NBA Draft Grades 2019: Full List of Scores for All Picks

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

Duke's Zion Williamson, right, poses for photographs with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the New Orleans Pelicans as the first pick during the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Offseason optimism is rarely in short supply for NBA teams.

That's as true in the afterglow of the annual draft as it is any other time on the offseason calendar.

Yet history shows not every team succeeds in the talent grab. In fact, there were probably a lot more whiffs than hits over the 60 selections made Thursday night.

While time will reveal how everyone performed, we know enough about these teams and prospects to take an early gauge of how they did. After laying out the full draft results, we'll list every team's grade and take a closer look at two likely draft winners and one near-certain loser.

                   

NBA Draft Results

             

NBA Draft Grades

A Teams

Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers

            

B Teams

Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz

             

C Teams

Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards

              

D Teams

Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder

           

No Picks

Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks

                

Two Winners, One Loser

Winner: New Orleans Pelicans

Hitting the jackpot at the draft lottery took the guesswork out of this process for the Pelicans. As soon as New Orleans landed the No. 1 pick, the Big Easy had its bridge to Zion Williamson.

There could not have been an easier way to cushion the blow of Anthony Davis' exit. Williamson might be the best prospect since the Brow.

"I haven't scouted a prospect this talented who also had this perfect mental makeup," a scout told Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman. "He's everything you could possibly want in a franchise player."

New Orleans also turned the No. 4 pick into three prospects through a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. Jaxson Hayes is a 19-year-old who can handle rim-running duties right now, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker gives this offense another guard who can create and shoot from range. Marcos "Didi" Louzada Silva can be internationally stashed and might one day emerge as an energetic perimeter scorer.

             

Loser: Phoenix Suns

Do the Suns know something the rest of us don't?

They drafted like a team on the hunt for a few finishing pieces to a contending core after averaging 60.3 losses over the past four seasons.

The day started with the salary dump of T.J. Warren—a 25-year-old who can score from anywhere—at the cost of the No. 32 pick. It then featured a move back from pick No. 6 to No. 11, with Phoenix only adding Dario Saric—a 25-year-old complementary player who needs a new contract by next summer.

Then, the Suns turned that pick into the biggest reach of the night by adding 23-year-old shooting specialist Cameron Johnson, who didn't get a green-room invite and wasn't a first-round lock, per ESPN's Jonathan Givony. Johnson is nearly eight months older than Suns star Devin Booker.

The Suns later traded a 2020 first-rounder for the 24th pick and Aron Baynes, a 32-year-old with a below-average career player efficiency rating. That pick then became Virginia guard Ty Jerome, a soon-to-be 22-year-old who is a decent shooter and passer but maybe not an NBA athlete.

Clearly, Phoenix prioritized shooting and experience in an effort to expedite its rebuild. But recent performances loudly suggest this team is going nowhere anytime soon, and with Booker and Deandre Ayton as the centerpieces, it's tough to tell why there appears to be any rush.

              

Winner: Memphis Grizzlies

Like the Pelicans, the Grizzlies essentially earned this status at the lottery when they jumped multiple teams to grab the No. 2 pick. After trading away Mike Conley, Memphis probably spent the selection on his replacement, the electric Ja Morant.

Memphis' new floor general has the rare combination of elite athleticism and elite court vision, gifts that have previously propelled players such as Russell Westbrook and John Wall to stardom. Morant's 2018-19 season was one nightly assault on the stat sheet after another, as his final line checked in at 24.5 points, 10.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds.

Morant will team with Memphis' fourth overall pick from last summer, Jaren Jackson Jr., to give the organization a potentially elite point guard-big man tandem. Between Morant's assertiveness and passing and Jackson's ability to play along the perimeter or above the rim, this offense could become a handful.

Trading up for Brandon Clarke added another high-flyer to the mix. The explosiveness and defensive versatility of this nucleus could be special.

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