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NBA Draft Grades 2018: Analysis of every team's first and second-round pick

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NBA Draft Grades 2018: Analysis of every team's first and second-round pick

Now that the 2018 NBA Draft has reached its end, it's time to take a look back at how every team fared Thursday night.

There was plenty of discussion and mock drafts leading up to the draft debating who the Wizards would pick at No. 15. In the end, the Wizards drafted Oregon's Troy Brown and then picked Ukranian point guard Isssuf Sanon in the second round.

How did the rest of the NBA do on Thursday night?

Here are our full 2018 NBA Draft grades.

NBA Draft Grades 2018

Atlanta Hawks: 
Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma (No. 5)
Kevin Huerter, G, Maryland (No. 19)
Omari Spellman (No. 30)

Draft Analysis: The Hawks traded down with Luka Doncic on the board in order to draft Trae Young. It's a puzzling decision, but at least the Hawks had a plan. Kevin Huerter will give the Hawks an outside scoring threat, and Spellman will be a decent rotation player. The Hawks needed to get a lot better on Thursday, and they didn't. But they looked like they had a plan, which is why their grade isn't lower (which it could be).
Draft Grade: C+


Boston Celtics: 
Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M (No. 27)

Draft Analysis: The Celtics landed one of the biggest first-round steals, getting Williams, a freak athlete who at one time was projected to be a lottery pick, with one of the final first-round picks. Medical concerns played into Williams' slide, but the Celtics desperately need frontcourt athleticism, and Williams excels at that. 
Draft Grade: A-


Brooklyn Nets: 
Dzanan Musa, F, Bosnia and Herzegovina (No. 29)
Rodions Kurucs, F, Latvia (No. 40)

Draft Analysis: The 2018 NBA Draft was one of the weaker drafts in terms of international talent. The dropoff from Luka Doncic to Dzanan Musa is pretty startling, but the Nets got the second and third best international prospects and didn't have to reach at all. There's an argument to be made that Kurucs is more talented than Musa, and the Nets got them both at ideal draft positions.
Draft Grade: B-


Charlotte Hornets:
Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State (No. 12),
Devonte' Graham, SG, Kansas (34),
Arnoldas Kulbolka, SF, international (55)

Draft Analysis: The Hornets traded back and picked up two future second-round picks in order to select Miles Bridges, who at one point was considered a top 3 pick. The problem? That time was over a year ago. That's not to say Bridges won't be good, but the Hornets needed to get better right now and are we convinced any of their three draft picks make them better, right now?
Draft Grade: C


Chicago Bulls:
Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke (No. 7)
Chandler Hutchinson, G, Boise State (No. 22)

Draft Analysis: A frontcourt that consists of Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter? Yes, please. The Bulls had a very good draft, selecting players that help right now, but also project as longterm franchise cornerstones. Some mock draft experts were not high on Hutchison, but he serves a purpose and should fit in right away as a second-unit scoring option.
Draft Grade: B+


Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama (No. 8)

Draft Analysis: Colin Sexton won't be the reason LeBron James stays in Cleveland, but the athletic guard is a good get at No. 8. He's not the world's most polished scorer, but he is a physical freak with an endless motor and great defensive technique.  He makes his teammates better and can get to the foul line. 
Draft Grade: B


Dallas Mavericks:
Luka Doncic, SG, Slovenia (No. 3)
Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova (No. 33)
Ray Spalding, PF, Louisville (No. 56)
Kostas Antetokounmpo, SF, Dayton (No. 60)

Draft Analysis: The Mavericks traded up to get Doncic, the most tantalizing player in the draft, and only gave up a protected 2019 first-round pick in order to do so. The Mavericks then got first-round talent on a second-round price tag with Jalen Brunson. After that, they got a tough-as-nails power forward in Spalding AND drafted someone with the same genetic makeup as Giannis Antetokounmpo. This was an A+ draft for the Mavs.
Draft Grade: A+


Denver Nuggets;
Michael Porter, F, Missouri (No. 14)
 Jarred Vanderbilt, SF/PF, Kentucky (No. 41)
Thomas Welsh, C, UCLA (No. 58)

Draft Analysis: The Nuggets drafted two players who both combined to play in 16 games last season. But when healthy, Porter and Vanderbilt give the Nuggets a ton of athleticism and versatility. The problem? Nuggets fans are going to have to wait at least a year. Thomas Welsh is a wiry big-man who compares favorably to Jon Leuer. Don't look now, but the Nuggets could be kinda really good in 2-3 years.
Draft Grade: B


Detroit Pistons:
Khryi Thomas, SG, Creighton (No. 38)
Bruce Brown, PG/SG, Miami (No. 42)

Draft Analysis: Getting Bruce Brown at No. 42 is a great value considering he has first-round talent. When healthy, he can be a difference-maker. The Pistons didn't get much better on Thursday night, but they planted some seeds, something a lot of teams failed to do.
Draft Grade: B-


Golden State Warriors:
Jacob Evans, G, Cincinnati (No. 28)

Draft Analysis: What do you get the team that already has everything? Another rangy athlete who can defend multiple positions and hit 3-pointers. 
Draft Grade: B+


Houston Rockets:
De'Anthony Melton, PG/SG, USC (No. 46)
Vincent Edwards, SF, Purdue (52)

Draft Analysis: Melton had a first-round grade and has the potential to be an interesting combo guard. Edwards was a confusing pick. He's a good player who doesn't really do anything well at the NBA level. 
Draft Grade: C+


Indiana Pacers:
Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA (No. 23)
Alize Johnson, SF/PF, Missouri State (No. 50)

Draft Analysis: Holiday should mesh well with Victor Oladipo, and the Pacers got him at true value. 
Draft Grade: B


Los Angeles Clippers:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky (No. 11)
Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College (No. 13)

Draft Analysis: Trading up to get Gilgeous-Alexander was a smart move. Reaching on Robinson two picks later was not. The Clippers already have a bevy of guards on their roster. They needed to address their frontcourt but didn't. Jerome Robinson is going to be a fine NBA player, but this was a bad pick. 
Draft Grade: C


Los Angeles Lakers:
Moritz Wagner, F, Michigan (No. 25)
Isaac Bonga, PF, Germany (No. 39)
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas (No. 47)

Draft Analysis: The Lakers opted for the Michigan stretch-4 at No. 25 with Robert Williams still available, which is a bit strange. Svi Mykhailiuk is a plug-and-play marksman off the bench and Bonga is a draft-and-stash. The Lakers could have made a splash, but decided to build out their bench, and with good reason: Free agency is almost here.
Draft Grade: C+


Memphis Grizzlies:
Jarren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State (No. 4)
Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia (No. 32)
Draft Analysis: I'm not sure if Jarren Jackson is a great fit next to Marc Gasol, but the Michigan State product was one of the most talented players in the draft and should help the Grizzlies right away. Bonus points for drafting Jevon Carter, who is as tough and gritty as they come. A perfect fit for The Grindhouse.
Draft Grade: B


Miami Heat:
Draft Analysis: The Miami Heat started the night without a pick and did not trade back in.
Draft Grade: N/A


Milwaukee Bucks:
Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova (No. 17)

Draft Analysis: The Bucks had a ton of options at No. 17, and went with the do-everything Villanova guard who has a great stroke from behind the arc. "The Big Ragu" won't be an all-star, but he's the perfect type of glue guy for an already freakishly athletic team.
Draft Grade: B


Minnesota Timberwolves:
Josh Okogie, G, Georgia Tech (No. 20)
Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State (No. 48)

Draft Analysis: Tom Thibideau loves versatile wings he can run up and down the court for weeks at a time. That's what he got in Okogie and Bates-Diop, both at good value. 
Draft Grade: B+


New Orleans Pelicans
Tony Carr, PG, Penn State (No. 51)

Draft Analysis: The Pelicans didn't do much on Thursday. Carr is a tough, durable college scorer who doesn't really have a ton of upside or elite skills at the NBA level.
Draft Grade: D-


New York Knicks
Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky (No. 9), Mitchell Robinson, C (No. 36)

Draft Analysis: In the right spot, I think Kevin Knox can shine. But he needs polish, and does anybody have faith in the Knicks to give him that polish? But from a pick standpoint, they got a talented player who can score and will get a chance to do so right away. Robinson is a major project with major upside. If he turns into anything serviceable, this is a great value pick. 
Draft Grade: B-/C+


Oklahoma City Thunder
Hamidou Diallo, G, Kentucky (Traded from Brooklyn Nets, No. 45)
Devon Hall, SG, Virginia (No. 53),
Kevin Hervey, SF, UT-Arlington (No. 57)

Draft Analysis: Hamidou Diallo is a tough player to project but he's a great athlete and will out work people. But he is still very, very raw. I really like Kevin Hervey, who was a hidden gem in college basketball who projects as a decent NBA role player. but don't think there is any value in drafting Hall. Maybe the Thunder are hoping Devon Hall is the next Malcolm Brodgon, but that is not very likely at all. The Thunder drafted three guard-wing types, hoping one of them will catch on. 
Draft Grade: C-


Orlando Magic
Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas (No. 6),
Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane (No. 35),
Justin Jackson, F, Maryland (No. 43)

Draft Analysis: The Magic did not have a clear draft plan or strategy. Despite this, they did pretty well, taking Bamba, who many believe can develop into a multi-time All-Star, and Frazier, a sneaky talented scorer who draft pundits salivated over. Jackson has always been an intriguing draft prospect, but a down year compounded by a major injury has people forgetting how much upside he has.
Draft Grade: B


Philadelphia 76ers
Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova (No. 10) TRADED to the Phoenix Suns for Zhaire Smith.
Landry Shamet, G, Wichita State (No. 26)
Shake Milton, SG, SMU (No. 54)

Draft Analysis: A strange night, for sure. The 76ers drafted Bridges, a hometown kid whose mother works for the HR department, only to trade him to Phoenix while he was still giving interviews, gushing over how excited he was to stay home. The team should be applauded for picking up a 2021 draft pick and getting a freak athlete, a savvy distributor and a versatile scorer, all at the guard positions.
Draft Grade: B


Phoenix Suns
Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona (No. 1)
Zhaire Smith, F, Texas Tech (No. 16) TRADED to the Philadelphia 76ers for Mikal Bridges
Elie Okobo, PG, France (No. 31)
George King, SF, Colorado (No. 59)

Draft Analysis: Not only did the Suns get a franchise center in Ayton, they added a bevy of interesting options. The Suns have nowhere to go but up, and used a handful of picks to address a variety of needs. The competition level in practice is going to be off the charts, and that is great for a young team like the Suns.
Draft Grade: A


Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy (No. 24)
Gary Trent Jr., PG/SG, Duke (No. 37)

Draft Analysis:The Blazers are strapped for cash, so they needed to get better now. I'm not so sure they did, drafting an unproven high schooler in Simons and a talented but often invisible shooter in Trent. The Blazers burned their two picks on positions they already have. Puzzling. 
Draft Grade: D


Sacramento Kings
Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke (No. 2)

Draft Analysis: Bagley is immensely talented on offense, bordering on unstoppable at times. But the Kings have an odd collection of talent. If Luka Doncic becomes the star people think he will, the Kings might be kicking themselves for taking Bagley instead.
Draft Grade: B


San Antonio Spurs
Lonnie Walker, G, Miami (No. 18), Chimezie Metu, PF/C, USC (No. 49)

Draft Analysis: Walker was the most entertaining player in college basketball last season, and can get to the basket with ease. He's not a great shooter, but he does a bit of everything when he's not carving up defenders. Metu has some injury concerns, but is talented on offense and can protect this rim. We're willing to only look at Walker and Metu's upside because the Spurs drafted them and it seems like every player the Spurs draft is a steal.
Draft Grade: B


Toronto Raptors
Draft Analysis: The Raptors did not make any draft picks on Thursday night. 
Draft Grade: N/A


Utah Jazz
Grayson Allen, G, Duke (No. 22)

Draft Analysis:Pairing Grayson Allen with Donovan Mitchell is going to be so much fun to watch. Allen won't be an All-Star, but he will be a multi-year high rotation guy. The fact is, Allen is a better basketball player and a better athlete than anyone is willing to give him credit for.
Draft Grade: B+


Washington Wizards
Troy Brown, SG, Oregon (No. 15), Issuf Sanon, PG, Ukraine (No. 44)

Draft Analysis:  The Wizards needed to get immediately better for 2018 on Thursday night.  Troy Brown is a talented wing with playmaking skills and a good frame. He's a perfect teammate and has a great feel for the game. But he doesn't help the Wizards right now. Not a lot, really. It would have been nice to see the Wizards address the frontcourt in the second round. The team needs to get younger and more athletic in a hurry. But with ten players already under contract, 11 if you count Brown, the team decided to go the draft-and-stash development route. 
Draft Grade: C-
 

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

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NBA offseason grades: Thunder stood out in Northwest Division

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NBA offseason grades: Thunder stood out in Northwest Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Northwest Division...

Portland Trail Blazers, C+

2017-18 finish: 49-33, 1st round of playoffs
In: G Seth Curry, G Nik Stauskas, G Anfernee Simons, G Gary Trent, Jr.
Out: F Ed Davis, G Pat Connaughton, G Shabazz Napier

The Blazers are about as cash-strapped as anyone out there, so they had very little room to work with in free agency. They made some minor moves but nothing of real note. They had a solid draft, but picked Simons who is a long-term project. And they had to let some decent players go in free agency. The best thing that happened to the Blazers this summer was re-signing Jusuf Nurkic. Other than that, it was a pretty mediocre offseason for Portland.

Oklahoma City Thunder, A

2017-18 finish: 48-34, 1st round of playoffs
In: G Dennis Schroeder, C Nerlens Noel, G Hamidou Diallo
Out: F Carmelo Anthony

GM Sam Presti deserves high praise for another strong offseason. Most of the acclaim comes from the Thunder re-signing Paul George despite the assumption of many he would leave in free agency. But OKC also snagged Noel on a cheap deal, adding more athleticism and depth behind center Steven Adams. And they got Schroeder back in the deal for Anthony when they could have shed his salary for nothing in return. They also added three second round picks, including Diallo who looked good in the Summer League. It's hard to imagine the Thunder doing better than they did, given the financial resources they were working with.

Utah Jazz, B

2017-18 finish: 48-34, 2nd round of playoffs
In: G Grayson Allen, F Tyler Cavanaugh
Out: F Jonas Jerebko

The Jazz get most of their points from re-signing players like Dante Exum, Raul Neto and Derrick Favors. Though the price tag for Favors is a little high, they did a nice job of bringing the band back together, knowing they have an opportunity to get better this season simply by having Rudy Gobert stay healthy. The Allen pick has potential to work out very well for them. He looked good in the Summer League and should complement Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio well at the guard position. All in all, there was nothing flashy for the Jazz but they made some solid, smart decisions.

Minnesota Timberwolves, C

2017-18 finish: 47-35, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Anthony Tolliver, G Josh Okogie, F Keita Bates-Diop
Out: F Nemanja Bjelica

The Wolves have enough salary committed to where they could only do so much this summer. Tolliver is a nice pickup and should add shooting to their frontcourt. Bates-Diop gives them nice value as a second round pick. It would have been nice to see the Wolves change something via trade, but they have reason to believe they can get better if Karl-Anthony Towns continues to ascend and Andrew Wiggins reclaims his form as a scorer.

Denver Nuggets, B+

2017-18 finish: 46-36, missed playoffs
In: G Isaiah Thomas, F Michael Porter, Jr. 
Out: F Wilson Chandler, G Devin Harris

The Nuggets had a solid offseason just as they get ready to make a big leap forward as a franchise. They re-signed Nikola Jokic to a long-term deal, added Thomas on a low-risk contract and took a chance on Porter in the draft. They lost Chandler in a salary dump, but have the tools to win 50-plus games next season. Thomas could be a big difference maker if healthy and Porter gives them another building block for the future. If he can get past his back injury, he will fit in nicely with their young core.

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MORE OFFSEASON GRADES

SOUTHEAST DIVISION: WIZARDS, HEAT, MAGIC, HORNETS, HAWKS

ATLANTIC DIVISION: SIXERS, CELTICS, RAPTORS, KNICKS, NETS

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NBA offseason grades: LeBron James leaving changes everything in Central Division

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NBA offseason grades: LeBron James leaving changes everything in Central Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Central Division...

Cleveland Cavaliers, C

2017-18 finish: 50-32, lost in NBA Finals
In: G Collin Sexton, F Channing Frye, F Sam Dekker
Out: F LeBron James, F Jeff Green, G Jose Calderon

Technically, the Cavaliers had the worst offseason of any team in the NBA simply because they lost James in free agency, but overall they did quite nicely for themselves as they prepare to enter a new era as a franchise. Sexton seems like a solid first round pick and gives them a nice young piece to build around. They also signed All-Star Kevin Love to a contract extension. Cleveland should have enough to remain competitive, at least for the back-end of the playoffs, but they need to clear some salary to justify the step back they are about to take.

Indiana Pacers, B+

2017-18 finish: 48-34, 1st round of playoffs
In: G Tyreke Evans, G Aaron Holiday, F Doug McDermott, F Kyle O'Quinn
Out: G Lance Stephenson, F Glenn Robinson III, F Trevor Booker

There was nothing flashy about the Pacers' offseason, but they did a good job adding talent and depth. Evans on a one-year, $12 million deal is almost certain to work out well for them. McDermott should add shooting and O'Quinn is an underrated big man. And Holiday, their first round pick, is an intriguing young guard who could help on both ends of the floor. Indiana may not have enough to join the top teams in the conference, but they should be set up to recreate the success they had last year.

Milwaukee Bucks, B

2017-18 finish: 44-38, 1st round of playoffs
In: C Brook Lopez, F Ersan Ilyasova, G Pat Connaughton, G Donte DiVincenzo
Out: F Jabari Parker, G Jason Terry

The Bucks didn't have a whole lot to play with in terms of money in free agency or trade assets, and they let Parker go, so it wasn't a great summer for Milwaukee. They did, however make some smart moves in acquiring Lopez and Ilyasova for reasonable prices. The reason they got a 'B' has a lot to do with their decision to hire Mike Budenholzer as head coach. Beyond young guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo getting better, Budenholzer offers the Bucks their best chance to improve year-over-year.

Detroit Pistons, C+

2017-18 finish: 39-43, missed playoffs
In: G Kyhri Thomas, C Zaza Pachulia, F Glenn Robinson III, G Jose Calderon
Out: F Anthony Tolliver, F James Ennis III

It was another low-key offseason for the Pistons, who didn't have much money to spend in free agency and didn't make any major trades. Their biggest acquisition was through the draft with Thomas, a guy who offers intrigue on both ends of the floor. They get a decent grade, however, because of the move to hire Dwane Casey as head coach. If it weren't for that, their grade would be very low.

Chicago Bulls, B+

2017-18 finish: 27-55, missed playoffs
In: F Jabari Parker, F Wendell Carter, Jr., F Chandler Hutchison
Out: F Noah Vonleh

The Bulls had arguably one of the better offseasons in the East. They got Parker on a bargain and brought in two nice young players as first round picks in Carter and Hutchison. Carter was particularly impressive in the Summer League and could form a nice combination with Lauri Markkanen, who looks like a future All-Star. The Bulls might be one draft away from having the necessary pieces to start ascending into the next stage of their rebuild. They just keep chugging along with smart moves.

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MORE OFFSEASON GRADES

 

SOUTHEAST DIVISION: WIZARDS, HEAT, MAGIC, HORNETS, HAWKS

ATLANTIC DIVISION: SIXERS, CELTICS, RAPTORS, KNICKS, NETS

 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS