NBA Draft Grades For Picks 1-10
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)
Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker? There was no consensus on who was going first in the draft. Either would have been a great pick, and Cleveland decided to go with Wiggins. Wiggins is a very talented player and could be great for many years.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker (Duke)
There was no surprise that once the Cavs took Wiggins, the Milwaukee Bucks then drafted Jabari Parker. Jabari Parker is NBA ready. The Bucks needed someone who can step in and become the face of the franchise, so Parker was the obvious choice. No one ever knows what’s going to happen, but the Bucks should be confident in their pick.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid (Kansas)
There were a lot of questions about Joel Embiid and his health. Mainly, would he have health issues throughout his career? Regardless, Embiid is seen as one of the best prospects in the draft. The 76ers need a solid offensive option. Embiid’s height, athleticism and upside potential may make him that option someday.
4. Orlando Magic – Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
Aaron Gordon is the most athletic player in the draft. He was a standout athletically at the NBA combine. Although the Magic are in need of a point guard, they went for a forward instead. Gordon can rebound well at both ends of the floor and can guard multiple positions with his length and athleticism. The Magic hope Gordon’s offensive game improves.
5. Utah Jazz – Dante Exum (Australia)
Dante Exum is a bit of a mystery. Because he never played basketball in college, scouts were given limited exposure to the Australian. He’s a bit weak offensively, which is an area Utah struggles in. However, he’s a great ball handler and can get to the basket. The Jazz now needs to find a forward so he can dish the ball down low.
6. Boston Celtics – Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
With the sixth pick, the Celtics selected the point guard out of Oklahoma State. The Celtics already have Rajon Rondo, so it will be interesting to see if they can play together. Many believe Marcus Smart has potential to switch to shooting guard. Before he does, he would need to fix an inconsistent jump shot.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle (Kentucky)
Many predicted Randle would be heading to Los Angeles. They were correct. Julius Randle will be asked to solidify the post play for the Lakers. He has good ball handling skills for a big man and can rebound. What he lacks in height, he makes up in strength.
8. Sacramento Kings – Nick Stauskas (Michigan)
A team loaded with power forwards needed help in the backcourt. That was accomplished somewhat by picking Stauskas. Although the man from Michigan can shoot and use his height to rise above shorter defenders, Stauskas is not the quickest player and needs work handling the ball.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
Charlotte is another team that needed someone who could stretch the floor. They will get more than that from Noah Vonleh. He's an excellent rebounder and a very long player. The biggest positive is that Vonleh can shoot the three, allowing for the potential frontcourt of Al Jefferson and Vonleh.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana-Monroe)
Elfrid Payton is not the most known player in this year’s draft. However, he is widely considered the third-best point guard behind Exum and Smart. Although the 76ers need someone who can score, drafting Payton raises the possibility of trading Michael Carter-Williams away. Philadelphia could look to swap the NBA Rookie of the Year for someone who can score.