and he was the last lead guard of the likely lottery picks.
He's physically impressive without being overly explosive due to his 6'6" frame and hawkish 7'0" wingspan. He understands how and when to change speeds, and his length should help him defend multiple positions. He'd greatly improve his potential by getting more comfortable with his outside shot (23 makes in 37 games at Kentucky).
Robinson's selection is trickier.
The guy can score in his sleep (20.7 points per game), and he does it in all facets. He can create out of pick-and-rolls, shake defenders in isolations, light the lamp from long range (40.9 percent) and finish plays at the basket.
But No. 13 felt really early for him, especially with Robert Williams (a potential DeAndre Jordan replacement) and Michael Porter Jr. (the possible missing No. 1 option) on the board. L.A. also has a traffic jam in the backcourt now with at least the two new additions, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Austin Rivers all needing minutes.
Los Angeles Lakers
Picks: Moritz Wagner (Pick No. 25), Isaac Bonga (Pick No. 39, traded from Philadelphia), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pick No. 47)
With Brook Lopez bound for free agency, the Lakers had an opening for a floor-spacing 5.
They're hoping Wagner can fill it.
He seemingly has the stroke. He totaled 108 threes on 39.4 percent shooting over the past two seasons at Michigan.
But Wagner must be elite from distance, because the rest of his skill set underwhelms. He took a step forward as a rebounder and still corralled just 7.1 per game. He never averaged one assist. He's exploitable at every level on defense.
That is a bunch of warts—probably too many to justify a first-round pick, especially with the talent still available.
Bonga is a potential point-forward and draft-and-stash candidate. Mykhailiuk could help with L.A.'s shooting deficiencies, but only if he proves capable of defending at this level.
Picks: Dzanan Musa (Pick No. 29), Rodions Kurucs (Pick No. 40)
There weren't 28 prospects better than Musa, but that also wasn't the reason he went 29th. Givony reported Musa could have gone "much higher" if he agreed to stay in Europe another year, but he was insistent on coming stateside right away.
The Nets should be thrilled.
They needed more scoring—D'Angelo Russell was their high man last season with 15.5 points—and that's Musa's specialty.
"The Bosnian turned 19 years old this season and averaged double-digit scoring in the Adriatic League, Croatian League and Eurocup," Wasserman wrote. "He's produced in every setting he's played overseas."
Musa doesn't have NBA strength or athleticism, so defense will be a major challenge. He also underwhelms as a passer. But his spark-plug potential could get him into next season's rotation.
Kurucs has a power forward's height (6'10") and the mobility of a wing. He doesn't have an obvious NBA-ready skill, but his athleticism and shooting mechanics are intriguing.
This is the last draft in which the Nets are paying for the sins of the previous front office, so they were restricted in what they could do. They found some interesting pieces, but neither is an automatic hit.
Picks: Troy Brown (Pick No. 15), Issuf Sanon (Pick No. 44)
Sorry, John Wall. Those athletic bigs aren't coming yet.
Rather than answer Wall's need for frontcourt athleticism with Robert Williams, the Wizards opted for Brown—over Zhaire Smith, Lonnie Walker and a handful of other higher-rated wings.
Brown should supply missing depth on the perimeter, and he'll contribute on both ends. He doesn't have a signature strength, but that's actually his calling card.
"He does a lot of good things on the court," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said, per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. "Good size, I.Q. and the way the league is going, you have to be able to guard multiple positions and he can do that."
It's unclear, though, if Brown can shoot. While he launched 110 deep-distance shots at Oregon, he only connected on 32 (29.1 percent). If Wall's shooting backtracks at all (he hit 37.1 percent last season but is only at 32.7 for his career), Washington's offensive possessions could become uncomfortably tight.
Brown is young and skilled enough to prove a good fit and justify the price. But there were other prospects with similar (or higher) ceilings who could have addressed greater needs.
Sannon might be interesting down the road as a lengthy, athletic combo guard. But he won't be here next season, so this looks like a future-focused pick for a franchise with a present-minded payroll.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Picks: Hamidou Diallo (Pick No. 45, traded from Charlotte), Devon Hall (Pick No. 53), Kevin Hervey (Pick No. 57)
For not being mentioned until pick 53—the Diallo trade was reported after the draft—OKC had a fairly interesting night.
Granted, it's pick-45-or-later interesting, but interesting nonetheless.
Diallo is an elite athlete who could cause problems if he ever develops a shot (42.8 percent overall, 33.8 percent from three). Even without one, he can be a nightmare in transition—especially motoring alongside Russell Westbrook—and is a lanky defender capable of contributing all across the wings.
Hall flashed late during his career at Virginia, but it was high-level stuff once he did. His senior season featured 43.2 percent three-point sniping and 3.1 assists per turnover. But were his numbers inflated by his 31-3 team? He didn't score much even this past season (11.7 points), but he might help enough in other areas to be relevant and reliable.
Hervey was wildly productive in college (career 22.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per 40 minutes). He could address a need for a stretch big and offer a wider scoring array than the typical catch-and-shoot spacer. But his past includes ACL tears in both knees and inconsistent defense.
It's tough to dislike the price of any of these picks—although we don't know the cost of the Diallo deal yet—but there might not be anything here.
New Orleans Pelicans
Picks: Tony Carr (Pick No. 51)
Carr sounds interesting: a 6'5" point guard who just averaged 19.6 points, 5.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds. What's not to like?
Well, he might not be a point guard, for starters. Change 6'5" lead guard to 6'5" wing, and suddenly the size seems forgettable.
There are also two seasons' worth of shaky shooting data inside the arc. He shot 39.7 percent on two-pointers against college defenders. If he didn't have the athleticism to consistently finish over them, how's he ever going to handle big-league stoppers?
His shooting form is concerning. His decision-making is hit or miss. He doesn't always defend the way his length says he should.
There are a lot of question marks here; hence, the reason 50 names were called before his. Maybe he gives New Orleans a microwave option off the bench, but odds aren't great that he'll stick.
Portland Trail Blazers
Picks: Anfernee Simons (Pick No. 24), Gary Trent Jr. (Pick No. 37, traded from Sacramento)
Portland came into this draft with enough flaws that it was easier identifying the primary strength—the high-powered backcourt combo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. They might not play a ton of defense, but they don't always need to when they're combining for 48.3 points per game.
The front office just needed complementary pieces to support them; two-way wings would've been ideal, maybe another center to guard against possible free-agency exits (Jusuf Nurkic, Ed Davis).
But no, the Blazers grabbed guards with both of their picks. And not just any guards, but guards who follow the Lillard-McCollum model of prioritizing offense over defense.
Clearly, the front office feels the potential for Simons and Trent was greater than any overlapping positional concerns. There's significant talent between them. Simons effortlessly blends explosiveness and shot-making into a potent offensive arsenal. Trent is one of this draft's premier sharpshooters.
But if you're going to ignore roster composition altogether, can you do it for prospects this volatile? Simons needs serious seasoning, and there's no guarantee he'll figure things out. Trent offers little outside of spacing, which McCollum and Lillard already supply.
With athletic bigs, floor-stretching bigs and three-and-D wings all on the board when the Blazers made their first pick, this was a curious direction to take.
There were whispers Thursday about the Heat searching for an entry into this draft, but that door never opened.
That's unfortunate. Few rosters are more in need of young, cost-controlled talent, as Miami has only made one pick in the past three drafts.
Toronto tried dreaming big for draft night, but nothing came to fruition.
While this could be a hyperactive offseason north of the border, the talent grab came and went quietly for the Raptors.
Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @ZachBuckleyNBA.