NBA Teams made possible franchise-altering decisions Thursday. We won't know the effects of the 2018 draft for some time, but the selections stir up some intriguing storylines and short-term possibilities.
As expected, the draft brought the usual scenarios: a prominent prospect slipped a few spots, there were aggressive trades and some teams may have come away from high-value steals after the first round.
One particular club finished the night as a clear-cut winner. It's too early to call out losers, but one team came up with a head-scratcher in the opening round.
Which second-rounder landed in an ideal spot to contribute as a rookie? How did each team grade out on an early glance?
NBA Draft Team-by-Team Grades and Picks
No. 5 Trae Young, Guard
No. 19 Kevin Huerter, Forward
No. 30 Omari Spellman, Forward
No. 27 Robert Williams, Center
No. 29 Dzanan Musa, Forward
No. 40 Rodions Kurucs, Forward
No. 45 Hamidou Diallo, Forward
No. 12 Miles Bridges, Forward
No. 34 Devonte' Graham, Guard
No. 55 Arnoldas Kulboka, Forward
No. 7 Wendell Carter Jr., Forward/Center
No. 22 Chandler Hutchison, Forward, Guard
No. 8 Collin Sexton, Guard
No. 3 Luka Doncic, Guard/Forward
No. 33 Jalen Brunson, Guard
No. 56 Ray Spalding, Forward
No. 60 Kostas Antetokounmpo, Forward
No. 14 Michael Porter Jr., Forward
No. 41 Jarred Vanderbilt, Forward
No. 43 Justin Jackson, Forward
No. 58 Thomas Welsh, Center
No. 38 Khyri Thomas, Guard
No. 42 Bruce Brown, Guard
Golden State: B
No. 28 Jacob Evans, Guard/Forward
No. 46 De'Anthony Melton, Guard
No. 23 Aaron Holiday, Guard
No. 50 Alize Johnson, Forward
Los Angeles Clippers: A
No. 11 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Guard
No. 13 Jerome Robinson, Guard
Los Angeles Lakers: C+
No. 25 Moritz Wagner, Forward
No. 39 Isaac Bonga, Center
No. 47 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Guard
No. 4 Jaren Jackson Jr., Forward
No. 32 Jevon Carter, Guard
No. 17 Donte DiVincenzo, Guard
No. 20 Josh Okogie, Guard
No. 48 Keita Bates-Diop, Forward
New Orleans: B+
No. 51 Tony Carr, Guard
New York: A-
No. 9 Kevin Knox, Forward
No. 36 Mitchell Robinson, Center
Oklahoma City: C+
No. 53 Devon Hall, Guard
No. 57 Kevin Hervey, Forward
No. 6 Mohamed Bamba, Center
No. 35 Melvin Frazier, Guard
No. 16 Zhaire Smith, Guard
No. 26 Landry Shamet, Guard
No. 54 Shake Milton, Guard
No. 1 Deandre Ayton, Center
No. 10 Mikal Bridges, Forward
No. 31 Elie Okobo, Guard
No. 59 George King, Forward
No. 24 Anfernee Simons, Guard
No. 37 Gary Trent Jr., Guard
No. 2 Marvin Bagley III, Forward
San Antonio: B
No. 18 Lonnie Walker IV, Guard
No. 49 Chimezie Metu, Forward
No. 21 Grayson Allen, Guard
No. 52 Vincent Edwards, Forward
No. 15 Troy Brown, Forward
No. 44 Issuf Sanon, Guard
Breaking Down Draft-Day Decisions
Suns Emerge as Draft-Day Winners
The Phoenix Suns came away with the best draft haul, and it goes beyond Deandre Ayton at No. 1. They also acquired Mikal Bridges via trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. He's a versatile swingman, who can guard multiple positions and knock down shots at a high clip. The Villanova product converted on 51 percent of his attempts from the field and 44 percent beyond the three-point line.
The Suns sent Zhaire Smith and a first-round pick in the 2021 draft to the Sixers for the former Wildcat. Essentially, Phoenix landed two top-10 prospects in Ayton and Bridges.
Both players could crack the starting lineup. Ayton will fill the center spot over 35-year-old Tyson Chandler. In today's NBA, it's beneficial to have an abundance of wing assets. Bridges could push for a spot at either forward position in a rotation with Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson.
The trade for Bridges robbed NBA fans of a feelgood story about a local product joining his mother, who works for the Sixers organization, but the Suns secured two quality components for a brighter future.
Don't sleep on French baller Elie Okobo, who can add a spark off the bench as a shooter and distributor. He shot 39 percent from three-point territory and averaged nearly five assists per game for Pau-Lacq-Orthez in France's LNB Pro A league.
Portland Trail Blazers Head-Scratchers
The Portland Trail Blazers finished the 2017-18 season as the No. 3 seed. They have the pieces in place to compete with the existing roster but decided to draft two players who cannot immediately fill needy roles or advance this team further in the postseason.
The Blazers should have targeted a versatile defender capable of guarding multiple positions or added a pass-first guard to the backcourt for depth.
Portland selected Anfernee Simons at No. 24 out of IMG Academy. He may develop into a decent contributor, but what can he do to push this squad forward in the upcoming campaign? The 19-year-old takes a leap from organized high school basketball to the NBA. It's going to take time to figure out where he fits in the lineup rotations.
The Blazers acquired Gary Trent Jr. in a trade with the Sacramento Kings. He could add to the team's ability to score, especially beyond the arc, but it's not an area where the roster struggled during the previous campaign. Portland ranked 16th in three-point makes and 11th in percentages behind the line.
Secondly, the roster needs a quality passer who could play alongside elite scorers Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum when they are not sharing the court.
Did the Blazers swing and miss on their picks? Time will tell, but they could have done better with their decisions Thursday.
Most Underrated 2nd-Round Pick Set to Make an Impact
The Detroit Pistons picked up two guards four selections apart in the second round, and both have the skill sets to contribute immediately. As the league moves away from the traditional five positions in the starting lineup, we are seeing players fill specific roles.
Creighton guard Khyri Thomas gives maximum effort on both ends of the court. Despite his height (6'3"), he profiles more as a 2-guard who can defend both positions in the backcourt and stretch defenses with his shooting range.
Thomas doesn't have the court vision as a distributor to hold down a spot at the 1, but head coach Dwane Casey can utilize him in a lineup next to a pure passer or combo guard to maximize his strengths in 20-25 minutes as a rookie.
Fellow rookie guard Bruce Brown falls under the same category if he develops a three-point shot. He's a decent passer with the ball in his hands. Keep an eye on both second-round guards in Detroit.