NBA Draft Results 2019: Easy-to-Read Grades, Picks for All 30 NBA TeamsJune 22, 2019
The 2019 NBA draft class was widely considered to be a top-heavy group, with Duke's Zion Williamson, Murray State's Ja Morant and Duke's RJ Barrett as the three clear best prospects.
Teams seemed to agree that these were the best players in the draft, as Williamson, Morant and Barrett went Nos. 1-3 on Thursday night.
However, the draft most certainly was not only about these three future NBA standouts. A total of 60 players were selected, and some teams managed to put together impressive draft groups without landing any of the big three.
The Atlanta Hawks, for example, traded up to No. 4 for two-way prospect De'Andre Hunter, then managed to come back and grab some offensive firepower in Cam Reddish at 10. Along with 2018 first-round pick Trae Young, Hunter and Reddish may provide Atlanta with its core for the next half decade or so.
From a grading standpoint, the Hawks deserve a clear A+. They got the player they wanted at 4 and still managed to add another potential future star in the process.
Which other teams hit big in Thursday night's draft? Let's run down the big winners, examine how each team graded out and run down the full list of draft selections.
2019 NBA Draft Results
2019 NBA Draft Grades
Atlanta Hawks: A+
Boston Celtics: B+
Brooklyn Nets: B-
Charlotte Hornets: C
Chicago Bulls: B
Cleveland Cavaliers: A+
Dallas Mavericks: C+
Denver Nuggets: B+
Detroit Pistons: B-
Golden State Warriors: C+
Houston Rockets: N/A
Indiana Pacers: B
Los Angeles Clippers: B-
Los Angeles Lakers: C
Memphis Grizzlies: A
Miami Heat: B+
Milwaukee Bucks: N/A
Minnesota Timberwolves: B-
New Orleans Pelicans: A+
New York Knicks: B+
Oklahoma City Thunder: C+
Orlando Magic: C
Philadelphia 76ers: C+
Phoenix Suns: C-
Portland Trail Blazers: B
Sacramento Kings: C-
San Antonio Spurs: B+
Toronto Raptors: C+
Utah Jazz: C+
Washington Wizards: B
Thursday Night's Other Winners
New Orleans: A+
Picks: Duke PF Zion Williamson (No. 1); Texas C Jaxson Hayes (No. 8); Virginia Tech SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17); Brazil SG Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35)
While the top three teams in the draft weren't the only big winners, the New Orleans Pelicans certainly were among them.
Not only did they make the obvious choice and select Williamson at No. 1, but they essentially parlayed the No. 4 selection—acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis deal—into Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Marcos Louzada Silva.
Williamson is obviously the prize of the bunch here, but by acquiring players like Hayes and Alexander-Walker, the Pelicans are helping to build Williamson's supporting cast.
Hayes, in particular, has the potential to be a rookie contributor alongside Williamson, as David Ray of NBADraftNet.com observed before the draft.
"Jaxson Hayes projects as a player that will, at minimum, be able to protect the rim, rebound, and catch lobs on offense from day one," Ray wrote.
When you also factor in the other assets New Orleans received for Davis—specifically, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball—it feels like the rebuild in the Big Easy is going to be a relatively short process.
Cleveland Cavaliers: A
Picks: Vanderbilt PG Darius Garland (No. 5); Belmont SF Dylan Windler (No. 26); USC SG Kevin Porter Jr. (No. 30)
Credit the Cleveland Cavaliers for taking some chances with their draft class. While small-school prospect Dylan Windler and risky prospect Kevin Porter Jr. may not pan out, there is plenty of upside with the two selections.
Windler averaged 21.3 points per game last season while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 43 percent from three-point range. If he can make the jump from Belmont to the NBA, he'll be an asset on the offensive end of the court.
Porter had a 2018-19 campaign hindered by both injury and suspension—for personal conduct violations—but he has the physical tools to be an early contributor for the Cavaliers.
The biggest win for Cleveland, however, was landing Vanderbilt's Darius Garland at No. 5. He was the hottest rising player just prior to the draft and a guy teams were interested in trading up to get.
Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress
Darius Garland will conduct a last-minute workout in Tarrytown with the New York Knicks tomorrow, a source told ESPN. Garland is in serious consideration for the No. 3 pick. Minnesota, Boston, Chicago are teams looking at potentially trading up to No. 4 with Garland in mind.
Garland was also hampered by injury this past season, but based on his limited sample size, he could be the next centerpiece player for the Cavaliers.